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Bullet molds

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tom in nc

45 Cal.
Aug 20, 2019
Reaction score

This bullet mold came with the cased 1851 Colt Navy I just bought. I've read that these molds are mostly for display and don't make good quality bullets or balls.
Is that true? I believe I'll just buy some balls like I do all my other black powder guns.
I tried a mold like this once. I think they're called bag molds since they don't take up much room in the hunting bag. The one I used cast pretty good balls but the short handles got too hot to handle in a hurry. I like my Lyman and Lees a lot better.
I can see no reason not to try it and see how she works. Using the mould properly will not hurt it. The original Colt moulds with the swinging sprue cutter were very well received in their day, and I read somewhere years ago that a lot of old rifles were bored, reamed, and rifled to calibers that would use balls cast from them.

It will only cost you a little time to pour a half-dozen or so balls and bullets. Then measure them for size and roundness. See if you get "fins" on the castings from the faces of the mould not mating properly, and check if the sprue cutter makes a clean shear. If it casts good projectiles, you're all set. If not, just throw the balls back in the pot to use with one of your good moulds.

ADDENDUM: I just saw @The Crisco Kid 's post. He is correct, and I apologize for my oversight. The handles on these moulds do indeed get hot. My dad had some originals when I was growing up, and we would improvise handles by reaming the pith out of corncobs and jamming them on the mould handles. This worked well enough for us, but we were not very sophisticated. You can also wrap the handles with dry leather for casting. Wet leather conducts heat very well...

Notchy Bob
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If a mold is in my possession, I cast with it to see how it does. I’ll bet it makes fine projectiles.
My experience with the reproduction brass molds has not been good. I have heavy welders' gloves and they still get too hot to hold. Both the round balls and the conicals were out of round and not suitable for shooting.

I have cast bullets with an original Colt mold for my .28 caliber Root revolver. Those are perfectly round and good for shooting, but I only use them for display. I haven't experimented with my original Colt molds in .36 or .44. But now I'm curious and I just may try some soon.