Picture of Casting Lead and Reloading Large Rifle Cases

A guide to reloading .45-70 GOVT brass. Significant danger ahead.

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Step 1: Get Lead

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I bought it off ebay. So heavy the mailman left it in the larger sorting bin and dragged it to my porch. Clearly not what the USPS had in mind when they said anything you can put in the box and close it is a flat rate.

Step 2: Melt Lead

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Outside. Fumes. No kids. Yadda yadda.

Step 3: About 20lbs

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Lead behaves funny when melting. The first few ingots are the hardest. My heat source choked a bit, but pumping the tank brought the heat up enough to get a nice hot melt. They make thermometers for people who care exactly how hot things are.

Step 4: Heat your mould

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I put it close to the burner to come up to closer temp. Before casting I dipped the far corner of the mould into the lead.

Step 5: Drop in bath

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The mould has a plate over the top where you pour in the lead. You hit the plate with a nearby stick and it slices the still hot sprue and puddle off the top. I tried to be gentle and drop that back in my pot. You will sustain limb threatening burns if you get any of this on you.

Step 6: Dry them off

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Old beach towel you're assigning permanent bullet detail.

Step 7: Bullet Grease

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Lee Liquid alox. Also called tumble lube. Fumes strong enough to knock the ass off a concrete elephant. Doing this inside was a bad idea.

Step 8: Fired Brass

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You can make this pretty quickly.

Step 9: Sizing Die

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The sizing die has a pin that knocks out the used primer and narrows the neck for seating a new bullet.

Step 10: Ready for Cleaning

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Tumble bath or whatever. I clean every couple of reloads. .45-70 requires a lot less, it's a lot more like a shotgun.

Step 11: Primer tool

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They make widgets for your press that will reload. I got this instead. The big companies make different models.

Step 12: Fresh Pow

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There are little cups included with the dies that are probably small enough to keep you out of trouble. Digital scales that will weigh your powder out to the tenth of a grain are stupid cheap on amazon.

bmaverick6 months ago

If you can put together the methods of a DIY mold making for the lead die, that would be very helpful.

With the price of ammo in the U.S. these days this Great!
I knew everything but the casting the heads that is a cool thing
10lbs of lead can range from 15-25$ if you happen to look at the right time
baecker031 year ago
wanted to add that with some spare lead, a person could make a head for a lead hammer. a very useful tool when working with metals that can't be deformed. what was the total cost for the lead BTW?