Bullet mold for subsonic powder coated bullets

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Atlas Shrug
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Bullet mold for subsonic powder coated bullets

Post by Atlas Shrug » Fri Dec 22, 2017 2:43 pm

This is my first post here, after reading on and off for years.

My situation:

I have a fairly large quantity of what should be mostly pure, soft lead. (The majority of it is from match .22lr bullets and match .177 air rifle pellets.)

I would like to turn it into subsonic 300 BLK projectiles for a bolt gun. I would like to avoid most of the alloy and lube hassles normally associated with soft lead, and it seems that via powder coating I should be able to accomplish this. I would like an accurate, consistent subsonic load. Most rounds will be fired through a suppressor, but not all. Some hunting is possible, though most shots will be fired on steel targets. Projectile weight is flexible - I am assuming it will be from 200-265 grains.

I don't have the time nor intent to try many experiments, although I reload other cartridges and thus understand general reloading and the inherent variables. This will be my first foray into bullet casting, as well as handloading lead projectiles.

So what bullet mold should I purchase, and why? Mold cost is not a factor. I just want a quality mold for casting subsonic projectiles, which will then be powder coated.

Does such a mold exist, or do I need to wait on the molds for custom heavyweights that Dolomite_Supafly seems to have in the works?

Is there anything else I need to consider?

I look forward to learning the thoughts of the board on this.

Edited to add: My barrel is a 1:8 twist.

Keep your powder dry,
Atlas Shrug

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Boolit_Head
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Re: Bullet mold for subsonic powder coated bullets

Post by Boolit_Head » Tue Dec 26, 2017 12:58 am

NOE makes some beautiful molds. I am working with the HP version of the 247 grain mold right now. Miha also does beautiful work but not sure he has something in stock that fits the bill. If you can get in on one of the group buys he may do one at some point. Any cast bullet can be powder coated, you don't specifically need one without lube grooves. There is a ton of info on casting and powder coating in general over at castboolits.gunloads.com. A user there sells good powder in small quantities for coating, look for Smoke. Don't mess with the Harbor Freight powder it's junk.

Pure soft is not needed as range lead will do nicely. Might want to scrounge a bit of pewter, Linitype, or solder depending on what you can find. Sometimes a bit of Tin to sweeten the range lead casts a bit better.

Atlas Shrug
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Re: Bullet mold for subsonic powder coated bullets

Post by Atlas Shrug » Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:39 am

Thanks for the reply.

Your points are good. While I know that I can PC bullets with grooves, given my intent I hope to find a non-grooved solution. Such in theory will be more aerodynamic, easier to cast precisely, and easier to PC uniformly.

I'm tracking you on quality powder (Hi-Tek is my plan).

I already searched the NOE molds, but didn't find a non-grooved 300 BLK mold. Based on your suggestion I also looked up Miha too, with similar results.

Accurate Molds seems to have a few candidates.

http://www.accuratemolds.com/catalog.php?page=3

In particular, the 31-240A and 31-250E appear to be up my alley. (That said, the 31-235P, 31-250Z and 31-255P look interesting with their semi boat tail designs.)

There are also some nice looking ones in the 215 grain weight.
Boolit_Head wrote: Pure soft is not needed as range lead will do nicely. Might want to scrounge a bit of pewter, Linitype, or solder depending on what you can find. Sometimes a bit of Tin to sweeten the range lead casts a bit better.
Understood, but what I _already_ have is a couple hundred pounds of pretty pure lead (which I hope to cast into ingots soon). I recognize that I may need to add some tin for accurate bullet casting. I have no plans or need to scrounge for range lead or wheel weights, so long as my plan above works.

Thanks again.

Anyone else with advice and/or experience with the molds above?

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Re: Bullet mold for subsonic powder coated bullets

Post by Boolit_Head » Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:50 pm

Both NOE and Miha do group buys for molds that are not in their usual catalog. Usually they are found on forums like castboolits or I think one manufacturer has his own forum. I've gotten a several beautiful brass and aluminum molds off of some of the group buys. Be aware that the composition of your lead can effect final weight.

http://castboolits.gunloads.com/forumdi ... Discussion

http://castboolits.gunloads.com/forumdi ... Group-Buys

I am not well versed on Hitek but I think it is not specifically powder coat and from what I hear may have mixed results. I personally use powder coat with great results. If Hitek is more expensive it is not warranted given the good record of powdercoat.

Castboolits is THE reference for anything casting related and a wealth of information.

Atlas Shrug
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Re: Bullet mold for subsonic powder coated bullets

Post by Atlas Shrug » Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:33 pm

Yep, I'm monitoring the Cast Boolits forum as well as this one. If I see something better than the Accurate Molds 31-240A I will jump on it. Otherwise I'll try the 240A and see what it gives me.

Thanks for the help.

bsev81
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Re: Bullet mold for subsonic powder coated bullets

Post by bsev81 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:20 pm

On NOE the HTC bullets are in their own sub category listed further down from the caliber specific selections. There are still plenty of the HTC 247 grain molds left from the recent group buy.

http://noebulletmolds.com/NV/index.php?cPath=84_520

Blancs3030
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Re: Bullet mold for subsonic powder coated bullets

Post by Blancs3030 » Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:24 pm

I have the mold stated above I've been happy with it so far

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Re: Bullet mold for subsonic powder coated bullets

Post by Dolomite_Supafly » Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:13 am

Look at the Accurate 21-240E it has a proven track record for reliability. When ordering you can request it be made without lube grooves and it would be perfect for coating. Even with lube grooves it still works great when coated. I would caution against the 240A. The maker of one of my bullets made a bunch and could not get them to work well in his AR. I know it says it is for the Blackout but there are much better bullets out there for the Blackout than that one.

I would suggest looking at Arsenal molds as well. I have used a lot of NOE molds and Arsenal makes a more consistent mold but they may not have what you are looking for. It is also rumored that Arsenal makes, or at least made, some of the molds NOE sells.

The good thing about Accurate is they can make you a single, one off, mold and have it in your hands within a few weeks. No other manufacturer can do that or at least do it as cheaply as Tom does at Accurate.

I have shot a LOT of coated, pure lead bullets and they work great. They are not too soft once you coat them and they kill just as well as anything else out there.

Also, avoid the temptation to buy a 3, 4 or 5 cavity mold. The most I use is a 2 cavity. The reason is as the mold heats up there can be some variation between molds. With a two cavity those variations seem to go away.
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Chandler729
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Re: Bullet mold for subsonic powder coated bullets

Post by Chandler729 » Sun Jan 28, 2018 1:10 pm

Dolomite_Supafly wrote:Look at the Accurate 21-240E it has a proven track record for reliability. When ordering you can request it be made without lube grooves and it would be perfect for coating. Even with lube grooves it still works great when coated. I would caution against the 240A. The maker of one of my bullets made a bunch and could not get them to work well in his AR. I know it says it is for the Blackout but there are much better bullets out there for the Blackout than that one.

I would suggest looking at Arsenal molds as well. I have used a lot of NOE molds and Arsenal makes a more consistent mold but they may not have what you are looking for. It is also rumored that Arsenal makes, or at least made, some of the molds NOE sells.

The good thing about Accurate is they can make you a single, one off, mold and have it in your hands within a few weeks. No other manufacturer can do that or at least do it as cheaply as Tom does at Accurate.

I have shot a LOT of coated, pure lead bullets and they work great. They are not too soft once you coat them and they kill just as well as anything else out there.

Also, avoid the temptation to buy a 3, 4 or 5 cavity mold. The most I use is a 2 cavity. The reason is as the mold heats up there can be some variation between molds. With a two cavity those variations seem to go away.

Im super sold on this mold (31-240E) and I think I’m going to try it without lube groves. I have an 8” barrel with 1:7 twist. I’m thinking 1680 powder but what’s your powder of choice for ar sbr? These will be powdercoated of course

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Re: Bullet mold for subsonic powder coated bullets

Post by 45r » Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:41 pm

I have the 240-A with the bottom flat and it is harder to get feeding reliably if you don't open and polish your feed ramps.
It isn't a bore-rider so no worries about a too thick nose from powder coating.
I like bore-riders for bolt guns.
They tend to be more accurate.
My AAC 16 inch AR upper isn't modified and didn't feed reliably.
COL and powder charge was tricky to get it to feed right.
I use 10.3 grains Viht N-120 seated to 2.110 with CCI-400.
It feeds pretty good but sometimes not on the last round.
I've found that if I beveled the metplat using a pencil sharpener it never jammed though.
My boolits weigh 237 grains and I use PBTP emerald green powder coat.
The wide metplat makes it harder to feed so it isn't the easiest to work with for sure.
I hollow point them wide and deep on my drill press when used for hunting.
The Wide HP metplat works better for wound channels.
I get around 1 1/2 inch at 75 yards where I zero the load.
The 8 and 10" pistol builds I opened and polished the feed ramps have no feed problems and shoot about the same accuracy.

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