Aluminum 9mm mold - 6 cavity, it's sticky!

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by cannonman, Jul 9, 2020.

  1. cannonman

    cannonman Active Member

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    I casted a fair bit so this bugs! I got a new aluminum 6 cavity mold for 9mm. I put black ash/smoke via acetylene torch. This has always worked well. Then it started to get sticky, so I cleaned it with a soft rag only and then tried paper smoke. Worked for a while. Now one cavity drops right out, three with a soft tap, one with a coupled of taps and that darn forth cavity just does not want to play well with others. Why? Seasoning tip? Mix of metals? Oh yeah, this is WW and tin form solder. 1:10 solder to WW ratio.
     
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  2. sharps4590

    sharps4590 Well-Known Member

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    I don't know c-man. I used to smoke molds and it never seemed to work like it was supposed to. Over the last...I dunno….35-40 years(?) I stopped smoking them and just keep them clean. I do believe my best casting comes from finding that ideal temperature and cadence. Weights are amazingly consistent, fill out is as well and they drop from the mold with one or two taps on the mold handle bolt. It is frustrating when you feel as if you're beating the daylights out of a mold to get a bullet out.

    I've never tried any of the commercial "bullet release".....stuff, ('cause I don't know what it's called!!).
     
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  3. SeeMor Guns

    SeeMor Guns Well-Known Member

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    From all my years in aluminum die cast business, use Pam cooking spray.
     
  4. mudman35962

    mudman35962 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    i am new at casting maybe 5 years. use mostly Lee 6 cavity. [cost] they are what i paid for them. for Lee only i do the lee-ment on all of them, clean well then spray with Kroil. leave them dry, heat with the melt. they smoke. second or third cast if the mold is up to temp. i start getting good bollets. when the temp is just right the spru works easy, all bollets drop when i open the handles. no taping.
    i have a Accurate mold that makes the Lee mold look like crap. i cleaned the Accurate and started to cast good filled out bullets from the start. no muss no fuss.
    have another Accurate on order. do i like Accurate molds? you bet!!
    from your description sounds like you have a Lee mold. they work, i have made thousands of range fodder with them. you have to find what works for you. so start tweaking your process, slowly. read all you can, and stay safe. that lead can burn, ask any caster.

    rick
     
  5. zant

    zant Well-Known Member

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    NOE says to cast their alum moulds at 6-625d-They come out perfect...so I thought why not do same with LEE-also worked perfect,better bullets.
     
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  6. cannonman

    cannonman Active Member

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    OK! I want to learn something new today and your it! First, thanks! Now, why is an Accurate mold different than a Lee? I got to say, if a mold is working it borders on sheer joy. If, as mentioned, your beating the crap out of the thing, I feel like drinking and throwing the mold into the lake!
     
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  7. sharps4590

    sharps4590 Well-Known Member

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    Ha...Lee cannot compare to Accurate. The sprue plate is heavier for one thing, which has always been a complaint of mine about Lee. They're vented a LOT better than Lee. In fact, if you look at current Lee molds it certainly appears they tried to copy Accurate's venting. The bullets are sharper in their lands and grooves meaning the cavities are more accurately cut. They aren't rebated as current Lee molds are which makes for a more consistent holding of temperature. Their locating pins are heavier and again, if you look at current Lee molds, it certainly looks as if Lee copied Accurate's method. Along with a couple other custom molds, my Accurate molds are the best I have. I have several Lee molds but as Rick said, there is no comparison between Lee and Accurate.

    Yes, Accurate molds more expensive...and worth every penny. However, a single cavity is no more expensive than Lyman or RCBS mold....and sometimes quite a bit less. Though it has nothing to do with their quality, Accurate will work with you to make whatever it is your heart desires. I don't remember if Lee does that or not. I think they used to and still might.
     
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  8. mikld

    mikld Well-Known Member

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    When I get a new aluminum mold I "season" it. I clean it good with a final spray of brake clean and set it on my hot plate. Heat the mold w/hot plate on "High" long enough to get it good and hot. Turn off hot plate and allow the mold to cool. Repeat 3-5 times and start casting. Doesn't have to be done in one day, I'll heat the mold, turn off the hot plate and resume the following day or two. No smoke, no soot, no "release agents" just a very clean mold. If I find one that "sticks" I'll look at the mold with my magnifying visor looking for slight burrs or rough spots and make sure vent lines are good. If necessary I will "lap" the mold with Comet and oil paste (removes no metal, just polished cavity). I have 13 Lee molds from buckshot to 45 Colt and a 30 cal rifle bullet mold, two and six cavity. These prep methods have worked quite well for me...

    Lots of good info on molds and mold maintenance... http://castboolits.gunloads.com/forumdisplay.php?9-Molds-Maintenance-and-Design
     
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  9. res45

    res45 Active Member

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    I have the Lee six cavity 120 gr. TC mold among others and it cast great bullets and drops bullets fairly easy with just a couple taps once up to temp. Most aluminum mold don't start casting good till you get a several casting secession through them and get some oxide built up on the mold cavities.

    Lee molds in some cases have a little rougher edge around the cavities which may be causing it to hang up with some bullets while other mold makers have sharper edges. I like the Lee mold for what they cost and I have nothing bad to say about any of the 25+ Lee molds I own.

    Sometime you have to take a very sharp knife like and X Acto and a high magnification glass and debur the edges of the questionable cavities.
     
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  10. mudman35962

    mudman35962 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    why Accurate molds? just got a .45 230gr mold from Accurate. ordered on 7-7 one week. VERY well packaged, BRIGHT and SHINY. the old Lee that has made me thousands of range fodder bullets was drooping too many culls. was time to remove and improve. too much on the table to cast for a few days, i will give a update as soon as i drop a few.

    rick
     
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  11. sharps4590

    sharps4590 Well-Known Member

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    I've never had an Accurate mold that needed "broke in". Get them up to temp and they cast perfect bullets first time out of the gate.
     
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  12. 68c15

    68c15 TFFWPP President Supporting Member

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    Maybe something in the metal when the mold is made? Would a repeated acetone bath-toaster oven process do the trick?
     
  13. mudman35962

    mudman35962 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    see post #10. ran the new Accurate mold today. cleaned it with soap tooth brush and water. set it on the casting pot as the lead got to temp. no other prep. dropped first time with a VERY light tap. on the second drop all the bullets were usable and all after that. try that with a Lee mold. did over 15 pounds worth .45 230gr in about an hour. i will inspect powder coat and size tomorrow. Accurate molds are as good as it gets for me.

    rick
     
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  14. cannonman

    cannonman Active Member

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    Thx! I've used it a bit, what I don't get is that it was doing fine and then got worse. I really like the lapping idea mentioned. Hope I get the time... Retired! I think i got more done somehow when I was working!
     
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  15. mudman35962

    mudman35962 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    UPDATE
    the bullets that i cast with the new Accurate mold were powder coated and loader. then shot. after the shooting the guns were cleaned. NO leading! i posted some time in the past that i was getting some leading in all my .45 guns, despite powder coating. with PC this should not happen. so i did a alox lube job on all the Lee bullets. another reason to get a new mold. so Accurate got a call. now the Accurate bullets after PC shoot fine without any leading. i HATE to clean lead from a barrel. i have not read anywhere that a mold can wear out, so what happened to the Lee. some time i will try to polish the Lee and maybe use it again, it is just hard to think it will ever put out bullets as pretty as this Accurate is dropping.
    i cast for i think nine different caliber bullets i use Lee for seven of then and most are nice. the two Accurate cast are just plain better. the 9.3X57 had to be a Accurate mold because it requires a heeled bullet. Lee does not make a mold for that. it was my first Accurate mold.
    you know what they say " once you go Accurate you can never go back" or something like that.
    "buy the best forget the rest"

    rick
     
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