A Ranch Dog 'blem' mold: lessons learned and a range report
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11
Like Tree3Likes

Thread: A Ranch Dog 'blem' mold: lessons learned and a range report



  1. #1
    Sidewinder
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    113
    Member #
    18240
    Thanked
    71 times

    A Ranch Dog 'blem' mold: lessons learned and a range report

    Hi Guys

    First of all…


    WARNING THESE LOADS WERE DEVELOPED AND TESTED FOR MY RIFLE ONLY. DO NOT USE THIS INFORMATION IN YOUR OWN RIFLE WITHOUT FOLLOWING SAFE RELOADING PRACTICES.


    Now that is over with… I have recently got a Ranch Dog .460-350g half and half mold, half gas check half plain base in the mail. Ranch Dog Outdoors was selling these at a discount as it was considered a ‘blem’ mold. Actually in the one I got you have to look hard to see the tooling marks left after the 3 cavities were reamed out, and after casting and sizing the boolits had no marks that I could see so I am very happy with my purchase.

    Just a bit of background, I use my 45/70 as a target rifle, paper out to 100m, and sometimes steel out to 200m, so heavy bullets and high velocity come second to accuracy, particularly as I have a small build and both the comps I like to shoot (SSAA Lever Action and Cowboy silhouette) shoot a 40 shot match, so a light recoiling load becomes important. Just to clarify a point a 350g 45/70 boolit at 1050 fps will take down a 200m ram no problem at all.

    Now RDO advertises it product mainly as a upper level load projectile for hunting purposes, but considering the work Michael has done to create custom molds for Marlin rifles, and considering the attractive pricing (particularly with the current exchange rate) I thought that getting a virtually custom mold for my brand of rifle and using it for low velocity target loads would be a winner. Then I saw the half/half option available and I thought perfect!! As with prior experimentation with store bought 350g boolits my upper limit velocity was about 1250 fps with the Trail Boss powder that I am using, and that velocity didn’t need a gas check, so plain base would be awesome. Plus with the added bonus of the option of making some GC projectiles for high velocity if I need it… well what can I say…a great deal!

    Now this is the humorous part of this story, at the same time as I got my mold I also bought a Lee production pot 4, the 10 pound version, with the bottom pour, as I was not happy casting with a camping stove and a spoon I had been using, and I though this would get my bullet production going well.

    So one fine day last week, armed some ingots of wheel weights I set about making some bullets. For the record I only made the PB boolits this time around. The equipment worked well, the Lee pot melted quickly and unlike many the internet this one had no leaks from the tap at all, no problem. Like wise the mold was good, everything fitted together well and boolits dropped from the mold just under gravity, again no problem

    The big issue was the OPERATOR, having never used a multi cavity mold, or a electric bottom pour meter, I guarantee I made every mistake in the book, mold too cold, mold too hot, lead too cold, lead FAR too hot, not changing the temp setting as the pot emptied, it was a GOLD colour by the time it got to the bottom of the pot, holding the mold at the wrong angle and too far from the spout, I was, at one point, deliberately holding the mold further away from the tap as I was fascinated by the silver stream coming from the tap!!

    I can hear the laughter through out the internet as I write this…

    So effectively I ended up with 50 of the worst boolits I have ever seen, most of them you could see the imperfections when you held them in your hands. I was too embarrassed to even take a photo! And as I said nothing to do with the equipment, all operator error.

    Of course since that first pour I have read everything on the net about multi-cavity molds and bottom pour electric pots and I’m sure next time things will be much better.

    However as I had already decided to go to the range this weekend, I thought what he hell, and loaded these 50 boolits just to see what would happen, so range report as follows.

    Rifle: Marlin 1895 45/70 22 inch barrel (09 model), Williams 336 rear peep, and Lyman 17a front peep, with Lee Shaver inserts.
    Ammo: Starline cases, Remington 9 ˝ LR primers, Trail Boss powder, Boolits sized .360 and tumbled lubed with Alox in a zip lock bag and let dry overnight. COL 2.500, light crimp.

    I tested 10 different powder charges in, 5 shot groups, 12.5g up to 17g of Trail boss, the 12.5g average 1050fps and the 17g average 1250 fps. The velocity increase in relation to the powder charge increase were fairly consistent, eg the 14.5g average was 1150fps, but with my experience with Trail Boss this is not unusual.

    Like I mentioned before velocity for these loads is not that important to me so I won’t dwell on it.

    But to my pleasant surprise, even with the rubbish projectiles I had made 3 of the loads, shot 4 out of 5 shots less than 0.75 inch groups at 50m!!!

    The 13.5g, 14.0g and 14.5g shot really well, though interestingly each one had a single flier, but considering the operator error, these fliers are quite forgivable.

    So to finish what has become a very long post (sorry), I am really quite happy with the Ranch Dog .460/350gr plain base ‘blem’ mold so far. I think that if I can do my part and get my molding technique up to scratch and produce some consistent, quality casts I believe I can shrink those groups under half an inch at 50, and that I would be happy with.

    Again sorry for the long post, and regards from over the pond

    Rich





    msharley, SgtDog0311 and Walstr like this.
    Team 45/70 #343
    calling in fire from over the pond...

  2. #2
    Site Contributor Contributing Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Piedmont, NC
    Posts
    2,018
    Member #
    41
    Thanked
    62 times

    Re: A Ranch Dog 'blem' mold: lessons learned and a range report

    Glad to hear that the mold worked out good for you. I have been thinking about getting one of the Lee electric pots. How do you like the 10 lb pot? I was thinking about getting the 20 lb pot.

    That is some nice groups that you have there. If I could get a group to look that good I would be ticked pink.
    Nightfisher
    Team 1894 #39 - Team 35 #19 - Team 30-30 #99 Marlin League # 38 - Team 336-44 #31

    To each his own.

    Don't blame me. I voted for the American.

  3. #3
    High Priest of the Powder Hoarders Marlin Fanatic
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Coastal Missouri
    Posts
    17,821
    Member #
    287
    Thanked
    9402 times

    Re: A Ranch Dog 'blem' mold: lessons learned and a range report

    Rich, don't sweat the long post, the devil's in the details, and I enjoyed every word.

    I'm still fairly new to casting, using the Lee 20-pound bottom-pour pot, and I think it's just fine considering who it's for.

    I'm thinking of getting an RD mold for a soon-to-be-mine 45/70, probably the same mold you have, and the write-up helps. I hadn't heard about the half-and-half molds, that's a GREAT idea. So far all my molds are from Lee, and they work fine, but I like the idea of turning out some big old honking boolits for my pumpkin-chucker. All I need now is a lube-sizer and a better source of lead.

    I've long been told that the 45/70 is a VERY accurate cartridge if properly loaded, and ugly bullets or not, you seem to have confirmed it. You also apparently know how to shoot, and that always helps.

    Keep us posted as your research progresses, eh?
    We're at the point where Hamas are freedom fighters and the NRA is a terrorist organization. —Twitter satirist @hale_razor

  4. Remove Advertisements
    MarlinOwners.com
    Advertisements
     

  5. #4
    Site Contributor Contributing Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Idaho and Arizona
    Posts
    4,159
    Member #
    2182
    Thanked
    562 times

    Re: A Ranch Dog 'blem' mold: lessons learned and a range report


    Rich – it sounds like your PM target load is coming along nicely.

    RE; fliers with IMR Trail Boss.
    After shooting thousands of these TB loads in my CB and getting much the same results as you, one flier in a 5-shot group, I just had to find the reason why…
    TB does not like a lot of case neck tension, or a crimp of any kind.! This also limits the load to be fired single shot, not loading them in the magazine tube.

    Enjoy
    Danny

  6. #5
    Sidewinder
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    113
    Member #
    18240
    Thanked
    71 times

    Re: A Ranch Dog 'blem' mold: lessons learned and a range report

    Hi guys

    Nightfisher: If I had my time (and money) again I would have gone for the 20 pound. The Lee pots use a large 'bolt' connected to a handle that goes up and down to seal the bottom of the pot. I found out it that while the 20 pd pot the bolt is vertical, right next to the side of the pot, the 10pd actually goes diagonal across the center of the pot. This drastically impacts on the size and shape of ingot you can fit into it, you can see in the pics that my standard ingot, (I got that dive mold for a dollar at the op shop) has to be cut up before it can fit in, so I'm changing to small muffin tin so I can slide them down the side. Lucky I have only got 2 of the dive mold ingots left, so not much issue, but if I had dozens.... '

    Papajohn: I don't think that Ranch Dog is making any more of these half/half molds. When I emailed RDO earlier this year about them Micheal said that while a good idea in theory, Lee wouldn't cut the molds and he was doing it himself, and it was difficult, time consuming and expensive, so he was just going to sell of the ones he had done to clear out the inventory. But just e-mail RDO, Micheal is a very nice guy to deal with and I'm sure he could explain it better than me. As far as lube sizer RDO has the Lee push through in 0.460, and it works great with tumble/dip/pan lubing, nice price too!

    Rowdy: Trail Boss, neck tension and the flier..mmm. After reading this I went back and reviewed all my paper targets and guess what... one flier in every group!! I can see some non-crimp experimentation coming up in the near future... Thanks for the tip mate!!
    Single round loading is not an issue, most Australian ranges are single round loading only, except for official comps anyway.

    regards

    Rich
    Team 45/70 #343
    calling in fire from over the pond...

  7. #6
    Site Contributor Contributing Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Piedmont, NC
    Posts
    2,018
    Member #
    41
    Thanked
    62 times

    Re: A Ranch Dog 'blem' mold: lessons learned and a range report

    Thanks for the advice Aussie. I can see what you mean about the differance in the pots. I didn't think about that. Some of my ingots are large.
    Nightfisher
    Team 1894 #39 - Team 35 #19 - Team 30-30 #99 Marlin League # 38 - Team 336-44 #31

    To each his own.

    Don't blame me. I voted for the American.

  8. #7
    Site Sponsor/Site Contributor Gun Wizard
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Cuero, TX
    Posts
    2,759
    Member #
    265
    Thanked
    206 times

    Re: A Ranch Dog 'blem' mold: lessons learned and a range report

    Very well done Aussie! Good to see the detailed report from what was started by your email!

  9. #8
    Wrangler
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Angus Ontario Canada
    Posts
    477
    Member #
    26422
    Thanked
    188 times
    Michael please correct me if I am wrong on this one but you do still offer the half and half for $10 more ?
    and secondly could you not just shoot the GC version without a gas check for the slower loads?


    I also started with a 10lb pot and then upgraded to the 20lb...love it I am using the Ranch Dog .460-420gr gc mold and love it and I will be getting the 300gr as soon as it is available ...to add to my .44 mag molds of .432-265gr and .432-300gr I will be buying the 240gr mold as soon as it is made available...so much mold for a great price and so much knoledge goes into each mold that is made for my gun! ....how do you go wrong?
    Jonathan

  10. #9
    Site Sponsor/Site Contributor Gun Wizard
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Cuero, TX
    Posts
    2,759
    Member #
    265
    Thanked
    206 times
    Quote Originally Posted by 1kshooter View Post
    Michael please correct me if I am wrong on this one but you do still offer the half and half for $10 more ?
    and secondly could you not just shoot the GC version without a gas check for the slower loads?


    I also started with a 10lb pot and then upgraded to the 20lb...love it I am using the Ranch Dog .460-420gr gc mold and love it and I will be getting the 300gr as soon as it is available ...to add to my .44 mag molds of .432-265gr and .432-300gr I will be buying the 240gr mold as soon as it is made available...so much mold for a great price and so much knoledge goes into each mold that is made for my gun! ....how do you go wrong?
    Jonathan
    I'm doing the plain base work again, 3X3 or all, for $10. I made some changes in my shop that make it a bit easier to keep track of things and do.

  11. #10
    Platinum Poster
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    32,306
    Member #
    17057
    Thanked
    61024 times
    Hi Guys,
    I bought both the 350gr and the 425gr from Michael a couple of years ago and they are both going strong. I also use the 350gr in some of the SSAA disaplines. I have probably cast a few thousand of the 350s. I use the 425 mainly for hunting and hard cast them, ie, let them cool naturally and about a week later put them in the oven for the hour and then drop them into cold water. I borrowed one of those Lee hardness testers and It looks like they come out at around 28 Brinell, this depends on how long I let them sit after cold water quenching. it depends from 4 days to two weeks the longer, it then becomes a little harder.
    So summing up, Michael has designed a terrific product and it works well. The only problem I has was I once must have let the lead get too hard and I broke the sprue handle. I contacted Michael and he put me onto someone at Lee and they sent me a new handle and cutter straight away to me in Oz (free of charge and international mail to boot). I could not fault either Michael or Lee in helping me with this slight problem.
    Hope this helps anyone else that might be interested and thinking of purchasing Michaels products.
    Moofy
    Team 45-70 Member No. 268
    Team 1894 Member No. 28
    Marlin League Member No. 24
    Team Old Pharts Member No. 88
    Team ANZMO Member No. 7


Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Home | Forum | Active Topics | What's New | Subscribed Threads

Sponsored Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Search tags for this page

home awesome net casting ranch dog
,
lee 10 pound production pot reviews
,
ranch dog 240 mold
,
ranch dog 420 gr mold for sale 2014
,

ranch dog bullet molds for sale

,

ranch dog mold for sale

,
ranch dog mold prices
,
ranch dog mold reviews
,

ranch dog molds

,

ranch dog molds for sale

,

ranch dog outdoors

,
ranchdog mold for sale
,
ranchdog molds for sale
Click on a term to search for related topics.