Well that is a question that must cross everyone who shoots and reloads mind at some stage. I know it did mine. So I thought what the hell I will give it ago and see what happens.
So off I went and asked questions from those who currently cast, watched plenty of YouTube videos on how to do it and read even more articles of what to do, what you need etc. Then off shopping I went.
At the local tyre shop I scored some wheel weights for the cost of a carton of beer and also scored some other lead for free;
Brought myself a couple of molds, both Lee, and made myself a pot (out of an old gas bottle) to melt the wheel weights and a mold to make ingots;
Brought a Lee Pro 4 20lb bottom pouring melting pot;
Along with a Lyman digital temperature gauge;
And a Lee Hardness Tester;
So off I went and melted about 1 and 2/3 of the buckets of lead, cleaned the crap out and fluxed it before pouring it into my home made mold producing 66 triangle shaped ingots with an average weight of 1.5kg each;
Now in preparation of lading them I had to make a decision, do I lube them, powder coat them or coat them using Hi-Tek. I settled on the Hi-Tek after watching a lot of videos and reading articles. So I went and ordered 3 lots of different colours Black Cherry, Zombie Green and Candy Apple Red;
Plus a toaster oven to cook them in;
So today I got a chance to make some actual projectiles using the Lee mold for .357, 158gr flat nose;
At this time they have not been coated as I have not long finished putting everything away but I will get there sometime this week.
So the original question was “Is casting your own projectiles worth it?”
After going through the whole process from the position of never having done it before up to actually casting some projectiles, including the cost outlay, research and time and effort to do it, my answer is Bloody Oath it is.
I enjoyed the whole task and even found the actual casting quite relaxing and soothing in a strange sort of way, sitting there with the tunes going in the background while you go through the steps of filling the mold, emptying the mold and repeating.
The only draw back that I can see is that I now have to buy more molds for a couple of my other guns and some for future guns.
PS just for the record the little pile of projectiles in the photo number 848. I took 1 at random to test for hardness and on the Lee hardness tester it reads 064 which equates to a Brinnell hardness of 12.5.
For those that are thinking of getting a hardness tester the Lee is pretty good but you have to get the light in the right spot to be able to read it correctly, It takes a bit of getting used to.
These are my thoughts on the subject, what are yours??? Is it worth it???