Dixie brass mold

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Spence10

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I have a Dixie Gun Works brass bag mold in .54 caliber which I've never carried or used to run ball over a campfire. Curious as to what kind of quality balls it would cast, I did a trial run here in the shop.













I was pleased and a bit surprised that they made such good balls. I cast 20 acceptable balls after the mold got hot, and trimmed the large sprue with the built-in cutter. Wrinkles were not a problem, the sizes were very close to nominal, and the weight range was 3 grams.

Spence
 

Spence10

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Well, that should be 3 grains, of course. I wouldn't be so pleased if it were grams.

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Crewdawg445

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This is interesting, I'm glad you did some R&D per say. I ordered a mold from Larry Callahan, casting ball is something I've been wanting to do the old way for awhile. I've especially been drawn to the brass molds but I've been very sceptical in quality.

I like retrieving spent lead from harvested game and re-casting. For me, it's another step to self sufficiency and another skill learned. With a good bag mold, I can cast right in camp and won't have to wait till I'm back at the homestead.
 

Black Hand

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The brass mold I have from DGW is nicely-made but the cavity is terrible. It is oblong and very rough - I use it for displays only.

You will not be disappointed with the Callaghan mold. The cavity is clean, spherical and casts a good ball. However, the welds holding the mold cavities to the handle could use a little more smoothing on mine.

Iron molds appear to be more correct/common.
 

ericb

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Looks pretty good compared to Balls out of some other (primitive style) Brass Molds I've seen...

Eric
 

Okie Hog

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That's a nice ball mold. Works well too.
 

BrownBear

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That's the first report on bag molds that makes me want to reach for my wallet. I have an old "scissor" type for my Bess, and it's about 90% PITA while turning out marginal balls. I have no plans to carry a bag mold while hunting, but who knows....

Thanks, I think! :hatsoff:
 

mooman76

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Good report and it looks like a pretty decent mould for a bag mould. I have a couple I picked up cheap and cheap is the word. Most are cheaply made and don't cast well. No reason they can't cast good if made right. Brass is suppose to be one of the best materials for moulds.
 

Einsiedler

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I've got one that old son returned to me in two seperate pieces. I dunno how many balls it's run over the years. A .600 for fusils. I'll fabricate a new rivet for it. That old Iron rivet finally just wore thru the brass. But very fixable!!!
 

Rifleman1776

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My thoughts reflect those of others. Not bad balls but why use something that produces inferior balls at more fuss than what is available?
By "sissor" do you mean the Dixie moulds made from old time hair straightners? They used to offer them in almost any size. I have a .715" for my Brown Bess I got from them long-long time ago for $12.00. They are much more now and only in limited sizes. BTW, it does a good job.
 

BrownBear

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Rifleman1776 said:
By "sissor" do you mean the Dixie moulds made from old time hair straightners? They used to offer them in almost any size. I have a .715" for my Brown Bess I got from them long-long time ago for $12.00. They are much more now and only in limited sizes. BTW, it does a good job.
One and the same. Mine is sized .730", which is ideal for my Bess. But there's a very fine line between mold and lead not hot enough for a clean pour and too hot, wherein the lead starts streaming out the seam between the mold halves. I can regulate it close enough on the bench using a lead thermometer, but over a campfire? :rotf:
 

Spence10

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Rifleman1776 said:
My thoughts reflect those of others. Not bad balls but why use something that produces inferior balls at more fuss than what is available?
As with a lot of things I do in the hobby, I do it for its historic value. I'm curious what shooting balls made with a bag mold over a campfire was like for the old boys, so I do it myself. I have cast balls over the fire and then loaded one of them and shot a squirrel with it on the same outing. I saw no difference in accuracy, as I expected. God willing and the creek don't rise, I'm going to do the same thing with a ball from this mold on my fall deer hunt.

Everybody likes to shoot balls as nearly perfect as can be managed, and we fuss and fume about a few grains difference in weight, a slight lopsidedness, a minor wrinkle, a crooked sprue or a little frost. Truth be known, the vast majority of such minor imperfections have no practical effect on accuracy.

BTW, I always leave a lightly oiled ball in the cavity of my bag molds between casting session as a safeguard against corrosion. Probably unnecessary, but it makes me feel good. :grin:

Spence
 

rich pierce

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Good you have leather wrap. They conduct heat more than iron. Looks good to me. If they are round and weigh close, and you're having fun, it's win, win, win!
 

Crewdawg445

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From all the investigation I've done, that seems to be the consensus on his molds, they are the cats meow. Sent my check out for mine! Just don't tell my boss or I'll be in the hawk house...

However, wish Larry offered a brass mold.
 

Einsiedler

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Thanks Spence for the inspiration to get off my duff and out to the shop and fire up the old atlas 618. Whipped out a new rivet pretty quick out of an old bolt. Fixed that old wore out mould!


 

Spence10

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I'm just learning to cast balls by dipping instead of using my bottom-pour pot, which just failed. I like it.

I had another casting session with the Dixie brass mold and was very pleased. Discarded only 5 balls before the mold was up to heat, then cast 20 balls without a reject or a wrinkle. Clipped the sprues with a nipper, one cut only, and weighed them. Maximum spread lightest to heaviest was 2.4 grains. Average weight was 223.8 grains, very close to the calculated weight of a .530" ball of 223.6 grains.

This mold did better for this session than my regular steel or aluminum block molds. Kudos to Dixie for this one.

Spence
 

Larry Pletcher

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Spence,
Your Dixie brass mold looks more elegant than mine. Mine wears a pair of corn cobs for handles. It did make the ball that fetched my dinner years ago. That may have been the first squirrel I took with a flintlock.
Regards,
Pletch
 

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