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Old September 16, 2009, 10:07 AM   #1
max it
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I've read so much its a blurr now...

And I still havent cranked up my 10#pot.
I have moulds for 220g .45ACP which is fine, that's what I bought with the pot and the Ideal lube sizer. And that works beautifully in my Colt for target shooting.
Now I want to add 9mm for Steel Reactive shooting. My best guess is heavier is better, say 125g bullet. I will stick to the 2 cavity Lee aluminum moulds as that is what was taught me.
And I will need a sizing die and top punch too.
Here's the question: can I rely on the sales people at Midway to pick out a proper set of these or am I going to have to choose a mould? a sizer, and a punch. Confusing, since they are in inches not calibers. .355, .356. or .357.
Oh and since I shoot 38/357 mag also. What chance I can use the same bullet mould?

The proverbs in the Bible state: ''in the mutitude of council there is safety"

Much obliged,

Max
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Old September 16, 2009, 10:36 AM   #2
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chances are no you wont be able to use that bulltet in both guns. you need to slug both barrels to be sure. 9mm is usually .356 while 38/357 is .358. unless you 9mm slugs at .358, I havent seen a 9mm yet that was that loose. as for letting midway choose your sizer and top punch, don't know about letting someone else do that for me without slugging the barrels you guessing anyway. others may chime in differently.
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Old September 16, 2009, 11:22 AM   #3
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slug barrels?

Kyle, got it. I checked out ammosmith.com on slugging.
However isnt that overkill or does that take away the problem I read in Lyman's reloading book where he suggests that the way to go is try various sizing dies until one works best?

Much obliged,

Max

Last edited by max it; September 16, 2009 at 11:41 AM. Reason: uptick after checking youtube
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Old September 16, 2009, 12:43 PM   #4
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Like kyle said, slug your bore. Your 9mm will most likely come out to .355 or .356. GENERALLY a good place to start is purchasing a mold and sizer that will give you a finished bullet around .001" over your groove diameter. Undersized bullets tend to lead barrels. Fit is the most important aspect of having success with lead bullets. For a top punch reference for Lee molds check out Castpics.net and look on the left hand side of the screen for top punch charts. It will tell you which top punch will best fit the Lee molds. DO NOT let anyone pick out your stuff at Midway. BTW, if you have a .358 mold and you decide you need a bullet at .356 for your 9mm, you can indeed size it down .002 with no ill effects. Just make sure that the bullet will function in a semi-auto (maybe a light 38 spl bullet [.358 sized down to .356] in a round nose configuration may work, for example). But, I have found that if you try to sized down the tumble lube style bullets too much you will lose the micro-grooves and the bullet will hold less LLA. Good luck!
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Old September 16, 2009, 12:48 PM   #5
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You have some more reading to do. Not trying to be smart but. First off. Depending on what type lead you cast from. Some lee molds do not need to be sized. Second depending on the bullet you choose in Lee molds. they my be a Tumble lube. Lee sells a separate die seizer for these. And as said you really should slug the barrel.. true most commercial cast bullets come in a generic size. 9mm .356 or 357 .358. but that dose not mean that is what you should be shooting. The three biggest problems guys run into in casting are. Bullet Dia, which can be caused by the wrong seizer die or the wrong bullet alloy. Second would be wrong Alloy again. Pushing soft lead to fast or hard lead to slow. And third . wrong or bad bullet lube. I do not think you could get enough lube on a tumble lube bullet out of a lube sizer.
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Old September 16, 2009, 05:11 PM   #6
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I have 150# of alloy, its wheel weights with some plumbers tin, around 3% and according the fellow who made it the old wheel weights have 1% antimony. (he made this 11 years ago when WW's were better). So it isnt all that soft. I bought his whole rig including the pot, sizer/lube from Ideal and Lee moulds in .45ACP. I have been using his bullets which I got with the rig in .45 and the Colt is very clean.
I am now appraised to get the right slugging done. Except that this weekend I shoot with a bunch who use the same xd9's and they may know already what size the barrel is. They are reloaders.
Either way I am convinced that getting the right size is going to be worth the efforts.


Much obliged,

Max
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Old September 16, 2009, 09:58 PM   #7
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Max I sometimes size a 105 SWC that I cast for my .38 down to fit my 9mm not a big deal
Your alloy sounds fine, alot of times I mix ww and pure lead half and half and add a bit of tin and have had no leading. I didn't slug my barrel ,i size to .356 and it seems to work fine
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Old September 17, 2009, 07:22 AM   #8
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in case it hasn't been mentioned. you need to use soft lead to slugg your barrel. your alloy will be a pain to slugg the barrel with. stickon ww's are almost pure lead so you could take say a old soup ladle and a torch and melt enough to fill your mold with for a slug.
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Old September 17, 2009, 11:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
Except that this weekend I shoot with a bunch who use the same xd9's and they may know already what size the barrel is. They are reloaders.
Max, that by no means will tell you what YOUR barrel would slug at. It's possibly close, but there is always the possibility of manufacturing tolerances being off in your barrel. Also, I'd bet they have never slugged their barrel either!
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Old September 17, 2009, 12:14 PM   #10
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Guys, this sounds like catch 22
I have to have a mould to slug my barrel, to buy a mould the right size??
Or I have to buy a box of lead balls in some size a bit bigger?

complicated.

Max
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Old September 17, 2009, 12:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Guys, this sounds like catch 22
I have to have a mould to slug my barrel, to buy a mould the right size??
Or I have to buy a box of lead balls in some size a bit bigger?

complicated.

Max
When I did my .357, I used a .490 round ball of pure lead (its all I had) and beat the heck out of it to get it started. I think the desired method is to use a pure lead ball just several thousands over your caliber.
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Old September 17, 2009, 03:50 PM   #12
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when i slug a barrel, i find a mold that is fairly close to the size i need...for example, i used a 9mm (.356) mold to slug my .357. I did this by taking a cast bullet from the 9mm mold and hitting it with a hammer on the nose. It smashed it down a bit and in doing so made it a little fatter so I could slug my 357. The softer the lead the easier it is to slug the barrel. Good luck!
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Old September 17, 2009, 04:07 PM   #13
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I used bore butter to lube up the ball and barrel too.
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Old September 17, 2009, 04:20 PM   #14
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if your going to be buying a lee mold for your 357 you can use that mold to slug the 9mm also. just waite to buy your sizing dies and the 9mm mold till you slug both barrels. thats what i would do. or pm me your address and I'll cast up some soft lead 358 bullets for you to slug them with either way. if your buying lee molds its probably gonna be a .358 mold and a .356 mold. not much choice with lee's. just lap them out if they arent big enough.
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Old September 17, 2009, 11:26 PM   #15
max it
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sinkers? for Slugging

Guys,
There is safety in asking...however I just spoke to Lee Precision's techie, and got the model numbers of two moulds that should fit. Also they dont need sizing according to him. Use liquid Alox. So I mosied over to Midway and ordered them; two cavity alum moulds with micro grooves and liquid alox. I know it aint' what we discussed. but after deciding to try slugging and looking at ammosmith.com there still were too many ?? like where do i slug the .357 mag.<ammosmith showed a revolver being slugged thru the chambers not the barrel. this worried me as on a dble action it could bend the crane. At that point I decided that at $20. each for the moulds I would be happy to try that and if I get leading I will adjust my thinking.

I was just about to try and slim down a sinker I have at .400" to fit. Maybe later.

Much obliged,

Last edited by max it; September 18, 2009 at 05:51 PM. Reason: second thoughts
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Old September 19, 2009, 03:10 PM   #16
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Why order from Midway when ordering direct from Lee thru their website is cheaper? Midway charges a $4.00 fee on top of S&H which makes Lee products more expensive to get to your door than Lee does.
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Old September 19, 2009, 08:18 PM   #17
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Why order from Midway when ordering direct from Lee thru their website is cheaper? Midway charges a $4.00 fee on top of S&H which makes Lee products more expensive to get to your door than Lee does.
WHAT? Not in my experience! Do you mean the factory sales store? I hope you're a patient man, that you don't need that mold or whatever in a couple days! People have been waiting for months for lee factory sales to deliver stuff they ordered. If I had to wait that long, I'd wonder why I ordered it!

As for being cheaper, maybe, but I never have had 4$ fee added to any of my orders from midway.

I don't think gee, I'll be wanting to make some bullets in November, I'd better order the mold today from factory sales. I do think, I want to make some 45's next Wednesday, I'll order tonight from midway.
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Old September 19, 2009, 10:38 PM   #18
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Well, I can only speak for myself but I ordered from Lee Precision 3 different times so far. Each order arrived in about 1 week and each order would have been more expensive if I were to have used Midway. Like I said, I can only speak for myself but with such a good experience with them, I'd order direct from Lee again in a heartbeat.
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Old September 20, 2009, 12:55 PM   #19
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uh huh. Well last Monday @ 6PM, I ordered some stuff from midway. Wednesday @ 11:00 am it was on my doorstep.Postage and handling= $10.82, no it was UPS ground, not next day or special delivery.

I've had the same 2 day delivery from Missouri to Wisconsin since I started buying from midway. Exceptions during peak Christmas season, of course.

If you've had one week delivery from Lee, you're extremely lucky. I won't even wait one week. If they can't do better than that, I won't consider shopping there.
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Old September 22, 2009, 01:42 PM   #20
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Max when you get the mold from Lee. I will Guarantee you the paper work will say most don’t need sized. Not all. Best advise read the lyman or RCBS cast book. Don’t get discouraged and have fun with it. As for Mid-way. I have spent a boat load of money there over the years, great service. But over the last 5 or 6 years I have been getting everything from Mid-south shooters. Great service and the prices are a better.
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Old September 22, 2009, 05:37 PM   #21
max it
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Hornady, Yes I noticed the chapters on casting in the Lyman book. I will give it some attention on day I plan to do it. (cant do it in advance, everything new falls out, old stuff like high school in the '50 sticks around)

much obliged,

max
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