Bullets Sticking in Molds

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  • Last Post 27 February 2021
John Alexander posted this 08 February 2021

I have been casting a long time and have a lot of molds. Some almost always drop the bullets out. Some not so much.  Some release the bullet or bullets well some days and not so much the next time.  I have been able to improve some by very careful stoning of the edges.  Sometimes smoking seems to help. 

What have you found as the best way to get bullets to fall out of the mold? All advice appreciated.

John

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 08 February 2021

I use mold release spray for stubborn molds from Midway USA. I started using it many years ago. For most molds it works for as many as 50-100 cast before having to give it another light spray. Doesn't slow you down and is easy to clean off if you build up too much over time, which rarely happens. I always leave it on them in storage and it is an immediate clue I need to give them a light spray before starting. However as I said it can be applied any time during the casting session. 

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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Bud Hyett posted this 08 February 2021

The best way I have found is lightly deburring the edges. This often cures the problem. A pencil eraser lightly applied and then casting about ten bullets per cavity to assure this works.   

The extreme approach is a mild lap. Using a bullet covered with 800 to 1200 grit, turning in the mold both directions to alleviate any slight mismatch for only a few turns so as to not disturb the overall mold dimensions.

On several new molds, I've found that a prolonged casting session in the first few times can normalize the metal in the mold to give a slight offset of alignment pins on closure. One step to check for full mold closure by holding to a strong light and looking for light leakage. You may have to reset the alignment pins.  

Farm boy from Illinois, living in the magical Pacific Northwest

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RicinYakima posted this 09 February 2021

"The extreme approach is a mild lap. Using a bullet covered with 800 to 1200 grit, turning in the mold both directions to alleviate any slight mismatch for only a few turns so as to not disturb the overall mold dimensions."

This is my SOP, with oil based Clover 1000 grit on a linotype bullet. If turned by hand, 25 times in each direction, I have never been able to detect 1/10,000 inch increase in size.

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Eutectic posted this 09 February 2021

See Ricks approach above. I do the same but with emory polish for iron molds and rouge for aluminum.

Steve

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OU812 posted this 09 February 2021

After opening the sprue plate with gloved hand, wack the mould handle at hinge point with a heavy hickory stick or similar. Sometimes casting a little cooler helps also. If using a bottom pour pot, you may try turning down flow a tad.

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OU812 posted this 09 February 2021

John, sounds like you are getting very good fill of mould cavity, maybe a little too good. I am sure hitting handles at hinge pin and heavier stick will solve problem. The rcbs wood mallet is too small imo. Small dead blow hammer works very good...you know the orange ones. Be careful not to melt it.

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OU812 posted this 09 February 2021

I recall having one aluminum mold that was bored off-center of mold parting line. Bullets would consistently get stuck on one side and would not release no matter how hard I hit it. I called the maker and he said to use steel wool and dull the sharp parting edge of cavity of which bullets always stuck. Polished only the mold half the bullet sticks to. This did fix problem and he said it would have no effect on performance.

You said Molds (plural) as in more than one. It would be unusual for several different molds to be bore off center.

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JeffinNZ posted this 09 February 2021

A tidy wee lapping as suggested above.  And swearing.  Lots of swearing.

Cheers from New Zealand

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Ross Smith posted this 09 February 2021

I 2nd Bud H.

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OU812 posted this 09 February 2021

Here is a light weight hammer that works pretty good.

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Spindrift posted this 09 February 2021

With a new mould, I scrape all vent lines and cavity edges with a viciously sharp wooden toothpick. I sometimes find small burrs, and keep harassing them with the toothpick until they fall of. 

I always check carefully hollow point pins. They often require some light polishing with steel wool.

 

A regular graphite pencil is a good release agent. I keep one handy while casting. You can also use this to temporarily reduce flow in the vent lines, if you get whiskers.

Sometimes, sooting with a regular butane lighter is helpful. Particularily with aluminum moulds, I have found.

 

Interesting thread!

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billwnr posted this 09 February 2021

I  use a file to take the rough edge off the mated edges of the mould.  That's what's sticking.

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Rich/WIS posted this 10 February 2021

I check the edges of the cavities under magnification.  I use Spindifts method but use bamboo skewers as they are very hard and do this with even new aluminum molds. Worst case I have used  a 600 grit triangular stone but fortunately it has been needed very rarely.

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BigMan54 posted this 10 February 2021

ink erasers,  0000 steel wool tightly wrapped around a plastic-tipped cleaning rod, and a plastic mallet works for me. 

Sorry, David. Mold release is fynyat. 

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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Pentz posted this 11 February 2021

We're a sttange lot...my hinge tapper is a piece of broomstick inserted into a section of pvc, thereafter wrapped with duct tape.

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 12 February 2021

Rog,

Mold release works for me, I say to each his own. But what the hell is "fynyat"? I googled it it but no luck. Does it come from the same dictionary that contains fubar? 

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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TRKakaCatWhisperer posted this 12 February 2021

What have you found as the best way to get bullets to fall out of the mold? All advice appreciated.

John

 

This WORKS for me.  I simply mix a lube (like graphite, Molybdenum Disulphide, or BEST is the Tungsten Disulphide) with a light grease.  Apply a thin layer to mold surfaces (not cavity) and heat the mold with a propane torch (burns off grease).  Lead does not stick to it and the bullets drop out easily.

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Lee Guthrie posted this 24 February 2021

When I read the above I was amazed to see that no one uses my method:  beat the *&#$% out of it with a 3# hammer and curse a lot.  Well, Jeff in NZ did half of it.

Besides the constantly sticking cavity(s), there are some moulds, some times, with some alloys will have one cavity that just won't quite give up its treasure every time its opened.  Tap tap tap like a blind man on the back side of the hinge pin just before (or after) opening.  If that doesn't work look for vent line intrusion of lead or something there that shouldn't be.  Curse some more.  Then, get an ink pen eraser and give a good rub down to mould edges on that cavity.  If that doesn't work, do like Ric and others mentioned and gently lap the thing.  Or, if it is a cheap mould, give it to a caster that you don't like.  cool

 

 

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 26 February 2021

One thing I didn't mention as to why I use the mold release, it is that I have tried all the other things suggested. It seems to me that sometimes you just get a stubborn mold that whatever you try just doesn't want to give up the bullet(s). The mold release spray works 99% of the time.

Besides I would rather cast bullets than chase a mystery I might never solve. 

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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RicinYakima posted this 26 February 2021

Yep, I have a partial can for when nothing else works and I can't sell the mould to someone else.

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Lee Guthrie posted this 26 February 2021

Re mould release:  something different than NEI Mould Prep?  I never could get that on thin enough.

 

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 27 February 2021

The Midway brand can get thick if you let it, but normally just a little works.

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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John Alexander posted this 27 February 2021

The bullet mold release product I find in Midway is Frankfort Arsenal brand.  Is this the right stuff?

John

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RicinYakima posted this 27 February 2021

Mine was sold by them, but working on the first can I bought about 1995.

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