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Old 05-16-2013, 10:32 PM
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Unhappy Lyman .40 cal bullet mold

Been molding lead (wheelweights) bullets and reloading since '69. Have used Hensley and Gibbs .38 148 gr.(mid-range for Smith M-52) and H&G .45 ACP 200 gr, RCBS for .44 calibers. Have run about 110k rounds with no bullet wrinkle problem, using Saeco, Lyman M-61 and Lyman Mag20 furnaces. I wore out the Saeco and now have 2nd Lyman 61. Just got a Lyman 4-cavity mold #358477 150 gr that throws perfectly uniform bullets after running 2 cycles back into the pot.
Now, here's my problem: Just got a Lyman 4 cavity mold #401638, 175 gr for .40 S&W caliber. Have tried for five consecutive days in a row to get the mold to throw "acceptable" bullets. Tried this with both Lyman furnaces, have varied the temperatures from minimum up to maximum acceptable degrees. No luck...all bullets come out with horrible wrinkles on both edges and the face. Have varied time between bullet throws, different flux approaches, etc, trying everything I have learned over the past 44 years. I DO KNOW how to mold bullets from wheel weights, resulting in match cartidges for my match guns and fellow competitor shooters who reload only my cast bullets. Am about to return this Lyman mold to the store.But, first, has anyone ever encountered such a problem and if so, what resulted?
I normally am not a blogger, or whatever, but then I have never run into any reloading problem I could not solve on my own. But, fellows, this boy needs help. And, thanks a ton.
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:13 PM
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I would CLEAN the mold thoroughly with some carb cleaner, Simple Green, some sort of degreaser. Then preheat the mold by letting it sit on your furnace as lead heats up, or use a small hot plate.

Wrinkles are usually the result of grease/oil in the mold. Or too cold a mold. Or a combination of too cold a mold and alloy not hot enough.

My two cents. Good Luck.

FN in MT
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Old 05-17-2013, 12:41 AM
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That kind of long-term wrinkles are usually the result of grease in the mould. Boil it for five minutes in a strong solution of dish detergent, rinse wih equally hot water and allow to dry. Then apply mold release if you use it. You should have no futher problems.
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Old 05-17-2013, 06:10 PM
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I think the previous two posters nailed it. I would send it back if it was out of round but suspect that there is preservative hidden in the cavities. Failing that, run it a lot hotter than you think you should for 2-300 pours.
Front sight and squeeze
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Old 05-18-2013, 12:07 AM
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I usually keep some cans of carb cleaner around as I normally lightly oil my molds with a q-tip. For a mold I haven't used in awhile gets the spray carb cleaner treatment. Some fellow casters I know will take a new mold and put it in a small sauce pan and leave it there until the water comes to a boil then take it out and wipe it dry. Then start casting. the wrinkles are a sign that the lube used in the manufacture of the mold is actually in the pores of the metal. Hope this helps. Frank
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