Cast Your Own Bullets and Save
Cast Your Own Bullets and Save continued...
As ammunition prices increase due to higher demand and uneasiness over potential increased regulation, regular shooters are finding that obtaining ammo for their firearms is more and more expensive. Shooters need to keep their skills sharp, however, so how can they get their practice at the range without breaking the bank?
One method people have been using is to handload their own rounds. This step saves a lot of money after an initial investment in equipment. Aside from the other advantages of handloading, such as accuracy increases and being able to adjust the power of your rounds to fit your needs, it also allows you to avoid the markup of commercial ammo. Handloading allows you to recycle your brass, which is a huge step towards savings, but you also need other materials such as primers, powder and bullets. If you’re already handloading and already recycling your shell casings, you can look to save even more money by casting your own bullets.
Casting bullets isn’t a complex task. All you need is the lead, an iron pot to melt it in, a ladle, and a mold. You can buy specially formulated lead that’s intended for making bullets, or you can make your own mix. Pure lead is usually too soft, and should be avoided. Proper bullet lead contains antimony, which makes the alloy hard enough to be suitable for a bullet.
Some people recommend recycling scrap tire weights, which are made of an acceptably hard alloy. Since these can be obtained at very low cost, or even for free, it is a great way to save money on raw materials. Once you have your lead, all you need to do is melt it in your iron pot over a gas or electric stove, skim off any impurities once it has reached a liquid state, and then pour it into the mold using the ladle. It may take a little practice to get the molding technique down, but don’t worry – if your bullet doesn’t mold correctly, you can drop it back into the pot and try again!
Once you’ve got your bullet molded, it’s usually a good idea to run it through a sizer and lubricator. This machine smoothes out any imperfections and adds some lubricating wax to your bullet, making it ready for you to use in your handloaded cartridge. The sizer uses different templates called “collets” that vary by the caliber of the bullet.
Once you’ve gotten the hang of casting your own bullets, you won’t need to pay for the pre-fabricated slugs and your handloaded rounds will save you even more money than before. You’ll be able to shoot as much as you need to without worrying about running out of ammo.