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Ideal 308280 8 Cavity Armory Mould

© 2014 – Thomas C. Dugas

A recently acquired addition to my collection.  An Ideal marked 8 cavity 308280 Plain Base Rifle mould in excellent condition.  I received the mould last week from the seller and only managed to clean it today for the photo session.  I will update below with cast diameters and weights once I get a chance to cast with it (edit:  done).

Click on photo for a larger pic



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I've got the pot plugged in and the mould on a hotplate heating up.  I had to lower the mould tray on my big pot to get that large double nut on the end to slide into the mould guide. It was fortunate that I made the rack out of all-thread.  Took about 2 mins to lower it:



And here we go....

Seems to work ok.  A little dirty on the first cast...and a little finning, as I am running the mould very very hot (you can see the uniform frosting on some of the projectiles).

I am casting with it tonight to see its personality.  The output may get recycled back into the pot.  Looks like I have more crud to try and scrub out.

Photos - Click on the thumbnails for larger photos:






That is a long drop for the molten lead stream to the cavity!


And the output so far:


When I posted the article on Cast Boolits I this is one of the responses I received:

“You get that finning under control and you should be good to go. What do they mike?”

.304" on the nose.....309" on the base....

Yeah, it's a keeper.  Ought to work fine in my Krag.  At 309" I can tumble lube, no need to size.

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I asked Doug Elliott (aka "Floodgate on the Cast Boolits site") to date the mould and  his email to me is below.   The info on the 308333 was provided by Doug because that is the other Ideal Armory mould I have on the way in.

"Re: the History of the Armory moulds, Ideal Handbook No.2 (circa 1891) offers "Moulds to cast 2, 3 or 4 bullets made on order", Handbook No. 4 (1893) offers an earlier Armory mould for "six of the largest military and sporting bullets."  This version lacked the two "stop hooks" on the sprue-plate; apparently the square-headed stop screw took a real beating when cutting the sprues off, and in Handbook No. 10 (1898) the hooks like those on yours were added.  They still took a beating though, and the outer hook is broken off my #308333.  The number of cavities varied with caliber starting about 1896, ranging from the six for the .45 - .50 caliber range through seven for the .38s, eight in .30 and .32, and nine for the .22 - .25 caliber range, all at $10.  Marlin took over the Ideal line in 1910; their tong tools bear the script "Marlin" logo, but - apparently - the name and address on the moulds were not updated.  Marlin shut down Ideal production at the end of 1915 when they were taken over by the Rockwell interests, and we have not found any tools or moulds traceable to Phineas Talcott - to whom Rockwell transferred the Ideal name - and who sold out to Lyman in October, 1925.  As I said earlier, your present #308280 is first listed in the 1911 Handbook (though the other cherry numbers in this group show up in Handbook No. 17 (1906)); and, while #308333 is not listed at all by Marlin, it probably was issued about 1908.”

So...  “For #308280: 1906 - 1915, and #308333: 1908 - 1915 - would be my best guess (though Lyman clearly inherited quite a bit of unsold Marlin stock, and sold it off through the 1930's)."


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