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?

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