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Need help on getting started.

Im planing on getting started on casting for my 45-70 and id like for someone to help me. Im totally new to casting and id like to see if somone can give me a list on items i need to get started... I already have a melter and picked out which mold i want( not sure if aluminum or the iron is better?) but all the other things (mainly sizing and lubing) im clueless about and how to set up or do the process. I know its wrogn to say but im not one to read books..
but ill do what i have to..
Any help is greatly appreciated.... Thanks!
 

jmabbott888

Well-known member
First off..... Welcome to the forum. Now that thats out of the way, I use both iron & aluminum moulds, as long as you read & pay attention to the instructions on the aluminum (aka Lee) moulds they work great, the iron ones work great too. I'd recommend slugging your bore so you can get the right sizer for it, you can slug the bore with a soft lead slug. I usually size & lube in a tool called a Lubrisizer made by Lyman. There are other manufacturer but this is the one I inherited. The other way is tumble lube the bullets in liquid Alox, works great in my 250 Sav & 45acp revolver, haven't tried it with the 45-70 yet. If you are around Bakersfield Ca I'd be happy to show you how it's done.
 
ok thanks for the info; as for showing me... i live far far away in PA so that is out of the question:snail: but thanks for the offer... glad to know someone out there is wiliing to help!
 

myfriendis410

Well-known member
I don't cast/reload for the 45-70, but one of my friends is a hard twisted oldtimer that shot black powder sillhouette at the state and national level using a 40-65 and cast bullets. Here are a couple of important tips.

Use a hard alloy. Linotype or Lyman number 2 alloy. Wheelweights with an addition of 2% tin would work well too. The tin is critical to the bullet filling the mold cavity uniformly and giving you a crisp lube cavity, as well as repeatable bullet weights. I would recommend a cast iron mold in a two cavity model to start. Cast the bullets and weight them prior to sizing. Size of bullets is usually .001 over groove: in other words, start with .459 and go from there. I would strongly recommend that you use a luber/sizer by either Lyman or RCBS, or just go ahead and get the best--a Star (which I use) Use a high temp lube designed for rifles and you must have a luber heater to use the stuff.

The load you use can be extremely critical as well. If you are loading black powder, your technique is going to be totally different for lubing and sizing. For that you want to use a soft SPG type lube that softens the fouling for each shot.

Give us some more details on what you are loading for and it's intended use i.e. hunting or target shooting.
 
I mostly will be casting to target shoot as i already have a great load for hunting. Its in a 1895 giude gun without the porting. I used a lyman 405 or 410 cast the my friend had and they worked pretty good so that weight range will probably be used. i shoot at 230 yards so the load has to be a decent velocity to get out there. I tend to start out with the 45/70 and once i get good at im going to eventually move to the 303 brit and 30/06. as for pistols i will cast for 9mm, 45acp, 357 and 44mag but in a rifle.... maybe youcan help on tips for pistol calibers to? THANKS!
 

myfriendis410

Well-known member
I don't recommend you even bother with the .30 caliber stuff; you won't be happy with the performance 'cause you can't drive them at the velocities they were designed for. The 45-70 WAS designed around a lead bullet--405 grain load was the G.I. issue, I believe. Big heavy slug moving at lower velocities, but holds it's energy well. After all, it was a great 1,000 yard buffalo cartridge. (Have you looked through iron sights at a bison at a 1,000 yards? Holy mackerel!)

As to serious casting I reiterate: get a Star Luber/Sizer. They are ten times as fast and there are a great variety of dies for your different cartridges. For pistol stuff I am spoiled and use a four gang mold to load my .45 acp. Six cavity is even faster. Rifle though needs to be a bit slower. It's a lot of fun and I think it makes you a better shooter.

Have fun!
 
i was lookin on midway and i seen these things listed : Top punches, sizer dies. what are they and how do they work? also how do you know what lube to use because it seems like there is alot of different types? I also found out the melter i have is 10 lb. so if i was making ingots how do i know how much of tin and how much of lead to use knowing that i dont shoot blackpowder? is there a chart online i can look up somewhere?
 

myfriendis410

Well-known member
You ought to be able to find a chart that lists the alloys in particular Lyman No. 2. Linotype is 85 lead, 10 antimony and 5 tin, I think. If you are pushing to modest velocities (1,800 fps or so) you could use range lead with a bit of solder to wet to the mold.

Top punches and dies are a set for the Lyman and RCBS luber/sizers. You need to go with the particular finished diameter i.e. .459".

As to lube, with centerfire rifle smokeless I would use something like "Red Rooster" lube, but it HAS to be heated. If you buy a luber/sizer you HAVE to buy a heater for it. The lube is available in a high temp and low temp version and I would strongly recommend the high temp for rifle. You will also gain the advantage of less smoke and less soot on your cases. The lubed bullet will look like what you would buy from one of the big bullet makers like magnacast or lazercast.

A friend of mine mixes his alloy separately in a pot and casts ingots in muffing tins for use in his furnace. You can easily weigh out on a bathroom scale your melt mix. Buy a good flux to adequately flow your alloy and skim the dross. If you are really into it you can buy a hardness tester from Midway or Brownells.
 
so it i got the star sizer like you said i wont have to get the top punches and sizer dies?

- i forgot to mention i work at a dealership so i have acess to tons of wheel weights which will be where i get my lead from... how will they effect the measurments of what i have to add into the lead to make it harder or softer? I used straight wheel weight lead in pistol(800-900fps) and my 45-70 (1000fps) loads before and the worked fine but for rifle should i add tin to the lead to make it a tad harder and be done? i forget where but i thought i remember reading that wheel weight lead is harder than pure lead? or is it pure lead?
 

myfriendis410

Well-known member
The wheelweights are 80-20 lead and antimony. This is fine for some things but.....

The addition of about 5 parts tin to the mix makes an alloy that sets at one temperature; in other words, it doesn't form a slurry as it cools. This is very important on long, large, big caliber rifle bullets-- you want them absolutely perfect. The other thing the tin does is "wet" the metal to the mold giving a much crisper fill to the finished bullet. You can tell right off when the pour is good; the edges look knife sharp and there are zero defects in the structure of the bullet. The other advantage is the tin makes a more ductile bullet--less brittle. This can be important if you are going to shoot a bear in the lips at twenty yards.

You want to stay away from pure lead; it's only used in muzzleloading primitive loads or maxiballs. The lead/antimony/tin will give you the hardest alloy on the Brinnell scale. I'm not sure, 'cause I'm only loading for the acp now with range lead and tin and crank them out by the coffee-can load.

You will still have to buy the dies you will need to size your bullets properly. Star can help you out with the selection. I would suggest you talk to an applications engineer there and tell them ALL of the bullets you envision running through their machine. And I will warn you now, you will not EVER want to size on anything else once you use a Star. You can set the die up to deliver lube to every lube groove in a multi groove bullet and you can size them nose down so a straight punch will usually work. Be sure to get their heater, 'cause you're going to need it. It ain't cheap but think of economy of scale; I can lube/size 1,200 .45 slugs in about an hour. Try THAT on a Lyman or RCBS.
 

jchrist1

Active member
mustangstilidie!First things first.Wear eye protection,long sleeve shirt and gloves.DO NOT PUT COLD THINGS INTO HOT MELTED LEAD.Hot lead sticks to skin.Lead splatters when water or something cold is introduced.I'm new at this old art myself.Good luck ! keep askin ???????WISE MEN ALWAYS ASK IF THEY DON'T KNOW!
 

472x1A/B

Well-known member
Lots of really good info here. Still even more at Castboolits.Com . I've learned alot over there, thoes guys are +1 !
 

jchrist1

Active member
472x1A/B!Hey man ! Good to meet you! You must be a young guy!You make me feel like jumpin on to Castbulits site. but old guys don't jump too fast !I dont think they like hitting the caps button too often.Plus we have found a speed that keeps us from going backerds.I suspect you just mean well,but man i just hate signin up somewhere else .Kinda like church !!THESE guys here seem pretty smart . might want to get to know them.HAVE A GREAT DAY !LOVE THE YOUNG GUYS! THEY REMIND ME WHEN I WAS YOUNG AND STUPID!!
 

jchrist1

Active member
myfriend410! I've learned this.If you do'nt make things happen it's probably not goin' to happin for you.If nothing changes, nothing changes.HEY MAN;Thanks a bunch for the info on 5 parts tin to the mix! I'm going to try it.I'm new to this art .I loaded for .223 & .308.Have yet to try them .I'll let you men know what I CAME UP WITH.May (darn caps button)have to go big bore!herd 32-40 is good .Anyway thanks for listenin'!YOU MEN HAVE A BLESSED DAY IN WHATEVER THE LORD GIVES YOU FOR TODAY. TOMORROW IS NOT GAURANTEED!!
 

jchrist1

Active member
mustangtilidie!Mines a 1953 ford pannel!The grill is worth more than the whole truck.But you know what they say...somethings only worth what someone will pay for it.BACK ON THE SUBJECT.How you doin' man?I mean, how is castin goin? I hope good.Drink milk ,if you breath too many lead fumes?An old friend told me this. Does anyone know what this does ? I forgot to ask.BE BLESSED BOYS! CAUSE YOU KNOW WE ARE IN THE USA!! WHEN SOMEONE ASKS IF I'M OK,I TELL THEM YA! BUT YOU MIGHT WANT TO GET A SECOND OPINION! HA!!
 


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