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Author Topic: Sprue removal  (Read 539 times)

Online RobD

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Re: Sprue removal
« Reply #15 on: September 01, 2020, 06:20:13 AM »
i would never tumble for sprue removal, i don't know how that would even work.

i find it very VERY hard to beat a lee ball mould, with its built-in tangential sprue cutter.  and to boot, lee moulds are uber cheap and super lightweight. 

that said, i've used tanner, lyman, and other ball moulds that drop with sprue attached and a pair of common electrical side cutter dykes or specialty fret end nippers (from guitar luthiery work) do the job just fine.   

r.

Online Ohio Joe

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Re: Sprue removal
« Reply #16 on: September 01, 2020, 08:04:15 AM »
There's no doubt many folks have become spoiled with the Hornady balls and no sprue... And they are good balls IMHO...

I shoot what I call "Rondo Balls" mostly, and they have a slight sprue, but very slight... I figure when I short start that Rondo Ball with sprue up and drive it home onto the the powder charge - and give my ramrod a few bouncing tamps after the ball is seated - there probably ain't much sprue if any left on that ball... 

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Online RobD

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Re: Sprue removal
« Reply #17 on: September 01, 2020, 08:25:59 AM »
casting yer own balls would be the bestest way to go.  it's simple, easy, cheap.  add to that the satisfaction of DIY, which was how it was done in the wild yesteryear.

you don't need a lotta stuff to case good balls, either.  though i cast for more than pure lead balls (BPCR lead/tin alloy slicks) and have a full casting station.


Online Doc Nock

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Re: Sprue removal
« Reply #18 on: September 01, 2020, 09:08:17 AM »
Rob has been doing this for a long, long time and is very good at it... he keeps it simple, has a good cadence and knows what to look for...

When I started out trying to cast I bought some lead that was advertised as pure, but it never tarnished and try as I may, there was a lot of weight variance by a couple grains... I even took to cutting my balls in half and finding teeny, tiny "voids" inside, but since few do that it might have been more common then we'd know...

I then bought "nuggets" advertised as PURE lead but ended up with cottage cheese on top, even with a thermometer in the lead melt..That company also sold Range Lead in that configuration and I returned it for credit and got 5# ingots as when man gets involved, things can go awry... With the 5# ingots I got better balls and more consistency...And they tarnish...

OJoe, I started out decades ago shooting those Hornady swaged balls with precut round patches in a T/C Renegade and got excellent accuracy so yea, they do spoil a guy, but making my own balls is like tying my own flies... sure does add an element to the fun... As for accuracy, I had gooder eyes back then so it may have had to do with that!

Online Ohio Joe

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Re: Sprue removal
« Reply #19 on: September 01, 2020, 09:43:12 AM »
Yes, there's a satisfaction in casting your own balls... I'm set up for .440's and .390's, and my friend Rondo has a .445 mold so he's my go to man until I buy a .445 mold...

Where I worked for near on 30 years before retiring (small local Hardware and Lumber yard with a small sporting goods - which I ran), I had access to lot's of traditional muzzle loading related items (we never deviled into that modern "Inline trade crap" - we were 100% traditional muzzle loading & modern cartridge only),,, anyway I had access to Hornady balls at wholesale prices so even though I had/have, the melting pot and molds - it was easy for me to get hooked on the ease of purchasing Hornady balls at cost, rather then casting my own after tracking down lead...

I've still got scrap lead, I just have to get off my butt and get after it and start casting!!!  :shake

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Online RobD

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Re: Sprue removal
« Reply #20 on: September 01, 2020, 09:54:37 AM »
a lee ball mould, a cheap lee 4# pot, a ladle of sorts, and some pure lead will get you casting good balls just fine.  after that, it's just the lead that's needed and can be scrounged up in more than a few ways.

Online Doc Nock

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Re: Sprue removal
« Reply #21 on: September 01, 2020, 11:16:33 AM »
Rob got me back into casting...I had a 10# lee "Drip o matic" bottom pour that I HATED... I got a large headed screw and screwed it into orifice from inside the pot and that ended the drip or bottom pour feature...I bought a dipper and now have that for pure lead and a old RCBS with COWW for revolver ammo bullets...

I think Rob has various furnaces with his BPCR pouring in varied mixes... He can do it in his basement as he has a high CFM fan in the window above his pour bench and a box of dirt outside where the fan exhausts to keep the ground from getting lead vapor saturated...

That boy thinks of it all! :bl th up :toast

Offline Winter Hawk

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Re: Sprue removal
« Reply #22 on: September 02, 2020, 08:00:53 PM »
I've been thinking of getting one of those electrified lead pots.  I've been using a Lyman cast iron pot I bought in 1969, on my equally old kerosene camp stove, but it takes a long time to get the lead melted, and I have to be there to keep an eye on it the whole time.  I figure one of the electrical pots could be plugged in and left for a while.  But I'm not sure I want to part with that much cash money....  Decision, decisions, decisions!  :pray:

'Course, the kerosene stove has to be faster than trying to melt the lead over an open fire, so I'll probably just keep plugging away with what I have.  :laffing

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Online RobD

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Re: Sprue removal
« Reply #23 on: September 02, 2020, 08:33:46 PM »
i have four pots, 1 lyman 8lb for pure lead and 3 lee 20lb for alloy (30:1, 20:1, 16:1).  they're all ladle pots (i don't like bottom pour pots) and all good pots.  i've had them all for over 15 years and they get used quite a bit.  monday i cast 75 slicks at 529 grains of 16:1 each for the coming BPCR matches, and 50 .530" pure lead balls for flinter.  if i could have only one pot, it'd be the lee 20lb, a real workhorse.  if i was a casual caster for pure lead balls i'd get the cheap lee 4# pot and not look back - worlds' better than messing with anything that requires a flame.   ymmv.

Online BEAVERMAN

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Re: Sprue removal
« Reply #24 on: September 02, 2020, 11:16:30 PM »
I've been thinking of getting one of those electrified lead pots.  I've been using a Lyman cast iron pot I bought in 1969, on my equally old kerosene camp stove, but it takes a long time to get the lead melted, and I have to be there to keep an eye on it the whole time.  I figure one of the electrical pots could be plugged in and left for a while.  But I'm not sure I want to part with that much cash money....  Decision, decisions, decisions!  :pray:

'Course, the kerosene stove has to be faster than trying to melt the lead over an open fire, so I'll probably just keep plugging away with what I have.  :laffing

~Kees~

Kees, I have been using an old school coleman gas stove with one of the propane converter sticks from 20 years ago and a 2 quart cast iron sauce pan for about the same 20 years, I won an electric lead pot at a raffle, have used it twice, it has sat on the shelf now for 12 years collecting dust, if it works don't fix it!
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