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Thread: casting equipment recommendations?

  1. #1
    Capnball is offline
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    casting equipment recommendations?

    I've always just gotten by with borrowed equipment for what little casting I've done, which has been in some volume, especially with roundballs and minies. I would like to get myself some basic, cheap casting equipment, and wondered what was recommended by you skirmishers. I'm going to be casting almost exclusively blackpowder bullets, including minies, round balls, and occasionally sharps or spencer bullets, if I am ever again fortunate enough to posess either arm. What are y'all's favorite casting methods, and what would be the best simple equipment for the money?

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    Capnball, I use a propane fueled plumber's pot and a ladle. I have been using this method for the past 35 years and is the method I prefer. However, having said that, many shooters like the bottom pour electric pots....so, I guess the answer is, whatever method works best for you should help you decide.
    Mike Santarelli 03635V, Adjutant
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    John Holland is offline Moderator
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    I'm "old school", been casting bullets for 50+ years on an old Griswold two burner natural gas fired hot plate, which was already quite old when I began using it. I use an open cast iron pot and hand pour. It worked then....it works now.

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    Absolutely. You don't have to buy expensive equipment to cast quality bullets. That is a good thing for the financially challenged like me especially. For musket minnies I prefer a gas turkey fryer burner with a cast iron bowl set in top of it. I pour with a bottom pour ladle. I find it is easier to achieve my desired temperature in the pot and keep the mould hot with this method for the larger bullet. I also have a bottom pour lee pot that I use for smaller bullets but it is problematic. Leaks allot and have trouble fluxing / scraping the dross with all of the valve apparatus in the way. For me I prefer to practice the KISS method - Keep It Simple Stupid


    Sounds like you have cast before but a couple of safety observations never hurt.

    I wear safety glasses at least, if you have a face shield even better
    When casting I am sitting as most probably are, I prefer long pants to at least give me a thin barrier between my flesh and 650 degree molten metal
    I prefer to wear welding gloves around the pot. Some others may not but my preference
    Keep any water away from the pot. water & molten lead - no good can come from this!
    Make sure you have good ventilation, If possible do it outside
    Last edited by CJM; 07-19-2013 at 02:33 PM.
    4th North Carolina, Iredell Blues

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    I've only ever used my Lee Pro 4 20 110V pot:

    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/645...rnace-110-volt

    It is bottom pour.

    The things I like about it:

    • Thermostatic control for consistent lead pour temperatures.
    • Bottom pour so you only get clean lead poured into your mold - the dross stays on top.
    • Electric so you never run out of fuel in the middle of casting.


    Things I don't like about it:

    • The spout often drips.


    Steve

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    I use propane burner and a cast iron sauce pan with handle with lead ladle. Sauce pan holds about 20 pounds of lead. You can find cast iron sauce pans at antique stores fairly cheap. If you find one get a pot that has straight sides instead of tapered sides. Straight side pot heats quicker and holds temp better. I have both one for musket and one for carbine and found this out. I use tapered for carbine which is a solid base bullet since consistant heat range is more important for a hollow base bullet. I think I paid $10 been using it for 25 years. I use a Lee 20lb production pot for smoothbore and Henry bullets. Rich
    Last edited by Rich Foster; 07-19-2013 at 02:28 PM.

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    Lee lead pot Steve recommends is a very good pot. I have one just like it for 12 years and no problem just never master the high volume moulds like minieballs. I stick to ladling and make them right every time for musket and carbine. Rich

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    Rebel Dave is offline
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    I use a very old Lyman bottom pour. I couldn't stop it from leaking so I plugged the whole up. I have used it this way for years, with a good hi volume ladel. I have a lee 20 lb dipper pot for back up, and solid bullets. I don't get many voids in my minnies. I cast the lyman wadcutter, and the RCBS .578 Skirmish Minnie, with a larger base pin, and .50 cal for my Spencer carbine. Works for me.

    Rebel Dave
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    Muley Gil is offline
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    Like Harry Gaul, I started out with a Coleman stove and a ladle. I still use them. Works just fine. The only difference is I now use a propane converter instead of the white gas to power the Coleman.
    Gil Davis Tercenio
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    Started out about 40 years ago on a Coleman stove and a laddle. Bought a Lee bottom pour melting pot, but I like the Coleman stove and the laddle better, so that is what I use most. Only upgrade I have made over the years is to convert the Coleman stove to propane.
    Relatives; Isaac W. Shafer 33rd Va. Inf. Lost right arm at Antietam
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