This page will be where I log my adventures in bullet casting. Until now I was content buying my bullets from Springfield Slim and for the foreseeable future I will continue to buy my CAS bullets from him as the price is very reasonable. To be honest, had Slim’s 45/70’s fit the throat of my Winchester 1885 I probably would have not bothered to cast, at least not while I’m still working full time, but alas they didn’t. The nose diameter of Slims bullets is .451″ and I need the .446-7″ that the Lyman 457132 Postell produces. I am currently buying some excellent bullets from Montana Bullet Works but they run about $122 delivered for 200 bullets vs Slim’s $85 for 250.
Not counting the initial equipment investment I believe I can make 280 bullets from 20lbs of lead. So that’s about $40 in materials (lead and lube) or $0.14 per bullet vs $0.61 purchased. By my calculations I will more than recover my initial investment after I make 40lbs of bullets (560). Now I don’t expect to shoot that many in a year so it may take a few years to recover but it seems to be a good investment. If I was to also invest about $130 for the Big Lube mold for my 45 colt it would take about 60lbs (2100 bullets) to break even so that may wait until I’m in full retirement mode.
I’ve received my casting supplies and I’m ready to go once I find the time to try it out.
In the photo below, clockwise from center, there’s a 20lb Lee Pro 4 melter and an RCBS lead thermometer, Beeswax for bullet lube, Lyman handle and 457132 mold, Lyman ladle and 20lbs of lead.
Here’s a shot of the mold with a bullet from Montana Bullet Works for illustration.
OK, I started casting this afternoon. You might recall that I had some bullets which were too big for my chamber so I melted up 50 of them and used that lead for my practice casting.
The first few were not so good, it took me a while to figure it out but it was that the mold was too cold.
I cast about 15 or so and threw them back into the pot and then everything started to look good. So here’s my first 50 decent looking bullets. Now all I have to do is pan lube them.
My first attempt at pan lubing. I had some Sagebrush BPCR lube though once my mutton tallow arrives I’ll be mixing my own.