Sizing lead bullets ????

Discussion in 'Reloading Forum (All Calibers)' started by ebb, Apr 19, 2019.

  1. ebb

    ebb

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    A neighbor and I have cast a bunch of lead bullets .357 158 grain for 38 special. They are much larger than .357 and need to be sized, so I got a lee sixing kit but the instructions have me a little confused. It says to lube bullets then push through the die then lube again to cover the area that the sizing has removed metal. I was wondering if the bullets need to be lubed twice. Can you size naked bullets? A friend said that he thinks the die will lead up if the bullets aren't lubed first. What's the story? thanks for your help
     
  2. mikeinct

    mikeinct

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    I have used both Lyman & lee systems. The Lee system is the liquid sprinkle/dribble on lube method. A second shot of Liqulube is not going to hurt anything. I would not size the bullets naked. mike in ct
     
  3. jds holler

    jds holler Gold $$ Contributor

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    I agree. The Alox liquid is just too easy to skimp on. And you don't need to over do with the quantity.

    A little reading over on the cast bullet forum will help anyone who wants to "pour your own". jd
     
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  4. 243winxb

    243winxb

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    Lube 2 times . More on how to at http://leeprecision.net/support/index.php?/Knowledgebase/List/Index/13/product-support
    Search "Alox"

    I lubed some .452" bullets as they came from the mold, at near perfect diameter.

    Heated the Alox in a cup of warm water. Put bullets in a 3 lb plastic container. Mixed. Helps if bullets are warm also.

    A little Alox goes a long way. Less Alox after the first barch has been coated. The container gets coater the first time. Less Alox for second batch.

    Let dry on wax paper overnight. If needed, give bullets second coat.
     
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  5. DirtySteve

    DirtySteve Gold $$ Contributor

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    Alox works fine but messy as all get out. If you guys are serious about casting and sizeing your own bullets you should think about a Star sizer. They are fast and are the best system. http://www.magmaengineering.com/magma-star-lube-sizer/

    With a Star sizer you don't lube then pass through the sizer so I don't know why Lee wants you to do that. Never had to on my old RCBS either. It ill not lead up you sizer if you don't lube first...
     
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  6. 243winxb

    243winxb

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    Yes messy. The coated cast bullets guys will be along shortly and tell us how messy lubed bullets are.:D

    If to much is used in a very humid condition, it will not dry.

    Alox will build up in the seating die, changing OAL by a small amount.

    I prefer my old Lyman 450. Wish i had a Star. Only available in 38 & 45 when i started casting 50 years ago. If i remember correctly?

    A clean unlubed die, in my Lyman 450 , will make it almost impossible to remove the 1st bullet. Sizing hard alloy .360" down to .3575" will do it.

    Prelube die before sizing first bullet. Imo.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
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  7. AJC

    AJC

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    Im glad to see this topic here but i dont see cast boolits get a lot of play here. I want to get into this after i get real dialed into brass forming to a decent level. I would never say master because that is likely never to happen. ;)
     
  8. TIMO

    TIMO Working on it??? Silver $$ Contributor

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    ebb,
    I have seen the Lee setup but never tried it. It looks like it would be be good for smaller quantities. I have used some of the Lee molds though. They are aluminum and temperature sensitive as compared to steel mold blocks. I use the Lyman sizer, and never had an issue with the sizing as it sizes on the bullet down stroke and then is lubed with hollow stick lube. If it sizes a little too easy it came out of the mold a little under size. It just goes to the remelt pile for recasting. Probably part of the issue with those is I mostly cast with range pick up lead. Probably what I shot myself. My loads are not high velocity to lead the barrel, mostly 45 ACP.

    Hope this helps a little.

    Tim
     
  9. stork

    stork

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    Haven't kept track of numbers I've cast & sized, suffice it to say it's either closing in on 100k or a bit over. Big +1 on the Star sizer. Beyond question the fastest sizer & lube machine for the hobby caster.

    That being said, absolutely nothing wrong with the Lee push thru sizer. Now to your question. I would run one lubed bullet through first, then 10-20 unlubed, then put another lubed one through, another 10-20 unlubed, repeat. Another user recommended running a lubed bullet through periodically. It seems to keep the sizing a bit easier on the arm & my advisor thought it kept the sizer die from wearing. Don't know about the wear part, I've never kept track of the size comparison when it was new compared to what it is now.

    Hard bullets will cause wear faster than soft ones, keep that in mind. I used to use a hard alloy & water quench. Those were a bear to size. I learned that Bullseye velocities (650-800 fps) don't require anything harder than BN of 9 to shoot really good. Unless you're planning on pushing those cast bullets over 900+ soft bullets obdurate & fill the grooves much more completely. This prevents the burning gas from cutting the sides of the bullet & depositing lead in the grooves while it passes through the bore. That's where lead bullets get the rep for leading bores. Properly fit lead bullets do not lead up the bore as long as they're .0015-.0025 over the groove diameter. In order to know what to size yours to, you must run a slug down the bore and accurately measure it. Then make sure your sizer isn't taking your bullets down too far.

    Good cast pistol bullets will shoot as well as any jacketed up to 50 yards, which is the longest target for Bullseye shooting. Poorly cast bullets are best put back into the pot to be reincarnated as shiny silver creations.

    All for now.
    Al
     
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  10. stork

    stork

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    Decided to make 2 posts. #2 on Lee liquid Allox.
    I use the Lee alox on my 38 158 SWC bullets. A friend recommended the Zero swaged 158 SWC & recoating them with Lee alox before loading. I thought he was just pulling my leg, but no, he was right on my 38 loads. I tested both the zero's & my cast 158's with the same loads on my Ransom rest. Then I coated both with liquid alox & retested them. The swaged Zero's showed a slight improvement. My cast 158's showed more, beating the zero's by over 1/2".

    Easiest way I've found to use the Lee alox: First you need to soften up the alox. Take the bottle & put it under hot water for a minute or two. Then take your Church tupperware (empty cool whip container) & put 50-100 bullets into it. Drizzle about 1/4 tsp of warmed alox onto the bullets & swirl them around until they're coated. Pour them onto a garage sale cookie sheet. Word of advice: DO NOT USE SPOUSES GOOD COOKIE SHEETS-YOUR ATTEMPT AT CONSERVING NUMBERS OF EXCESS COOKIE SHEETS WILL NOT BE APPRECIATED...or so i'v heard and heard and heard. Then take another 100 or so, drizzle a bit more alox on & repeat until you've coated them all. Then while they're drying shake the pan every few hours so they don't stick to the pan. Load & shoot.

    The same technique did not work on my 45 bullets. 4 different molds. So, YMMV.
    Al
     
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  11. jds holler

    jds holler Gold $$ Contributor

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    I cut my Alox with a little mineral spirits, and it dry's quicker and less gummy.

    Have also added a little Johnsons Paste Wax to the mix. Haven't tried goose grease or nose oil yet.:p jd
     
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  12. McFred

    McFred

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    "45/45/10" lube is 1:1 alox to johnson's paste wax and some solvent to dissolve the stuff. It's less tacky, a little cheaper than straight alox and works for me.

    Depending on how large the bullets are, you may not even have to size them. If they chamber easily and you work up the load .003-.005" oversized is not really an issue.

    Then there's the colorful Hi-Tek coatings...

    I'm an ammateur for cast stuff but I've used the 45/45/10 on a 50-cal wildcat with a custom 700gr mould up to about 1300fps:

    [​IMG]

    ~1.1MOA at 120 yards is just fine for me.

    6 shots on top starting with a cold clean bore, and 5 more on the bottom.
    [​IMG]
     
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  13. ebb

    ebb

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    Thanks all for your good info!!! Your second post Stork really helped me. What do you guys use for flux? I was reading at Cast Bollits, and they use everything from saw dust to Alox. I tried saw dust and I didn't like is at all, Little chips of Alox stick worked fairly well but I am still looking. Any suggestions ?
     
  14. jds holler

    jds holler Gold $$ Contributor

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    I've been using a smidge of bee's wax for fluxing. I'll stir with a pine stick, and sometimes add a little sawdust. When I'm using my bottom drop pot, I flux and stir quite a bit, and don't worry much about the dross that floats on top. I don't want to skim off my tin. jd
     
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  15. mikeinct

    mikeinct

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    Ebb, I use plain old candle wax & a bit of saw dust if I have saved any : ) . Two steps. After your pot is hot enough. I run some lead out into a dipper, just a few mold fulls testing the flow. Return it to the melt pot. Then Put a small bit of candle into the pot, ignite the fumes w a match or lighter. stir things well , Repeat wax, flux, stir ignite adding some saw dust . You only need a heaping teaspoonful. Stir well, then skim off any dross from surface. Start casting bullets. It may be helpful to preheat some of your molds. Mike in Ct
     
  16. Qcredneck

    Qcredneck

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    Candle wax work
     
  17. Steve Ladino

    Steve Ladino Silver $$ Contributor

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    Brownells sells or at least they used to 20 years ago a product which was a white powder, not cheap but worked great for me. It would clump up pretty hard over time but still usable and fairly easy to brake down to a small size. It left a nice crust on top of the melt too.
     
  18. JSH

    JSH

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    Not an alox fan but as mentioned it will lead a die eventually.

    Did you check to see what size you needed?

    It’s not uncommon to need a .360 for a 35 caliber wheel gun.
    Size is king, then alloy or lube in no special order. When all the planets are in line and the bore is spotless, I have shot naked cast bullets up to speed with good results.

    I have plated and tried some of the other designer coated bullets, I am not 100% sold on them. Folks think it is new, I shot a lot of electroplated cast bullets in 357 and 44 in the 80’s. I see these today no better or worse.
    May be because I have all the gear to lube and make my own lube, I will stick with it as it has worked for millions of rounds for a hundred years.
    I feel the same on tumbling brass with SS pins. What am
    I supposed to do with 100# of corn cob and walnut bulls?
    Jeff
     
  19. Steve Ladino

    Steve Ladino Silver $$ Contributor

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    Brownells Flux is called Marvelux…….works great !
     
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