Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 59

outdoor emporium, or even a catalog to
call in an order. If you didn’t cast ’em,
you couldn’t shoot ’em.
Why cast lead bullets? Isn’t lead
dangerous? Aren’t the sabot and copper-jacketed bullets better and easier
to hunt with? Won’t a hunter spend
more money on equipment than they
would if they purchased a couple of
boxes of bullets? Who shoots cast lead
bullets? While all of these are commonly asked questions, they need to be
addressed so that an entire generation
of muzzleloading hunters aren’t left out
of a satisfying facet of the sport.
Why cast lead bullets? Perhaps the
easiest answer is because we can. This
commonly available element is used
in plumbing, electrical, radiological,
metallurgical, boat building, fishing
and hunting applications, to name a
few. With a very low melting point, 621
degrees Fahrenheit, lead can change its
solid shape to a liquid with the simplest
of heat sources. A rendezvous campfire,
Coleman gas stove, propane torch,
and yes, modern electrical furnace
and melting pots, make short work for
changing the state of this elemental
metal.
The second reason to cast lead bullets is economics. A cast lead bullet
takes about three cents (or less if you
got the lead for free) worth of lead to
make a 50-caliber roundball; maybe
a nickel for a larger conical. Buy that
same bullet as a jacketed sabot, and
you can multiply the price by 20 to
30 times. If you do any amount of
target shooting, are involved in black
powder competition, or if you are into
the Cowboy shooting sports, you really
can’t afford to ignore the savings.
While there are other personal
reasons for casting lead bullets, like
APRIL  2013 

the profound connection to American
history, I believe the most appealing
reason for melting lead is the visual
satisfaction of watching the liquid
solidify into a shiny orb, or even the
more defined shape as a spire-pointed,
gas-sealing, bearing-ribbed, greasegrooved conoidal bullet (such as a
T/C Maxi-Ball). This vision becomes
even more appealing when you picture
yourself harvesting that big buck with a
bullet made by your own hand.
There are thousands of shooters
who enjoy the process of casting bullets from lead. Many of these hobbyists
are organized into the Cast Bullet Association (www.castbulletassoc.org.)
But, is this facet of the muzzleloading
sports dangerous? The answer needs to
be a qualified, albeit ambiguous, “yes
and no!” The “yes, lead is dangerous”
response relates to the possibility of
burns, vapors and ingestion. Obviously, home casting situations require
safety equipment to create the “no,
lead is not dangerous” response. With
temperatures ranging from the melting
point of 621 degrees Fahrenheit for
pure lead, to lead alloy temperatures
ranging more than 800 degrees F. It is
important that you wear gloves, safety
glasses, long pants/apron and shoes to
prevent accidental splash-burns.
Lead does not vaporize until it
reaches 1,100 degrees F. This is not a
danger for electric home production
pots. If one is using a hotter propane
or acetylene burner, then a high temperature thermometer is necessary to
prevent excessive heat. In reality, lead
at this extreme temperature, even with
higher temperature alloys, doesn’t cast
well and amateur bullet casters rarely,
if ever, encounter this problem. In fact,
many amateur casters have had their
59


http://www.castbulletassoc.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013

Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013
Contents
Another Doorstep
Whitetail Predation
Pymatuning and Conneaut
Grinnin’ a Gobbler
Want to Be a Successful Turkey Hunter?
One for Officer Grove
Pennsylvania Otters — A Success Story
Kestrel Numbers Climb at SGL 205
From the Field
Field Notes
Conservation News
Making a Difference
What Should I Be Doing This Month?
Off the Wire
Another View
The Naturalist’s Eye
Straight from the Bowstring
Lock, Stock & Barrel
Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Another Doorstep
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Whitetail Predation
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Pymatuning and Conneaut
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Grinnin’ a Gobbler
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Want to Be a Successful Turkey Hunter?
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - One for Officer Grove
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Pennsylvania Otters — A Success Story
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Kestrel Numbers Climb at SGL 205
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - From the Field
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Field Notes
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Conservation News
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Making a Difference
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - What Should I Be Doing This Month?
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Off the Wire
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Another View
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 48
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 49
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - The Naturalist’s Eye
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 51
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 52
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Straight from the Bowstring
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Lock, Stock & Barrel
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 59
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 60
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 61
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - BB1
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - BB2
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Cover4
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