Friday, February 03, 2006


Lyman has a weird way of numbering their molds. The mold in question is a 31141, which means it throws a bullet that has a diameter of 0.311 inches and is the 41st mold of that diameter that Lyman standardized. It is a flat nosed bullet, with a crimp groove, two lube grooves, and is fit for a gas check. The nose is bore-riding, which means it rides the tops of the rifling lands while the bottom of the bullet engraves on the lands. It has a nominal weight of 173 grains and is the cat's whiskers for the .30-30 Winchester. It also turns in good accuracy in any .30 caliber rifle as long as the bullet is properly cast and the velocity is kept down to rational velocities commensurate with the alloy used.

A hunter can gather a whole lot of game with a lead bullet traveling about 1800 fps. Target shooters, and folks who like the shooting games like Cowboy Action Shooting use a lot of ammo, and cast bullets just make sense when you are trying to save a few dollars.

Lyman still makes the 31141, but nowadays they call it the 311041. You can get one at any of the sporting goods houses online.

The fellows over at the Cast Boolit forum decided to have that bullet made in a custom 6-cavity mold. Bullet casters are lazy, as a general rule, and if we can get a 6-cavity mold, then we can cast a whole lot more bullets than we can with a 2-cavity mold.

Lee Precision will make a custom mold and the price becomes real reasonable when you buy a bunch of them, but you can't be in any hurry. We decided to order a bunch of custom molds and we filled out all the paperwork and sent our money in. I mailed my check on September 28th. By the time the "Honcho" of the order (a fellow named Dave) got everybody's money, and mailed it to Lee, and they cut the molds... Dave did a great job with everything, by the way. He put up with a bunch of grouchy curmudgeons while putting the order together and deserves all our kudos.

Anyway, I got mine in today. I'm pleased as punch with it. Maybe I can play with it this weekend and cast some bullets with it.

It took four months, but I have a new toy for cheap ammo. Cool.

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