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Discussion Starter #1
#1 get some mold release spray from Midway. Helps any mold.

The easiest mold in my opinion to use well is one made by veral smith.  The sprue plate fills up and overflows into the other cavity so filling is fast from a bottom pour pot.  The sprue cut offs are consistant since you just fill to the top of the cavity each is the same.

Lee Molds.  As soon as you get it, take the sprue plate off and lap it flat on glass with sandpaper.  Give teh sprue plat the same treatment.  Reassemple.  Give the entire mold a nice coating of mold release spray.  Hit the screw with a lbt wax/graphite stick when hot.  Start casting.  

Lee makes a junky mold, but for the price you can't beat it.  My favorite are the 44 310 GC for 44 mag.  Casts a nice LBT-style flatnose can be pushed over 1350 fps with 22 grains of 296, accurate bullet.  310 meplat.

45 300 FN GC.  This is a thumper, cast close to 325 with a meplat over 380!  Accurate but tears your hand off at high velocity.  Try it over 8 grains of bullsye for around a 1,000 fps or 12 grains of aa#7 for 960.  Both are very pleasant to shoot and accurate.      

Lyman molds-- They really cast pretty well with no modification, I use the 42921 and the 452 45acp alot.  Casts nice once hot takes awhile to heat up.  The sprue plate is flat so if you overflow makes you wish for the LBT style plate.  

LUBES-  I currently use and like beartooth.  Alox is fine but stinks and is sticky for storing.  LBT blue was a good lube, but seems no better thant beartooth now.  I have tried alot of homemade lubes, really for the performance and price, just buy beartooth.  
   
Sizers- Get a star if you can, then a saeco, then rcbs, then the lyman.  They are in order of performance.  Don't over tighten the ratchet on the lyman, it will strip.    

This mostly applies to slow handgun and 45/70 type bullets, I have not shot at rifle velocies over 2200 fps.
 

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Just a quick note on the Midway mold release agent.  Be careful using this product, because it can and will leave a residue on the mold, and it is cumulative in effect, meaning that I've seen molds cast bullets up to 0.0015" smaller in diameter after a heavy treatment of the Midway mold release agent!  This isn't a real desirable trait when many of today's molds are on the minimum diameter dimension side to begin with!  Too, removal of that buildup is pretty much a job requiring lapping of the mold cavities in my experience.

FWIW

God Bless,

Marshall
 

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Just wondering???  On the molds with flat sprue plates.
Is it possible to cut a groove between the two holes on the top of the sprue plate to allow metal to flow into both cavities like a LBT mold? I have been thinking about messing with this idea on a Lee 45 300 FNGC mold.  Before I ruined the sprue plate I thought I might check to see if anyone has tried this.

Or make a thicker sprue plate and make it resembling the LBT?

Has anyone played with these ideas?<!--emo&???--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/confused.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt='???'><!--endemo-->

Thanks guys,
Will
 

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Will, Have you seen the plates that Ballisti-cast uses? I have some of there DC .452" and .476" Blocks and thay use a 1/4" steel plate with a radiused valley that is very generous on the amount of alloy you can keep on top and that is cut between the plate holes. However I did make a screw in bushing for these molds so that a LBT hold down finger could be used. They do like to rare up on the corner and a spring washer will allow adjustment of proper plate to block tension. Hope this helps.
Jim.
 

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Will,

In Veral Smith's book he suggested some of the sprue plate modifications that you asked about.  I don't have the book, my dad does, so I can't quote it exactly.

So... with that in mind, if you are the adventurous type, yes you can modify sprue plates.  It would be a lot easier on a milling machine than by hand.  Just like home gunsmithing, you have to realize that there is a possibility of screwing up, and you have to accept that as a possible consequence.

Make sense?
 

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Thanks guys,

I have a Lee 400 grain 475 mold on the way.  I might test on the 45 mold then try on the 475.

As far as Veral's book, I will have to dig that out and research again, it has been a long time since I read that book.  At the time this was not a problem for me seens how I was buying my molds from him.  But things as they are I had better look into this.

Thanks again,
 

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I must not be living right. I've never gotten good results with Midways mold release. After trying a couple of cans, I went back to smoking my moulds (they're actually quite tasty smoked). My break-in for LEE moulds is quite simple, I take them out of the box, remove the sprue plate, then beat them savagely with my biggest hammer, then toss them. Seriously, I've gotten good results with LEE moulds, but they never seem to last long enough for me to get attached to. I have some very elderly Lyman moulds that I still use regularly, also some older RCBS, but only use my LEEs for casting lapping bullets and bore slugging bullets.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I am surprised that you guys haven't had the luck I have had with mold release.  It is very fine powdered graphite in a solvent solution that flashes off quickly.  It leaves a much more uniform coat than I have ever gotten smoking.  It has helped bullets drop out of "sticky" molds, and helps prevent the steel sprue from galling the blocks on aluminum molds.  I suscribe that a little does a long way I guess, because I haven't had my bullets shrink.  I size 42921 to 431, and the die still smears the sides of the bullets.
 

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UPDATE:

Well I re-searched Veral's book and found the info on modifying molds.  I did the modifications on the 45 mold and the use of this mold became exceptable.  Then when I got the 475 mold I did the same things.  This one is not working quite as good.  I am going to modify the sprue plate and build a hold down finger out of a roll pin.  Hopefully this will make it work better.
By the time I get  it working it will probably be worn out. He He He

Thanks again guys,
Will
 
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