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    • #25199
      MTtimberline
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      I was at the range and saw the various naked bullets with grooves laying in the dirt. I remembered seeing them when I was younger and not really knowing anything about them, since they looked so different than the copper covered ones I was used to at the time. When told what they were, I can remember thinking why would anyone want to use something like that. Now most of my shooting uses cast with the exception of a couple of guns. My shooting goals and projects have changed also. I do my own thing and not found in the “who has the fastest new gun that the gun magazines are writing about” groups among coworkers and friends. I couldn’t think of what really got me started using cast. Then the other day I was looking back through my reloading notebook and came to the beginning of my loads for my .44 Mag and remembered where it all started. It was to tame that Ruger to make it more enjoyable to shoot. I started with commercial cast to try it out and became interested in finding out more about the new reloading method. I started with a Saeco pot and a 429421. Then it moved on to my .45 ACP and every other pistol since then. Another pot, more lubesizers, and many moulds have been collected. Now the cast bullets are finding their way into my rifles. The equipment bought for the bench is not what I would have thought over five years ago before that .44 Mag. That’s my story. I’d like to hear what got the rest of you started in cast.

    • #25200
      lead-1
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      I had friends in earlier years that cast sinkers over the stove and was always curious about casting bullets. Fast forward 30 years and a local gun store had a super clean Virginian Dragoon in 44 mag, from there I started searching the web for info and found a popular site to learn on and as the story goes, “here we go”.
      In the last 5-6 years I have experimented in 44 mag, 45 Colt, 45 ACP, 9 mm and 30-06 not to mention 12 ga slugs and my own buckshot and roundballs. For several years I collected odds and ends that have since been swapped or sold to get casting stuff to try and thanks to a member here I will get to finally try some 38 wadcutters.

    • #25203
      uber7mm
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      There always seems to be some new avenue to master. For me I started reloading jacketed bullets, then reloading lead as well. Soon I was casting, then dabbling in paper patching. As soon as one rifle, bullet and powder combination is conquered, there is another waiting to be tried. What an interesting journey to be on…

    • #25204
      Anonymous
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      Reloading my own ammo, much like making my own beer, was one of the things I always wanted to do. Christmas before last I bought a Ruger SR22. I, along with my father and my wife, had so much fun shooting that that I bought an S&W SD9VE and a Shield that spring. After shooting those for a while and sometimes having trouble finding ammo I looked into reloading. Bought a press, bullets, powder and primers and started reloading. I have always hated buying something I could make so I looked into casting my own bullets. Bought a pot and mold and I was on my way. Then came powder coating. Now I am in the process if figuring that out.

      What it all boils down to is I like being self-sufficient. And while I don’t believe that the world is going to implode anytime soon I like to be prepared. The more skills I pick up the better off I will be. At this point if I can get powder and primers I can make ammo. It may not be great ammo but I will be able to keep the zombies at bay. Besides I am having fun. 🙂

    • #25206
      Harter
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      I got started with a 45 Colts because I just couldn’t bear to pay $18 a box then they jumped to $28. Then 30cal bullets jumped from $16 -21/100 . I shot I think about 150 commercial cast in a 9mm and 06′ . Then a 100 so in the Colts. I couldn’t get even close to the middle loads in the BlackHawk . The 06′ was lead from breach to crown wit 6gr of Unique. The Speer swaged worked OK in the 9mm . At $38 a box for Colts it became essential . Mastering the low pressure rifle and the 9 and 357 made surviving this last run bareable and let me shoot wildcats and long gone from the shelf rifles. Let’s not forget $6/100 “blasting ammo” which just happens to double as full power hunting loads in Colts and 357.

    • #25208
      GhostHawk
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      I first started way back when casting round balls for a front stuffer. That fling didn’t last too long, but it did not take me long to figure out I could use the same tools to make my own fishing sinkers. Did that for decades.

      Then 3 years ago I bought a pair of Mosin’s and not long after a SKS. A couple of lee molds and I was back in the casting and enjoying it more than ever!

      3 more molds arrived this week, pair of 6 cavity and a replacement for the old lee .312 185 gr gas check that I got back into casting on. Think I made every mistake in the book. We’ll hang the old one on the wall as a reminder.

    • #25210
      Goodsteel
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      Dad was a caster. I grew up messing with lead bullets. When I was 14 I got my very first powder burning firearm, a reproduction 1851 Confederate Navy cap and ball revolver. The pistol came with a box of Hornady swaged round balls, but I had those all shot up in about a week. I would dig the balls out of the ground, and smash them back into shape with a pair of pliers till they lost too much lead to seal the cylinder. I had to get something better, so I bought a Lee RB mold.
      I tried casting with dad’s hardball alloy, but I thought I was going to break the loading lever shoving the balls into the gun, and Lord the pressure when I got them in there and touched one off!
      Then I started casting with pure lead and things were better.
      That went on till I was 18 and dad bought me my first centerfire rifle, a Marlin 336 in 30-30.
      Dad took me to the gun closet and handed me a Lyman 311466 mold, 20-30 pieces of brass, and a box of gas checks. He told me this is how I get my ammo. I went and cast up a bunch of those bullets and dad taught me how to reload metallic cartridges. I ended up draining his 8lb keg of Unique 10 grains at a time with that rifle, and it was all down hill from there.

    • #25214
      Anonymous
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      The same two reasons that got me into reloading, saving money, and making my own. Got fooled on the first reason both times, I have not saved a dime, but I have done a great deal more shooting. As far as casting my own, it is sort of a moth being drawn to a flame fascination, playing with fire and shiny things………. what’s not to like?

    • #25221
      VANN
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      The first revolver I had was a brass frame 1851, not sure how old I was but I do know that I had my 1st 44 Mag when I was 16. The 44 Mag is what got me started in reloading.

      Cast was a no brainer then, I still have some old boxes of Valiant .357 158 grain cast laying around with a price tag of 15.00 per 500. I think I was buying 115 grain cast for my Glock at around 12.00 per 500.

      I started casting when I started cowboy shooting. The first set of cowboy guns I bought where two 1858 Remington old army’s and a 94 Winchester Trapper in 45 Colt. I wasn’t long before I started casting round balls for the 58’s, then I started loading the rifle rounds with B/P and seating a round ball on top of that. I think I was around 20 then.

    • #25225
      Scharfschuetze
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      First post so bear with me if I get this wrong!

      Casting was a logical progression into the shooting world for me. It opened up a whole new area of experimentation and fun. That was about 40 years ago and I still find cast bullets as interesting today as I did with my first cast 30 calibre bullets for my collection of US military bolt action rifles.

    • #25230
      Phil
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      In the early 60’s I got a Ruger 357 Blackhawk from a cop coworker of my COP mother. Being a child at the time I could not afford store-bought ammo or bullets. I got an RCBS JR and a RCBS single cavity mold for Christmas when I was 9 years of age. I cast bullets on the stove using a small aluminum pan and a bent spoon. 50+ years later I still have the Ruger and the RCBS JR and many, many more molds. I still even have the small aluminum pan and bent spoon but do not employ them. Just cannot bring myself to throw them out.

    • #25232
      lar45
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      While I was in Junior High, my family got into building and hunting with muzzle loaders. Dad was a plumber, so we already had a lead furnace and lots of pure lead, so Dad brought home a round ball mold and we were in bussiness. A couple years later I bought a Navy replica 44 cap and ball revolver so I got a round ball mold for it also. A couple of years after that I bought my first “real” revolver, a S&W M29 44mag with the 10 5/8″ barrel and 4 position adjustable front sight. My older brother showed me how to reload for it and gave me a bullet mold to get started. I still remember the load, 23gns 2400 and a RCBS 225 SWC. I think that load was a little on the hot side.
      I feel guilty if I have to buy store bought ammo for any caliber other than 22lr.

    • #25233
      Smoke4320
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      claude;n3548 wrote: The same two reasons that got me into reloading, saving money, and making my own. Got fooled on the first reason both times, I have not saved a dime, but I have done a great deal more shooting. As far as casting my own, it is sort of a moth being drawn to a flame fascination, playing with fire and shiny things………. what’s not to like?

      ditto to all above
      not saved a dime but been down an interesting and mostly enjoyable road
      At anytime I can make several years worth of bullets for any gun I own ..

    • #25245
      Artful
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      I have been casting to save money since I was in college – if that worked I would be richer than Donald Trump. But I have been able to shoot pretty much my whole adult life without worrying about the money it costs. I will say I have slowed down some as I have aged – but it’s not the time but the mileage.

    • #25252
      451 whitworth
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      Started in High School when I bought a T/C Renegade .54 for the first dedicated ML season in my state. 3 huge lead ingots in the basement that had been there all my life were my source of metal. My parents bought me a Browning 71 reproduction for a High School graduation/working my butt off on the farm my whole life for no pay present. When I went to buy jacket bullets I about died when I saw the price. It took me literally years to figure out how to make it shoot cast bullets. I was a dismal failure at shooting cast in that rifle for a long time but it hardened my resolve to solve the riddle.

    • #25253
      Bodean98
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      My first venture into casting was about 35 years ago when I acquired my Redhawk 44mag. At the time it was for “economy” reasons. I worked at a tire shop and lead was plentiful and free! My first casts were tumble lubed with LLA and sized in a Lee push thru. If I remember correctly I used 15 gr. of blue dot. They shot absolutely horrible! Couldn’t keep a cylinder full on an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper at 25 yards. I gave up and shot jwords until recently. I then acquired a Marlin 1893 in 38-55. That rekindled the cast boolit fire and I started up again. I learned much on the “other” site about casting and decided to give the 44 another try. My what a difference! I can now hit a 6″ circle @ 100 yds. every shot! I also took my first deer with a cast boolit and a handgun this year.(avatar)
      My interest has now expanded into the high velocity area and I have assembled a 30×57 to play with. Plus I now get to play with new and different tools, lubes, gas checks, and so on.

    • #25254
      WVchuter
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      When I started to shoot NRA Bullseye pistol, I had to find a supply of cheap quality bullets. Since the range I shot at was a source for free lead casting was a no-brainer. I did cheat a bit. I traded .22LR rounds for bullets with a retired gentleman in the club. He had the time to cast and I had the money to buy .22LR ammo.
      I loaded the last of those bullets last year(still have about 400 rounds to fire). Wow,now that I think about it that was 25-30 years ago.

    • #25266
      OptimusPanda
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      Sometime in 2010 I stumbled on a good deal on a hornady LNL progressive press and loaded jacketed bullets exclusively. Then the shortages of 2012-2013 started and this became improbable at best. There was a local-ish guy that had a commercial cast bullet company and I bought a couple thousand from him and loaded them (never having shot cast bullets before that). Then one day link clicking through youtube got me thinking I’d cast my own. Ordered up some lead, a lee 4-20 pot, and a pair of lee 2 cavity molds. Since that time I must have shot 15,000 cast bullets having upgraded to a lube sizer and several other molds. The past 3 months I’ve started on the rifles. It’s been a rapid progression.

    • #25269
      badbob454
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      i started by casting fishing sinkers 30+ years ago, saw how easy lead wheel weights melted, and i already reloaded.. thought hmm i can try to make bullets out of lead so i have been doing so and still learning stuff , having no mentor it was a long journey the guys on cast boolits , many of them here also helped me learn , now i try to help others . most of my friends are too lazy to even reload ha ha this is something i enjoy…

    • #25272
      MTtimberline
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      badbob454;n3617 wrote: most of my friends are too lazy to even reload

      Everyone needs a few friends like these as I find they are an excellent source of once fired brass.

    • #25285
      badbob454
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      so true i have gotten a little brass from these guys …

    • #25311
      Rossi.45
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      saw a new 311284 mold in the local sports shop for half price back in the day . . . . kept picking it up every time i went in the shop, this went on for a year or two.
      bought it and cast my first boolits for the .308 with a very crude setup . . but it worked, slowly, and i was hooked.
      then came the internet . . and the surprise that i am not alone, some are even crazier than i am, in a good way.

    • #25336
      chutesnreloads
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      Dad gave me a Lee “pound ’em” loader when I got my 1st handgun with a few lead bullets.Several years later when I started loading for rifles I found I could load my own at least as good as I could buy but usually even better since could tailor to the gun.Years later an on-line bud gave me some cast in trade.The .38’s shot great but half the 9mm hit sideways.Went to that other site seeking answers for the 9mm.Know how Mom always said folks with filthy habits were contagious.Bet I read about casting and loading cast 2 years before I jumped in.Yep…it IS a filthy habit I just love

    • #25340
      Anonymous
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      Started reloading in 1960. At that time I loaded for rifles only. I wasn’t one for much pistol shooter except for my Colt Buntline Scout in 22 lr. With the amount of shooting I did in my “working” years, jacketed bullets were fine. Then when I retired I discovered the world of pistol shooting and was hooked. I saw real quickly that my shooting was going to eat up a bunch of money using jacketed so I ordered up some cast. They worked fine so I thought “why buy them when I can make my own a lot cheaper”. OOPS! Open up the floodgates and a whole new world rushed in. I have not saved a dime but I sure enjoy this new world and the great people in it. Cost more? Yes. Regret it? Absolutely not!

    • #25397
      bear67
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      I grew up hunting and shooting with my father and our friends–but he never had interests in the ammo making side of it. Then my life crossed paths with the fine Texas gentleman who became my mentor and friend. He was a retired gunsmith who had opened a range and gun shop on his farm. I met him and he asked me to do some work for him. This was 1958 and I was 14 and could operate anything on wheels or tracks and I worked whenever he had a project like building backstops, benches, roof units ect. I had .22s and shotguns, but I bought my first centerfire rifle from him–a 257 Roberts that he had built for his wife to hunt with. It was the start and I still have and love it.. I ordered some tools from Herters and was soon loading for the Roberts, a 22 Hornet that made it’s way home, 30-06, 30-40 and I was hooked. I was loading jacketed bullets and shooting bench-rest and varmint hunting and having a ball. Then I took some of my funds made working farming for neighbors at .50 cents an hour and bought a Govt Colt. Mr Roy smiled and gave me a well used Ideal Kieth designed bullet mold for the 45 and it has all been downhill since ’59. I had others helping in my shooting, loading, and casting education, but Mr Roy Vinson was like a father and I was blessed that he came into my young life for a while. I had a couple of high school teachers that I loaded, shot and hunted with and later in life others had an influence, but I had a great start and much encouragement from this neighbor and friend.

      I have worked with 4-H shooting groups, my children, my neighbors children and Boy Scout Shooting Sports, but I still owe a debt to my old friend to pass on the flag. I was in college and working in Nevada when he died, but he called my brother and had him come by to pickup a S&W 1917 that he thought I should have–I did not make it back to Texas before he went to the big range in the sky, but I fondle and shoot the ’17 and will pass it on to some other young shooter someday. As he got older he quit casting bullets, but he would supply lead and his molds and trade me powder and primers for cast and lubed CBs. Just sharing this story brings back lots of memoies.

    • #25439
      Anonymous
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      Casting was the only way we good afford to shoot as much as we wanted back in the late 60’s. Been casting every since.

    • #25721
      JeffG
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      I bought a TC Hawken in 91 and had access to a lot of free pure lead and had friends through work that also shot muzzle loaders. I was always the do it yourself type so just wanted to make my own bullets. Economics might have been a part of it, just not remembering it. Since expanding into smokeless and metallic reloading, it definitely allows for more shooting for the same amount of money and I enjoy the whole process. I’m mechanically inclined and it’s just fun, plain and simple.

    • #25764
      oldblinddog
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      A S&W 25-5 .45 Colt that I bought new in 1980. I wish I still owned that one, but now I have a Sig in .45 ACP.

    • #25887
      dragon813gt
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      I like being as self sufficient as possible. I’ve watched ammo disappear off the shelves multiple times for months on end. Unfortunately the same has happened to components. Casting just happened to be a progression in reloading. The less components I have to buy the better. The only one I really have to buy is the brass. Making black powder is easy. Making priming compound and reusing primers is not something I want to do on a daily basis. But it’s nice to know I can if I have to. The fact that I can shoot more for the same amount of money is an added benefit.

    • #26161
      Anonymous
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      That was a great story Bear67, thanks for sharing.
      My beloved model 94 and S&W .32 hand ejector got me casting. They deserve the best!

    • #26166
      Bullseye67
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      I learned from a neighbor/mentor 1978-79 and then did lots for bullseye. Now I keep on for all the reasons already mentioned. Plus….. I get a kick out of the “spray’n pray” crowd that shoot at 7 yards and couldn’t hit a basketball. They look over and I am shooting a S&W 44 Mag one handed at 20 yards with stout cast loads. As my target rolls up they look over and usually the majority of black is missing after 18-24 shots. Its the best when they say “Oh, he shoots special bullets that he makes himself” as if the tons of lead I have cast and sent down range had nothing to do with it. I always get a chuckle 😀

    • #26169
      farmerjim
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      I started casting back in the 60’s to save money. I got lyman 4 cavity molds for all my calibers. COWW were 5 cents a pound at the tire store. I still use these molds plus about 20 more.
      If I live to be 100 I might save some money.

    • #26199
      DeadWoodDan
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      30-30 do I need to say more. Have acquired 4 different makes and models since my first Win.94AE. Just so easy and so many molds……I should have stopped there, but caught the bug.

    • #26387
      Dick
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      454 Casull, lol. I bought a Freedom Arms field grade 454 Casull with a spare fitted 45 colt cylinder for the huge sum of $1,000 when the economy was still in a high velocity downward spiral.

      Ammo cost and wanting to shoot WFN bullets is what got me to looking into casting. So a lee 20 lb bottom pour, a can for FA mould release, a Lee 452-255-RF mould, a lee .452 sizing die with LLA, and 60 lbs of hardball alloy from Missouri Bullet Company and I was off to the races!

      I never had leading in that gun even using LLA and a serious dose of 2400.

      It’s been downhill ever since. I find it odd that I taught myself reloading with a progressive press, started my casting with a 454 Casull, and I have been successful. According to internet and gunshop lore, you must start on a single stage for reloading and an “easy” cartridge for casting.

    • #26404
      Anonymous
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      Started reloading in 1961 with a Lyman 310 in 38 Special, and a Tru Line Jr. in 300 Savage. Hornady 30 cal 150 gr bullets were $5 per hundred, but bullets for the 38 were almost non existent, at least where I lived. So, I bought a Lyman 357446, and a 358432, 310 push through sizer die, some of the old Lyman Ideal lube, and I was hooked. Still waiting for the money saving part.

    • #26435
      skeettx
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      1972
      Montana
      311465 and 4227 for ground squirrels
      358477 and Bullseye for fun
      452460 and Bullseye for fun
      Mike

    • #26645
      gwpercle
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      A Ruger Blackhawk purchased in 1970 , being an avid reader of Elmer Keith and Skeeter Skelton and a poor college student that liked to shoot but couldn’t afford much factory ammo or store bought bullets . That led to a $9.95 Lee Loader and a $14.50 1 cavity Lyman mould # 358477 . My best friend and his daddy were in the tire business…free unlimited supply of clip on wheel weights….that started the whole thing. I do wish my friend was still in the tire business, those were the days !
      Gary

    • #26649
      Gunslinger1911
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      Granpa gave me an OLD percussion muzzle loading pistol when I was 14. looking back, I’m pretty sure it was from 1800’s, came with a mould. Pop got some lead, caps and powder, and I was in business. Lotta lead went down that barrel.
      Progressed to a 357 Blackhawk at 16, had to find a way to feed it on newspaper delivery money. Casting wheel weights and loading on a Pacific single stage.
      Really wish I could remember how I learned to cast and reload, no internet in early 70’s, might have been a few books at the library.
      Now I cast and reload for something like 20 calibers.
      Bought 500 lbs processed range scrap last spring – it’s about gone (3 sons lol).
      Time to stock up again.
      Casting is relaxing to me (even though I’m still learning after all these years). Good therapy for life’s challenges.

    • #26651
      Chris C
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      I bought a brand spankin’ new Marlin 1895 in .45-70 back in the mid 90’s. Bought it for a specific purpose that never presented itself, so I shot a partial box of Remington ammo and put it in the closet. Fast forward to 2013 when I decided to pull it out and shoot it a little. Didn’t take long to get hooked up on the Marlin Owners forum, learning more about that rifle than I ever thought possible. Kept shooting commercial rounds until I complained bitterly about the cost and then the group finally convinced me to start reloading. Swore I’d never cast, but about 4 months ago I got into that. You danged “gun nuts” done dragged me to the fire! Now I love shootin’, reloadin’ ‘n castin’. Since getting back into it in 2013, I’ve ended up buying a 113 year old Marlin 1893 in .38-55 and a C. Sharps 1885 Highwall in .38-55…………..so I’m doin’ a lot of all three hobbies. “Danged gun nuts”!;) Oh, and I cast and reload for my 3-screw Ruger Blackhawk, Glock 27 and Browning Hi-power also. Busy, busy, busy. “Danged gun nuts”!

    • #26653
      Calamity Jake
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      Bought my first real hand gun about 1981,a Ruger SS in stainless a fellow employee told me about cast and where I could buy some, that got me hooked
      a year later I joined OKC gun club, they had a reloading division with casting pots and H&G 68 in an 8 cav. along with the H&G 38 WC mold
      needless to say it didn’t take me long to find some WW and I was in business, the rest is history.

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