Jump to content
SASS Wire Forum

Dip or Bottom Pour


Tennessee Snuffy

Recommended Posts

Folks

I need some advice as to which way to go since I am going to be buying some equipment.  I am casting 535 g with a single cavity mold.  Over the course of a year, I probably will shoot 200 to 300 rounds.

 

What are the advantages and disadvantage of each casing method?

 

Thanks

 

Tennessee Snuffy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I get a lot of rejects when using a bottom pour furnace with a 535 grain Postell single cavity Lyman iron mold. The sprue cools and hardens before the bullet does, so the bullet "sucks in" on one side - temperature doesn't seem to matter. A dipper works much better, and that big Postell is the only bullet I use this method with. I don't have the "suck in" problem with two other heavy bullets - a single cavity Lyman 500 gr RNGC 45-70 iron mold or a single cavity aluminum Mountain Molds 700 grain .500 S&W mold, go figure.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the Cast Bullet Association newsletters there are published match results which record the group sizes and awards earned with both bottom pour and hand ladled cast bullets in a variety of guns and calibers.   Used to be most of the winners were hand ladling their slugs.   Not any more (last 10 years), more of the winners are bottom pouring.

 

It seems to me there are no consistent accuracy differences.   Time savings are pretty large using a good bottom pour pot with accurate temperature control.

 

Fellow's shooting ability will rule the roost, however.

 

good luck, GJ

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some molds need special care to keep the sprue plate or the blocks at the right temperature for best bullets.    Some that I bottom pour need to hit the bevel of the fill hole through the sprue plate.  Some need to be poured right down the hole.   Some want to be 50- 100 deg F hotter alloy than other bullets cast from same alloy.   Some want fan cooling during casting blowing on the blocks.  I find each one has different concerns.

 

GJ

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When casting 405, 500 and 535 g bullets I have much more consistency using a ladle. Most of the smaller bullets I cast get pored from the bottom of the pot with acceptable results.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 As stated in a previous post “Ladle pour and develop a cadence to follow through the process”.  I was in the N-SSA for 24 yrs. I used the dipping method to make 1000’s ( 50 K +)of musket, carbine  and 44-40 rounds. Also 45 -70 for my Trapdoor rifle. A large cast iron pot on a small hotplate works well. When using aluminum bullet molds I had a large piece of sponge foam in a small can with some water to keep it moist. Placing the mold on the sponge for a few seconds would cool it down. By using the pot method it is easier to spoon off all of the impurities that float to the top. Mixing in sawdust in will help cleaning the lead but it does crate some smoke.

 Nawlins

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would think for that large a bullet that hand ladling would fill the mold faster and make more consistent slugs.  I like my Lee bottom pour pot and they are very affordable, but at least on mine I can't seem to get much more than a small stream of molten lead that takes a few seconds to fill a 200 grain, .44 caliber mold.  Frankly, any bigger than my .44 mold and I think I'd have to switch to ladling to prevent air bubbles and unfilled sections of the mold.  As others have already mentioned, temperature is important as well.  Good luck and good shooting to all.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I tried the hand pour method at one time.  Speaking for myself, it was too time consuming, too prone to spills, and I found it hard to keep my mold temperature close to optimum.  I was given a 10 lb bottom pour, but found I ran out of lead too quickly.  I now have a 25 lb Lyman and a 20 lb Lee.  The Lee is used exclusively for pure lead RB for my muzzle loading rifle and conicals for my .36 caliber Navies.  The Lyman I got about 6 years ago after my 37 year old 20 lb Lyman finally gave up the ghost.  (I would've rebuilt it, but new parts were no longer available, or my "Google-fu" failed me).  I'm glad I bought the new Lyman, it's a much more user friendly pot.  Depending of what I'm concentrating on, or where I am in my projectile inventory, I typically run 1, 2 or 3 molds at a time.  My casting technique varies on what the mold material is, whether it's a 1, 2 3, 4 or 6 cavity mold.  I generally mix up the molds with ones of different cavity counts.  My biggest projectile mold is for a 410 grain .40 cal.  it also is a single cavity steel mold, so I seldom cast it alone, generally adding it in as a fill-in while concentrating on either casting a steel mold that yields a 230 grain TC .45 cal 2-cavity mold alongside it, or a steel 4-cavity .30 cal FN.  Yes, I much prefer steel molds, they seem to hold a casting temp easier, although take longer to heat up to the optimum temperature.  

 

The Lyman 25 lb pot has s PID temp controller on it and a "warming shelf" to ease in running two molds at the same time.  IMO, mold temperature is just as important as lead temp.    Getting two different molds running at a temp that keeps corners crisp and doesn't turn the bullets "frosty" is both a little time consuming and relies more on pacing than it does anything else.  I don't mind dumping mistakes back in the pot until I start producing good bullets from both molds... Running 3 molds can get quite hectic, and I don't do it very often.

 

Casting is where one may get their greatest exposure to elevating their lead blood levels... as unless you have a good circulation of fresh air, you're breathing in fumes.  Even in an open garage, you need to have a method of directing fumes away from yourself.  I have a kitchen oven hood that is vented out thru the roof of my workshop.  I'd like to have a window so I could regulate the amount of incoming fresh air better, but, my shop is kinda drafty as it isn't sealed from the outside.  It's uncomfortable in both winter & summer, so my casting is usually done during the milder spring & fall seasons.  

 

Good luck with whatever you decide upon... and never fear, there is probably room for a bottom pour AND a ladle pot on your casting bench.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Had no luck with bottom pour. Learn to hand pour because not every mold will pour the same. As stated post above ensure good breeze. I use a high velocity pole fan behind the pot to suck fumes and a harbor fright floor industrial fan blowing on my upper body. My lead count only goes up a little every year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.