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You are currently reading a thread in /k/ - Weapons

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Howdy, /k/.

Every now and again (as in, every 6 months or so when I get bored) I make a thread about some reloading topic of some importance which many people may or may not be familiar with, but which I think is important.

Last time I did a nice walk through on bullet casting, so I thought I'd go over it again, and maybe discuss some of the finer points if anyone has any questions or input.

Please note that this may not be a totally exhaustive guide, and my camera skills and camera are lacking- also, any pictures were taken in a fairly dark garage using camera flash under fluorescent lighting, so forgive any difficult to see images.

I'm a big dillon fanboy, but I also have a soft spot for Lee, so you won't hear any reloading gear elitism out of me.
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The subject today is a new mold to me, and the reason I made this thread. The mold is a design based on the Lyman 452374, a bullet which is generally used to approximate a "ball" load in .45 ACP. This is a Mihec mold, made in Slovenia.

Mihec makes probably the highest quality semi-custom molds out there (the only way you'd get much higher quality would be a full custom job tailored to a specific gun). His particular claim to fame is brass "hollow point" molds, and I am fortunate to have acquired many of them.

They're very excellent tools, and I have yet to find a maker who can match his consistent quality and also do his many unusual designs.
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Here is a comparison of a "hollowpoint" mold and a regular one.

There are several ways to make hollowpoint molds.

Mihec's designs are the most efficient and easiest to use. They are referred to as "cramer" hollowpoint molds, after the long-defunct cramer company that originally made this style.

With a cramer mold, the "pins" ride on sliding bars which support and form the bullet's nose/meplat. In this case, the meplat (flat portion that impacts the target) is replaced with a hollow point, of course.

These pins slide freely back and forth and are retained by c-clips.
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A bit of a better picture that shows how they interface with the mold. This mold is a 2 cavity 312440, which is an old Ideal/Lyman design which is optimized for the ,30-30. Originally it had a BIG frontal section (the meplat) but that has been replaced with a big honking hollowpoint in this case instead.

Other hollowpoint styles include the "RG" system used by Night Owl molds, which involve sliding bars on a "track" that rides under the mold blocks, and the venerable single pin system, which involves nothing more than a pin which is manually inserted into a mold block which has had a hole drilled through it. Neither method is as fast as the cramer method. I believe the single pin is also a bit harder to use (harder to keep the pin at the appropriate temperature in my experience) and the RG system tends to "tear" hollowpoints and ruin bullets- it also lacks the enviable feature of the cramer system in that it ejects bullets more forcefully if they stick.
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The new mold that this thread is about is a 4 cavity mold, so it is much bigger than the 2s you saw up close.

These pins are also pentagon shaped as opposed to being circular like most hollowpoints.

The theory here is that the pentagonal holes will "open" into petals upon impact, much like a jacketed hollowpoint. Indeed, it certainly does work as advertised, although whether that offers more or less killing power than a traditional hollowpoint or a large-meplat bullet is certainly up for debate.

I do like how they leave little pentagons on metal targets, though. It's a nice touch!
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A better picture of the pins, and an opportunity to discuss mold materials.

Molds are chiefly made of three materials for bullet casting.

Those materials are aluminum, steel (really iron or meehanite, depending on maker, but we won't play semantics), and brass.

Aluminum is by far the cheapest, easiest to machine, and lightest. It heats the quickest and also cools quickly as well, requiring a fast cadence when casting.

Iron/steel molds are heavy, fairly difficult to machine, but quite reliable and easy to use. I find them the easiest molds to use of all, but they require extensive care compared to brass and aluminum molds, as they readily rust, and oiling a mold to prevent rust invites all sorts of issues with casting. These are harder to machine than brass or aluminum, but may be around the same pricepoint as brass or a little lower.

Brass molds are heavy, and heat relatively slowly, but seem to cast well over a wide range of temperatures and retain heat well. They are often used for semi-custom and custom molds due to their looks, and require little care. Their only real drawback aside from weight and cost is that over time tin-rich alloys build up in them and can cause "tinning" which can lead to some rounding of sharp edges in places.
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This picture is a bit out of focus (although capturing something that reflective is difficult in that lighting anyway) but this is a pot of lead ready to be fluxed.

When melting down scrap metals or alloys, some of the important materials- as well as a bunch of junk- will float to the top of your melt.

You must use a "flux" of some sort to cause these favorable materials to rejoin your melt, and to also get rid of all the crud. The next picture will show what a melt looks like after fluxing.

There are many appropriate fluxes for lead. Wax, sawdust, bullet lube, and more can be used. I suggest picking something nonsmoking and pleasant smelling.

I used a small bit of a stick of bullet lube for this.
Not a fan of brass molds to be honest.

Most casters use WW alloy, which is fairly high in tin and antimony. They tin badly and fairly rapidly.

Aluminum molds are good for multi-cavity molds as they heat up fast and allow a good work rhythm, but are a bit of a pain for hollow-point pins (which slows your work rhythm).

New molds have to be cleaned thoroughly regardless of what they're made from. They WILL ship with metal shavings, cutting fluid, and dust in them.
>dish soap
>old toothbrush
>elbow grease
Not cleaning a mold prior to using will result in heavy smoking and wrinkly bullets.

OP, will you be covering lead temperatures and the telltale signs your mold/lead is too hot or cold? Like frosted boolits and stuff?
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This is what the same pot looks like after fluxing and a light stirring. Quite a difference, although I wish I could have captured it a bit better.

You simply skim off the crud (Dross is the proper term) and toss it. It generally has the consistency of powder and dirt.

While uploading my next image, I'll explain the desirable components of a bullet alloy.

There are three particularly important elements to a good alloy, and their ratio is different for different purposes. These are Lead, Tin, and Arsenic.

Lead is a very soft material on its own, and does not cast shiny, sharp-edged bullets willingly if not alloyed with other materials.

Tin is a shiny, harder material. It readily alloys with lead at casting temperature and causes the melt to much more easily "fill out" molds with sharp shiny cavities.

Arsenic provides for a much harder material overall. Lead on its own is around 6-7 brinnel hardness. Arsenic can bring that up quite considerably.

Other factors play into hardness as well. Plain lead will stay just as hard as it was originally, but over time alloyed lead will grow slightly harder and also expand slightly up to a point.

Dropping hot bullets into water can increase the hardness provided it is alloyed with tin, arsenic, and other hardeners. You cannot make soft lead harder without something else in it.
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I'm actually glad you asked, I specifically did a "cold cast" with another mold just to show a bad one against a good one.

On the left is a decently cast bullet, and on the right a "cold drop". When a mold is not up to temperature, it will drop wrinkled bullets that do not completely fill out the cavity. You will see fissures and fractures, and bases and noses alike will be imperfect.

it is not that easy to see due to my crappy photography, but I think you can see the rounded edges and general lower quality on the right hand one.

Please bear in mind this mold's top is not meant to be extremely sharp- this is a hollowbase wadcutter and it is meant to be crimped over the top.
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The next step after your alloy is appropriate and ready to be cast is to preheat and lubricate your mold. You can really do this in either order, it doesn't seem to make a lot of difference.

Pictured are two popular lubricants, but honestly you don't have to have some designer lube for molds. Plain old 2 stroke oil works just fine, too.

Pictured are Mihec's mold lube and Night Owl's bottles of "Bullplate sprue lube". You only need a tiny dot on the end of a q-tip.

The points that need to be lubricated on ALL MOLDS prior to casting are:

The sprue plate,
The mold top (although the sprue plate will carry some here)
The mold's alignment system, be it a pin or the older lee mold's V-ribs

You don't need much, but a little lubricant on the sprue plate will both ease cutting the sprue as well as preserve your steel sprue plate.

If you don't know what a sprue plate is, it's the "plate" on top of the mold you pour lead through. It "cuts" the nibs off of the bottoms of the bullets before you dump them out of the mold.
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Some people use a hot plate, but I prefer just to sit my mold on top of the pot and wait about 4-5 minutes.

Depending on the mold material, I may sit it sprue plate down. In this case I didn't, because with a hollowpoint mold, it is of paramount importance to have your hollowpoint pins be very hot. Otherwise you get poorly formed HP cavities, and bullets stick to your pins as well. There is no perfect rule as to how hot they need to be, but you want to get some heat on them.

You can also dip your mold in the lead to accelerate the heating process, but I'm not a big fan of that, honestly. Too easy to get lead inside the blocks, on the face of the mold, and if you don't notice that you'll cast fat, out of round bullets.

Some people use a hotplate. I don't have garage space on my bench for one, but it's a viable and probably superior option.
im lurking this thread since i'd like to start casting .45 to reload for my 1911.

knew a guy once who claimed that he could reload .45 for about $.09 a round after casting his own bullets
I've always just set mine on top of the pot too.

Have a good friend who uses a hotplate, he's burned his dedicated casting shack down twice now with it but still swears it's the way to go
>yes he was doing stupid shit to burn the place down both times
First time he was drinking and spilled his whiskey on the hot plate, second time he stopped casting to help his wife get a weedwhacker started and managed to slop gas on the hotplate.
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Here is my first casts, and please examine the bases closely.

The base of a bullet- any bullet, not just cast- is by far the most important part when considering accuracy.

When casting, always watch your bases closely. A base that is not completely filled out, or which is not perfectly circular, is a BAD BULLET. It's not unsafe or anything, it's just not a good bullet. Lay it to the side and melt it back down later. Mistakes in casting can always just be remelted later.

I'm not sure how easy it is to see the bases in this image, but this is a typical example of a too-cold cast.

That said, nothing gets your mold up to temp like casting with it, so there's no shame in a bad bullet so long as you know how to ID them.

Rarely will your first cast be perfect. If you suspect the mold is too cold, then break the sprue (because a cold sprue is REALLY hard to break!) and let the hot bullets sit in the cavity a while. They won't get stuck- bullets shrink as they cool- and they will heat up the mold.
Depending on your powder and source of brass and lead you can do it cheaper than that.

Being in charge of my club's indoor range, lead salvage is free for me as is brass. I can reload my 200gr. SWC's for just the price of a primer and the powder, so roughly 5-6 cents a round.

If you're buying scrap lead from someplace it'll be more but still far cheaper than buying pre-cast bullets.
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Here are better bases. try and compare- I promise they're sharper, even if you can't see. Shiny stuff in dark places is hard to take pictures of, especially one handed with a phone.


I had a hotplate, until it nearly burned down my garage too. Piece of shit sizzled and set some of the bullet lube I was cooking on fire. I smelled the electrical problem before I saw the fire, so I put it out fast, but it still smoked up the place...


Probably in that neighborhood if you get the lead cheap/free.

Primers are about 3 cents each.

Bullseye is around 1500 loads+ per pound. Figure it's 28 bucks or so with nowadays high prices and not buying bulk, and that's 1.8 cents each charge.

If you pay a dollar a pound for lead, and shoot 200 gr bullets, that's about 2.8 cents per. So yeah, pretty easy to make 9 cents per, and you can do better, really, buying in bulk you can cut those component prices in half, and lead is free sometimes.
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Here is how the bullets look as they sit on the cramer pins.

The nice thing about cramer style molds is that they provide some leverage to knock the bullets out of the cavities in the case one may stick. This mold doesn't have sticky cavities, but still, it's a very simple matter to eject these bullets, and that's one of the nice things about a quality mold.

cool thanks guys!
9¢ sounds about right.
My lead runs about $20/60lbs, so 1¢ per bullet with lubing bringing it up to 2¢.
Powder is only 1.5¢ per round while primers are 3.5¢.
Total cost is 7¢ per loaded round or $3.50 per box of 50. Can buy Winchester white box locally for $25/50.
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I don't want to bore anybody, but this is what I get out of 10-12 minutes with my mold.

I prefer to drop my bullets in water, not so much for the hardness but just so I don't have firecracker hot lead pills laying all over the place.

Please ensure that any water you keep for casting is far away from the pot. Getting a large amount of water in the pot can be disastrous, as the water will flash to steam and toss lead everywhere.

A drop landing on the pot will just sizzle and pop, but much more dangerous is water getting UNDER the surface of the lead. Steam will take up much more space than liquid water will, and it will toss a lot of liquid lead out as it expands. The most likely causes for that eruption are going to be throwing a wet bullet back in the pot, or maybe stirring the pot with a wet ladle, or tossing in a wet piece of scrap lead. Be very careful with moisture while casting.
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A quick look at the "penta points" as they're called. Honestly a standard HP pin probably drops a little easier, but these are unique and sorta fun, so why not? I don't carry them for defensive purposes anyway, and when ringing steel any hollowpoint is a nice bonus- that extra fragmentation means less chance a chunk can come back and bite you, and anyone who has shot a lot of steel knows that bits of lead and jacket being ejected backwards are just part of the game.
how do you pour the lead into the mold? i assume youre holding the mold with pliers and then what, use pliers to scoop a little cup into the molten lead?
Glad you mentioned that.

I water-drop as well for most of my bullets. Haven't had an eruption yet but I have seen the aftermath of those who have.

You don't want to see what molten lead will do to the paintjob on a vintage car. Fortunately the guy was alright since he was smart enough to wear a leather welding jacket.

Speaking of:
-non-melty, pref. flame retardant LS shirt or jacket (leather welding jacket is the best but impractical during the summer)
-full-coverage goggles/glasses/facemask (I wear regular ballistic eyepro and one of the cheapo medical face shields)
-leather gloves, pref. gauntlet length
-cotton, nomex or leather shop apron (I use a free Geissele cotton one)
-non-melty full-length pants (jeans, etc)
-full-leather shoes or boots (not the mesh-top tennis shoes)

You will be surprised where little bits of hot or molten lead will go when casting, even if you're careful. Lead burns are no fun and if big enough can be life-threatening.
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And a side view. These are pretty good looking bullets, not bad for the first few casts with a new mold. I tossed back just a couple from the whole deal.


An excellent question, and I wish I had said something. I couldn't get a picture one handed anyway of it, but this pot I'm using is a "bottom pour". There is a small spout on the bottom and that handle to the right of the pot actuates it. You just place the mold underneath and let the pot piss a little silver stream into it.

It does take a significant amount of practice to get the feel just right- people are often surprised how hard it can be to get good casts as a new caster- but it's pretty darn rewarding.

You can also cast with a ladle, which is just a big spoon for lead. It's a slower way, but some people claim it's better... quite frankly I think those people are totally full of shit, but hey, whatever. A lot of the 1000 yard blackpowder competitors DO cast with ladles, and maybe at that level it does make a difference.
How many grains do these things vary?
There's two different kinds of smelting pots.
Has a little valve in the bottom, you place the mould under the spout and lift a handle and lead flows out of the pot into your mould.

>top pour/ladle
Is literally just a hot pot. You use a cast-iron ladle and scoop lead out to pour into your mould. The oldest style, been in use since the advent of black powder. Slow but very very cheap.
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I left my good micrometers in my shop, but here's an idea of where these drop.

Something people may have a hard time wrapping their head around is that fat molds are desirable, and skinny molds are bad.

When shooting lead, as a very general and not perfect rule, you generally want a bullet 0.001-0.002 over the size of the hole its going down.

For 99% of .45 ACPs, that means a .451 hole, and a 0.452 or 0.453 bullet.

You can easily "size" down a bullet in a sizing die made specifically for that purpose.


These weigh around 218 grains. I weighed a sample of 50 today and sorted them and my maximum deviation was one at 216.9 to one at 218.7, but almost all weighed right around 218. So, the eight difference is almost negligible, especially for handgun.

I would be much more discerning with rifle bullets, of course.

Your weight will vary depending on alloy. Lead is the heaviest thing you will generally cast, and harder and harder alloys weight less and less. The difference is typically only a few % difference in weight overall though.
Entirely dependent on technique and skill.
After culling anything that looks funny I'm typically left with a 5 grain spread.
Well, depends on the mold and depends on your consistency when casting (temperature mainly).

A good caster will have almost no variance in bullet weight once they get the mold up to temperature. I cast about 500 at a time (20lb pot) and will usually have less than 2gr. variance from heaviest to lightest with no culls outside of obviously bad bullets (usually from the warmup period).
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See, when I tell people that nighttime /k/ is genuinely better, this is what I'm talking about.
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At this point, the only thing left is to decide how to lubricate my lead bullets. A lead bullet absolutely MUST be lubricated before shooting it.

I will save that for a later thread (I have a very exciting high-speed rifle mold on the way and I'm hoping to get some range time with it and do a writeup) but there are several methods of lubricating a lead bullet.

The oldest style is to shove a grease or wax material into the grooves on the bullet's surface. This is the most conventional and accepted method and is used to great effect at many velocities.

A slightly more modern way is to "tumble" the bullet in a fairly low viscosity lubricant, and allow it to dry, sort of like the lubricant on a .22 LR. This is more than sufficient for a .45 ACP, and works best with slower bullets, or bullets with a fairly low lubricant requirement. Bear in mind that a bullet will "spend" its lubricant as it goes down the bore. If it runs out, it leaves leading. If it has enough, it probably will leave the bore even cleaner.

Also, powdercoating your bullets is a new thing I've gotten into pretty heavily the past few years. It's essentially painting your bullets. It's almost impossible to get leading this way, but accuracy at high speed can be either great or awful. Still a lot of testing to be done here!

A very high effort but interesting method is paper patching. Not used for pistol bullets, paper patching allows both the greatest speed and accuracy with cast lead.

Here's some much older pictures, but powdercoating really is very exciting. When I first started with it I did some with my AKs!

I think I still have some pictures of the first target I shot, gotta check...

Pulling out these lipstick tubes at the range is a real headturner, too.

Powder coated bullets are extremely wear resistant.

I took this one and smashed it flat with a hammer against concrete, and it didn't give a bit.

Any powdercoated bullets you recover from a target will still have their powdercoating present. It's an extremely tough coating, and the lead "gives" and deforms underneath the coating. In a way, it's much like a jacket, just one not made of copper.
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Some powder coated .45s from the NOE brand 45 230 grain hollowpoint. Don't they look cool?

NOE molds use the RG pins. The bullets they cast are great, but the effort involved is higher than with a cramer mold, so I transitioned most of my HP molds to Mihecs. Don't let me turn you off of NOE molds though- they're fantastic quality and I just ordered a new one today.
>paper patching vs. powdercoat/Hi Tek
I've had very good luck with PC'ing bullets. I shoot a lot of cast .225" bullets through my AR's, and have pushed PC'd lead bullets up to about 3200fps without leading and decent accuracy.

I haven't tried paper patches with "modern" centerfire loads, though I've tried them with a bunch of antique calibers (specifically .50-90) with mixed success. I find that PC is usually more accurate and infinitely easier on the old, large and fairly slow loads.

People screw up one of two ways with PC'd bullets: they either size them too small (hurr it won't lead so I can go .224/.308/whatever normal jacketed diameter is) or don't account for the added thickness of the PC (~.001-.003+ depending on number of coats). While neither will lead to leading if done right, they will fuck your accuracy. Generally, I've found that going with plated-bullet diameters (nominally .001 over jacketed) yields the best accuracy but the only way you're gonna know -for your rifle/pistol- is to slug your bore and find out yourself by trial and error.

Several companies are making groove-less molds specifically for PC now. I like them a LOT, they seem to be considerably more accurate than standard-groove or even tumble-lube groove molds. They don't generally have a bore-rider section because they can be shorter, have a higher BC because they're got a higher SD, and load smoother with less case mouth flare. But the molds are custom and expensive with a long lead time.
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I'm new and want to start reloading my 8x57mm shells.

I can't find cheap dies nor can i not find tips (the actual projectile) in bulk

Plus what is the cheapest powder/primer that is good for the buck.

is it also possible to get dies to make new brass for lead and powder

its bad when the only gun i have is in a dead round
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Here's what they look like after impact with dirt. Wish I had some water jug mushrooms, but this gives you an idea- this was a hard alloy for these, not meant to mushroom (meant to fragment and blow up against steel targets) and the PC still sticks, no problem.


I've used the BATOR mold in my ARs with good luck and powdercoating. I can't say I've bothered going to 3200 with a PC'd bullet, but I've been pretty happy with .30s in the low 2ks. At those higher speeds, most lead bullet designs just aren't made to perform. The 311466 has been my favorite for high speed PC though.

I've found paper patching to be the most accurate by a wide margin, but it's a very involved process, and that's by anal retentive reloader standards. I really like it in .303s, and it also allows you to use much skinnier molds in old wide bored euro stuff you otherwise couldn't get away with.

I'm currently in on a buy for a few grooveless pistol molds. Very excited to get them.
I know i shouldn't ask you head on but these are the problems i'm having
>Any powdercoated bullets you recover from a target will still have their powdercoating present. It's an extremely tough coating, and the lead "gives" and deforms underneath the coating. In a way, it's much like a jacket, just one not made of copper.
/raises hand

Ever powdercoat everything but a nub of lead on the front, and create your own bargain basement Noslers...? Would that work?

That's a difficult question, honestly. There's a good bit of initial investment in any reloading, although it's less than the cost of a gun.

My advice personally is that if cost is that big of a factor to you, then you would be best served purchasing another firearm in something more economically feasible first. Unless you plan to shoot a fairly large amount of 8mm mauser, you're not going to make up your purchase cost very quickly.

That said, reloading in and of itself is an enviable pursuit, and you'll learn a lot about guns, ballistics, and accuracy in the process.

A lot of people start reloading to save money, then realize there aren't any real money savings, but that you shoot several times as much for the same cost.

However, if you absolutely HAD to do it on the cheap-

A lee c frame press is under 30 bucks.

Lee dies will be around 20 bucks for 8mm.

Jacketed projectiles will be expensive for 8mm no matter what. It's not a popular caliber stateside. You can buy decent lead bullets from a place like Hunter's supply for about $20 per 100. Go ask on Castboolits.com and someone there can probably make you some even more cheaply.

I would load wiith 16 grains of 2400 powder under any large rifle primer you can get. That will come out to about ~500 rounds per pound of powder or so, and with those components listed your price per round would be in the sub 30 cents per round range.
8mm Mauser is still made by several companies so is hardly a dead round. Bullets are also fairly widely available. Dies can be had from Lee, Hornady, RCBS, etc..
For powders anything medium burning and slower should work. This includes stuff like varget, RL15, IMR4320, IMR4895, H4895
That's awesome dude. I'm about to order 1000 rounds from samco and the rounds are around 29.9 so they say.

I'd be happy to take 30 cents. Around the original price or lower and I'm happy
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Unfortunately, it won't. PC is hard, but it doesn't retard expansion. It's still an extremely thin coating, generally around 0.001 or less thick. It's tough but lead will yield under it, and if the lead "shears" the PC will shear with it, if that makes sense.

That is to say, you're not getting noticeably harder bullets with powder coat- if anything, due to having to cure the PC paint at a temperature not suitable for water quenching, your bullets may be somewhat softer (baking will ruin the temper you initially established)- but that doesn't mean you can't get damn good expansion anyway.

A well considered lead bullet will hold up quite well and mushroom better than any jacketed bullet will within its design limitations and with a proper alloy, but that doesn't mean a PC'd bullet is as hard as a jacketed one- it will still deform as easily as lead would, it will just be sealed against leading the bore.
Well, Lee is going to be your cheapest bet on dies.

8mm bullets are scarce, friend. It really is kind of a dead caliber. Hopefully the .325wsm will revive it, but as of right now if you don't cast Hornady is about the only game in town for 8mm bullets. They're hunting bullets, and as such kind of expensive, but literally nobody in the US makes a "plinking" 8mm.

If you get into casting, Lee makes a decent 8mm bullet mold, and NOE makes several different styles (all excellent, but NOE molds are expensive). Get a gas-check design and a Freechex (allows you to make your own gas checks out of aluminum flashing you can buy at like Lowe's or Home Depot for cheap).

Powder-coating is definitely the way to go with rifle calibers. You buy a cheapo vibratory tumbler, the cheapest vinyl-based powdercoating powder you can find (Powder by the Pound or Ebay. DO NOT use Harbor Freight, it's a different variety and may cause barrel erosion and doesn't stick as well), toss cast bullets in the tumbler with a crapload of powder and let it run ~10 minutes. Sift out the bullets, reuse the powder that didn't stick. Toss bullets on non-stick aluminum foil and bake in either a wall oven or toaster oven ~20 minutes @ 400 degrees F. Let cool. Bullets may stick to each other, this isn't a problem. Just pry them apart. May not be pretty at first but they will still shoot well with no leading.

Brass, well, can't really help you there. They still make it but it's expensive. Try to reuse surplus brass.

Cheapest primers would be Wolf/Tula. They're actually excellent primers, I find them to be extremely accurate (better than CCI Benchrest and Remington 7 1/2's).
Swaging is the best way of doing that.
Some casters have experimented with casting the nose of soft lead, letting it cool abit, then casting the base with a hard lead.
File: 20130909_232734.jpg (2 MB, 3264x1836) Image search: [iqdb] [SauceNao] [Google]
2 MB, 3264x1836

Bear in mind that over 2/3 of that quoted cost is in the bullet. A bullet mold from Lee is $20 and will work forever.But casting requires space, a pot, and lead... it's sort of a problem if you weren't set up to reload.

Reloading cast bullets requires a good bit more finesse than jacketed, no doubt.

The castboolits forum has a section for WTBs, and I guarantee you could get much more cheaply than those $21/100 bullets.

The 16gr of 2400 load is a fairly universal load for midsize rifle, by the way. Pretty much any midsize rifle from .30-30 to the old WWII big boomers is going to shoot a 150-180 grain bullet with 16 grains of 2400 powder pretty damn well. It's not a powerful load but it's very pleasant and easy to shoot.

Ah, here's my trusty old AK at I think 65 yards with the first rifle powder coated bullets I did. Iron sights of course, and expecting holes touching with an AK off a bipod and cast bullets is asking a lot...

I was pretty happy with it. I believe the load was a 10% reduced jacketed load of H335, but I don't remember so I'm not going to guess.
I'm going to look through my targets folder and see if I can't find some of my PC-cast targets.

I know at one point I was getting sub-MOA with 62gr. cast .225's behind ~23gr. of H322 in .223. I gave up on the load because I could do better for benchrest loads with jacketed and they weren't killing varmints very humanely due to not expanding at all.

One of my best targets was with a .45-75 @ 200 yards, I shot about a 3" 5-shot group with 400gr. PC'd bullets. And that was iron sights through a 120+yo rifle.
I'm looking at a pacesetter 2 set die for 8mm that alright for a nooby?

I really appreciate the feed back.

You'd think Texas had a lot more old fudder dudders willing to teach

The Pacesetter set is fine, but it doesn't come with a shellholder, which you need.

You'd be better off buying the "complete" set, just so you get that.
what would be a complete set.

I see a lee 3 die set with shellholder or is 4 the better call

I want this!

Automatically casts up to 4,000 bullets an hour.
Automatically separates bullets from sprues.
Complete with 8 Magma molds. Saeco, Lyman, and RCBS molds can be converted for use on our machines.

only 11,000 dollars

Either is fine. The 4 has a neck sizing die, the 3 only has a full length die. I don't think it's something you'd care about as a novice reloader.
Don't forget you need 240 volt service and a source of compressed air. Makes it a little dificult to have in a house.
See them every now and then on E-bay in the $6k range.
After yet another price increase from xtreme, I'm wanting to cast and powder coat 40 cal bullets pretty soon... Just need to find a good source of lead since bad at begging from thetire shops and stuff...
bump for awesome thread i havnt finished reading yet, and dont want to die
im looking at getting into doing this but i read that i need to size the bullets after molding. i doint have the space for a whole other press if there a special mold or something that i wouldent have to size them?
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