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Thread: B&M Mold

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    B&M Mold

    Hi I just saw a mold today marked B&M-IRON, and the number 452236. This is a single cavity and it is open on the bottom, there is a steel shaft mounted into a wooden handle that fits into the opening. It looks like a standard semi-wad cutter? This mold has handles and is built like a SHERMAN TANK. Anyone know who B&M might be? Did BELDING & MULL make molds? Maybe BALLARD & MARLIN? I've had BOND molds and they were not marked like this any help would be appreciated.
    Last edited by pahoghunter; 01-29-2007 at 05:45 PM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    B&M does stand for Belding and Mull... Sounds like you have some sort of hollow base mold. There are others here, who can give you more specific information.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Glen's Avatar
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    The iron stamping is interesting as well. As I understand it, most of Belding and Mull's moulds were cut from nickel blocks.
    Glen

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    Belding and Mull did indeed have their own proprietary line of bullet molds. The 452236 was a 230-grain plain base pointed bullet said to function perfectly in the .45 ACP for NRA match preparation practice. You may have a factory variant with a hollow base but my B&M Handbook only mentions hollow points and extra lengths available at an extra charge. They would, however, work with people in new designs who were willing to pay for the cherry for the mould.

    I only have 2 B&M Handbooks, the 1943 version and the 1953. The 1943 edition had the B&M designs listed. By the latter date, B&M were no longer offering their own moulds; instead they offered the Ideal line as jobbers.

    The moulds were occasionally made of nickel, for an added charge. The "IRON" designates the standard blocks. There was an excellent writeup on B&M products in the Antique Relaoding Tool Association's newsletter recently.

    They were plenty good sized, blocks and handles both. I had a .38 caliber B&M at one time and the weight and the handle spacing made for kind of painful casting sessions, so I traded it off to someone with bigger hands than me.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master and Generous Donator
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    pahoghunter, Dave, Glen:

    The "IRON" stamping was used for only a very short time, from their first production around 1924 until 1926-27, when they dropped the nickel moulds (too expensive at twice the price of the iron ones; too hard on tooling). The numbering system for your #452236 ("236" being the nominal weight in grains) was instituted in late 1925 (the earliest moulds were identified by caliber and name of designer). So this narrows the production date of your mould down to that approximate 2-year period, if that helps. The last B&M Handbook listing their own moulds was the 1952 issue.

    floodgate

    EDIT: PS: The basic #452236 was actually first listed in a 4-page leaflet showing pre-cast bullets available from B & M, at $10.50/1000 as-cast, and $11.50/1000 sized and lubed. This narrows the date down even further, to about a year in 1926-27. "Trivial Pursuit" anyone?

    Was the mould you saw for sale? There are collectors out there who slaver over this sort of thing.
    Last edited by floodgate; 01-28-2007 at 06:14 PM.
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  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    B&m

    That is some great information, by the way the steel shaft I mentioned does not fit in the base but in the tip, and it didn't appear to make the bullet into a hollow point. Maybe to make the bullet longer? I have a digital camera maybe I can get some pics. Also check and see if its for sale. BELDING & MULL unbelievable. thanks again

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I have a B&M - IRON mold marked Squibb 168. It is a single cavity. Now here is the strange deal. The bullet is plain base. I have looked and looked with a loope and I can't see where the gas check shank has been opened up. I think it was made a plain base.

    Somebody scratched on the side .3135 which I take to be the as cast diameter of the bullet.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master and Generous Donator
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    Chargar:

    Is it the standard length? Any sign of the top of the blocks being cut down? That "Squibb 168 / IRON" is a very early marking (later Squibbs were stamped "311169"), and it also may have been an experimental from when they were tinkering with the Squibb bullet. It was one of the first bullets they offered, in a "Rifleman" ad in the June 1, 1924 issue (the "Rifleman" came out twice a month at that time).

    Doug
    Last edited by floodgate; 01-29-2007 at 12:44 AM.
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  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Floodgate... The bullet looks to be a standard Squibb design, except instead of a long gas check shank, there is a base band and a lube grove. The height of the blocks is 1.385.

    I suppose some top notch machinest might have bored out the gas check shank, but I sure can't see any traces. The machine marks are all of a uniform nature from base to tip.

    The mold is in tip top shape but I have yet to cast with it. Knowing the Squibb does better in the lower velocity range, I don't find the lack of a gas check to be a real issue.

    I bought this mold and handles off Ebay about two years ago for $20.00.

    Somebody did take a centerpunch and dimple the nose. Of course this was done, so the bullet could be oriented in the chamber the same way with each shot.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master and Generous Donator
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    $20.00!!! A steal!

    My late B & M #311169 calipers 1.365", a tad shorter than yours, but within caliper / finishing tolerances, so yours has clearly NOT been shortened. I'd still guess it was an early alternative design.

    Doug
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  12. #12
    Boolit Master and Generous Donator
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    pahoghunter:

    Nice Photos!! I'm going to pass them on to a friend who is really "into" the B&M moulds, to get his "take" on them. It IS an early example, with the thinner (1/8" nominal) sprue-plate, but my guess is, it is a "former owner modification" by someone who was familiar with the way the early Lyman HP/HB plugs were mounted, and who wanted a medium-sized meplat (sound familiar?) instead of the original's more pointed shape. Actually, it ends up looking very close to the classic Lyman #454190 for the .45 (Long) Colt.

    Thanks.

    floodgate
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  13. #13
    Boolit Master and Generous Donator
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    Chargar:

    Just to check that we're talking about the same Squibb bullet, the one on the B & M mould IS the pointed 169-gr. with 2 (+ 1) grease grooves, essentially identical to the Lyman / Ideal 311413. Right? I'm asking, because they also came out in the same time frame with a "Squibb-Miller" .30 cal. flat-point plain-base, with a Pope-style tapered body and six grease grooves; it was later identified as their #311168. It was noted for accuracy in the .30-'06 in the 1920s.

    floodgate
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  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Floodgate.. Yep, we are singing off the same page. It is indeed the pointy 311413 type bullets.

    I have this design in Lyman, Hensley and Gibbs, Cramer and now this odd ball flat base Belding and Mull... In the back of my mind, some day I want to do an article on this bullet. I will wring it out in a number of rifles, do as much historical research as I can on Sam Squibb. I would like a GC Belding and Mull if you know of anyone who has such for sale. I don't think Modern Bond made molds for this bullet.

    If anybody has any information on Sam Squibb, old articles on this bulllet etc. etc., I would appreciate copies for my file.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master and Generous Donator
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    Chargar:

    PM me your s-mail address, and I'll send you a file of info on the Squibb bullet I have gleaned over the years. I have a complete "run" of "Riflemen" if there are any references you'd like to chase down.

    Doug
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  16. #16
    Boolit Master georgewxxx's Avatar
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    OK Gents, That'll be:$5.50
    311169....$5.25
    S&H.......... .25
    Will there be anything else? Gas checks? ..$2.00@1000

    This all from a Belding and Mull 1937 price list. Sounds cheap by todays standards, but mybe not back then.

    ..Geo

  17. #17
    Boolit Master georgewxxx's Avatar
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    By the way, Modern Bond did make a gas check # K-3111140 that was very similar at 190gr. ..Geo

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    George... Got to be a limit and "Squibb like" isn't enough. Must be a real Squibb. If you want to talk about Squibb like then Aladin's 200 plus grainer fits the bill.

    In 1937 $5.75 would have fed a family of four for two weeks, if they watched their pennies as they did during the Great Depression. My Grandaddy refered to the days when "A dollar was a big as a wagon wheel.".
    Last edited by Char-Gar; 01-30-2007 at 03:50 PM.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master

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    Looks like maybe that B&M was originally a hollow point and some enterprising crank with first-class machining skills converted it to a flat-point. I've never seen the hollow point pin and handle on a B&M mold but (subject to correction) from the length of the handle I'd guess that it was aftermarket.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Yeah, but.....if the guy that did the work went to the trouble to make the plug (for what reason?) I find it strange he didn't make it a hollow pointer. Emery
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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check