Inline FabricationWidenersTitan ReloadingRepackbox
MidSouth Shooters SupplyLee PrecisionADvertise hereRotoMetals2

Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: .75" ball 15 gang mould, one of a kind

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Bert2368's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Blasted hellish frozen northern wastelands, AKA Minnesota
    Posts
    523

    .75" ball 15 gang mould, one of a kind

    An acquaintence (who never used it) is passing on to me an unusual 15 ball gang mould, custom made for him by yet another acquaintance of ours who is now deceased (I have to qualify that bit about more and more people I knew all the time, what's up with that?!)

    This was NOT intended for firearms use by the maker, although it MIGHT cast 12 gauge pumpkin balls 15 at a whack if the alloy used shrank enough? The balls to be cast by this were intended for a ball mill, making black powder.

    The owner has given up his license to manufacture, had already made enough balls one at a time in a single cavity mould and so never needed to heat this one up. "New old stock", or perhaps more accurately, "untested prototype".

    Tool is made out of stainless steel, it is at least somewhat magnetic, perhaps 400 series? Weighs about seven pounds, measures 6" long by 4" wide by 1-3/8" high. Cavities were milled with a .75" ball end mill, so should be close to .75" Dia, as cast size will of course be smaller depending on alloy.

    Mould was intended to shear sprues by having the sprue plate shifted sideways with an arbor press or cam press of some type, which tool was never fabricated before the maker passed on, I will need to improvise something.

    See some pictures below...

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1A1A.jpg 
Views:	21 
Size:	32.6 KB 
ID:	256074

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	2A1A.jpg 
Views:	17 
Size:	48.1 KB 
ID:	256075

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	3A1A.jpg 
Views:	16 
Size:	38.8 KB 
ID:	256076

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	5A1A.jpg 
Views:	18 
Size:	40.0 KB 
ID:	256077

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	6A1A.jpg 
Views:	20 
Size:	36.1 KB 
ID:	256078

    Might need some input on setting up to use this one after I get my hands on it. Pretty sure this isn't going to fit under my Lee 20 lb. pot, I don't have a suitable sized Rowell ladle on hand either. 15 x .75" lead spheres X about 1.3 oz. each = 19.5 oz. lead per cast...
    Last edited by Bert2368; 02-04-2020 at 02:25 PM.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    behind enemy lines
    Posts
    651
    That thing is cool.

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Castlegar, B.C., Canada
    Posts
    6,715
    I suspect that the cavities will be at least 0.750" sp even with shrinkage the RB's will likely be too big for 12 ga. unless run through a sizer. They might suit 10 ga. in shotcups though.

    It'll be interesting to see some cast balls from that.

    As a note, stainless steel is a poor conductor of heat but that may not be a disadvantage with that mould as you would likely pre-heat it, make a pour then shear and empty then go again. The mould may hold the heat long enough that you can keep casting without pre-heating again.

    Interesting idea and looks nicely machined. However, if the mould halves/cavities don't line up within a couple or three thou they may not be very accurate from shotgun. Wouldn't matter for a ball mill... or maybe a cannon with 3/4" bore.

    Please let us know how it casts and what size the RB's are.

    Longbow

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Bert2368's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Blasted hellish frozen northern wastelands, AKA Minnesota
    Posts
    523
    Quote Originally Posted by flint45 View Post
    That thing is cool.
    Frankly, I am worried about it being TOO cool. 7 lb. of a lower heat conductivity alloy, I may need to build a little pre heat tunnel for this baby to get good fill out.

    Then, I have to handle it somehow without handles while moving it around to pour, shear sprues and re set for the next pour when it is hot... The logistics of that may be "interesting".

    Fire and ice.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."

  5. #5
    Boolit Man
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    In the beautiful timber of the PNW
    Posts
    91
    I would put that in a vice, ladle into it, cut the sprue with a wooden mallet with it still in the vice. But its gonna need handles of some kind. To take the top mold block off, then the bottom block out of the vice to dump the casts.

    I say vice because your talkin 1lb of molten lead just in casts, + another 1/3lb? for the sprue.

    Then your gonna need a Blunderbuss to fire them...

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    315
    Not to be negative, however ...
    I believe that you could pour and release a double cavity .730 mold 7 times or more in the time it will
    take to pour, unbolt, shear, and re-assemble that gang mold once.

    It look pretty cool though

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Bert2368's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Blasted hellish frozen northern wastelands, AKA Minnesota
    Posts
    523
    Quote Originally Posted by edp2k View Post
    I believe that you could pour and release a double cavity .730 mold 7 times or more in the time it will
    take to pour, unbolt, shear, and re-assemble that gang mold once.

    It look pretty cool though
    I'm of the same mind, but the maker was a friend and it seemed a sad thing that it never be used.

    I'm imagining a bench top fixture with two toggle clamps to hold the mould halves instead of bolts and a pivoting cam lever to slide the sprue cutter for shearing.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    1,029
    Brown Bess mold.
    QUIS CUSTODIET IPSOS CUSTODES?

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy Ateam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Northern MI
    Posts
    263
    I dont understanding how you are going to get a spru cutter to function in a milled recessed mold block, at least nothing comes to mind.....

    Cool mold though, hope you get it working

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

    Bent Ramrod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Southern Arizona
    Posts
    3,471
    You might warm the thing on a hot plate and pour one cavity, just to see what you get out of it.

    I’ve seen cast-iron grinding balls intended for large-scale trituration of copper ores to face-powder consistency. Out of the mould, they have a circumferential bulge at the mould parting line.

    This feature doesn’t matter much in a grinding ball, and would not matter in the product of your mould for its original intended use. But a fat parting line would, I would think, render the product useless for gun projectiles, unless, of course, you have a Brunswick rifle in that size.

    A sample test cast would at least show you whether all the subsequent work you intend to put into the mould is worth it.

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Castlegar, B.C., Canada
    Posts
    6,715
    Bent Ramrod brings up a good point. With a mould of that size it is quite possible it will warp when heated so the two haves may move relative to each other, most likely bowing I think but testing is the only way to know for sure.

    If you pre-heat it then pour a few balls maybe diagonally to see what you get out of corners versus middle for sizes and parting line that should tell you if the balls will be suitable as projectiles for shotgun.

    Even if the balls aren't real consistent or have large seams at the parting line they may still be of use to someone with a 3/4" bore cannon. I'm sure there are a few around.

    It will be interesting to see cast balls from that mould. They may turn out perfect!

    Longbow

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Bert2368's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Blasted hellish frozen northern wastelands, AKA Minnesota
    Posts
    523
    Does anyone make a RIFLED BP barrel suitable for round balls this size? Yes, a smooth bore cannon could be interesting too.

    I do have ball mills and occasionally use them to grind pyrotechnic related chemicals. But I use Coors ceramic ball mill media (1" Dia. X 1" long radiused end cylinders of very hard ceramic), which doesn't wear off bits and contaminate the powders being made. People making black powder with Lead milling media apparently don't worry about the minor Lead contamination.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Bert2368's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Blasted hellish frozen northern wastelands, AKA Minnesota
    Posts
    523
    The mould has arrived, I've done a preliminary inspection.

    Cavities are perfect, still coated in some kind of oil. There are a few rust freckles but no pitting on the exterior, I believe this is made from carbon steel, which is probably all to the good.

    I have a 2 pound (lead) capacity Rowell ladle coming from Rotometals, should be here by the weekend. I hope to post some results by next week.

    Thanks to all for the advice-
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    2,864
    I think about the only thing rifled you might find is some kind of 10 bore muzzleloading rifle. Even the 75 caliber brown bess usually takes a .715" ball. It's too big for a 12 gauge shotgun, too small for a 10 gauge shotgun, too big for a 10 gauge shotgun in a wad.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master Bert2368's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Blasted hellish frozen northern wastelands, AKA Minnesota
    Posts
    523
    Quote Originally Posted by megasupermagnum View Post
    I think about the only thing rifled you might find is some kind of 10 bore muzzleloading rifle.
    Probably a little small for a 10 gauge rifle, the first reference I find is a guy using a .760 ball- And 200 grains of FFFG BP. Ouch...

    https://youtu.be/SJvesjGissE
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."

  16. #16
    Boolit Master Bert2368's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Blasted hellish frozen northern wastelands, AKA Minnesota
    Posts
    523

    It's a work in progress at best-

    I tried casting a couple of rounds with the gang mould.

    First thing I learned, the sprue plate needs to have the fill holes re-profiled. Sprue plate has straight through holes about 3/16" Dia. all the way through 3/8" thick plate. The holes were drilled, not polished or tapered in any way, sprues won't leave that sprue plate without completely disassembling the mould and punching them out one at a time. As the puddle on top of plate ended up nearly filling that depression and comes off as a single sheet, this is a tedious and slow process. You can't use this as it stands without cycling it first up to casting temperature and then back to room temp to strip the sprues without risking hurting yourself for every cast.

    Additionally, it takes a LOT of force to shear fifteen cylinders of Lead 3/16" in Dia. at a go. The cutting edges comprised of top of upper cavity plate and edge of filler hole does a plane 90° shear, it is a dull tool.

    The sprue plate needs to have a conical depression of perhaps 120° milled into the top at each cavity, leaving a sharp edge to shear the sprue with less effort and allowing the sprues once cut to be easily dumped/pulled off the plate.

    Beyond that, the mould really needs a fixture which allows it to be emptied in some other fashion than by unscrewing the two socket headed screws presently holding he halves together. Ideally, that fixture would also support a cam lever to shear the sprues.

    And it needs handles. I wore my BBQ pit gloves, it still got quite toasty when I tried to handle the mould.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20200208_172950.jpg 
Views:	16 
Size:	57.4 KB 
ID:	256341

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20200208_173154_resized.jpg 
Views:	10 
Size:	64.3 KB 
ID:	256343

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20200208_173225_resized.jpg 
Views:	20 
Size:	66.1 KB 
ID:	256344

    (Edit)
    These balls were cast with nearly pure Lead, source was salvaged Lead sheet shielding from a medical clinic remodeling job.

    As cast size measured the next day was slightly OVER .750". Measured away from sprue area and mould parting line, mostly right around .755". Measured at parting lines and/or from sprue area to opposite "pole", values from .760" to .765".

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20200209_111951_resized.jpg 
Views:	6 
Size:	73.4 KB 
ID:	256389

    They weigh from 634 to 642 grains, which seems like a wide variation... but % wise, 8 grains is about is 1.2% of the heaviest balls weights, actually pretty good compared to variations in bullets dropped by my 8 cavity 30 cal. "Armory" mould.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20200209_114128_resized.jpg 
Views:	9 
Size:	45.1 KB 
ID:	256385
    Last edited by Bert2368; 02-09-2020 at 02:35 PM.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy iron brigade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    WI
    Posts
    214
    Grape shot (canister) for cannons perhaps. Have seen grape shot used at several skirmishes where 55 gallon drums filled with water were blasted. Pretty cool stuff.

  18. #18
    Those balls would work great in my Pedersoli SXS 10 bore shotgun wrapped in a well lubed thick patch!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
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