Volume Casting with the Hensley & Gibbs 10 Cavity #50 Plain Base (PB)
© 2014 – Thomas C. Dugas
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Time: 47 minutes.
No. of Sprues: 72
No. of reject bullets: 2
Net Casting Amount: 72 x 10 - 2 = 718
The mould is a ten cavity plain base (PB) Hensley & Gibbs #50 for .38 Special Wadcutter. It's a Murphy, Oregon (OR) mould. This is the mould I used that cast the bullets that prompted me to write the article: “75,000 Wadcutters in a Model 27.”
I cast with my big bottom pour pot; the temperature setting on the old analog temperature controller is set to 675F, with a drift range of plus or minus 25F.
I preheated the mould on an electric hotplate (Wal-Mart) set on high for about 20 minutes. After about 10-15 casts, I cool the sprue plate on a dripping wet towel and briefly clasp the wet towel between the mould blocks to drop the temperature when I start to get smearing on the bases. The steam this action generates also cleans the mould very efficiently.
Other than those precautions, I just press the foot pedal and cast until I get tired. Which does not take long. I rarely cast more than an hour because I just get worn out from swinging that 10 cavity block back and forth to the towel.
No water quenching, as the alloy is almost pure lead with five 1lb. spools of pure tin solder tossed in for fill out. These are destined to be loaded in .38 Special Wadcutter cases with 3.5 grains of Bullseye and a light crimp.
700 wadcutters is enough to feed my .38 Wadcutter needs for about two weeks, then I have cast again.
The projectiles are loaded as cast, tumble lubed with Lee Liquid Alox and set on a cookie sheet to dry for about three days before loading.