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Discussion Starter #1
How many cast your own? And what equiptment do you use...electric, propane, or over a fire, etc. etc.?
 

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I use an old, like at least 30 year old, Lee Electric melting Pot. I bought a new one that has the bottom spout but it is always sticking open. Makes a mess! I use Lee molds. The trick in using these is to cast maybe 40-50 balls then let the mold cool down, This prevents warping the mold. I usually trade off between .45 and .50 caliber molds. I usually put a little Beeswax on the mold to help the balls from sticking.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I figured an electric pot would be more convenient.
 

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I bought my dad the LEE lead melting pot with the bottom pour spout. It works great. Just gotta keep it clean. Take it apart and clean the stopper. It will stop the leak or really slow it down. Dad sat his on a piece of wood then put a tuna can below the pour spout to catch anything that drips out.
 

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i,ve had 2 of the lee pots. one leaked and one didn't but the guys i lent them too didn't mind either way. i never got either back. lol
 

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I have both a Lee and a Lyman melting pot with spouts on the bottom. The problem is that when I do mold, i make enough so I won't have to do it again for a while. The electric pots cool down to much when new lead is added. I use an old deep side cast iron skillet on a white gas coleman stove. I can melt about 30 pounds at a time, and it doesn't cool off too much from adding a few pounds.

I'll mold 440, 490, 535, 570 and 620 balls, 500 grain 45-70 bullets, 450 grain 50-70 bullets and usually few hundred of each round ball and maybe 150 each of the cartridge rifle bullets. That's over 11 pounds of 45-70 bullets at one session. For several of these, I have 4 cavity gang molds which consume alot of lead in a hurry.

I open the molds just an inch or so over a tin tray which is set on a slight slope so the balls and bullets gently roll down to one end and out of the way.
 

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get a good laugh, years ago when I still worked -on entering the house which was closed up when arriving from work it smelled awful. In the kitchen the old man was boiling stuff on the gas stove. I had done the same thing the first time I made homemade soap with lye but I was a 20 something idiot. He was 40 something. The lead was filling the house and I almost passed out before I opened all the windows and turned on the fans. It was not his first time making lead shot but it was the first time in a house built for northern weather. His grandma's house was a tarpaper home in rural Ala. Oy Vey, keep your windows open.
 

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For years I used a pot on a camp,double burner,stove and ladle.Just this year I picked this up.Works a lot better.
 

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I use a Lee bottom pour furnace that I had the spout welded closed because it always leaked. Now I use a dipper and it works great. I cast 2 different size balls eg.(.495 & .530) at the same time to keep the mold from getting too hot. I scrounge all the lead I can find.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Do you guys use wheel weights for your round balls? I have heard so many conflicting opinions on wheel weight lead for muzzloaders.
 

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They will work.Your size will be a little smaller as the harder will shrink when it cools.Your weight will be less also.WARNING!New wheel weight have alot of zinc in them.They are doing away with lead ones.I try to grab as much pipe lead as I can.
 

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Soft lead should be used when Hunting Deer. If using hard lead the Ball will zip right through and not flatten out thus losing a lot of it`s killing power. I have recovered a couple Speer .45 lead balls that have expanded almost twice their size.
 

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The new zink wheel weights have the letter "Z" cast right in them so you can tell them from the old lead & tin wheel weights.
 

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I have been casting bullets for single shot rifles and MZ's for years. And have also been casting round balls for years. I have tried about every alloy and mixture you can think of. And there is a bunch of them. For MZ bullets and balls I have found that straight WW works just fine. Is there a slight difference in projectile size when using different alloys?? Yes. However I have noticed a lot more difference in the diameter that different molds throw-over different aloys.

I have used bottom pour pots, but I no longer use them for casting. I can get a better cadence and bullet from a ladle. I think my ladle poured bullets are more consistent. And it seems like there is always something wrong with the bottom pour pot. I still have a bottom pour pot but I use it for sinkers and jigs where consistency is not as important.

As far as the Zinc is concerned. That is no big problem. Just keep your smelting temp. low and skim the ZN off the top along with the clips(I realize smelting is the wrong term-but I do not what else to call it--maybe "cleaning up"). Tom.



 

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A round ball doesnt have a whole lot of killer "power" as it is.

Wheel weights will work but i notice they get larger over time. Ive struggled getting them down the bore when just a month before, they loaded perfect. Accuracy isnt as good either VS pure lead but hey, its cheap to shoot & thats always a good thing.

I found that the Stick on wheel weights are super soft and work perfect.
 

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I use a Lee electric, bottom spout, and yes it does leak sometimes, I put a piece tin underneath and just recycle the drippins.

We have some chemical plants in the area and the guys that work there get me some lead piping now and then.

First "melt" is outside using propane and a large pot so I can clean the lead (it can be really nasty sometimes)and pour it into a cast iron muffin pan. I can stack the lead "muffins" for easy storage and later use in the electric pot.

I cast 395 RB, 395 hollow base maxi, 437 440 490 all RB and 495 maxi.

Back when I shot competition we would weigh every RB, its suprising the amount of "hollow" balls that would turn up.

We would get 4 or 5 guys together and get 2 or 3 pots running, it doesn't take long to make several coffee cans full of RB,s.
 

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Big ******* said:
I use a Lee electric, bottom spout, and yes it does leak sometimes, I put a piece tin underneath and just recycle the drippins.

We have some chemical plants in the area and the guys that work there get me some lead piping now and then.

First "melt" is outside using propane and a large pot so I can clean the lead (it can be really nasty sometimes)and pour it into a cast iron muffin pan. I can stack the lead "muffins" for easy storage and later use in the electric pot.

I cast 395 RB, 395 hollow base maxi, 437 440 490 all RB and 495 maxi.

Back when I shot competition we would weigh every RB, its suprising the amount of "hollow" balls that would turn up.

We would get 4 or 5 guys together and get 2 or 3 pots running, it doesn't take long to make several coffee cans full of RB,s.
BR, what do you use the 495 grain Maxis in? I love the big old Maxis!! I use 470 grain Maxi-Hunters(unfortunately discontinued) in my NEF Sidekick .50 1:28 twist.
 

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Where can you buy soft lead? The on-line ML sites like Track of the wolf, Log cabin sport shop, etc. don`t have it in their catalogs. I`d like to try making some rd. balls.
 

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Old Crow said:
Where can you buy soft lead? The on-line ML sites like Track of the wolf, Log cabin sport shop, etc. don`t have it in their catalogs. I`d like to try making some rd. balls.

Roto-Metals, E-Bay, or you can sometimes get a good deal on the Cast Boolits site in the classified section. The Cast Boolits site is probably your best bet(for the best price). Tom.
 
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