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Garrison Joe, SASS #60708

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Posts posted by Garrison Joe, SASS #60708

  1. No, for any BP gun I shoot, just squirt in PAM cleaner, wait 5 minutes, and then wet a patch with PAM and push it through.  Just about done with barrels at that point.


    PAM is equal parts of hydrogen Peroxide, rubbing Alcohol and Murphys oil soap.  P-A-M.  It cuts through the fouling real quick, so no need to plug anything.  And leaves barrel coated with a non-petroleum oil film.


    Good luck, GJ

    • Like 1
  2. Any part of round in chamber is easy to spot WHEN SOMEONE LOOKS.   If no one looks at the line, and the first examination is at the unloading table, THEN YOU CALL WHAT IS SEEN THERE. 


    It's really bad form to speculate on what could have happened at the line.   Leads to all sorts of arguments and "confusion".  Call what is seen, when it is seen.


    good luck, GJ

    • Like 6
    • Thanks 2
  3. By the time an open action long gun is carried to the unloading table, with muzzles held upwards, it's going to be a real rare situation that any part of round is in chamber.   This then almost always gets called a Minor Safety penalty.  Shooter can then just move on. 


    If shooter has trained themselves to glance at the action of the gun as it is lowered and restaged, even that MSV can be avoided.


    The decisions about what the rules need to be to

    1 -  protect safety of shooter and posse

    2 - make it easy to call from just a split second of observation

    were debated years ago and this rule has come from that.  If you feel this is still wrong, you can always bring it up with your TG and see if there is concern enough to discuss at a TG meeting.


    Good luck, GJ

    • Like 4
  4. 15 hours ago, Doc Marks said:

    They told me to contact uberti.

    Once again, a strong reason to buy from Taylor's when getting a Uberti-made firearm.  

    I know, doesn't help now.  


    Press Uberti as hard as you can for a new cylinder.   GJ

  5. Well, aluminum has an EXTREMELY low solubility in lead alloys at normal casting temperatures.   And, I just reread all chapters of Robert Block's mini-book on metallurgy of lead alloys in Lyman Cast Bullet 5th edition, and he never even mentions aluminum in lead alloys other than showing the minuscule solubility level in a chart. 


    Oh, I see you have been reading Lyman's 3rd edition from your latest post.  I think some of the knowledge from the 1970's may have been replaced by a better solubility figures on aluminum now available.


    Anyway, the formation and collection of crud/cooled alloy/dross DOES tend to clog bottom pour casting spouts.  Sometimes a little propane torch application to the spout clears it up.  That is then when I bump up the temperature of the melt another 10 or 20 degrees, because I have an alloy in the pot right then that needs just a little more temperature to stay fully molten as it passes the spout (which is always a little cooler than the pot itself)..    


    It's the run-away drip that occurs with Lee pots that is real dangerous.   I have also found by practical experience it is very unwise to walk away from a Lee pot that is full of alloy.  It seems to take advantage of a missing operator and drain some or all of the pot.   I used to have to stick a large cake pan under the spout to catch the runaway even if I wanted a bathroom break.  


    So, you may enjoy using Lee bottom pour pots, I and many other casters don't. 


    Good luck, GJ

  6. Yep, the setup I was talking about was figuring out a solid thermocouple holder that can be removed quickly to clean the pot, and the programming of the PID controller.  Overriding the RCBS pot temp control, as you state, is just a matter of turning it's factory thermostat dial to full-burn.




    • Like 1
  7. Well, gotta disagree with you there, KR. 


    Dendrites are simply the tree-shaped structure formed as regions of lead alloys that cool at the same time within a solidified bullet.  Above the melting point of a lead melt, there are no dendrites.  Dendrites in lead alloys are like icy slush in very cold water.  Part of the liquid has crystalized into solid (ice) while cooling right at the freezing point, but some of the liquid has not yet frozen.  I've never found anyone claim dendrites form in the pour spout of a lead furnace when it is being run warm enough to cast a completely melted alloy.  Lyman's chapter on Metallurgy of Cast Bullets  does not say this either (just checked).


    Lee pots have a couple of major problems.  One is the temp control, which I have measured to be less accurately controlled with the Lee snap-thermostat than the RCBS thermocouple control. 


    As well, the design of the spout and valve stem in the Lee is not as conducive to self-cleaning during casting.  If there is ANY dirt or even cooled lead in the inside channel of the spout, the valve does not clean itself very well.  That is where Lee instructions say that you have to twist the valve rod periodically to help it clear the solids from the spout.    The valve "stopper" shape that RCBS uses in the bottom pour is a long cylinder with a round nose.   You can't twist the rod during operation - it's pinned into the lifting arm.   But I find you never need to, as the cylinder-shape tip cleans the whole length of the channel every pour.


    I have used Lyman, Lee and RCBS pots now over 50 years of casting lots of lead alloys.   I really find the RCBS pot to be much better at controlling temps and preventing drips and runs.


    Now, for ultimate temperature control, some folks use a PID controller with a thermocouple in the molten lead alloy.   I might try that one of these days, when I have an extra $150 and some time to set one of those up to override the factory temperature control in my RCBS pots.


    good luck, GJ

    • Like 1
  8. Sure looks like a MIM (sintered metal) base AND sight insert.    I'd replace at least that broken insert with something more solid, like a short dovetailed bar stock sight from Marbles that should last (until the base breaks).


    Dovetail sights are "sized" by the length of the base flat  of the dovetail, and the total height from the flat of the dovetail up to top of sight.   So, if you can pull a pair of calipers or a micrometer out, and find those two dimensions, you can look for just the sight insert and replace it for maybe $15 or so.  Brownells or Midway would be where I'd look once you have made the measurements.


    Probably broke because it was in a soft case, and got a good hit during your trip.    A sturdy plastic or aluminum case with good foam will prevent a lot of damage during road trips.


    Good luck, GJ

  9. Those kind of leaks made me toss my Lee production pot and go to the RCBS ProMelt.   Absolutely no regrets, and closer temperature control too.


    But if you want to stay with the Lee, use Jackalope's method above.  That would hold mine drip free for perhaps 5 loads.  Then, it would get a little debris in the spout and start dripping again.


    Good luck, GJ

    • Like 2
    • Thanks 1
  10. I find that Pietta makes a better C&B and a better SAA currently than does Uberti.   Closer to original designs.  Better attention to oiling up guns before putting them on a boat to come to USA.   Uberti should warranty-service that rusted cylinder on the Walker and replace it.    Be aware if you are buying from Uberti USA or from a distributor (Taylors, Cimarron, etc).    Warranty service needs to go through the distributor if that is where you/your gun store got the gun.   Only recently has Uberti even had an official presence in the US, and I was not aware they had any ability other than shipping it back to the homeland for doing warranty service themselves. 


    If you ARE going to buy Uberti, I would recommend making sure it goes through Taylors, as their warranty service seems better than the rest.  In your case, since you bought from Midway, contact them first.  See what they will do for you!


    Take a look at Pietta, though.  EMF is one of their distributors.   Dixie Gun Works (IIRC) handles some lines of both Pietta and Uberti. 


    good luck, GJ

    • Like 1
  11. 26 minutes ago, Cypress Sam, SASS #10915 said:

    why large-pistol primed cases won’t t work while the small pistol primed cases work?


    Haven't seen anyone who has figured that out yet, and that includes a gunsmith or two who have done the conversions.

  12. Best lead ingot sizes are those that will fit in a commercial casting furnace, as well shipping well.   "Muffins" fit the RCBS, Lyman and Lee furnaces fine, but any bigger size would not.  An ingot that fills even a small FRB would make the consumer have to cut up the ingot before they can add it to a pot.  And slicing fairly soft lead with a saw is not simple (the teeth gum up).


    I've seen a couple of lead suppliers who have a rectangular mold to cast 8 ingots that just fit into a small FRB.  That works real well. 


    good luck, GJ

    • Like 1
  13. Quote

    What changes exactly does the conversion make?



    barrel set back and new chamber cut for .45 auto case

    (which means the barrel's cut for mag tube hanger may have to be recut, and mag tube shortened to match barrel length)

    (and making two cuts in breech end of barrel for extractor hook and the cartridge support tab)

    new lifter (often from the Smith Shop) fitted (because the round is so short, two rounds jam into the lifter at same time)


    new extractor can sometimes be needed to better grab the rimless case


    Remember that you normally don't get any shorter lever stroke than a .45 Colt rifle with the same short stroke kit installed in it.  And a few of the conversions I have seen have not run large-pistol-primed (standard) .45 auto ammo, and users have had to use the small-primer cases. 


    For all the expense, I have not seen the advantages or economy of converting over a perfectly-functioning 73 to run the .45 auto round.


    Good luck, GJ

  14. I no longer add any car wax to my lizard litter, as I would (rarely) get clumps of wax and media in my cases, even when I usually remembered to let the wax run for a few minutes before adding cases.


    So, now it's just the lizard litter and a dryer sheet (used) and a cap of paint thinner (maybe a tablespoon).  Run vibratory bowl for 30 minutes.  Brass gets as clean as I need, and even a little shiny.  


    good luck, and good enough for me, and no waiting for wax to spread out, GJ

  15. Clamps are part of the wiring.  They are usually soft.


    Battery posts and plates and grids and interconnect bars - all now are Calcium hardened lead since it works better in acid.


    Folks should not use parts from auto batteries.  Clamps are fine.


    Good luck, GJ

  16. Zinc bullets have been around for years for specialized target shooting (and really did not catch on for other uses - they don't expand much at all and are pretty worthless for hunting due to hardness and low density of the slugs). 


    Zinc bullets shot on a range where pards are trying to reclaim and recycle lead are just as bad for the resulting alloy as adding zinc wheel weights because you didn't sort the scrap weights carefully.


    Let's really try to keep zinc bullets out of cowboy shooting areas.  They are ILLEGAL to use in cowboy shooting per the rules.  And they make it hard to cheaply recycle lead to make good bullets in the future.


    good luck, GJ

  17. Mostly the future price of SKBs will depend on the future of cowboy shooting.   If you devote effort to supporting and growing the sport, then the future value of the guns needed will likely continue to increase.


    Now, what do you need in the way of a 2027 World Series winner or a Dow Jones 2032 projection?  Perhaps I can set the time machine that far forward......


     Good luck, GJ



  18. Quote

    How can you test an ingot of unknown lead alloy to see if it has any zinc in it?


    The most precise test is an X-Ray Fluorescence analysis.   The equipment costs $10,000 and needs a trained and certified X-ray operator who can run the equipment without exposing themselves or others to x-ray energy.    Will give you a content of many of the alloy and contamination components of that lead alloy.  Even tests stainless steel, tool steel, brass, etc.  Needs a chunk of lead with a clean flat surface the size of a quarter or larger.   As Springfield Slim has talked about above, there are folks on-line who will test a chunk for a small fee.   Bigger scrap dealers have a tester on-site and MAY be able to be talked into running a test for individuals.


    Get out your lead thermometer.  Melt a one-pound sample in a small melting pot, stir it slowly as it gets to 750 F, and examine the surface and any crystal content at or just under the surface.  Both Zinc and Calcium contaminants give sort of a cooked oatmeal or grainy surface at normal lead alloy melting temperature, because the Zinc and Calcium join with antimony (the hardening component of bullet alloys) to make "intermetallic compounds" which don't melt at 750 F, and are less dense than the rest of the lead.  They need almost 850 F to melt.  Thus, a properly-fluxed melt that does not almost instantly clear up without granules on the surface of the melt as the temperature gets to 750 or 775 F, is not going to cast well.  See my notes above about what either of these contaminants will do to cast bullets.  It takes practice to see this - some folks have patience to learn this, most don't.


    If you are working with wheel weights, I talked about identifying the Zinc ones earlier. Look "up thread."   Steel ones pull out with a magnet.  Auto battery parts contain Calcium - don't use them!


    So, as Slim has hinted at - don't EVER stick an unknown chunk of metal in with your lead alloy you are melting down (from wheel weights, scrap roofing or plumbing jobs, or similar sources).   If you are not SURE you know what it is and how it will affect your alloy, DO NOT ADD IT.  Yeah, the temptation is high.   It sure "looks" OK.  But you are likely to instantly ruin 20 or more pounds of good alloy by adding a pound or two of unknown scrap.   Be very particular about what you melt for bullet alloys - especially if you are concerned about accuracy and ease of casting.  Once the alloy is contaminated with an unknown metal, it is almost impossible for the average caster to remove that contamination.   Dilution with other clean alloy will work - IF you have enough to dilute the contaminant to the point where it does not affect your casting.    That of course proves a proverb that you can "spend good alloy after bad" to no real satisfaction.


    Bottom line - it's lots of work watching the scrap metal items you melt down to make sure they are what you want.   And it's almost impossible work cleaning up lead after a mistake.  That's one reason that commercial casters buy (more expensive) pre-alloyed bullet casting alloys.  Yes, Midway and Rotometals and others that are selling in small volumes REALLY mark up the price, and then expensive shipping usually gets piled on top of that cost.   Big casters buy tons at a time and get both better prices and deals on the shipping of pallet-loads of ingots.


    good luck, GJ




    • Thanks 1
  19. Zinc is pretty bad in bullet lead.  It makes the alloy hard to cast unless you realize zinc is in there, clogs up bottom pour pots and does not fill out mold cavities.  A temporary solution is to turn the temperature up another 100 deg F or so.   Bullets will be frosted and hard - up to 30 Brinnell.   Tough trying to size them after casting.


    Better solution - keep the zinc out!   Or toss out the pot contents when you discover it's contaminated.  Yeah, it's that bad.


    Every scrap melter should have a bottle of muriatic acid around, and learn to watch for zinc wheel weights like a HAWK.  Some will be marked ZN.  All zinc weights will ring when dropped on concrete.


    good luck, GJ

  20. Major amounts of tin would make that coil product sound off with a "tinkle" or pop when it's bent.  Even 63% tin solder will tinkle a little.  It is very uncommon to find tin in a large rod shape.   See if you can flex a loop to get any sound out of it.  Tin is so expensive ($10 a pound or more) that that much tin having been overlooked would be a very unlikely treasure trove.


    Zinc alloys don't extrude or pull through dies very well.   Would be uncommon for that to be a zinc alloy.  But zinc products are certainly harder than lead scrap.    Zinc will bubble and release hydrogen gas if a LITTLE muriatic acid is dropped on it.    Available at hardware and pool supply stores.


    Is this coil a tube or pipe?   Could be lead plumbing pipe (if soft).  Could be communication cable sheathing  (if soft). 


    But you say it's hard.

    That scrap yard is probably the best place to find your answer.


    good luck, GJ

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