Taurus Firearm Forum banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
125 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been stocking up on lead this year. I've been fortunate to make a few connections. I've never cast or reloaded my own rounds, but I've been buying supplies for it as they come available.

I own a .44 Ruger Super Redhawk 7in and a Taurus M66 .357 mag 4in. I love magnum chambered guns because of the ease of shooting specials, and the pleasure of cranking out the magnums.

I'd like to buy one mold for my .44 that will provide decent bullets for magnum and specials.
The purpose of the .44 special is home defense, recreation
The purpose of the .44 magnum is for home defense/offense lol and putting deer and small bear on the table.

I'd like to buy one mold for my .357 that will make a bullet that can work in .38 .38+p and .357
The .38 will be for training my son to use a handgun, recreation and maybe small game.
The +P will be for home defense and small game.
The .357 will be for home defense/offense and medium game.

I'm a bit of a prepper... this is why I say "offense" Thanks guys!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,743 Posts
I like the 158gr SWC mold from Lee, you can put a gas check on a hard bullet and not have any touble with leading even at magnum velocities. I also have a 240gr SWC .44 mold, but have not loaded any bullets out of it yet.
 
  • Like
Reactions: likesbigbullets

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,290 Posts
If you don't have a lube sizer you can get the Lee molds in a tumble lube (TL) design and use liquid alox. Most of the time they cast really don't need resizing as they shoot better when .001 - .002 oversized. You can also get a Lee push through sizer cheap that works great. The .44 should like any semi wadcutter SWC from 200 - 240 grain. The .38 - .357 should like any 125 - 158 grain. Hardness of the cast slug and size will mostly determine if leading will occur as long as the chambers and throats of the gun are within spec. To hard or to soft can affect leading and accuracy too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
125 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I like the 158gr SWC mold from Lee, you can put a gas check on a hard bullet and not have any touble with leading even at magnum velocities. I also have a 240gr SWC .44 mold, but have not loaded any bullets out of it yet.
I was thinking along those same lines. The 158 seems kinda big for the .38, but it must be doing something right because it seems like that is a popular size for .38 lead. 240 seems good for the .44. I've always grouped well with that size.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
125 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If you don't have a lube sizer you can get the Lee molds in a tumble lube (TL) design and use liquid alox. Most of the time they cast really don't need resizing as they shoot better when .001 - .002 oversized. You can also get a Lee push through sizer cheap that works great. The .44 should like any semi wadcutter SWC from 200 - 240 grain. The .38 - .357 should like any 125 - 158 grain. Hardness of the cast slug and size will mostly determine if leading will occur as long as the chambers and throats of the gun are within spec. To hard or to soft can affect leading and accuracy too.
What you just said reinforces that I have more to learn. I should do a little more research on the casting process before I just start pouring lead into molds.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,762 Posts
The original cast bullet for 44 magnum was a carry over from Elmer Keith's work with hot 44 Specials, it is Lyman #429421, it will cast a little heavier with softer alloy but should run in the 245-250 grain range. Load data for it in Special and Magnum is everywhere. My personal favorite for 38 Special is Lyman #358311, it is a 158 grain plain base round nose and has proven to be very accurate in every 38/357 I've ever owned except one S&W and that is another story. For 357 magnum I like Lyman 358156, it is a 158 grain SWC gas checked bullet that works well in all my 357's including two different carbines. As a general rule I like plain base bullets with the exception of the one Lyman gas checked bullet that I mentioned.
You need to know a lot more about your guns: exact bore diameter, cylinder throat sizes, at the least. Then you have to size your castings to fit the gun. I have two 44 Special revolvers, both stainless, they take two different sizes of bullet, one shoots .430 very well, the other needs .432 to be accurate. Just some of the things that crop up.
I have been casting since 1956 and I am still learning; and it is fun!!!!!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
125 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
good grief! sounds like a whole new subject aside from reloading... I assume that is because it probably is. I've just been stockpiling lead wheel weights, melting them and pouring them into muffin pans. I might have to wait till I feel comfortable reloading before I start casting. Thanks Guesser.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,762 Posts
I suggest that you register over at castboolits.gunloads.com. There is more information, sometimes confusing, on that sight concerning casting than all other sites combined. I'm registered there with the same name, as are a lot of other folks. There are a lot of stickies with a lot of good help in them. I suggest that you print out the parts that you have questions on and read and reread them. there are a lot of variables in casting, ambient temperature, alloy temp, mold temp, material molds are made of. Aluminum molds work a lot differently than iron or steel. I have never used a brass mold so I can't comment there. It seems like black magic, but it's not really it's just a little like sorcery, with a little pixie dust thrown in to flux with, OH, you will need an "eye of knute" on hand from time to time, as well as some pigs butts and turkey lips for good measure.
Safety is of prime consideration, that lead burns deep!!!! And you need ventilation but out of a draft. Air flow will cause inconsistent quality of you castings, due to temperature fluctuations.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,627 Posts
Get the ABC's of Bullet Casting and read it carefully. Any Keith bullet will serve your purpose. The distinguishing feature of a Keith bullet is that all of the driving bands on the bullet are the same width and the same diameter with a square-bottom lube grove and a good crimp groove. In the .44 caliber, the current 429421 mould fits that criteria. In that configuration sized to your pistol's exact groove diameter, they are stunningly accurate. Wheel weights with the steel clips are an excellent source of bullet lead. Melt them and flux with beeswax. If lumpy looking metal forms at the top of the melted lead, that is the antimony coming out and you will need to flux the lead to get it back into the melt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
125 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Great information guys. Thanks. I can see why this is a sub-culture of handloading, which is already a culture of its own. What I have done so far is melt all the led weights that I can find in an old pot. I don't know what temp it was because it was a charcoal fire and a makeshift bbq grill made from bricks. I skimmed off all the dross and clips and poured the clean lead into muffin pans. I have no idea if I have hard lead or soft lead. Its just lead, and I figured I could keep doing that until I find myself in a position to start casting. Baiscially, I'm just stockpiling ingots until I have use for them.

Like i said earlier, I haven't even gotten to reload yet. I hope to get started reloading sometime this year. I've been buying up primers powder, saving shells and hoarding lead until then. A good customer of mine gave me the Lee second edition of reloading. I've been soaking up all the info that I can.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top