New 44 molds

  • Last Post 16 June 2017
  • Topic Is Solved
Eutectic posted this 14 April 2017

 I just received two new molds from Tom at Accurate. I designed 43 257H and ordered a 3 cavity iron mold, 43 249H went into a 3 cavity aluminum. They may answer several burning questions. 

The first was how good Tom’s iron molds are. The answer is they are every bit as good as his aluminum molds. Which is to say they are super. 

There is a soft spot in my heart for iron molds, they are very forgiving of exact temperature. When adding metal to the pot the temperature will drop 50 -100 F, an iron mold keeps right on casting perfect bullets. The aluminum mold goes back on the hotplate because if the alloy is off temperature, half the bullets will be rejects. 

The molds are both perfect for sizing 0.430 casting 0.4305 – 0.431 in 2% 6% alloy. 

43 257H is probably going to get the most use as it is a Keith type with a front band dimensioned for my revolvers. 

The big change is a 0.020” bevel base. The advantage of a bevel base is the reduction of incomplete base fill-out. Incomplete base fill-out seriously compromises accuracy, giving wild fliers. Base fill is easy to evaluate, but the rejects represent a waste of time. A bevel base gives better base fill and fewer rejects, but a normal size bevel base reduces the base band width which can limit maximum velocity. The question is how small can you make the bevel base and still get the casting advantage. 

Tom’s excellent machining makes it possible to make a very small bevel base.  A 0.020” bevel base is very small, so it does not detract much from the base band, in fact you have to look closely to see it. 

I have not accumulated much casting with the new mold but the casting results are apparent.  Base fill is much improved, base rejects are way down over the plain base molds. I will try to quantify this later with a side by side casting run with a plain base mold. 

Accuracy – we will see. 

43 249H 3 cavity aluminum 

I wanted a replacement for the Lyman “oil drum” 44 bullet #429352. I no longer have that mold, it was traded in a moment of weakness, and I only have a few left.  The resulting bullet looks like a LBT Ogival Wadcutter and should perform just fine. It has more engraved length than #429352, seating depth like a 250 grain Keith SWC. It is designed to fly fast and hit hard at short range. 

The aluminum mold performed as expected. It runs best hot, with alloy at least 100 F over liquidus. If I keep up the casting rate quality is excellent. I tried running the two new molds together, no go the iron mold was quite happy but the casting was too slow for the aluminum blocks.  

Steve Hurst

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Ed Harris posted this 15 April 2017

I am reassured to find another proponent of the bevel-based bullet.  

When I try to have that discussion with people they look at me as if I am a heretic...

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Duke M posted this 15 April 2017

I didn't like bevel base bullets. Why? I don't now, maybe Elmer dissed them and I read it back in my impressionable youth. Then I bought a used Magma Master Caster and a bunch of moulds. Mostly bevel base. Well heck, they shoot just fine. Even the 38-130 a sort of cowboy bullet that shoots tight groups in a Rossi faux 92 357 carbine. 



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RicinYakima posted this 15 April 2017

It is like shooting gas check designed bullets without the gas checks. It works, but just “isn't right"!

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 15 April 2017

All the Accurate molds I have are exceptional. We as casters are very fortunate. There are so many mold makers now that are producing some very great products. As such we are left with not too many excuses when it comes to accuracy. It hard to find a mold design not in production or a maker willing to make it. 

As far as bevel base bullets, I have found they don't shoot any differently from PB or GC designs. They are sure a pleasure to load on progressive loaders.

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys & Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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Mike H posted this 15 April 2017

Years ago when I shot pistols in Australia,our association magazine had a series of articles about reloading the .38 Special,later I found the came from the NRAA magazine and were written by Col,Harrison.In them the Hensley &Gibbs 50 BB mould was given a good report,I managed to buy one in six cavity mode.It was all it was supposed to be and I used it,with my S &W K38 short action until I retired from pistol shooting.Whilst I sold my pistols,I kept the 50 BB mould as it was a work of art.Over the years I have read so many times about the terrors/inconvenience of bevel based moulds,none of which I noticed when using the 50BB.You could say I like bevel based moulds.

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4570sharps posted this 16 April 2017

I don't think Elmer would approve!

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Eutectic posted this 16 April 2017

Elmer would not approve, but I doubt he had a progressive.

Almost all the cast bullets offered by retailers have a bevel base. The bevel gives fewer rejects in an automatic casting machine. They are using automatic feed sizing machines, and the bevel base feeds better. The same holds for commercial cast bullet reloads, the bullets have to work in an automatic feeder. How big a bevel base is needed for an automatic bullet feeder? I do not use one, maybe some of you have experience.

Some bullet designs have very large bevels, taking up as much as half the base band. This is OK for light target and plinking loads. My experience is a thin base band or one thinned by a large bevel is less accurate when the velocity is over ~1000 fps in revolvers. No hard data, just observation on different bullets.

How small can the bevel be and still give the easy casting advantage? At some point we approach a plain base – there is a limit. Accurate has designs with 0.030 and 0.020 bevels. Tom says 0.020 is the smallest ordered so far. I am sure he will make one smaller, but the experiment is on your dime. Want to try it? Tom will gladly make a 4 cavity mold, identical bullets except for the different length bevel base in each cavity. Cost is $200, several thousand rounds ammunition and you probably need a Ransom Rest.

Not on my priority list.



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45 2.1 posted this 16 April 2017

Quite a few years ago I got a commercial casters set up. A Magma Master Caster, about 18 Magma bevel based molds and a Star sizer. After trying those bevel based molds out, I had a friend remove the bevel and cast a bunch more. The flat based ones out shot the beveled ones to a mold. You guys do whatever you want, but I shoot to get accuracy.... not to have it easier to load.

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Eutectic posted this 18 April 2017

Here is what we are discussing: on the left is a typical commercial cast bullet. The large bevel takes up half the base band.

There is no doubt eliminating the big bevel to give a plain base like #2 will improve high velocity performance.

The #3 and #4 bullets are 0.030 and 0.020 bevel respectively. The small bevels give you better base fill, it is easier to fill two 45 degree corners than a 90 degree corner

Is there an accuracy penalty? Is it significant? That remains to be seen.

Can even smaller bevels be effective? At some point you must lose the easier base fill. Again someone must make a mold to find out.

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BigMan54 posted this 19 April 2017

I understand why so many people love the bevel base. It goes all the way back to the old H&G #68 for .45acp target loads. It was easier to “start straighter” when seating in a progressive loader. 

For some reason  it works the other way for me. I find the sharp square base of the flat base such as H&G  #69 &  #50 in .38 cal to seat straighter for me.

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun.

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Eutectic posted this 16 June 2017

The accuracy results with 43-249H are excellent. Groups at 25 yards average just over an inch. This is match grade accuracy from a hunting type wadcutter.  Accuracy was better than the Keith type semi-wadcutter, a pleasant surprise. To make this happen the bullet must be a good fit in the revolver, a custom mold made this possible.  A full report will appear in a future Fouling Shot.


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