I started casting bullets last winter for my percussion guns, and since it’s been going well I recently started looking at bullet molds for the .30-30. I don’t use the Winchester much, but if I could make ammo for a few pennies per round, I might use it more often. I already have loading dies for that cartridge.
I figured a bullet mold would be a good investment, but then I figure for the .30-30 I need a bullet sizer (maybe a lubrisizer while we’re at it, ‘cause lead bullets need lubed), a .309” sizing die, top punch, gas checks, gas check seater plug, some good lube, handles for the mold. Then I’ll need some different powder…
That’s several hundred dollars to start loading “cheap” ammo for a rifle I probably haven’t fired 100s of dollars of commercial ammo through in all the years I’ve owned it. But then I figure I could also cast 9 mm and .357” bullets, but that’s more molds, sizing dies, and punches.
I don’t know; do any of you have all this extra hardware and cast a lot of bullets, and do you find it’s paid for itself? Sure it depends on how much you shoot, but there’s also the independence factor – you’re making your own bullets. Or is it just a big drag on your time, such that you find yourself buying more bullets or loaded ammo than you make?
Hmm. The percussion revolvers’ chambers act as their own sizing die, the loading ram acts as it’s own “top punch”, I can lube the bullets by dipping them in the tallow I get as a byproduct from hunting, they don’t need gas checks or special lead alloys, or loading dies, punches, et al. I already have the ~20 dollar conical bullet mold and the ~20 dollar ball mold and the ~60 dollar furnace. That’s an investment of about 100 dollars. After that it’s mostly just lead, powder and caps, and there’s no recovering of spent brass, no cleaning of brass, and no decapping, sizing or crimping the brass. The drawbacks though are obvious in that we’re back to the mid 19th century.
I see that Lee is soon to come out with an eighteen cavity 00 buckshot mold. It’s near the bottom of the page here.