View Full Version : Latest contraption
October 16, 2010, 11:33 AM
Perhaps you all recall that I am very anal about consistency of ball size. I just built my new and improved spring loaded mold handles for Lyman molds.
The mold is a .375 an I got a run of balls from it that are no larger than .3765 and no less than .375. Most of the balls miced at .3758 on the money.
The mold is steel so it took a while for it to come up to temperature. I threw about 15 balls back into the pot.
October 16, 2010, 11:37 AM
Interesting. Square handles look like they could be hard on hands.
When I was seriously hunting 'Xs' in competition my concern was weight. Never more or less than .1 grain was tolerated.
October 16, 2010, 11:41 AM
Yeah, it wouldn't take much to knock those corners off.
October 16, 2010, 11:45 AM
I did some casting with it today (as I said) and you are both correct about the square corners and edges. I thought I would need them to be square so as to keep the mold from shifting in my hand. But I think you are both correct about taking the corners off.
October 16, 2010, 12:22 PM
Nice looking invention.
October 16, 2010, 03:58 PM
Doc - cool contraption! Your genius at coming up with new things never ceases to amaze me! I never "mic" my balls (lead balls :D) as I usually just shoot 'em as they come from the mold and I've never been that curious - I'm not knocking those that do though as to be competitive or to "experiment", I know that you want to keep things as precise and the same as you can. I use a propane burner to melt my lead for casting - sometimes do it on a wood fire. I really don't have a way of checking the temperature of the lead other than by sight and ease of pouring, final casting results, etc. I'm curious as to what you use to melt your lead? If you are using an electric pot, I would think you would have better control over a more even casting lead heat which should give you more consistant "ball diameter mics"? Seems to me like that, combined with your mold contraption should be pretty ideal. How much variance do you get in your balls for your .44 revolvers when you use your mold blocks with this?
October 16, 2010, 04:29 PM
Nice work Doc and I especially like the long handles as well as the spring. Keep up you usual good work !!
Be Safe !!!
October 16, 2010, 04:52 PM
I'd just make the outside edges round & then knock off the sharpest edge from the insides. After all you're not going to be putting any body parts inside the hings are you?:D
100% performance improvement for a 50% labor increase, sounds like a good deal to me.;)
October 16, 2010, 05:32 PM
For casting I use a Lee production pot which I bought in 1975. It has yet to fail me.
I have not used this set of string loaded handles for .44s as yet. I have a different set which I cobbled together last year. From those I get a little better than .001 for standard deviation. That is about twice as good as Hornady balls out of the box.
This converts into more consistence muzzle velocities that I get with Hornady balls.
BUT (My wife tells me there is always a big "but" where I am involved) I can not relate this to better accuracy. I have to shoot a lot more to make any connection ot accuracy.
The spring is the whole reason for making these handles. I want consistent pressure applied to the mold blocks while the ball is hardening. I can't do it just by squeezing with my hand so the spring helps maintain this compression.
You are right about the edges. They are darned uncomfortable. I originally left the sharp edges on so there would be something to help keep the mold from sliding in a sweaty palm. But based on the experience today, the edges must go.
October 16, 2010, 06:33 PM
Looks good. As mentioned by wogpotter, rounding off the handles is not a big job.
October 17, 2010, 06:03 AM
... I want to adapt handles like this for Lee molds but I can't bring myself to take a chance on destroying my working molds. And I don't want to buy a new mold just to experiment.
Problem with Lee molds is that you have to drive the retaining pin out of the mold block to separate it from the handle. This means drilling the mold so the pin has someplace to go. As it is, the pins are pressed into the mold block and through the handle but they are pressed into a hole in the block that does nto go all the way through the mold.
I am in the market for a used, Lee mold. Probably ought to be a round ball mold. I'd pay good money for it.
October 17, 2010, 08:12 AM
As cheap as they are why not just get a new one?
October 17, 2010, 10:49 AM
Too much of a tightwad. I can't bring myself to go to work on a brand new mold with a milling machine and a drift pin.
Actually I have been looking on eBay with no success and will probably spring for one from Cabela's as you said.
Anybody do any comparative shopping lately? Last I remember you could get a Lee mold with handles for about 19.00 plus shipping.
October 17, 2010, 01:36 PM
18.99 for a double cavity from Midway. http://www.midwayusa.com/browse/BrowseProducts.aspx?pageNum=1&tabId=1&categoryId=19967&categoryString=9315***685***8657***8664***9258***
October 17, 2010, 02:24 PM
Doc and Hawg,
F&M, my go-to guy for LEE equipment, has the 2-cavity BP molds, with handles, for $16.58 + S&H.
October 17, 2010, 03:56 PM
Now we are talking. At that price, I will replace one of my working molds an use it for research.
Those gentlemen are getting a call from me.
October 17, 2010, 04:31 PM
I tried to buy something from them last year. Oh yeah a lead pot and they told me it would be three weeks before they got any in. After three weeks they told me it would be four more weeks and I gave up on them. Haven't tried to buy anything else.
October 17, 2010, 06:04 PM
Humm… sorry to hear of your problem with F&M, Hawg. My dealings with them have always been trouble free, perhaps I've been lucky or wanted things they had in stock.
October 25, 2010, 08:36 PM
Hey Doc, given any thought to making some of those handles for sale? I know I'd be interested in a set.
October 25, 2010, 09:11 PM
Good job, Doc. A few passes with a router and you're good to go!
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