View Full Version : Mic'd RB not round

12-09-2005, 03:08 AM
Howdy all I mic'd my round balls (.490's) and they are anything but round. I get anything from .489 to .494 on the same ball. Not just around the spur, on many points around it. I belive these where cast from a Lee mould and I'm not very happy with these.

Is there a way to know your getting a good mould? I'm sure many people would say "Duh, it's a Lee" but are the other mould makers Going to be better?

I'm about to toss this mould and order steel moulds for my RB casting (about all I cast anymore). But want to make sure I'm not going to end up with the same problem.

I'm ordering .350, .440, .530, and .570 moulds soon, as I don't have them yet, and adding a .490 would not be much more.

I don't have any revolvers yet (ok a .31 pocket) and don't need those moulds (yet).

12-09-2005, 10:27 AM
I noticed some "out of round" 45 Colt boolits I cast a few years back during the heat of summer. I came to the conclusion that I wasn't letting the boolit cool enough before I dropped it. I slowed down a bit, made sure the mold and alloy wan't too hot, and that seemed to solve my problem. Don't know if I was right, or if your problem is similar, but now you have something else to worry about! :D

Good luck,

12-09-2005, 01:53 PM
Interesting point, I'll have to check that out. Thanks for the pointer :D

12-09-2005, 06:13 PM
I use a plate mill in a drill press to round and remove the sprues so I don't really worry tooo much what they look like from the mould. Also you are patching a soft ball and pounding it into the barrel, trust me it rounds up when it comes out.

12-09-2005, 06:30 PM
My question is can you notice any difference in the accuracy of the "out of round" balls and, say a "perfect one, or the swaged and (shudder) store bought kind? As KCSO points out, pounding the bugger in to seat it and then firing it is likely to make small differences moot. Still, logic is a slippery eel; only by experimenting can we find truth. 8)

12-09-2005, 06:39 PM
Do RB's obturate on firing?

12-09-2005, 08:44 PM
Everything obturates upon firing. It is just a question of how much. However, the amount of obturation might not be detected after the fact because of springback. Springback is paramount in barrel/cylinder steel, and is very desirable with cartridge cases. ... felix

12-09-2005, 09:19 PM
Do RB's obturate on firing?

OK, so they are not round, but how do they shoot?

I like the steel molds also, but have a couple of Lee's that work just fine!

12-09-2005, 09:22 PM
You can bet the farm that the early RB moulds were not perfectly round and tales of accurate shooting with them abound. A pure lead RB will easily obdurate to bore dimensions upon firing and I seriously doubt you could tell the difference in accuracy providing the RB is a reasonable fit to bore.

01-02-2006, 08:45 PM
Hi If you are shooting soft lead it "Will" deform when fired. There is a story around about somebody or other running short of lead and cutting balls in half to strech the lead. Starting a ball with a tight patch forms the ball to the rifleing too. just start one in a large patch and pull it to check.

01-02-2006, 09:25 PM
If you insist on Round, round balls, make yourself a ball roller. Take a 6" round plate and fit a shank to clamp in a drill press and then put on a 1/2" lip. Make another plate with a centered shank 1/2" in diameter and the second plate is 5 3/4" to just slip into the lipped bottom plate. Put the top plate in the drill press and the bottom in the vise on the press. Drop in a handfull of balls and turn the press on at low speed. as you lower the handle the balls spin and this irons them round and takes out the sprue. For a small fortune to a machinest and a considerable out law of time you can have perfect balls that will deform nicely in the ball pouch and will shoot not one bit better than un modified balls. The only real use I have found for this outfit is truing buckshot in buffered loads and they will take about 2" off the pattern at 25 yards. In a rifle once you pull the trigger the ball squinches (a technical term) up to a little barrel with rifling on the sides. As long as the sprue is centered the ball goes where it is suppose to. A good rifle with good (No voids, close in weight) balls will shoot under 4" at 100 yards with irons sights. Swedged balls, rolled balls, hand weighed balls with filed sprues, they all do the same. The best 100 yard group I ever saw shot was Lee 54 balls sorted for looks only and the guy put 5 into 1 1/2" from a bench at 100 yards with Hawken buckhorn sights. My best group was 2" offhand at 100 yards 50 cal rifle balls from a Lyman mold sorted by looks only.

01-04-2006, 01:08 AM
Heck I bet better than 1/2 of all boolet moulds made do not cast a true "round" cross section.Look at everyone "beagleing" rifle moulds.
In my .69 smoothie I was playing around with fileing off the sprue.I tried a buddies ball roller. I even put a layer in my vibratory case tumbler[I did clean it first" Sprue was gone,ball was round.Did not shoot better than as cast with sprue nub left on. I dont bother anymore.

01-05-2006, 11:21 AM
Well after reading these posts (and finding a box of miss aligned cast balls) I figure mine are nothing to worry about, No spur, no noticeable cast line, and no wrinkles... Guess I was looking to deep into this . Thankyou for all your posts, very informative :-)

01-13-2006, 02:26 PM
I remember seeing a flyer for a ball rounder made of wood. The bottom was squared, with a 1/4" deep circle cut into it. (use 1/4" plywood on top) The top was round to fit into the bottom circle. It had a center pin in the bottom and a round knob on top. Been meaning to make me up one someday... The owner made them & sold them via mail. The flyer was found at the old BP Shop in Auborn, MI. now defunct, were I got my 1st start.

Remington Kid
01-17-2006, 07:37 PM
What causes a ball to come out with the line around it sometimes and and other times it's as smooth as a que ball? This is useing a Lee mold and soft lead.

01-17-2006, 08:29 PM
What causes a ball to come out with the line around it sometimes and and other times it's as smooth as a que ball? This is useing a Lee mold and soft lead.

Either not keeping a tight grip on the mold when you pour, or a speck of lead on the mold face.

Remington Kid
01-17-2006, 08:45 PM
Waksupi, Thanks, I'll check that out.