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Poured some bullets

peytoncreekhunter

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Little bored this afternoon, so I poured some bullets.

Poured 36 fifty caliber LEE R.E.A.L. bullets.

I'm anxious to kill a deer with one of these that I poured this season.
 

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Wobblyshot1

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I've shot em out of a slow twist round ball barrel with excellent accuracy at 50 yards. Never tested them farther than that and never hunted with them but imo they should kill deer with no problem. Just some friendly advice you need your mold and lead to be a little hotter.
 

Hunter 257W

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I'd suggest maybe adding a couple % pure Tin to get better fill out. It's real hard to get fill out of the cavities with pure lead based on my attempts at it which have been very few. Getting the mold itself up to temp by dipping it into the lead until lead easily releases from the bottom of the blocks when you lift it from the pot, then dipping the corner of the sprue cutter into the molten lead also for 10 seconds is my routine for getting up to temp once the lead itself is hot.

I've thought about trying that mold for my in line 50 caliber just to see how a full caliber bullet worked but so far have only used sabotted subcaliber bullets.
 

sun

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It looks like the lead was contaminated with zinc.
Were you casting with wheel weights?

Zinc melts at a higher temperature of 786 degrees.
Some keep the temp. of the lead below that and skim some of it off.
Here's a thread that describes methods to reduce the zinc.
 
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Hunter 257W

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I don't know about zinc, I've tried to get the stuff to mix and pour but can't do it. It pops up to the top of the pot looking like gray cottage cheese. I always set my PID controller to 800 degrees but rarely if ever achieve it but do run in the 780's. Being cheap I'd like to get the zinc to mix in to get more bullets for plinking purposes - too hard to do what I want for hunting. I just can't believe what we are seeing here is zinc. It looks like the metal was cooling too fast in layers before the cavities could fill out and that was probably a cold mold issue I'm betting. Some people are using hot plates for pre-heating molds and will tell you that dipping a mold in molten metal could warp it. They may be right but I started casting as a broke college kid so cheap was the way I operated and dipping the mold in the pot is free whereas a hot plate costs $'s. :) I DO like to set the mold on top of the pot for maybe a couple minutes some times before dipping it into the metal so it's not so drastic a temp shock.
 

sun

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I don't know about zinc, I've tried to get the stuff to mix and pour but can't do it. It pops up to the top of the pot looking like gray cottage cheese. I always set my PID controller to 800 degrees but rarely if ever achieve it but do run in the 780's. Being cheap I'd like to get the zinc to mix in to get more bullets for plinking purposes - too hard to do what I want for hunting. I just can't believe what we are seeing here is zinc. It looks like the metal was cooling too fast in layers before the cavities could fill out and that was probably a cold mold issue I'm betting. Some people are using hot plates for pre-heating molds and will tell you that dipping a mold in molten metal could warp it. They may be right but I started casting as a broke college kid so cheap was the way I operated and dipping the mold in the pot is free whereas a hot plate costs $'s. :) I DO like to set the mold on top of the pot for maybe a couple minutes some times before dipping it into the metal so it's not so drastic a temp shock.
Heck I had it full blast as hot as it would go. Lol

The classic sign of zinc contamination is that the mold won't fill out.
Pure lead melts at 621.5 F.
Zinc melts at 787.2 F.
There's ways to test for Zinc using muriatic acid and to watch closely for any kind of bubbling reaction. or use a thermometer and remove the zinc before casting.
Pure lead will not react to acid.
Zinc bullets will weigh less than pure lead bullets. and will be harder.
The higher the percentage of zinc, the worse that the bullets will come out.
The fact that the OP needed to blast his heat in order to cast is an indication that too much zinc was in the mix.
The photos of the bullets shows it since they couldn't hold their shape.
Some folks have said that any more than 2% zinc can ruin the alloy and those bullets look pretty bad.
I wonder what they measure and how hard they will be to load.

 
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Hunter 257W

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Yeah, but zinc tends to be very light gray in color while pure lead is more of a blue color as were his bullets. Running the pot at a high temp takes a long time to get the mold up to temp, if it ever achieves the temp you need in the molds to get good fill out. In other words if you don't preheat the molds you're going to get the poor fill out he's getting especially with only casting a few dozen bullets. I just don't think zinc is the problem here. Those bullets look like pure soft blue lead to me and pure lead is known to be problematic in filling cavities without adding some tin.
 

Rancocas

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The old timers often melted their lead in an iron ladle over a campfire. I'm a "traditional muzzleloader", and I do basically the same thing. I don't have one of those temperature regulating melt pots. I have a cast iron "plumber's pot" that I heat over a propane camp stove. No temperature control.
Mostly I pour round balls. They should be pure lead, but since I collect lead from wherever I can get it, I get a lot of impurities. I skim off the slag from the top of my melt pot. I dip a corner of my molds to heat them up, and then pour the lead from a ladle. If my balls come out wrinkled or frosted, I adjust the heat as needed by turning the propane up or down.
I usually make a batch of 3 or 4 dozen round balls, plus some fishing sinkers at each sitting.
 

FrontierGander

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yeah i wouldnt bother trying to shoot them, very poorly filled out. Both the lead and mold were to cold. Heat the lead on high until it melts, give it another 15 minutes to actually come up to temp. When you can back, dip the front half on the mold into the lead for 25 seconds and then start casting. Don't add tin!
 

Hunter 257W

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I see that you are using a two cavity mold. But it looks like the two cavities are reversed in direction, as if one is nose poured while the other is poured into the base. Is that correct? If so does one cavity produce a hollow base bullet? There's a lot of glare on the finished bullet bases and I can't tell for sure but they look to be hollow base.

Oh yeah, those look WAY better than the other batch. :) You are definitely going in the right direction.
 

Hunter 257W

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I'm sure he's using a combination bullet/ball mold. View attachment 71813
Ah, yeah I forgot about those combo conical/round ball molds since I'm not a traditional ML shooter. The only combo molds I have make a gas check/non-gas check version of the same bullet.

Now I see the Round balls! For some reason I was thinking those were the REAL bullets standing on their nose or something and couldn't for the life of me figure out exactly what I was seeing. :)
 

sun

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Some bullets look pretty good while others still appear to have some zinc contamination.
Where did you get your lead?
 
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