Is casting your own projectiles worth it?

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???

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From a financial perspective, no
From a convenience perspective, no.
From a satisfaction of doing something yourself and shooting your own bullets, yes.

I appreciate the art, bit too much fking about for me. I’m too time poor to invest.
Looks good

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Yes it, way worth it!! I seem to be able to shoot a lot more, enjoy casting, and they have got me trophies out to 300m. You have a fair investment there, could have tried it cheaper…but your hooked now! It will be interesting to see how long you like Lee molds for…CBE, LYMAN, and RCBS are better, and worth the money. Enjoy!

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I will be getting into it in the next 12 months or so due to certain projectiles simply not being easily or cheaply available for certain firearms.

I’m looking forward to it.

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@Supaduke pretty much this (above). Some projectiles are simply not available, easily or in general. Agree with you on more common stuff, but in general it’s certainly worth it. Especially if you have access to cheap or free source of lead and shoot weird arse calibres.

CBE make a nice .268 Carcano mold that is a ripper! Saves chasing .268 bullets. It’s also very accurate in the 6.5x55 Swede!

tbh I usually buy projectiles that I can buy… I do have a CBE Carcano mold… And a few others, but all in all, if it’s for sale, I will usually buy it. I go with the path of least effort :slight_smile: Not to discourage anyone from casting, I am setup for casting and often do, but in my case for things I (a) can’t buy or (b) things that are prohibitively expensive. However, it’s the goodl old question of time vs money, depends what you chose to spend or have more of.

My big question was “Is it worth it from a money and time perspective?” and the answer appears to be “Fuck no”, but I know people who cast their own bullets who love it so I’m glad they have another aspect to the hobby to enjoy :slight_smile:

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I’d have to disagree @Martini. It’s not a binary answer… You’re missing the ‘what’ are you shooting. 12ga slugs - ohhh believe me it’s very much worth it. .224, .30 projectiles and anything common and cheap enough - not worth it. Although, if you run semis with with heavier pills, it’s probably worth it too. Or (in my case) it could be 577-450 Martini Henry - good luck finding commercial projectiles. Carcano, M1895 Nagant, 12ga slaug, 500gr 45-70 pills, 577 Snider, Mannlicher M95 and the list goes on. Projectiles that you can’t buy - worth it very much.

If you are shooting common cheap calibres, certainly not worth it.
If you are shooting uncommon expensive calibres, certainly worth it.

Not a clear cut answer.

Warning you will get hooked!

I have a mate who’s really into it so he handles all the casting and I can focus on things I enjoy doing :smiley:

Just to put another facet on it… I find it an annoying chore lol. It’s something that enables me to do something I love doing, it’s a link in the process. And I generally do one day and just crank out a tone of what I need to last me yonks… Or day and a bit if I am stocking up and then lubing/coating everything in one session. BUT certainly not hooked :stuck_out_tongue: It is a necessary evil LMAO

Thanks for that, Carcano is one that I am definitely going to cast for.

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Definitely will be getting 3 CBE molds when they open in September, missed out ordering them by a couple of days before they closed.

Other than the Lee pot, hardness tester and the Lyman temp gauge everything else was made from stuff that I had at home. The oven was brought for the wife and her craft but ended up to small so that was a win for me :wink:.

Defiantly not from a financial point of view if I take in to count what my normal hourly wage is lol, but as @juststarting said it is more for the seldom shot calibers or hard to find projectiles that I am doing it. No way would I do 9mm for example as I would have to cast everyday to keep up.

Start buying your molds and collecting lead now as you will soon get hooked, I know that I had a ball doing it lol.

As in my answer to @Supaduke, only for some calibers.

…and then there’s just something about the fact that you can rely on yourself to feed that addiction. Don’t have to do it, but nice to have that backup plan in case someone goes out of business or jacks up prices or whatever. I like having that resiliency in my hobby :slight_smile:

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@Supaduke I recon you are thinking about :stuck_out_tongue:

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I’m.making some hand fatigue friendly mold handles, if anyone is interested…stay tuned!

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I would never bother casting for.224

Casting too me is like wood heaters.
Great in concept, but I have to be honest with myself. I don’t have the time or motivation to supply the luxury.
Sourcing lead for me would be a total PITA.
I make a point of only purchasing guns with commercially available projies.
Hence I buy ammo and have a ceramic bar heater in the roof that goes on and off with the pull of a string switch.

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Well, I had a horse I was going to give you, but you fucked that up! Enjoy your car, fool!