Bullet Mold Won’t Close!

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Bullet Mold Won’t Close!

Post by Tim:H11 on 2/13/2018, 10:23 pm

Both my 38 and 45 caliber Lee molds (6 cavity) won’t close all the way and I’m getting lead tabs on the sides of the bullets and it’s making sizing a pain and the bullets aren’t coming out right. What happened? This didn’t used to be the case... what do I do?
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Re: Bullet Mold Won’t Close!

Post by Wobbley on 2/13/2018, 10:28 pm

The smarty pants answer is to buy a SAECO or Hensley & Gibbs mold.

Look along the alignment ribs for a flake of lead.
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Re: Bullet Mold Won’t Close!

Post by Tim:H11 on 2/13/2018, 10:35 pm

Wobbley wrote:The smarty pants answer is to buy a SAECO or Hensley & Gibbs mold.

Look along the alignment ribs for a flake of lead.

No ribs. Just two cone shaped pins. I’ve looked for lead hindering the close of the mold but can’t find any ubstructions. When I hold the mold up to the light I can see a wide gap. Can’t figure out why. Unless it’s warped...
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Re: Bullet Mold Won’t Close!

Post by zanemoseley on 2/13/2018, 10:40 pm

Steel or aluminum mold?

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Re: Bullet Mold Won’t Close!

Post by Tim:H11 on 2/13/2018, 10:41 pm

zanemoseley wrote:Steel or aluminum mold?

Aluminum. Both molds are doing it actually. One is brand new! Both are Lee 6 cavity aluminum molds. One in 38 and one in 45.
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Re: Bullet Mold Won’t Close!

Post by L Valdez on 2/13/2018, 10:51 pm

Check the sprue plate and under it, and the sprue screw and closing pin.

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Re: Bullet Mold Won’t Close!

Post by Tim:H11 on 2/13/2018, 10:55 pm

L Valdez wrote:Check the sprue plate and under it, and the sprue screw and closing pin.


I had the handles off, held both halves together with the sprue plate swung open and still had a gap. I can’t squeeze both halves together at the bottom of the mold and most of the gap goes away but not all.
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Re: Bullet Mold Won’t Close!

Post by L Valdez on 2/13/2018, 11:27 pm

It seems you've eliminated all the causes that can be seen by the human eye, might have to send them back to the mothership for lab inspection or replacement.

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Re: Bullet Mold Won’t Close!

Post by james r chapman on 2/14/2018, 4:25 am

is it possible some lead leached into the female holes and is preventing the pins from seating properly?
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Re: Bullet Mold Won’t Close!

Post by JKR on 2/14/2018, 8:55 am

I've seen the alignment pins move in mold blocks. Always the other direction though. Might be something to check. How do you preheat your molds?

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Re: Bullet Mold Won’t Close!

Post by zanemoseley on 2/14/2018, 10:34 am

If they're cheap Lee aluminum molds and you've had problems from the start there's a good chance they were warped from the factory. I would contact lee. I use Magma steel molds, they're awesome but cost $100 w/o handles and are only 2 cavity.

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Re: Bullet Mold Won’t Close!

Post by STEVE SAMELAK on 2/14/2018, 11:26 am

Magnifying glass & flashlight time.  If the one mold was working and suddenly doesn't there's a bit of crud someplace.
I have Lee molds that have been abused beyond comprehension & they only fail when I do.
It only takes a minute flake to create total mayhem.
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Re: Bullet Mold Won’t Close!

Post by jglenn21 on 2/14/2018, 1:16 pm

a straight edge that won't scratch the aluminum...  it will tell you if the mold is warped and also find high spots if you carefully drag it across the mold.

if you are going to cast for a while then the old H&Gs and Saeco are worth every penny.
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Re: Bullet Mold Won’t Close!

Post by Tim:H11 on 2/14/2018, 5:23 pm

Spent some time on the phone with Terry. Went over some ideas on what to check and how to fix. Both are pretty much toast. Time to save up for some steel molds. In the mean time... back to the old aluminum two cavities. Glad I didn't get rid of those or else I'd be in REAL trouble!
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Re: Bullet Mold Won’t Close!

Post by zanemoseley on 2/14/2018, 7:03 pm

Make sure to look at Magma molds when you buy, I think its what a lot of commercial operations use. They have a good selection and will drill to fit RCBS handles. Their spring tensioned sprue plate is far superior to the RCBS mold I had. I use their 185 grain SWC-BB for my practice round but it seems very accurate.

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Re: Bullet Mold Won’t Close!

Post by RThatcher on 2/14/2018, 7:08 pm

Check your PM

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Re: Bullet Mold Won’t Close!

Post by 10sandxs on 2/15/2018, 6:44 am

Aluminium molds are durable if you don't abuse them.  I've recently moved to NOE molds. 5 cavity mold that throws very good bullets, cost is under 100, but quality is very high.  It may be sacrilege to say, but they cast just as good as H&G molds. You just need a little time to learn how to cast on aluminium molds.

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Re: Bullet Mold Won’t Close!

Post by jglenn21 on 2/15/2018, 8:13 am

+1 on the NOE  molds.. excellent stuff.  Their brass molds are flat Heavy
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Re: Bullet Mold Won’t Close!

Post by Tim:H11 on 2/15/2018, 10:33 am

So how fast can I get with a steel mold? How many Bullets can I make per hour with a steel 4-cavity? Maybe I was just running the aluminum ones too fast, or too long. But the 38 cal pretty much came to me messed up so I’m not claiming fault there.
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Re: Bullet Mold Won’t Close!

Post by USSR on 2/15/2018, 10:50 am

Personally, I like the brass moulds made by Miha in Slovenia (Europe).   Brass holds the heat well without warping.   This guy's moulds are works of art and cast the nicest hollowpoints or solids.

Don
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Re: Bullet Mold Won’t Close!

Post by 10sandxs on 2/15/2018, 1:41 pm

IHMO, casting speed is primarily based on how fast the sprue reaches an acceptable temperature to sheer cleanly. As the thermal conductivity of aluminium is significantly higher than steel, aluminium molds should allow "faster" casting.  however, aluminium molds want to run a bit hotter so the initial heat up period takes longer.  if you want volume, get several of the same molds and run them all at the same time.  I typically run three or four molds (4-5 cavity) during a casting session and on a reasonable session can hit the 500-750 bullets per hour mark, not including 20 minutes or so for startup. my 50+ lb home made pot gets empty pretty quick...

If you want a 38 wadcutter, I have a H&G four cavity I've been thinking of selling for a while... just don't shoot a lot of 38...

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Re: Bullet Mold Won’t Close!

Post by jglenn21 on 2/15/2018, 4:31 pm

Multiple molds is the way to got. Even two will speed you up quite a bit.. It's what I used to do when I was casting for my entire family.. two quality Saeco 4 cavity molds.. you learn to cycle them letting one cool while you pour the next... a good way to go with aluminum too as they do want to get too hot.

then go find an old Star lube/sizer...worth the $$ based solely on speed.

10s is correct about the spur cut being a key to your speed.. a quality bullet base is very important..
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Re: Bullet Mold Won’t Close!

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