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Experiencing excessive lead alloy shrinkage on cast bullets

tennmiketennmike Senior MemberPosts: 27,457 Senior Member
Did some bullet casting today. Used a very high antimony content lead alloy and shrinkage of bullets seems severe:

002_zps30ade307.jpg







It's a joke. The bullet on the left is a .32 Cal. T/C Maxi Ball weighing 96 grains, and the one on the right is a .50 Cal. T/C Maxi Ball weighing 366 grains. Both are cast from pure lead.

I did a little bullet casting this afternoon. 110 of .32 Maxi Ball, 110 of .32 round ball, and 110 of the .50 Maxi Ball. Took just a little over 2 1/2 hours with single cavity molds.
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Replies

  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 25,126 Senior Member
    Right pretty
    I want to see some dead squirrels now.
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,992 Senior Member
    " There was shrinkage, Jerry! There was shrinkage!!! "
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    i was in the pool!

    And the pool was filled with ice water! :silly:
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  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    NN wrote: »
    Right pretty
    I want to see some dead squirrels now.

    I've got enough .32 cal. lead round balls to give the squirrels fits! The 100+ balls I molded today gets me up to a little over 1,000 of the .32 cal. round balls. Being little, they cast fast.
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  • gatorgator Senior Member Posts: 1,746 Senior Member
    No tree rats here where I live but we have an abundance of cottontails this year. We won't get our first freeze until December but I intend to shoot a few with my .32 cap lock.
    USMC 80-84
    -96 lbs
  • gatorgator Senior Member Posts: 1,746 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    I reckon a 320 grain bullet should kill a squirrel.

    Ya think...
    USMC 80-84
    -96 lbs
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Id use those maxi balls for the rats. :up:

    I fully intend hunting at least a little for tree rats with my .50 caliber pistol. I reckon a 320 grain bullet should kill a squirrel.

    I killed a red squirrel with one of those 366 grain Maxi Balls once when I was deer hunting. Good thing I shot it in the head; the head just disappeared in a red/gray mist!

    Only gonna use round balls on the squirrels. They are a little more accurate than the little Maxi Balls. Too bad TN says the .32 muzzleloader is too small for deer. It is more than accurate enough, and the bullet is heavier than most .243 loads, and is also supersonic. I know a feller down in FL that killed a pretty good sized hog with a .32 cal. flintlock. :tooth:
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  • gatorgator Senior Member Posts: 1,746 Senior Member
    How many grains of powder do you use in your .32 ?
    USMC 80-84
    -96 lbs
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    Mike, do you have any experience with the Lee REAL bullets? I'm rebarreling my traditions flintlock to .45 caliber, and I'm considering getting a conical mold for it.
    Jerry
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    Are you using any kind of over-powder wad, or just seating the bullet touching the powder? I use a couple of thin fiber wads on the target rifles with a patched ball.
    Jerry
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    Mike, do you have any experience with the Lee REAL bullets? I'm rebarreling my traditions flintlock to .45 caliber, and I'm considering getting a conical mold for it.
    Jerry


    I have two R.E.A.L. molds in .45 caliber for muzzleloader. They are in 200 grain and 250 grain weight. They both shoot really well from my .45 cal. T/C Hawken(I rebarreled by Dad's rifle). They both shoot very well in it. I do use a prelubed wool wad for conicals. Seems to make a positive difference in accuracy.

    If you want, I can mold up 50 of each and send them to you to try out. Then you can buy the mold that works best in your rifle.
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  • HAWKENHAWKEN Senior Member Posts: 1,720 Senior Member
    Mike, I will be curious about how the .32's shoot. I have a Traditions Crockett and inquiring minds want to know. I use the Lee double cavity mold to cast my balls, with great success. BTW, thanks for the tip, I just joined the Cast Boolets forum.....Robin
    I don't often talk to people that voted for Obama, but when I do I order large fries!
    Life member of the American Legion, the VFW, the NRA and the Masonic Lodge, retired LEO
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    HAWKEN wrote: »
    Mike, I will be curious about how the .32's shoot. I have a Traditions Crockett and inquiring minds want to know. I use the Lee double cavity mold to cast my balls, with great success. BTW, thanks for the tip, I just joined the Cast Boolets forum.....Robin

    The little .32 conicals shoot pretty accurately in my T/C Cherokee caplock. At 50 yards on a good day (for me) I can make a tight 3 shot cloverleaf. After three shots ya have to clean out the barrel fouling, conical or ball; a quirk of the .32 I guess.
    gator wrote: »
    How many grains of powder do you use in your .32 ?

    Sorry about being late answering the question. I didn't see it until today.

    For round balls, I use a 20 grain load of FFFg or Pyrodex P as measured in my powder measure. That's the load for my rifle that gives best accuracy.
    For the conicals, the load is increased to 35 grains of FFFg or Pyrodex P.

    Funny that I can hunt with a .17 cal. centerfire rifle in TN for deer, but not a .32 cal. muzzleloader; muzzleloaders have to be .36 cal. or larger.

    Edit to add: A .32 cal. muzzleloader is MUCH more sensitive to load variations and ball/bullet seating than a .45 or .50 cal. rifle. You get sloppy with your loading and accuracy will suck like a Hoover.
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  • gatorgator Senior Member Posts: 1,746 Senior Member
    Thanks Mike,
    I bought a .32 cal Blue Ridge rifle at Cabelas a couple years ago that was a store demo they had on sale for $329. I have shot it a few times but never really worked up a load for it. As I said earlier I want to do some cottontail hunting with it this winter so I guess I need to put her through the paces and see what we are capable of.

    I also found her big sister, a Blue Ridge .50 cal, that I found at the LGS in Wickenburg for $225 that I don't think has ever been fired. I still haven't fired it yet...Need to fix that soon.
    USMC 80-84
    -96 lbs
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    gator wrote: »
    Thanks Mike,
    I bought a .32 cal Blue Ridge rifle at Cabelas a couple years ago that was a store demo they had on sale for $329. I have shot it a few times but never really worked up a load for it. As I said earlier I want to do some cottontail hunting with it this winter so I guess I need to put her through the paces and see what we are capable of.

    I also found her big sister, a Blue Ridge .50 cal, that I found at the LGS in Wickenburg for $225 that I don't think has ever been fired. I still haven't fired it yet...Need to fix that soon.

    Gator, did you get an owners manual with the .32? Reason I ask is that there is more than one size .32 cal. round ball for the lil frontstuffers. The T/C mold I bought with the rifle casts a .315 dia. round ball. But round balls can be had in .310, .311, .315, .319, and .320 diameter. Mine does best with the .315 dia. and a .010 patch. And if you buy them from a supplier, make sure you get the same diameter every time. I've seen .32 cal. balls in the muzzleloading section from several different suppliers, and they were not the same diameter for the same rifle caliber.

    The .50 is a lot easier; .490 round ball and .010 patch will probably be good to go, or a conical if you want something heavier.
    (Enable mode ON) Lee has .32 cal round ball molds in .311 and .319.
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    ― Douglas Adams
  • gatorgator Senior Member Posts: 1,746 Senior Member
    I did not get a manual with either gun so I guess I got me some experimenting to do.

    Currently I have .310 balls, .010 patches and fffp Pyrodex so I'll try some different powder loads and see what I come up with.

    As for the .50 I have .490 balls and some .010 and .018 pillow ticking patches for my Hawken but use mostly the .010 cause the .018 are a lot harder to seat.

    I have a mold for .50 Real bullets on the way and am going to give casting a try and will likely order some more molds in the future.
    USMC 80-84
    -96 lbs
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    Do the .310 balls with a .010 patch seat really easy? Never mind. Check a few fired patches for flame cutting around the ball. If there is flame cutting then you will either need to get bigger round balls or thicker patching.

    A while after I got the .32 rifle, I was given a bullet mold for making 8x57mm spire point gas check bullets. The guy that gave me the mold said that the bullets were pretty inaccurate. I tried them, and he was right. A few years later I had a fit of brain flatulence, and modified the mold to cast a .323 diameter wadcutter a little shorter than the T/C .32 Maxi Ball. They loaded just fine, and at 25 yards, are 'minute of squirrel noggin' accurate. I guess I need to dig that mold out and cast a few. I haven't used that mold in years. They're definitely head shot only bullets. If you do a body shot it nearly tears a squirrel in half.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • gatorgator Senior Member Posts: 1,746 Senior Member
    tennmike wrote: »
    Do the .310 balls with a .010 patch seat really easy? Never mind. Check a few fired patches for flame cutting around the ball. If there is flame cutting then you will either need to get bigger round balls or thicker patching.

    Thanks, I'll see if I can find a patch.
    USMC 80-84
    -96 lbs
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 12,044 Senior Member
    tennmike wrote: »
    I've got enough round balls to give the squirrels fits!

    Archer-phrasing2-300x225.jpg
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    bullsi1911 wrote: »
    Archer-phrasing2-300x225.jpg


    O.K. I changed it, just for you.

    funny-pictures-you-realize-its-just-the-same-letters-being-rearranged-dont-you-1.jpg
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • gatorgator Senior Member Posts: 1,746 Senior Member
    Ok, I've got a melting pot, lead, mold, dipper and a homemade wooden mallet...

    The mold has been cleaned with lighter fluid and will be smoked with a candle...

    Instructions say to lube the mold with beeswax or anti-seize....not having either is there something else I can use to lube the mold?

    5d9d6365ce651b7307d53eecdd7ac4ec.jpg

    Sent from my SCH-S968C using Tapatalk

    I can get anti-seize at the local Napa store but where can I find beeswax?

    I'm going to town later today and would like to cast some boolits this evening.
    USMC 80-84
    -96 lbs
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    I use nickel bearing anti seize for the sprue plate screw. Either copper or nickel anti seize from the auto parts store will work fine. Stuff lasts forever. I use Frankford Arsenal Drop Out from Midway to coat the insides of the mold and alignment pins. It stays on for a very long time and doesn't mess with the bullets like candle or match flame does.

    With the sprue plate in place, hold the mold up to a light and see if you can see any light between the bottom of the sprue plate and mould blocks. If you can see just a little tiny sliver and it is even end to end it will most likely be O.K. If it is wide at the unsupported end and narrows to nothing at the sprue plate screw, the plate is bent and needs to be leveled. Those things are stamped out and sometimes bend a little at the screw hole end.

    If you feel comfortable taking on that chore it's simple. A pane of glass, some 400 grit sandpaper, and elbow grease. Wet the paper with a little oil and rub the bottom of the sprue plate across the sandpaper laying on the glass pane. When the bluing or whatever is all gone on the entire bottom surface of the sprue plate, you're done.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • gatorgator Senior Member Posts: 1,746 Senior Member
    I didn't find any beeswax but only went to Wickenburg to Safeway and the Tractor Supply but as it turns out I've had some all along......I do have bow string wax......DUH.
    I did buy some Permetex anti-seize though. And will order some Drop out this weekend.

    The sprue plate is fine so I should be good to go......I got back to late to get propane and am out so no casting tonight...

    Thanks for all the info guys!!
    USMC 80-84
    -96 lbs
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    Gator, just so you know, a toilet seal ring has a high content of beeswax. Don't worry about having too much; it makes good bullet lube for smokeless and BP bullets. Just use a new one! :roll2: :tooth:
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • gatorgator Senior Member Posts: 1,746 Senior Member
    Good to know I have a "NEW" one in the back.
    USMC 80-84
    -96 lbs
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