Author Topic: State of the Art - Bullet Mold Manufacturing  (Read 301 times)

steveoh

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State of the Art - Bullet Mold Manufacturing
« on: November 06, 2019, 10:35:16 AM »
Bob,
I'm wondering if you have any thoughts about State of the Art - Bullet Mold Manufacturing for casting bullets from lead?

I own bullet moulds/molds from:

Accurate
Arsenal
Lee
Lyman / Ideal
Noe

Some of these manufacturers have a limited number of moulds they sell, and stick to offering inventory to what is on hand and periodically make runs that quickly sell out.

Others appear to offer on demand mould making, which to me is the future of offering an amazing ability to offer on demand custom moulds.

All of these mould manufacturers seem to occupy a niche. Some offer really small calibers and others offer only 30 caliber or so and above.

Some offer hollow point and hollow base moulds, others do not.

Of course I want it all in one place, at a reasonable price and excellent turn around.

Got thoughts? Observations? Your own wish list?

Does the technology exist to offer all options?




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Nicesurprice

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Re: State of the Art - Bullet Mold Manufacturing
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2019, 10:57:23 AM »
And iff you cant buy.
Just make them yourself.
I buy Accurate blanc blocks for it.
Sometimes accurate will cut a first stage and we finish them hour self.
And when needed we start with a blank and a cherry.

Grts.
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rsterne

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Re: State of the Art - Bullet Mold Manufacturing
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2019, 02:21:04 PM »
I have all of the above, plus some NBT moulds as well.... NBT make their moulds on a pantograph copying lathe, where the tool bit follows the shape of a physical template that is 10X (or more) life size.... Custom templates are available, but expensive.... Accurate use some kind of a similar system, but the tool bit follows a CNC program.... I have a feeling that Arsenal use a similar system, because both Accurate and Arsenal can make new designs with a minimum of cost and fuss.... Accurate, of course, don't do smaller than .30 cal.... None of the three offer HP moulds, period….

Lee, Lyman and Ideal only seem to produce a limited number of moulds, and seldom offer new designs.... Lee can be talked into a Group Buy on occasion, but no HPs are available.... I think Lyman and Ideal used to offer single pin HP moulds, whether they still do or not, I don't know.... all of the above moulds can be sent out to Erik at HollowPoint Mold Services for conversion of some or all cavities to HP.... but it is quite expensive (although he does beautiful work)….

NOE use a Group Buy driven system for new designs.... Sometimes they will bring out things on their own, or with a bit of pushing.... and they will make custom tooling for any design you wish to submit (subject to a few restrictions), for $300 to produce the (undersized) cherry.... They can make moulds larger than the cherry by interpolating the circular path out to a larger diameter (within limits)…. They have their own "RG" system for making HP or Hollow Base moulds, and have recently expanded the ability of those to do HPs on bullet with a Meplat smaller than 0.200" (due to my pushing)…. This will greatly expand the ability of NOE to supply slugs for airguns, because most of us want the ability to make HPs.... Their "RG" moulds come with 3 sets of pins to make FN, HP and "cup point" slugs, so great flexibility.... NOE are the only company to make moulds for Diabolo pellets, AFAIK....

I don't think there is one answer that suits all the business models, calibers, HPs, etc.etc…. That is probably a good thing, in the long run.... as it makes for diversity in the available product....

Bob

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Nicesurprice

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Re: State of the Art - Bullet Mold Manufacturing
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2019, 10:33:55 PM »
I have all of the above, plus some NBT moulds as well.... NBT make their moulds on a pantograph copying lathe, where the tool bit follows the shape of a physical template that is 10X (or more) life size.... Custom templates are available, but expensive.... Accurate use some kind of a similar system, but the tool bit follows a CNC program.... I have a feeling that Arsenal use a similar system, because both Accurate and Arsenal can make new designs with a minimum of cost and fuss.... Accurate, of course, don't do smaller than .30 cal.... None of the three offer HP moulds, period….

Lee, Lyman and Ideal only seem to produce a limited number of moulds, and seldom offer new designs.... Lee can be talked into a Group Buy on occasion, but no HPs are available.... I think Lyman and Ideal used to offer single pin HP moulds, whether they still do or not, I don't know.... all of the above moulds can be sent out to Erik at HollowPoint Mold Services for conversion of some or all cavities to HP.... but it is quite expensive (although he does beautiful work)….

NOE use a Group Buy driven system for new designs.... Sometimes they will bring out things on their own, or with a bit of pushing.... and they will make custom tooling for any design you wish to submit (subject to a few restrictions), for $300 to produce the (undersized) cherry.... They can make moulds larger than the cherry by interpolating the circular path out to a larger diameter (within limits)…. They have their own "RG" system for making HP or Hollow Base moulds, and have recently expanded the ability of those to do HPs on bullet with a Meplat smaller than 0.200" (due to my pushing)…. This will greatly expand the ability of NOE to supply slugs for airguns, because most of us want the ability to make HPs.... Their "RG" moulds come with 3 sets of pins to make FN, HP and "cup point" slugs, so great flexibility.... NOE are the only company to make moulds for Diabolo pellets, AFAIK....

I don't think there is one answer that suits all the business models, calibers, HPs, etc.etc…. That is probably a good thing, in the long run.... as it makes for diversity in the available product....

Bob

African air ordenance also makes pellet moldblocks
In basic they have a better disign ( comes from me LOL).

Greets.
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rsterne

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Re: State of the Art - Bullet Mold Manufacturing
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2019, 11:04:09 AM »
MP also make bullet moulds, and I believe they can supply HPs…. but I have no experience with either....

Bob
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Nicesurprice

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Re: State of the Art - Bullet Mold Manufacturing
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2019, 10:32:17 PM »
MP also make bullet moulds, and I believe they can supply HPs…. but I have no experience with either....

Bob

They build nice quality molds.
Have several.
One downdraft.
Only aluminum or brass.
Pin system works better as NOE, otherwise nothing beats the system form HP serv USA.

And as always just a personal opinion.

Grts. 
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rsterne

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Re: State of the Art - Bullet Mold Manufacturing
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2019, 07:19:09 AM »
Sorry, I don't know what you mean by "Downdraft"....  :-[

Bob
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Nicesurprice

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Re: State of the Art - Bullet Mold Manufacturing
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2019, 07:47:35 AM »
Sorry, I don't know what you mean by "Downdraft"....  :-[

Bob

One minor or disadvantage ?
How do you say ??
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rsterne

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Re: State of the Art - Bullet Mold Manufacturing
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2019, 10:32:08 AM »
Downdraft = disadvantage.... got it, makes perfect sense....

I have seen some posts about the 8-cavity MP moulds warping.... and needing to be cooled on a hotplate, covered with a tin can to retain heat.... shut off the hotplate and allow to cool slowly.... Also, the corner of the mould should never be dipped in the melt to bring it up to temperature (fine for other moulds)…. but must be heated on a hotplate....

Any comments on that?....

Bob
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Nicesurprice

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Re: State of the Art - Bullet Mold Manufacturing
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2019, 11:45:38 AM »
Downdraft = disadvantage.... got it, makes perfect sense....

I have seen some posts about the 8-cavity MP moulds warping.... and needing to be cooled on a hotplate, covered with a tin can to retain heat.... shut off the hotplate and allow to cool slowly.... Also, the corner of the mould should never be dipped in the melt to bring it up to temperature (fine for other moulds)…. but must be heated on a hotplate....

Any comments on that?....

Bob

You need to avoid stress in the metal.
So handle with care.
Have to say , i heat the heavy block above the oven.
And sometimes use a cold-plate to lose heat.
Using this method with those 8 cave blocks.
Or cheap ass allu blocks would destroy the mold.
Cooling down or heating one corner is a no go.
This will generate stress in the block and would turn it to scrapp metall.

Sometimes i am creative with the English writing.
Just tap me on the fingers when needed. 

Cast a lot.
Never had a warped mold blok.
Only buy allu bock when needed.

Have 2 off those 8 cave block.
And promised myself.
When we need them often.
I will mill myself a 5 or 6 cav in an accurate blank.
Don't like allu molds.

Ronald
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