FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
on Hensley & Gibbs Bullet Moulds
Q = Question
A = Answer
Q. How can I buy your moulds?
A. I do not have moulds for sale. The website is a resource for collectors of Hensley & Gibbs Bullet moulds. I do not own all of the moulds pictured. I merely display them on my website. I do buy original unaltered Hensley & Gibbs moulds if offered at a mutually agreeable price. You can reach me at: email@example.com (please remove the numbers from the email address, this is an anti-spam measure)
Q. How many moulds do you own?
A. More than 1, less than a thousand. Most of which are Hensley & Gibbs design. More and more of the photos on the reference page are from moulds I now own.
Q. Where can I buy HENSLEY & GIBBS moulds?
A. Many of the online auction sites handle HENSLEY & GIBBS moulds. The reloading section of Ebay is a good place to start looking. From time to time Hensley & Gibbs Moulds also appear on Gun Broker or Gun Auction.com (formerly “Auction Arms”).
Q. Is Hensley & Gibbs still in business? I have their address but I have not received a response to my mailings.
A. Hensley & Gibbs closed their doors in 1999. They sold off their inventory and excess tooling. The tooling was sold to Ballisti-Cast which offers many of the original HENSLEY & GIBBS designs. Ballisti-cast is NOT Hensley & Gibbs. Wayne Gibbs sold the tooling to Ballisti-cast, but the skill was in the toolmaker and not the tools.
Q. Do you have contact information for Hensley & Gibbs and can you give it to me?
A. The answer is yes, I am obviously in contact with the Gibbs family. However, I do not give out their contact information. Wayne Gibbs is retired, and enjoying a well earned rest from the bullet making business. I was able to contact him through a network of enthusiasts, but it took over a year of diligent work and patience. Out of respect for Wayne’s retirement, I do not give out, or post, his contact information.
Q. Where can I find more information on bullet casting?
A. There are a number of web based resources for bullet casting. A good place to start is: CAST BOOLITS
Q. Where can I find Ballisti-Cast, Inc?
A. Click Here for their webpage.
Q. How can I convert the Hensley & Gibbs mold numbering system to the Ballisti-Cast numbering system?
A. Simple. Just add 600 to any HENSLEY & GIBBS mold number. Example:
Hensley & Gibbs Design #503 = Ballisti-Cast #1103 (503 + 600 = 1103).
Q. So…I can order any HENSLEY & GIBBS mold by adding 600 to the HENSLEY & GIBBS mold number and Ballisti-Cast can make it for me?
A. Yep. That’s what I hear. But the mold will be a Ballisti-Cast Mold, and not a Hensley & Gibbs mold.
Q. Which moulds are the “Keith” style bullets?
A. The following moulds are Elmer Keith designs: 43, 258, 501, and 503. If you see a mold that you know to be a Keith design please email me with the mold number.
Q. Who is Elmer Keith?
Q. Why are Hensley & Gibbs Moulds so special?
A. Hensley & Gibbs moulds receive their well deserved reputation due to the tolerances held in manufacture. Multiple cavity moulds need to have identical cavities (<.001” Variation in hole size) to be able to create bullets that will weigh the same, and therefore, shoot smaller groups as a general rule. Variations in cavity size will cause weight and size fluctuations. HENSLEY & GIBBS 1, 2, 4, 6, 8 & 10 cavity moulds will hold bullet weight variation to less than one grain. This was a rarity in the bullet making world making their moulds highly sought after. This was a reflection of the skill of the mold makers. This takes skill that is rapidly disappearing from the American Manufacturing sector.
Q. How do you know so much about Hensley & Gibbs?
A. I have been collecting information since 1990 on HENSLEY & GIBBS. I have corresponded with Wayne Gibbs and verified the information posted.
Q. Are you related to Wayne Gibbs?
A. No. Just a fan.
Q. C’mon, sell me one of your moulds.
A. No. Maybe in 60 years when I am finished with them…:-)
Q. Is your list a definitive list of all HENSLEY & GIBBS moulds?
A. I don’t know. I have tried to make it as complete as possible. This was not a solo effort. I had help from Wayne Gibbs (The “Gibbs” in Hensley & Gibbs) and a number of dedicated enthusiasts that helped me sort out the mould numbering system. There are still gaps that I am trying to close. The Master list has been published. Click here for the online searchable version of the list. Click HERE for the MS Word Doc version. Both files are on the main page HERE.
Q. Where can I obtain spare parts for my moulds such as handles, bolts, etc…?
A. I make my own handles. It isn’t that complicated. Any wood-smith beyond a novice can quickly make a set of wood handles from wood stock. My replacement handles have custom features, like a flat top left handle so my mallet won’t crack them when I whack the sprue plate. Mine are also ash, and a wee bit longer than originals. Replacement bolts and nuts can be had from any large industrial bolt and nut supplier. The bolts and nuts were common industrial hardware, but your local hardware won’t stock them. You will have to go a large industrial supplier like McMaster-Carr. If all else fails, any really good machinist can make a replacement part, you just need to find a really good machinist. January 2014 Update – I will be publishing a list of the replacement parts and their description in the next few months. The parts list is still in development.
Q. I have a Hensley & Gibbs mold, but it’s rusty and/or needs to be cleaned. What is the best way to clean the mold?
A. There are a number of ways to clean any bullet mold to restore its functionality. Here is an article I wrote to help people learn how to clean bullet moulds properly. Bullet moulds are made out of very different metals, from aluminum to very hard steels. However, there are more ways to ruin a bullet mold than there are to clean it. One of the most effective ways to ruin any bullet mold is to clean it with a metal wire wheel brush. Be it on a grinding wheel, drill, or by hand. Steel against steel, or in some cases, bronze brushes as commonly used to clean the barrel of a firearm will permanently ruin the cavity of a bullet mold. Permanently means permanent in this case despite anyone’s talents or dreams to the contrary. I have also been shown moulds ruined by “Scotch Brite” or other types of scouring pads, which sometimes contains compounds like silicon carbide, many times harder than the metal of the bullet mold. So, be careful.
I have lost count the number of times I have been offered Hensley & Gibbs bullet moulds that some enterprising individual decided to clean on a wire wheel grinder. If you don’t know how to clean a mold, the best advice I can offer is to have the mfg try and rehabilitate the mold for a nominal charge. In the case of defunct manufacturers like Hensley & Gibbs, you really need to seek the counsel of an expert before you attempt to clean it, not after.