Antique 32WCF mould

  • Last Post 16 March 2020
tony1960 posted this 11 March 2020

Just had the mailman deliver a purchase on evilbay, a nice looking single cav mould for my 32/20.

The right price and I couldn't say no. Markings show it is a Winchester mould, so I would perhaps think it was shipped with a gun (brains trust?).

Now I have to wait for the weekend so I can get out to the shed and drop some lead in the hole. 

Any thoughts on mixture that they might have used? I have pure lead and 1:20 (ish) so may give both a go.


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barra posted this 11 March 2020

If it’s any help I have a non vented Ideal 308241 mould.

It likes to be run hot. 

They were made when casting Bullets around a campfire was common.

run the lead and mould hot if it plays up.

 Mine  casts beautifully bullets when you can feel the heat of the tang coming through the bullet mold handles.

I assume 20-30:1 lead mix.

Just keep pouring lead out of the ladle over it.

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kootne posted this 11 March 2020

I've cast with a lot of old molds like that one and also Ideal and Ideal tong tool molds. Barra gave you a good tip. I would also say almost without fail they need a really good cleaning before use. Old fossilized grease or oil can be frustrating to remove. Using a pencil lead as a scraper is the best trick I have found. It doesn't harm the mold and it cleans all the junk out easier than anything else. I also use a Q-tip and clear PCV pipe primer to try to lift crud out of the pores. In the end you may just have cast enough to burn the remnants of crud out. 

These old moulds will be a crap shoot regarding quality. Most will be under .002 off on roundness, altho I have a WRA mould in 32 extra long that is over .004 out.

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ALYMAN#1 posted this 11 March 2020

I have one almost the same as pictured - have tried casting with WW and range scrap running almost 750 to 775 degrees F with PID control.  Get nice bullets but can't seem to get rid of wrinkles, mostly in the nose area.  bullets weigh about 115 gr and looks a lot like 311008. Have cleaned with Bon Ami and brake cleaner at various times,  There are no vent lines on mine, trying to run with sprue plate fairly loose.  Had to improvise method to control sprue plate using brass 1/8" stock under end of screw to try to keep the screw tight - doesn't stay permanent but can watch it and tighten as I go.  Don't want to drill hole for set screw or try to put vent lines on it - don't know what it's worth to a collector, but I'm going to keep it.


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tony1960 posted this 12 March 2020

Thanks guys, some good tips for me to take on board. Just from looking at the mould it's going to be interesting. To me it doesn't realy matter what the projectile comes out like, it's more of the fact that I have something that goes with the gun and a bonus if it hits the side of something at a distance.

You are right Barra regarding sitting around the campfire casting, it certainly wasn't for high volume casting.


I gave it a bit of a brush with a bronze brush last night, doesn't look too bad but the proof of the pudding is in the casting.



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pisco posted this 12 March 2020

i have 4 of them moulds they all through different diameters

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barra posted this 13 March 2020



I keep my moulds in Ed’s red.

 I clean them before using but when I do get wrinkles when up to temp.

 I fill the cavity with methylated spirits and it sizzles and spits for a bit.

 I then tip out the rest.

Seams to get the oil/whatever out well.

Works after lubing the spruce screw and scraping lube into a cavity as well.

I once cast with a new to me not in good shape mold and kept casting bullets with it and tinning it with bees wax. 

Cleaned out the inside cavities like new.

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beltfed posted this 14 March 2020


I start out with a new mold by soaking it in mineral spirits, then,

rinse with Acetone, then Soak in Acetone for a couple hours

followed by wiping all possible acetone especially from the cavity and the bottom and

top of sprue plate.

Once I have the mold casting well. I NEVER apply any preservative on it. That

is just a pain in the butt to have to start all over again to remove.

I have stored the clean, DRY molds/mold blocks in GI Ammo Cans with GOOD rubber seal

along with VPI paper(Vapor Phase Inhibitor) for the last 60plus years.

So then, NO Problem with Rust, AND no problem with just grabbing a mold from the Can

and immediately casting with it.


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tony1960 posted this 14 March 2020

Well I scrubbed the mould with Propanol and gave the hinge a slight oil as it was tight to open. The mould blocks don't quite close together as I can see light through the cavity, I was hoping this would get better as the mould heats up. Just put this down to very old techniques, these days our block free float and find there own place in life, with a fixed block this becomes difficult.

Duly put the blocks on top of the pot whilst it heated up and gathered the essentials.

The first couple of drops were as expected, rubbish, but having a good look at them prior to putting them back in the pot found slight finning due to the block not closing, bases looked OK even with the sprue not as tight as I would like but certainly wasn't rounded.

Throwing caution to the wind I cast about 50 and then turned everything off, this session was about does it work, if it was 1890 and I was hunting buffalo could I cast over the campfire and get a half decent projectile.

The usual amount of rejects but I wasn't too concerned with the odd wrinkle. I ended up with 30 odd usable pills, weights between 113.8 and 114.2, slight out of roundness .314 to .3165 but as I was going to put though a .314 sizer anyway. Tumble lubed what was left and now will wait until I can get to the range safely. With the COVID19 threat around and the fact I may be locked up in work for a couple of weeks just in case it may be some time before i can test these for minute of buffalo. I even passed up on a local gunshow as there was too much of a threat.

A couple of photos to keep the spirit alive. What was interesting is that the nose shape has changed slightly over the years, modern projectiles even though they are spruced as "original" design have a larger nose, these have a slightly sharper taper. 



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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 15 March 2020

... not to worry too much about being persnickety on bullet " defects " ...  

for 120 years we have been trying to pry out the secrets of success cast bullets ...

it doesn't seem to be perfect bullets ... at least going into the chamber ... 

strangely enough, imperfect bullets going in seem to get better ...  perfect bullets going in seem to get worse ...  as if the throat/rifling/barrel/? / ? is the great leveler ...  maybe acts a mediocre sizing die ?? ..

...perfect and imperfect cast bullets seem to want to shoot into 2 to 4 inch groups.  eventually anyway.


just having a little fun above ... but yes perfect bullets are prettier but give the 2nd class ones a fair trial ... they might be " good enough " .   


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kootne posted this 15 March 2020

Adding to Ken's comment. Those bullets will be bore diameter and round when they leave the barrel.


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John Alexander posted this 15 March 2020

Good advice Ken.


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tony1960 posted this 16 March 2020

I have a mate who's mould drops at .316 so I might steal a handfull and try as cast. Can't beat the long sizer, all 20" of it. I could tell a story about the perfect bullet and a good friend of mine shooting ISSF centre fire at a World Championships. Maybe some other time....

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