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Thread: Gang Bullet Moulds

  1. #1
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    Default Gang Bullet Moulds

    I have very little experience moulding bullets, and what little I'm had was with single cavity moulds.

    I've gotten bullets from other people, non-commmercial, and the bullets are not all the same size, as far as nose shape, and maybe other.

    I guess gang moulds are spose to be the cat's meow, but I'd hesitate to use anything but single cavity.

    Is this something that concerns anyone else? (That the cavities might not all be the same.)

    Thanks
    Smitty of the North
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  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    I have very little experience moulding bullets, and what little I'm had was with single cavity moulds.

    I've gotten bullets from other people, non-commmercial, and the bullets are not all the same size, as far as nose shape, and maybe other.

    I guess gang moulds are spose to be the cat's meow, but I'd hesitate to use anything but single cavity.

    Is this something that concerns anyone else? (That the cavities might not all be the same.)

    Thanks
    Smitty of the North

    My experience with gang moulds is way in the past, but the lessons learned stuck with me. The biggest requirements I found had more to do with your lead furnace than the molds. A minimum 20-pound lead pot is needed, and bigger would be better. You need really consistent pour rates, and it was best to keep the pot more than half full, the spout clean, and the cutoff valve drip free. Heat the mold block really well and use a lead thermometer to find the right temps for your setup. You'll spend an awful lot of time tinkering with the dial on each casting session if you don't use the thermometer.

    You also need a really good mould guide under the pot. The little shelf on the Lee pots just doesn't cut it in my book. Also the cutoff valve on Lees are constant drippers and the spout is easily fouled, so you'll always dinking around cleaning the spout and adjusting the cuttoff. If you're thinking about gang molds, best to also think about investing in a good furnace. When my old pot died (Saeco) I bought a Lee, thinking it wouldn't matter much if I saved a little money. Was I ever wrong! I put away the gang molds after a few sessions with the Lee, and I won't drag them out again till I replace the Lee.

  3. #3
    Member Alangaq's Avatar
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    Default

    I will defer to Brown Bear on the big gang moulds as I dont have any. I do use quite a few different "double" moulds and they work good, even with my Lee bottom pour "drip-o-matic" but you kind of need to get some timing and tecnique established. I simply open the spout and once the near hole is filled, I slide the mould towards me and fill the far hole without stopping the flow of lead. Makes for good consistant bullets, but the sprue's are big.......
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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alangaq View Post
    I will defer to Brown Bear on the big gang moulds as I dont have any. I do use quite a few different "double" moulds and they work good, even with my Lee bottom pour "drip-o-matic" but you kind of need to get some timing and tecnique established. I simply open the spout and once the near hole is filled, I slide the mould towards me and fill the far hole without stopping the flow of lead. Makes for good consistant bullets, but the sprue's are big.......
    That's a good strategy Alangaq, and I'll take a big sprue over a little one any day. And on my gang molds I always went for a single big sprue rather than six or eight little ones. Bottom line, sprues have to be big enough that when the dimple forms in the final moments of hardening, you don't end up with a hole extending down into the bullets. My biggest grief with gang molds is that when they're hot enough to work really well, it seems to take forever for the lead to finally set. You just seem to spend a lot of time waiting and watching for the dimples.

    On double cavity moulds I tend to go for single sprues especially as lead is getting low in the pot, but that's more preference than requirement. I can get more pours before refilling the pot and waiting for it to reheat if I keep the sprues a little smaller.

  5. #5

    Default moulds

    A bigger spruce is also a good thing because as the lead draws in it helps assure a better filling of the cavities. The size of the bullet plays a big part. When I was really into my moulding, for resale, I found, for myself, using a large bottom pour pot, that any bullets over about 300 grains worked best with a double cavity and over 400 as a single cavity to assure complete filling of the cavity. On the bigger bullets I also left the sprue hole right up against the spigot for long enough to definitely making a good fill, the pressure of the lead in the pot helping that. Of course, cavity prep is always important. I had 2 Hensley and Gibbs 6 cavity gang moulds for 2 different 38 caliber bullets. It took a long time to get it up to and keep proper temps and to get all cavities to fill out properly unless i used almost pure lead. When i went to 4 cavity moulds for any caliber less then 44, everything went better.

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    I have single, 2cav, 4cav and some Lee 6cav molds. The worst part of the big ones is getting them hot to start with. I use a propane torch to pre heat them now and it makes life a lot better, usually getting good fillout in 3 or four casts. I've had good luck with my Lee ten# pot for the last thirty five years. When it drips, a twist with a screwdriver and it's good to go for a while. As far as different sizes, I size before loading anyway so they all end up the same size and round.

  7. #7
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    The most accurate handgun bullet I've had was a 310 gr lfn .476" bullet. My 480 ruger will put 3 into a 1 1/2" group at 100 yds, honestly I believe the gun is capable of grouping them under 1", but I'm not capable of shooting that well.

    Those bullets were cast from a 4 cavity mold, only a visual inspection for defects and I never weighed a one of them. The mold was made by balisticast, who IMHO makes the best molds you can get. So a good multiple cavity mold will cast just as well as a single cavity, if it's a good mold.

    The best rifle group I shot was 5 shots in 1" at 100 yds from my 350 Rigby. Bullets were cast from a lyman 3589 two cavity mold, again no sorting by cavity, no weighing just visual inspection.

    If I was competing in bench rest cast bullet, then yes by all means I'd go with a single cavity mold. But for my uses, multi cavity molds are more than accurate enough, and I am way to impatient to cast with anything with a single cavity. I generally cast a pair of two cavity molds, one gets filled while the other cools. Better yet is casting 4 or 6 cavity molds.

    Not everyone that casts bullets casts good bullets. It took me quite a few casting sessions to get the hang of it, and about 1000#'s of ww's to feel like I could produce consistant bullets. And each mold seems to be a law unto itself, depending on the mold material and the weight of the bullets.

  8. #8
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    Default Hmm,

    I do appreciate all the good information about "gang moulds", but I'm still wondering if anyone has experienced bullets of different diminsions from the different cavities in the gang moulds.

    ****"I've gotten bullets from other people, non-commmercial, and the bullets are not all the same size, as far as nose shape, and maybe other." ****

    I'm not talking about bad casting, or badly formed bullets. I mean great looking bullets, but the flat noses on some, are of a larger diameter at the edges than others. I'm not sure how I'd measure it, but I see it with my eyeballs.

    And, of course, I'm speculating that it is due to a gang mould that doesn't have all the bullet cavities ground the same. (That because, I can't think if anything else that could cause this.) If I'm missing something, I shore dunno whut it iz.

    Thanks
    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

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