Casting Lead Round Balls for Your Muzzleloader
Not as hard as you might think!
who like to shoot muzzleloader guns will at some time try their hand at casting lead round balls or conicals.
Lead Round Balls is really not
that hard to do. Once you have the proper tools and a little knowledge of how to use them.
Tools you will need to get
started casting lead round balls are, mold for round balls or conicals, melt pot, dipper for pouring lead into
your mold, heat source to melt the lead, fluxing material( we will explain more later) and pure
Your melt pot can be a
simple 10 pound steel or cast iron pot made just for the purpose of melting lead in it. With this you will need to
use some kind of heat source. I use my gas stove in the kitchen, only in the summer and with a fan in the window.
Or you can buy an electric melting furnace. One thing you need to make sure of is you have GOOD VENTILATION.
Casting lead round balls should be done outside if at all possible. Lead when melted or in dust form can
be very toxic. When casting keep all children and pregnant woman away
from the area that you are working in.
||To the left here is a cast iron
Lead Melting Pot and
dipper. This pot will hold around 10 pounds of lead. Plenty to get you started in casting lead
Lead Round Balls should always be
made from pure lead. Not wheel weights with the clips in them. Wheel weight lead is too hard. NEVER use lead
from batteries. This is toxic to everyone! Good pure lead is easy to find on the Internet. Wheel weight lead
is OK for bullets going into cases, but again muzzle loaders use pure lead due to the fact that it is very
Your mold can be a single,
double or multiple cavity type. Lee Molds makes a very inexpensive mold in popular sizes. The blocks are made of
aluminum, and you will have to be careful not to scare the inside of the mold. You can also get molds made of
steel. These you will have to make sure that you protect them from rust while not in
|To the right here is a round ball
mold mounted in the
also a loose pair of blocks for casting lead round balls also.
||You can see the inside of this mold
block here. You will want to take good care of these surfaces here. If you damage the edge of the
round ball half, you will ruin your mold.
Your work area should be well organized, and
only have the things you need to cast your lead round balls. Make sure your melt pot is on a good stable
location. Keep all food and drink away. Have a soft cloth like an old towel to drop your fresh cast lead on.
You should wear long sheave shirt and eye protection. You should stand while casting, you do not want to spill any
amount of molten lead in to your lap. Never have any water by your melted lead, if the two get together, the
lead will cause the water to boil and could cause an explosion.
is to get your lead melted. It will melt around 622 degree f. Next you want to flux the lead by putting in a
fluxing compound. You can use paraffin, bees wax, oiled sawdust or just sawdust. Or you can buy a fluxing compound
like Frankford Arsenal lead fluxing compound. The main benefit to this is when you put it in the melted lead you
get no smoke or smell. The waxes and oils will smoke and smell a lot. This brings all of the impurities to the top
of the melted lead so you can scoop it off with a wooden stick or spoon.
Now you are ready
to pour your first ball or conical. Once you pour it you will see the top of the lead change texture. This is the
lead setting up. Once you see this you can tap or swing open the spur plat cutting off the spur. Now you can open
your mold and drop the ball onto the cloth. Your first couple will more than likely have wrinkles or hollow spots
in them. This is due to your mold being cold. Keep making more round balls and the mold will heat up and you
should start getting good round balls. They should be shiny when you dump them out of the mold. You know your
lead temperature and mold are right.
||To the left you can see that the
left ball did not fill out in the mold, Cold mold or lead not hot enough is the cause of
this. The left spur and 2nd from left ball also has a wrinkles in it showing a cold mold. The
right hand balls and spur are good ones, see how shiny.
There is a difference of opinion about getting frosted looking
round balls or conicals out of your mold. Some people say that your lead and mold are too hot. I
have never had any trouble shooting frosted round balls or conicals. As long as the mold is being filled
out with good sharp corners ( conicals ) you should be good. You can use a bullet casting thermometer to
adjust your heat if you want too. This way you know that you will always be consistent.
If your mold is too hot you can keep
a damp cloth to
just touch the mold on to bring down the temperature a little. But remember
NO RUNNING WATER.
With a little practice you will be making good
shooters all of the time. Our forefathers caste theirs by the camp fire for their muzzleloader
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