Hello, and welcome to the Reloading Podcast here on the Firearms Radio network, tonight the guys have an interview with Jason from Ammobot, and are discussing the origin of Hensley & Gibbs and the #68 Bullet Mould design. Hence the abbreviation H&G #68.
Subject: Hensley & Gibbs
Message: Can you please explain the H&G company on one of your upcoming podcasts? I hear a lot about H&G molds,but would like to hear a little history and why their molds and designs are held in such high regard.
Thanks and keep up the good work! Rob
Hensley & Gibbs, was a premier maker of bullet casting molds until Wayne Gibbs (the son of James Gibbs) retired just a few years ago and closed the business. Their #68 style SWC bullet for .45 ACP was long known for its excellent feeding and accuracy. This bullet style is generally described as a cast bullet weighing approx 200 gr with a longish flat nose (meplat), a sharp edge on the body (semi wadcutter) and a single grease groove. It is usually sized to .451 or .452 and has a flat base but could be ordered with bevel base.
George Hensley started making moulds in 1933 behind his home in the then countryside of San Diego CA. Where his home is today is the center of a bustling industrial modern city. But back then, it was fields and homes. George hunted for cottontail rabbits in his back 40 when he wasn’t making moulds. And his shop was a shed behind his home.
Back in 1933, the depression was in full swing. George needed to make money. There was no such thing as an ISO 9000 operation. George took raw materials and made a mould for money. His ledger was probably a bound ledger that you see in antique stores today. He scrawled down what the customer ordered, made it, and shipped it, and then moved on. Later, as they made more and more moulds, and became Hensley and Gibbs, there was more of a standardization of markings and such, but remember, this was mid 1940 or so. More than 60 years ago.
Geo. A. Hensley stands for George A. Hensley, a machinist who started the business in 1933 that eventually transformed into “Hensley & Gibbs” in about 1941 when George partnered with James Gibbs, father of Wayne Gibbs. George A. Hensley and James ran the business in the war years (World War Two) out of a small shed in the backyard of George A. Hensley’s home in San Diego, CA, USA. In 1964, George Hensley had by then retired, and James moved the operation to Murphy, Oregon, and later his son Wayne Gibbs joined his father in the manufacture of the finest bullet moulds ever made. James Gibbs retained the Hensley & Gibbs name after the move to Oregon despite George’s retirement.
As an aside, most of the moulds back then were shipped rail express as opposed to US mail. It was just a different time and place. So understanding context of when a particular mould was made is very important. Time was money in those days. George just got it done.
To view the images please use the link https://docs.google.com/document/d/13u-aIwaZJ6wJ2PB9Vz0AvPi4KJJcbeTJggyeuqLyPfE/edit?usp=sharing
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