Recommendation for 9mm bullet mold

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I recently acquired a Dillon loading press and want to start casting lead 9mm rounds to keep costs down so I can shoot more- I would like to run a 124-125grn bullet and load it to closely approximate the NATO loading. What is a good 4-6 cavity mold?
 
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Originally Posted By: bubbatime
Is leading the barrel a problem at 9MM velocities? Seems like you would need a very specific alloy to prevent that.
9mm is pretty slow compared to some of the rifle rounds being fired. http://castboolits.gunloads.com is by far my favorite pace to discuss lead alloys.
 
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While this kind of stuff is fun to play around with, don't spend a lot of money on this venture. Because with 9 MM FMJ running under $9.00 @ box in many places today, you won't be at it for very long. I've got over 3 dozen bullet molds in various calibers. Not to mention a ton of lead, and other various casting alloys and equipment in the garage. And aside for some heavy weight, Magnum revolver molds, I rarely touch the one's I have for auto pistol rounds. And even with those, you can buy hard cast bullets inexpensively today. Even plated ones. Back in the early 70's when I started bullet casting, they were not available. If you wanted heavy gas check, "Keith Style" revolver bullets for handloading, you had to cast them yourself. And any of the few over the counter lead bullets that were available, were far too soft to push at Magnum velocities. And most leaded barrels terribly even at mid range velocities. When I was younger and money was tight, it allowed me to shoot a bit more. Especially the Magnum revolver calibers, which were very expensive to run factory ammo through. But today the whole process just takes up too much time that I can spend shooting. And all of my Glocks, along with my H&K all have Polygonal rifling. Which does not lend itself well to cast bullet shooting. I still won't part with my semi auto pistol molds however. I don't have a whole lot of money tied up in them. And from a "survivalist" and "prepper" point of view, you never know if they might come in handy at some point down the road. Any type of goofy political legislation could push prices of ammunition through the roof at any time. Especially in today's crazy world.
 

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Yeah - I just bought 1000 rounds of 9mm, new, brass case, reloadable, for $179. I sincerely doubt that you could cast the bullets alone for less than that, and if you value your time at even $1.00/hour, then casting will cost you more than current ammo prices...so, if your primary motivation is to "keep costs down so I can shoot more", then I would skip the idea of casting bullets right now. If you choose to do so as a hobby, or to develop the skills, then see the advice above...
 
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Another thing to consider with bullet casting today, is the fact it has become far more difficult to obtain lead in volume cheap enough to make it worthwhile. You can buy commercially produced bullet casting alloy from places like Midway, and a few other shooting supply outlets. However the stuff is crazy expensive. And the shipping cost will kill you. The other more important factor today, is the fact lead is treated as a dangerous carcinogen in todays modern world. Years back no one really cared about it. I used to go to various scrap yards and buy large amounts of it for literally pennies a pound. Bring it home and smelt it into one pound ingots. Now they won't even sell it to you. Most of these scrap yards are licensed to buy from the public, but not to sell. It's gotten to the point of ridiculousness. Many states like California treat the stuff like it's nuclear waste. Even plumbing solder cannot be used to code in most places unless it's 90/10 Tin based. 50/50 used to be the norm, and it was much easier to get a good leak free joint. Back when I started casting, Linotype machines were becoming obsolete. If you contacted the more established printing companies, many of them would let you have old Linotype they had lying around for FREE. They just wanted rid of it. It was heavy, and difficult to dispose of. Now the stuff is treated like gold by bullet casters. Because it has become so expensive and difficult to obtain. Linotype alloy was almost the perfect bullet casting alloy. It contained 84% lead, 12% antimony and 4% tin. Cut it with a little pure lead, and you had beautiful, hard bullets that filled the mold perfectly, and never leaded the barrel, except at extreme velocities. With a gas check underneath, they were almost like jacketed bullets. Back then most any chain tire store like Goodyear and Firestone would be happy for you to take old wheel weights off their hands. The only competition bullet casters had back then were fishermen who cast their own sinkers. And they were few and far between. But today these casting alloys are very difficult to obtain. Let alone obtain at a price that makes the whole casting venture worth it. So if you still decide to go through with it, check around before you sink any serious money into cast bullet reloading. Because as they say, times change, and they rarely change for the better. This is very true in regards to bullet casting.
 
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Be advise that 9mm is one of the more difficult calibers to get accurate, lead bullet loads. Pretty much any load will work well in .38 Special or .45 ACP but 9mm takes a bit more work to get a good load.
 
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Originally Posted By: billt460
Back then most any chain tire store like Goodyear and Firestone would be happy for you to take old wheel weights off their hands. The only competition bullet casters had back then were fishermen who cast their own sinkers. And they were few and far between. But today these casting alloys are very difficult to obtain. Let alone obtain at a price that makes the whole casting venture worth it.
To make things worse, "lead tire weights" are often not lead anymore...
 
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Originally Posted By: Linctex
Originally Posted By: billt460
Back then most any chain tire store like Goodyear and Firestone would be happy for you to take old wheel weights off their hands. The only competition bullet casters had back then were fishermen who cast their own sinkers. And they were few and far between. But today these casting alloys are very difficult to obtain. Let alone obtain at a price that makes the whole casting venture worth it.
To make things worse, "lead tire weights" are often not lead anymore...
I was going to mention that. "Back in the day", most all wheel weights were cast from 5% Antimony based lead. And they had a metal clip cast into them. (This clip simply floated to the surface when you melted them, and could easily be skimmed off.) They were installed by the tire balancer by simply pounding them on to the steel rim with a rubber mallet. Today these type of weights are all but extinct. Because most all cars that are sold today have some type of stylish alloy wheels. My new Jeep has wheel weights that are "stick on" type. That are mounted on the inside of the wheel. None of these are good for bullet casting. The problem is most all of these places, (tire stores, scrap yards, printing shops), are no longer sources for bullet casting alloy. Most all scrap lead that is sold today, is sold to licensed recyclers. The public has been left completely out of the loop. Even plumbers are not a good source any more, since lead water pipe, along with oakum and lead sealed cast iron drain pipe, has gone the way of the dinosaur. And don't even think of using old car batteries as a source of casting lead. Between the acid and the Cadmium they contain, you'll make a mess of whatever you try to melt it in.... Not to mention your health. Cadmium gives off extremely toxic fumes when molten. No doubt about it, bullet casting has gone from a viable, enjoyable shooting hobby, to a giant PITA that is no longer worth the effort or expense. Too bad really.
 
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Originally Posted By: bubbatime
Is leading the barrel a problem at 9MM velocities? Seems like you would need a very specific alloy to prevent that.
No I shoot quite a few cast 9MM and the key is hardness. I cast mine at brinell hardness of 15 or higher they just aren't going to expand much but that is not an issue with target loads.
 
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When my cousin started powder coating his cast bullets , it solved his leading problems . Another tip . Cast & size your lead bullets at leased .002" oversize .
 
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I don't shoot 9mm, but shoot 38 Super and cast .356 bullets for it that would be equally suitable for 9mm. I have no leading issues with straight wheel weight alloy. With that said, if you do use wheel weights, you have to scrutinize them carefully-many now are high in zinc and any zinc will kill a pot for bullet casting. I am firmly of the belief that most leading problems at least in handguns arise from using lead that is too HARD for the caliber and doesn't effectively obturate. Wheel weight alloy is BHN 12 or so, and is about right for a lot of common handgun calibers although I consider it too hard even for 38 special and some other low pressure cartridges. Anyone who thinks they need Linotype for a moderate velocity handgun cartridge is deceiving themselves. They are likely paying a small fortune to cast bullets that are going to lead like crazy. If you must use Linotype, use it with a gas check. BTW, I like Lee molds. They have their deficiencies, but are cheap. I like having 6 cavity molds that will let me produce in volume. Granted the fact that they're aluminum is a double-edged sword. They heat up fast and in my experience will start giving nice fill-out with high yield in 2-3 castings. The other side of that, though, is that once you get them to temperature you need to be ready to move fast as they will also cool down quickly. With my 6 cavity 158gr .358 LSWC mold, I found a 10lb pot completely inadequate as I'd empty it and then end up having to start from scratch after casting probably 40 bullets.
 
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Use 1 pot for melting & transfer liquid lead to your casting pot . Try casting 405 grain bullets for .45-70 . Best of luck to you , :-)
 
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