Help keep Cramer HP mold pins Hot

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  • Last Post 22 June 2012
RBerry2116 posted this 09 May 2012

I cast about 200 HP bullets today in my 2 cavity 452374 Lyman 2 cavity cramer HP mold I have had this mold about 1 1/2 years. I have always had a problem getting the pins hot enough to get bullets to drop easily. Today I tried something different & it worked very well. I filled the two cavity mold as usual from my bottom pour RCBS pro melt furnace & waited about 5-6 seconds then turned the mold over & put a small puddle of lead on the bottom of each pin where it comes out the bottom of the mold. I waited till set up about 4-5 seconds & then turned mold over & cut sprue off. A light tap on mold hinge pin & bullets fell out.continued to put a puddle on the bottom of mold on pins & they stayed hot for the entire time I was casting' & the bullets fall out with light tap. I ran the pot at about 725 degrees which is about 50 degrees lower than I had been casting before with this mold. I could cast 2-3 times by putting lead on the bottom on the pins then skip 1-2 times & cast without the puddle on the pins on the bottom. I did not have to rush the casting like before to keep the pins hot. It was a much slower casting pace and 99% of the bullets came out filled out at the nose and did not stick on pins. I found by using a small puddle of lead on the bottom of the mold on the pins I could cast at a leisurely pace & get excellent results. It solved my problem of pins too cool to drop good bullets. The mouth of the HP bullets filled out very well & helped to form perfect bullets every time. This may also work with your new style HP molds to get pins heated up or if cooled down to get back up to temp. to get good bullets. I just thought I would pass this info along for all the other casters of cramer molds.

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RicinYakima posted this 09 May 2012

Very good idea! I will try this with one mould that has been a problem for me. Thanks, Ric

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onondaga posted this 09 May 2012

Sounds like you have a solution that is working for you. That is great.

You mention having to rush to keep your mold hot enough in the past. I have never used your type HP pin molds and am not familiar with how much time they take to operate. I am wondering about your pot temperature. I run at least 100 degrees cooler than you mention but I am dropping bullets 3  times a minute and this keeps my molds plenty hot for good bullet quality and easy release..

A casting cadence that keeps your mold at operating temperature is much more important than pot temperature. If the metal is fluid it will pour from your spout and into your mold. How quickly you repeat that in your casting cadence of drop cycles per minute is what controls your bullet quality.

Fortunately you have reached a balance that works for you, but the way you are getting that thermal balance sure sounds unconventional to me. Have you discussed this with other casters that use similar molds and how they get the job done?

The reason I mention this is that re-warming the mold bottom in various ways, then "skip 1-2 times & cast without the puddle on the pins on the bottom" sounds problematic to me. That procedure sounds like it will cause a lot of variation in bullet weight , diameter and fill-out of your mold from an irregular heat cycle of your mold;  in that you are reheating it from the bottom in broken cycles and not every pour the same. This gives a thermal cycle with multiple irregular swings.

I think you have set your self up for an unwanted variation in your bullets and that changing something else in your cadence and pouring style might work better. I hope you can find someone else that is having great success with your mold type and compare techniques.

Gary

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Dale53 posted this 09 May 2012

I have several of the fine Mihec Cramer style moulds and the only difference I make when casting is to run them at about 25 degrees warmer than the solid bullet moulds. I DO make an effort to minimize the time the mould is open. I run mine at 725-750 degrees (with thermometer) and use a manicurists fan to cool the sprue (this cools the sprue quickly so the cycle is speeded up a bit which helps to keep the pins hot).

I normally run 20/1 lead/tin in my hollow point moulds.

At any rate, whatever works best for you is the correct method.

FWIW Dale53

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RBerry2116 posted this 09 May 2012

I have found that by using the puddle on the bottom I WAS ABLE TO CAST FOR A LONG TIME & GET BULLETS WITH THE HP FILLED OUT. Before trying this method I would spend 15-20 minutes trying to get mold up to temp & pins hot to get good bullets. I would cast as fast as possible & still had problems with the pins getting up to casting temp. Most of the bullets (about 70%) would not fill out around the tip of the HP. & bullet was no good.The pot was run at about 775 degrees and still had problems getting mold  & pins up to casting temp.

I weighed the bullets and found they averaged 198.00 gr. They varied by about plus or minus two grains with the alloy I used.  Most were within .6 gr of each other so the puddles used on the bottom of the mold proceedure did not affect the weight by much.This is good for a HP pistol bullet. The time saved & the quality of the bullets cast were much improved over the NORMAL way I had been casting with this Cramer HP mold. For me this is a great improvement for casting with this mold.

P.S.  I am able to shoot 1 & 1/4 inch groups with this bullet at 25 yards from a hand held sandbag rest. 

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onondaga posted this 09 May 2012

http://www.castbulletassoc.org/forum/view_user.php?id=44>Dale53:

I think your minimizing the time that the mold is open is the key to your success with your cadence and pour method. Sounds like you have a good method.

Dale, I have been casting over 50 years but only tried six cavity casting with a couple new molds this year for the first time. Developing a new cadence and method for those certainly was NOT immediate.  One of them is the Lee Buckshot mold! It is working fine now, finally. I'm sure I'd have a learning curve for the Cramer Pins too. I do have an old Lyman hollow base .58 with a pin that has to be removed every cycle and  it is a struggle to keep the mold opened time minimized as you do, but that is what I do to do battle with that .58 hollow base mold.

Gary

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RicinYakima posted this 09 May 2012

Gary,

For the large HB pins, I made a wire rack for the edge of my pot. When I remove the pin, it goes on the rack with one side resting on the crucible top lip. That seems to stop the pin from cooling quickly. FWIW, Ric

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Dale53 posted this 10 May 2012

One thing I neglected to mention. I pre-heat EVERY mould on a hot plate (flat steel top to the burner). On my particular hot plate I set it a bit higher than medium. The idea is to have the mould just under casting temp. It takes one or at most two moulds full and I am ready to go. I don't want to overheat the mould (that can lead to all kinds of problems I'd rather avoid). At any rate, it only takes a time or two to get it right. Then I just leave it there for all moulds - aluminum, steel, or brass.

The fan has made things a lot simpler for me (Mike Venturino suggestion) as I can run the bullet metal a bit hotter than I would previously, and the mould NEVER overheats. While the fan is cooling the sprue (two seconds flat) it also helps to maintain the mould temperature.

A side benefit is that the cast bullets are cool enough to immediately move into a box when I am finished. The fan costs a grand total of $7.00+tax at Walmart or Target. It is quiet so that is not a bother and just blows a gentle breeze (it is intended to dry Milady's nails).

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onondaga posted this 10 May 2012

Ric:

I keep that large pin in hand while I double grab my leather mallet with the same hand to tap the bullet out and then immediately close the mold and put the pin back and pour!!!

Gary

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CB posted this 10 May 2012

Too bad I can't try this with my NOE hollowpoint mould. We just ain't getting along real well.

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RicinYakima posted this 10 May 2012

Gary,

I don't have much of a right elbow any more, the reason I don't use more than two cavity moulds. I can't use a mallet, so cut the sprue with a gloved right hand. I used your method until the last 10 years.

Watching me cast gives a lot of people the laughs, but I can get the job done.

Ric

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onondaga posted this 10 May 2012

Ric,

I'm still holding together here at 62 fortunately and I have started 2 of my grandsons casting!!!

Gary

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res45 posted this 22 June 2012

anachronism wrote: Too bad I can't try this with my NOE hollowpoint mould. We just ain't getting along real well.

I cast 38 Cal. HP bullets with a NOE RG2 HP mold,I place the mold on a hot plate set on Med. heat and allow the mold to heat up while my casting pot is heating,generally thats about 30 min. in Winter.

Right before I start casting I coat the pin tips with a light film of Amsoil Synthetic Saber 2 cycle oil.  You just want a very thin coat on the pin tips,about 1 drop on a Q-Tip will do the pins and sprue plate several times.

After the pour and the sprue cools to my liking and I cut the sprue I flip the mold over open and most times they just fall right off the pins,on occasion a light tap or two takes care of those that don't.

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