Saturday, April 6, 2013

Casting Call

One of my stupid projects is to put together some ammo for my 303 Savage using 32 Smith & Wesson ammo and a Marbles cartridge adapter.  The idea being that a few rounds of 32 S&W wouldn't take up much space or weigh much  in a coat pocket and might turn out to be a fairly quiet load for smaller game like squirrel and rabbits.   Of course, it would have to shoot reasonably close to where the rifle is sighted in for its primary ammo but that's what's called an excuse to go shooting and find out.

I bought the adapter a few weeks back but had no luck locating suitable bullets so I bought a mold to make my own.  The one that I bought is a Lee two cavity mold for a 93 grain round nose, flat base bullet.   Something as small as a 32 S & W doesn't do well with much more.  I cast up a small pile of them this afternoon and am pleased with the results.

The first mold that I ever bought was a Lee.  I'm not so into shooting cast bullets that I can tell any difference between how a Lee bullet performs compared to something like a Lyman or an RCBS.  I bought a couple of Lee molds that were custom made once.  Some guy had them on his table at a gun show and he wanted something like five bucks each.  He had a 110 grain wadcutter mold for a 44 Special.  It casts a little wafer that isn't much thicker than a couple of dimes.  Funny.  Life's too short to be a bullet mold snob.

Bullet casting may be no more forgettable than riding a bicycle but I hadn't cast any in a year or more and it took me a while to get in the swing of things.  This particular mold is a two cavity one and I kept having trouble getting the closest one to the handles to fill out.  It wasn't the mold.  It was me.  I'd sometimes stop pouring before I had the puddle on top of the sprue cutter so they wouldn't fill out right.   Eventually I got my act together and things turned out fine.

It may be old news by now but Lee has changed the design of their molds.   Their blocks always used to have a sort of tongue and groove design on each end and a couple of steel dowel pins at the top.  Those made sure the blocks closed in alignment.  These new ones had none of that.  These had two tapered steel pins on one block and two steel-bushed holes for the pins on the other. 

That's the new one on the left.  The 44 mold on the right is the old style.  They worked fine.  It was just odd to see such a change in the design after all these years.

Tomorrow I shall load up some 32 S&W and some 32 S&W Long.  I doubt I've done that in twenty years.

Ruth continues her convalescence and rehab.  She got new mufflers and a new cover for the hole in the floor over the transmission.  Also new plug wires and a host of little odds and ends to make driving easier.   I have to go to  Hog Valley  next week and that's why I have Ruth in the first place so that may be her first voyage outside the neighborhood.

To give you an idea of what Hog Valley is like, I will tell you that the place where Marjorie Kinan Rawlings set South Moon Under  is on the way to Hog Valley.  You pass that house and go about 7 or 8 miles farther into the forest to get to Hog Valley.  Me an Ruth fit in purty good up thar.

I may still have to put new ball joints in her but she drives so much nicer now its hard to believe its the same Jeep.

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