The Hensley and Gibbs company, which started in the garage of George Hensley in the 1930’s (back then it was simply the Geo. A. Hensley company) is world renowned for the fine bullet molds they produced while they were in business. Their gang molds have been the standard that every other mold has been held to for a long time.
The H&G #130 bullet was designed as a lighter weight SWC design for the .45 ACP. The design is similar to that of the Lyman 452488 mold that I wrote about a few weeks ago. The main differences are the wider meplat of the H&G design (A meplat is the flat tip of the bullet) and in this case, the inclusion of a bevel base to the design. The design was added to the company ledger in 1949, with the ledger containing a note saying that it was ‘very very popular’ as a lighter weight target bullet for the 1911 shooters.
Bevel base bullet designs are known for a few things, they are popular with commercial casting companies, as they tend to drop from the mold easily, they are a pain in the backside to lube in a Lyman, RCBS or Saeco type lube-sizer, and they are often considered to be less accurate than their flat based counterparts, all things considered. I admit that I haven’t noticed a difference in the accuracy between bevel base and plain based bullets, but I’m shooting in the real world, and I honestly believe a lot of the theoretical edge is hyperbole. Since I use a Star or balisticast sizer for my .45 bullets, I have no issue with sizing and lubing BB bullets. They also make progressive loading a little smoother than PB bullets, and require slightly less working of the brass. And the mold dropping issue, it’s hard to say; I’ve never had a H&G mold that didn’t release pretty cleanly.
The H&G #130 is spec’ed at 185 grains in linotype. My mold throws bullets that are .453″ in diameter and about 192 grains from my (significantly softer) alloy. I have no need for linotype metal for my bullets in the .45’s that I’m shooting. Functionally, the bullet feeds very well in almost all of my guns, and is a favorite in the Performance center tuned 625, and is quickly becoming a favorite in the Reising. I’ve only had this particular mold for a short time, but it’s not my first H&G #130 mold. I specifically wanted this one because of the BB design, to help ease the reloading for the Reising. Once I have another 10 or 20 thousand of them cast and loaded, I’ll let you know how that’s going.
I’m a cheapskate. That much is a given. This is part of the reason I cast my own bullets for my guns. Being a cheapskate means that I’d rather not incur unneeded costs when doing things. For virtually every pistol load I can think of, a factory gas-check would be an unneeded cost.
The Lyman 313631 mold was designed for the .32 H&R magnum cartridge. It’s a gas-check design that weighs about 100 grains and has a Keith-esque SWC profile. The mold was discontinued sometime in the 90’s and as a result is a rare one to find, it was only cataloged for about a decade, maybe less.
For a long time I used the bullets from the mold sparingly, I had plenty of other molds for the caliber, and I hated spending the money on the gas-checks. about 2 years ago I started experimenting with the bullet both with and without gas checks. I found that over a light load of bullseye or a similar fast pistol powder, without a gas-check, the bullet provided good accuracy when loaded to about 800 FPS.
When I started experimenting with the hotter loads using gas checks, (I’ll explain in another post why I push a plain based bullet faster than I will a check less gas-check bullet) I discovered that when pushed to about 1200 FPS in the .32 H&R, the bullet provided Excellent accuracy with no leading. When fired in a rifle with slow powder and a gas check at about 1400 FPS, the bullet made groups that were just ridiculously small.
All this was well and good, but I come back to being a cheapskate. So I dropped my experimentation, and went on to using other bullets. Until a few months ago that is. I made a trade with someone and acquired a .30 caliber gas check making set. After a little trial and error, I was making some beautiful Aluminum gas checks using .014 aluminum flashing material. The thickness was perfect for the 313631, and the checks were easy enough to get started, and then seated and crimped on to the shank very well.
Now once again I’m experimenting with faster loads and the 313631 bullet. Loading in the .32 H&R case over an upper book level charge of red-dot powder, I’m getting excellent accuracy from several guns, and I expect that the load would do quite well on game up to medium sizes. I need to break out the chronograph and finish testing, but I think I may try to take a og this winter with the S&W model 16-4.
The Lyman 452488 is a semi wadcutter design, meaning that instead of just a round nose, it has a shoulder with a flat point ahead of that. The 452488 has a fairly rounded sweeping shoulder and a short nose. It is very similar to the Hensley and Gibbs #130 mold. According to the Lyman catalogs, the 452488 should weigh 185 grains when cast from Lyman #2 alloy. When cast with my alloy, they run about 192 grains from my mold.
The 452488 bullet design works very well in virtually any revolver chambered for the .45 calibers (though a bit small for some of the older .45 colts with larger groove diameters) and will often run just fine in most of the auto’s as well.
The mold that I have is a 4 cavity version purchased used at a gunshow several years ago, along with a number of other molds. I didn’t use it right away, because I had other .45 molds. When I did start using the mold I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to cast with, and what excellent results I received from the mold.
After getting the Reising earlier this year, and doing some experimentation, I discovered that the bullet is both functionally excellent, and pin-point accurate in that gun. This is the point when I express how glad I am that I have a 4 cavity of the design, I can’t imagine sending the time it would take to run this as a double cavity, let alone a single. I wish of course that it was a 6+ cavity mold, but I’ll settle for 4 considering the results with the Reising.
After seeing how well the design did in the reising, I revisited the bullet in both my Para Ordnance and the S&W 625. I still need to run through some more testing with the other .45’s that I have, but I can say for certain that the bullet, with a reasonable load, is capable of excellent accuracy in all of the guns that I’ve done any extensive testing in.
All in all, I like the 452488 a lot, it saves me lead over casting a full 230 grain RN, feeds and functions well in all of my guns so far, provides excellent accuracy, and the design makes the mold a breeze to cast with. If you can get your hands on one, I recommend it.