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Ok guys, I saw a hand forged 38 cal round ball bullet mold on the net.. I am curious what you guys think, would this be difficult to make. I intend to go out in a few days and try it out.

 

my thoughts are start with making the handles and leaving the jaws extra thick. and then heat the jaws and form them together around either a ball bearing or forging ball on the end of a thin rod for a positive mold.

 

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The smiths at Colonial Williamsburg have forged these many times. Your plan sounds pretty close. I think you should forge both half's then while the half's are still apart dimple the center of each side a little less than half the depth of the ball, and forge the chanel the lead is poured through. Then assemble the two half's, heat and place the mold back in and forge them together to finish the mold.

 

A side note. Do not make the die for the molds full size. Make it slightly undersized. Then you should go back and ream the hole out with a cutting bit.

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Sounds like Mr. Martin has the right of it, or at least the most reasonable method I've seen so far. About how I'd do it without knowing the specifics.

 

A 3/8" bearing would be 0.375", a little undersize sounds better than a bit oversize in a fire arm, eh?

 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Sounds like Mr. Martin has the right of it, or at least the most reasonable method I've seen so far. About how I'd do it without knowing the specifics.

 

A 3/8" bearing would be 0.375", a little undersize sounds better than a bit oversize in a fire arm, eh?

 

Frosty The Lucky.

 

 

Yes, ... you really DO need more information about the correct size ball, ... for any black powdfer firearm.

 

A 38 caliber muzzle loading RIFLE, might actually have a .380 bore, ... but it's very likely that it is actually bored at .357.

 

( A patched ball, fired from a muzzle loading rifle, will normally be about .010 undersize. )

 

So, in this case, the "correct" ball, might be as small as .345 to .350 in diameter, ... or perhaps as large as .370

 

While it's true that a slightly oversize, soft lead ball can be easily forced into a muzzle loader, the deformation that occurs, has a negative influence on the rifle's accuracy.

 

 

A muzzle loading PISTOL might be rifled, or smoothbore, ... and would also require a patched ball, that was about .010 smaller than the actual bore size.

 

( Smoothbore pistols, ... particularly "dueling pistols", were ( for a variety of reasons )  often loaded with an unpatched ball. )

 

 

And finally, ... the cylinder of a "Cap & Ball" Revolver is normally loaded with a slightly oversize, unpatched ball.

 

( As an example, ... the very common .36 caliber Cap & Ball revolvers, of the Civil War Era, were commonly loaded with . 375 diameter unpatched balls. )

 

 

The point of all the above verbage, is to impress the importance of knowing the required ball size, before beginning the process.

 

 

Were it me, I'd forge and assemble the "blanks", ... using a 5/16" ball bearing, ... and then finish the cavities by other means.

 

 

 

 

.

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i want to make the mold for buckshot for 12ga reloading in the woods. i understand there are easier ways to do it but this is the method of shot production i want to try. thanks i'll let you guys know how its turns out. unless its a total flop...lol

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ok, so first attempt, i got lazy and used my welder. i took an old tool and reworked it to make a set of handles. and arc welded it onto a large square set of blanks. then i took a piece of 3/8 round stoke and with a combination of my grinder and the ol hand hammer i made a small positive ball with sprue, quenched it it harden it as much as possible. next I heated the mold blank to red hot and hammered both halves around the ball and sprue. 

 

 

I call this my first attempt, because the handles sucked, the ball and sprue sucked and the mold section leaked, i made a great flat plate of lead with a ball and sprue molded into it...in otherwords, this is going to the scrap pile for now and I will start over. this time i think i need to source a few actual ball bearings, and i can always drill the prue

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Hi Tim,  You need to make a mold cherry.  I haven't made one but I build blackpowder rifles and know several guys that have. These are some original ones posted on a gun builder site.  If you drop by the attached website there's a little more information.  Hope that helps some. 

Cheers,

Ken

 

 

http://americanlongrifles.org/forum/index.php?topic=13995.15

 

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Your idea of making the blocks with the divot so the starting point is centered, but you do have to make the cherry first - to the correct ball size that fits the rifle.  It is made from hardenable steel, annealed.  then the cherry has to be filed (as shown in the picture above) to be able to cut the soft iron or aluminum mold blocks.  It is not an easy task, and if your cherry is off, your ball will wobble.  Good luck.

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Yeah, you got to know what size barrel you got first before you can make a ball for you barrel but for shotgun pellets just about any size that is .30 will do for 00 buckshot. You can then put the buckshot in a heavy paper patch that will fit down your shotgun barrel. I don't know if you are using a percussion or flint but you can make up the cartridges before hand. Before the age of making swaged shot they used to use drop towers where molten lead was poured through iron plates to form droplets of lead and it would form into spheres as it cooled and dropped and would land in water at the bottom. It was a pretty good system but long discontinued now. The gauge system is supposed to be based on the number of round balls that can be made from a pound of lead, i.e., 12 gauge= 12 balls, 16 ga,= 16 balls and so forth, the only gauge that is not that way is the 410, it is .410 for the barrel diameter. I think the smallest gauge is 32, that a lot of balls from a pound lead. There are some that are smaller but I think for the most part are totally obsolete now, I have seen .22 smooth bore shotguns from after WWI made for the Boy Scouts to use inside for trap shooting.

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Yeah, you got to know what size barrel you got first before you can make a ball for you barrel but for shotgun pellets just about any size that is .30 will do for 00 buckshot. You can then put the buckshot in a heavy paper patch that will fit down your shotgun barrel. I don't know if you are using a percussion or flint but you can make up the cartridges before hand. Before the age of making swaged shot they used to use drop towers where molten lead was poured through iron plates to form droplets of lead and it would form into spheres as it cooled and dropped and would land in water at the bottom. It was a pretty good system but long discontinued now. The gauge system is supposed to be based on the number of round balls that can be made from a pound of lead, i.e., 12 gauge= 12 balls, 16 ga,= 16 balls and so forth, the only gauge that is not that way is the 410, it is .410 for the barrel diameter. I think the smallest gauge is 32, that a lot of balls from a pound lead. There are some that are smaller but I think for the most part are totally obsolete now, I have seen .22 smooth bore shotguns from after WWI made for the Boy Scouts to use inside for trap shooting.

the .410 is not a guage, it is a caliber, same a .45 caliber pistol.

 

 

thanks for the ideas and info, when i get a chance to try it again i will let you guys know how it goes...

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I think that's what I was trying to say when I put in the ".410" which is not a gauge but a diameter. I was out hunting as a teenager and this other idiot put his .410 barrel down into the stream to shoot a turtle, his barrel didn't make it but the turtle did. The end of the barrel was somewhat larger than .410 after that! Have fun making your shot mould.

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