Never too old for new projects

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by phideaux, Jul 16, 2014.

  1. phideaux

    phideaux Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Im thinking about expanding my interests , by starting a couple new projects.

    The older I get , the more I find that I need to shift a lot of my attention from doing things that Im not able to do, the way I once did, to projects , to occupy my mind , and that my old body can handle.

    Im currently looking into the possibilty of casting my own bullets. Ive done my homework, and have decided to pursue this.

    I can actually get started, just to get experience, for around $100.
    I have accumalated quite a bit of lead from several sources.

    I just spent $100 on 500 bullets for my 45-70. I figure I could cast an infinite number of my own .458 dia , bullets for that same $100.

    Melting pot from Lee-$60
    .458 dia, 4o5 gr LRNFP Lee Mold-$20
    Lee lube and sizer die .458-$20

    EH, maybe a few other odds and ends-$50 ?

    Fun/mind exercise/satisfaction/happiness/reloadin(MY bullets)-PRICELESS.

    I need something to do this winter besides JUST reloading to occupy my mind and time.
    Im also interested in coating my own cast bullets, for many reasons...another topic

    When you cant buy bullets anymore to reload, , let me know , if I have the mold for your particular bullet, we should be able to work out a suitable price for both of us.

    Got couple other small projects Im thinking about starting also, that are more my speed, but thats another thread. A little shift in the type of woodworking I can do.

    Anybody else finding that their projects are changing as you gettin a little age on ya?
    Give me some ideas, so I can think on them.


    Jim
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  2. Pancho_Villa

    Pancho_Villa Well-Known Member

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    Hey Fido,

    Bullet casting is good. I started with the Lee electric pot back in the laat 70s. I think it still works. I used it a couple of years ago. It is still in my shed. I just don't use it much now. I use to cast bullets during the cold weather, well Texas cold weather. I cast alot of .38/.357, .44 spl/mag, and .45 auto. Still have my old Lyman lubricator and sizer witht he dies for those 3 cals. Most of the time I used wheel weights to avoid looking for stuff to mix to get the right alloy. Most of the shooting was plinking/target. Used bothe the Lee aluminum and Lyman steel molds. The aluminum are much easier to use, but the steel ones last longer. I broke one set of Lyman handles, but the molds are still like new. I have been using gthe Lee molds since then. Gotta get snother set of handles.

    It 's good to know the Lee pot is still pretty cheap. My old one set me back 20 bucks over 30 years ago. Made alot of bullets with it. The sizer lubers have gone up alot. My buddy found a couple of used, ggod ones at a gunshow and got both for 80 bucks. Both were Lyman. He gave his old one to his son.

    I still have lead that I scrounged up back then and since then. Used up most of the wheel weight metal I had in ingots a few years back. I was starting to dig up old bullets and melting them to make bullets. They work, ya just don't really know what the mix is. Just dig them up from the backstop and melt them again. Some are dirty and have jackets etc, but all that can be fished out of hte mix. Best to use just an old cast iron pot on an old stove or BBQ pit to do that and skim off the slag, jackets, dirt, etc. The [email protected] wheel weights I like are hetting hard to find. O.k. So I'm cheap. But it works. Have a coule of hundred Lbs of pure lead, but it doesn't make hard bullets for high velocity. Haven't been crazy enough to try and melt down car battery cores....yet? Probably not. I am getting old too, and lazy. Guess I need more enthusiasm.

    Getting too blind to do it too. Anyway, most of what I shoot now is .38/357 in reloaded stuff. Don't shoot the .44 bores that much. And I lose all my auto pistol brass cause I am too blind to find it in the grass now. So, I don't reload any auto pistol stuff now.

    If it feels good, do it. I have made some accurate bullets. And I have made some that keyhole at 10 feet. Ya just have to work at the mix and casting temp to get the best bullets. Also having the right sizer for the bore is a must. If ya cast or size them too small, yer gonna have keyholers.
     

  3. phideaux

    phideaux Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Thanks Pancho,
    I just need something else to keep my mind somewhat exercised. especially in the winter.

    I have been thinking on doing this for years, but have always been too busy. Now that my health has really limited me on stuff I can or cant do anymore, I figured this may just be the time to give it a shot (punn intended).
    I got enough to keep me busy for now , until my October fling, (Wish you could make it) then life slows down. I may start buying a few things between now and then. You got anything for casting you want to get rid of ?

    I am gonna pick up some powder coat paint , later today, just to experiment with powder coating some . already on hand, cast bullets.

    I really try to stay busy, especially with non-hard labor intensive, type of stuff.
    Imma gonna give it a try.

    Jim
     
  4. buster40c

    buster40c Well-Known Member

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    Is there a manufacturer that has a kit for molding lead bullets? Lead has gotten expensive which is why batteries and bullets prices have gone up.
    I made a frame out of 1" pvc and I cover it with a sheet. I shoot my autos with the sheet to my side to catch the brass. I am always afraid of hitting the brass with a mower could either cause a flat tire or even fling the brass out from mower.
    I also shoot into a bullet stop using sand. I often clean the bullets out of the sand. I sold all my collected brass and bullets, maybe 5 jugs full of brass and 3 of bullets, for $6 to a guy that bought a gun from me. LOL I think he got a deal. I hate seeing things go to waste so glad someone using it.
    I like being retired but it sure can be boring. I also need get into something other than sitting at my pc.
    I thought about getting into reloading but I just don't shoot enough to justify the cost of equipment and supplies.
     
  5. Pancho_Villa

    Pancho_Villa Well-Known Member

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    October Fling? Oh yeah, the shootin' group geting together. I thought you meant the other kinda "FLING." Been a while for one of those. The shooter's fling would be nice to go to. I can barely get my wife to drive me to the area gunshows anymore. But the shows will start around here again in August, so I won't be so bored. She has had 4 months of break time without having to take me. My son also takes me sometimes, but he and a friend have started a small business together. It has started taking up alot of his evening and weekend time after his regular job. And the guy I usually go with the most has been busy with travel since he retired. So, I might have to start thumbing a ride to the gunshows now.

    At this point I will be keeping my casting stuff. I don't use it as much. Mostly just load .38 spls. and a few .357s. Do alot of shooting with the .38 spl. and I don't lose the brass.

    Didn't know you could powder coa them. Sounds like it could work. How? Just spray them or what?

    Still diggin' up bullets. Pancho "El Cheapo."
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2014
  6. phideaux

    phideaux Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Hey Buster, here is the most reasonably price casting tools, I know of.

    http://leeprecision.com/bullet-casting/

    Jim
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2014
  7. Pancho_Villa

    Pancho_Villa Well-Known Member

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    Your brass catcher sounds good. I had a similar rig that used 1X4s. It was kinda heavy and eventually fell apart. PVC would work much better. But again, I am lazy now. I have a truck that I am too blind to drive anywhere. So, I just stand with the truck bed to one side of the ejection port. MOST of the brass falls in there if I stand at the right distance for the gun. Only drive the truck here on the ranch now. I have to think of good uses for it.
     
  8. phideaux

    phideaux Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Now Pancho, you know I aint in no shape for any other kind of fling..;):D

    Yep, I just picked up a jar of powder coat paint at Harbor Freight for $5.50.That will coat 1000s of lead cast bullets.
    I havent done any yet, but Im gonna experiment with it.
    There is many pages of info about over on Castboolits forum.
    Some spray it ,some tumble coat it. Then 20 minutes at 400 deg in a toaster oven, Thats it. No leading , very slick, no lube needed, better accuracy, higher load capacity, shoots like or better than jacketed bullets.
    I gotta play around with it.:)
    Keep me busy this winter

    Jim
     
  9. phideaux

    phideaux Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Well , I may be putting bullet casting on hold for a while.
    I dont mind investing in equipment needed, but if theres no lead, it dont make sense .

    I've exhausted my search for lead.
    Wheel eights are not to be found.

    Lead ingots are not priced to make return on investment feasable.

    Gotta find a source for lead first.

    The powder coating of cast bullets is coming along REALLY good, I just about got that perfected. Ill put up some pics of thoase soon.


    Jim
     
  10. phideaux

    phideaux Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Im working on the powder coating process.
    Its not perfected yet, but real close.
    Everything I've PC'd so far is shootable.
    My next try will be with .459 dia bullets.

    this is it so far, sorry , I dont know why I cant get a good clear pic.
    The yellow does not coat as well as the red.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Jim
     
  11. phideaux

    phideaux Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Ok, I really need to cast my own, but for now I just heat up my purchased bullets , to remove the wax ring,wash them and do the powder coat.

    I just took ten 400 grn RNFP bullets and did 1 coat red PC.
    I measured the bullets .459 dia before PC, then .462 dia after PC.
    I do not have a sizing die yet, so I rigged one up, by drilling a .455 hole in a piece of 3/8" thick steel.Then I used a dowel rod and 600 grit wet sand paper to hone the hole to .459.
    Set the bullet on top of a 1' long 3/8" dia rod on top of case holder in press , hold the die under the press head and poosh that bullet right up thru the hole, wahlah, .459 dia again.

    Darn if that didnt work really good. I contoured and polished the entrance to the hole and it doesnt shave anything at all off.

    Here are some pics of the bullets before sizing and after.
    Then loaded over 52.3 gr of IMR3031. They are HOT. These are gonna HURT. Gotta see about accuracy.

    Heres the die and a bullet before sizing.
    [​IMG]

    Here is the bullets after sizing, .4011 gr weight and .459 dia again
    [​IMG]

    Bullets loaded , these need NO lube, and will not lead up the bore, and can get higher fps , can be loaded as jacketed bullets
    [​IMG]

    The bullets after sizing, that PC is tough stuff. That right bottom dirty bullet was first one thru, it cleaneed the die.[​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Jim
     
  12. Nogoat

    Nogoat New Member

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    Any wear on barrels from the coating?
     
  13. phideaux

    phideaux Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Guys over at Castboolits, been testing and experimenting for over a year , no wear or any thing negative anyone can find.
    Good accuracy, good clean bores, and easy to do.
    This stuff is tough, but not abrasive. Hammer crush test , it stays on , no flaking, and flexes well with cushed bullet.

    Ill be shooting some PC bullets real soon.



    Jim
     
  14. Nogoat

    Nogoat New Member

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    So no lead build up, that's great.