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Thread: Mold Handle Trouble

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Mold Handle Trouble

    A while ago I bought an Ideal single cavity mold in the 313226 pattern. This is the traditional round nose 93 grain boolit commonly seen in factory loaded 32 S&W Long ammo. When the mold arrived I found it had considerable use on it but had not been abused. After a clean-up I tested the mold halves to mate together and they did this well so I pulled out a set of Lyman single cavity handles and bolted the mold halves on them. Then came the problems. The mold halves would not close at the back end closest to me. The front end of the mold halves had full contact but the rear of the mold showed a constant seam of light that shouted "open". I could get the rear of the mold to close with a heavy grip on the handles but knew this would get old really fast. After a bit of looking I found that the forward end of the handle arm was making contact with the inside wall of the mold so early that it was holding the rear of the mold out and not allowing the halves to rotate and close. I removed a slight bit of material from the forward ends of the handles (facing the mold halves) and this allowed the halves to rotate and close as intended. This slight dimensional change on the mold cuts for the handles, or perhaps the handle arms, were the issue I found and corrected. Now the mold works as intended and produces very nice boolits for loading "traditional" 32 S&W Long ammo. Nostalgia has it's price but I"m willing to pay for it, even in sweat equity.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    georgerkahn's Avatar
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    I have also noted some Ideal &/or Lyman "single cavity" handles which, when put on moulds, would not fully close, too. Rather than your approach -- filing a bit off each handle side -- I simply purchased older-style single cavity handles which fit and work famously. lyman -- to my observation -- has THREE sizes of handles. To wit, one for the single-cavities; one which fits (so you learned "not always" both single and double cavity moulds; and one for four cavity moulds. Absolutely nothing wrong with your successful fix; but, I thought I'd share that mould handles which perfectly mate to your mould are out there!
    BEST!
    geo

  3. #3
    Boolit Master dh2's Avatar
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    I have run in to this issue too, like georgerkahn I have managed to find a old set of lyman small mold handles , I had to get a used set from swap and sale here, as I have not seen them any where for sale new. I do have 2 old lyman single cavity molds that my rifles do well with,
    I didn't know there was three sizes of handles for Lyman, so my luck and the way most of my molds was bought used at some point I will be looking for that third size

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    georgerkahn's Avatar
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    dh2 -- the large 4-cavity handles are of the "nutcracker" design -- the mould is fastened between the hinge and the handle ends. My very second (or third?) mould was a 4-cavity I bought, with handles, from Gander Mountain (it was a mail-order only -- no brick & mortar storefronts then store) in the very early 1970's. I still have the mould, but since traded off or sold the handles not being a fan of the nutcracker style. Bion, I have found Lee handles work well on these, and -- as stated -- I prefer the "plier" style.
    geo

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Lyman has been making those handles for single cavity moulds for well over 60 years and the size of their single cavity moulds have changed quite a bit as well (in fact, AFAIK the only SC moulds they even make now are to cast extra large specialty bullets and are on DC blanks.) I buy all the early handles I can find to minimize having to change out the moulds from handle to handle... but then again, I'm only trying to keep handles on about 25 or so sets of moulds!

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy


    cwlongshot's Avatar
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    Same here.

    I adjust the tips on all my mold handles same way.


    I just bought two LEE handles just to have some cheap extras and before I ever even used them, I did this to them. Just last week. Angle ground from screw holes forward lightly removing material.

    CW
    NRA Life member NRA Certified Pistol & Shotgun Instructor NRA Certified Rifle Coach Certified Range Officer Reloading Instructor
    REMEMBER, FREEDOM IS NOT FREE

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Guesser's Avatar
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    I have more than a dozen of the older SC handles from very old to most recent. They are not all the same. I even have one set that works well for SC and DC. There was no standard.........

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I've run into the same thing as well that you all talk about. I have way too many lyman/ideal blocks as well as having accumulated a number of Lyman/Ideal handles over the years. Some molds, I leave on the handles as I use them more often than others. The others that aren't on handles sometimes pose an issue - at least the single cavity blocks do. I end up laying my handles out and through trial and error, find a set of handles that fit. If I was smart, I'd number my handles and then put the handle number with the mold blocks when I take them off and store them . . . or note it on my written inventory of my mold blocks. Hmmm . . . sounds like a rainy day job . . . . .

    I'm no expert on Ideal/Lyman but I'm guessing that dimensions have changed over the years - the same as the OD of some of their base pins for hollow base molds.

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