new to casting

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  • Last Post 11 May 2010
specopsjeff posted this 22 April 2010

Is the lee pro 4-20 any good? I've always used Montana gold bullets ...but wow prices have gone up! So looking for equip for casting Lee is the most reasonably priced that I've found so far. Will it last though?
I shoot a lot - both wife and I shoot IPSC Thanks for any advice

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canalupo posted this 22 April 2010

spec

Welcome to cast bullet La La land.

I recently changed my pot from a propane burner pot to a lyman electric pot. I prefer to use a dipper rather than a pour type. I am not familiar with the lee pots but have had good success with tumble lube molds, sizing dies and reloading dies from Lee. I imagine their pots are of similar quality. My theory with gear is the most expensive is not always the best. As starter equipment, it is good enough for learning the ropes. Then when your ready invest in better gear or not whatever is more comfortable for you.

You will hear arguments for buying the best gear you can afford but if you are like me ( I dabble in a lot of hobbies) go cheap until you are sure you are interested.

My two cents and I am sticking with it.

Good luck

Bob D

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Dollar Bill posted this 22 April 2010

I've had a Lee 10# pot for over 20 years and it's still going strong. Bought a 4-20 last year an it has worked just fine, especially with pistol gang molds.

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specopsjeff posted this 22 April 2010

What about lead safety? One of the officers I work with said I need special respirator with lead filter . I always thought a large fan with open garage door was good?

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canalupo posted this 22 April 2010

spec

I believe a fan and good ventilation (open door or window) is adequate for casting purposes. But a word of caution WATCH YOUR TEMPERATURES. Lead begins to vaporize at high temps, Don't quote me but I think it is around 800 degrees F. If the pot starts to develop a rainbow/gold sheen on top you are probably too hot. That is when you usually need more than good ventilation. Also, You are not constantly exposed to lead fumes as a lead smelter would be on a shift in a plant/recycling center. I worked with plumbers for many years when pouring lead joints was still the only way to join sewer lines. Did quite a bit of lead pipe joint wipes too (gave away my age now). Except for growing an extra head I'm FINE (ha Ha).

Good Luck

Bob D

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Dollar Bill posted this 22 April 2010

I checked a MSDS. It says lead oxide fumes are produced at and above 500C, which is 932F. We've talked about this before and there's no problem at normal casting temps, from 650-800F. One of the worst things to watch out for, if melting wheel weights especially, is the dross skimmed off. The dust contains many toxic chemicals/heavy metals and is probably the greateest threat, primarily through ingestion. Keep the dross can covered when not in use, practice safe work practices by keeping a clean shop and washing after casting. You'll be fine. Only one of my kids has a third eye. Just kidding.

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specopsjeff posted this 22 April 2010

Thanks very much everyone! wife just gave her “approval” for me to buy the lee equipment. hope it's ok.
for a .40cal Glock what would the sizing die be? I know i shouldn't shoot lead in the glock - but i'll check it every 25-50 rounds and will eventually replace the barrel so I don't have to worry about shooting lead. I believe they have a sizing die that .401 and .432 (i need the .401 correct?)

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hunterspistol posted this 22 April 2010

     Yes sir, you'd probably need the .401.  I believe the other is 44 mag. The guys in the Handgun section can help you quite a bit. There are 3 makes (I think) of aftermarket barrels for Glocks, with regular rifling to shoot lead.  

 Welcome to the Cast Bullet Association

 Ron

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Bongo Boy posted this 09 May 2010

I'll just share my experience so far. I felt I could get along well without a thermometer, and cast a lot of bullets without one. But, I often had troubles of all sorts. Stubborn, I still thought the problems were caused by some combination of the particular molds I was using, what I was using to lubricate them or with the alloys I was buying.

'Encouraged' to buy a thermometer by the fine folks here on this forum, I did so, and my bullet casting experience went instantly from frustrating and erratic to happy happy joy joy. To a large degree, I'm able to get good results regardless of any of the factors listed above. I use the Lee 6-cavity molds and they work just fine if, as one of our members here suggested to me, I 'let the lead simmer and don't try to boil it'.

Since you mentioned sizing your bullets, you may need to look into bullet lube. While it requires a heater, I've found 'Jake's Purple Ceresin' to be an excellent hard lube that doesn't migrate with bullet handling, like some soft lubes do. I'm sure everyone has their favorite, but this is another product I've found to have made my life far easier than it once was. With the right powder, I'd say you're about as smoke-free as you can get. Maybe others can recommend a good, no-heater-required lube for you if  you haven't selected one yet.

Have you selected a particular mold/bullet yet? I don't shoot .40, but have been thinking about it seriously for Limited and have been considering the 175 gr Lee flat point bullet as a starting point.

Welcome to the fascinating art and science of bullet-making.

 

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hunterspistol posted this 09 May 2010

     A guy can do okay with Lee pots and equipment and there's a lot of info on them on Cast Boolits.  The Cast Boolits site is a group of Lee-sponsored casters so, makes sense that they can tell you more about them.

      Personally, I use the little Lyman Master casting kit, it's worked for me for 10 years, just in the carport and lots of casual casting. Being this is still America, we do have lots of good quality equipment available. A few good books can help you out too.

Ron

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jppr26 posted this 09 May 2010

i purchased a used 10lb lee pot a while ago and i am happy with it, although getting it started 1/2lb ingots at first works best i think

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Johnny Breedlove posted this 10 May 2010

I would not worry about the lead vaporizing as none of the electric pots that you by for bullet casting will get hot enough to do that. Vaporizing occurs at well over 1000 degrees. I do most of my casting out side. If you prefer to do it in the garage leave a window open with a fan blowing out the window. The only reason I use a fan is to blow the smoke (from fluxing)away and to get rid of the smell. I use the lee products and have never been disapointed. I also have Lyman and RCBS molds. I like them all. Until you are sure of what you are up aginst go with Lee.

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Johnny Breedlove posted this 10 May 2010

canalupo wrote: spec

I believe a fan and good ventilation (open door or window) is adequate for casting purposes. But a word of caution WATCH YOUR TEMPERATURES. Lead begins to vaporize at high temps, Don't quote me but I think it is around 800 degrees F. If the pot starts to develop a rainbow/gold sheen on top you are probably too hot. That is when you usually need more than good ventilation. Also, You are not constantly exposed to lead fumes as a lead smelter would be on a shift in a plant/recycling center. I worked with plumbers for many years when pouring lead joints was still the only way to join sewer lines. Did quite a bit of lead pipe joint wipes too (gave away my age now). Except for growing an extra head I'm FINE (ha Ha).

Good Luck

Bob DBob please check out “environmentalchemistry.com  Then scroll down to “chemistry” then to “sorted by” click on boiling point then scroll down to “Lead". I don't think I would like to mess with lead at much higher than 1000degrees but as you can see vaporization occures at a much higher temp. With out a cutting torch most of us can not produce those temps. Lead melting point is a little over 600 degrees,it will actually start to melt at about 300 to 400 degree but not pourable until 600+ and vaporization temp is 3182 degrees.

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devin1955 posted this 10 May 2010

specopsjeff wrote: I know i shouldn't shoot lead in the glock - but i'll check it every 25-50 rounds and will eventually replace the barrel so I don't have to worry about shooting lead. I have a G21 and I shoot lead through the factory barrel almost exclusively. Accuracy is fine. Every 50 rounds or so I'll put a jacketed bullet in the mag, and I've never had any excessive leading.

I've heard lots of stories to the contrary though, so my barrel might not be typical for some reason... -Don

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CB posted this 11 May 2010

I have an old Lee 10 pounds that has worked for a long, long time, now I have a Lee 20 pounder and it works well. I use the 10 pounder to do pure lead and the 20 pounder for my bullet alloys.

As to the Glocks, I just shoot factory or jacketed reloads, I don't want to tempt fate. But over in Marshall county they had a police Sgt that was practicing with the departments practice ammo and his issue Glock blow up. This is not an isolated incident, the FBI is investigating the situation across the country.

Jerry

 

 

 

 

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