Can anyone ID this strange bullet mould

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Gunguy, Aug 2, 2003.

  1. Gunguy

    Gunguy Guest

    ID this mould and you'll win absolutely nothing but will show everyone how smart you are.

    This has got to the weirdest one I've encountered.


    Attached Files:

  2. inplanotx

    inplanotx Active Member

    Jan 28, 2002
    Well, since you didn't give us caliber or weight, seeing the hexagonal base I can only assume it is for the old Whitworth or Enfield rifles. Both had hexagonal bores. Both used bullets of from .45 to .577 caliber.

  3. Gunguy

    Gunguy Guest

    Dang it, Rick...I knew you'd get this one first. You is one big smarty you is.

    All I had on this weird one was Whitworth Hexagonal Bullet Mould, got the pix from ebay. No caliber, no bullet weight.

    Atta boy inplanotx you win...what? You was expecting a Jaguar maybe...

    How can this hexagonal bullet traveling out of a hexagonal bore have any barrel gain twist to put some spin on the bullet for stability and accuracy. What does it achieave that a round bullet doesn't do better.

    GG :D
  4. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    Makes people stutter in a game of Trivia? :D

  5. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

    Feb 23, 2001
    Minn-eeee-sota, ya, sure, you bet!
    Hey, giving away Jags?

    That's only fitting, because the pre-WWII Jaguars (the SS90 and SS100) had Whitworth nuts & bolts. They went to SAE sizes after WWII with the XK-120 and Mk. VII.

    But I know you knew that. :D
  6. inplanotx

    inplanotx Active Member

    Jan 28, 2002
    GG, I cheated. I had remembered an article about hexagonal bullets and refound the article in the 3rd edition of Lyman's "Cast Bullet Handbook" . I would recommend this book to anyone who casts or loads lead buddits. It is the bible of lead buddits.

    Anyway, here is the article.

    Sir Joseph Whitworth
    About this time in Britain, Joseph Whitworth had one of the most outstanding reputations ever acheived by an engineer. Whitworth is still remembered for his steel, and his screw threads: he was the first Britisher to measure precisely. Further, he seems to have had a flair for personal publicity. He received a commission in 1854 to make extreme detailed and lengthy experiments with small arms entirely at Government expense, although Whitworth refused personal compensation. He built a fully enclosed range, apparently on his own property in Birmingham, where shooting up to 400 yards could be done indoors. Whitworth invented a precise machine rest which greatly decreased the importance of the human element in experimental shooting. Initially, he tested Enfield rifles, as well as many others.

    The individual Enfields were found to vary considerably, both in accuracy and in physical dimensions. Poorly made barrels shot poorly. even in the best Enfields, a fair percentage of bullets did not actually take the rifling in the way that they were supposed to, particularly when the barrels were dirty. Severe leading destroyed accuracy. The short, fat Enfield Minie bullet was not well designed for accurate flight at long range.

    Other contemporary rifle were found to have at least as many disadvantages. Apparently, however, Whitworth did not fire the Jacob's rifle. Perhaps none was available at the time. After disposing of all rifles already made, Whitworht produced a number of rifled barrels of different types and fired them in his machine rest. He was particularly fond of polygonal bores, that is bores that were regular polygons in cross section. He seems to have experimented with polygonal bores of from five to ten sides, but finally chose the hexagon.

    The hexagonal-bored rifle did not originate with Whitworth. Actually, a hexagonal bore had been proposed for use by a celebrated shot, Sergeant Major Moore of the Royal Artillery, in 1839. He is said to have made up a single rifle of this type himself. Whitworth, however, brought to the gunmaking industry both precision and a scientific approach. He carefully evaluated all his long and costly experiments. His findings improved all rifles, as well as methods of testing them.

    Hexagonal-bore barrels were made up with widely varying twists, as fast as one turn in one inch, and as slow as one turn in sixty inches. The Whitworth rifles finally produced in quantitly were Cal. 45 with a twist of one turn in twenty inches. he bore measured .451 inches across the flats and had a diameter across the rounded corners of .490 inches. The rifles were designed for hexagonal bullets swaged to exact shape under hydralic pressure. The original hexagonal bullet weighed 530 grains, which was the same as the Enfield Cal .577 Pritchett bullet then in use. Comparative shooting of the Whitworth and the Enfield was undertaken; the results were in favor of the Whitworth which had a "Mean Radial Deviation" from the exact center of the target fired at, of only 3.86 inches at 300 yards, and 23.13 inches at 1,000 yards. Enfields, even though clean and carefully loaded, averaged 12.69 and 95.01 inches at the same ranges. Mordern shooting with these same weapons verifies approximately these figures.

    It was found that cylindro-conoidal bullets slightly less than .450 inches in diameter, with hollow bases, shot well in Whitworth rifles. These weighed, according to surviving specimens, 480 grains, 500 grains and rarely 530 grains. Whitworth himself seems not to have liked cylindrical bullets, even though some of the rifles he produced were furnished with moulds to cast these. He preferred the positive fit of a hexagonal bullet. He formed his bullets of a hard alloy of lead and tin, since they required no deforming to fit the bores. These hard bullets gave greater penetration and less leading. Tallow or grease wads were loaded between the powder and the bullet to lubricate the bores, as well as cut down on the amount of fouling.

    The Whitworth rifles were found to foul badly, however, under certain circumstances. Even though the hexagonal bores had no sharp groove corners for fouling to accumulate, ramming of bullets became difficult. Whitworht designed a scraper which was mounted on the end of the ramprod. It was possible to scour the bore after each shot and then lubricate it with a new wad. This worked well, but was slow. However, long range accuracy and not rapidity of fire, was most desired.

    So there you have "The rest of the story"!

    Dang, GG, I want my JAG! :D :D :D :D
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2003
  7. Gunguy

    Gunguy Guest

    you guys will never see me give away a Jaguar, the last one I owned was back in the late 60s...It was a 1961 Jag 3.8 sedan 4 door with beautiful twin cam aluminum engine covers over a inline six cylinder that had two down draught carbs...she purred like a kitty cat.

    When you got in the car it was leather seats, with beautiful wood dash and window trim. Turn the key and you would hear from the rear below the floor panel a clickety click click...that would be the electric fuel pump priming the fuel line to the carbs...oh moan, I miss that beautiful pearl gray beauty. Sob sob...crying softly in remorse.

    Rick, thanks for the heads up on the Whitworth dude, very interesting to say the least.

  8. Rusty Hammer

    Rusty Hammer New Member

    Jul 21, 2011

    It appears to be a Leon Kraenen mould from his shop in the Netherlands, for about a 530 grain, grease-groove bullet: .451 Whitworth, 1 turn in 20 inches. I think the blocks may be stainless steel. It appears to be unused, as casting temeratures tend to heat-color the metal.

    I have a Kraenen mould, bought around 2002, for a paper-patch bullet. I had to do some persnickety modifications to get all three elements of the mould blocks to line up consistently right, and the bottom plate designed to slip into place right with those two little screws and washers underneath? Wishful thinking. But in fairness to Mr. Kraenen, hoping he's still with us in Holland, the quality of materials and EDM and machining on his mould are very nice, and allowed me to "stand on his shoulders" a bit and reach the next step.

    If anyone would like to know what modifications were needed, I could send info/ photos.

    Interesting piece, there. Thanks for sharing it.

    Rusty. Hammer
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