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6. Loading Cast Bullets - Wads | Powder - Precision Reloading - hard cast bullets for reloading

6. Loading Cast Bullets - Wads | Powder - Precision Reloading-hard cast bullets for reloading

6. Loading Cast Bullets
Keep in mind that cast bullets are more fragile than
jacketed bullets. Use Lyman's "M" Die or Multi-Expand
Powder Charge Die (for pistol calibers) in the appropriate
caliber to flare each case mouth to prevent shaving away
bullet metal. Lyman three-die rifle and pistol sets include
this important expander die. If you have a two-die set of
any brand, the Lyman "M" Die, which may be purchased
separately, will expand the set's capabilities to producing
excellent cast bullet handloads. See our annual catalog for
detailed listings of all reloading dies, including the "M"
Die and Multi-Expand Powder Charge Die.
Formula A Formula B
9 lbs. Wheelweights 4 lbs linotype
1 lb. 50/50 bar solder 1 lb 50/50 bar solder
5 lbs lead
Makes 10 lbs #2 Alloy Makes 10 lbs #2 Alloy
Composition and Hardness (BHN) of
Useful Bullet Alloys
Alloy Lead Tin Antimony BHN
Monotype 72 9 19 28
Stereotype 80 6 14 23
Linotype 86 3 11 22
Lyman No.2 90 5 5 15
Taracorp Magnum 92 2 6 15
1 to 1 Lead/Lino 92 2 6 15
Electrotype 94.5 3 2.5 12
10 to 1 91 9 -- 11.5
16 to 1 94 6 -- 11
20 to 1 95 5 -- 10
30 to 1 97 3 -- 9
Wheelweights 95.5 .5 4 9
40 to 1 97.5 2.5 -- 8.5
Pure Lead 100 -- -- 5 Lyman Products Corporation
Printed in the U.S.A. 4/04 IBM - 2996032 475 Smith Street, Middletown, CT 06457
Today, many shooters believe that maximum Edition, available from your local Lyman dealer.
velocity means maximum performance. These Lyman mould blocks-in single, double and four
shooters, thinking only of jacketed bullets and the cavity sizes-are available in many different proven
hottest possible loads, put together the same high bullet designs. Each bullet design is identified by a
intensity "package" for all shooting requirements. six-digit number, such as #358429. For a listing of
Actually, a round loaded with enough potency to available Lyman, refer to the current annual Lyman
crumple a charging grizzly is neither pleasant to catalog.
shoot nor truly efficient for such applications as Detachable mould handles are available in two sizes
recreational or competitive target shooting. The bul- to accommodate blocks of single, double, or four
let caster soon learns that over 90% of his shooting, cavity size. A bullet caster may interchange the
for fun and for game, can be done more effectively blocks on his handles as he wishes, provided he uses
and enjoyably at a lower velocity with cast bullets. A only that size block for which the handles are
cast bullet is only 1/10 the cost of a jacketed one, and intended. It should be noted that all current single
an entire lifetime of shooting cast bullets will not and double cavity moulds require the large mould
wear out the bore of a rifle or pistol. handles.
This booklet covers the essential facts of making cast
bullets. For a complete handbook on the subject, we
recommend the Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook, 3rd
Safety Precautions
1. No casting should be done without basic safety 7. Never drop poorly formed bullets or sprue cut-offs
garb. This includes long pants, shirtsleeves, sturdy back into the molten lead in the pot. This can cause
gloves, eye protection (such as goggles), and closed molten lead splashes, which can seriously burn the
top shoes. user or damage property. Always use caution when
2. Keep all flammable items away from casting area. adding bullet metal to a furnace or pot containing
Do not operate unit on flammable materials such as molten metal.
paper, wood, or carpeting. Keep primers, loaded 8. Do not continue to cast if distracted.
ammunition, and other shooting accessories away 9. Do not eat, drink or smoke while handling lead.
from casting area. 10. Do not run unit dry without lead, except during
3. Casting should be done in a well-ventilated area. initial warmup period.
Avoid breathing fumes and dust from furnace. 11. Keep the plug dry.
4. Never allow moisture near molten lead. When 12. Always wash hands after handling lead. WASH
moisture is introduced to molten lead, a terrific steam YOUR HANDS WELL WHEN DONE. Lead is soft
explosion occurs and molten metal sprays not only and will rub off on your fingers.
over the immediate area but also over the bullet caster. 13. Be certain to place and use the melting pot where it
This moisture can be introduced by a wet ladle or dip- cannot be tipped or knocked over. Never leave a unit
per. ALSO: Never put a COLD dipper into a lead pot unattended.
as it will act in the same manner as water. Warm it first. 14. When finding lead to use in casting, never use lead
5. Keep children away from casting and reloading from any kind of battery.
areas. 15. Keep bench area clean from sprue and droppings.
6. Never pick up unit when heated. Always clean casting area afterwards. Periodically
1. Bullet Moulds and Their Care
Your bullet mould is a piece of precision equipment tight container with a bag of desiccant crystals or a
which, with care and common sense, can easily last piece of VCI paper. Moulds preserved in this fashion
a lifetime. Before using a new mould, it must be do not require cleaning before their next use.
cleaned with a suitable solvent, such as alcohol or an Whichever preservative system you choose, store the
aerosol degreaser, to remove the protective film of mould in a dry place of relatively constant
oil. Never cast bullets with oil still in the mould as temperature. Note: Leaving the last bullet in the
the oil will vaporize and leave an undesirable baked mould cavities offers little, if any, protection.
on residue. From time to time, check the sprue cutter plate. This
After casting, clean your mould. Wipe off any splashes plate should swing freely, without vertical play. IF
or smears of lead with a rough rag. If the lead splatters too tight, air cannot escape, and the base of the
are difficult to remove, re-heat the mould blocks until bullet will not fill out properly. If too loose, the sprue
the lead wipes off easily. Never use an abrasive material will extend beyond the base of the bullet. A bit of
or scraping tool to remove lead from the mould. When graphite or Motor mica, sprinkled between plate and
your mould is clean, allow it to cool, then re-oil it with block, will greatly reduce friction.
rust preventative oil. This oil must be removed each
time before casting.
Alternatively, store your cool, clean mould in an air-
2. Lead Alloys and Gas Checks
Pure lead is suitable only for muzzle loading conical must be pressed onto the base of a cast bullet. The
and roundball projectiles or shotgun slugs, not for purpose of this cup is to protect the bullet base from
centerfire rifle and pistol bullets. In the latter the burning effect of hot powder gases. Gas check
application, it is too soft to adequately resist the bullets, since they can be driven at higher velocities
thrust against the rifling and will rub off, streaking than plain base bullets, will give flatter trajectories
the bore with lead deposits. To harden pure lead into and greater energy. Even with a gas check, however,
a better bullet material, tin must be added. the lead alloy bullet cannot be driven as fast as some
Tin and lead mix well when melted, and a good jacketed bullets or it may lose accuracy and lead the
bullet alloy should always contain tin to enhance bore.
castability. The presence of antimony in the alloy, A careful study of the Lyman Cast Bullet
especially for gas check bullets in rifles, has an Handbook, 3rd Edition, will give you recommend-
advantage. It hardens the alloy, making the bullet ed loads and velocities for gas check bullets. This
less liable to gas-cutting and more capable of with- data can also be found in the Reloading Handbook,
standing higher velocities. Because antimony 48th Edition, and the Pistol and Revolver
shrinks less when it cools, bullets of antimony alloy Handbook, 2 Edition. Note: Gas checks can only be
will cast a little larger than softer alloys. used on bullets which are specifically designed for
The gas check is a shallow gilded metal cup which them. For complete product information, write for
your free catalog.

How big is a bullet?Research indicates this .320- inch figure may have deviated some- what over the last 125 years. Most .32-40 cast bullet shooters load bul- lets that measure somewhere in the vicinity of .321 to .323 inch.