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Thread: HPing a Mould just what size hole?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    HPing a Mould just what size hole?

    Like the title states. When hollow pointing a mould just what or how much of the point do we want. Is there a magic percentage? Just how deep do I want to go into the bullet with the pointing device? Once again is there a magic number?

    I am looking to HP a Lee C501-440RF mould. The face of the bullet is .400.
    Stop being blinded by your own ignorance.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    I would make the pin and mating hole .400. This way several things are available to you after its done. The pins can be made u so they are interchangeable and the hollow points size and shape can be experimented with easily with just pin changes.

    My concern starting this project wouldn't be the hollow points size but the softness and gumminess of the aluminum holding up to the pins sliding.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Country Gent, Thank you for your reply. Not sure how well the Lee mould will hold up to a steel HP rod. All I can say is I ended up with two of the same moulds and willing to take a chance in destroying one.

    The brass bushing I found that I file fit in a drill is a brake line compression fitting. After farther inspection I found it is not the same size all the way down the tube. In the back of my mind I must have known this already. That was going to give me a .270 HP pin size.

    I think I will put this on hold for a short time and hunt around for another bushing with a larger center. Should be a few days to find a better fitting pin.
    Stop being blinded by your own ignorance.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master KVO's Avatar
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    The choice of cavity geometry depends heavily on the impact velocity, and that is the magic. I feel that a cone or cup point HP gives you a bit more versatility. The very long, thin HP cavities have a narrow velocity window for expansion. In general, for velocities less than 1000fps the HP will only open or fold back as wide as the cavity is deep. 1050-1100fps+ the lead will start to mush out on impact independent of the starting cavity volume. Have a look at the NOE CAD drawings for their HP molds, I have found that in general, their HP profiles are good for standard-for-caliber velocities. The 403-200 WFN deep HP opens great out of a subcompact .40, and the 358-135 works pretty well from 9mm at about 1050fps. You mentioned the Lee 501-440; if you are running these at magnum velocity, anything more than a cup point will turn into a grenade. Anything over 1200fps takes surprisingly little HP cavity to start expansion. Big huge HP are for <900fps or for varmint boolits. Also low or no antimony, high tin if you want good weight retention; 20:1 is your friend. If going for higher velocity magnum loads consider 16:1.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    I was going to run them in a 50 Beowulf. 1600-1800 FPS
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  6. #6
    Boolit Master KVO's Avatar
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    Outer Rondacker,

    At that velocity range I would recommend nothing bigger than a smallish cup point type hp, or essentially a spot drill and cast from 16-1 or everybody's favorite 50/50 +2% Sn. We have another thread running tangent to this one, might be of some interest to you:

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...11#post4362911

    My personal bias aside (cast HP are one of my favorite subjects) we have so many threads on the hollow pointing topic that we ought to have a new Cast HP sub forum.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    Hear hear!!!!!
    KE4GWE - - - - - - Colt 1860, it just feels right.

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    Boolit Master
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    Thank you KVO I will go check out that thread now.
    Stop being blinded by your own ignorance.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master


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    The rule of thumb for HP pin sizes is to use 1/3 of the bullet diameter rounded off to the nearest size drill rod available. Example: .308" bullet, 1/3 is .102" and some change. Use a .100" pin. If you're shooting a slow caliber like a .38 Special go up. I use .125" cavities in .38 bullets for the .357 Carbine and .156" diameter pins for the .38 revolvers. Length/depth of cavity is 1/2 bullet length./beagle
    diplomacy is being able to say, "nice doggie" until you find a big rock.....

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks Beagle. The cal is .501 so 1/3rd of that is .167. Bullet length is .892 so half is .446. Looks a bit deep but I can always shorten the pin if I think its to deep.
    Stop being blinded by your own ignorance.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master fredj338's Avatar
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    No magic, it will depend on the alloy & vel you drive them. I have a mold that Erik @ HPMS did for me, rcbs 45saa. I had him make me 5 diff pins, all diff shapes & depths & dia. What I learned, if you drive a bullet fast & soft alloy, you want a shallow cup point to promote expansion & have support for the nose as it expands. If you are driving low vel, a wider/deeper HP will get the metal moving better.
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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