do you cast and hunt with bullets you made

Discussion in 'reloading/bullet casting' started by grumpyvette, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    how many guys use personally cast bullets from the custom bullet mold companys?
    back in the day, we could get LINOTYPE ingots fairly cheap, now that is not commonly available

    now I use cast bullets almost exclusively in my hunting revolvers and several 458 caliber rifles , because it both significantly reduces cost and once your throwing a .357,40,44,45,58,.62 projectile theres a good many applications where cast bullets even at reduced velocities will do excellent work, I don,t know why but I just get a bit more satisfaction in using a revolver or rifle with bullets and hand loads I personally fabricated. I don,t remember using my 357,44 or 445 revolvers with anything else in years, and my 45/70 was used almost exclusively with hard cast gas check bullets.
    and the elk and deer it killed died just as fast as with any jacketed projectiles Ive used.
    and yeah! Ive spent a small fortune on custom molds and yes there are some really good ones out there!

    if your going to learn too hunt with a hand-gun or rifle, learning too hand load and in the case of hand guns especially learning too cast and size and lube lead alloy projectiles is going to help you both gain skills and add to your practice time and ammo availability,by potentially reducing costs
    If you find your not getting good groups with cast bullets look into changing the bullet, design your using , sizing, lube powder,load, velocity range, etc before assuming your gun just won,t shoot cast bullets. I had a rather similar experience, the first time I tried cast bullets, but my mentor had enough experience to change components until I found what worked,,use of gas checks,or lube or powder charge etc. can easily change the group size
    I tried 300 gain gas check bullets in my 44 marlin carbine and get amazingly tight groups in the 1"-1.5" range off a good bench rest at 100 yards, with several powders, but the same bullet used without gas checks produced groups in the 7" range
    http://handloads.com/loaddata/default.a ... pe=Handgun

    but thats not always the case
    on my 45/70 gas check slugs produced 2" 100 yard groups and non-gas checked bullets of the same 405 grain weight over 45 grains of RL7 and very similar design produce the same groups, at least in that rifle with those loads

    http://www.gunweek.com/2004/feature1201.html

    http://www.handloads.com/loaddata/defau ... le&Source=

    theres a ton of useful info in the sub links

    http://www.lasc.us/Fryxell_Book_Contents.htm

    http://www.tacticoolproducts.com/bullethardness/

    http://www.lasc.us/CastBulletNotes.htm

    http://www.rotometals.com/product-p/tinhighgradebar.htm

    http://www.castpics.net/subsite2/MoldMo ... tation.pdf

    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/645810 ... e-110-volt

    basic cheap melter

    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/698819 ... llet-molds
    mold handles

    http://www.neihandtools.com/catalog/index.html

    THESE 260-270 grain bullet molds produce a great compromise providing good accuracy and penetration but a bit lower recoil than the 300-310 grain bullet designs that provide a bit deeper penetration in the 44 mag and 445 DWSM revolver


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    http://www.justbulletmolds.com/lee-bullet-molds/

    IF YOUR LOADING FOR A 44 MAG REVOLVER ,properly sized to about 1 thousandth over your bore size , cast from 95% wheel weights and 5% tin and well lubed, with hornady gas checks crimped in place,these NEI bullets are very accurate loaded over 21 grains of H110 in my revolvers
    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/506726 ... -gas-check

    http://www.midwayusa.com/Product/122093 ... -gas-check

    Ive got at least 15 44 caliber molds but the more I cast and hunt the more I find the 300 grain bullets are most effective, and while its nice to have the fancier molds like NEI and LBT,HOCH,SEAKO etc. the rcbs and lyman designs work remarkably well and don,t cost nearly as much and theres been dozens of rather dead deer and hogs pass thru our kitchen to verify that they work, in both my 44 mag revolvers and marlin carbine

    heres a partial list of potential mold suppliers


    http://www.neihandtools.com/catalog.html

    http://www.hochmoulds.com/

    http://www.accuratemolds.com/bulletDesign.php

    http://www.lymanproducts.com/lyman/main/

    http://www.lbtmoulds.com/

    http://www.noebulletmolds.com/

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

    http://www.pauljonesmolds.com/

    http://accuratemolds.com/bulletDesign.php

    http://www.magmaengineering.com/bullet-molds/

    http://www.mp-molds.com/index.php?pr=Molds

    http://www.ranchdogoutdoors.com/index.p ... ath=1_5_12

    viewtopic.php?f=90&t=2286&p=6103#p6103


    MOLDS CAN BE MODIFIED TO HOLLOW POINT DESIGN

    http://www.hollowpointmold.com/inset-ba ... re=650#650

    youll ocasionally run into some one who tells you a 44 mags not powerful enough to hunt with, thats total B.S.!

    I went thru a very similar scene with an obviously new too revolver hunting guy, and watching a clueless sales guy trying to sell a 500 S&W to this guy who admitted he had never shot anything larger than a 357 mag, who was looking to purchase a hunting revolver for hunting hogs here in Florida.
    I suggested he buy a good 44 mag with at least a 6" and preferably a 7.5" barrel.
    (something Ive done for well over 43 years now with a 44 mag, revolver)
    44 mag ammos a great deal less expensive and theres no hog that will shrug off a well placed hit from a properly loaded 44 revolver.
    the clerk tried to say that the 500 S&W hits a lot harder (which while true) is hardly the same thing as saying the 44 mag won,t easily do the job.
    these guys behind the counter at my local bass pro, are obviously are either clueless in real world experience,or get a cut on the sales total.
    Ill make your search for a good hunting load in 44 mag simple!, I tried dozens of combos and the two best I found use the same LEE 310 grain cast gas check bullet
    http://www.midsouthshooterssupply.com/i ... 0000690858
    over either 21 grains of H110 or 11.5 grains of blue dot, the H110 is slightly faster the blue dot powders slower velocity is still useful and a bit more accurate, the difference is very minor in either case, but keep in mind theres 7000 grains in a pound of powder, so use BLUE DOT for target loads as theres 600 cartridges worth per pound while the larger charge of h110 REDUCES A POUND TO JUST OVER 1/2 THAT OR 300 SHOTS PER POUND, BOTH POWDERS COST ABOUT THE SAME
    just pick a load pushed to over 1300 fps with at least a 240 grain bullet
    http://www.handloads.com/loaddata/defau ... pe=Handgun
    [​IMG]
    heres the LEE 310 grain bullet I use in my 44 mag (ABOVE)
    here below is a couple common 240-250 grain lyman and RCBS cast bullet designs that work reasonably well but I finf the LEE 310 more accurate and more effective on game

    [​IMG]
    if you handload, 44 caliber for hunting a good cast /gas check bullet with a wide melplat that weights close to 270-300 grains, and cast from 96% wheel weights and 5% tin is what I,ve used for decades, I seldom fail to get exit wounds and rarely have game run far
    both blue dot and H110 seem to provide good results in the 44 mag, blue dot gives up a bit of velocity but not much, and I seem to get better accuracy and many more cartridges per pound
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 19, 2017
  2. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    Ive had far better, and more consistent results with the 35 caliber and larger bullets sized and lubed to.001 over bore size, than smaller sizes, I have a few 30 cal molds and loads that work really well at low plinking velocities, but once you start exceeding about 1600fps accuracy gets rather inconsistent.
    regardless of bore size , bullets sized to only bore diam. don,t tend to be as accurate, and gas check bullets with lots of lube grooves do tend to be more accurate on average
    I generally cast 95% wheel weights ,5% pure tin , and cast hot enough to look slightly frosted and dropped into a 7 gallon bucket full of water from the mold
    http://handloads.com/articles/default.asp?id=38
    [​IMG]
    example the mold above is very accurate in my 358 win at 1500fps

    [​IMG]

    http://www.justbulletmolds.com/lee-bullet-molds/
    not as accurate


    [​IMG]
    very accurate, as long as sized and lubed correctly and not pushed past 1800fps

    just a bit of info, for those who don,t hunt much with hard cast bullets and think the factory jacketed hollow points are the perfect answer.
    when I started out hunting with a hand gun in the late 1960s and early 1970s casting your own projectiles was almost a BLACK ART in many peoples opinion, I had mostly used speer 3/4 jacket 240 grain 44 cal bullets as they were dirt cheap and accurate with full loads , but had several large hogs where the bullets impacted and expanded very rapidly, and shed jackets , so I swapped to hornady 240 grain 44 cal but those were at the time about 30% more expensive and when I was making about $2.10 cents an hour that was rather expensive as I shot a great deal, a old guy I knew introduced me to casting 260-280 grain hard cast 44 caliber bullets from wheel weights and Linotype mixed about 70%/30% both of which were easy to get cheaply back then ,it resulted an a very hard alloy that barely expanded, but penetrated very well, Id had a few hogs drop and get back-up using jacketed, but those hard cast zip thru and proved to be far more dependable perpetrators and even more accurate, and I had better average results.
    deer were tending to run a bit further occasionally hit with hard cast bullets shot thru the heart/lungs but I never got long trail jobs which I had occasionally gotten with jacketed
    over the last 40 plus years I found theres no big game a good 270-310 grain hard cast from a 7.5"-10" barrel 44 mag loaded over a stiff load of H110 won,t kill.
    while I got several DRT kills with jacketed I also got some trailing jobs, but with lead hard cast , I got rather consistent short death runs then game dropping
    as a result, I have not bothered loading jacketed hand gun hunting projectiles in several years.
    a 44 loaded correctly will shoot nearly end to end on most hogs or deer.
    yeah my accuracy has improved also, but I can,t remember getting many complete pass through shots with jacketed but they are almost standard with hard cast

    http://www.neihandtools.com/ (decent quality but slow)

    http://www.leeprecision.com/html/catalog/bullmol1.html (dirt cheap but fair/good quality)

    http://www.lymanproducts.com/lyman/bullet-casting/ (decent quality iron molds . moderately priced)

    http://www.mountainmolds.com/ (very good quality, reasonably fast delivery,
    custom designs easily available )

    http://www.huntingtons.com/bulletmoulds.html (decent quality iron molds . moderately priced slow to deliver and not everything advertised is available)

    http://www.castpics.net/subsite2/MoldMo ... tation.pdf

    http://www.lasc.us/CastBulletNotes.htm
    http://www.midsouthshooterssupply.com/i ... 0152660650

    http://garage.grumpysperformance.com/index.php?threads/new-reloading-manuals.2379/#post-56752

    [​IMG]
    http://www.neihandtools.com/catalog/index.html
    since shoot a great deal with revolvers I tend to like cast bullets, as they are both far cheaper and I find more accurate,Ive used the NEI 171 hard cast for decades in my 357 mag and its a sure deer killer, my b.i.l uses 158 grain soft nose mostly
    if you don,t want gas check cast bullets, the lyman versions good
    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/635507 ... -wadcutter

    If your loading a 357 mag for hunting you might want to keep in mind that the longer body cast bullet of 160-170-180 grain bullet weight and sized about .001 over bore diam. cast from a fairly hard alloy like the 95%wheel weights and 5% pure tin I use if well lubed are both very good perpetrators,very accurate in most revolvers and produce low wear on rifling and forcing cones, plus they are cheaper than jacketed bullets.
    medium burn powders like blue dot tend to get more shots per pound and reduce flame cutting on the revolver yet still produce high velocity

    If you check around youll find hand loading is a basic necessity with some calibers like the 35 Remington where the demand for ammo is fairly low and availability is rather hit or miss at times, I've seen times where you flat can,t locate factory ammo, this is one more in a nearly endless list of good reasons to HAND LOAD for the 35 remington.
    you might consider a 200 grain hard cast as it makes bullet availability far easier, and yes you can very effectively kill deer with a 180-220 grain cast bullet from a 35 Remington

    you might want to keep in mind that the 35 remington loaded with a good hard cast gas check 200 grain bullet pushed to about 2000 fps shoots considerably flatter and would be rather comparable in some ways to a marlin 44 mag loaded with the common 280-300 grain hard cast bullet in that either caliber would allow very inexpensive reloading and hunting and an easy 150 yard effective range and ammo you could fabricate rather cheaply
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    http://www.handloads.com/loaddata/defau ... type=Rifle

    http://www.neihandtools.com/catalog/index.html

    http://www.midsouthshooterssupply.com/i ... -204-Grain

    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/160114 ... uctFinding
    If you look around you'll quickly see that the 35 Remington factory ammo is as described, rather hard to locate, but this reminded me of one of the guys in our hunt club that purchased a marlin lever gun at a pawn shop decades ago , who really wanted a 357 mag version so he could shoot cast bullets dirt cheap, I told him at the time that the 35 rem was the better idea as the hand loaded cast bullets could be loaded to be just as accurate at the same velocity as the 357 mag carbine IF that's what he wanted to do, but he had the significant advantage with the larger case capacity to push heavier cast bullets to noticeable higher velocities should he choose to later. it should be obvious that some cartridges case capacity's and bore sizes, rifling twist rates and basic rifle designs are much more compatible with the use of cast bullets and the 35-45 caliber marlin lever actions just generally fall into that range.
    Using 35. grains of IMR 3031, I get about 2000 fps with quite acceptable accuracy, simply cast from 95% WW alloy and 5% pure tin, size .359 and lube , seat the bullet out to the longest length that functions smoothly, if done correctly its proven to be very effective on white tail deer out well past 150 yards


    [​IMG]
    http://www.midsouthshooterssupply.com/i ... -Flat-Nose
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 21, 2017
  3. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    http://www.rotometals.com/Bullet-Castin ... 7Qodcxopkg

    http://www.texas-mac.com/Evaluations_an ... sters.html

    http://www.castpics.net/subsite2/HowTo/ ... tester.pdf

    http://www.lasc.us/Fryxell_Book_Chapter_4_Fluxing.htm

    http://nautarch.tamu.edu/CRL/conservati ... File14.htm

    http://www.lasc.us/CastBulletAlloy.htm

    http://www.lasc.us/CastBulletAlloy.htm#alloyrecipes

    http://www.lasc.us/HeatTreat.htm

    http://www.lasc.us/HeatTreat.htm#chart

    http://www.pnjresources.com/Hardness%20 ... Alloys.htm

    if you get the alloy correct and if your using wheel weights as your main source of lead,youll want to add about 5%-6% tin to 95% -94% wheel weights by weight youll avoid that brittle issue even casting so hot they look frosted and dropped strait into a 5 gallon bucket of water, strait wheel weights without tin tend to be brittle, the resulting bullet may be fairly hard but if you take and whack one with a 3 lb hammer that has the tin added to the alloy, on the concrete floor it rivets out and doesn,t shatter, most guys just don,t add enough tin.
    try to cast at abut 750 degrees, or just a bit below the temp they look totally frosted on the surface.
    Ive killed dozens of hogs with my 44 mag using those 300 grain, bullets and almost all exit, but the few I find are riveted out a bit on the nose
    http://www.midsouthshooterssupply.com/s ... 22&GO.y=13

    http://www.lasc.us/CastBulletNotes.htm

    http://www.lasc.us/CastBulletAlloy.htm#tin
     
  4. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    "BUT GRUMPY? TIN costs $17 a pound is it really worth the extra expense"

    IN MY OPINION, YES

    http://www.rotometals.com/Tin-Ingot-s/27.htm

    while I agree that adding 5% tin adds too the cost,
    lets look at the cost vs benefits a bit before dismissing the option.
    at the current listed $17 a pound its expensive, but keep in mind your using a 4%-5% mix , lets say you load your lyman 20 lb melter

    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/162692 ... e-110-volt

    http://www.midsouthshooterssupply.com/s ... 22&GO.y=13

    with 19 lbs of wheel weights and 1- lb of pure tin, to get your mix ratio, and your casting 300 grain 44 cal bullets, you cast till the pots 1/2 empty, youll make about 230 bullets at a rough cost of $8, or about $4.00 dollars per hundred before lube and gas checks are added, lets say $7-$9 per hundred ready to shoot, and if you did the job correctly these are very accurate hard gas check bullets that perform very well on game, I shot enough that casting bullets is well worth the savings as long as they perform as well or better than commercial designs and in my experience the lyman 300 grain cast with the correct alloy and gas checks that cost about 25%-50% of what commercial designs cost even with the tin added is well worth the effort

    [​IMG]
    btw if your going to cast bullets wait till the molds clean and hot then lightly spray the mold interior surface with moly spray, as it helps the cast bullets fall easily from the mold and makes casting process faster and more consistent.

    [​IMG]

    VS paying about $40 PLUS per hundred for similar commercial bullets


    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/953089 ... ck-box-of-50

    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/198871 ... -gas-check

    or about $25-$50 per hundred in jacketed designs

    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/511437 ... -box-of-50



    notice the much improved penetration of the lead alloy hard cast projectiles,
    over the rapidly fragmenting hollow point jacketed bullet designs
    this is something I see frequently, hollow points have more shock but usually fail to penetrate to even 1/2 the depth of a good hard cast projectile.
    a pistol cartridge like a 357 mag or even a 44 mag may not have near the energy of a rifle but it has the ability ,
    to shoot clear through large game like elk very easily and destroy vital anatomy if hard cast bullets are used
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 30, 2017
  5. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    If your having trouble casting clean edge bullets the lead and the mold may not be hot enough, its very common to have to cast 10-12 bullets that are rejects before the mold temp gets up to useful levels, and you need to develop a rhythm to keep the temp consistent, I generally find you pour excess lead into the mold quickly and let the excess form sprue, or slag on the cut plate,watch for it to change to solid before opening the cut plate then dump the bullets out, I usually use an old hammer handle to whack the cut plate then turn the mold and a mild tap releases the bullets to fall into a 7 gallon bucket full of water, with a towel in the bottom so all bullets cool as they descend then are cushioned as they hit bottom.
    if you coat the mold with oil between uses it must be cleaned before its used, many guys use spray brake cleaner, but not all brake clean solvents work equally well,some leave a slight residue,dipping the mold in really hot soapy dish water with dawn soap and a good brushing with a soft tooth brush followed by some alcohol seems to clean fairly well then immediately heat the molds to remove moisture and coat the surface with mold release spray.
    the guys are correct that the mold won,t cast well until its fairly hot , I generally want my bullets to look a bit frosted, and adding 5% tin to the mix of wheel weights helps both bullet strength and the mold fill out more uniformly.
    lead melts at about 630F but won,t generally cast well until your up near or slightly above 680F, and in some alloys youll need about 700F degrees or a bit more

    obviously the amount and type of contaminant in any scrap lead will effect the answer, as to what preps required before it can be used to cast bullets
    and fluxing the molten alloy can remove some of the contaminants, a mix of hickory wood chips and paraffin used as a flux helps remove unwanted contaminants, but obviously flux where your getting a good breeze of constant fresh outside air because the flux will smoke
    youll want to add chips and paraffin occasionally as the chips turn to charcoal, but much of the zink oxides will be trapped in the black crud floating on the lead , that you scoop off and replace with fresh flux
    http://www.sixguns.com/crew/simplefluxing.htm

    http://www.lasc.us/FryxellFluxing.htm

    http://www.castpics.net/subsite2/HowTo/ ... 0alloy.pdf

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthr ... olten-lead

    http://www.midwayusa.com/Product/763758 ... oz-aerosol
    l
    a build up of smoke soot from a wax candle on the surface until the molds surface is coated in fine black soot, will work but its not going to last nearly as long or work as well.
    you can make acceptable projectiles with little practice, but it will take most guys a while before you can produce consistently accurate bullets

    RELATED INFO

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4KmaXfoIKE

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... YpSw95R5s0

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcm2oD7B3Y4

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-qtv5TQ1oY

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2iiu3KwB1g

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3c6Glhqe3xo

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lyor1EmgbHU

    http://castbullets.gunloads.com/

    http://www.amazon.com/Art-Bullet-Castin ... et+casting

    http://www.lasc.us/Brennan_3-4_HowToCastBullets.htm

    http://www.americanrifleman.org/article ... -on-cheap/

    http://www.castbulletassoc.org/

    http://www.zjstech.net/gunstuff/casting.html

    http://www.n-ssa.org/NORTHWEST/Casting%20Bullets.htm
    just fill the 20 lb pot with 19 lbs or nearly full,

    [​IMG]
    of ingots and the first time its melted add 1 lb of pure tin, flux and stir it in, cast till its 1/2 used then add wheel weight metal ingots and about 1/4 -1/3rd lb of tin and let the pot re heat each succeeding melt time, really its not going to matter if you get it absolutely exactly correct, just try hard to keep it in the 3.5%-5% tin range and youll be fine, obviously you try to be as consistent as you can.
    I generally melt wheel weight metal, flux it, and cast ingots in a muffin pan using a large iron pot (DUTCH OVEN POT FROM HARBOR FREIGHT) on a turkey deep fry heater

    [​IMG]
    http://www.harborfreight.com/12-inch-ca ... 44705.html
    [​IMG]
     
  6. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    btw Ive done a fair amount of testing bullets shooting them into various back stop mediums.
    Id point out that its been my experience that a 44 mag has has limitations with bullets heavier than the 300-310 grain range simply because the cylinder length limits loaded cartridges over all length, and barrel twist rates in some guns that limit how heavy you can go on bullets.
    the 300 grain lee and lyman bullets are about the max length that you can load before the bullet volume crimped below the case mouth begins to restrict useable powder space with the slower pistol powders.
    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/511417 ... -gas-check

    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/506726 ... -gas-check

    EXAMPLE
    ive purchased and tested both these NEI designs and while they have proven to be effective in the longer case 445 dan wesson super mag, they can,t be loaded to enough velocity to markedly out perform the slightly lighter designs in penetration or accuracy ,I linked to above in a 44 mag in my experience.
    they do work rather well in the larger 445 dwsm, but not to the extent I feel they pose any huge advantage, in any way over the lee 310 grain, or lyman 300 grain bullet design's
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    http://www.neihandtools.com/catalog.html


    Top Punch # Mold # (s) Nominal Diameter Nominal Weight Bullet Type

    #8 311041 .309" 173grs FNGC
    311008 .312" 115grs FN
    319247 .322" 165grs FN

    #43 401043 .401" 175grs FN
    403169 .408" 240grs FN
    427098 .428" 205grs FN
    401654 .401" 150grs SWCBB
    401638 .401" 175grs TCBB
    410610 .410" 215grs SWCGC

    #93 ?????

    #132 457132 .459" 535grs Semi-pointed

    #141 515141 .512" 425grs FN

    #190 454190 .454" 250grs FN

    #191 457191 .459" 292grs FNBB
    457122 .459" 330grs FNHP
    457643 .459" 400grs FN
    457193 .459" 405grs FN

    #203 245496 .244" 84grs RNGC

    #226 313249 .314" 85grs RN

    #251 439186 .439" 370grs RN
    446110 .446" 340grs RNFP
    429383 .430" 245grs RN

    #284 311284 .309" 210grs RNGC

    #303 ?????

    #311 356242 .356" 90grs RN
    356242* .356" 120grs RN
    358311 .358" 160grs RN

    #346 287346 .285" 135grs RNGC

    #348 ?????

    #359 311359 .312" 115grs PTGC

    #360 ?????

    #374 457124 .459" 385grs RN
    457671 .459" 475grs RNGC
    457125 .459" 500grs RN
    452374 .452" 225grs RN
    452374 .452" 180grs DEV HP

    #402 356402 .356" 120grs TC

    #413 311332 .309" 180grs PTGC

    #415 225415 .225" 55grs FNGC

    #420 25742 .258" 65grs FNGC

    #421 429215 .430" 210grs SWCGC
    429421 .430" 245grs SWC
    429244 .430" 255grs SWCGC
    429650 .430" 300rs SWCGC

    #424 452424 .452" 255grs SWC
    452490 .452" 255grs SWCGC

    #429 358477 .358" 150grs SWC
    358156 .358" 155grs SWCGC
    358429 .358" 170grs SWC

    #430 358430 .358" 195grs RN

    #438 225438 .225" 44grs RNGC

    #449 375248 .379" 249grs FN
    375449 .379" 264grs FNGC
    410655 .410" 400grs FN

    #460 452460 .452" 200grs SWC
    452630 .452" 200grs FNBB

    #463 266469 .264" 140grs RNGC

    #465 311291 .309" 170grs RNGC
    311252 .311" 75grs RN

    #467 311410 .312" 130grs Pointed tip
    311299 .309" 200grs RNGC
    314299 .314" 200grs RNGC

    #470 323470 .325" 165grs RNGC

    #495 358665 .358" 158grs RNFP

    #637 356637 .356" 147grs FNBB
    356637 .356" 124grs Dev HPBB

    #641 266673 .264" 150grs Semi-pointed GC SIL
    280642 .278" 150grs FNGC
    287641 .285" 160grs SIL

    #644 311672 .309" 160grs FTGC SIL
    311644 .309" 190grs Semi-pointed GC SIL

    #646 225646 .225" 55grs Semi-pointed GC

    #649 429667 .430" 240grs RNFPBB
    429640 .430" 250grs DEV HPGC
    452664 .452" 250grs RNFP
    452651 .452" 325grs FNGC
    501680 .501" 360grs SWC

    #658 410660 .410" 385grs Semi-pointed
    457658 .459" 480grs Semi-pointed

    #663 378674 .379" 335grs RN
    410663 .410" 40grs RN

    #677 457677 .459" 490grs Pointed-tip

    #678 ?????

    RN= Round Nose
    FP= Flat Point
    FN= Flat Nose
    SWC= Semi-wadcutter
    BB= Bevel Base
    GC= Gascheck
    HP= Hollow Point
    DEV= Devastator
    SIL= Silhouette

    RCBS TOP PUNCH CHART

    RCBS Top Punches
    Pistol
    Sizer Die Top Punch Top Punch
    Mold Part Number Bullet Type Part Number Part Number Number
    82021 32-077-RN 82214 82536 465
    82060 32-098-WC 82216 82543 445
    82061 32-098-SWC 82216 82542 444
    82057 38-090-RN 82221 82513 311
    82026 09-115-RN 82221 82504 115
    82062 9mm-124-RN 82221 82521 401
    82063 09-124-RN-TG 82221 82504 115
    82027 09-124-CN 82221 82522 402
    82077 9mm-147-FN 82221 85556 556
    82084 9mm-100-RN 82248 82551 551
    82030 38-148-WC-DE 82223 82515 344
    82031 38-148-WC 82223 82529 429
    82032 38-150-SWC 82223 82529 429
    82064 38-158-RN 82223 82513 311
    82065 38-158-SWC 82223 82529 429
    82066 40-180-FN 82245 85558 558
    82067 10mm-170-SWC 82243 85518 518
    82068 100-200-SWC 82243 85518 518
    82039 41-210-SWC 82226 82541 420
    82041 44-225-SWC 82229 82527 421
    82042 44-240-SWC 82229 82527 421
    82043 44-245-SWC 82229 82527 421
    82080 44-250-K 82229 82527 421
    82044 44-250-SWC 82229 82527 421
    82079 44-300-SWC 82229 82527 421
    82052 45-185-SWC-BB 82233 82545 680
    82046 45-200-SWC 82233 82534 460
    82047 45-201-SWC 82233 82545 680
    82081 45-225-CAV 82234 85552 552
    82048 45-230-RN 82233 82519 374
    82049 45-250-FN 82234 82506 190
    82050 45-255-SWC 82234 82528 424
    82092 45-270-SAA 82234 82528 424
    82083 45-300-SWC 82233 82528 424
    82087 50-340-SWC+ 82254 85611 611
    Cowboy Molds
    82301 25-85-CM 82204 85630 630
    82302 30-150-CM 82212 85631 631
    82303 32-90-CM 82216 85632 632
    82304 38-140-CM 82223 85633 633
    82305 38-158-CM 82223 85633 633
    82306 40-180-CM 82245 85635 635
    82307 44-200-CM 82244/82229 85636 636
    82308 45-230-CM 82233/82234 85637 637
    Rifle
    Sizer Die Top Punch Top Punch
    Mold Part Number Bullet Type Part Number Part Number Number
    82007 22-055-SP 82240 85506 506
    82015 243-095-SP 82202 85509 509
    82016 257-120-SP 82204 85515 515
    82017 270-150-SP 82206 85529 529
    82018 7mm--168-SP 82209 85531 531
    82009 30-115-SP 82212 85535 535
    82019 30-150-FN 82212 85546 546
    82020 30-180-SP 82212 85541 541
    82014 30-180-FN 82212 85546 546
    82022 7.62-130SPL 82212 85554 546
    82023 310-120-RN 82213 85543 543
    82024 32-170-FN 82217 85550 550
    82028 35-200-FN 82223 85565 565
    82029 37-250-FN 82275 85570 570
    82090 378-312-BPS 82252 85608 608
    82070 40-300-SP-CSA 82226 82520 378
    82074 40-350-SP-CSA+ 82226 82520 378
    82074 40-400-SP-CSA+ 82212 85520 378
    82086 40-400-BPS+ 82226 85609 609
    82075 416-350-FN+ 82246 85562 562
    82036 44-200-FN 82244 85595 595
    82093 44-370-FN 82253 85585 585
    82051 45-300-FN 82236 85600 600
    82045 45-325-FN-U 82236 85583 383
    82053 45-405-FN+ 82236 85600 600
    82054 45-500-FN+ 82236 85600 600
    82085 45-500-BPS+ 82236 85607 607

    Top Punches

    If you know of any other combinations of top punches that work with lee molds,
    please forward them to webmaster@castpics.net for inclusion in this list.
    Thanks.


    Lee Mold Lyman RCBS
    22 Bator 646
    311-093-1R 465
    311-100-2R 226
    TL314-90-SWC
    358-105-SWC 467,402
    358-125-RF 429 429
    358-140-SWC 554 554
    TL358-148-WC 495
    358-148-WC 495
    358-150-1R 311
    358-150-SWC 554 554
    TL358-158-SWC 429 550
    C358-158-SWC 429 429
    TL358-158-2R 311
    358-158-RF 43
    356-102-1R 311
    356-120-TC 402 550
    TL356-124-2R 311
    TL356-124-TC 402
    356-125-2R 311
    365-95-1R
    401-145-SWC
    TL401-175-SWC 43
    401-175-TC 460, 43
    410-195-SWC 43
    TL410-210-SWC
    429-214-SWC 421
    C429-240-SWC 421
    429-200-RF 649
    429-240-2R 251
    429-255-SWC
    TL430-240-SWC 241
    C430-310-RF 649 600
    452-160-RF 649
    452-200-SWC 460
    452-200-RF 649
    TL452-200-SWC 344, 43
    452-228-1R 374 374
    TL452-230-2R 374
    TL452-230-TC 460 191
    452-230-TC 460
    452-252-SWC 421
    452-255-RF 190, 649
    C452-300-RF 649
    C476-325-RF
    476-400-RF
    C501-440-RF
    C285-130-R 413
    C309-113-F 8
    C309-120-R
    C309-130-R 465
    C309-150-F 8
    C309-160-R
    C309-170-F
    C309-180-R
    C309-200-R 467
    C312-155-2R 467
    CTL312-160-2R
    C312-185-1R
    C324-175-1R 470, 467, NEI 59
    C329-205-1R
    C338-220-1R
    379-250-RF
    457-340-F
    457-405-F
    459-405-HB 374 374
    457-450-F
    C457-500-F
    459-500-3R
    515-450-F
    515-500-F

    Top Punches



    Lee Mold Lyman RCBS
    22 Bator 646
    311-093-1R 465
    311-100-2R 226
    TL314-90-SWC
    358-105-SWC 467,402
    358-125-RF 429 429
    358-140-SWC 554 554
    TL358-148-WC 495
    358-148-WC 495
    358-150-1R 311
    358-150-SWC 554 554
    TL358-158-SWC 429 550
    C358-158-SWC 429 429
    TL358-158-2R 311
    358-158-RF 43
    356-102-1R 311
    356-120-TC 402 550
    TL356-124-2R 311
    TL356-124-TC 402
    356-125-2R 311
    365-95-1R
    401-145-SWC
    TL401-175-SWC 43
    401-175-TC 460, 43
    410-195-SWC 43
    TL410-210-SWC
    429-214-SWC 421
    C429-240-SWC 421
    429-200-RF 649
    429-240-2R 251
    429-255-SWC
    TL430-240-SWC 241
    C430-310-RF 649 600
    452-160-RF 649
    452-200-SWC 460
    452-200-RF 649
    TL452-200-SWC 344, 43
    452-228-1R 374 374
    TL452-230-2R 374
    TL452-230-TC 460 191
    452-230-TC 460
    452-252-SWC 421
    452-255-RF 190, 649
    C452-300-RF 649
    C476-325-RF
    476-400-RF
    C501-440-RF
    C285-130-R 413
    C309-113-F 8
    C309-120-R
    C309-130-R 465
    C309-150-F 8
    C309-160-R
    C309-170-F
    C309-180-R
    C309-200-R 467
    C312-155-2R 467
    CTL312-160-2R
    C312-185-1R
    C324-175-1R 470, 467, NEI 59
    C329-205-1R
    C338-220-1R
    379-250-RF
    457-340-F
    457-405-F
    459-405-HB 374 374
    457-450-F
    C457-500-F
    459-500-3R
    515-450-F
    515-500-F
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2017
  7. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    http://www.handloads.com/loaddata/defau ... pe=Handgun

    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/126912 ... -flat-nose (non-gas check)

    http://www.midsouthshooterssupply.com/i ... 0152670215 (gas check)

    bullet stability and twist rates
    http://www.jbmballistics.com/cgi-bin/jbmstab-5.1.cgi

    ballistic calculator
    http://www.hornady.com/ballistics-resource/ballistics-calculator

    these calculators can be really handy
    If you own a 44 mag revolver and want a mildly hot target load thats still milder than full power 44 mag loads and one you can load up fairly cheaply to save on ammo cost, if your only going to shoot mid range target loads in that 44 mag get a 200 grain mold and cast your own bullets it won,t take very long to pay for itself , 15 grains of blue dot under a bullet cast from 95%-97% wheel weights and 3%-5% tin sized to just over bore diam. and well lubed will give you a load suitable for hunting deer and target shooting, easily pushing that 200 grain slug to about 1450fps with less recoil than full power loads
    gas check bullet take longer to make and cost more but tend to lead bores less and be a bit more accurate in some revolvers.
    Now from experience I know the 200 grain 44 caliber cast bullets work fairly well on deer but the more heavily built hogs are best tackled with the 240-300 grain hard cast as they give deeper penetration.
    remember deer are just not that tough to kill, and while hogs generally are not all that difficult to kill ,either theres far more chance of getting a complete pass through shot on a deer than a decent size hog in my experience.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 23, 2017
  8. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    the ideal cast bullet rifle in most cases is the 45 caliber rifles like 45/70, 450 marlin or 458 win, simply because they are designed to function well with the 350-500 grain bullets that can easily be cast and bullets that in most cases are designed to be used at less than 2200 fps where properly sized and lubed gas check cast bullets perform really well.

    heres an example of factory ammo for a 45/70 which is about as low cost at $35 for 20 that factory larger caliber ammo gets currently, but if you have once fired brass and reload, cast bullets, cases can be re-used at least 7-8 times and in many cases even more, and if velocity is kept fairly reasonable (below about 1800fps its common to get more reloads and to have the cost less than 30-45 cents a shot.) and $12-$15 a box for good accurate reloads,beats the hell out of factory at $35-$60 for 20.
    http://www.ableammo.com/catalog/hornady ... 79375.html

    if your not hand loading..
    but to me the big benefit to owning a large bore lever action is it easy use of 350grain-420 grain cast bullets that still gives you excellent accuracy and power levels from cheaply assembled hand loads.
    both RL7 and IMR 4198 usually give very good results, and if you cast your own bullets cost is reduced to pennies a shot, vs over a $1.50 each for most factory ammo. in many cases youll find the 350-370 grain weights more accurate at lower velocities, yet these still punch hard enough even at fairly low 1300fps-1600fps to kill deer and hogs very effectively

    http://www.handloads.com/loaddata/defau ... fle&Source

    http://handloads.com/loaddata/default.a ... er&Source=

    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/176487 ... -gas-check
     
  9. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    btw your choice in rifles and loads need not try to push the limits in speed or bullet weight to be effective or accurate,
    Ive got a 458 win built by Remington,s custom shop,that is a real grin to use with super mild cast loads I won,t post all the details because you might not believe me,and Im not sure the loads safe in all guns, but a properly sized lubed 355 grain cast bullet properly hand loaded can be pushed to about 1100 fps and if shot off a bench rest, can shoot under 1/2" hundred yard 3 shot groups on a very calm windless day.
    and yes Ive used that load on a few hogs and while its not going to make spectacular instant kills its deadly, and punches to the vitals
    yes that loads producing less than 20% of the factory load energy levels but its still fun to shoot
     
  10. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    just got back from the range after a pleasant trip, for several reason,I was shooting my marlin 44 mag carbine,I went because one of my neighbors kept insisting that there was "no way in hell" that I was getting the group size I claimed I was getting using the Lee 300 grain cast bullets and 21 grains of H110 powder
    Id consistently claimed 1"-1.5" groups off a solid bench rest,he felt that way because his bolt action remington 44 carbine was shooting 3" groups, the first 3 shot 100 yard group I shot,with my marlin measured just under 2.5",with two touching and the first shot hitting a bit high.
    he was smirking like a Cheshire cat!
    but the next three , 3 shot groups all measured between 1.1" and 1.3" which tended to validate my claim,s, so as far as Im concerned I proved that the little carbines more than accurate enough, for most of the florida deer and hog hunting I do.
    and what really pissed my neighbor off is that the 44 marlin carbine now has a 4x Leopold scope that he stated he can barely make out a 1" orange dot at 100 yards looking thru.
    and he knows Id changed the scope to that 4x scope from the former 2x7x because I wanted that scope on my 450 marlin caliber BLR and felt the 4x better suited the 44 caliber carbine anyway.

    bullets were cast from 95% wheel weights and 5% pure tin, sized .430 and hornady gas checks and my bullet lube.

    https://www.midsouthshooterssupply.com/ ... 0000690227

    viewtopic.php?f=90&t=2286&p=32710&hilit=bullet+lube#p32710

    viewtopic.php?f=90&t=4835&p=13213&hilit=bullet+lube#p13213

    BTW Ive tried easily a dozen different combos of bullets and powder and both jacketed and cast, yet thats the most accurate and consistent load yet found1 , in fact Ive used it for over 12 years with zero reason to change a thing, and its been very effective where I hunt deer and hogs
     
  11. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 19, 2017
  12. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey Staff Member

  13. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey Staff Member

    btw, if you do rather extensive research and pay attention,
    youll find a few factors that youll need to pay serious attention too,
    if you intend to have accurate cast bullet hand loads.

    TWIST RATE
    youll be beating a dead horse if you select a bullet thats too long for the barrels twist rate ,
    so it helps to calculate that and check that your not wasting your time!

    http://www.bergerbullets.com/twist-rate-calculator/

    http://www.jbmballistics.com/cgi-bin/jbmstab-5.1.cgi

    BULLET diameter
    this varies but youll rarely find that a bullet sized to .oo1-.002 over bore size won.t shoot fairly well,
    in most bores if its properly lubricated and sized if your using the correct alloy, and ideally a gas check bullet design.

    CASTING ALLOY
    this also varies but a 95% wheel weights and 5% pure tin by weight,
    alloy generally provides a great start point

    http://www.lasc.us/castbulletnotes.htm

    http://www.lasc.us/castbulletalloy.htm

    https://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/2012/3/21/bullet-casting-bullets-on-the-cheap/





    bullet velocity
    youll find a good deal of accuracy is going to be dependent, on matching the bullet size
    bullet,lube and bullet casting alloy hardness to the velocity and rifling twist rate, while there are exceptions ,
    most cast bullets produce their best potential accuracy in the,
    1300 fps-1800 fps range with the non-gas check designs
    and the bullets size, bearing surface and other factors will effect results ,
    gas check bullet designs extend that velocity up to about 2200 fps in some rifle combos.
    yes the velocity's can be pushed faster, but generally you'll be dealing in rather specialized combos, and its rare to get the same level of accuracy with a cast bullet's at the higher or maximum velocities that are potentially possiable, that can be obtained at a slightly lower velocity
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2017
  14. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey Staff Member

    I was recently at a local pistol range with a neighbor that had purchased his first magnum caliber revolver , for use as a hunting hand gun.
    (one that I personally think is a bit too powerful for a first time hand gunner,
    but with hand loads,this can actually make good sense, as you can start out learning and do so if you load mild ammo to start,
    and work up as you gain experience)

    going this route you,ll only buy a single revolver and limit the equipment needed to reload and cast bullets, to a single revolver, set of dies and maybe two bullet molds, and simply starting with significantly lower powder charges , and lighter bullet designs allows lower recoil, until your totally familiar with the pistol, and want to step up the power level and can easily handle the increased recoil that results, after extensive practice and familiarity, with the pistol.

    now Bill is rather new to hand loading revolver ammo and he did not adequately crimp the case,and as a result he had his handgun lock-up,
    he was not loading hot ammo, he was using 20 grains of H110 under a 355 grain bullet, he simply used less crimp than was required.
    http://www.hodgdonreloading.com/data/pistol
    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/9...-355-grain-lead-flat-nose-gas-check-box-of-50

    until I showed him how to clear the blockage, caused by the bullets moving forward in the cylinder, and how to prevent it in the future ammo he loaded.
    reloading ammo is 90% science and about 10% art form, and it helps to have an experienced mentor
    http://www.handloads.com/loaddata/default.asp?Caliber=480 Ruger&Weight=All&type=Handgun&Source
    and he used purchased commercial cast bullets that are comparatively soft alloy lead bullets .
    (the bullets can and in my opinion should be personally cast from 95% WW allow and 5% pure tin, a well proven and fairly hard alloy)
    his revolver is very good quality but he still needs experience too provide top quality ammo.
    there was nothing wrong with the revolver
    (I would like to own a similar Ruger revolver)
    its certainly lighter and smaller and easier to carry than the 500 S&W and yet still has more than enough power to take on any animal you might hunt with the correct handloads.
    and just a minor adjustment to the loading dies would correct the ammo concerns.
    the bullets he ordered were decent quality, it was simply badly adjusted dies and under crimped cases that caused the issue.
    but it was a problem that could get you killed if you hunted dangerous game with defective ammo
    (
    obviously if your going to put your safety on the line,
    you'll want too have carefully tested the equipment,
    you'll use very extensively,
    for reliable function and durability and accuracy, before hand.)


    https://gundigest.com/reviews/ruger-super-blackhawk-revolvers

    https://www.americanhunter.org/arti...-ruger-and-454-casull-ruger-super-blackhawks/

    [​IMG]
    every time you fire a revolver the bullet mass (the projectile loaded over the powder in the cartridge case) in the cartridges loaded in the cylinders wants to remain where it is,
    but on firing the pistol, the pistol moves rapidly, it wants too recoil, this puts a significant inertial load on the loaded cartridges, in the cylinders.
    bullet length and the length the bullet extends forward of the cartridge case mouth obviously varies as does the length of the revolver cylinders, but you should be aware that as bullet weight and recoil levels increase the need to have a firm case crimp becomes MANDATORY to allow the revolver to function
    softer bullet alloys and marginal crimps make the bullet moving forward in the case more likely and common.
    a 480 ruger caliber handgun, with proper hand loads, can easily provide both a larger diameter and noticeably heavier projectile at similar velocities too what a 300 grain 44 mag can provide, in a similar barrel length revolver, thus its potential more lethal in skilled hands, by about a 15%-20% more energy and noticeably harder impact. the 480 Ruger is one of several exceptionally effective cartridges for hand gun hunting from what I've seen in the field.
    its hard to find and handgun that can push 300-450 grains of lead too over 1200 fps that won,t get good results

    [​IMG]
    heres a picture (below) of a small double action S&W revolver where improperly crimped case ammo,
    has allowed the bullets to move forward out of the cartridge case, due to not being crimped correctly.
    at the range this is a P.I.T.A, as it ties up the cylinder preventing the revolver from firing or even opening the cylinder,
    but if you were in a personal toe-to-toe discussion with a large pissed off bear the result of under crimped bullets would be FATAL, as it would render the revolver useless

    [​IMG]





    heres a picture (below) of what happened to a cylinder full of 454 cassul ammo,
    notice each time a revolver was fired the bullet in the remaining loaded cylinders moved out of the case a bit further,

    [​IMG]


    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/309958/lee-carbide-3-die-set

    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/2...75-linebaugh-476-diameter-400-grain-flat-nose
    (these 400 grain bullets pushed to about 1000-1250 fps make this a very potent close range big game revolver easily able to kill anything in north America with proper shot placement) out to at least 80 yards... consider millions of bison were killed in the 1870s-1880s with a 45/70 with similar ballistics from a rifle

    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/9...-355-grain-lead-flat-nose-gas-check-box-of-50

    https://www.fieldandstream.com/some-kind-words-for-480-ruger





    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/513567/rcbs-rock-chucker-supreme-single-stage-press
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2017

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