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Thread: Iron / steel (whatever they are) moulds

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Gunslinger1911's Avatar
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    Iron / steel (whatever they are) moulds

    A thread on an RCBS .45 iron mould got me thinking (uh oh).
    I had remembered that mould throws good boolets from dead cold. I also have a BallistiCast .50 iron mould that drops good slugs from dead cold.
    None of my alum or brass moulds will do this.

    An iron thing ?
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  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    NoZombies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslinger1911 View Post
    A thread on an RCBS .45 iron mould got me thinking (uh oh).
    I had remembered that mould throws good boolets from dead cold. I also have a BallistiCast .50 iron mould that drops good slugs from dead cold.
    None of my alum or brass moulds will do this.

    An iron thing ?
    Probably more of a luck thing. I don't think I have any molds that will consistently drop usable bullets from cold, no matter their construction.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master Maven's Avatar
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    What NoZombies said! Btw, I only have 1 "iron" mold that will cast perfect bullets on the first pour. It's a Belding & Mull .432" 270gr. WC design with integral handles that I found on EBay years ago.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    Most of what is called tron or steel in moulds is good ole meehanite ( a fine grained cast iron). I have all iron and steel moulds mostly 2 lees currently that ae aluminum. The iron and brass moulds cast beautiful bullets with a little pre heat right off. The aluminums seem to take some time to normalize before giving the best bullets.
    I believe the cast iron blocks like pans and cook ware "season" over time casting better and better. ANother reason for the iron blocks ease of casting may be the carbon content as carbon acts as a natural release agent and slickens the surface.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Country Gent is right, iron does season with use, but the alloy content of the metal also makes a difference. Ask anyone who owns some of the old H&G and Saeco molds. These molds came from a era where quality of the product produced was the prime consideration. I have a number of multi-cavity iron molds that will drop all keepers on the second or third pour. Making sure your mold is completely clean to start with makes all the difference in the world.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    I wouldn't ever expect to get good boolits from a cold mould! First, until the mould heats up the diameters are likely to be off because the mould is cold and the lead will flash freeze so even if they look good there are likely rounded corners and diameter will be small.

    Pre-heat your mould and you will have no problem regardless of material. All it takes is a hot plate and a piece of steel on it to set your mould on then you can control the pre-heat temperature.

    I pre-heat until the sprue plate lube just starts to smoke which makes for even temperature starting at casting. That is slightly hot but after a few casts (and normally good boolits to start with) the temperature drops a bit and I can speed up casting.

    Works for me and has for about 50 years.

    Longbow

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maven View Post
    What NoZombies said! Btw, I only have 1 "iron" mold that will cast perfect bullets on the first pour. It's a Belding & Mull .432" 270gr. WC design with integral handles that I found on EBay years ago.
    Is your B&M iron or nickel. Their better moulds were nickel.
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  8. #8
    Boolit Master Maven's Avatar
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    Cool

    It's an iron mold, Pressman, #429260 (single cavity; integral handles; ~1/8" thick sprue plate). It cast beautifully despite its composition, and truth be told, is probably the best casting mold I own.

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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