| Bullet molds were carried by many soldiers because bullets were made as needed. The bullet molds shown above were designed to cast a single bullet at a time. They are called "Scissors-type" molds because the arms open and shut like a pair of scissors. When closed, a small hole, called a sprue hole, permitted molten lead to be poured into the mold.
The Bullets tended to be too heavy to be carried in large quantities, and so when an army would be in camp, the soldiers would cast a quantity of bullets for themselves. Each company of soldiers would have a ladle in which to melt down lead from items they could forage in the neighborhood. The lead items would be placed into the ladle, which would then be placed on the camp fire to wait for the lead to melt and reach a molten state. The molten lead would then be carefully poured into the individual molds, via the sprue hole. The lead would quickly harden inside the molds, and the soldier would open the scissors type mold up to expose the individual bullets. Some bullet molds were designed to trim any excess metal that filled in the sprue hole. An example of this is shown at the bottom of this page.
|The bullet mold shown below was designed to cut the excess metal from the sprue hole.|
|I received these three bullet molds as a gift from my good friend, Rick McNally.|