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Guns & Ammo Network

Reloading Sixguns & Sagebrush

To Cast a Good Bullet

by Bart Skelton   |  June 28th, 2012 1

I don’t have a distinct recollection of the first time I reloaded a cartridge – it’s been a long time ago. From a very early age, I do remember watching my dad reload handgun ammunition, an activity he spent a lot of time doing when he wasn’t chasing crooks or working cattle. When I was eight or nine years old, he’d let me re-prime and size cases. He generally worked with .44 Magnum or .44 Special, but when I was allowed to help, it was always .38 Special, at least in the beginning.


When I got tired of doing the re-sizing work, he’d allow me to cast a bullet or two – only under very close supervision, then size and lube the bullets. It took me a long time to really understand his method of lead-to-linotype mixture. The most important thing to me was getting a good looking bullet out of the mold. I was to later spend many hours at my dad’s melting pot casting .50 caliber round balls for my flintlock rifle, which for a couple of years I preferred to shoot over anything else. When I got that out of my system, I went back to casting pistol bullets.


I took a hiatus from bullet casting for a long while, which is unfortunate, since I love shooting cast bullets in the .44 Special, .44 Magnum and .45 LC. I recently fired up my Hornady reloading outfit with the intention of turning out some .44 Special loads, but discovered I had no cast bullets on hand, then discovered my old lead furnace had gone belly up.


I contacted Badman Bullets and had them ship me a some of their 200-grain RNFP bullets. After shooting a few batches of them loaded over 7 grains of Unique, I’m thinking there may be no need to replace my old lead furnace.

  • Jim Faulkner-Long Jim

    Right with you Bart. I've been shooting the Badman line of bullets in Cowboy Action Shooting for 7 years now, and have been to their facility in Lebanon Oregon. Patrick, the owner, is "Mister Detail", when it comes to fine-tuning his machinery, and the bullets are extremely consistant in quality and size. Badman just recently cast and sold their 1,000,000th bullet ! Iwouldn't reload, or shoot anything else in CAS (c) and believe me, after trying 6 other manufacturers over the years, theirs is the best for my sport, mainly due to their Brinell hardness of 15 means better sealing of the bullet in the barrel, yet it's soft enough to obturate when loaded atop BP .

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