Arsenal Mold Arrived!

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by kcofohio, May 29, 2021.

  1. kcofohio
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    kcofohio Contributing Member

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    I ordered an Arsenal Mold back in March. The site first said 5-6 waiting weeks. But when I finished my order, it said 6-8 weeks to process. It arrived one day short of 9 weeks. I'm not complaining, as I knew it could take a while. But I was a bit nervous because I had never dealt with Arsenal before. But they were true to their word. :)

    Here's the beauty;
    20210529_123531.jpg
    20210529_123444.jpg

    Can't wait to melt some lead to pour in it. :)
     
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  2. lightman

    lightman Member

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    I don't own a Arsenal mold but they are well thought of over on the Cast Boolits site. Brass sure does make a good looking mold. And I love that bullet! (Boolit)
     
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  3. kcofohio
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    kcofohio Contributing Member

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    It's like a new toy. Got a couple different hardness leads I want to see how they do. Plus try between lube and powder coat.
     
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  4. forrest r

    forrest r Member

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    NICE!!!!
     
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  5. forrest r

    forrest r Member

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    I like the square lube groove version of this bullet like the 1 you ordered. You get better results with midrange loads compared to the round lube groove design.

    Used to have a old lyman 4-cavity mold, 358429 that I used for years and finely sold it off. I still used a cramer version of this bullet, it a 158gr hp. It's the same bullet as the lyman 358439.
    WfMEBlK.jpg

    The lyman 358439 (round grease groove/red) is in the middle of the top row. Next to it(4th from left) is the cramer #26. I sold the 358439 mold awhile back.
    0A0Ga7O.jpg

    Another version of that same bullet, a square lubed grooved lyman 358431 hollow based swc. This mold is nib/never been used.
    Adjeuw0.jpg

    You get that bullet of yours up past 1200fps and you'll be putting the smack on anything it gets a hold of. They are actully very impressive in the snubnosed revolvers also. Just a good solid bullet design the performs at an extremely high level.
     
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  6. kerreckt

    kerreckt Member

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    I got mine a couple of weeks ago. Already loaded about 500 rounds. I couldn't be more satisfied with every aspect of this mould. Arsenal H&G 68 210gr..JPG Arsenal H&G 68.JPG It is an H&G 68 clone
     
  7. kcofohio
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    kcofohio Contributing Member

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    Well I have a bit of a set back. I thought the handles from the Lee 2 cavity mold would come off easily. Not so.
    I went on Brownells site and ordered a set of handles.
     
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  8. derek45

    derek45 Member

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    I really like mine

    z1oEwmp.jpg
     
  9. forrest r

    forrest r Member

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    You need the 6-cavity mold handles:cool:
     
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  10. kcofohio
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    kcofohio Contributing Member

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    Good to know. I ordered one, hoping it would be right. I'll order a couple more as I add molds.
     
  11. Hooda Thunkit

    Hooda Thunkit Member

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    When I started buying moulds, I decided that I wanted a set of handles for each mould. That way, I wouldn't have to keep swapping them back and forth.

    When my mould accumulation passed 2 dozen, I realized that storage was becoming a problem.

    I have over 3 dozen moulds now, a pittance compared to some, but I'm happy with just a dozen or so handles of various makes. I can use only so many at a time.
     
  12. kcofohio
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    kcofohio Contributing Member

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    I received the Lee handles and a Lyman ladle yesterday. As others have said, the handles fit perfectly.
    I didn't have a lot of time last night, but decided to melt the WW mix and pour some with the mold. Brass is definitely different than aluminum. I need to play with the heat. Didn't get any wrinkle free bullets out of the 50 or so I dropped. Plus now I want to get a plate warmer to preheat the mold.

    I got 3 bullets that where nearly wrinkle free. Once I get the heat, these look great. It looks like the bullets will turn out to be 172 gr. and .359".
     
  13. forrest r

    forrest r Member

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    Looking forward to eye candy when you get your temps dialed in!!!

    FWIW:
    I use a cheap black & decker single burner hot plate to preheat my molds. The setting go up to 6 and I set the burner @ #5 for steel and brass molds and #4 for aluminum molds. I leave them on there until a drop of water dances on the sprue plate. I run my lead pot @ 725* for brass and steel hp/hb molds, 700* for standard brass and steel molds & aluminum molds. When I do my 1st pour I have to wait till the count of +/- 10 for the puddle on the sprue to solidify. Then I inspect the 1st pour looking for clean smooth surfaces, no finning & crisp/sharp/full edges.

    After that I slowly keep pouring/making bullets until the mold cools and I settle into a casting cadence I can do along with what the mold/alloy can do to make quality bullets. Every mold is different & I always use this as a starting point. From there I might have to drop the heat in the pot 10* (typical for a 4/6 cavity mold that casts 240gr+ bullets). Or I might have to raise the temp 10* (typical of small bullets +/- 125gr in 6 cavity molds) due to the large space between cavities acting like heat sinks.

    When starting with a mold that's too cold you have to work you way thru all the heat cycles to get a quality bullet that is consistent between all the cavities.
    When starting with a mold that's too hot all the different heat cycles are already done. Your just zeroing in a cadence you can use to cast quality bullets pour after pour.

    I really like your choice of bullet style/design with that custom mold you ordered.
     
  14. kcofohio
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    kcofohio Contributing Member

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    I should have a hot plate here by tomorrow. I'll tune in the temperatures this weekend. I'll post the results.

    I usually use 158 gr. SWCs. But wanted to try a heavier weight. I seen the design on Arsenal's page, and I knew I had to try this one. I plan on starting with 2400.
     
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  15. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    I haven't tried their 358429, but every Arsenal mold I have is great quality.
     
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  16. derek45

    derek45 Member

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    For the 357 KEITH, I went with NOE
    I called and emailed ARSENAL more than once and never heard back.

    9Ybxl8R.jpg

    NyYQStU.jpg

    2Vzhuqx.jpg

    blue and CLEAR powder coated

    DXr10hP.jpg

    this is a long bullet, but they fit in my GP100 and 686

    CWkQMc9.jpg
     
  17. forrest r

    forrest r Member

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    kcofohio & derek45, you both chose excellent molds to cast with/use. Both molds use the traditional/original keith equal drive bands making a long bullet. There has been a lot of variations of this bullet over the decades. I'm using 1 such variation, namely that cramer #26 that posted pictures of above in post #5. It's the 4th bullet from the left in the top row.

    I kept that cramer #26 version of the keith bullet because if you look at it you can see that the top 2 drive bands are smaller then the bottom drive band/bullet base. This makes the oal of the bullet shorter. When keith designed his bullet it was for the 38/44 and when the 357mag came out you had to crimp that bullet over the front drive band to use it in the shorter cylindered s&w n-frame revolvers.

    Cramer designed the #26 so that a traditional crimp can be used (in the crimp groove) for the n-frame/357mags of the day. They did this by shortening the 2 front drive bands making the bullet .680" long compared to the keith design of .740"

    I run 586's/686's so the bullet's length doesn't matter. Both of you are running long cylindered revolvers and rifles which makes those bullet molds of yours worth their weight in gold.

    Not mine, I got this from another website. A picture of the different designs keith did for his swc bullets.
    VC31G9M.jpg
    CJtAWCo.jpg

    That cramer mold mimics the rare keith "short" hp bullet. The big difference between the two:
    The keith still has full value drive bands and a short nose/short hp (280" hp nose).
    The cramer uses shorter front drive bands to make a full value hp (.340" hp nose)

    Anyway it's good to have and use such an excellent bullet design (My hat's off to both of you). As you get to know the ins & outs of the bullet thru use. You end up with heck of a base of knowledge to draw from. You'll look at different designs/versions of that bullet in a different way.
     
  18. derek45

    derek45 Member

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    Yes Sir

    Mr. Keith knew his stuff, through experience, more shooting than sitting behind his typewriter

    this book is a "must read" for any revolver enthusiast

    eQMzlaR.jpg
     
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  19. forrest r

    forrest r Member

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    So do you, you've put enough lead down range to keep a bait shop in lead/sinkers for years.
     
  20. Jimster

    Jimster Member

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    There’s just something special about casting your own boolits. I always get that warm fuzzy feeling when I look down and see a pile hand cast projectiles laying on my old drop towel. It’s just the American thing to do. Makes me feel like a patriot.
     
  21. kcofohio
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    kcofohio Contributing Member

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    I finally found time to do some casting. I still need to get the temps proper for preheat. I got 70 bullets that are excellent, about 30 that are decent. And about 30 that didn't fill out. 20210719_202104.jpg
    I need to figure out why I have to beat the devil out of the handles to get the bullets to drop. Sometimes it seems if I open the mold right after cutting the sprue, they drop easier. But I always have to whack the handle.
     
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  22. lightman

    lightman Member

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    I'm like you, I didn't want to be swapping handles all of the time so I buy a pair for each mold. They do require more storage space. I finally bought s large dry box to store mine in. I don't remember the brand, either MTM or Plano. It keeps them all in one place and its fits comfortably under my loading bench.
     
  23. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    The main issue is the square grooves. Keith intentionally designed them that way so that they would hold onto the lube, and complained that manufacturers were always changing the design for easier casting. I make sure to give each cavity a thorough smoking, and I find that casting at pretty high temperature - I do most of my casting at 800-850 F these days - helps as well, but I've never used a true Keith mold that didn't need a pretty good tap to release the bullet most of the time. (I like to whack the hinge, which seems to be most effective and least damaging.)
     
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  24. whughett

    whughett Member

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    I threw several different types and calibers of bullets yesterday. Started with a Lee 6 cavity and then three different 2 cavity. If one has ever used a 4 or 6 cavity
    Mold the singles or doubles are snail pace slow.
    At the end of the day I went looking for six cavity to replace the twos. Not much available.
     
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  25. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    I've generally gone to a pair of four pots, used in tandem during a casting session, to maximize my output. Get one going, then when it stabilizes, get the other one going. It's a bit fiddly for the first few minutes, but then results in no downtime during casting, and is about as fast as a ten pot "gang mold" but without the wrist fatigue!
     
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