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Wrinkled bullets

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by zxcvbob, Sep 14, 2008.

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  1. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    I cast some 120 grain .356 bullets a few weeks ago with a new mold, and they are slightly wrinkled. I scrubbed the mold again, even though I had previously degreased it, and I also stirred a scrap of tin (about 2 ounces, I don't know the alloy but it rang like a bell when struck with a hammer) into the lead pot. I cast about 500 bullets last night and they are perfect. Sharp edges and no wrinkles. By changing 2 variables at once, I'll never know which one actually fixed the problem. :uhoh:

    Anyway, are the previously-cast wrinkled bullets good enough for plinking and for load development? I already threw back all of them that did not have perfectly filled-out bases, I think these are just cosmetic defects. I know I can just toss them back in the melter, but I'm curious. Will probably resize them and use 'em in 9mm. It's a little over 100 bullets that I'm talking about.

    The good bullets from last night are going to be for target shooting in a .38 Special if they are accurate (the mold says .356, but they actually drop at .358") and I haven't worked up a load yet.
     
  2. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    cast bullets

    Plinking would be OK if the bullet diameter is large enough for you barrels grove diameter. I would NOT use them for load development . The bullets that look perfect to the eye can have air pocket also. The only way to make match grade bullets for load development is to weight each bullet. Seperate in rows by .1gr difference to get a baseline. The most bullets that fall into 2.0gr variance(45acp) are you best bullets. The light ones may have an air bubble. The heavy ones have more lead in them, possibley due to not fluxing enough, or the bullet alloy was on the cold side going into the mould. Remember, the hotter the alloy is going into the mould the more it will shrink/lose diameter and be lighter. After you find the load your happy with and your load development is completed, just give the bullets a visual inspection and leave it at that.
     
  3. GP100man

    GP100man Member

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    sounds as if the temp was down a little.
    even oil in the mold will burn off eventually.
    my most consistent boolits were cast after purchasing a thermometer!!!

    GP100man
     
  4. Floppy_D

    Floppy_D Member In Memoriam

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    My guess is cold molds... but tin is a great additive for mold fillout. I keep rolls of 95/5 solder on hand, and when I get bad mold fillout, I add a foot or two of it. You can tell the difference right away. Were your molds good and hot?
     
  5. Win75

    Win75 Member

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    +1
    Anytime I had wrinkled bullets, it was because the lead temp was not high enough yet. Waited a while and everything was OK.
     
  6. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    I've rarely found that bullets with slight wrinkles or other surface defects are noticeably less accurate from a handgun, provided the bases and driving bands are in good shape. In your shoes I'd be happy to plink them away.
     
  7. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    I don't know if everything was hot enough the first time (I have a thermometer but don't remember using it.)

    This is my first mold with such a low grain weight. Mostly I cast 158's, 230's, and 255's.

    Last night I started casting at 750°, and the mold was smoking hot from the get-go. The bullets are frosted just a little, but I like them that way.

    That may have been the whole problem; too cold. Thanks guys.
     
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Yep. Mold not hot enough yet. Maybe the lead needed a little more temp as well.
     
  9. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Member

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    I usually dip the corner of the mold into the mix for a bit to bring it to temp before casting, to avoid the wrinkles.

    NCsmitty
     
  10. lordgroom

    lordgroom Member

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    I recently had a new mold that still had oil in it even after degreasing. I followed the advice of someone on The Cast Bullet Association, might have been Ed Harris, and he suggested boiling the mold in a 50/50 mix of TSP and water for 10 minutes, draining the water and boiling it for another 10 minutes in plain water. It worked like a charm. TSP can be had at you local home supply center in the painting aisle.
     
  11. GP100man

    GP100man Member

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    mean green will take the oil off in a jiffy!!!!

    GP100man
     
  12. scrat

    scrat Member

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    +2 molds too cold and lead too cold
     
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