I first started using CBE molds about a year ago when Jeff from www.beavergrease.co.nz first introduced me to cast bullets.
Jeff spoke extremely highly about a bloke called Jim Allison who made fantastic molds, the brand name was CBE and all I knew is they were from Australia.
Now, the story goes that Jim back in 1975 bought himself a .310 cadet and some ammunition. However Jim found that after he had used up the ammo that he was unable to find any suitable projectiles to reload with. So, he started tinkering with making his own molds. The story simply grew from there, soon he was making molds for mates and like all good things, it just kept growing.
Now in the last year I have tried and purchased a few molds. I have been fortunate in some cases and unlucky in others, Jim’s are most definitely in the “fortunate” group. In fact Jim’s Molds would have to be my pick for the 303 British.
I am currently working on several .303 rifles at the moment, all using Jim’s 313220GC. I have other molds waiting in the wings, but so far due to the results, ease of use and workmanship in Jim’s molds, they’re staying in the wings. The molds Jim makes are well designed and thought out and when you think Jim has over 800 patterns in his catalogue, he must be doing something right!
Now before we go any further this is not a paid advertisement or am I getting anything for writing this, I have contacted Jim and asked if I could use some of his images and he has kindly allowed me to. But the reason I started this site was to spread the word re Lee Enfield’s as well as trying to foster and encourage making your own lead projectiles. So part of that is to promote what I personally believe to be great products. Again this is just my humble opinion, BUT im sticking to it.
The following is an excerpt from something Jim wrote on .303’s and a picture of some of his projectiles, he sent it to a fellow 303 enthusiast, it was in response to a question regarding the suitability of 303’s oversized bores and his molds.
“This cartridge is ideally suited to cast bullet use. Excellent accuracy equal or better than Jacketed Bullet performance can be obtained from standard barrels and the 2 groove war production barrels.
It is not uncommon to find significant wear in some of the old Lee Enfield SMLE rifle barrels and this should be taken into consideration when choosing the cast bullet design and diameter you will use. We recommend sizing to .313” minimum with .314” often a better choice.
Bore sizes are generally consistent at .303” while groove diameters we have measured range from .312” up to .314” in standard barrels. The 2 groove barrels we have measured again are consistent at .303” bore size but even new barrels can be as large as .318” in the grooves. This is one instance where an undersized bullet can still perform as the wide lands in 2 groove barrels displace a large amount of the driving bands and this displaced alloy tends to fill the oversize grooves.
Our bore riding nose type designs all feature nominal .303” nose diameters.”
In the photo:
Top Left: # 313-174GC without GC and with Gas Check fitted.
Top Right: # 314-190GC with Gas Check and without.
Bottom row Left to right:
3. #313-180 GC
4. #313-190L GC
All are available in Single or Double cavity except 316-238GC (Single Cavity only).
But I also noticed in Jim’s email was another image that really proved he had something there for every 303 fan and one in particular that really sparked my interest.
So, If the venerable 303 is your thing then I suggest you have a look at the selection that Jim offers. Below is a links to Jim’s website details, if your serious about quality, then consider CBE molds, well worth the investment. But don’t take my word for it alone, do a search on Jim’s molds and read the reviews, im not the only one sold!
Now Jim’s molds are not the cheapest on the market, however please TRUST me, one of the first things that made me nearly chuck the whole cast loading in was using molds that were a “good deal” that took hours to get any results from. It was doing my head in so much I had to walk away from the melting pot. Yes I was new and learning, but it was soul-destroying to waste hours on sub standard projectiles
So I changed the molds and now, I own a good series of molds, borrow even more (incl Jim’s, thanks Jeff!) and run a website! Now there are only two molds that I have ever used that made great projectiles from the word go. Both were not “good deals” cost wise in comparison to some molds, but were “stunning deals” overall. The benefits of buying quality will soon outweigh the perceived higher cost of quality.