The casting shed

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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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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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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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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:

Image

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:

Image

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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:

Image

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.

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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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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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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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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. :)

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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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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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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...
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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.


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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
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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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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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Re: The casting shed

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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!

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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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Re: The casting shed

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Where did everybody go?
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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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Re: The casting shed

Post by GunnyMack »

Does anyone have a .22 mold? Thinking I need one for my hornet & bee. What weight / style do you guys use?
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Re: The casting shed

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GunnyMack wrote:
Tue Apr 13, 2021 3:47 pm
Does anyone have a .22 mold? Thinking I need one for my hornet & bee. What weight / style do you guys use?
I've got one that I picked up at a Goodwill years ago for a buck and a quarter, IIRC. Now I need something to shoot it out of. It's a nice, flat tip, but don't recall the number off it. Can't even remember the weight, other than it's too heavy to shoot out of a 22 caliber spring powered air rifle. :D Have contemplated having it milled down to a shorter length and more reasonable weight for air rifle use, PCP that is, but don't own one that'd be worth the hassle so haven't gotten that round tuit yet. Sizing down to a more svelte .217 would also take some doing. I should probably take it back north and look for a Hornet or something to shoot them out of.
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Re: The casting shed

Post by fordwannabe »

What kind of a goofball would reload for a 218 bee or a Hornet :roll: ?
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Re: The casting shed

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fordwannabe wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 10:01 pm
What kind of a goofball would reload for a 218 bee or a Hornet :roll: ?

Me. I did shoot some cast out of the bee I sold you...not many, maybe 50. A couple of grains of Unique and you have a nice backyard play load. So there Mr. Know-It-All-------know it all 006

I have the Lyman 45 gr gc.....shooting that bullet at 1000 sounds like a 22 target load. There!
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Re: The casting shed

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Sixgun wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 10:55 pm
fordwannabe wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 10:01 pm
What kind of a goofball would reload for a 218 bee or a Hornet :roll: ?

Me. I did shoot some cast out of the bee I sold you...not many, maybe 50. A couple of grains of Unique and you have a nice backyard play load. So there Mr. Know-It-All-------know it all 006

I have the Lyman 45 gr gc.....shooting that bullet at 1000 sounds like a 22 target load. There!
Can I have it? :D
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Re: The casting shed

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GunnyMack wrote:
Mon Apr 19, 2021 4:39 am
Sixgun wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 10:55 pm
fordwannabe wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 10:01 pm
What kind of a goofball would reload for a 218 bee or a Hornet :roll: ?

Me. I did shoot some cast out of the bee I sold you...not many, maybe 50. A couple of grains of Unique and you have a nice backyard play load. So there Mr. Know-It-All-------know it all 006

I have the Lyman 45 gr gc.....shooting that bullet at 1000 sounds like a 22 target load. There!
Can I have it? :D
no! Get a job! :D I do have some bullets laying around if your interested....put one grain of Bullseye in there and you have a dead quiet .223
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Re: The casting shed

Post by GunnyMack »

Ill pay you for it! Or ill pay for a couple hunnert of em ! :D
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Re: The casting shed

Post by fordwannabe »

I wasn’t serious :lol:
I think that mold should have gone with the gun. Just sayin!
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Re: The casting shed

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Tom you can have it after I cast a hunnert! :lol:
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Re: The casting shed

Post by fordwannabe »

Cool when can I expect it? :D
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Re: The casting shed

Post by GunnyMack »

As soon as Six sends it to me! :D
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Re: The casting shed

Post by fordwannabe »

Sunday will be spending several hours in the casting shed. Bullets for 25/20, 44 mag penta points, and some more 311 round balls. Anybody else casting this weekend?
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Re: The casting shed

Post by GunnyMack »

I picked up a Lee .358 mold, realized I didn't have one ! Might just fire up the pot and break it in Sunday.
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Re: The casting shed

Post by fordwannabe »

Good luck with it. How many cavity?
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Re: The casting shed

Post by GunnyMack »

Just a 2 cavity. Figure with the way the world is going i might oughta have one.
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Re: The casting shed

Post by Catshooter »

Good move.

I dislike Lee's moulds. He uses the wrong aluminum, they're put together poorly, but they almost always cast nice bullets. I've got a good few Don't like 'em though.


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Re: The casting shed

Post by piller »

Catshooter wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 7:53 pm
Good move.

I dislike Lee's moulds. He uses the wrong aluminum, they're put together poorly, but they almost always cast nice bullets. I've got a good few Don't like 'em though.


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Re: The casting shed

Post by Catshooter »

Yes, those calibers usually do well with cast, no reason they wouldn't.

There's lots of "Sticky" threads on Cast Boolits and they hold a treasure trove of info. I really enjoy the independence that casting gives me. I've all the primer, powder and brass I'll ever need and I can cast to my heart's content.


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Re: The casting shed

Post by GunnyMack »

I'm not overly impressed by Lee molds myself but they are inexpensive, available and since I'm not heavy into pistol shooting it will work just fine.
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Re: The casting shed

Post by AmBraCol »

GunnyMack wrote:
Sat Apr 24, 2021 4:58 am
I'm not overly impressed by Lee molds myself but they are inexpensive, available and since I'm not heavy into pistol shooting it will work just fine.
They aren't as nice as some of the others, but turn out decent projectiles. Which mold did you get? I used to have one of their hollow point molds for 38 and one for 44. That 38 mold would drop the bullets at ??? diameter and I'd load them as cast, lubed in a shallow pan with my own concoction of stingless bees' wax lube. I had another mold as well, but don't recall which style it was. Anyway, those bullets turned out some accurate ammo, loaded in the old Lee WhackEm loader. I sold 400 rounds to the local police way back when and they stated that was the most accurate ammo they'd ever had for their revolvers.

I look at the Lee molds about like a Glock pistol. Nothing to brag about owning, but they get the job done efficiently.
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Re: The casting shed

Post by GunnyMack »

Paul, it's the .358 158gr tumble lube style. I don't shoot enough cast to justify sizer, top punch and gc's.
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Re: The casting shed

Post by AmBraCol »

GunnyMack wrote:
Sat Apr 24, 2021 10:39 am
Paul, it's the .358 158gr tumble lube style. I don't shoot enough cast to justify sizer, top punch and gc's.
Should work just dandy. If you get a wild hair and decide to experiment with sizing, the Lee sizing kits work pretty well. No top punch as they push on the base. Just tumble lube them with Lee Liquid Alox, push them through then tumble lube them again. But you shouldn't need to do so for most uses of that bullet.
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Re: The casting shed

Post by GunnyMack »

Yes I need to get one of those sizers for my 41 Henry, the mold i got from Catshooter throws a .413 and they are just a tad too large.
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Re: The casting shed

Post by Catshooter »

Gunny,

Four thirteen huh? Well, I bet if you cast some up out of about 1/2 lino type & 1/2 wheel weight or even pure it'll be about .410 or so. Or even pure lino. You might give it a try, if they don't work you can always just re-melt 'em.


Cat
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GunnyMack
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Re: The casting shed

Post by GunnyMack »

Right from the mold my Blackhawk swallows them just fine, the Henry is a tad tighter, only reason I would bother to size.
BROWN LABS MATTER !!
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Griff
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Re: The casting shed

Post by Griff »

Man, what a hectic past few days! After loading up in Goodyear, AZ on Tuesday evening, I drove until 0-dark-thirty to Van Horn, TX! Part of I-10 thru downtown El Paso was closed and so was part of the detour! I got to Dallas in plenty of time for my 0415 appoint on Thursday, but was dog tired! Unloaded and out to where I keep my trailer at a manufacturing plant, ready to be loaded by Sat, for a delivery tomorrow in Renton, WA. Needed a couple of days worth of groceries... who knew Wal-Mart doesn't open till 0700? It was supposed to rain Friday, so I figured I better mow the pastures before the weeds got to high!

After getting home about 0730, and the truck unloaded by 0800, I needed breakfast, 3 scrambled eggs mixed with week old milk, half a week old tomato & "'Lil Smokies"! Now I needed a nap! Got up @ 11 and started mowing, gawd I love this 12' deck! Done by 1600. Cleaned up the deck and put away in just under an hour! Then it was over to the neighbors and pick up the week's mail! One bill and 80 pieces of junk mail! Sorted that and thought about dinner. Shoulda bought something for dinner when there, (forgot to take a steak outta the freezer earlier)! So, outta the freezer and into the sink full of lukewarm water! Yes, still sealed in the plastic freezer bag! Abt 2000 hrs I sat down and ate the steak along with other ½ of the tomato! Listened to 80 msgs about how I needed solar power and if I didn't call right away the warranty would expire on my 16 & 18 year old cars (p/u's), surely they couldn't mean the '91 Camaro or '55 Chevy! Then to sort thru the 212 emails, 20 of which were from the NRA and TSRA. Delete, delete, delete, delete, delete, delete, delete, delete, delete, delete, delete, delete, delete.... 82 from the dating site I stupidly signed up for... that's like 15 a day for the 5 days I was on the road! One from my agent telling me the delivery on my next load was now Thursday instead of tomorrow. YeeHaw! 3 days at home! Back to Wal-Mart for more grub! Who knew they'd already closed! So, fired off a text to my lady friend to ask if she'd like to go out dancin' and dinner Friday nite! That'd be yes!

So up Friday morning and as I'm eating breakfast, I noticed it hadn't started to rain,,, hmmm.. can I get weeds & grass al cut down to the same height before it starts? Man,
I must be livin' right, lawn's cut & trimmed as the 1st rain drops fall! Ok, now to start the laundry! Nap time! CRACK! The loudest thunder I've ever heard. So close I thought I'd find scorched earth right outside! Nope, no sign of such. Oops, better mail the water bill. Went to the office and tried to turn on the printer & computer... no go! Then I noticed the battery b/u is off. So're the other 3 in the house! (My son is a firm believer in battery back-u/p for electronic gizmos). So I head out to the garage to check the circuit breakers, on the way I notice the washing machine is stopped, full of clean water, waiting to start the rinse cycle. I twist the dial one click... nada! Then a second click... still nada! Okay, electrical panel here I come! Yep, set of CB's are tripped. But wait, that's one of the 2 50amp legs out to the barn; nothing to do with the house! Reset 'em, went to barn, yep, every is on!

Back at the house, check push the power button on the battery b/u for the security system, and it beeps and flashes. So I press and hold, viola, it comes on and so does the security system. Check the others and they all come on. Everything except one tv, internet and the stereo. Call the internet provider and find out the dsl line is out, 3-4 days to repair! Oh, and the washing machine! So I call my son and ask, "what caused you to replace the controller the last time it didn't work?" Connection inside fried. "Caused by a power surge?" No, just age. Have you tried closing the lid? "Why it only needs to be closed for spin." No, the new controller needs the lid to be closed for drain, rinse & spin! So, I closed the lid. And I had to resort to saying those 2 dreaded words... "you're right."

So off to Best Buy and a new tv and stereo. Got them connected in time to shower & shave for my date! She shows up, and we're off to the honky tonk/steakhouse! We're just finishing our meal and the house bands starts up.. "Wanna dance," I ask? Music to my ears,,, "no, let's just sit here & people watch."

Finish up the laundry on the "free" Saturday. Cook myself another great dinner on Saturday nite!

Next trip home... it's time to cast up some more .30-30 bullets! May, the perfect month to cast bullets in Texas! And you thought this wouldn't have anything to do with casting!!!! :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
Griff,
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AND... I'm over it!!
No I ain't ready, but let's do it anyway!
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Re: The casting shed

Post by piller »

I recently loaded a bunch of 155 grain .40 cal LaserCast over 7.2 grains of AA number 5 for my Smith & Wesson model 99 Walther. I have been going fishing at a sort of remote spot, and I just saw a wild pig about midnight a week ago. It left me alone, but I thought a nice lead bullet ready to go out of a .40 S&W caliber Smith & Wesson brand handgun might be handy. Those same bullets can be used in 10mm, and I plan to load a few up for it. I also have some Bull-X and Penn bullets to try. If some piggie decides to chomp on me, I plan to change its mind in a hurry.
D. Brian Casady
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1894cfan
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Re: The casting shed

Post by 1894cfan »

yooper2 wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 7:29 am


I like reloading and casting as much as shooting at this point. Sometimes it almost feels like I need to go empty brass so I can have something to load.


Eric
Yup, me too! Just picked up my second NOE mold, 360-182-WFNPB! First was a 360-197-RN/hp. Can hardly wait to get it filled with hot lead!

Greg
yooper2
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Re: The casting shed

Post by yooper2 »

I've really enjoyed all of the molds I've gotten from NOE, very nice products. What are you loading with your new mold? I've considered it for a hunting bullet in 357 max.


Eric
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fordwannabe
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Re: The casting shed

Post by fordwannabe »

I placed another order with NOE this morning for neck expanders for 25:20 and 32/20.
a Pennsylvanian who has been accused of clinging to my religion and my guns......Good assessment skills.
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