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Old April 20, 2014, 12:24 PM   #1
skizzums
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easter sunday

hey guys, i got out of my familiy engagement today(in-laws) because it was my birthday

of course all i wanted for my bday is a day to myself

the weather is phenomenal for casting today!!! hope you guys are all getting some lead hot

a couple of questions: first, i do not need to do anything to prep my molds anymore, just pre-heat them on the side burner and they are ready to rock; but should i be doing something to extend the life? these mold are well broken in now, but outside of the occasional smoking, i do not use lube or wax or anything, should i be?

secondly: i had a little bit of leading in the 9mm the other day, but 100% none in the 357; i know the best way to prevent leading is proper bullet:barell size,but i am dropping right at 356, so i dont have the option to go bigger, the leading was not sever enough to be very concerned, but i am trying water-dropping again today
question is, if i increase the lead temp will that make the water-drop more effective? other words, hotter lead+colder water=harder?
thanks!!
HAPPY EASTER!!
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Old April 20, 2014, 06:37 PM   #2
Beagle333
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Happy Birthday!

As for the molds.... I just scrub my aluminum ones down good with a toothbrush and dawn before I cast again. I don't do anything afterwards. And remember to touch a Qtip with some sprue plate lube (or synthetic 2 cycle oil) to the alignment pins before you start. You don't want those things wearing and getting sloppy later. Some folks touch the sprue plate bolt/screw with the Qtip as well when it is hot and the oil will migrate down the screw to the plate/block contact surface. I use graphite for my sprue plate and screw lube, since I have trouble with oil migrating on me.

Can't help with water dropping. I got no need for anything harder than air cooled COWW.

I didn't cast this weekend. It's really too wet out in the yard, and I'm building a new reloading bench and shelves in here and I had to move the 5 or 6 tons of already-cast bullets out of the way first!
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Old April 20, 2014, 07:21 PM   #3
skizzums
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i also use the liquid graphite for the sprue plate, i love it, and it smokes like crazy, thanks for the info, i will start cleaning and lubricating better
have fun with the new bench and shelves, surely we will get pics


productive sunday
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Old April 20, 2014, 10:09 PM   #4
Beagle333
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Look at you.... you're a lunatic! You're nuts! Who needs that many bullets?
You're totally outta control!
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Old April 21, 2014, 07:05 AM   #5
Mike / Tx
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Quote:
a couple of questions: first, i do not need to do anything to prep my molds anymore, just pre-heat them on the side burner and they are ready to rock; but should i be doing something to extend the life? these mold are well broken in now, but outside of the occasional smoking, i do not use lube or wax or anything, should i be?
I don't remember there being any "smoke" in that .358 mold, and it was throwing wonderful bullets. All I did with it was to give it a scrub once in a while with some bon ami and a toothbrush, using hot water to rinse then letting it dry. I did lube the plate with some of the stuff I sent in that little bottle. When you get ready to cast with it and it has been warmed up, just a drop on a Q-tip is probably overkill, but open the plate up fully and smear a touch of it on the underside there as close to the pivot screw as you can. Just a light film is all that is needed. It helps keep the aluminum or any other metal from galling and tearing the top of the mold up. The aluminum will oxidize if not used for a while which is why I used the abrasive to scrub it with. Is that needed, probably not, but I have a big ol box of it, and figure I needed to use it up somehow.


Quote:
secondly: i had a little bit of leading in the 9mm the other day, but 100% none in the 357; i know the best way to prevent leading is proper bullet:barell size,but i am dropping right at 356, so i dont have the option to go bigger, the leading was not sever enough to be very concerned, but i am trying water-dropping again today. Question is, if i increase the lead temp will that make the water-drop more effective? other words, hotter lead+colder water=harder?
thanks!!
HAPPY EASTER!!
Depends on where your leading is occurring. If it is just in front of the chamber, and streaking down towards the muzzle, it is probably the size. If it is near the muzzle and streaking back towards the chamber it is probably lube.

You need to shoot maybe 4-6 rounds through a clean barrel, then lock the action open and use a flashlight to light up the chamber end and look down the barrel. Yo will see the beginnings of the leading and where it is located if it is happeneing. If you don't see anything definite run a few more rounds through it until you do.

Something to remember, running the mold hotter will actually cast a smaller bullet. Also the alloy you use can also determine to an extent the diameter as well. Here is a reference I had to really dig for that explains it a bit more,
Referenced from,
Quote:
Redding Reloading - Bulletweights

Bullet Sizes and Weights-
How to Vary Them

The bullet diameters and weights presented in this list are based on the use of Taracorp’s Lawrence Magnum bullet alloy (2% tin, 6% antimony, 1/4% arsenic, 91.75% lead).

You should be aware that bullet diameters and weights will vary considerably depending on the lead casting alloy used. This variation can be as much as 1/2% on the diameter, and 8% on the weight among the most commonly used casting alloys. For example, a .358-158 grain bullet might show a diameter variation of .002", and a 13 grain difference in weight.

In order to provide a hard bullet, and due to the availability of high antimony content alloys such as scrap wheel weights and type metal, many casters are using high antimony content alloys. SAECO moulds work well with these high antimony content leads, but you should be aware of the variations they may produce.

Of the most commonly used alloys, wheel weights (.5% tin, 4% antimony, 95% lead) will produce bullets having the smallest diameter and heaviest weight, with such bullets running approximately .3% smaller in diameter and 3% heavier than bullets cast with Taracorp's metal. Linotype will produce bullets with the largest diameter and lightest weights. This alloy will produce bullets approximately 1/10% larger and 3% lighter than Taracorp. Other alloys of tin and antimony, with antimony content above 5%, will produce bullets with diameters and weights falling between those cast from wheel weights and linotype.

Alloys containing little or no antimony will cast considerably smaller than wheel weights and in some cases will produce bullets too small for adequate sizing. Within the limitations given above, the weight and diameter of a cast bullet can be adjusted by varying the alloy’s antimony content.

The size and weight of bullets of a given alloy will also vary according to casting temperature. Higher temperatures will result in greater shrinkage as the bullet cools, thereby producing a slightly smaller and lighter bullet than one cast of the same alloy at a lower temperature.
The other thing you COULD do if after you try other things and your bullets are still dropping too small is to "Beagle" the mold. In laymans terms it simply means to pour bullets in both cavities, cut the sprue off and let them cool whil still in the mold. THen you use the sprue plate holes as a center guide and drill into the bullets with a bit slightly smaller than the sprue plate hole. Then you will screw a wood screw of appropriate size into the holes and cut of the heads. Or if they are long enough leave them on.

You then use some very fine abrasive powder like the Bon Ami, I mentioned above or similar polishing compound, and lap the mold cavities using the bullets from each cavity as the lapping pilot. Just by adding a bit of wet compound and slowly turning the bullets in the cavities you can enlarge the mold to throw a bit larger bullet.

The above can all be found over on Castboolits in the Molds section.

Hope this helps and at least gives you something to try next.

EDIT - as pointed out to me, in my state of incoherence this morning, I got things twisted up. Using some of the aluminum tape usually used for HVAC ducting you can enlarge the mold to a point.
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Last edited by Mike / Tx; April 21, 2014 at 06:19 PM.
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Old April 21, 2014, 09:37 PM   #6
Axelwik
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I've been getting great results with spray-on graphite lube on the inside and outside of my molds. Haven't tried it on aluminum molds yet, but it works well on my Lyman, Saeco, and RCBS molds.
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Old April 22, 2014, 11:23 AM   #7
skizzums
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lol beagle

the leading is the last inch of the barrel, do not own a lubrasizer so I am just using lee alox at the moment. another thing is my factory bought lead has no issues evn though it is sized to .356 and sometimes even .355

I am familiar with "beagleing" the mold, but I rally like your lapping idea, I have never thought of that, I was also not aware that hotter temp drops smaller boolits, makes sense. I usually read people have good experiences with ALOX, I had thinned mine slightly but there is a ton of visible lube on the boolit, is there a better method? or should I consider switching lubes? like I said, no probs in the 38/357, only with 9mm which I only assume is moving at 50% faster speed than the snubby.

I will slug my bore again today and see here I need tto start, thanks for the info on bullet sizes
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