The How, What, Why of Casting
Many shooters choose not to reload, many reloaders choose not to cast; however, some shooters choose to reload and cast. I suppose this is not too different from other sports. Some fisherman choose not to farm their bait or tie their own flies, but some fisherman do both. For some shooters, they may be hesitant to begin reloading or casting because they feel the learning curve to be too steep, or the price point to be too high. It is my hope that this article will address these concerns and maybe put some of that initial anxiety to rest. This article will explain why I started casting and the embedded video will explain how I cast as well as what I use to cast.
Why did I start casting
MONEY; however, the reason you begin something does not necessarily provide you with motivation to continue doing something. Yes, I am one of those people who began casting because I wanted to shoot for cheap. At the time, I was getting into big bore revolvers and the cost of ammo was really escalating quickly. In addition, I had a ready-made (small) supply of lead to get started from my father. This lead me to do the math and invest in my shooting future by spending money to save money (doesn’t always work).
My initial buy-in was approximately $337.97 for the following tools and items:
- Lyman Master Casting Kit: https://amzn.to/2sjlBYp
- Lyman 452424 Mold: https://amzn.to/2sf1kEh
- Lyman top Punch 424: https://amzn.to/2sjmAYB
At the time, a box of 50 45 Colt ammunition was approximately $50.00. So if I were to load my own rounds using commercial bullets the component list would be:
- Hornady 45 caliber 240Gr XTP bullets $31.49 on sale at Graf and Sons: https://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog/product/productId/6557
- IMR Trail Boss Powder 9oz $16.99 at Graf and Sons: https://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog/product/productId/27384
- CCI Large Pistol Primers $31.99 at Graf and Sons: https://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog/product/productId/21304
I use 6 grains of trail boss in my 45 colt loads so my cost per 50 rounds would be:
Cases: free range find
Savings: $31.37 per 50 rounds
As you can see, the largest cost left when reloading is bullets. To be fair, you can find bullets for less money from companies such as Acme or others, but I was not all that familiar with commercial lead bullets at the time, so this factored into my decision a little more than it may for you. I factored in $.74 per 50 for lube and $1.00 for electricity as rough estimates and it took 24.1 or 25 boxes of ammunition to cover the costs of the equipment.
At that time, I was shooting a box of 50 .45 colt every trip to the range and I was going to the range weekly. So in about 6+ months I had shot enough to break even on my initial purchase. During this 6 month period, I was fortunate to have no leading issues and had great success with my cast bullet loads. The experience was fantastic, but my interest in casting began to wain and what was once a fun relaxing experience became a hassle or an imposition.
The Dog Days
I have talked to several folks that went through this same process; they started a hobby, got bored, stopped enjoying it, then stopped making time for it. Why didn’t this happen to me? Well it did, sort of. I stopped casting, loading, and shooting for 5-6 months. I spent a lot of time working on a project car, catching up on some reading, and generally finding other things to do. However, I still loved to shoot and as the weather began to get pleasant I wanted to go shooting again. I found that my enthusiasm quickly returned for casting, and, in general, the whole process became fun again. This taught me a valuable lesson about burning out in a hobby and in life.
The Pay Off
I believe that the way you approach a hobby can have an effect on how you approach many other aspects of your life. I went into my career, my personal life, and, yes, my hobbies with laser focus and intensity and it always leads to a burnout cycle. Casting, reloading, and shooting taught me the valuable lesson to diversify within the subject. I began reading about load development and different styles of firearms. I began micro projects as well as long-term projects all within the scope of the shooting sports. Eventually, I would like to do some competing in matches. This method keeps me in the scope of one thing but doesn’t require the laser focus or intensity which led to burnout. I still obsess about my hobby, personal life, and career but now I keep it moving and keep it fun.
I may have begun casting to save money, but ultimately I kept casting because learning about casting and the process has led me to a deeper, more interesting view of target shooting that I otherwise never would have had. It has led me to this community of similarly interested people, and has helped me to become a better person.
Stay Safe, Have Fun,
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, The Reloaders Network will receive an affiliate commission. This is being disclosed in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Hello Gun Nuts,
My name is Nathan. I’ve been shooting for about 33 years in some capacity. I’ve been reloading for 12 years and casting for 10. I am fortunate to have a father that reloads and casts so I got a jump start on learning this process. I look forward to passing that information on while trying to entertain you in any way I can.