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Discussion Starter #1
Wow, I can't believe the lack of activity on this forum. Is it a lack of people who cast or does everyone just not talk about it. Casting is a great way to save money, and an even better way to beat the inevitable shortages of bullets or loaded ammo. Last week I cast 1500+ 124 gr 9mm in a couple of afternoons. I've been scrounging lead for years so there's no cost for the bullet. Powder, primers, and lube end up costing under $4 per hundred rounds and I have the enjoyment of reloading my own ammo.

Any comments?
 

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Most of the members of the forum are daylight guys, so it does kind of die off at 1 a.m. EST. Personally, I don't reload or cast, no room for equipment or time to do so at the moment. I work nights and have two kids, so most of my free time is spent sleeping while they're at school. One of our members and sponsors is Ranch Dog, who makes bullet molds for those who cast. You may want to look him up and see some of his work.
 

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I used to cast my own back in the day for a couple of reasons.

Low costs and the fact there weren't many commercial casters at reasonable prices.

With the plethora of commercial hard casters today, at reasonable prices, my time became more important to me than the small cost saved by casting my own.

I don't miss the smell and the mess made by casting and lubing either.

The one area I can see continued casting would be in odd ball or obsolete calibers.

You still save substantially in that arena by casting your own.
 

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You will find more casting or that have cast than you think. Some here like guesser and ranch dog post about it as well as others. I cast for years and started buying cast because I did not have time. I still swag jacketed, lead gascheck, and lead, but it is all stuff I can't buy. One of the things you do if you wildcat calibers that are off the normal factory caliber list. Hang in there you should get some replys. What other bullets do you cast and or load for?
 

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I was a runner for many years and made a habit of picking up wheel balance weights. Over the years I accumulated 6 or 8 big coffee cans of lead. A friend at work was over for dinner one night and the subject of reloading came up. He always casted his own so he didn't buy lead for awhile.

Always wondered how much rubber was being wasted because of unbalanced wheels. Wonder what outfits like Discount Tires does with old lead?
 

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I used to cast 20 years ago, but time became a factor. I can buy 1500 124gr 9mm for about $100. Between casting and the time required for sizing/lubing, it just got to the point where it wasn't cost effective when I considered the time required. I'd rather spend that time shooting. As I've grown older, I'm starting to think about it again as I'm slowly starting to have more time available.

I still have an old Lyman 358156 mold somewhere. I'd like to try Ranch Dog's six cavity 100gr TL358-100-RF. Maybe next year.............
 

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I was a runner for many years and made a habit of picking up wheel balance weights. Over the years I accumulated 6 or 8 big coffee cans of lead. A friend at work was over for dinner one night and the subject of reloading came up. He always casted his own so he didn't buy lead for awhile.

Always wondered how much rubber was being wasted because of unbalanced wheels. Wonder what outfits like Discount Tires does with old lead?
I used to go to tire shops, they'd usually entertain offers for their scrap pile. Nowadays I'm sure they sell it, probably to some certified recycler as who knows what the environmental requirements are on that these days.
 

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I have been casting for pistol and RB for muzzeloaders for a while now. Yesterday at the LGS,I noticed a lack of ANY bullets for .45 acp in the reloading section. It looks like I'll be casting more. Are we about to suffer a reloading component shortage,or is it just a local thing?
 

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I used to go to tire shops, they'd usually entertain offers for their scrap pile. Nowadays I'm sure they sell it, probably to some certified recycler as who knows what the environmental requirements are on that these days.
Most of the good old lead weights are being phased out, most shops are using aluminum weights now. Most of the lead weights that do happen to come in get reused because mechanics prefer them over the aluminum ones, mostly because they have better hooks on them that don't back out as easily from potholes.
 

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I've been reloading for a couple of years now and only bought one shipment of hard cast lead projectiles. I shoot almost exclusively indoors and the smoke from the lube was overwhelming. I still have a bunch left that I haven't loaded.

It is a craft that I would like to learn for a time when/if I can't just tap in a few keystrokes and have a shipment of boolits arrive aat my door in a few days. Be careful what you wish for. If everyone who reloaded also cast their own, old wheelweights and scrap lead supply would plummet and the resulting shortage would drive the price up.
 

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Most of the good old lead weights are being phased out, most shops are using aluminum weights now. Most of the lead weights that do happen to come in get reused because mechanics prefer them over the aluminum ones, mostly because they have better hooks on them that don't back out as easily from potholes.
Well that's sad to hear. I used quite a bit of wheel weights with some monotype added. I lucked into a huge stash of linotype/monotype. Wish I hadn't gotten rid of it, but it was too heavy to haul around. I cast for a few years with it and barely made a dent in the supply. I imagine scrap/surplus type metal is harder to find than wheel weights these days.
 

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I cast all my own, for years after I started reloading. I had good lead sources that cost me nothing. But when I sold my first press, I also sold all the casting equipment and lead. Casting is just one of those chores I don't enjoy anymore. So for now, as long as I can afford to order all my bullets, that's what I'll do.


I just hope casting doesn't become a necessity for us all some day.
 

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I don't want to be around molten lead. Yes, I am sure that you can ventilate a lot of the fumes, but still.......
 

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I inherited a Bisley Colt in 1956, I was 11. 32-20 ammunition was $5.30 a box and at least 12 miles away, we went to town a couple times a month when the weather was good, less often in winter. I was introduced to casting and hand loading by an old cowboy that lived up the canyon east of us. I've never looked back, started buying, trading and accumulating tools and materials and never stopped. I spent 23 years in Uncle Sam's Canoe Club so casting and loading was an on again off again situation. I cast more in 1985 than any other single year, I was on a major fast combat support ship in the U.S.S. Constellation Battle Group and we spent over 100 days at sea, and almost 7 months out of our home port. I took an RCBS furnace and about 3000 pounds of lead, tin and various alloys with me, before I was done we had a casting club going in my upper shop on sundays, holidays and down days. I brought home enough cast bullets to last me the first 4 years of retirement. The other guys became hard line casters and we are all retired now and still doin' it.
There is no wrong way to do it as long as safety is observed and served.
Good shootin"!!!!!!!
 
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I got into casting when I was a teen. My Grandad showed me how when he was casting bullets for his deer rifles (a 44-40 Win & a 30-30 Marlin). I doubt either of those guns ever fired a jacketed bullet. I quit for several years but recently got back into it and found I enjoy it as much as I do reloading and shooting. I shoot a lot of 45 caliber bullets ( 452 dia for my autos, 453.5 dia for my vaquero and 458 dia for my Browning Hi Wall). The prices of using commercial cast bullets just keeps rising and I don't like ordering .452 dia and getting .450-450.5 dia or ordering 458 and getting 455 to 456 dia. I also cast for my 38 and 357 mag revolvers and my 30-30 Marlin and 308.
 

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I have another mold coming to me right now. I can't find enough time to cast though. And while it helps that it saves you money, I'm terrible about spending more and more money on my casting, reloading, and shooting habits so it's kind of a wash. Reload = shoot more, cast and reload = shoot even more...
 

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I reload plated or FMJ only because of my local indoor ranges and their rules barring bare lead reloads. That said, when commercially made lead is available at economical prices, ready to go, I would likely still not cast my own were I able to shoot the stuff anywhere.
 

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Now I reload but don't cast my own bullets. The reason is simple I don't have a place to do it safely. I can load in my apartment however molten lead is a different matter with no yard that I'm able to keep the public off of.
 

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For me it's mainly time. If I start casting it will cut into my reloading and shooting time. Wheel weights are hard to come by in my area; I have been able to only collect a 1 gallon bucket full in a year’s time. If I have to buy lead then I would rather save the time and continue to buy cast bullets. I found a supplier that has all the calibers I want, in the weight I want, at reasonable prices. I can pay minimal shipping by taking advantage of Flat rate shipping with the Post Office.

When I was a teenager I used to cast my own egg sinkers, 5 gallon buckets of wheel weights were free for the picking back then. :D If I can collect enough lead I may consider casting in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks for all the responses. It's good to see that casting is still alive and well. There haven't been many new posts so I was beginning to wonder. For those among the working class who simply don't have time, I understand. You have my sympathy. Retirement does have a few advantages. Some disadvantages too, but I won't go into them.

I'm currently casting for .38/.357, 9mm, 45 ACP, 45 LC, and .44 pistols. No rifle now but I did cast .30 carbine until I got tired of having to drill the lead out of the gas port every few hundred rounds. Lead is getting harder to find and a lot of the new wheel weights I see are the stick on zinc which are worthless as bullet metal. Fortunately I have several hundred pounds of lead that I've stockpiled over the years and that should last for many more years.
 
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