Cast bullet sizing question

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tek4260

Buckeye
Joined
May 31, 2008
Messages
1,886
Location
carroll county ms
I recently got about 2 5gal buckets full of wheel wieghts and will be trying my hand at casting. I was looking in Midway at the Lee sizers that mount on your press and have the container on top for tumble lubing. Reading the reviews, I noticed someone said they dipped the base of their cast bullets in softened/melted lube, let it firm upa bit and then ran them thru this sizer. They said it worked well. I know it is probably not as good as doing them properly, but would it work? I would assume any excess lube could be collected and remelted and reused. I notice in some commercial cast bullets that the lube groove is not always full. Does it have to be?

Thanks,
Thomas
 

Rick Courtright

Hawkeye
Joined
Mar 10, 2002
Messages
7,897
Location
Redlands CA USA
Hi,

There are lots of ways to size and lube bullets; everybody eventually settles on their own favorite!

I use the Lee sizers, and lube the bullets w/ Lee's Liquid Alox lube. It's quick, easy and effective. And, since it covers the entire bullet, bullets go thru the sizer rather easily, then I lube 'em a second time to restore what was removed in the sizing operation.

You CAN lube the bullets by sitting them in something like a pie pan and pouring melted lube over them (messy, kinda like using the Lee Liquid Alox approach), or melting lube in the pan first, then putting the bullets in. You'll want to devise some kind of "cookie cutter" tool to cut 'em out if you let them sit and cool in the pan. Or you could quickly dip each one individually and let it cool on wax paper. Unused lube can be recycled that way.

If you start w/ the lube grooves full, or pretty full, you probably won't need to relube after the sizing operation. One reason to make sure the lube groove's full w/ conventional lubes is to ensure enough can melt or be thrown out by centrifugal force to fill the gaps between the bullet and barrel. Using the Liquid Alox, there's already lube on the outer surface to perform the same job.

I think it's really a matter of preference: as long as you're not getting excessive leading, your load and lube combo are working for you...

Now there IS a matter of cleanup! The "groove only" lubes don't need much cleanup after the bullet's been loaded. The Liquid Alox lubed bullets can attract dust, dirt and pocket lint, so I've found it a good idea to wipe the lube off the exposed part of the bullet after the round is completed. (Same if you poured melted lube over bullets in a pan.) Mineral spirits on a rag make short work of that.

Rick C
 

gregs45auto

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 26, 2005
Messages
491
Location
utah
Hello I use the Lee sizers. I cut a plastic milk jug in half, add bullets and dribble on the alox. swirl the bullets until covered. Run thru sizer and if more alox is needed, I repeat the trip thru the jug. hth greg :)
 

tek4260

Buckeye
Joined
May 31, 2008
Messages
1,886
Location
carroll county ms
Been melting the wheel weights, cleaning and pouring into muffin pans. I have over 30 ignots so far and am not even near half way thru my weights. I'll have to weigh one to see what I have. They are about 3.5" across and 2" thick. Should be enough to start casting and learning with.



Gave up for the night at 64 ignots. Cant tell if they weigh 2 or 3 lbs by the scale. Either way it is 130 to 190 lbs.
 

bigboredad

Blackhawk
Joined
Oct 6, 2007
Messages
733
Location
ut
check out castboolitsgunloads.com they have tons of info over there covering the cast bullet in every type of operation. I use the lee sizer and so far see no problems. I lube first with lee liquid alox then size then i use johnson paste wax to lube after sizing the jpw dries hard and makes cleaning your barrel much easier just warm your bullets a little I use a toaster oven then a little dab of jpw swirl them around and let them dry
 

BowenBuilt

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 20, 2008
Messages
52
Location
Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia
You probably already know this but since you are just starting out it won't hurt to warn you about what I feel is the most important rule of casting bullets. NEVER LET A DROP OF MOISTURE FALL INTO A HOT POT OF LEAD. I wish someone had told me this about 40 years ago when I first started to cast my own bullets. It would have saved a trip to the hospital and a lot of scars on my arms and hands.
One drop of sweat is all it took to fully explode a 20 lb. pot of hot lead all over me. I had it happen again about 15 years ago when a friend thought he would help me out and drop a fresh ingot into the pot that had a few drops of Dr. Pepper on it. He got the scars from that one.
I hope you enjoy the fruits of casting your own bullets. It has always been very satisfiying for me to be able to shoot a one hole group with my own hand cast bullets.
BB
 

flhr62

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 23, 2007
Messages
307
Location
ga
I also use the Lee sizers and liquid Alox. I like them very much. As stated in other posts, lube them, then run them through the sizer, then lube again. I know it sounds like an extra step but it works well and its pretty quick. As BowenBuilt said, keep water away. Unless you are casting 500 gr. bullets, 64 ingots will keep you busy for awhile.
 

bigboredad

Blackhawk
Joined
Oct 6, 2007
Messages
733
Location
ut
lee liquid alox will work on any style of bullets I use it on 3 different bullets and only one of them is a tumble lube design. Another trick I've found is if you heat your bullet up it will speed up the drying time of the lla
 

Blackhawk Convertable

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jul 24, 2005
Messages
496
Location
Rochester, Minnesota
I use the Lee sizers BUT not the alox. Johnson's Paste Wax is much, much better. It's cleaner, less sticky by far and reduces powder fouling and leading down to almost nil. I've been casting for a bunch of Cowboy Action shooters and they all mention how much cleaner my boolits leave their guns after a day of shooting.
 

les265

Bearcat
Joined
Oct 7, 2007
Messages
4
Location
North Lima, Ohio
I use the Lee sizers and the liquid alox, but I dip the bullets in the alox that has been thinned a little with mineral spirits. It takes a little more time, but my dies don't get buggered up with the alox and my bullets don't collect dust using this method. I dip once, let dry, size, dip again and let dry. I am now using this method on 357 mag., 44 spl, and 45 Colt regular groove bullets, not Lee tumble lube bullets. The grooves don't get filled completely, but I have no problem with leading.
 

BowenBuilt

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 20, 2008
Messages
52
Location
Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia
Blackhawk Convertable":swek6ou9 said:
I use the Lee sizers BUT not the alox. Johnson's Paste Wax is much, much better. It's cleaner, less sticky by far and reduces powder fouling and leading down to almost nil. I've been casting for a bunch of Cowboy Action shooters and they all mention how much cleaner my boolits leave their guns after a day of shooting.

I don't use the Lee stuff when sizing bullets but you have piqued my interest in the Johnson wax. How do you apply the wax as lube on the bullets?
 

clevor362

Bearcat
Joined
May 19, 2007
Messages
20
Location
Dickson, TN, USA
I started casting and sizing bullets over 30 years ago with the old hand held Lee sizing die and top punch you hit with a hammer. I still have them somewhere. Back then I used the Lyman black lube with, I suppose, graphite in it. It was a mess to melt and remove bullets from. Fun but it got old. So, I vote you get yourself a good Lyman lube-sizer. You can get good deals on-line for the 50/50 NRA lube. You need a top punch and sizer die but so long as you are careful when you install/remove them the lube-sizer will last a lifetime. I still have the first one I ever bought and about 6 more I like them so well. DO NOT CROSSTHREAD the die hold down hex 'nut'. Mount it on a SOLID bench and don't try to break the handle while sizing. After a few thousand bullets you might succeed. Just my recommendation. To each their own.
 

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