I have a request for 20 Silver bullets in .45 caliber. I don't think I can or should cast them directly in my Aluminum molds. So, I thought of doing them with the lost wax method. I can cast the wax in my molds but what to use as a mold release? I do have a graphite spray mold release to try. I do have some casting wax left over from my Silversmith days. Unfortunately, I do not have a centrifugal casting machine so I'll try the wet rag method. Any better ideas? I did quote $30 each so it's worth the trouble. I should get better than two bullets to the ounce of silver. I do have a couple of pounds of fine and a couple pounds of Sterling. I wonder which I should use? I don't know if it makes a difference to Werewolves, does it?
Looks like an oversized steel mold and some plaster would do the trick.
OR do it the easy way and cast small solid sections and turn them on a lathe. Would likely result in a better round and truer weight and size. I have turned solid copper bullets and once you have a pattern to grind a tool from it works well. I used a plane blade and ground it to the profile needed, then rough turned and finished with the custom blade.
Silver at $30 a troy ounce, them be some pricey projectiles. A graphite mold made on a cnc mill would work just fine. Cast all 20 in one pour. Don't forget to adjust the propellant for the heavier projectile.
You can't cast it directly into alum molds, the melting point of silver is higher than that of aluminum. The wax has a lot of shrinkage. Even with professional equipment, where the wax is injected under pressure, you will still expect 5-7% shrinkage in the final metal product. So casting wax into standard bullet molds will result in a undersized bullet. Turn machinable wax on the lathe to about 47 1/2 cal bullets and cast that.
30 bucks ain't nearly enough. A 230 grain bullet is nearly 1/2 oz troy. That means you are only making 15 bucks in labor and supplies and overhead. If you were set up as a production caster, that might be a wholesale rate for the casting alone, sans the monkeying around with the patterns.
Do you have a vac pump? You could cast while pulling a vac from the bottom. I used to do a lot of casting years ago. Still have both my centrifugal and vac casting units but have done anything with them in quite some time
Silver's lighter than lead, I'll do the math to match pressure and velocity using the lighter slugs. I like your mold idea but I'll need provisions for some lube I think. Silver's a lot harder than lead, especially if I use Sterling, mayme I won't need lube...hmmmm.
Nobody's brought up that if you are making solid rounds you MUST make a blended alloy of the silver to make it a lot softer, got to get it down in the hardness neighborhood of the regular FMJ Lead bullet - that means No Fine, Sterling or Coin Silver hard alloys.
The bullets have to be able to conform to the barrel rifling as they make their way into the barrel, or the slug will hang in the forming cone and you'll blow up the gun barrel (or blow up the cylinder, or spit the bolt out the back in their face, or something else equally as catastrophic) if somebody actually tries to fire these rounds.
And no matter how many liability releases you get signed by the recipient, he can't control who grabs the rounds and tries to actually run them through a live weapon - after all the shouting, it's all on you if something goes seriously wrong...
Not to mention that if you end up with an alloy that has some lead, tin, cadmium, etc. in it to soften up the silver (think Pewter alloys...) that will stretch the silver, too.
A nice Hollowpoint that breaks up on impact should spread enough high silver content fragments around the impact area to neutralize any werewolves you might happen across.
Lost Wax investment casting is probably the only way to go - way too much trouble to make a permanent casting mold for a one-off.
Save the sprues and trimmings, and make a few single molds to use up the last few bits.
PS: I'm Baaaaaaack. ;-P Might regret it later, but looks like the Asylum's still in full swing and the Inmates are still in charge...
It's necessary to use non-pure silver if you want to cast it; otherwise the stuff spits. Sterling is usually (7.5 percent?) copper added to the silver, and that's enough to stop spitting (something to do with dissolved oxygen, I hear).
The same jewelry-supply places that sell silver shot, will have a line of appropriate waxes and ceramic moldmaking items. Your dentist probably knows a local shop that casts precious metals, already, and you might save time by getting them to do the hot parts.
Probably not -- but it may make a difference to the rifling in the weapon. I believe that fine is softer than Sterling (and, of course, more expensive).
Out of curiosity -- for .45 ACP or for the Colt single action revolver? The extra grip in the barrel might make a difference in the cycling of a model 1911. Quite a few shots may be needed to tune the load to the weight of the bullet and the different friction characteristics in the barrel.
Is the weight going to match that of one of the commercially available lead bullets? With or without jacketing?
And are you sure it isn't for someone to play Lone Ranger instead of protection from supernatural critters?