I Own Guns

Lyman 313631 Bullet Mold

Written on October 20, 2013   By   in Bullet casting, Bullet Molds, Reloading

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.