The casting shed

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GunnyMack
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Re: The casting shed

Post by GunnyMack »

375 is a very accurate in most guns. Sure does Buck & snort with 300's at max charges! When I finished my 375 I was thankful Six sent me some cast bullets to get it on paper with. Then I went to 80.0 of Lilgun and WOW my teeth were looser! :lol: gotta spend some time with it but boy how I prefer the 218 Bee!!
NOT Lilgun but 80.0g of CFE223.
Last edited by GunnyMack on Sun Apr 04, 2021 11:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Griff
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Re: The casting shed

Post by Griff »

I started on replies to this thread three times... (say that real fast 10 times)... and everytime I lose my connection... and what I'd typed!

I started on my adventure in casting in about 1977, when I bought a T-C Hawken .54 kit gun. I bought both .530 & .535 round ball moulds, and a Lee "Maxi-ball" mould. They all gave adequate results... and provided a stable platform to learn about casting... if not anything about alloying for cartridge bullets! I didn't start casting for cartridges until the early '80s. I started with the 45Colt & 38 Special. Added the 30-30 when I learned that I needed lead bullets to shoot cowboy action, so 1982. Took me until 1985 to learn to shoot cowboy action, and by then the .30-30 wasn't a "legal" main match cartridge. Hard to believe that it's been 8 years since I rebuilt my reloading/casting benches in the workshop portion of my barn!
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Amazing how quickly horizontal surfaces become cluttered.......
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Powder coating pistol bullets (is there any other size besides .452?), is fun... but those .309 gaschecked pills for the .30-30 & .30-06 are a pain! Constantly falling over and needing at least 2 applications! I've found it's much easier to buy them already coated!
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GunnyMack
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Re: The casting shed

Post by GunnyMack »

Nice setup ya got there Griff!
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Re: The casting shed

Post by piller »

Absolutely! Leave an open space and something will fill it. It takes work to keep a space open.
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Shasta
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Re: The casting shed

Post by Shasta »

I have a bit of a different bullet casting story:

It’s been well over two years since I lost my home and all my reloading stuff as a result of the Carr Fire here in Shasta County, California. I was able to salvage a few of my many bullet moulds, and most of my bullet casting lead. The majority of the lead was in the form of one pound bars that had been sorted by hardness and stored in labeled G.I. ammo cans. Each can held well over 100 pounds of lead, and there was twenty-five cans. You can see the cans in this picture:

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The fire was so hot that the one pound lead bars melted together, so I wound up with a bunch of very burnt ammo cans each containing a huge brick of lead of unknown hardness. I went from this:

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to this:

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We rebuilt, and I even added a new detached garage with a 10 x 24 foot reloading shop. I am fully set up to cast again, so I decided it was time to deal with those burnt ammo cans:

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I tried using a weed burning torch to melt out the lead, but after just one can I realized that method would take a lot of time and propane as the big chunk of lead did not readily melt out of the can. I decided to instead use a metal cut-off wheel in my 4 ½” angle grinder to cut the can off the lead:

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It is a filthy job with a lot of soot covering everything, but the grinder does cut the can off very quickly. The biggest problem I am having now is that being 70 years old I am having great difficulty picking up and moving such heavy lead bricks:

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I still need to melt down each brick individually and re-pour the lead into one pound bars. It will be a long and slow process but I am determined to get it done.

Shasta
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Re: The casting shed

Post by piller »

Hope you get it done. Glad you could salvage something.
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GunnyMack
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Re: The casting shed

Post by GunnyMack »

Shasta you have your work cut out for you! Have you thought about a sawzall ( reciprocating saw) to cut the ammo can blocks into smaller pieces? Still be a lot of work but you wouldn't have to pick up those heavy cans.
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OldWin
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Re: The casting shed

Post by OldWin »

If I wasn't at the other end of the country, I'd give you a hand. A lot of work for sure, but I'm glad you still have it.
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Shasta
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Re: The casting shed

Post by Shasta »

GunnyMack wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 4:30 am
Shasta you have your work cut out for you! Have you thought about a sawzall ( reciprocating saw) to cut the ammo can blocks into smaller pieces? Still be a lot of work but you wouldn't have to pick up those heavy cans.
Yep, I tried using a Sawsall with a metal cutting blade, but the fine teeth quickly clogged with lead. I then tried a coarse toothed wood cutting blade, but it too clogged with lead. I am thinking my best course of action is to get one of my nephews over here and let a young guy do the heavy lifting. :)

Shasta
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Re: The casting shed

Post by AmBraCol »

Shasta wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 10:45 am
GunnyMack wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 4:30 am
Shasta you have your work cut out for you! Have you thought about a sawzall ( reciprocating saw) to cut the ammo can blocks into smaller pieces? Still be a lot of work but you wouldn't have to pick up those heavy cans.
Yep, I tried using a Sawsall with a metal cutting blade, but the fine teeth quickly clogged with lead. I then tried a coarse toothed wood cutting blade, but it too clogged with lead. I am thinking my best course of action is to get one of my nephews over here and let a young guy do the heavy lifting. :)

Shasta
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GunnyMack
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Re: The casting shed

Post by GunnyMack »

Yes like Jay said if I were closer... You are right, use a young back for the lifting! Best plan yet :D
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Griff
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Re: The casting shed

Post by Griff »

Shasta, think "Coleman stove", GI can as pot, and ladle the lead directly back into ingots. But by all means...
AmBraCol wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 3:51 pm
Shasta wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 10:45 am
,,,Best course of action is to get one of my nephews over here and let a young guy do the heavy lifting. :)
Young folk definitely have their uses...
Griff,
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There is a fine line between hobby & obsession!
AND... I'm over it!!
No I ain't ready, but let's do it anyway!
Catshooter
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Re: The casting shed

Post by Catshooter »

If you use a Coleman be sure to reinforce the grill. I won't hold the weight if you don't.


Cat
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6pt-sika
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Re: The casting shed

Post by 6pt-sika »

Shasta wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 10:45 am
GunnyMack wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 4:30 am
Shasta you have your work cut out for you! Have you thought about a sawzall ( reciprocating saw) to cut the ammo can blocks into smaller pieces? Still be a lot of work but you wouldn't have to pick up those heavy cans.
Yep, I tried using a Sawsall with a metal cutting blade, but the fine teeth quickly clogged with lead. I then tried a coarse toothed wood cutting blade, but it too clogged with lead. I am thinking my best course of action is to get one of my nephews over here and let a young guy do the heavy lifting. :)

Shasta
Easiest and quickest way I ever separated big blocks of lead was with cold chisel and a machinist hammer or small sledge hammer .
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fordwannabe
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Re: The casting shed

Post by fordwannabe »

Shasta my main smelting set up is a cheap turkey fryer and a harbor freight Dutch oven. If you use the GI can on a turkey fryer then ladle the lead into ingots when your done you can use a GI can as your smelting pot you would be in the whole thing about $50. Then call your local pizza shop and order a large pie....call your young relatives and say hey buddy, I just bought a large pizza and can’t finish it myself. Once he is at your place, spring the lift this and put it here, thing on him.
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Jay Bird
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Re: The casting shed

Post by Jay Bird »

I had zero issues cutting up 22 lb Linotype bars with my Grizzly band saw using a wood blade. It cut right through them. I wore a mask and it does leave a mess......then next time I cut some up I'm going to wheel the saw out in the pasture and cut them up there instead of the garage. Then use the air compressor at 100-125 lbs to blow everything out.

With those big blocks you have I'd cut it in 2 lengthwise then cut to width.
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Shasta
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Re: The casting shed

Post by Shasta »

I have a large cast iron dutch oven for smelting lead (it survived the fire with just a bent wire bail handle) and I did buy a new propane turkey fryer for heating it up. My cast iron one pound ingot molds also made it through the fire. I had a very large supply of cast lead bullets (around 400 pounds) in a bunch of different calibers that all melted into a big blob in the ashes and gravel under where my old reloading shed had been. It took my brother-in-law and I a couple hours to get that lead dug up. I was able to use my weed burner around the edges to melt about 50 pounds at a time into the dutch oven. I then set the oven over the turkey fryer burner to get the lead melted and clear out the rocks, brass, and other junk that floated to the top. Then I re-cast the lead into clean one pound bars. That lead is what I am currently using for my bullet casting operations.

As for the ammo cans, cutting off the can with a cut-off wheel in my grinder is so easy that I will continue to use that method to get to the lead. My dutch oven is big enough to take a whole ammo can of lead at once, so all I need to do is get a chunk of lead melted and re-cast into one pound bars, test it for hardness, and re-pack in new cans. That is where the young guy helpers come into play!

Shasta
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Re: The casting shed

Post by piller »

The idea to pay the young relative in pizza sounds fair. If he is interested, then teach him about making bullets. He could learn a valuable and fun skill as well as feeling like he helped.
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GunnyMack
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Re: The casting shed

Post by GunnyMack »

Where did everybody go?
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Scott Tschirhart
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Re: The casting shed

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

I went through a divorce some years ago and ended up in a one bedroom apartment above a pool here in San Antonio. I used to cast bullets on my little balcony and I was too poor to even pay attention.

Now I am a bit more prosperous and for the last few years Montanna Bullet Co has been doing my casting for me. I do miss the extra time I had back in those days though.
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