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Hello from Scotland

This cast bullet stuff is really a revolution to me, ive never used any thing but jacketed soft point bullets. Slowly im getting to know some of the terms and what they mean, i now know that gas checks stop the arse end of a lead bullet from melting ! And allow a faster load to be used. I have also heard talk of "heat treating " bullets made from car wheel weights ? My questions are=
1. What lardness are wheel weights ?
2.How do you heat treat them ?
3.What hardness are they after treating ?
4.Would Lee bullets moulds be suitable for the .444 ?
5.What kind of velocity can they be pushed to ?
As you can see ive alot to learn about this subject and appreciate all the advice i can get from experienced guys on this site.

Best regards from across the pond

Englander
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Check out the button labeled "Beartooth FAQ" http://www.beartoothbullets.com/faq/index.htm for a good start.

What your car wheelweights are made of, and whether they will be good for bullet casting, is anybody's guess.  Ours are mostly lead with some antimony, little or no tin.  Unfortunately some folks are seeing wheelweights with zinc plating, the zinc totally screws up the casting properties of the lead.  Hopefully you would not have this problem.

Can't see any reason why the Lee mould would not work, if that's something that you can get locally I'd start from there.  The crimp groove is probably not in the correct spot, but you can crimp anywhere you want with a Lee factory crimp die.  See Marshall's Tech Notes on the .444 Marlin for more information.

Hope this helps.



(Edited by Contender at 8:38 pm on Oct. 21, 2001)
 

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I will not use anything but ww alloy.
1-low antimony does not break up on heavy bone.
2-they are free 100lb at a time.
3- 1% addition of tin cast perfect bullets.
4- responds well to heat treat.
What hardness is ww alloy?
5- air cooled from mold and aged 2 weeks=12-13 bhn.
6- how hard after heat treat? depends on temperature they were heated to and how long and composition of alloy. with my mix and oven 30minutes cook time and 20 deg below slump temp and plunged into ice water=22 bhn.
7- you can also drop directly from mold into cold water and this will give results from 16bhn-20bhn.
8- I cast from several lee molds and they drop quality bullets with a little tuning of them prior to use. and they must be taken care of to last as in every mold should.
9- how fast? bullet design, LUBE,bullet FIT, alloy all play together on this one.
10- which should be #1 is safety, ventilation,eye protection,welders gloves, keep heat below 850 deg. NO CHILDREN ALLOWED IN CASTING SHOP.
11- Welcome to a very enjoyable hobby. nothin like harvesting game with ammo you assembled yourself and secondly with bullets that you cast.
I hope this helps you some. its not all thats involved with casting and heat treating and so fourth, I would recommend you get a copy of Marshalls tech guide as well as Lymans cast bullet manual. Have fun, Jim.
 

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Personally, I've found that the need for truely hard bullets has been greatly over blown for calibers such as those that I use most of the time, 45-70, 45 Colt, 44 Special, 357 Mag, 45 ACP, 45 Auto Rim.
Straight wheel weights with a bit of tin, air cooled seems to work for me up to 1950 FPS with gas checks and a good lube. If my lead bullet is sized correctly to the rifle, that being a thousandth or two greater then the barrel, I get accurate loads. {I won't go into the reading of chicken intrails and the proper bare foot dance used for walking on hot coals, that is used for revolvers.}
My 375 Whelen does get a special alloy of linotype and wheel weights, dropped into a bucket of cold water right from the mold. I'm approaching 2,200 to 2,500 FPS with some of those loads. I'm just not into making a simple pleasurable hobby into a major pain in the burro with all the other arcane efforts I've read about to make lead alloy bullets hard.
I've not tried to use a softer alloy in the Whelen, so I cannot say that the softer alloy won't work.
Jim
 

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Englander,

I dug around in the archives here and pulled out a few links from past threads on this subject. Check them out below if you want to:

http://beartoothbullets.com/cgi-bin/ikonboard/topic.cgi?forum=2&topic=139


<a href="http://beartoothbullets.com/cgi-bin/ikonboard/topic.cgi?forum=2&topic=69

" target="_blank">http://beartoothbullets.com/cgi-bin....c=69

</a>
<a href="http://beartoothbullets.com/cgi-bin/ikonboard/topic.cgi?forum=2&topic=47

" target="_blank">http://beartoothbullets.com/cgi-bin....c=47

</a>
http://beartoothbullets.com/cgi-bin....egards, Ray
 

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One thing I thought I would add.  As far as the casting the bullet and dropping them directly in water.

I tried this for a couple of guns.  While they were harder I sometimes found that the accuracy dropped.  Sometimes quite bad.  Not saying that there is anything wrong with it, just if accuracy is a problem try heat treating in a seperate step.    Also the Most important.

DO NOT GET WATER OR MOISTURE near your molten lead
If you are like me and use a little ladle to scoop up the lead and pour into the mold, you will want to make sure that there isnt any moisture (dampness or frost) on that ladle.

If you are going to drop the bullets into water fresh out of the mould take care to keep the water at a safe distance from the molten lead.

I once used a ladle that had sit for about an hour in 20 degree weather.  Figuring that since I had been casting previously, it would still be warm.  When I went to get some lead it exploded out of the pot.  Almost emptied a small LEE melting pot.  All except a nasty burn on my arm, I got really lucky.

Just figured I would share this so maybe I can save someone some unneeded pain.

Good luck
 

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Englander
 "britain shalll last forever..and a wee bit longer for SCOTLAND'
    I cant remember who said that ,but I thought it was aboot right.
Any way, if you would log on towww.sixgunner.com and scroll down to guest speakers and go to an article entitled A METHOD OF DETERMING THE PERCENTAGE OF ANTIMONY IN LINOTYPE-LEAD ALLOYS AND THEIR ALLOYS I think you will  find a lot of help on the subject of hardness etc.If you can get a copy of the NRA bookCAST BULLETS ,it will give you a complete run down on heat treating. Ifyou cannot get it ,maybe I could help .MY e- mail is on the article at sixgunner in case you are interestred
   tbc
 
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