Sunday, April 10, 2011

More Cast 535gr Postell Boolits!

Here is another image of those little 30:1 alloy soldiers before they go through the Lyman Model 45 Lube/Sizer. They'll get boxed up in those perfect bullet boxes for loading and launch later on: (I'm so proud of my little aerodynamic projectile creations, can you tell?)

Monday, April 04, 2011

Blustery Saturday Afternoon Cast Boolits!

I'd finished putting new rotors, wheel bearings, and brake pads on the truck around noon last Saturday, so I had some extra time to myself to work on another project I'd been meaning to undertake.

I have a goodly stockpile of raw wheel weights in a 5-gallon bucket, and an even greater amount of sheet, pipe, and ingot lead accumulated over the last 10 years or so. This is good, because Santa Claus brought me a new Lyman 457132 mold to keep my 32" 1874 Sharps Business Rifle fed with nice big 535gr Postells.

It was cool outside, not too breezy, and I was seriously hankerin' to cast some boolits. First things first, I had to reduce all those wheel weights to ingot form. I used a small muffin pan that held 24 portions - it works perfectly for casting ingots small enough to alloy 30:1 bullet metal using wheel weight ingots and straight lead ingots.

Then I cast straight lead ingots from the sheet and pipe lead scraps. Boy, that stuff is dirty and required a lot of fluxing! Soon enough, I had several dozen small pure lead ingots, ready to go. There was a big pile of wheel weight ingots, and an even bigger pile of lead ingots - a recipe for success!

I'd settled on 9 ingots of lead to one ingot of wheel weight to make my 30:1 alloy. It's probably not exactly 30:1, but close enough to fill out the mold nicely, while still casting boolits soft enough to "bump up" in front of a 70gr charge of Goex Cartridge BP upon firing. It took some time for the mold to get up to temperature, so there were more than a couple wrinkly boolits that dropped at first. That's fine, back into the pot they go for another shot at greatness.

By the time the sun started going down, I had culled down the afternoon's work to approximately 5 dozen 535gr Postell bullets, ready to run through the lube-sizer and eventually load into my favorite .45-70 BP rounds. That's work for another day, though. In the meantime, it's nice converting scrap metal into an intrinsically beautiful piece of functional metallic art, ain't it?