I'm up and casting bullets!!


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I had a chance to play around with my new casting equipment tonight. After a little trial and error I think I have the process down. I casted for about an hour and turned out 214 rounds. Now I just need to tumble lube them and make a trip to the range. I was hoping to get away without having to size them all but the mold does seem to be a little over sized. The rear most driving band are .453-.455. Weight wise they are all right around 231.5gr.

Here is what they started off life as....


Here they are after a little TLC....


With the tire weights, did you add any tin to the mix to make them a little harder, since it looks like you are using these in a Semi-auto pistol?
There's two ways to make them harder. One by mixing Tin or if you can get some, Linotype or quenching the hot bullets in water. I do both. I have a bucket of water and I drop the hot bullets out of the mold into it. Works great. Be careful though! NEVER drop a wet bullet back into the melting pot! You will get an explosion of molten lead. Water and molten lead do not mix! Here is a good article on heat treating cast bullets. Link Removed
With the tire weights, did you add any tin to the mix to make them a little harder, since it looks like you are using these in a Semi-auto pistol?

Hey Hootmon. From what I've read the clip on wheel weights contain 1/2% Tin, 4% Antimony, and 1/4% Arsenic. This mixture should give me around a 12 BHN and work well for loads up to 25,000 PSI. I'll be loading these for my .45 acp which max listed chamber pressure is between 20,000 and 21,000 psi.

I'm also going to try a batch of water quenched bullets. This should harden them to handle up to 48,000 PSI. Then I'll take each batch to the range and see how they shoot.

I still have a couple old zero 230 grain swaged lead bullets left from the last batch I bought. I read I can put both bullets base to base in a vise and crank it down a few turns. The softer of the two bullets will compress more then the other. If my cast bullets are softer then the zero bullets I'll probably remelt them down and add some tin.
I'm using the same mold you are. Straight wheel weights are hard enough to be ok in 45ACP due to the low velocity of the round. I've even cast bullets of plain lead lubed with Liquid Alox that shot just fine and cleaned up just fine. I do not size mine, however I do use a Lee Factory Crimp Die in the final stage. Tin makes the lead flow smooth, antimony is the primary harding alloy. Wheel weights have antimony and linotype contains even more. Some even consider linotype to be too hard by it's self. anyway with 45 you should be OK whatever alloy you use. I've even found that 9mm at 1100 FPS, 30000 PSI do just fine with wheel weight bullets and even 1/2 wheel weight-1/2 lead still works fine with liquid Alox. I did have to quit using my factory crimp die in 9mm. some cases were a little thicker and the factory crimp die squeezed the case back to factory outside dimensions, but the bullet then tumbled from being too small. Switching to a taper crimp solved my 9mm tumbling problem. I talked to the engineer at Lee and he confirmed this sometimes happens. They gave me a refund on my die. Very good customer service. He was the one that told me wheel weights are hard enough, but also suggested I should quench them in cold water. So far it's worked very good for me.

Good Luck!!!
Nice work, they look good! I have a question for you guys! I called my local tire shop and they told me I can come by and pick up their wheel weights anytime. The only thing that he mentioned was that a lot of the newer stuff they use is made up of zinc (better for the environment as he put it). He stated that the ones they have, 50% are lead and 50% zinc. Anyone know how to tell the difference and is everyone else having to sort through all this?
I use tire weights a lot. I also have some pure lead for making HP's softer for expansion. For straight tire weights, I use a 5 gallon bucket with water in it. Put a towl in the bottom so getting the bullets out is easier. The quenching hardens the bullets to a BHN of 12-18. I lube with ALOX, size, then lube again with ALOX. Clean bore all the time. ALOX is a good lube, and lubing the second time (after resizing) seems to work for me. Have found no leading at all, just simple clean up after and ready to go again.

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