Lee Molds

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Lee Molds

Post by Tim:H11 on 11/14/2017, 7:24 am

I’ve been casting my own projectiles for three years now but until last year it was all just round ball for my muzzleloaders. I’ve always used Lee aluminum two cavity molds for the round ball stuff because it wasn’t too critical. They don’t need to be sized or lubricated so I stayed with the affordable route and bought Lee. Less than $25 for a mold. They do overheat so a good trick is to run more than one mold at the same time and alternate, giving the mold some rest time between casts. Two of the same caliber or two different calibers and get work done for two guns. Or even a third.

But now that I’ve gotten my self well down inside the rabbit hole of Bullseye and again trying to keep things affordable I thought I’d cast for my 45 and 38 too. Last year I bought a two cavity mold for both guns. They worked ok but the production was slow. With my limited time in the evening I was only able to come up with 150 or so per caliber and it took more time than I cared to invest. I’d have to cast several nights to build up an amount of Bullets to keep me shooting for a while. 

So I bought recently a Lee six cavity mold and ran it last night. In less than 1.5 hours I had 396 45 caliber Bullets. And then in about 30 minutes they were sized. Tonight I’ll tumble lube em, set me out to dry and in a couple of days load them into live ammunition. The six cavity is SO worth having in comparison to the two cavity. They dropped from the mold easily enough, but the mold like the two cavity eventually overheats. Some of the bullets came out crystallized looking. When I gave the mold a rest and came back to it the bullets came out more smooth almost polished. I’ve shot them either way. They’re fine. Good enough for me at least. 

Thought I’d share my experience with the Lee products. Happy customer here.
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Tim:H11

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Re: Lee Molds

Post by Tim:H11 on 11/14/2017, 7:33 am

Also I should add that the 1.5 hours was start to finish. Start meanining when I turned on the pot, the lead melted and got up to temp, the mold had to heat up, I had to flux, and I reloaded the pot twice meaning I had to again wait for the lead to get up to temp, and flux. All that plus the making of 396 Bullets in 1.5 hours. Pretty quick I thought. Which I was happy to see.
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Re: Lee Molds

Post by JKR on 11/14/2017, 7:58 am

I'm with you on the Lee 6 cavity. I've got other more expensive molds but this one has become my favorite. I don't need to size the bullets from it which really speeds up the process. I installed  a set screw to help hold the sprue plate bolt from turning. Thats the only modification Ive made to it.

Jim

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Re: Lee Molds

Post by Tim:H11 on 11/14/2017, 8:19 am

JKR wrote:I'm with you on the Lee 6 cavity. I've got other more expensive molds but this one has become my favorite. I don't need to size the bullets from it which really speeds up the process. I installed  a set screw to help hold the sprue plate bolt from turning. Thats the only modification Ive made to it.

Jim

Careful not sizing the Bullets... I was not sizing them when I used my two cavity and they shot ok out of the Range Officer when I started this sport. But recoiled hard. When I got my wad gun built, they wouldn’t even chamber all the way in the match barrel. I have to size them. And if they are oversized then you run the risk over pressure or more than what you want/need. Also sizing them makes them a little more consistent. And consistency is the road to accuracy. Not each cavity will drop each bullet the same.
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Re: Lee Molds

Post by oldsalt444 on 11/14/2017, 10:12 am

I'm a believer in Lee molds, although it's been awhile since I've done any casting. The 6 cavity is the way to go for bullseye shooters.  I found that having a wet cloth is good for keeping the mold cool. After the bullets drop out, then place the mold on the cloth for a few seconds and keep casting.
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Re: Lee Molds

Post by JKR on 11/14/2017, 1:50 pm

Tim:H11 wrote:
JKR wrote:I'm with you on the Lee 6 cavity. I've got other more expensive molds but this one has become my favorite. I don't need to size the bullets from it which really speeds up the process. I installed  a set screw to help hold the sprue plate bolt from turning. Thats the only modification Ive made to it.

Jim

Careful not sizing the Bullets... I was not sizing them when I used my two cavity and they shot ok out of the Range Officer when I started this sport. But recoiled hard. When I got my wad gun built, they wouldn’t even chamber all the way in the match barrel. I have to size them. And if they are oversized then you run the risk over pressure or more than what you want/need. Also sizing them makes them a little more consistent. And consistency is the road to accuracy. Not each cavity will drop each bullet the same.
Of course you're right saying to be careful about not sizing. I've seen and owned molds that dropped way bigger than they were marked. In my case however, this mold drops very consistently .4525-.453. This works well in the 45's I own including three Kart barreled custom guns. But, as in all things concerning hand loading, pay attention!

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