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B
Ideal / Lyman Mold Reference
Comments, corrections, pontification? Contact me

Top Punch to Ideal / Lyman Moulds

Identifying Your Ideal / Lyman Mold

There is a 6 digit numbering convention for the Ideal and Lyman molds.

In this case, 452 486 523 is referred to as a 452486, the final number is dropped.
.452 is nominal diameter
486 is the cherry number used to cut the mold. NOTE! Cherry numbers have occasionally been reused from older molds. Searching by cherry number is not infallible...
523 is a mold pair ID

Older molds may be seen with a 5 digit serial, like 452 11. 452 nominal diameter, cherry number 11. Over time, some molds were updated to the six digit by adding a leading zero to the cherry number, example 45211 becomes 452011. Round ball molds are (usually) only marked with the nominal diameter and pair ID.

There are a few alpha characters that were used, L (long), S (short), O (oversize), U (undersize). I have seen B, C, V and X as well.


Do serial numbers of the molds refer to as cast diameter or sized diameter? (43d Lyman Reloading Handbook)

The first three digits of the mould number are the diameter that the bullet is to be sized to. The mould will cast a bullet from .001 to .003 larger to allow for sizing.Undersized bullets (mould number contains "U") must be used to size to .308 or other bore diameters. An undersize mould will cast a bullet approximately .002 smaller than standard moulds. In short, "it depends".

Find the Mold Number
I use this visual list of molds: Ol' Buffalo Bullet Mold Tables Note that the Top Punch is NOT identified. For the Top Punch, please refer to the table below.

Sizing the Bullet
One way is to use "H&I" dies named from the old Ideal catalog. The body is part "H" and the cylindrical stem is part "I". A normal size is .001" over the nominal bullet diameter. For example, a 6mm Remington (243 dia) will use a .244" H&I die. However, your rifles' bore can vary, so the bore may be tighter or looser. Military surplus rifles are a prime example. If the as cast or sized diameter produces poor accuracy, one culprit may be a bad fit of the bullet to the bore. Slug the barrel to determine the atcual bore diameter, size to meet it.







Top Punch

These are used in conjunction with the "H&I" dies. They are identified as part "G". They are shaped to fully support the nose of the bullet as it is forced downward into the H&I sizing die. A Cast Boolits" member offers a generic top punch that uses JB Weld or hot glue to create a custom top punch for your bullet.







Gas Check
Bullet molds come in four main types, Hollow Base / HB (like Minie balls), plain base / PB (square band), bevel base PB (slight angle, useful for reloading), Heel, and gas check / GC (slightly smaller diameter at base).

Hollow Base / HB

Skirt expands upon firing to grip rifling. Bullet CG shifts forward.

Plain Base / PB
Used for low to moderate loads. Gas cutting occurs when chamber pressure and bullet hardness combine to allow hot gas to blow past the bands. Don't worry about the base melting, since the lead cannot get hot enough in the short time its in the barrel.

Heel
This type is used when the bullet diameter is the same as the outer diameter of the case. Example is the 22LR. Resembles the Plain Base, otherwise.

Gas Check / GC
Bullet base has a slighly smaller base shank. The gas check (usually copper or aluminum) is slid over the shank. Some of the older GCs had straight walls, and needed to be sized on the bullet. Newer GCs have a slight inward taper so they tend to grip the bullet. The can be sized or left unsized. Bullets designed as GC models can be used without GCs as long as the pressure and hardness prevent gas cutting. If the GC is on tight, you can use it in bottleneck cases with the base below the case neck. NOTE: it is up to the reloader to determine if the GC is on securely enough. A loose GC in the case will raise pressure (reduces case capacity) but my concern would be if it is blown partway up the barrel and ldoges there. My readings of "Hatcher's Notebook" suggest one outcome might be as the following rounds are fired, the GC will be pressed against the bore and fusing the GC to the barrel, eventually bulging it.




Lyman Top Punch to Mould Table (Combined Castpics table and Dark Canyon's table) Word document

Mold ID

Diameter

 

Weight

Top Punch #

Type

3111

0.312

8

3113

0.308

8

3114

0.312

8

3116

0.313

8

3117

0.311

8

3118

0.312

8

31111

0.314

8

31114

0.313

8

31123

0.310

8

31133

0.313

8

31356

0.315

8

31357

0.314

8

311008

.312"

115grs

8

FN

311041

.309"

173grs

8

FNGC

311157

0.310

8

311234

0.309

8

311264

0.310

8

311281

0.309

8

311304

0.310

8

311316

0.312

8

311403

0.314

8

311419

0.311

8

311441

0.314

8

313493

0.315

8

319247

.322"

165grs

8

FN

40143

0.403

43

40392

0.405

43

401043

.401"

175grs

43

FN

401258

0.404

43

401638

.401"

175grs

43

TCBB

401654

.401"

150grs

43

SWCBB

403168

0.406

43

403169

0.406

43

403169

.408"

240grs

43

FN

403173

0.403

43

406150

0.408

43

410214

0.412

43

410219

0.412

43

410610

.410"

215grs

43

SWCGC

412174

0.414

43

412338

0.415

43

415175

0.417

43

419181

0.420

43

421183

0.422

43

427098

.428"

205grs

43

FN

37580

0.374

80

40188

0.405

88

403149

0.405

88

403171

0.402

88

403172

0.403

88

?????

93

40395

95

42798

0.429

98

429398

0.430

98

429434

0.431

98

457130

130

457132

.459"

535grs

132

Semi-pointed

515141

0.518

141

515141

.512"

425grs

141

FN

515142

0.517

141

518144

0.519

141

518145

0.520

141

37578

0.377

167

37581

0.381

167

375167

0.38

167

386176

0.405

167

386177

0.407

167

389417

0.390

167

386178

0.387

178

439186

0.440

187

446187

0.452

187

446188

0.452

187

451113

0.451

187

454190

0.455

190

454190

.454"

250grs

190

FN

454485

0.457

190

457131

0.458

190

457102

0.459

191

457121

0.458

191

457122

0.457

191

457122

.459"

330grs

191

FNHP

457191

0.459

191

457191

.459"

292grs

191

FNBB

457192

0.457

191

457193

0.459

191

457193

.459"

405grs

191

FN

457195

0.459

191

457196

0.457

191

457474

0.459

191

457483

0.459

191

457643

.459"

400grs

191

FN

465451

0.465

191

509133

0.51

191

509134

0.509

191

512138

0.511

191

515139

0.516

191

244203

0.244

203

245496

0.247

203

245496

.244"

84grs

203

RNGC

245497

0.246

203

245499

0.246

203

252435

0.253

203

429220

0.429

220

313226

0.315

226

313249

0.314

226

313249

.314"

85grs

226

RN

313307

0.311

226

316158

0.316

226

429104

0.43

251

429105

0.43

251

429106

0.43

251

429184

0.434

251

429239

0.43

251

429251

0.43

251

429383

0.431

251

429383

.430"

245grs

251

RN

429384

0.436

251

429436

0.429

251

429478

0.432

251

439186

.439"

370grs

251

RN

446110

.446"

340grs

251

RNFP

410426

0.409

263

412263

0.412

263

412328

0.414

263

415179

0.417

263

419180

0.420

263

419182

0.419

263

427100

0.426

263

427103

0.426

263

31112

0.309

278

311278

0.312

278

311279

0.310

278

311280

0.311

278

311333

0.311

278

311284

.309"

210grs

284

RNGC

350293

0.351

293

31947

0.319

295

31950

0.322

295

31952

0.320

295

31953

0.320

295

32359

0.324

295

32360

0.323

295

319162

0.322

295

319201

0.322

295

319247

0.320

295

319261

0.321

295

319273

0.319

295

319289

0.320

295

319295

0.320

295

319350

0.319

295

321232

0.324

295

321265

0.323

295

321295

0.321

295

321297

0.323

295

323357

0.325

295

358302

0.361

302

429303

0.431

303

266305

0.268

305

311414

0.313

309

35864

0.360

311

35870

0.358

311

35871

0.359

311

356242

.356"

90grs

311

RN

358159

0.362

311

358160

0.362

311

358161

0.361

311

358210

0.360

311

358212

0.362

311

358238

0.358

311

358242

0.359

311

358246

0.359

311

358250

0.360

311

358269

0.360

311

358311

0.360

311

358311

.358"

160grs

311

RN

358315

0.360

311

358318

0.359

311

358385

0.362

311

358396

0.362

311

358416

0.359

311

356242*

.356"

120grs

311

RN

338301

0.336

320

338320

0.339

320

350482

0.348

320

375321

0.382

321

257325

0.258

325

263314

0.263

325

311329

0.313

329

311340

0.311

329

311351

0.310

329

311365

0.312

329

311397

0.312

329

358344

0.360

344

287129

0.289

346

287202

0.290

346

287346

0.289

346

287346

.285"

135grs

346

RNGC

287405

0.289

346

287448

0.287

346

311274

0.310

346

429348

0.431

348

429352

0.431

348

311359

.312"

115grs

359

PTGC

429360

0.432

360

436218

0.436

360

32361

0.324

366

323236

0.322

366

323366

.323

366

323471

0.325

366

328371

0.329

366

45467

0.454

374

450225

0.451

374

452374

0.454

374

452374

.452"

225grs

374

RN

452374

.452"

180grs

374

DEV HP

452389

0.453

374

452400

0.454

374

452486

0.454

374

452488

0.452

374

454148

0.455

374

454309

0.454

374

454484

0.454

374

457124

0.459

374

457124

.459"

385grs

374

RN

457125

0.459

374

457125

.459"

500grs

374

RN

457126

0.457

374

457127

0.458

374

457132

0.458

374

457194

0.457

374

457235

0.458

374

457326

0.457

374

457406

0.459

374

457671

.459"

475grs

374

RNGC

500294

0.501

374

37585

0.380

376

375376

0.381

376

287222

0.285

377

287373

0.286

377

287377

0.288

377

287422

0.287

377

291379

0.290

377

266386

0.269

386

357443

0.358

395

358395

0.360

395

359363

0.359

395

457401

0.456

401

356402

0.358

402

356402

.356"

120grs

402

TC

358425

0.359

402

280411

0.281

411

311332

0.312

413

311332

.309"

180grs

413

PTGC

311334

0.311

413

311375

0.31

413

311413

0.313

413

311437

0.311

413

22536

0.227

415

23639

0.237

415

225322

0.228

415

225353

0.223

415

225358

0.228

415

225415

0.227

415

225415

.225"

55grs

415

FNGC

228151

0.229

415

228391

0.227

415

25719

0.260

418

257361

0.256

418

257388

0.259

418

257418

0.259

418

25716

0.258

420

25717

0.260

420

25720

0.258

420

25721

0.258

420

25742

.258"

65grs

420

FNGC

257205

0.257

420

257231

0.257

420

257283

0.258

420

257285

0.257

420

257306

0.260

420

257312

0.259

420

257382

0.255

420

257420

0.259

420

287221

0.285

420

429215

0.432

421

429215

.430"

210grs

421

SWCGC

429244

0.432

421

429244

.430"

255grs

421

SWCGC

429336

0.430

421

429421

0.432

421

429421

.430"

245grs

421

SWC

429422

0.432

421

429650

.430"

300rs

421

SWCGC

441267

0.444

421

445369

0.443

421

446109

0.445

421

446110

0.447

421

451114

0.452

421

452423

0.454

424

452424

.452"

255grs

424

SWC

452490

0.453

424

452490

.452"

255grs

424

SWCGC

452491

0.455

424

454424

0.456

424

35875

0.362

429

356472

0.357

429

357446

0.360

429

357453

0.359

429

358156

0.360

429

358156

.358"

155grs

429

SWCGC

358271

0.360

429

358345

0.360

429

358429

0.360

429

358429

.358"

170grs

429

SWC

358431

0.360

429

358439

0.360

429

358477

0.359

429

358477

.358"

150grs

429

SWC

358480

0.360

429

358495

0.360

429

359432

0.360

429

366408

0.368

429

35872

0.359

430

35873

0.363

430

358339

0.357

430

358356

0.359

430

358430

0.359

430

358430

.358"

195grs

430

RN

359394

0.360

430

225208

0.225

438

225230

0.227

438

225438

0.227

438

225438

.225"

44grs

438

RNGC

225462

0.227

438

311223

0.309

445

311407

0.312

445

313260

0.315

445

313445

0.313

445

313492

0.314

445

338337

0.345

447

350319

0.352

447

350447

0.350

447

350457

0.353

447

354433

0.354

447

37579

0.380

449

37582

0.380

449

37583

0.381

449

37584

0.375

449

37586

0.382

449

375164

0.373

449

375165

0.375

449

375166

0.375

449

375200

0.376

449

375211

0.375

449

375248

0.380

449

375248

.379"

249grs

449

FN

375272

0.38

449

375296

0.382

449

375300

0.378

449

375313

449

375355

0.377

449

375449

0.377

449

375449

.379"

264grs

449

FNGC

410655

.410"

400grs

449

FN

22537

0.225

450

22835

0.231

450

23640

0.237

450

225372

0.228

450

225450

0.227

450

225487

0.225

450

228367

0.229

450

236199

0.239

450

244253

0.243

450

401452

0.405

452

266324

0.268

455

266455

0.269

455

266469

0.269

455

45468

0.454

460

450229

0.454

460

452460

0.454

460

452460

.452"

200grs

460

SWC

452630

.452"

200grs

460

FNBB

470216

0.471

460

257454

0.258

463

257463

0.259

463

257464

0.259

463

266469

.264"

140grs

463

RNGC

3112

0.309

465

31110

0.312

465

31125

0.310

465

31355

0.314

465

299152

0.318

465

299153

0.314

465

299154

0.315

465

299155

0.299

465

300136

0.302

465

311206

0.312

465

311224

0.313

465

311240

0.309

465

311241

0.311

465

311245

0.312

465

311252

0.312

465

311252

.311"

75grs

465

RN

311255

0.309

465

311256

0.308

465

311257

0.310

465

311277

0.311

465

311291

0.313

465

311291

.309"

170grs

465

RNGC

311465

0.313

465

311331

0.312

466

31949

0.320

467

311259

0.310

467

311268

0.311

467

311276

0.308

467

311277

0.309

467

311282

0.310

467

311284

0.312

467

311287

0.310

467

311288

0.312

467

311290

0.309

467

311299

0.312

467

311299

.309"

200grs

467

RNGC

311335

0.312

467

311359

0.313

467

311410

0.313

467

311410

.312"

130grs

467

Pointed tip

311466

0.313

467

311467

0.313

467

314299

.314"

200grs

467

RNGC

319323

0.321

467

31122

0.312

468

280412

0.282

468

280468

0.828

468

287308

0.287

468

31948

0.320

470

32362

0.325

470

311440

0.308

470

316204

0.317

470

316275

0.317

470

316475

0.318

470

321317

0.320

470

321427

0.324

470

323378

0.324

470

323470

0.325

470

323470

.325"

165grs

470

RNGC

323481

0.325

471

280473

0.281

473

294380

0.294

473

358665

.358"

158grs

495

RNFP

25718

0.257

498

356637

.356"

147grs

637

FNBB

356637

.356"

124grs

637

Dev HPBB

266673

.264"

150grs

641

Semi-pointed GC SIL

280642

.278"

150grs

641

FNGC

287641

.285"

160grs

641

SIL

311644

.309"

190grs

644

Semi-pointed GC SIL

311672

.309"

160grs

644

FTGC SIL

225646

.225"

55grs

646

Semi-pointed GC

429640

.430"

250grs

649

DEV HPGC

429667

.430"

240grs

649

RNFPBB

452651

.452"

325grs

649

FNGC

452664

.452"

250grs

649

RNFP

501680

.501"

360grs

649

SWC

410660

.410"

385grs

658

Semi-pointed

457658

.459"

480grs

658

Semi-pointed

378674

.379"

335grs

663

RN

410663

.410"

40grs

663

RN

457677

.459"

490grs

677

Pointed-tip

?????

678

68569

0.685

429185

0.441

451112

0.452

533476

0.533

538146

0.538

557456

0.557

557489

0.557

575213

0.577

575387

0.577

575494

0.575






 
 

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