Reloading and casting a must learn.

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Reloading and casting a must learn.

Post by Coz » Thu Jan 30, 2014 6:50 am

My Son and I were talking about this the other day. Trying to decide what guns are must take and what could be bartered for food fuel ect. Still working that out. Seems we like different things.

So far we have agreed to keep the 357 magnum pistol and Lever action rifle. Main reason is a common caliber, Can defend self and get food with it. Reloading is easy, Can make bullets from scrap lead and if needed will function as needed on home made black powder.

Then we differed. He wants the AR, I wanted to keep the Flint lock Muzzle loader. Fire power compared to being able to fire at all times.
22 cal rim fire was a early keeper, But then I asked what happens when the bullets run out?
Still working on it.
May keep the 22 ammo and use it as money.

Casting gives you access to any caliber you need with out having to store them all. Just store the lead, make what you need when you need it.

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A LEE hand loader for the go bag?
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Re: Reloading and casting a must learn.

Post by Manimal2878 » Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:46 am

So I have a question. In most bullet designs they use copper and a lot of times hollow cavities.

So for like a 9mm the common weights are 115 grains and 147 grains. What would a lead cast bullet with no copper or hollow point weigh?

What about the same for a .223/5.56? Some common weights are 55, 62, 77 grains. What would an all lead version be?

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Re: Reloading and casting a must learn.

Post by cricketdave » Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:11 am

To answer your question with 9mm bullets a common mold weight is 125grains, with other sizes available. For 556 the problems are more of pushing the bullets past the speed you normally shoot cast bullets at, several molds around for them in 45grain size even with a gas check your still going to get a lot of leading in the barrel pushed to the normal velocity ranges. There is however a tool to turn used 22 cases into jackets for the 556 cast bullets and you can load those just like a normal bullet for its specific weight. Usually you don't want to push a cast bullet past about 1400fps over that and you run into problems which can be helped with a gas check.
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Re: Reloading and casting a must learn.

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:23 am

Manimal2878 wrote:So I have a question. In most bullet designs they use copper and a lot of times hollow cavities.

So for like a 9mm the common weights are 115 grains and 147 grains. What would a lead cast bullet with no copper or hollow point weigh?

What about the same for a .223/5.56? Some common weights are 55, 62, 77 grains. What would an all lead version be?
Check out CastBoolits.com for just that answer. "Lead" bullets are always an alloy, depending on whether you want harder or softer bullets. Some have taken to powdercoating (yes, like household appliances or cheap wheels) to deal with the exterior hardness (making sure it doesn't shred itself or leave leaden skidmarks down your bore) with good results.

Personally, I'm waiting for someone to pop out a recipe for 5.56 or 6.5x55 cast bullets with a steel surprise inside. Have you seen those Boston Dynamics robots? I -need- a steel core robobuster load.
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Re: Reloading and casting a must learn.

Post by Manimal2878 » Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:30 am

So it's much more suited to pistol calibers than rifle calibers generally.

That's interesting turning used .22lr cases into .223 jackets.

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Re: Reloading and casting a must learn.

Post by Mikeyboy » Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:48 am

So I'm one of those gun guys who never got into reloading. After the last two ammo panics however, I really think I want to start dabbling in it.

So starting out with nothing, what is the basic and most economical equipment I need to get to the point where I am reloading my own ammo and casting my own bullets?

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Re: Reloading and casting a must learn.

Post by cricketdave » Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:50 am

they work well too, leaves you with a soft point jacketed projectile and takes down coyotes and hogs just fine.
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Re: Reloading and casting a must learn.

Post by cricketdave » Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:57 am

A lot of folks start with just a lee single stage to learn what they are doing, if you want a progressive press though don't use lee get a dillon. Lee dies work pretty well but are not as precise as rcbs, redding, hornady or dillon dies. For casting I use a rcbs melting pot and a variety of different brand molds and lyman sizing lube die with the appropriate size dies. For shotgun I use a couple of different mec presses, the lee of shotgun loading again if you want progressive get hornady or dillon for the shotgun. Anyway you look at it its not cheap to set up and if you get the better equipment your looking at a substantial investment. People always say your going to save money loading your own, you not but you are going to shoot more for the same money. Then there is a whole other set of stuff to swage your own bullets. Not to mention all the raw materials you need, lead, copper, powder and primers. Case trimmer if your loading for autos all sorts of stuff you can pretty much just go nuts and get a full set up.
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Re: Reloading and casting a must learn.

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:13 am

Mikeyboy wrote:So I'm one of those gun guys who never got into reloading. After the last two ammo panics however, I really think I want to start dabbling in it.

So starting out with nothing, what is the basic and most economical equipment I need to get to the point where I am reloading my own ammo and casting my own bullets?
Check out the Press Therapy thread http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopi ... 07&t=99340 as well. I went with a Lee single stage (whichever kit comes with the hand primers) and ordered dies and whatnot via Grafs. Down the road if you decide you need to, the upgrade to a progressive is spendy, but at that point you'll turn out 10 rounds to my one. At this point, I'm fine with paying the extra $.05-$.10 per round to have someone else load my bulk ammo.
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Re: Reloading and casting a must learn.

Post by Das Sheep » Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:01 pm

During the last ammo crisis here we could not find primers, powders, brass or bullets for reloading so :/

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Re: Reloading and casting a must learn.

Post by cricketdave » Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:06 pm

Thats exactly why I keep a bunch stocked up all the time. Anytime I find powders or primers on sale i stock up and stock deep.
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Re: Reloading and casting a must learn.

Post by Coz » Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:45 pm

Good questions.
Couple things. Pistol bullets are pretty easy to cast and get good loads. Start here.

Rifle loads are also pretty easy to do at least until you try to work at the top end of speed.
One rifle load that I have found to be almost a match made in heaven is the 300 Black out.
As a matter of fact I dont think I have even tried a load that was not at least useful, Most being superb.
30-30 and 308 win are also pretty easy to do. Its a case volume thing, The more of the case you can fill with powder the more consistent the pressure will be. The harder ones are the 3006, 8mm Mauser sized cases.
You can do them, just not the easiest to learn on.

223/5.56 in a AR is a different animal all together. You can work up a pretty accurate cast load in a bolt gun pretty easy.
In a AR its tricky. Most loads to get the proper gas to operate the action is over spinning the bullet.
Not a expert at it I have only been messing with them for a few months.
Mostly pulling my hair out.
One load that I am working on that is showing some promise. Is the same cast bullet but powder coated.
I have only tried on batch so far, But I tried a load using H335 at the starting jacked load.
I got good accuracy and the bullets seemed to hold up. Worth some more investigation at any rate.
I have another 100 loaded up just waiting for the weather to break.

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Here is my 300 Black out load. For you guys buying your ammo. I make these for about 2 bucks for a box of 20.

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You can pop pretty good accuracy with out trying to hard. This is a representative example 3 different loads one being jacketed. Fast fire 20 round mag each aiming point. Pretty much any 30 cal bullet is in play with the 300 Black out. I may have to talk to my son and get that on the Must keep list.

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Last edited by Coz on Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Reloading and casting a must learn.

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:06 pm

Coz wrote:Here is my 300 Black out load. For you guys buying your ammo. I make these for about 2 bucks for a box of 20.

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That's why I initially got a press. Still not set up to cast, but reloaded with new projectiles is still cheaper than buying.
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Re: Reloading and casting a must learn.

Post by Coz » Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:26 pm

You can save even more money if you buy in bulk pulls. I picked up a whole bunch of 124gr .310 pulls from 7.62x39 ammo. Got them for like $40 per 500 bullets. I run them through a LEE .308 sizer die and shoot them in all my 30 cal guns as well as the AK's and SKS's.

My goal though is to never buy another bullet again. Not there yet.
But figure even if you buy your lead. Right now I get it for about $1.20 a pound shipped.
I have about a 1000 pounds squirreled away. Thats about 45,000 155 gr 30 cal bullets. or about 113,000 60 gr 5.56 bullets.

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Re: Reloading and casting a must learn.

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:49 pm

Coz wrote:You can save even more money if you buy in bulk pulls. I picked up a whole bunch of 124gr .310 pulls from 7.62x39 ammo. Got them for like $40 per 500 bullets. I run them through a LEE .308 sizer die and shoot them in all my 30 cal guns as well as the AK's and SKS's.

My goal though is to never buy another bullet again. Not there yet.
But figure even if you buy your lead. Right now I get it for about $1.20 a pound shipped.
I have about a 1000 pounds squirreled away. Thats about 45,000 155 gr 30 cal bullets. or about 113,000 60 gr 5.56 bullets.
Marry me.
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Re: Reloading and casting a must learn.

Post by Coz » Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:55 pm

Das Sheep wrote:During the last ammo crisis here we could not find primers, powders, brass or bullets for reloading so :/
Very good question.
Stocking up when available is the short term fix, Esp primers.
If I have primers I can make my Own black powder for the 357 magnum and still be in business.

If the SHTF really did hit the fan. A situation were civilization breaks down and our grand kids find them selves in a new dark age.
Primmer s will be one thing we wont be able to make on our own. It takes a pretty advance industrialized base to put all the parts together.

Thats why I want to keep the flint locks!!!! Not for me you see, but for my kids kids.
Actually once you start to mind out what may happen. The Flint lock may be the most useful tool. At least in non emergency situation. Like hunting.
I could imagine a point where a 22lr round may just end up being to valuable to shoot.
If you have a unused stash of them you may just end up a very rich man.

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Re: Reloading and casting a must learn.

Post by jor-el » Fri Jan 31, 2014 2:21 am

I'm not willing to drop to Traveller Tech level 02 for sustainable firearms. Percussion cap technology at worst.

Having a Chemistry background its not a big stretch to work up a way to recycle primers with fulminates in the short run, or fabricate new ones from sheet Aluminum.

Prior to my current job, I reloaded and cast extensively. Back in the 80s I cast using straight wheel weights. I worked out between paying only for primers, bullet lube and Bullseye powder, I was manufacturing my own 9MM cast ball for like 3 cents apiece, not counting the Lee Pro 1000 and dies.

Once range fees and ammo became deductible, I stopped rolling my own.
After I retire, I'll probably start up again.

Lead sources could be the bigger problem.

Powder coating wasn't known back then. Seems to have a lot of potential.
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Re: Reloading and casting a must learn.

Post by Bearcat » Fri Jan 31, 2014 11:52 am

cricketdave wrote:There is however a tool to turn used 22 cases into jackets for the 556 cast bullets and you can load those just like a normal bullet for its specific weight.
Does anyone know of a study that determined if a brass jacket is better, worse or comparable to copper in respect to the wearing of a bore? I can't find much with my googlefu.
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Re: Reloading and casting a must learn.

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Fri Jan 31, 2014 11:57 am

Bearcat wrote:
cricketdave wrote:There is however a tool to turn used 22 cases into jackets for the 556 cast bullets and you can load those just like a normal bullet for its specific weight.
Does anyone know of a study that determined if a brass jacket is better, worse or comparable to copper in respect to the wearing of a bore? I can't find much with my googlefu.
Brass or gilding metal? Commercial "brass jacket" is usually the softer gilding metal allow, whereas cartridge brass (Corbin swage kits exist for several calibers) is harder. Should fall somewhere between cupronickel and the gilding metal jackets in terms of wear and hardness.
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Re: Reloading and casting a must learn.

Post by Ad'lan » Fri Jan 31, 2014 1:23 pm

jor-el wrote:I'm not willing to drop to Traveller Tech level 02 for sustainable firearms. Percussion cap technology at worst.

Having a Chemistry background its not a big stretch to work up a way to recycle primers with fulminates in the short run, or fabricate new ones from sheet Aluminum.

Prior to my current job, I reloaded and cast extensively. Back in the 80s I cast using straight wheel weights. I worked out between paying only for primers, bullet lube and Bullseye powder, I was manufacturing my own 9MM cast ball for like 3 cents apiece, not counting the Lee Pro 1000 and dies.

Once range fees and ammo became deductible, I stopped rolling my own.
After I retire, I'll probably start up again.

Lead sources could be the bigger problem.

Powder coating wasn't known back then. Seems to have a lot of potential.
If we're talking the potential tech drop, then if trade networks collapse, you may not even be able to keep the black powder weapons going. Where will you get the sulphur from?

And again, with a chemistry background, better you than me to reclaim and recycle fulminates, (Do they still use Fulimate of Mercury?), I like all my fingers where they are. Finding an alternative, easier to make contact explosive shouldn't be too much of a problem. The inline mussel loaders I've seen in a Bass Pro-Shop strike me as a very versatile weapon, solid, and adaptable to lots of different propellants and percussion caps/equivalents.
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Re: Reloading and casting a must learn.

Post by MacWa77ace » Fri Jan 31, 2014 1:30 pm

Coz wrote:Then we differed. He wants the AR, I wanted to keep the Flint lock Muzzle loader. Fire power compared to being able to fire at all times.
jor-el wrote:I'm not willing to drop to Traveller Tech level 02 for sustainable firearms. Percussion cap technology at worst.
This was my first thought reading OP. Flintlocks rarely work in the rain for one; there's only two ways to unload them to clean - the loud way or the slow way, and say if you get 'em fudged up beyond a safe firing state, and come upon a deer, what do you do? And you've got to keep the pan full and dry or prime it at the time you need it, which is the safe way but means you're walking around with a gun that's not ready to fire. Miss fires or FTF are extreamly slow to clear. Inaccurate due to the delay to fire after the trigger pull. I'd take a bow before a flintlock, reusable projectiles for the most part and faster followup shot capable to boot.

On the positive side, if you're being attached by Zombies, once you've missed with the flintlock it makes a better club than rifle anyhow. :wink: Hea-vy.
That's why Davey Crockett is always illustrated fighting bears and lions with a Bowie knife BTW, 'cause he had to transition to something reliable after his rifle missfired.

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Re: Reloading and casting a must learn.

Post by roscoe » Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:32 am

Finding an alternative, easier to make contact explosive shouldn't be too much of a problem.
I would be mighty interested in how this could be done. Fulminate of mercury requires nitric acid, which can be distilled from ammonium nitrate, but it seems like there must be a better way. And where would you get the mercury? Ugh - the idea of working with that stuff.

What do they make caps (as in, cap-gun caps) out of? I have a Tap-o-Cap for this express purpose, for a cap-and-ball revolver, but the chemistry of the cap has not really been satisfactory.

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Re: Reloading and casting a must learn.

Post by jor-el » Tue Feb 18, 2014 3:25 am

Google Armstrong's mixture.
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Re: Reloading and casting a must learn.

Post by roscoe » Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:08 am

jor-el wrote:Google Armstrong's mixture.
Now we are talking. I can finally buy that percussion revolver and teach myself how to manufacture all the components. Although if 'The Road' comes, there may not be much liquid bleach and salt substitute left.

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