View Full Version : good molds for 9MM
04-29-2006, 04:09 PM
I tried to post this in the other forum, but I think it got lost in the shuffle.
I'm trying to figure out a good mold for a 9MM pistol I have. The groove diameter on the pistol is .358 inches measured using the bullet sinker method.
I've tried shooting the Lee TL-356-124-TC with 3.4 grains of Clays, but this bullet keyholed badly.
I'd really like a 124 grain tumble lube bullet, but that doesn't appear to be in the cards right now. Lee has a 358-125-RF and a 358-140-SWC I'm looking at. Does anyone have a .358 groove diameter 9MM they've tried these bullets in?
Folks have also suggested the little 358-105-SWC, but I'm already having trouble handling the 124's due to some carpal tunnel and arthritis in my right hand. Frustrating, it is. Makes it hard to tie fishing line too I recently found out, to my chagrin. So I'd like a little longer bullet the old fingers can handle.
I'd like to stick with Lee six cavity molds or if I can't, then I'd like to get another company's six caviety aluminum mold, if any exist.
04-29-2006, 08:29 PM
I use Lyman's .356402 mold. It casts boolits at about 125 gr from WW. I could try sizing them at .358 for you and see how they run. Happy to send you down 50 to try. Send me a PM and we can exchange emails and addresses.
04-30-2006, 03:32 AM
That would be great. PM sent.
Please enlighten me though on how you get .358 bullets out of a .356 mold. I'm obviously ignorant about such things and I'm suspecting lack of knowledge may be affecting my thinking on which mold to pick.
04-30-2006, 08:48 AM
You could also try the Lee 358-150-1R. As long as you use nothing harder than ACWW to cast them out of, you should get good obturation and decent accuracy, not to mention very smooth feeding. It's also a great boolit for .38spec/.357mag with mild loads. Mine drops right at .358 with WW.
04-30-2006, 09:33 AM
PM me with an address, and I can send you some #358242's to try out with the tumble lube sequence. I don't use the process myself, but the two-groove 121 grain RN might work with the stuff.
04-30-2006, 09:53 AM
Thanks for that information. That's certainly one of the bullets I was looking at.
04-30-2006, 04:20 PM
bullets that have been accurate for me in this order
Lee 105 swc sized to .357 is scarry accuate but with light loads im running a 8lb spring in the 1911.
Rcbs round nose. Not the target round nose that bullet never ran well in any of my guns.
Lee Round nose 125
lyman 147 round flat.
Like i said out of all of them the lee 105 is the outstanding one for accuarcy as it is in my smith k frames. dont know what kind of gun your shooting so i dont know if its possible to set it up to run such a light bullet.
04-30-2006, 05:58 PM
I apologize. I should have posted the gun type in my first post. It's an Arcus 94, a well made Bulgarian clone of a Israeli clone of a Browning High Power (grin). You wouldn't think a $200.00 gun would be any good, but this one is. Mostly because it's made of all forged steel parts and the internals are an exactly duplicate of the Browning High Power, with the externals having the ergonomics of the Israeli clone.
I also have to admit I have no clue about what half the bullet molds you mentioned are. I'm pretty new to casting bullets, though not new to reloading or shooting them.
05-01-2006, 02:37 AM
Dave IFBG, sorry for an unauthorized shorten ing of your handle :-) Your trouble with the TL Lee 124gr probably was due to size. I have an article by Mike Venturino from quite a few years back where he related his troubles in trying to get a 9x19 to shoot. Said he tried everything to no avail. Then one day he thought he'd slug it and turns out it had a .357" groove. He'd been shooting .355" sized lead slugs.
Another thing to be aware of is the variations in brass thickness at the casemouth. Also the size of your chamber. I have a Witness in 38 Super with a .356" groove so I size my slugs to .357". They won't chamber with the nickled W-W brass I have, but they will with the nickled R-P cases. The W-W are a bit over .012" thick. The R-P is just nudging .011". I've only seen 38 Super brass from Aquila, PMC, R-P and W-W. That's only 4 companies and of course you do have nickled and plain.
However, 9mm seems to me is made and imported from Albania to Uzbekizstan and it ranges all over the place in thickness. If you have a generous chamber brass selection migth not be so picky, but slug them barrels!
05-01-2006, 04:48 AM
"Dave IFBG, sorry for an unauthorized shorten ing of your handle :-)"
Heck, if shortening that handle is the worst people ever did with my name, I'd be in good shape. Just call me Dave if'n ya want to.
"Your trouble with the TL Lee 124gr probably was due to size."
You just confirmed what I've been thinking all along. Pretty good size difference from a .358 groove diameter and a .356 boolit. Whatcha think the possibilities are of upping the load and getting obduration? I'm thinking pretty slim, as badly as the first rounds keyholed. The load was 3.4 grains of Clays.
"The R-P is just nudging .011"."
Then it may be good I have several thousand cases of Remington brass I can use.
"If you have a generous chamber brass selection migth not be so picky, but slug them barrels!"
I've got the bore slugged out at .358 inches. Sounds like I'm going to have to slug the chamber as well.
Thank you for the information, it's appears the efforts should go towards trying the larger slugs and see how things go. I'm wondering if .358 slugs are big enough or do I need to go with a larger mold or do .358 molds cast a big larger or? Also, how do you get the molds to cast a larger diameter than they're specificed to with wheel weights? I've had posts where they said that was/could be done, but I'm not real clear on how it was done. I'm still too new at casting to understand how.
05-01-2006, 10:40 AM
Add some antimony to your wheelweights and the diameter will increase. The easiest way to do that is to use linotype, stereotype, or monotype. Linotype is available, although it's getting harder to find. Stereotype and monotype are even harder to find. You can also buy antimony mixed 50/50 with lead, which makes alloying much simpler. Pure antimony melts at a much higher temperature than lead, but once it's alloyed with lead it's easy to alloy. You may recall my other posts where I used 75% WW and 25% linotype to get .360" boolits from my Lee 9mm moulds. Check this site for a source of antimony:
There are methods to increase the mould size, but most are permanent. I've not tried the reversible "beagling" method, but I'm sure someone on this forum can help with that.
05-01-2006, 01:06 PM
I realize adding antimony to the the alloy can increase the cast diameter of a mold you already have, but I HAVEN'T BOUGHT MY MOLD YET.
I see no intelligent reason to spend money on antimony when I can simply be patient and figure out a mold that casts boolits that match the groove diameter of my pistol, then when I buy the mold, I can stick with just wheelweights and only have to have the single mold.
I suppose that's cheap, but the reason I'm casting bullets is to not have to spend any more than I have to on bullets for my cartridges. If I could find a source for free primers and powder like I've found free sources for wheel weights, I'd jump on that as well.
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