Three Letters Re: Bullet Casting: A (Relatively) Simple Introduction, by AVL

Hi Jim,
I have two notes regarding casting your own bullets (or any other metal for that matter): First: One piece of safety equipment that you really should have on hand when casting any metal is dry sand. Make sure you have at least 25 pounds of dry sand at the ready. If there is a metal spill, dump the sand on it and it will contain the flow and cool it quickly, plus it will cut of the supply of
oxygen, preventing fire.
Second: A fire extinguisher is good to have to put out fires, but with molten metal flowing all over the place lighting things on fire, a fire extinguisher is not enough. You must never put water on molten metal, because it will cause a steam explosion. This will burn you, and send splatters of molten metal flying all over the place making your problems much worse. Choose a dry chemical fire extinguisher that is rated to be used on electrical fires.
Metal casting is fun, and can be accomplished without accidents if you are diligent about your techniques. It is a skill that will be most useful if and when the SHTF. I just read C.W. Ammen’s “The Complete Handbook of Sand Casting” and feel that it is a great start to making almost anything out of metal.
Be blessed! – Chris


I drop bullets from the mould into the five gallon bucket of water in which I have placed a mesh nylon bag. When I am through casting I hang up the bag of bullets to dry. I have found that lubricant will not stay on damp bullets. Regards, – Vlad


A link to a much safer and far superior method of manufacturing bullets than casting hot lead is to swage bullets:
I have had and used professional level swaging equipment from my first business opportunity in 1982.
While I have sold that original business many years ago I continue to manufacture my own jacketed bullets for my favorite bench-rest rifles and continue to enjoy a much safer and cleaner method to manufacture bullets.
While swaging is considerably more expensive (and I continue to cast bullets from time to time, particularly for black powder arms.) I can say from over twenty years now that I enjoy the method and results much more than I could ever enjoy casting hot lead.
Swaged bullets are world record breakers, almost every precision competition rifle event is dominated by custom swaged bullets and for good reason, the ultimate in accuracy and quality.
I have over the years collected a shop full of swage dies for rifle and pistol and have not regretted the purchase, if anything it has enhanced my enjoyment of the craft of reloading, knowing I am in total control from primer choice to jacket material and bullet weight (down to the tenth of a grain!)
I would suggest that if you are serious about swaging that you buy one of the special designed presses (the main product form Corbin pulls double duty as swage press and reloading press) as the pressures involved are too much for a standard reloading press.
Imagine the potential of manufacturing jacketed bullets when you may be the only supplier available, often using junk or scrap metals for jackets (the ability to turn .22 LR casings into jackets for center-fire .22 rifles).
I would not want to place the curse of the foul habit of bench-rest shooting and reloading on any sane person, the benefits of cold lead flow forming of lead and jacketed bullets is worth the investigation. – Wotan