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Thread: Hoch Nose Pour Issues.

  1. #1

    Hoch Nose Pour Issues.

    Hello guys and gals.

    A very generous friend bestowed upon me one beautiful piece of craftsmanship.
    A Hoch 459-550 BPCR Mould.
    I have been having some issues getting a good fill out though. I have just about figured out how to get perfect bullets from my heavy Lymans but I’m struggling with this Hoch.
    Here’s my setup.
    Alloy. I mix 2% tin 3% antimony half and half with pure and add a littl solder for that warm fuzzy feeling. Basically a sweetened COWW half and half with pure.
    Mould preheated on a hot plate
    Alloy temp 750 degrees
    Lee drop o matic
    RCBS ladle for pouring

    I’ll add some pics of my typical results with my Lyman 457658 and then the Hoch.









    The Hoch tends to start filling out nice (no wrinkles) after a few pours then it tends to start giving signs of overheating in spots and gives that frost look here and there and has imperfections on the surface. If I slow down it starts to give me fits and if I speed up I get lots of frosting and rounded driving bands.
    When I slow down and start getting a decent fill and a nice clean look to the driving bands the nose starts to give me this layered look as if it were too cold, but that the same time it's frosty like it's too hot. Could the nose be running hotter that the rest of the mould? Maybe the contact with the hot ladle is heating up the sprue plate more, retaining more heat and giving me a frosted nose at the same time the driving bands are at the sweet spot?

    I'm trying to think of everything that could be happening so I can trouble shoot it but so far no luck. I was thinking maybe tapping the sprue plate on a damp towel to keep the nose cooler and see if I can even out the mould temp that way. Seems like it's a lot of work and I'm probably overthinking it.
    thanks for the input!
    Last edited by Michael J. Spangler; 11-06-2017 at 09:07 PM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    You may be having an issue with fill speed and the heavier blocks of the hoch mould. What you might try is ladle casting some with a faster pour or even a pressure pour. You might also try overfilling the mould when ladle pouring. Don't pour a sprue but a full ladle into the mould letting the extra run back into the pot leaving a full sprue cavity molten on top.
    I pour a 550 grn 45 caliber bullet with a Old West 2 cavity mould. This is a brass mould. I do ladle pour them. These are long bullets at around 1.4" long. I pre heat on a shelf on the side of my pot. Alloy is 20-1 and 725*-750*. I over pour the cavities.
    I have ran into some bullets Long and heavy for caliber that the bottom pours didn't fill fast enough to get consitant results.
    Some questions also. How long is the sprue taking to frost over? What temp are you preheating the mould to? Is the mould good and clean, especially the vent lines? How many sessions has the mould had? it may need a couple 3-4 sessions to break in and develop the surface patina.
    Clean the blocks good with acetone then dawn dish soap and water. Really scrub a lather with a tooth brush. Dry good and clean the vent lines with a point on an ice pick or scribe, a bamboo skewer sticks point works also. Lube pins and sprue plate along with the handles. Preheat blocks to 400* and bring alloy to 725 and try casting at a fast pace. Spues should take 5-7 seconds to "frost " over.

  3. #3
    I was using the ladle in direct contact with the sprue plate and I did try a couple pours where I poured a whole ladle in letting the lead cascade back into the poor but maybe only 2. I’ll try that method next for a few dozen casts to see how it responds.
    I did clean the vent lines but have not scrubbed the Mould. I’ll try a good cleaning and brushing before I run it this time.
    I have used it half a dozen times and I know it’s previous owner had used it some also.
    It was taking a couple seconds for the sprue to frost over. Maybe 2. Or 2.5
    When I got the blocks or alloy any hotter it seemed that I just got a bunch of frosting and rounded driving bands.

    I think a good scrub and that variation of ladle pouring will be the next to try. I really want this bullet to cast well because I hear that the 457658 isn’t the best design for accuracy and the Hoch design and its cousins are much better.

    Thank you for the help.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    Chill Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael J. Spangler View Post
    When I got the blocks or alloy any hotter it seemed that I just got a bunch of frosting and rounded driving bands.

    I think a good scrub and that variation of ladle pouring will be the next to try. I really want this bullet to cast well because I hear that the 457658 isn’t the best design for accuracy and the Hoch design and its cousins are much better.

    Thank you for the help.
    That quote in red does not seem to fit together. Hot may = frosting but should really fill the driving bands/whole bullet out.
    Your alloy is good. It should work for both casting good bullets and work well in BPCR with real BP.
    I also agree with the advice about the Lyman Schmidtzer spitzer 457 658 not being the best choice. The Hoch you have is well worth sorting out any casting issues with. It should prove accurate enough once you get a good load for it. It is a very good bullet.

    Hopefully, you will have better luck next casting session.
    Chill Wills

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Chill Wills View Post
    That quote in red does not seem to fit together. Hot may = frosting but should really fill the driving bands/whole bullet out.
    Your alloy is good. It should work for both casting good bullets and work well in BPCR with real BP.
    I also agree with the advice about the Lyman Schmidtzer spitzer 457 658 not being the best choice. The Hoch you have is well worth sorting out any casting issues with. It should prove accurate enough once you get a good load for it. It is a very good bullet.

    Hopefully, you will have better luck next casting session.
    See I’ve had issues with too hot a Mould giving me rounded driving bands and I thought I read somewhere that it was due to bad venting of the hotter alloy or something.

    I’m going to play with that Hoch this weekend and try a few different methods of pouring and alloy or mould temps to see what I can do. In the meantime I need to load some of the decent bullets and do some shooting already.

    Thank you for the advice

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    One of the issues ...RCBS ladle for pouring
    Hoch large block molds are a lot of metal so:
    * Heat the melt and the block so with a Rowell #1 ladle, a five second pour will generate good gravity pressure and the sprue puddle frosts in 10 seconds ... you will have good bullets they way you want them to look. With the RCBC, your running out of gravity pressure towards the nose during the cast because there is not sufficient melt towards the end of the pour and the melt in the ladle is cooling down also. Be sure to also create a large sprue puddle to keep the plate the same temperature as the blocks
    Regards
    John

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Toymaker's Avatar
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    Looks like the same issue I had with my Hoch.
    First, I rubbed a couple of "layered" bullets with a piece of flannel and they looked fine so I ignored the "layered" look. They shot fine.
    Second, I enlarged the hole in my ladle to get a faster pour and made sure I had good contact between the ladle and mold when I poured. The issue disappeared.
    Let us know how things work out for you.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by John Boy View Post
    Hoch large block molds are a lot of metal so:
    * Heat the melt and the block so with a Rowell #1 ladle, a five second pour will generate good gravity pressure and the sprue puddle frosts in 10 seconds ... you will have good bullets they way you want them to look. With the RCBC, your running out of gravity pressure towards the nose during the cast because there is not sufficient melt towards the end of the pour and the melt in the ladle is cooling down also. Be sure to also create a large sprue puddle to keep the plate the same temperature as the blocks
    I’ll give that a try. I do have a Rowell #1


    Quote Originally Posted by Toymaker View Post
    Looks like the same issue I had with my Hoch.
    First, I rubbed a couple of "layered" bullets with a piece of flannel and they looked fine so I ignored the "layered" look. They shot fine.
    Second, I enlarged the hole in my ladle to get a faster pour and made sure I had good contact between the ladle and mold when I poured. The issue disappeared.
    Let us know how things work out for you.
    That’s a good idea too. I have a spare ladle that I can open up.

    Thanks guys!

  9. #9
    So I did a little more casting today. Varied the temp, the ladle, the style of pour. I did drill out my RCBS dipper to increase flow too.
    The best I could come up with was using a small amount of lead in my RCBS dipper and pressure pouring with that. I got the best results with a warm mould but not hot. If I had a hot mould (heated with a propane torch) the bullets would have a crystalline look to them but would be filled out very nicely.
    I found if I was working with a warm mould and did small pours from the ladle it gave pretty good results and those bands on the nose did not appear. As soon as I used a full ladle and the same method I would see the bands on the nose again.
    I'll try to post some pics tonight of my results with the different methods.
    It's amazing how different the results are from pressure pouring with a ladle and pressure pouring from the lee 4/20. One worked well and the other game a terrible rounded band frosty looking bullet.

    I'm going to back into the house to get the Lyman Schmitzer mould. It may not win any matches for me ( I don't compete anyway) but it sure does make a purdy bullet.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    For the Hoch.......cast hot, cast fast, and look the world right in the eye.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by MT Chambers View Post
    For the Hoch.......cast hot, cast fast, and look the world right in the eye.


    Ha hahahha. That yielded some crystalline surfaces to the billets. Filled out nice enough but didn’t seem like that would be a desirable surface effect.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    If your friend didnít use the mould more than once before he gave it to you, you might expect a few unproductive or underproductive casting sessions before things start running smoothly. Iíve found Hoch moulds to be particularly cranky. Thereís a lot of machinery there to heat up and the Meehanite blocks need to oxidize properly (or ďbreak in,Ē as they used to call it), by sitting open in the air after a casting session or three. Iíve noticed that, often, some judicious loosening of the screw that holds the top and bottom sprue plates together can aid the venting and fill out. Donít overdo this, and be sure the lock nuts are tight afterwards.

    On all of them, though, after the break-in and adjustment (if necessary) the mould casts boolits that are round, precisely dimensioned, and accumulate quickly.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    i bet you can wipe the frosting and strata rings off the boolits
    Hit em'hard
    hit em'often

  14. #14
    Boolit Master popper's Avatar
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    Probably a vent problem at the nose. Space for air to escape is being reduced, opposite of base pour. I've had similar problem on GC shank on a base pour mold, reduced flow toward the base and bad stuff disappears. Your frosty nose indicates it is hot enough but cooling wont help fillout. Lately I've been dropping the mould on a hard surface so the momentum of the melt forces air out. Reject rate way down.
    Last edited by popper; 11-13-2017 at 06:39 PM.
    Whatever!

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by popper View Post
    Probably a vent problem at the nose. Space for air to escape is being reduced, opposite of base pour. I'e has similar problem on GC shank on a base pour mold, reduced flow toward the base and bad stuff disappears. Your frosty nose indicates it is hot enough but cooling wont help fillout. Lately I've been dropping the mould on a hard surface so the momentum of the melt forces air out. Reject rate way down.

    Ok so keep doing what I’m doing but maybe some tapping force to settle it all in there?

  16. #16
    Boolit Master popper's Avatar
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    I use a lee dripper and just let the Al. mould drop down on the lee base. Don't want to bang the heck out of the mould. In reality, the one in the pic will probably work perfectly.
    Whatever!

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Probably a vent problem at the nose. Space for air to escape is being reduced, opposite of base pour.
    cant the spout of the ladle about 10 degrees in the sprue hole and you'll watch the melt 'bubble' going into the cavity that means the air is escaping
    Regards
    John

  18. #18
    Boolit Master Aunegl's Avatar
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    I pressure cast with my Hoch molds from a Lee melter. No problems so far.

  19. #19
    I'm A Honcho!

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    More force at the end of the pour. The #1 Rowell is likely the answer. I do not try to pressure cast. I have lead pouring all over my molds and running back into the pot. I try to keep that lead stream shooting into that hole for a second or so after the cavity seems full. The little RCBS and Lyman ladles just don't have enough volume to complete the job.

    Do check the vent lines too. With a nose pour you don't have the same magnitude of gap between the block and sprue plate that you do with a base pour.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master

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    As a last ditch with a fine stone or very fine sandpaper backed by a piece of flat stock, bevel the top inside edges of the blocks .005-.008 on each side ( just enough to see the line good is enough) this makes a vent line right under the sprue plate to allow air and gasses out.

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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