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Thread: Help with wrinkled bullets

  1. #1
    Vendor Sponsor Bantou's Avatar
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    Help with wrinkled bullets

    Ok guys I need some help. I知 having issues with wrinkled bullets out of a Lee double cavity 225gr RN .45 acp mold. I have cleaned the hell out of the mold with hoppes followed by comet followed by hot water and dawn. Lead temp is about 650 and even with the mold hot enough to smear the sprue, the bullets are still coming out wrinkled. I知 using straight clip on wheel weight lead. I値l post more photos below.


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  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    Following, I have that same issue with the 356-125-2R mold and running 50/50 wheel weights/pure and a temp of 750.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Cold mold, either pre-heat or cast fast and do not stop to look at the castings. If you are ladle casting, leave it in the pot while cutting the sprue. If using a spoon, get a ladle.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    You need to run lee moulds really fast, they cool down quick. Could also try bumping up the temp of the melt at the same time.

  11. #11
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    I typically run my alloy @ 750ー and cast fast. I start to hold the mold to a small fan when they get really hot, but I don't slow down too much. Try that with a MP brass mold and you have to pay really close attention or you may get tinning. An Accurate Molds aluminum mold will let you keep casting.

    I would let the alloy get in the 725ー - 750ー range and your wrinkles will go away, assuming the mold and sprue plate are hot.

    When I started casting for handguns, I had similar issues. The big BPCR iron molds I had used for some years needed hot alloy, but they were so easy to use. When I got the aluminum handgun molds it was like I'd never cast before. Run them hot and run them fast is what worked for me, and then I learned about hot plates and life was good.

  12. #12
    Vendor Sponsor Bantou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DHDeal View Post
    I typically run my alloy @ 750ー and cast fast. I start to hold the mold to a small fan when they get really hot, but I don't slow down too much. Try that with a MP brass mold and you have to pay really close attention or you may get tinning. An Accurate Molds aluminum mold will let you keep casting.

    I would let the alloy get in the 725ー - 750ー range and your wrinkles will go away, assuming the mold and sprue plate are hot.

    When I started casting for handguns, I had similar issues. The big BPCR iron molds I had used for some years needed hot alloy, but they were so easy to use. When I got the aluminum handgun molds it was like I'd never cast before. Run them hot and run them fast is what worked for me, and then I learned about hot plates and life was good.
    I値l give this a try. If I let the temp get that high I tend get a lot of tin oxide build up really fast so I have been keeping the mix below 675.


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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Bannister View Post
    Cold mold, either pre-heat or cast fast and do not stop to look at the castings. If you are ladle casting, leave it in the pot while cutting the sprue. If using a spoon, get a ladle.
    I use a ladle and leave it in the pot when not pouring. Even with molds hot enough to smear the sprue when cut, I知 still getting wrinkled bullets.


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  14. #14
    Vendor Sponsor Bantou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DHDeal View Post
    Run them hot and run them fast is what worked for me, and then I learned about hot plates and life was good.
    Mine sit on an radiator style oil heater for quite a while before I start casting to get them warm. I haven稚 jumped off and bought a hot plate yet. Is there really that big of an advantage to the hot plates?



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  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy jessdigs's Avatar
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    Yes, the hot plate really helps. Especially with brass molds, but I use it for aluminum molds as well

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  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    [QUOTE=Bantou;4841095]I use a ladle and leave it in the pot when not pouring. Even with molds hot enough to smear the sprue when cut, I’m still getting wrinkled bullets.

    If you get smears, what are you using to lube the plate with? You get smears if you do not apply a shine of lube on the plate and you cut the sprue too soon. Not that the alloy is too hot. You will figure it out, these small aluminum blocks do not hold heat very well.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    One thing not mentioned, is that with temperature control, there is a balancing act between sprue plate temp, and mold temp. You can get your sprue plate too hot, and smear lead, and still have a mold too cold. I use 2 stroke oil for sprue plate lube, which also keeps lead smears from sticking. I lube using the Elvis Ammo method. Since you are using clip on wheel weights, the ideal temperature is when bullets begin to haze. Genuinely frosty bullets are harder to get than most realize. Shiny bullets, which yours are, indicate your mold is too cold.

    I like my temperature for a bullet like that around 700-720 degrees. There are different fluxes you can use on the lead that help with oxidation, I'm finding a couple pea size bits of wax bullet lube does just fine for me.

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy mehavey's Avatar
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    Smearing the sprue plate does not a fully-heated/clean mold make.

    1. Go back and scrub the mould again w/ toothbrush/hot water/dishsoap.

    2. Go ahead and preheat mould/lead pot (750ー lead)

    3. When opening the sprue plate, open barely enough to just "crack/break" the lead contact -- fraction of an inch. Do NOT open the plate in one swing.

    4. After just breaking the initial contact, pause a heartbeat or two/then go ahead and open. That fraction of a second/contact break makes all the difference.

  19. #19
    Vendor Sponsor Bantou's Avatar
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    Raising the melt temp fixed the issue.

    Thank you guys for all the input!
    B


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  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bantou View Post
    Raising the melt temp fixed the issue.

    Thank you guys for all the input!
    B


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    We knew that it would! I see where some mention alloy temps under 700ー, but I've never got one good bullet below 700ー, or if I did it was after I had cut my burner off and my molds were still hot.

    In my opinion a Lee mold, while inexpensive, is harder to use than a big aluminum mold as it simply can't hold on to the heat. You've found your solution and it was more heat. It's all a balance and when one particular is not right, you see it pretty quick. It's really fun (NOT) when you're casting with a 4 ganger or larger and you have one cavity that won't act right.

    mehavey's opening sentence is my favorite!

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