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Old 06-29-2016, 06:30 PM
260Ackley 260Ackley is offline
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Default Cast bullets

Hello I'm planning on casting some pistol bullets from wheel weights. I'm going to do large batches and have heard pure wheel weights lose their hardness over time. Is this an issue? They will be in revolvers and semi autos but not pushed hard. Light plinking type loads. I dont want to make and load 2000 and have them go to soft they can't be shot if it takes me a couple years to shoot them all.
I know you can add tin but kinda don't want to mess with it and follow the kiss method.
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Old 06-30-2016, 02:17 AM
Gary in Illinois Gary in Illinois is offline
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Default Cast pistol bullets

Straight wheelweights will work fine. I have several thousand that are 10+ years old and they still do the job.
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Old 06-30-2016, 12:30 PM
reed1911 reed1911 is offline
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Agreed, They will be just fine.
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Old 06-30-2016, 01:27 PM
260Ackley 260Ackley is offline
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Thanks guys
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Old 06-30-2016, 02:16 PM
dungheap dungheap is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 260Ackley View Post
Hello I'm planning on casting some pistol bullets from wheel weights. I'm going to do large batches and have heard pure wheel weights lose their hardness over time. Is this an issue? They will be in revolvers and semi autos but not pushed hard. Light plinking type loads. I dont want to make and load 2000 and have them go to soft they can't be shot if it takes me a couple years to shoot them all.
I know you can add tin but kinda don't want to mess with it and follow the kiss method.
Wheel weights will work, but be careful what kind you use. Get old ones if you can find them from some auto repair place that's been around forever. Newer wheel weights, the ones with squared-off edges, are made more from zinc than lead and will mess up a batch of casting metal real quick. The older ones are usually a darker grey and the ends are rounded. FWIW, I've used a mix of 2 parts wheelweight metal to one part of linotype metal for a long, long time, and it makes great bullets, little if any leading. If you don't have a source for lino, PM me. If you're new to casting, the Cast Boolits forum is the absolute best source of info and advice you'll ever find.
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Old 06-30-2016, 11:22 PM
Chickenthief Chickenthief is offline
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WW's can, because they contain small amounts of arsenic, be water quenched and or oven heat treated to gain a higher initial BHN. Over time (weeks) they will get the true BHN hardness of the alloy.

Alloys with little to no antimony and no arsenic cant be hardned.

How hard/fast do you think you need to go?

I fire 357MAG past 1600fps from a 6" barrel with a 97% lead + 3% tin alloy (BHN below 9'ish). Slap a gascheck on and i push that alloy past 1750fps in my (micro groove) Marlin 94 44MAG. 94% lead + 3% tin +3% antimony (BHN 12'ish) with a GC i push past 2250fps easy!

Remember that 22LR's go 1200fps all day long and that from almost pure lead and with shallow rifling.

Food for thought:
http://www.lasc.us/Fryxell_Book_Contents.htm
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Old 06-30-2016, 11:32 PM
260Ackley 260Ackley is offline
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They are slow loads. 4-5 gr powder in 9mm 4gr in 38 and 380. Pure plinkers
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Old 06-30-2016, 11:50 PM
dungheap dungheap is offline
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I'm not trying to be a linotype salesman here, but FWIW, adding a little lino makes the casting go a lot better, you'll get fewer wrinkled bullets.
Beyond that, the amount of leading you'll get hinges on how polished your bores are (or not), bore size, bullet size, and what you're using for lube.

FWIW, if you have not tried it, I recommend Lee Liquid Alox or a mix of LLA and Johnson's Paste Wax. I often shoot the cast bullets "as cast" with the former, and it works well.
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Old 07-01-2016, 12:29 AM
Oleman Oleman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 260Ackley View Post
They are slow loads. 4-5 gr powder in 9mm 4gr in 38 and 380. Pure plinkers
I use my Lyman 358091 150 Gr mold for my 38 Special with 3.0 Gr of Titegroup. They are Lyman number 2 alloy not a trace of leading.
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Old 07-09-2016, 08:11 PM
Iowa Fox Iowa Fox is offline
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I have some 358429 that I cast in a large batch almost 40 years ago. I boxed them well to keep the air away from them unsized. Today what is left of them is still bright and shinny as the day cast, I size and lube what I need just before loading and shooting them. I keep checking them with my hardness tester and they have lost hardness but still shoot fine with no leading. Before you cast a bunch you might want to cast just a few to make sure the mold is dropping what you want. When I cast the 452460 for the 1911's in the family I'll try to do a 2 or 3 year supply if I have time, the 1911's are bullet hogs. Again I only size and lube just before loading and shooting. Old lube in the lube grooves over time can cause problems or degrade accuracy. Besides it doesn't take long to run a bunch thru the Star.
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