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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:19 pm 
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I recently acquired a pristine Crosman 1100 Trapmaster. It came with a Lee 2-cavities aluminum lead ball mold #90420, which makes 0.375'' balls. I know how to melt lead and I have what I need to do that, but I need advice on how to use the mold. I heard one need to lubricate the sprue plate, with what? Do I need to apply lubricant to the cavities as well? Also, I know I have to preheat the mold, how and what temperature? I'm a total newbie at this, all suggestions and advices are welcome!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:17 pm 
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The best sprue plate lube is synthetic 2-cycle oil.... applied sparingly with a Q-tip.... You do not want any lube in the cavities.... but for initial casting sessions you can "smoke" them with a lighter to coat them lightly with soot.... The sprue plate should be adjusted so that it won't fall open under its own weight, but will open with a "flick" of the mould, or with light hand pressure.... Heating with a hotplate to about 400*F will speed up the mould coming up to temperature, you won't have to throw as many balls back into the pot.... The correct "casting tempo" and lead temperature (try around 750-800*F) will maintain the correct mould temperature.... If you are getting wrinkles, it is too cold, and if the balls are frosted, too hot....

Bob

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:50 pm 
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I now spray all my moulds, whether brass, aluminum or cast iron, with moly bullet coating from a Spray can- either MS Moly or Lyman brand. Both work well.
The moly spray works similarly to a soot coating, but is not easily wiped off, stays longer and prevents lead from sticking, smearing onto the mould blocks.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:51 pm 
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rsterne wrote:
The best sprue plate lube is synthetic 2-cycle oil.... applied sparingly with a Q-tip.... You do not want any lube in the cavities.... but for initial casting sessions you can "smoke" them with a lighter to coat them lightly with soot.... The sprue plate should be adjusted so that it won't fall open under its own weight, but will open with a "flick" of the mould, or with light hand pressure.... Heating with a hotplate to about 400*F will speed up the mould coming up to temperature, you won't have to throw as many balls back into the pot.... The correct "casting tempo" and lead temperature (try around 750-800*F) will maintain the correct mould temperature.... If you are getting wrinkles, it is too cold, and if the balls are frosted, too hot....

Bob


Thanks a lot Bob, very appreciated :) . I no longer had spent pellets, gave them away, so I ordered some pure lead bars from this place: https://www.westernmetal.ca/shooting-ca ... ure-metals

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:53 pm 
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Daryl wrote:
I now spray all my moulds, whether brass, aluminum or cast iron, with moly bullet coating from a Spray can- either MS Moly or Lyman brand. Both work well.
The moly spray works similarly to a soot coating, but is not easily wiped off, stays longer and prevents lead from sticking, smearing onto the mould blocks.


Thanks for that Daryl :) . Where do you get this product, by any chance would you have a link to share?

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:32 am 
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Yesterday I received some goodies from Western Metal and Higginson Powders. I got a new Lee 2-cavities .380'' 82 grains lead ball mold, 5 boxes of Hornady .375'' 80 grains lead balls, 20 lb of pure lead, and a 20 lb bag of each: #4, #6 and #8 graphite-coated lead shots. I'll start casting real soon!


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2019 1:46 pm 
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You've got enough shot for a while, balls too.
When casting, I wear heavy lined work gloves for opening and closing the sprue-plate.
Lots of guys use a mallet or hammer handle for bashing it open - I used to and stopped doing that
when I bent a Lee sprue plate as they are thinner than those Lyman or RCBS parts.
I do have an old small ball-peen hammer handle handy for tapping the handle hinge if a ball or bullet
does not want to drop out on it's own. Tap, tap - and out it comes. Been using the same one for that
since about 1977.
I use Lee 20 pound pots for both my alloyed and pure lead - one pot for each alloy. There is no reason
for this, other than I cast bullets for various PB rifles and handguns using alloyed lead, along with round
balls for my muzzle loaders, using pure lead only - thus, 2 pots makes it easier.
I do not bottom pour as I get more precise large diameter round balls for my 14 gauge rifle and the heavier
bullets for my PB rifles, .308 to .50 cal. I also have moulds & have cast for my 6mm and .22 PB's.


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PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2019 4:57 pm 
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Today I made my very first attempt at casting lead balls, I'd say results are ''50-50''. I ''sooted'' the .375 mold the way Bob explained, and ''burnished'' the .380 mold with tungsten disulphide powder (about the same as molybdenum disulphide). I pre-heated them about 15 min on my ''hot plate'', while the lead was heating. As for lead, I found that I had kept about 5 lbs of old pellets, a mix of Crosman, JSB, H&N, RWS and Daisy. Also there was some Hornady and Gamo lead balls thrown in, so the exact final alloy is unknown. I made 15 balls of each size, for about the same number of rejects.

The .380, tungsten-burnished mold was the easiest to use. The sprue plate holes are a small bit bigger than in the .375 mold, so I found it easier to pour the lead in. Also, the tungsten powder is an excellent release agent IMO, much easier to ''drop'' the balls from the mold than with the sooting method (no offense intended at all Bob!). Often the balls would fall by themselves when I opened the mold, while I had to gently ''tap'' the .375, sooted mold to release the balls.

I believe the lead temperature was right, but I'll have to perfect my pouring technique, also maybe heat the molds a bit more, some balls are wrinkled. Next I'll try with pure lead to see if there's a difference with the ''unknown alloy''. All in all, it was a rather pleasing experience, I think it would be very easy to spend an afternoon messing with that! Thanks again for the advices :) .


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PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2019 1:01 am 
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Wrinkles in the balls come from mostly 2 reasons - mould or lead temperature too low - or oil or preservative in or on the mould blocks that has not burned off yet. The fumes themselves will
cause wrinkles.
The air gun will likely work best with pure lead.
Note pure lead requires higher temperatures than alloyed lead.
Once you get more experience with casting, learn to control your heat and casting rhythm, you will find sooting the blocks with a Bick lighter, wooden match or candle will work just as well as the moly.
There is a learning curve. Bob and I have been casting bullets and balls for 40 years or more (47 years for me). During my 'stay' in the lower mainland of BC from 1973 through to 1977, I went through over 600 pounds of lead - cast into rifle and handgun alloyed bullets and pure lead round balls and bullets for my muzzleloading rifles. Now, that was only pure lead weighted, telephone casings, I also went through a couple hundred pounds of wheel weights for alloying and making hardened bullets. We've been doing it a while and it takes time to sort 'things' out.
We both cast perfect balls and bullets now. With the smaller calibres, in order to get as good accuracy as that projectile's can produce, they have to be perfect. Wrinkles on small bore projectiles do not work at all. The smaller the projectile, the more perfect they have to be.
Have fun with it.
White gas stoves, or electric pots work best. Propane stoves are more difficult because propane is not as hot a flame. It just takes longer, but does work. I've cast a lot of bullets and balls over propane stoves over the years. Casting over a camp fire is a worse case scenario.

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PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2019 1:07 am 
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About those moulds - they are not all alike. Some stick bullets and balls, some don't. The soot and/or moly/tungsten powdered simply makes it easier than it would be without.
I have moulds that drop the balls or bullets and moulds that require me to tap the hinge - there is no rhyme nor reason - it just happens that way. I have 82 sets of mould blocks
remaining in my inventory. I have sold a few with rifles. Been at this a while.

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PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2019 11:27 am 
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OK, thanks again for the good infos Daryl!

This morning, while cleaning the molds, I noticed there's a visible air gap between the halves of both molds. I saw two reasons causing that: 1- The locating pins are too far toward the inside of both molds, and 2- In the .380 mold only, there's a machining mark deeper in the middle of both halves. I was able to press the .375 mold's pins further outside, so it's OK now, but I think I'll have to ''lap'' the .380 mold's halves on the granit plate at the machine shop where I work. I also am aware that the mold's halves will ''thin'' from that, so I'll also have to rework the cavities :roll: .

I was already minded toward that, since the .380 balls are not perfectly round anyway. If measured along the parting line, they are 0.383'', and measured 90┬░ from the parting line they are 0.380''. If I can make them 0.383'' or a small bit bigger all around I'll be good, my Trapmaster's barrel is 0.388''. I'm thinking of using one of the first balls I casted with some very fine polishing compound. I guess it'll be long and tedious work, but I'm somewhat getting good at that kind of things :| , and there's no rush anyway.


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