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Thread: Aluminum Molds

  1. #21
    Boolit Master



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    Aluminum works, but that doesn’t guarantee that a couple of lemons don’t get produced now and then. Be especially careful buying used aluminum molds. They are a good inexpensive way to start casting. You can afford to try various size boolits to see what your gun(s) like and maybe invest in a more expensive one in the future.

  2. #22
    Boolit Bub JLF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregLaROCHE View Post
    Aluminum works, but that doesn’t guarantee that a couple of lemons don’t get produced now and then. Be especially careful buying used aluminum molds. They are a good inexpensive way to start casting. You can afford to try various size boolits to see what your gun(s) like and maybe invest in a more expensive one in the future.
    Thank you very much for the advice....
    There is still a lot of gunpowder left, the grim reaper can wait.

  3. #23
    Boolit Master
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    I started with aluminum molds, having picked them for lower cost and higher capacity. The first ones got beat up pretty badly, but I've learned to take better care of newer molds. I also have a couple brass molds, but haven't used them yet.

    If you need a lot of bullets, the lighter weight of aluminum permits molds that will drop 8 bullets a pour with less fatigue and discomfort for those getting on in years or with arthritic hands or wrists (a bottom pour pot with a mold guide also helps a lot).

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevin c View Post
    I started with aluminum molds, having picked them for lower cost and higher capacity. The first ones got beat up pretty badly, but I've learned to take better care of newer molds. I also have a couple brass molds, but haven't used them yet.

    If you need a lot of bullets, the lighter weight of aluminum permits molds that will drop 8 bullets a pour with less fatigue and discomfort for those getting on in years or with arthritic hands or wrists (a bottom pour pot with a mold guide also helps a lot).
    Thanks Kevin c ... What is the basic maintenance of an aluminum mold?
    There is still a lot of gunpowder left, the grim reaper can wait.

  5. #25
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    I have mostly Lee aluminum molds and they work great for me. I have had a couple glitches with one or two, but all in all they work great as long as you care for them.
    This is not the end. This not even the beginning of the end. But it is perhaps the end of the beginning! Winston Churchill, Nov. 1942

  6. #26
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    My first Aluminum molds were 3 Lee 2cav 44cal molds that my Dad purchased Used at a GunShow about 33yrs ago. The Older Gentleman that sold them to us said to treat them a bit Gentle.
    Always have, about 30,000 bullets so far.

    Treat My N.O.E. and Accurate molds the same way. Cast about 4,000 from them so far.

    Yeah, they can be Good molds, treat them with respect.
    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. #27
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by JLF View Post
    Thanks Kevin c ... What is the basic maintenance of an aluminum mold?
    I've only been casting a few years, but I can at least describe the mistakes I've made and what remedies I've used in casting 25 to 30 thousand pistol bullets in multi cavity aluminum molds.

    The first thing worth remembering is that aluminum is softer than steel or brass, so more care may be needed to keep the blocks in good shape.

    Opening the blocks should be done so that they don't hit each other. When closing them, the blocks should be square to each other with the alignment pins directly opposite their holes so the faces close flat and flush without edge or pin contact with the faces.

    The tops of the blocks and the bottom of the sprue plate should be lubed regularly during a casting session to prevent lead build up and to ensure smooth plate operation. Special care should be taken to keep the pivot bolt and the area around it clean of lead and lubricated; this area can get circular scratches that make the mold top uneven. Tightening the bolt in this situation usually does not make sprue cutting better; my personal experience is that it and the scratches both get worse. I also think that the weight of six and eight cavity steel sprue plates that have cammed opener handles can put a lot of pressure on this area if left hanging in the open position, so supporting it during use might be a good idea.

    Speaking of the cammed sprue plate openers, the cam bears on the side of the right hand mold block. MP puts a countersunk steel bolt there to prevent progressive scarring under the cam; other companies do not. It might be worthwhile to protect the block this way.

    Steel tools like Allen wrenches and screw/nut drivers should only be used on the steel hardware. Don't make my mistake of using the steel needle nose pliers I got to pick up hot rejects and sprues to also act as a mold tapper or to push out bullets stuck in the cavities; the consequences of a slip or misplaced blow are dire.

    Aluminum doesn't rust, but the steel hardware can: rust preventive measures should be taken for storage.

    Over time, the mold block and sprue cam wood handles can loosen as repeated heating of the tangs dry out and char the handle interior. Eventually, reseating a loose handle with a whack on the end no longer works, so some drill and pin, others apply JB Weld.

    Lead deposits are not your friend. On the mold faces they cause finning and out of round bullets, on top uneven bullet bases and more finning. And once there's a deposit, it tends to grow. Getting then off the soft aluminum without damage precludes using some of the rougher techniques usable on, say, iron molds, so it's better to take preventive measures. As mentioned, lube (or graphite) on the mold top and sprue plate makes new lead deposits easy to wipe off with a lubed cotton or burlap cloth. Close the blocks carefully to avoid damage, and keep them closed firmly while filling. If you do get a speck of lead on the mold face, a graphite pencil, bamboo skewer or an UNlubed cotton or burlap cloth can be used to remove it while the mold is up at casting temp.

    That's all I can think of for now. The wiser heads and voices of greater experience I'm sure will add their thoughts.
    Last edited by kevin c; 05-03-2021 at 04:23 AM.

  8. #28
    Boolit Bub JLF's Avatar
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    I thank Mr. Kevin C for his detailed report on how to care for the molds.
    A big hug from Argentina ...
    There is still a lot of gunpowder left, the grim reaper can wait.

  9. #29
    Boolit Master high standard 40's Avatar
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    I have about an equal number of iron and aluminum molds. Both cast excellent projectiles. All of my aluminum molds are either Accurate or NOE. The only Lee molds I have are the six cavity versions and I have them only to feed my semi auto handguns. Quality aluminum mold will last a very long time if properly cared for.

  10. #30
    Boolit Bub JLF's Avatar
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    Thank you Mr. high standard 40
    There is still a lot of gunpowder left, the grim reaper can wait.

  11. #31
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by JLF View Post
    I thank Mr. Kevin C for his detailed report on how to care for the molds.
    A big hug from Argentina ...
    De nada (or is it "por nada"? I never got the regional variations straight). I hope to visit your country some day.

  12. #32
    Boolit Bub JLF's Avatar
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    Both terms have the same meaning.
    If you come, I will gladly invite you to hunt
    There is still a lot of gunpowder left, the grim reaper can wait.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by high standard 40 View Post
    I have about an equal number of iron and aluminum molds. Both cast excellent projectiles. All of my aluminum molds are either Accurate or NOE. The only Lee molds I have are the six cavity versions and I have them only to feed my semi auto handguns. Quality aluminum mold will last a very long time if properly cared for.
    My MP 8 cavity is at least 33% better than a Lee six cavity
    NRA Benefactor.

  14. #34
    Boolit Master high standard 40's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burnt Fingers View Post
    My MP 8 cavity is at least 33% better than a Lee six cavity
    Only 33%?

  15. #35
    Boolit Mold
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    I have a few aluminum molds and they work fine for me.

  16. #36
    Boolit Bub JLF's Avatar
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    Thank you friends ... for continuing to provide experience
    There is still a lot of gunpowder left, the grim reaper can wait.

  17. #37
    Boolit Master
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    Got silicon lube if you need it.

  18. #38
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    At least for HiTek coating, silicone lubes are bad news. Per the inventor, it prevents adhesion if there's even just a trace on the cast slug. Perhaps not an issue with standard lubes. Dunno if PC would have issues.

    I do use spray on silicone lube, but only for case sizing.

  19. #39
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by high standard 40 View Post
    Only 33%?
    Eight is 33% more than six
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  20. #40
    Boolit Master high standard 40's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burnt Fingers View Post
    Eight is 33% more than six
    Oh, OK. I thought you were referring to quality.

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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