How much does it cost to cast bullets?

This is a discussion on How much does it cost to cast bullets? within the Cartridges & Calibers forums, part of the Sniping Related category; The subject says it all, how much per shot does it cost to cast your own bullets without startup cost? Specifically 45lc, 357 mag, and ...

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  1. #1
    Member Mr. Smith & Wesson's Avatar
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    How much does it cost to cast bullets?

    The subject says it all, how much per shot does it cost to cast your own bullets without startup cost? Specifically 45lc, 357 mag, and 45-70 (not including gas checks).


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    Senior Member Stormrider's Avatar
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    Re: How much does it cost to cast bullets?

    Start up costs would include all the hardware needed, so the cost would be the cost of the lead (in pounds) divided by how many bullets you can cast per pound. Sometimes you can get lead for free or almost free. One of the places I found lead for free was a tire shop. They have lots of wheel weights... Oh, I forgot the lube. It is not expensive ($4.95) and a single tube goes a loooong way.

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    Senior Member gsmithplm's Avatar
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    Re: How much does it cost to cast bullets?

    Depends. Do you want to make good bullets or stuff for plinking or cowboy shooting? The latter is relatively inexpensive, the former, not so much so. Regardless, you need to be aware that you need a well ventilated area to work in.

    Here's a good place to look for more info: http://castboolits.gunloads.com/
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    Member Mr. Smith & Wesson's Avatar
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    Re: How much does it cost to cast bullets?

    Thanks for all of your information.
    "I'll give you my gun when you take it from my cold, dead hands"-Charlton Heston

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    even cheaper lube

    Quote Originally Posted by Stormrider View Post
    Oh, I forgot the lube. It is not expensive ($4.95) and a single tube goes a loooong way.
    I heard one guy found an even easier and cheaper way. Mix 99% alcohol with 1% lanolin (probably hand cream), pour a little into a can, stir. then toss in as much ammo as is completely saturated and swish it around. So that would be like a 69c bottle of 16oz isopropyl alcohol and a pump or two of hand cream. If it's too greasy, you're using too much cream.
    Last edited by Tdarcos; 06-25-2013 at 06:10 PM.

  6. #6
    OS1(SW) GMinor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tdarcos View Post
    I heard one guy found an even easier and cheaper way. Mix 99% alcohol with 1% lanolin (probably hand cream), pour a little into a can, toss in ammo and swish it around. If it's too greasy, you're using too much cream.
    Pure lanolin. Kinda looks like vasoline.

  7. #7
    Senior Member ddd oo7's Avatar
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    Old thread, but interesting none the less.

    I just recently started casting. I have an original 1884 Springfield trapdoor that I inherited. It hasn't been shot in probably over 50 years. I intend to get everything together to shoot it and I am almost there. No manufacturer makes bullets like we're originally shot in this rifle, so they must be cast. They are 405gr hollow base which will expand to the springfields oversize bore. Factory 45/70 is way too powerful for these rifles. I am using 50/50 olive oil and beeswax for solid lube. I will be using black powder in the cases. According to wolf's book, the right amount of powder will completely full the case and need to be compressed before seating the bullet. The lead is 20:1 (soft) so the hollow base will expand.

    One cool thing about the rifle is that the sights are adjustable all the way out to 1600 yards!

    If things get scarce I will cast for other calibers, but until then I prefer plated bullets in other guns because they clean easier.
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