been sick this winter a lot...

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    Cornmastah
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    been sick this winter a lot...

    Post by Cornmastah on Sun Feb 21, 2016 9:25 pm

    I've had to take a few sick days this winter due to being sick a bunch and having sick kids. On the plus side, during those sick days, when I am not in bed, I've been loading ammo like a madman. I think I have full ammo boxes in each of my calibers except .223. I will work on that probably next. I look forward to lots of shooting this spring, summer, and fall.
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    Charlie Foxtrot
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    Re: been sick this winter a lot...

    Post by Charlie Foxtrot on Mon Feb 22, 2016 5:15 pm

    Cornmastah wrote:I've had to take a few sick days this winter due to being sick a bunch and having sick kids.  On the plus side, during those sick days, when I am not in bed, I've been loading ammo like a madman.  I think I have full ammo boxes in each of my calibers except .223.  I will work on that probably next.  I look forward to lots of shooting this spring, summer, and fall.

    Although I normally have the constitution of three-day-old lettuce, I haven't had more than a few sniffles this winter. Even though I'm dealing continuously with the snot-nosed pubic. It just might be the 10,000 units of D3 a day I've been taking. Dev?

    My gun cave is nearing completion. For the first time, my safe, ammo, workbench and reloading bench setups are all in the same place. Bliss. The Princess got me a Dillon 650 for Valentines Day so I can keep her in 38 SPL cowboy loads. Wink <3 (She got money for an insanely expensive embroidery machine.) A little more electrical work, then mounting the Rockchucker and Dillon and I'm back in bidness!
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    Cornmastah
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    Re: been sick this winter a lot...

    Post by Cornmastah on Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:45 pm

    Charlie Foxtrot wrote:
    My gun cave is nearing completion. For the first time, my safe, ammo, workbench and reloading bench setups are all in the same place. Bliss. The Princess got me a Dillon 650 for Valentines Day so I can keep her in 38 SPL cowboy loads.  Wink  <3 (She got money for an insanely expensive embroidery machine.)  A little more electrical work, then mounting the Rockchucker and Dillon and I'm back in bidness!

    That sounds like a dream!  Someday after all the kids move out, I might be able to convince my wife to let me convert a kid room into a reloading room/man cave/safe room...  CF, you should take a serious look at buying a casting pot and a couple of molds.  Gotta feed that Dillon!
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    Charlie Foxtrot
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    Re: been sick this winter a lot...

    Post by Charlie Foxtrot on Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:20 pm

    Cornmastah wrote:That sounds like a dream!  Someday after all the kids move out, I might be able to convince my wife to let me convert a kid room into a reloading room/man cave/safe room...  CF, you should take a serious look at buying a casting pot and a couple of molds.  Gotta feed that Dillon!

    There's this quaint mid-western practice called a basement, where one house sits on another house. I was able to lay claim to a 12x12 alcove in the basement for the gun cave. It is now the most doted upon, over-engineered, hard-wired, obsessed-over, turd-polished, expensive, 144 square feet of the house. Much to the displeasure of the Princess. Just as I like it. Smile

    Thought about casting - a natural for all of our softball, lead Cowboy loads. Jim Fleming is running a Reloading Podcast series on casting; good stuff and VERY persuasive. My concern is getting the scrap lead. it sounds like scrounging is by far the most laborious portion. And how expensive is all the equipment?
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    Cornmastah
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    Re: been sick this winter a lot...

    Post by Cornmastah on Wed Feb 24, 2016 12:34 am

    Casting...  There are a couple ways to do it:

    1. Buy once cry once (buy the nice expensive high quality stuff up front)

    2. Spend as you learn (buy the lee stuff which is "just good enough" & then upgrade as you learn what makes the more expensive stuff better stuff & pay for just the improvements you deem necessary.

    I did #2.  I still use most of my inexpensive lee stuff, but have repurposed it.  I don't mind having a couple of spare lee melting pots for guests to use when they want to learn how to cast, or if the shooting buddies and I are doing a bullet casting party.

    To get started on the cheap, buy a lee 20 lb bottom pour pot and a lee 6 cavity mold.  The melting pot should be $65-75ish and a 6 cavity lee mold should be around $40ish plus $13ish for some mold handles.  The 2 cavity molds are ok to learn on and only cost $25ish and include handles--but the design kind of sucks.  IMHO the lee 6 cavity mold is the way to go for a decent quality mold for not super $$$.  Then, buy a lead casting thermometer for around $25-35.  NOE has a decent one for about $27 or 32 depending on length.  You can use old candle wax and sawdust for flux, no need to spend lots of money on that.  I use those cheap tea light candles and sawdust (and old crayons and used up bday candles, etc...)  Scrounge for lead or buy it on ebay/online.  It is funny how you will find several sources of lead when you let people know you are looking for it.  Don't use battery lead though.  Also, grab an old spoon and bend the end so you can use it to stir the lead and scrape the edges.  I also use long sleeved shirts and old jeans when I cast.  I also use a welder's leather apron and welding gloves (harbor freight rocks for this kind of stuff).  Also a faceshield and maybe respirator mask depending on how dirty your scrap lead is.  Finally, a hotplate to preheat your bullet molds with and maybe a wooden dowel or something to tap the mold handles to shake the bullets out of the mold.  I think that is enough to get you started.  So, to summarize:


    $65-75 for lee 20 lb bottom pour lead melting pot
    $40 lee 6 cavity mold
    $13 mold handles
    $25-35 for lead casting thermometer
    $0-1 old spoon for stirring the pot
    $0-1 sawdust and candle wax for flux
    $10 Welding gloves or thick leather gloves @harbor freight
    $15 Face shield @ harbor freight
    $10 Respirator mask if you want it (depending how dirty your scrap lead is) @ harbor freight
    $13 hotplate on amazon
    $2 wood dowel or piece of wood
    $20-30 lee push through sizing die/lube kit (per caliber)

    I think that is it.  If you have questions, feel free to ask.

    PS, I make A LOT of bullets but I am pretty careful with stuff.  Don't eat while casting.  Ingesting lead is the fastest way to get lead into the body.  Cast outside if possible.  Make sure to have good ventilation.  I get my lead levels checked yearly with the regular blood work for my annual physical.  So far things look great.

    PS2? I did not add the equipment necessary to size bullets if you need to.  Some people will just tumble lube and use them "as cast."  Lee sells a push through sizing die for real cheap that works well, I think the sizing die/lube kits are only like $20-30 per caliber.  I would try to convince you to powdercoat and bake in a toaster oven bought off the classifieds for $10-15.  No leading, no smokey lube, and no mess in the dies--but maybe that would detract from your authentic cowboy smoke.  You can clear coat them so they still retain the cast look.  Very Happy


    Last edited by Cornmastah on Thu Feb 25, 2016 2:43 pm; edited 2 times in total
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    Charlie Foxtrot
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    Re: been sick this winter a lot...

    Post by Charlie Foxtrot on Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:31 pm

    Damn, Corn, thanks for the VERY comprehensive answer.  

    It doesn't look nearly as expensive as I feared.  Did look on Amazon for the Lee molds. Found one exactly like our preferred 125gn 38 SPL bullet. But.... delivery was quoted as between 2-6 months. Is that normal... should I order now?  Wink

    Thanks again.
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    Cornmastah
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    Re: been sick this winter a lot...

    Post by Cornmastah on Thu Feb 25, 2016 2:35 pm

    Charlie Foxtrot wrote:Damn, Corn, thanks for the VERY comprehensive answer.  

    It doesn't look nearly as expensive as I feared.  Did look on Amazon for the Lee molds. Found one exactly like our preferred 125gn 38 SPL bullet. But.... delivery was quoted as between 2-6 months. Is that normal... should I order now?  Wink

    Thanks again.

    You're quite welcome.  That just means that amazon does not currently have them in stock.  But you can order it now at that price and when it comes in stock, they will ship it.  I would go ahead and order it if that is the one you want.  Also check ebay, sometimes they have decent prices on some of the stuff.  If you are wanting to dive right into it, you might want the mold sooner.  Don't forget the handles.

    I always check ebay, amazon, midwayusa, and grafs before buying stuff.  Sometimes amazon just blows away the other prices, but sometimes not.  Prime shipping also usually makes it worth it to me.

    PS. this mold is a favorite of mine and seems to shoot quite well when powder coated even with my light loads: mold

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