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Thread: Modified Lee 7/8 oz. Slug Mould ~ Brenneke'ized!

  1. #1
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Modified Lee 7/8 oz. Slug Mould ~ Brenneke'ized!

    So, I mentioned I might do this and it went very well. Quite satisfying after the setback on the rifled choke tube!

    I placed on order with Titan Reloading (great service and better prices than Lee!) to get some parts to upgrade my old Lee Challenger press and while I was at it decided to get a couple of core pins for my 1 oz. and 7/8 oz. Lee slug moulds.

    There seems to be a minor bit of confusion on the core pins. Lee says they are different which I would expect but Titan says they are the same. I think Lee is right but for what I want it makes no difference and I like dealing with Titan.

    I added two core pins to my order which came amazingly fast especially considering that Canada Post is staging rotating strikes... was, they got legislated back to work. Anyway, I got them pretty quick.

    My plan was to add a "post hole" to make a center stem in the "key" so I could drill and add screwed on wads.

    I make a tapered reamer out of an old Phillips head screw driver that was missing a handle. So heated the business end red then let it cool. That didn't totally take the heat treating out... it was still tough but machinable.

    I turned a taper to about match the tapered post in the Paradox slugs that KrackenFan69 sent me. Then I drilled a pilot hole in the new core pin, then ran the D bit tapered reamer in and it made a perfect tapered hole!

    I cleaned up the core pin then exchanged the core pin in my 7/8 oz. mould with the new modified pin and cast some slugs. The turned out great and dropped easily. Pics:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I chucked them in the lathe and center drilled then ran a 1/8" drill bit in so I can use a #6 wood screw to attached felt wads between stiff washers Brenneke like. Until i get some 16 ga. felt wads ordered I'll make myself a punch and use some insole felt of whatever I can find to try them out.

    You can see that the slugs from the modified mould are slightly longer and slightly thicker skirt than from the unmodified mould. I thought Titan said the pins I ordered for for 7/8 oz. but would work for 1 oz. but I suspect it is the other way around. No matter at $1.50 each they aren't enough money to worry about and the'll work regardless. If the slugs work well I may try to get the "real" core pin but for now it makes no difference. It worked!

    The unmodified Lee slug is second from right. It weighs 356 grs. cast from ACWW.

    The modified solid weighs 385 grs.

    The drilled version weighs 372 grs.

    If these work well as Brenneke like slugs I will add a pin in the core pin to leave a screw starter hole so I don't have to drill.

    BigMrTong is having good success with his Lee slugs with 3D printed vaned tail wad so I have to think this will work as well... if not with felt wads then maybe plastic wads screwed on. I could 3D print those if I had a 3D printer. I can easily machine some though at least for testing.

    So far this is looking good and I have to think will improve the accuracy of the slug. Easy and cheap to try anyway. I think those slugs look good!

    Best part is it only cost me $1.50 and took all of about 2 hours to do and there are no permanent changes... I can put the original core pin back in in about 2 minutes.

    Longbow

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Please take a picture of the modified core pin. You might have something really good there.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master


    Ranch Dog's Avatar
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    Very interesting work. I ponder the Lee slug all the time, the need for tail feathers and my inability to provide them. Titan does some 3D products, not as much now as before they expanded their product line to non-Lee equipment. I've thought about contacting Dennis about 3D tails for the Lee slugs. Might be worth an email from anyone that would be interested.
    Michael

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Cap'n Morgan's Avatar
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    Clever idea there, Longbow. As for the starter hole, it doesn't have to be more than a dimple. I found that self tapping screws will easily cut directly into lead.
    Cap'n Morgan

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

    rancher1913's Avatar
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    would love to see some photos of the mold.
    if you are ever being chased by a taxidermist, don't play dead

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Blood Trail's Avatar
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    Great ideal, LB! Looks professional. I look forward to your results.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Michael:

    Not sure if you've seen these threads by BigMrTong:

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...stom-Slug-Wads
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...-Lee-Slug-Load

    An interesting way to add a tail wad... if a guy has a 3D printer that is.

    I've tried to "Brennele'ize a few slugs but so far the biggest problems have been getting the tail wads consistent and relatively easy to make, and tail wad material. I live in a rural area with not much access to things like nylon or polyethylene rod unless I want to order 20' or so. Consequently I've tried drilled nitro card wads ~ they delaminate and become awfully scraggly after being whacked with 10,000 PSi; I have machined some polyethylene tail wads but it was tedious and for some reason I did not get good accuracy which I have not figured out; hot melt glue cast in paper tubes onto round balls or slugs with wood screws inserted with enough head out for glue to grab; hot melt glue into forms with slugs or balls. So far the best results are with hot melt glue onto TC shaped short fat slugs. These are mostly wad slugs as full bore hot melt glue slugs require a paper or other tube to avoid glue contacting the bore. I have made full bore slugs that worked reasonably well but the paper tubes tended to get pretty "rough" on the trip. Not sure how much roughing up they get in the bore versus at impact but the wad style slugs worked better for me regardless.

    I've added hot melt glue tail wads to Lee slugs as well with improved results. But the hot melt glue is a bit of a pain to handle and the results are not like injection moulding though they can be pretty good.

    The intent of these modified Lee slugs is to allow use of screwed on wads of hard felt or like what Uncle Dino uses:

    https://www.ballisticproducts.com/HB...tinfo/072HB12/

    Though the hole in these is pretty large, or some drilled plastic rod (if I can get some easily). That and these are only available in 12 ga. full bore so I'd have to use a full bore slugs to attach them to. I tried to order some a couple of years ago. Long story and I don't have any yet.

    I'm actually surprised that BigMrTong is getting better results with fins than a cylindrical tail wad. I made a mould to cast finned slugs and while they looked very cool and flew nose on, the accuracy was not great... round balls do better (smoothbore loading). However, the proof is in the pudding as they say.

    I'll try to get a pic of the core pin later though I'm not sure the tapered hole will show up well. I'll include the D bit reamer in the pic.

    Longbow

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    LB, I thought that Mooseberg you bought has a rifled barrel but these loads are oriented toward a smoothbore. Either way looks like you could screw and glue a full bore plastic gas seal or two on tha modified slug and be assured of getting it out of the barrel straight. No leading as naked slug is smaller than plastic base. ???
    "My main ambition in life is to be on the devil's most wanted list."
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  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    My thinking is you are not far from milling a couple .735" bands on the slug for a full bore brenneke style slug. Nobody said rifled slug rifling had to be vertical.

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Hal ~ no it is a smoothbore. I missed out on a used rifled barrel for $150.00 CDN at the same shop! Regular they run about $280.00 IIRC.

    msm ~ I've got mould for Brenneke like slugs with longitudinal straight vanes and I have full bore smooth slugs that can be Brennele'ized by attaching a tail wad. The problem I've had so far is getting consistent tail wads. Easy for Brenneke as they order what they want by the 10's of thousands but for us backwoods tinkerers it isn't so easy to get what you want or need. I have not tried a hard felt yet but that is next on my list. Brenneke wads seem to be a fibrous material like felt but harder... maybe resin impregnated? Benco Vitt were similar. I'll try felt but I think it is too squadgey and will deform. I suspect I will have to soak it in watered down carpenter's glue or something to firm it up without making it solid. Again, I do like the AQ wads too! Even without the vanes, but I am not machining every wad!

    Here's a pic of the D bit reamer and a modified Lee core pin:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Not much to it and it only takes about two minuted to modify the core pin ~ remove it (one screw), center drill, drill 1/8" to depth, drill 13/64" to depth, run the reamer in, clean off chips, reinstall, cast!

    Since it seems to work I will look at adding the screw hole starter pin, then no drilling required after casting. I've done that with my solids for holding the glue skirts in place.

    Part of the goal of this is to achieve better accuracy at longer distance but also doing it in a way that an average guy with a few tools can do it or get it done inexpensively. Lee moulds are cheap, the core pins they almost give away and Lee slugs work not too badly as is. Maybe they'll do better with "feathers" as Ranch Dog says.

    A guy has to do something to stay out of trouble.

    Longbow

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Markopolo's Avatar
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    LB, what is causing that ring around the base of the slug?? A little bit bigger and you would have a lube grove there. I noticed it wasn’t on the base of the unmodified slug... just wondering if the new pin somehow caused it due to the added length?

    Marko
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  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Yes, the core pins are a bit different. if you read my first post, there was a bit of confusion (maybe on my part?) about the core pins. Lee only listed a 7/8 oz. core pin on their website... or all I could find was the 7/8 oz. core pin and Titan said the same core pin works for both moulds. I thought that meant they were the same. Close but not quite. It appears the core pins I got are for the 1 oz. mould and the core pin for the cavity is lightly longer and slightly smaller diameter than the 7/8 oz. core pin so thicker and slightly longer skirt. The rest is the same, so yes, the same pin fits both moulds but does not make the same slugs.

    For what I am doing it makes no difference but yes, there is a 1 oz. core pin and a 7/8 oz. core pin with slight differences.

    The core pin I posted the pic of is the 1 oz. core pin but it is going into a 1 oz. slug mould so will be the same as what came out. It'll be interesting to see how much extra weight it adds to the 1 oz. slug. Not a lot I suspect but some.

    I may shorten the end of the core pin as well and use a center drill to open it up more conical to add weight around the top of the post and make the slug not only heavier but nose heavier. For now I just want to try the screwed on 16 ga. felt wads and see how that works for a wad slug. They should fit into 1 1/8 oz. or 1 1/4 oz. shotcups for length.

    I have to say that for the price the Lee slug moulds are quite good. My 1 oz. mould is old style and the 7/8 oz. is new style. The 1 oz. stuck a bit when I first cast but a small amount of TLC and clean up to remove tiny burrs and the slugs drop out now. The 7/8 oz. takes a gentle tap or two so not bad. The core pins machine very nicely. I'd prefer the slugs to be a few thou larger and with a bit less taper but mostly just a bit less taper. I'll have to try to find some Federal wads though as Randy says they have thicker and more tapered petals than the Winchester wads I have. I have to order in so hard to compare different wads without ordering a bag of each brand and style.

    I was hoping to load and shoot tomorrow but I have to drive to Kelowna about 4 hours away to pick up my wife. She's coming back from a doctor appointment in Vancouver and didn't trust the weather for airplane landing in Castlegar as we get lots of fog and low cloud in winter. She bussed to Kelowna when she left on Wednesday but no seats on the bus coming back! Oh well, I'll spend the day driving 4 hours each way tomorrow. Might get out shooting Sunday.

    Longbow

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Markopolo's Avatar
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    Ahh... I seee now... I promise I did read the first post sir... lol... was curious if the line was just a by product.....
    Any technology not understood, can seem like Magic!!!

    I will love the Lord with all my heart, all my soul, and all my mind.

  14. #14
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    LB: Ranch Dog posted some pics of some Felt Cleaning Wads along with some bore cleaner a week or so back on the "Sabot Technologies" thread.

    Look here: http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...nologies/page2

    These already have a hole thru and are made of some kind of felt with copper wire in them or something. IE; they would probably hold up well. They are available from Brownell's (not cheap!) but they look like they would do exactly what you want. I might add these are made in Germany and look very close to the wad on the back of a Brenneke Slug?

    As far as the plastic washers, you should be able to turn and cut off some plastic rod. I don't know if Mc Master-Carr ships to you but they have every kind of material like this known to man and in quantities that are reasonable to anyone. Probably cost more to ship than the material costs. Available in 1, 2, 3 and 6' lengths.

    Another way for you might be to use some epoxy and cast it into a piece of PVC pipe then turn it to your desired Dia.

    Brass washers that are well under bore size or stacked on a mandrel and turned to the desired dia. and then use the felt cleaning wads as the gas seal could work also. You could do the same thing with plastic sheet you found laying around, cut a bunch of pieces and stack them on a bolt and turn to size.

    Rather than making the new mould pin I believe I would just make a blank mould pin and cast the slug as a solid with a hole in the middle for the screw then attach the Felt Wad and washer.

    Randy
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
    www.buchananprecisionmachine.com

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Randy:

    I already have solid slugs with screw starter holes in them. I made new core pins for my push out moulds in both wad slugs diameter and full bore. I have used them with the hot melt glue tail wads and with reasonable success, except... as usual getting good consistent tail wads is the problem. most turn out okay but many wind up with bubbles in them. the hot melt glue is extremely tough and works very well as a poor man's "injection moulded" tail wad when squirted into a form. Keeping bubbles out is the major issue now. All the rest works well and these slugs with good tail wads have shown some very good accuracy.

    One of the benefits (I think) is that the extended glue tail wad is somewhat flexible and expands under compression to fill the bore which is evident on recovered wads. That expansion may result in somewhat higher pressure due to bore friction but so far no problems. They are not difficult to make but again making them without bubbles seems to be the issue. I might have a solution there though so will be trying it out shortly.

    The felt idea comes from Brenneke and Benco-Vitt. If I can find the right felt it should be easy to punch for screw and assemble consistent tail wads. I do need some beefy plastic or leather washers on top and bottom too but I'll find something for that. Brass or copper washers could work but would likely have much too large a hole in them if 3/4" O.D.

    The main reason for the Lee mould modification is so that a guy with a few bucks for a mould and a few tools may be able to do it himself or get a machinist to modify the core pin. I can make my own moulds so no problem there for me. Also, being hollow base rather than solid the Lee is more choke friendly than a solid slug. To that end, I still have my full bore ribbed core mould so may try a solid ribbed full bore slug with full bore felt tail wad as well as wad slugs with felt tail wads.

    Besides I have both Lee moulds and the Drive key slugs work okay so maybe this will improve them. Maybe not too (been there before!) but it is fun playing and easy to do.

    OOOOOHHHH! Those felts do look nice Randy! I remember seeing them now but wasn't thinking of tail wads when I saw that post. Now I am! Even if just for a test. If they are available in 16 ga. they'd be perfect for wad slugs. I'll look.

    I was actually hoping for better results from you guys with the Lyman 525 gr. mould because I was sorely tempted to buy one but so far 100 yard accuracy with them seems elusive unless I've missed something.

    Longbow

  16. #16
    Boolit Master Markopolo's Avatar
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    I wonder what type of screw to use in a setup like this? you don’t want too big of a screw to attach to it, but you would want a firm grip. I guess one could take apart a brenekke and get a good measurement of the screw they use. And what should it be made of, small alum type? Or steel? I would assume lighter....
    Any technology not understood, can seem like Magic!!!

    I will love the Lord with all my heart, all my soul, and all my mind.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Markopolo's Avatar
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    I found these for the vfg shotgun cleaning felts super intensive...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    And these Click image for larger version. 

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    From either place, they are proud of them... hey also have a regular felt intensive that might do just as good, pretty dense...Click image for larger version. 

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    They do add to the length of the screw though and overall length of the slug especially once you add a sort of plastic washer...
    Any technology not understood, can seem like Magic!!!

    I will love the Lord with all my heart, all my soul, and all my mind.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master


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    Have you looked here to see if they have anything to make your own? http://www.durofelt.com/products.html

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy Ginsing's Avatar
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    Longbow
    You should try to find very high density wool felt. It is very tough and does not compress much. I have a strip it is about 1/2" thick that I punch out for buckshot loads. Use a 16mm hollow gasket punch and that should be just about right for fitting in a shotcup. I can give you a piece to try out

  20. #20
    Boolit Grand Master

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    A short update...

    I just cast with the modified 1 oz. slug mould and the finished slugs weigh 470 grs. cast from ACWW where original Lee designs casts 445 grs. from ACWW. The only obvious difference is the post in the middle... no seam and extension like on the 7/8 oz. mould since the core pin is a 1 oz. core pin.

    My 1 oz. Lee mould is the old style blocks and the core pin was riveted in place rather than screwed in as the new ones are. I had to file the mushroom head of the aluminum stem to remove the original core pin then simply used the Lee shoulder screw to install the new modified core pin (I ordered a couple of shoulder screws as well).

    Markopolo ~ those look a lot like the ones Ranch Dog posted. Probably the same. I'll check prices but those seem pretty pricey.

    tomme boy ~ yes, I was looking at the Durofelt site earlier. I'll see if I can find anything locally but I'm guessing I'll be ordering if I want good quality hard felt. I'll see what Ginsing has and where he got it. First thing is to test, then if it works well enough to pursue I'll order a bunch so I'm set for a while.

    I plan on using a #6 wood screw and likely steel. I might go as small as #4. The screw is so light in comparison I doubt it matters. In fact if this works well enough to do again I may go to a small nail that is slightly bigger than the hole in the stem then simply drive the nail with felts into the stem. I've done that with my solids and the nails stay swaged in place... except that was with nitro card wads and they didn't do so well. I should have tried felt a long time ago.

    I'll get some tail wads made up then get out shooting!

    Longbow

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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