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First off I want to thank everyone for helping me with my reloading questions and all of my others. I finally ordered my reloading press kit yesterday from my local reloading shop; they didn't have any in 40cal. stocked.

Anyways whenever it came time to buying the actual bullets he suggested casting my own. I asked him if this is something I would decide on doing, where would I get the raw materials? Thinking I had to be some type of metalergist. Believe it or not, he told me that he used wheel weights from his buddies shop. He is also a part time police office, so I wouldn't see why he would le to me.

So my questions are...

What materials do you guys use to cast your ammunition?

If you do use wheel weights, do you have to clean them before melting, due to being oily and dirty.

What else do you need other than the melter and cast?
 

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Casting can be as simple or complicated as you want to make it. There are a lot of online and offline resources for information on casting and it's probably best if you go ahead and avail yourself of them before going ahead. I know a lot of shooters who reload and most of them buy their bullets from someone else, such as "Precision Bullets" in my area of TX.

It also depends to some extent on your purpose in reloading, are you doing it to save money or are you trying to control quality? If you are trying to control quality, you will soon learn to avoid wheel weights in favor of controlling the mix of metals yourself.

When I used to cast for long range target shooting, I was in it for the quality. I controlled the mix, casting soft for some purposes and hard for others, and I wanted the best quality metals for my mix. When I cast for deer hunting with my black powder rifles, I wanted two things, a bullet style that was not available in pre-cast and a composition that would be soft enough to engrave the rifling but not so soft that it would strip when fired.

As for cleaning them, if you decided to go with junk metal just for cheap bullets to shoot lots of, then you really don't need to clean them, but you should be aware that anything you put into the casting pot either burns off, floats to the top or amalgamates into the mix. Those things that burn off usually give off toxic fumes, so be aware and beware and be careful. Those things that float to the top can be skimmed off and discarded, like the little steel clips that hold the weights on the rims, and those things that just mix in change the composition of your mix in unanticipated ways.

Also realize that you are adding one more complicated step to the reloading process and think about whether it's chores that you will be willing to deal with.
 

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XD 40 mike said:
What materials do you guys use to cast your ammunition?

If you do use wheel weights, do you have to clean them before melting, due to being oily and dirty.

What else do you need other than the melter and cast?
As you're just starting out, I'd learn loading with factory lead or plated bullets. There's plenty of time to get into bullet casting.

I used to cast 250 gr. bullets out of wheel weights for light loads in my 44 mag. They worked very well. When melted, the clips and other crud (dross) float to the top and are skimmed off. I used a Coleman stove to melt lead in a cast iron pot and poured the clean lead into a cast iron, 4 place ingot mold (Lyman). One of the major things to know is to never allow water near molten lead. IOW, don't wash your wheel weights and drop them into the pot. This can cause the lead to explode in all directions. You probably should melt lead in a well ventilated area, as well.

Here's a resource to get you started: http://cast_boolits.aimoo.com/

WyoBob
 
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