Which molds to get?

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Which molds to get?

Post by huntingnt on Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:02 am

I am looking to start casting my own for this season and need advice on which molds to buy. I would like to shoot .38 158gr RN or SWC for DR matches and .45 185gr SWC to match what i'm currently loading.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

huntingnt

Posts : 24
Join date : 2012-01-07

Back to top Go down

Re: Which molds to get?

Post by davekp on Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:42 am

You will probably get many opinions, many may be good. I suggest you think this through. In my area, scrap lead is very difficult to find. Add the cost of molds, furnace, sizer, other gear, and your time. For me, it's not worth doing myself when I can buy good bullets fairly reasonably.

davekp

Posts : 203
Join date : 2011-06-11

Back to top Go down

Re: Which molds to get?

Post by Al on Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:34 pm

I started casting nearly 10 years ago when I came to the realization that shipping soft lead bullets was causing way too much deformation on the bullet bases. Since then I've put close to 40000 through my 45's and several thousand through my 38 and 41. I've made several mistakes over time but luckily had the dumb luck to get good equipment from a caster that was getting out of it.

H&G would be my first choice for molds. I've used Lyman, Lee & Saeco and haven't found anything better than H&G. The problem is they've been out of business for years and you have to watch for them coming up on the auction sites. Plan on spending $120-$140 for a 4 cavity in good condition. Stay with a 4 cavity. The 6 cavity would seem a better choice for production, but I've found that they also weigh too much for extended
casting sessions (the exception would be the Lee 6 cavity as it's made
of aluminum). I would recommend going to the #68 (200 gr SWC) instead of a #130 (185 gr SWC) for the following reason. You need perfect bullets for the 50 yard line, not at the short line. From personal experience the 200's shoot better than the 185's at 50 yards. I've Ransom tested hundreds of load combinations that, looking back, were a waste of good components. I also learned a lot. Nothing that I couldn't have learned from finding a couple of good websites earlier.

Star, preferably used, lubrisizer.

RCBS 20# pot. Lee makes a fairly good pot, but I found the recovery time on the RCBS to be much less and more consistent in maintaining the temperature.

H&G molds.

Soft lube, not hard (White Label lube has very good prices and product). Much better at sealing your bore and preventing leading.

For a lead source, check out your range. They may have casters already in line for the scrap, and if they do get in line. Scrap lead makes excellent bullets capable of shooting as well as the gun shooting them.

Keep the bullets soft, don't water drop them or add anything to harden them. Hard bullets lead much worse than soft bullets.

Keep your mix clean and fluxed. Stir your pot often and clean the sides and bottom several times during the casting session. I use a wood lath to get to the bottom. It has the added benefit of adding carbon to the mix while keeping everything stirred.

Will you save money? Not at first, but there's a lot of money to be saved and a lot of satisfaction in shooting bullets YOU made.

Here's a few of the sites I've stumbled onto and learned volumes. Ask lots of questions. No point in reinventing the wheel.

http://castboolits.gunloads.com/index.php?s=37a57244d3bafe2998545188f9a755a9

http://www.castbulletassoc.org/forum/

http://www.lasc.us/ArticleIndex.htm

http://www.lsstuff.com/lube/

FWIW

Al

Posts : 300
Join date : 2011-06-10
Age : 61
Location : Bismarck, ND

Back to top Go down

Re: Which molds to get?

Post by Scott Carroll on Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:13 pm

I agree with all that Al said. I'll add that I find that Saeco 4 cavity molds are the next best thing to H&Gs. I will also add that I replaced my 6 cavity H&G #130 (185gr) (the weight was tough on my elbow) with two 4 cavity Saeco #068 molds (180gr Bevel Base) This is the same style as Al's recommended H&G 68 bullet but only 180gr. Currently i am still casting and shooting the H&G 68 at 50 yards but I have found that the 180gr Saecos will shoot virtually 99% as well as the H&G 68s at 50 yds. I never could get the H&G 130s to shoot well at 50.
I find that there is an extra satisfaction in shooting well at the line with bullets that you have cast yourself. I hope you enjoy the process.

Scott Carroll

Posts : 34
Join date : 2011-06-10
Location : Vermont

Back to top Go down

Re: Which molds to get?

Post by ChuckS1 on Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:39 pm

I cast all my pistol bullets. While I agree that H&G molds are the best, finding a good used one with 4 cavities and handle will probably not be worth the inflated prices you'll pay. On the other hand, Ballisti-Cast (www.ballisticast.com ) is producing the old H&G designs at a reasonable (not cheap) cost. My Ballisti-Cast version of the 68 is the best casting non-H&G mold I have. But like anything else, you get what you pay for. I personally would recommend staying away from new Lyman and Lee molds, based on my experience with them and their quality control issues. RCBS makes great molds, except they only come in a two cavity configuration. I use a 10# Lee pot and works fine for me. I usually get my lead from the classified section of the Cast Boolit forum, which is generally about $1 per lb.

ChuckS1

Posts : 28
Join date : 2011-07-28

Back to top Go down

Re: Which molds to get?

Post by Al on Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:42 pm

I was visiting with another BE shooter after last nights range session. Seems the dirty dog found out about an auction of a long time BE shooter that had quit shooting 20 years ago. His Colts went for stupid money, his 41 went for $900. But his H&G 130 4 cavity, in excellent shape, went for $40.

Deals are definitely out there, if you can find them. Even if you spend $140 on a H&G 4 cavity in good shape, that's less than 2000 good commercial bullets. And if you don't abuse it, it will last for several generations. I have 2-H&G 130's and 1-H&G 68bb, all bought used in good shape, and none of which I spent over $80 for. You just have to watch and be ready to jump on it when it appears.

FWIW

Al

Posts : 300
Join date : 2011-06-10
Age : 61
Location : Bismarck, ND

Back to top Go down

Re: Which molds to get?

Post by huntingnt on Thu Mar 08, 2012 8:41 pm

Is there any difference in accuracy between bevel base and plain base molds? I seem to remember a thread a while back that said that plain base are more accurate.

huntingnt

Posts : 24
Join date : 2012-01-07

Back to top Go down

Re: Which molds to get?

Post by Al on Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:10 am

I've had both. From personal experience, and all groups checked through a Ransom rest. I shoot nothing but reclaimed range scrap that gets thoroughly cleaned and fluxed twice.

H&G 68; the bevel base shoots better.
flat base that dropped bullets right at 200 grains
Bevel base drops bullets at 210 gr. No idea why it shoots better unless all my guns just like a heavier bullet.

H&G 130; No difference.
I normally use three 4-cavity H&G 130 flat base molds when volume casting. All three molds I use (2 of mine and one of a buddy's) drop within 2 grains. 2 of the molds drop within 1/2 of 1 grain. I also borrowed an H&G 130 bevel base 6 cavity. It was a real bear to handle for extended casting sessions. While the bevel base definitely is more convenient to start in the case when seating the bullet, it did not show any improvement in accuracy in my guns.

All bullets are sized on a Star lubrisizer, nose first, through the same die, and loaded on the same Dillon 550B.

My personal assumptions are as long as the base of the bullet is square to the muzzle at the point of exiting, I don't think it makes a difference. If I was doing a very large volume of loading the bevel base would win just from the ability to set the bullet squarely on the case without worrying about it tipping.

In real life, don't worry about it. There's way too many other variables (shooter error) to waste time being concerned about the minor differences between FB & BB bullets. Just cast good bullets with whichever type of base happens to come your way first and then go load & shoot. Later you can experiment with other options if they come your way.

Al

Posts : 300
Join date : 2011-06-10
Age : 61
Location : Bismarck, ND

Back to top Go down

Re: Which molds to get?

Post by noylj on Sat Apr 07, 2012 1:15 am

The most accurate cast bullets I have found are from my H&G #68 and RCBS 452-201-KT molds. I have not had any great success with any 185gn cast lead bullets or any of the “button nose” bullets in .45.
You may be better off getting some “samples” of various styles of commercial bullets (see mastercastbullets.com and Missouri Bullets) and letting that point you to the style of bullet that your gun(s) prefer.
PS: I haven't sized a bullet since at least the mid-‘70s. All of
my bullets since, except for rifles, have been as-cast and pan- or
tumble-lubed. Found that as-cast was always more accurate than any sized bullet
and have never gone back to re-try or seen a reason to.

noylj

Posts : 225
Join date : 2012-03-09
Age : 67
Location : SW USA

Back to top Go down

Re: Which molds to get?

Post by huntingnt on Sat Apr 07, 2012 9:55 am

I have a 4 cavity H&G #68 clone on the way from ballisti-cast. What about the .38? There are ton of 158gr molds out there. Any preferences? I have a 150gr RCBS KT mold right now, but that won't cut it for DR matches.

huntingnt

Posts : 24
Join date : 2012-01-07

Back to top Go down

Re: Which molds to get?

Post by Scott Carroll on Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:01 am

I am using a Saeco #388 for my 158 swc. However at least for my 50 yards match bullet I am using the Zero 158 gr Swaged SWC which shoots better than any other I have tried in my S&W mod 14 over 3.4gr of titegroup. For my home nmade cast 158's I am casting them quite soft, currently about an 8-9 hardness and the shoot very well even at 50 yards. They just don't shoot quite as well as the Zero swaged, so I bought 1000 Zeros to use for matches at the 50 yd line and used my cast bullets for practice and the short line in DR matches.

Scott Carroll

Posts : 34
Join date : 2011-06-10
Location : Vermont

Back to top Go down

Re: Which molds to get?

Post by inthebeech on Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:01 pm

Matts Bullets is a great place to get bullets from that you intend to eventually cast yourself, because he uses readily available SAECO, Lyman molds himself. You can try out designs as long as you want, though honestly I intended to do exactly this but his prices are very reasonable and with limited discretionary time, I honestly would rather pay a bit more and use the time otherwise bent over my melting pot and sizer, for practice, dryfire, and physical training.

But Matt is a good place regardless.

inthebeech

Posts : 180
Join date : 2012-03-17
Age : 51
Location : North Carolina

Back to top Go down

Re: Which molds to get?

Post by bruce martindale on Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:18 pm

The exact combination of brass and dies (both resizer and seater plug) you use also matters.

I had hard times with flat base designs until I changed to a larger resizer. The RR groups collapsed at 50 yds

The 185 wouldnt work at normal velocities. It did work at the 900 fps range.

regards Bruce Em

bruce martindale

Posts : 18
Join date : 2011-07-29
Location : Upstate NY

Back to top Go down

Re: Which molds to get?

Post by Founder on Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:16 pm

Scott Carroll wrote:I am using a Saeco #388 for my 158 swc. However at least for my 50 yards match bullet I am using the Zero 158 gr Swaged SWC which shoots better than any other I have tried in my S&W mod 14 over 3.4gr of titegroup. For my home nmade cast 158's I am casting them quite soft, currently about an 8-9 hardness and the shoot very well even at 50 yards. They just don't shoot quite as well as the Zero swaged, so I bought 1000 Zeros to use for matches at the 50 yd line and used my cast bullets for practice and the short line in DR matches.

I have been looking for a proven load for DR matches, but I do not see the Zero 158 SWC on their site? No longer made?

Founder
Moderator

Posts : 569
Join date : 2011-06-09
Age : 55
Location : Lodi, WI.

http://www.bullseyeforum.net

Back to top Go down

Re: Which molds to get?

Post by Scott Carroll on Wed May 02, 2012 1:42 pm

Joe,
Go look at Roze Distibution at http://www.rozedist.com Click on Shop Online then click on swaged bullets at the left and then on .38 caliber. It looks like they are out of stock, BUT call them to make sure that is accurate. They told me at Perry last year to call as the web site is not always up to date with regards to availability.

Scott

Scott Carroll

Posts : 34
Join date : 2011-06-10
Location : Vermont

Back to top Go down

Re: Which molds to get?

Post by Sponsored content Today at 5:59 pm


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum