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Author Topic: New .380 mold coming  (Read 5952 times)

Offline ssb73q

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New .380 mold coming
« on: October 19, 2016, 11:12:29 AM »
Hi, I must admit that I can't keep up with making 0.380 balls for shooting using my two cavity mold. therefor I ordered a six cavity mold from Track of the Wolf, see:
https://www.trackofthewolf.com/Categories/PartDetail.aspx/1202/1/LEE-380-6C

Now that winter is coming it is time to get ready for casting projectiles for next year. Shooting BP revolvers is only second to the love of my wife, but I keep running out of projectiles to shoot. I need to cast ~5k balls for each of my different BP revolver calibers per year to have enough. This new mold should help in that effort.

I did consider buying hardened lead balls, see:
http://www.ballisticproducts.com/Super-Buck-Lead-0000-8-lb_jar-380/productinfo/SBK40/

but concerned that loading hardened lead ball may be difficult, even with the Tower of Power loading tool. I did order 8lbs to see if it can be loaded.

I'll report back how this new mold works out.

Regards,
Richard
 
« Last Edit: October 19, 2016, 11:26:40 AM by ssb73q »
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Offline Dave Shooter

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Re: New .380 mold coming
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2016, 12:42:40 PM »
Richard, I've been using the Ballistic Products .380s in Uberti Remmie .36.  Loading was not overly difficult.

Haven't shot the Pietta .36 1851 yet so no report on .380s.

If you try 'em and don't like 'em let me know and I may take them off your hands.  :)
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Offline ssb73q

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Re: New .380 mold coming
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2016, 03:17:15 PM »
Richard, I've been using the Ballistic Products .380s in Uberti Remmie .36.  Loading was not overly difficult.


Hi Dave, that's good to know. Did you load them with the revolver's loading lever or use a loading tool?

In the balls description they say something about being nickel plated. Are the ones you have nickel plated?

Regards,
Richard
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Offline Dave Shooter

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Re: New .380 mold coming
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2016, 04:23:35 PM »
Loaded on gun using lever.

No, the ones I use are not nickel plated.  They do offer some sizes of buckshot in nickel plate so I think you just have to make sure to order the right ones.
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Offline ssb73q

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Re: New .380 mold coming
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2016, 06:01:40 PM »
Hi Dave, thanks for the reply. I have used their 0.32" balls in my .31s, but needed to use my Tower of Power loading tool. Those little .31 loading levers won't produce enough force for loading the harden lead.

Regards,
Richard
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Offline StrawHat

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Re: New .380 mold coming
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2016, 04:00:04 AM »
There is a bit of a learning curve to using the Lee six cavity mold.  A hotplate is a good investment to get it up to temperature.  Also, the sprue cutter needs to be in it's proper location or the cam handle will break.  Make sure the cam is tight to the blocks before pouring the lead.  Once you get the hang of it, you will be pouring a good amount of lead.  There are a couple of tweaks that make it easier but the mold is a good one.

Dick Dastardly, dba Big Lube Bullets, also offers a six cavity mold for round balls. 

http://www.biglube.com/BulletMolds.aspx?ItemID=8ea1b8fc-d133-4c8d-83d9-20b3e2959d21

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Offline ssb73q

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Re: New .380 mold coming
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2016, 07:30:42 AM »
Hi, the new mold came in and looks very nice, but haven't used it yet. The Ballistics Products 0.380" harden lead ball also arrived. I set up to preload a dozen Pietta .36 cylinders using my Tower of Power loading tool. I wanted to give the Ballistics Products hard lead balls a try. A very large force was required to seat the Ballistics Products ball. I was afraid of breaking my Tower of Power and only loaded up one cylinder with the Ballistics Products balls. The remaining cylinders were easily loaded with hand cast soft lead 0.380" balls.

If I had a hydraulic loading press the Ballistics Products ball would work fine. I would be very careful loading those balls on the Pietta revolver, one could easily break the loading lever screw.

It may be possible that the Ballistic Products balls would work ok on the Uberti .36 that has larger chambers than the Pietta .36 revolvers.

Regards,
Richard
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Offline ssb73q

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Re: New .380 mold coming
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2016, 07:49:23 AM »
Hi, I got to try out the new Lee .380 6-ball mold today. I used a 10lb bottom cast pot. 10lbs of lead was put in the pot and melted.

The mold was cleaned with paint thinner and dried. The mold face was smoked with a candle and buttons of beeswax put on the joints of the mold. I put the mold on the top of the lead pot and allowed it to warm up a half hour.

My first few casts were terrible, lots of voids and imperfections. I almost gave up thinking that maybe a 6-ball mold is beyond my skill level. As I keep casting and finding almost 100% rejects there were a few balls that started looking good. Continued casting had all the remaining balls come out perfect. Glad I didn't give up. I suspect that the mold just needed to get to the correct casting temperature.

10lbs of lead was turned into 1000 balls in just over an hour (~750 balls/hr).

Bottom line, this Lee mold is a keeper.

Regards,
Richard
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Offline ssb73q

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Re: New .380 mold coming
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2016, 09:10:16 AM »
Hi, I had previously reported the difficulty loading hardened lead balls in a Pietta cylinder from:
http://www.ballisticproducts.com/Super-Buck-Lead-0000-8-lb_jar-380/productinfo/SBK40/

I measured the chambers on Pietta and Uberti cylinders:
Pietta 0.3665"
Uberti 0.373"

No wonder the 0.380" balls loaded with difficultly in the Pietta cylinder. Maybe they will load easier with the Uberti that have larger chambers than the Pietta.

Regards,
Richard
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Offline ssb73q

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Re: New .454 mold coming
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2016, 05:27:36 AM »
Hi, I was so impress with the throughput and ball quality of the Lee 6-cavity .380 mold that I ordered a new Lee 6-cavity .454 mold from Track of the Wolf.

The objective for casting 6 balls at a time is to have more time for shooting and less for ball casting.

Need to find more lead.  ;)

Regards,
Richard
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Offline ssb73q

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Re: New .380 mold coming
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2016, 04:14:35 AM »
Hi, I ordered this press from Amazon to load harden lead balls:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00068U7QS/ref=od_aui_detailpages00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It cost less than the Tower of Power and should be useful for loading extra cylinders, sizing bullets, and maybe even arbor pressing.

It should be easy to make the attachments necessary to create a nice powerful cylinder loader.

I'll post a photo when finished.

Regards,
Richard
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Offline ssb73q

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Re: New .380 mold coming
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2016, 08:13:01 AM »
Hi, the arbor press arrived yesterday, see:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00068U7QS/ref=od_aui_detailpages00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The ram of the press has a magnet to hold steel inserts in the ram. Since I will use brass inserts a 10-24 set screw was tapped into the end of the ram to hold the brass inserts.



Two brass loading inserts , one for 0.380" and one for 0.454" balls were made to fit the press:



Washers were ordered that fit the ratchet end of the Colt cylinders that will be placed on the press base. A flat plate will be used for Remington cylinders.

This press should work well to load any hardness lead balls.

Regards,
Richard
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Offline ssb73q

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Re: New .454 mold coming
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2016, 11:26:48 AM »
Hi, I was so impress with the throughput and ball quality of the Lee 6-cavity .380 mold that I ordered a new Lee 6-cavity .454 mold from Track of the Wolf.

The objective for casting 6 balls at a time is to have more time for shooting and less for ball casting.

Need to find more lead.  ;)

Regards,
Richard

Hi, I now have the new 6-cavity Lee 0.454" mold and received 40lbs of pure lead to turn that lead into balls. The mold looks very good and I will use the handles from the 0.380 mold. The equipment is set up and ready go go. This should give me enough 0.454" balls for the next shooting season.

Why go two when you can go six.  &\? &\? &\?

Regards,
Richard
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Offline Captainkirk

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Re: New .380 mold coming
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2016, 05:41:00 PM »
Why indeed? L@J
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Offline ssb73q

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Re: New .454 mold coming
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2016, 07:48:27 AM »
Hi, it's amazing on how fast one can cast 0.454" balls using the Lee .454 6-cavity mold. I ripped through 20lbs of the 40lbs recently purchased in no time. The only issue I had was that the new lead ingots are 3lbs and required melting smaller amounts in the pot to have the 3lb ingot fit in my 10lb bottom cast pot. Once I had ~5lbs of lead melted, the 3lb ingot would touch the melted lead and melt in. Every time the lead level got down enough where another 3lb ingot would fit, it went in the pot. I am now considering buying the bottom pour Lee 20lb pot.

If you shoot a lot, these 6-cavity molds are the way to go.

Regards,
Richard
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