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Thread: An Historic Mold

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    An Historic Mold

    There has been, over the years, some misinformation concerning Sam Squibb. Some believe he was a pseudonym some someone else, or didn't exist at all. For starters, he was real, and he wasn't from Akron.

    Sam Squibb, along with his fellow members of the somewhat less-than-illustrious Cypress Hill Rifle and Revolver Assn., which was organized in 1906. Two years after that, the club took delivery of sixteen 1903 Springfield rifles. It was very quickly discovered that their short 200 yard Schuetzen range with its rocky backstop wouldn't safely contain the high speed jacketed bullets of the government issued ammunition.
    Everyone was in agreement that hand loaded cartridges seemed to be the answer, and the low speed, virtually glance proof lead bullet was the necessary bullet.
    In the main, Sam Squibb led the search for suitable bullets and suitable loads. He had material assistance form fellow members Leonard S. Miller and Charles Gebhard
    Gebhard was a tool and die maker who was able to shape cherries and cut molds, but it is recorded that Squibb's first experimental mold for a 180 grain spitzer bullet was made for him by club member Mr. Haskell. Long story considerably shortened, Squibb's early efforts were frustrating and educational exercises in burning too much powder and looking at lead plated .30 caliber bores.
    In 1920, the reloading tool trade was in a state of flux. The war had put Ideal's normal production on the back burner and it had yet to recover. Modern-Bond had just emerged with a quality line of tools backed by men of influence. The start-up Yankee Specialty Co.. seized the rare opportunity the tool shortage occasioned as did the fledgling firm organized by Warren S. Belding and Nate Mull. Started in 1916 as a mail order concern to supply the shooter trade, the pair sought to get their fair share of the new post-war market. They tooled up to produce a line that included bullet molds What they needed were bullet designers with a following to help lay a solid foundation. They solicited designs from Elmer Keith, Fred Ness of the NRA Dope Bag, and the triumvirate from the Cypress Hills R&R Club.
    Gebhard turned out for them the perfected plain based 170 gr. pointed bullet. It shot best at 1,200-1,400 fps. For a time, it was very popular.
    Squibb tried other bullet forms and shapes but leaned toward a spitzer point.
    By and by, he arrived at what was the perfected design and the two hundred yard targets proved him right.
    Leonard Miller and S. Squibb co-devised what he considered to be an improvement over the Pope taper base, multi-band target bullet later to be known as Lyman 308403.
    In March of 1922, the 168 grain Squibb-Miller bullet squared off with the Pope bullet at the annual Indoor Rifle Tournament in Brooklyn. John Hession, twice winner of the Wimbledon Cup, shot the match with a Pope-Springfield against Miller and his version, and beat Hession in that important match by a single point. The Squibb-Miller bullet, aka Belding and Mull 311168, helped put the firm on the map.
    Sam Squibb's bullet became best known, Lyman brought it out in 1925 as 311413, one of the most widely used .30 caliber bullets in the history of our hobby. Prior to this, B&M cataloged Squibb's bullet as 311169.
    In certain small circles these lead bullet designs had gained a publicity and reputation and, just as importantly, some ink in the rifleman's press that made Belding and Mull a noteworthy name.
    I recently acquired a highly modified Winchester mold with Sam Squibb's name stamped on the handles. The blocks are brass or bronze and are pinned on to the handles. The Winchester sprue plate is retained. The digit 2 on the plate leads me to believe that this was the second variation of the same bullet. A bullet cast from a B&M 311169 mold fit perfectly into this Winchester mold and vice versa. I can only conclude that this mold probably belonged to Mr. Sam Squibb close to a century ago.

    This is my first time posting pictures. I hope they "take".
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  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    Bent Ramrod's Avatar
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    Wow, that is great stuff! Thanks for posting it. That mould is a great find, too.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    Super cool.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy GunFun's Avatar
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    Very neat. Let us know how it shoots for you, and if you can see any differences between it an the 311413 molds.
    In the market for a multicavity Mi-Hec 9mm HP mold.

    I presently cast for .380 ACP, 9mm, .38/.357, 30 cal and .45 and 12 Ga slug.
    I am particularly grateful for the help I have gotten from members Red333 and MSRdiver, and OLD Para (who made a crazy mold on my design!!!!!) as well as excellent guides by Recluse for his ideal lube process. I have been experimenting with poly coating too.

    PM me if you know of a very cheap source of birdshot, or an efficient way to make #4 Buck.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Jack Stanley's Avatar
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    Thanks for the write up and history , I enjoyed that .

    Jack
    Buy it cheap and stack it deep , you may need it !

    Black Rifles Matter

  6. #6
    Boolit Master


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    Know I understand why my DAD always shot the #311413 in his SPRINGFIELD 1903 with LYMAN #48 Peep & Globe front.
    I HATE auto-correct


    Happiness is a Warm GUN & more ammo to shoot in it.

    My Experience and My Opinion, are just that, Mine.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

    Rattlesnake Charlie's Avatar
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    Really cool story. Thanks for sharing.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    My favorite bullet in my Krag is the Pope 311403, but now I'm going to have to find that Squibb-Miller mould and do a side by side comparison. The Ideal mould I have is a four cavity 311403, but it doesn't have the tapered base, was that only used in the old Pope made moulds? My base band measures a full .315, that I size to .314 to seat in an unsized Krag case. The 311413 has not shot that well for me, but I think maybe I was just pushing them too fast. Good photos and neat story,post some more!

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
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    Nice write up,thanks for posting.

  10. #10
    Boolit Bub
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    Gewehr Guy, Taper base refers to the slight break on the base of the 308403 to get it started in the unsized case necks. I have the Squibb-Miller mold ( old B&M) and don't consider it an improvement over the Pope bullet. I have the Pope in an old Yankee mold. Frankly, I have had much better luck with other conventional bullets like 311284 and 311291. I've spent a lot of time with the Squibb bullet, trying to get it to shoot in a Model 54 30 WCF and I consider it to be time wasted.
    I love old bullet molds. Next, since I have not overcome the picture posting barrier, I may let people take a gander at what may be the only Belding and Mull "multiple mould", their advertised gang mold that I don't believe was ever produced outside of this (tool room?) example. Pretty neat - eight cavities for the Squibb bullet.

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    I have long had an interest in the Squibb bullet and Sam Squibb. I understand he was from Lima Ohio. I have some historical information but nothing near as complete as what you have posted. I have the Lyman, B&M and H&G molds for that bullets.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  12. #12
    Boolit Bub
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    It seems like Sam didn't stray far from Brooklyn. I have found ads in the 1920s American Rifleman that he had placed. He did have a couple of articles telling about his shooting projects. I have a poor copy of a team photo Cypress Hills R&RC That was in National Sportsman, I believe. I've collected Sam Squibb and Belding and Mull lore for a long time.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Krag1902, several years ago at the Sioux Falls gun show I had a nice visit with a man from NE, a loading tool collector, that had just found an Ideal loading tool with a heeled bullet, like a .32 Long Colt or something similar. Maybe you?

  14. #14
    Boolit Bub
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    It was a .41 Long Colt. Yes, I remember - it seems as though we discussed cast bullets for Krags,right?

  15. #15
    Boolit Master


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    Thank you for this marvelous post! In addition to reading it -- I'm pasting a copy in my "Shooting Stuff" folder on my computer, to readily be able to read it again. And -- best wishes with the mould!
    geo

  16. #16
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    What a neat piece of history. Thank you.
    [The Montana Gianni] Front sight and squeeze

  17. #17
    Boolit Master

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    I've owned a single cavity plain base Ideal 311413 for some years now, but never seriously considered working it up due to the bad reputation it has garnered among those who have tried to use it above its 1.2-1.4K sweet spot.

    Thanks for the great thread Krag1902.
    More "This is what happened when I,,,,," and less "What would happen if I,,,,"

    Last of the original Group Buy Honcho's.

    "Dueling should have never been made illegal in this country. It settled lots of issues between folks."- Char-Gar

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    I too heard about the 311413 reputation for lousy accuracy. I owned a nice 1898 Krag but bore was very dark. Best jacketed accuracy at 100yds. was 1 1/2" no matter what load I tried. NECO had just came out with their pressure (fire) lapping kit and Wayne Swartz was kind enough to lend one to me. I wasn't going to set up a target but just for grins I set one out at 50yds...I'm glad I did. The coarsest grit was just a pattern, but as I progressed to thru to the finer abrasives...cleaning well between grits, groups started to shrink, until with the finest, I was getting 1 hole groups with bullets"lubed" for all practical purposes with abraisive. Bore was now shiney..even in grooves. There was a very very slight taper to bore..as close as I could measure only about .0001" (1/10 thousandt of inch) Bore slugged at .3105".
    I tried several Lyman cast bullets that were supposed to be accurate in the Krag but I didn"t find real accuracy until I tried the 413 over 19grs. IMR4227. groups were around 1" at 100yds..this was with the tiny peep in the 1901 rear and std. blade front...Oh to have those peepers back!

  19. #19
    Boolit Master


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    What a fantastic write up and cool pictures too. Thanks!
    "Is all this REALLY necessary?"

  20. #20
    Boolit Man
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    So, did the number designation change on the molds, 311169 being early version, and 311168 being later version? I have one of the 311169 in nickel, but never knew the history in detail. I can take pics if it interests anyone?

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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
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GC Gas Check