View Full Version : #358156 Plain Base
01-04-2006, 05:02 AM
I had mentioned in the "358156 HP for Beginners" thread that I had just got done modifying an extra 358156 2-cavity mould to a plain base. I got a chance to cast a few last night. Everything came out pretty good. The original base band was a fat 0.362" so I bored it to that.
I ladle poured straight WW's at 750 F. The average weight for both cavities combined was 158.8 grs with a variance of +/- 0.3 grs. Now it's time to load up a few for tryout. I'll post the results hopefully next week.
One question I have is do you think I even need to size these bullets? Both bands are 0.362". My S&W 686 has a 0.3570 bore and 0.3575 throats. With the original GC 358156 I would size to 0.3585 and get super accuracy using alox+MM.
Randy in Arizona
01-04-2006, 09:02 AM
What would you want to do this to a single or double cavity mould?
I got a 357446 mould off eBay but it has seen better days! :violin:
01-04-2006, 09:16 AM
Cause the original 358156 is one of the most accurate bullets in my 357.
Cause if it shoots as good I'll have two bullet choices.
Cause I don't have to buy and install gas checks.
Cause I have (had) two moulds.
Cause I could. :razz:
01-04-2006, 09:58 AM
I think Randy was asking for a price quote--not "whydaydoit". :-) Your reasons all make sense, just the same.
I don't see a need to stop the sizing regimen that paid off so well in the past, umless the new boolit design shoots poorly. If it ain't broke--don't fix it.
01-04-2006, 10:33 AM
By goly Deputy Al I think your right. I read the post several times and kept getting stuck on the 357446 part. It already is a PB. I was taking it as "what did you do that for, you could have got a 357446 already done". My apologies.:oops:
In regards to doing another one, let me think on it a bit and see how this one shoots. I'm pretty green to casting and working on moulds to stick my neck out to far just yet.
I did this one in a bridgeport style mill with a small boring bar. Each cavity was indicated in separately then cut a thou or two at a time until close. The carbide cutter path was pretty concentric to the bottom band as it came to the final cut. Maybe a tenth or so off max. Once the band dia. was matched the cutter was lowered further to just above the first lube groove. The finish is not as clean as the original cavity, but close enough.
01-04-2006, 11:41 AM
Your mold finish may not be to the same standard as the rest of the cavity, but the bullet doesn't appear to show too much. And after you size it, looks just plain nice to me.
When I shot 38s in wheelers, that was my most accurate slug too.
01-04-2006, 01:50 PM
I think you have a great idea....Keep us posted on how it does. I think they may be several of us begging you to do the same for us...
01-04-2006, 03:08 PM
I like to shoot bullets as cast. I recently cast a bunch of 358156GC bullets, dropping them into a bucket of water, and they came out .360. I applied gas checks and ran them through a .360 Lyman lube/size die. The gas checks measured .362 after this. When I seated several of them in .357 cases on top of 14 grains of 2400 and applied a firm crimp, they would not fit in the cylinders of my .357's because of a bulge in the region of the base of the bullet. I ran the rest of them through a .358 die, and the gas checks measured .359, and loaded into brass they fit fine. If you want to shoot them at .362, I suggest you seat a couple in your .357 brass, then try them in your revolver cylinder.
01-09-2006, 04:53 AM
I got a chance to try out my modified mould yesterday. I used my S&W 8 3/8 686 as the main test gun. My buddy also tried the best load in his 10" T/C 357. The original GC bullet was found to shoot best with 6.0 grs of WW231 and a CCI 500 primer. I worked up to this and also tried some Hodgdon's Tite Group. Here's the data I tried using CCI 500 primers;
5.0 grs WW231, 358156 PB (3.00" group)
5.5 grs WW231, 358156 PB (2.10" group)
6.0 grs WW231, 358156 PB (1.59" group)
6.0 grs WW231, 358156 GC (1.39" group)
4.5 grs Tite Group, 358156 PB (2.42" group)
5.0 grs Tite Group, 358156 PB (2.89" group)
All groups were for 10 rounds at 25 yards. I shot over bags and the gun was equipped with a Tasco ProPoint sight.
A single 5-shot group of the 6.0 gr WW231 and PB bullet load was shot at 50 yards with the T/C. The group was 1.25".
I thought I was having a bad day when I shot the reference group with the original GC bullets. Prior groups had been as small as 0.63" with that load. Looking at the box of ammo I realized that this was actually the first time I had sot any GC bullets from this mould. All of my prior shooting was with the first 358156 mould I bought. My first mould is definetly different than what used to be the second one. The bullet is a bit smaller at 0.360 vs 0.363" and the GC shanks are different. My original mould has a shank that's about 0.06" longer than normal.
All bullets tested were ACWW sized to 0.3585 and lubed with two light coats of Lee Alox and were dusted with motor mica.
I'm thinking my next step is to bump up the WW231 just a bit. I had tried the original bullet up to 6.5 grs but dropped back to 6.0 as accuracy was the same. A different lube or sizing dia. may also help. Overall this little modification worked out pretty well.
01-09-2006, 06:17 AM
If you decide to do a few of these for other board members please put me on the list. I have a 358156 DC that I'd like to send you for the same modification. Have you considered naming a price for your time & skills?
01-10-2006, 08:45 AM
Those loads are in .357 cases are they not? Which crimp groove do you use?
01-10-2006, 09:41 AM
Yes, 357 cases and top crimp groove.
My original accuracy load was a Hornady 158 gr swaged LSWC, CCI 500, and 5.0 grs of WW231. Most of the guys I shot NRA sillywet with used this load in their T/C's. Pretty much shot 1-hole 25 yd groups. Once I started casting the 358156 from ACWW's, the harder alloy seemed to like a bit more push. The original GC version really liked 13.0 or 13.5 grs (memory) of 2400. I haven't tried it on the PB yet.
01-10-2006, 11:40 AM
I "dehorned" a spare 358156HP that I had back about a year ago. The conversion works pretty good and allows more use of that moould without having to mess with the GCs.
I've shot a bunch in the .38 Special and ran a box out of the .357 Mag in my Blackhawk at 1400 FPS without leading.
Any machinist with a CNC mill should be able to knock these out really easy./beagle
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