The Challenge of Casting Muzzle-Loader Bullets
There are so many calibers of black powder rifles, they are too numerous to list. Some of them are .38, .357,.54, .454, .50, and .31 to name a few. There are bullets and there are balls; if the bullet or ball is heavier, it is said they shoot straighter but they will not go as far as say a lighter bullet or ball. The downside to a lighter bullet or ball is they shoot more crooked however they shoot farther. So there are down sides and upsides to each size and measurement.
The Tools for casting Bullets and balls are:
First you need lead. You can purchase this on line from a fishing store for making sinkers. You can also melt down old car wheel weights, anything really that has metal in it, but the purer the better. That is why it is best to buy from a fishing store. We ordered ours from eBay, 50 pounds at a time. They come in the shape of small bullion bars and melt easily.
There are so many places to get lead for casting, it is very easy to come by. There are other pieces of equipment needed to cast bullets. The first item is a ladle, which in a pinch a small kitchen ladle will do. Next is a melting pot to melt the lead and then there is the mold for the caliber and type of bullet you desire to make. Because of the fumes that are caused during the melting and pouring process, it is best to do your casting in a well ventilated outdoor location.
How do I cast the muzzle-loader bullets?
First you heat up your melting pot, being very careful not to burn yourself. Some melting pots are electric and will heat up when plugged in to an outlett. Step two is to put three or four bars of lead into the melting pot to melt. The third step is to heat up your mold with a torch. This will make working with the mold much easier. Next dip your ladle into the melted metal and very carefully pour the hot lead into the tightly closed mold. It won’t take long for the mold to take shape, sometimes you will need to tap off the extra led into a pot for later use. Your bullets should be cooled now, so open your mold and drop the newly formed bullets in a bowl with the other bullets.
How are the muzzle-loader bullets weighed?
Casting Muzzleloader bullets can be a challenge. Understanding how they are weighed can be even more confusing. They are measured by mass which is called grains, even though there are no grains in the iron bullet. To quote Google, “One pound is equal to 7000 grains and there are 437.5 grains in an ounce. Bullets can weigh anywhere between 15 grains for the lightest 17 HMR bullets all the way up to 750 grains for the heavier .50BMG rifle loads.”
To wrap it up…..
The act of casting muzzle-loader bullets can be dangerous. If you are interested in learning how to do this, either watch YouTube videos or have some one work with you. It can be a lot of fun, but it can also cause serious burns or even house fires if not done carefully and properly. If going green is important to you when it comes to casting your own bullets and balls, then look up Rotometals.com because they use 88% Bismuth and 12% tin in their ingots, but it is exremely expensive. I will be doing a future article on brass and copper Sabot store bought bullets, so make sure and check back.
If you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.