View Full Version : Lee molds....My 2cents
August 24, 2009, 11:18 AM
Heads-up on Lee molds. I own a H&G 68, NEI,Lyman, and now a Lee I cast for my SKS. I've noticed with the Lee mold its best to "Boil" the mold in a pot of water first. I was getting all kinds of wrinkly bullets at first . I use straight W/W with a touch of tin added. I cast HOT 700+degrees......Bullets drop out as smooth as glass.
August 24, 2009, 11:42 AM
Yup, and add a good squeeze of dish washing detergent to that boiling water! The cutting fluid they use when making the mold is like an water soluble oil. Soapy water takes it right off, allowing complete fillout.
October 14, 2009, 03:50 PM
Are you finding the Lee moulds to be durable? I haven't been satisfied with most of their other products (except dies, man I like their dies).
October 14, 2009, 05:48 PM
Lee Molds...you get out of them what you put into them. They do require some tweaking...most of the time.
October 14, 2009, 06:21 PM
Like the molds... not the dies tho.;)
November 6, 2009, 06:38 PM
I also like thier bullet moulds but not their dies for the most part. Their collet dies are great, but I hate the locking rings on all of them. Just FYI, although their 6 cavity moulds may NOMINALLY be the same as their 2 cavity moulds, such is not the case with the finished product. I know because I bought the H&G 68 200 grain SWC in both. There is nothing really wrong with either, they are just different.
I also use a few of their .45 Rifle moulds and they are great.
November 6, 2009, 07:33 PM
I have been pretty happy with my LEE moulds, though they may require a little tweaking as noted, no biggie. I really like their 6 cavity moulds and they, as expected, need more care than the 2 cavs. I do have one single cav mould that someone gave me...I ask you, who buys a single cav 45 mould? No wonder it was gave away!:D
I have a couple 6 cav non catalogged LEE moulds bough special order in a group buy on another board...A 350 gr GC FP for my 45/70 :) and a 6 cav repro of the Lyman 452374 rn 45 bullet! :) Now THAT's a 45 Mould!
November 6, 2009, 08:22 PM
Are you finding the Lee moulds to be durable?
In my experience, the 2-cavity mounds are more durable than the 6-cavity. However the 6-cavity molds allow a much higher rate of production. With care the 6-cavities are durable enough. The 2-cavities are cheap enough where you can get a whole bunch of different styles and find what works.
They arn't the most durable, but they are the best bang for the buck IMHO. Not having to worry about rust greatly offsets the lower durability as well.
November 8, 2009, 02:49 AM
One thing I forgot to mention as well is that the "cycle time" between the 2 and 6 cavity molds does not give that much of an advantage to the 6 cavity at times. It takes about twice as long to "cycle" a 6-cavity vs a 2-cavity in my experience, giving you only a 50% increase in production instead of a 300%. Sometimes longer depending on how readily the bullets drop from the mold.
November 8, 2009, 12:27 PM
In my experience, the 2-cavity mounds are more durable than the 6-cavity. However the 6-cavity molds allow a much higher rate of production.
My experience is exactly the opposite. The 6 cavity lee's are built much more solid. They have a better system of aligning the mold halves, the locator pins are steel into steel holes. The sprue plate has a cam operated cutter assist that eliminates the need to bang on the sprue plate to shear the sprues.
One note of advice:!!! Make darn sure the 6 cav. molds are up to or very close to casting temp BEFORE starting to cast. Or this will happen;
In case you can't identify those pieces, that's the cam lever for a lee 6 cav. mold. No, it wasn't me that did that. I'm tutoring a new caster, I borrowed my .45 200 rf mold to him. He thought he had it hot enough. Shearing 6 cold sprues takes a lot of effort, more that the lever could stand. Oh yeah, I sent those pics in an email to lee, along with an explanation of what happened. They replied the next day that inclusion of the pics allowed them to see what happened, a new lever was in the mail that day. Well 2 days later I got 2 new levers!
It's very important to lubricate any mold. More so with the lee molds. They say to use some bullet lube on the locator pins, sprue plate hinge and handle hinge. It works, but can get in the cavities raising he** with bullet fillout. The absolute best lube anywhere is bull plate lube available from the bullshop on www.castboolits.com Go to the bottom of the main page for a link, awe here it is for you; http://bullshop.gunloads.com/index.html
November 8, 2009, 03:51 PM
That bullshop link should almost be a sticky. He makes some great stuff.
His case lube is better than Imperial Sizing die wax. I tested it side by side on some hot loaded 45/70 cases and the difference in effort to size was telling.:cool:
November 17, 2009, 11:51 AM
Been using Lee molds since I started casting about twenty years ago. They all still work fine and drop good bullets. I have them in .30 (3), .44, .452 (2), .458, in .45 RB, .50RB, .535RB, .600RB, .690RB and two types of minie, as well as shotgun slugs. The point being that I use them a lot.
I also have molds by Lyman, RCBS, H&G, and CBE. I use them a lot too
I haven't noticed that the Lee molds are any less durable than the others.
I have noticed that the six cavity molds take a while to get to operating temperature and need a hotter melt to stay there.
Durable? How do you wear out a mold?
I like their dies. I like their presses, no better or worse than RCBS or Dillon (I use those also).
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