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VERY helpful site, on handloading and casting bullets.  RSS feed

 
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I've at times made my living selling cast bullets. with Lee Precision's low cost, aluminum 6 cavity molds and hand-sizer, you can make at least $15 an hour. The problem is lead's getting hard to find, Tin and antimony to harden it are VERY expensive, and lead is heavy as hell, so selling bullets beyond your local shooting ranges is a non-starter. But you can make a clear 5k a year at it, with less than $500 of gear, all of which fits in a 5 gallon bucket, except for the propane fired weed-burning device, (or plumber's furnace, if you can find one)  which is not a lot bigger than a 5 gallon bucket. I use a big cast iron pot and a large, homemade side pour ladle. The lyman ladle is not really big enough to cast .44's and .45's in 6 cavity molds, altho it will suffice for .38's and 9mm molds.

http://castboolits.gunloads.com/
 
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Thanks for the info! I have 15 gallons of spent casings just laying around.
 
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Location: ALASKA
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Castboolits is an awesome source for casting your own.  Lots of good sticky posts that will answer 90% of the questions that you may have.
 
pollinator
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Location: Victoria BC
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In my part of the world, sometimes you come across free sailboats. A sailboat with a lead-filled keel, would provide a LOT of lead... mental note, made.

But, where would one scrounge tin? Let alone antimony?
 
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Dillon Nichols wrote:In my part of the world, sometimes you come across free sailboats. A sailboat with a lead-filled keel, would provide a LOT of lead... mental note, made.

But, where would one scrounge tin? Let alone antimony?



The trick is knowing what you're looking at when you find scrap.   Wheelweights are one of the best sources of alloy.  However, I've found all sort of stuff that I could melt down and make bullets. Nowadays a good source is re-smelted range scrap.  If worse comes to worse, buy used lead shot and use it to alloy your lead.

Another thing:  Pure lead is good for black powder.  They usually add the tin and and antimony to harden the bullets for pistol and rifle.  However, there is a cheat.  If you coat your bullets with paint, the paint acts as a high-temp lube and keeps softer alloys from leading up your barrel.  I now shoot near-dead soft lead coated with powder coat paint on all my rifle-fired cast bullets.  Shazam!!!

Here's a link for an easy way to powder coat bullets:

https://www.24hourcampfire.com/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php/ubb/showflat/Number/11306180/gonew/1/powder-coating-quick-and-easy#UNREAD

This is the method I use.   I'm now shooting all my 35-cal deer rifles with powder-coated lead bullets.
 
pollinator
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Location: Toronto, Ontario
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Forgive my ignorance. What do you do for percussion caps?

-CK
 
William Allendorf
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Chris Kott wrote:Forgive my ignorance. What do you do for percussion caps?

-CK



Store bought #11's for the Hawken.  209 shotgun primers for the new fancy LHR Redemption.
 
Chris Kott
pollinator
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So what do you do in the event you can't buy more? Or is this one of those things you stockpile, and once they're gone, so are your modern firearms?

Flintlocks, here we come?

-CK
 
William Allendorf
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Chris Kott wrote:Forgive my ignorance. What do you do for percussion caps?

-CK



Store bought #11's for the Hawken.  209 shotgun primers for the new fancy LHR Redemption.
 
William Allendorf
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Chris Kott wrote:So what do you do in the event you can't buy more? Or is this one of those things you stockpile, and once they're gone, so are your modern firearms?

Flintlocks, here we come?

-CK



The #11 caps can be made using roll caps and a punch.  I don't, but you can if you want.  

For me, if the cap supply dries up, I'll just put down the percussion rifles and pick up the flinters.  There is a source of chert about 10 miles from the house-- after shaping you need to bake it at 400 F for a few hours before it'll spark.  I can make saltpeter from my own urine. Sulphur is harder to make, but its dooable.  

Bottom line:  with a cache of lead and some no-how, you keep going, no matter what.





 
Stephanie NewComer
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Dillon Nichols wrote:In my part of the world, sometimes you come across free sailboats. A sailboat with a lead-filled keel, would provide a LOT of lead... mental note, made.

But, where would one scrounge tin? Let alone antimony?



I don’t know enough about making rounds to know if this is useful information but...

I get old tin sheets and other scrap metal from the junkies. Not the greatest name but I find it funny.

So I had some crap laying around my property I wanted hauled off. I had intended to pay someone to do the work but my neighbor said to post the item individually on Craigslist for free. Well someone wanted to come get some of the metal items to scrap them. They go around picking up junk and bringing it to be recycled and make some money. I ended up hiring them to haul of the rest of the crap. Several trips to the dump later I learned that they get very little for metal. So I offered to pay them $2 a sheet for tin. A couple days later I had a truck load of tin sheets and other various  metal sheeting. More than enough to take care of the projects I needed to buy metal for. Which would have cost me $15-30 a sheet. I saved money and they made more than usual. Win win!

Again I don’t know what type of tin is necessary for ammunition, purity? We also collect metal from our burn pile.
 
William Allendorf
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Stephanie NewComer wrote:

Dillon Nichols wrote:In my part of the world, sometimes you come across free sailboats. A sailboat with a lead-filled keel, would provide a LOT of lead... mental note, made.

But, where would one scrounge tin? Let alone antimony?



I don’t know enough about making rounds to know if this is useful information but...

I get old tin sheets and other scrap metal from the junkies. Not the greatest name but I find it funny.



Again I don’t know what type of tin is necessary for ammunition, purity? We also collect metal from our burn pile.




The trick here is to get on Castboolits and start reading.  There is an incredible store of info on there.  I started casting about 2006--fuel for the muzzleloaders.  I graduated to centerfire pistol in about 2012 and now shoot everything from a 357 Mag to a 44 mag to a 35 Whelen -- all cast.  
 
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Self-Sufficiency in MO -- 10 acres of Eden, looking for a renter who can utilize and appreciate it.
https://permies.com/t/95939/Sufficiency-MO-acres-Eden-renter
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