View Full Version : Opinions on casting molds?

August 13, 2010, 12:54 PM
I'm looking to start casting, and needed input on the preferred molds. This is strictly opinion, and please be honest.
I'm shooting 45LC out of a Smith 5", and 45-70 out of a Guide Gun.
For the 45LC, I would like to find a mold to cast a "real" Keith style bullet. So, I'm thinking 250-260gr.
For the 45-70, I know that 405gr. is traditional, but that bullet is too big for the stuff I normally hunt. I have some factory 300's and some 350's, and would like to cast 350gr. RN.
Please sound off on your favorite mold manufacturers.
Appreciate it.

August 13, 2010, 12:56 PM
lee.. .452-255RF

August 13, 2010, 01:13 PM
I use Lee, because I am cheap. Best source of info on casting, bar none, is castboolits.gunloads.com.

Al Norris
August 13, 2010, 01:50 PM
... And with that, moving to the boolit casting forum.

August 13, 2010, 03:41 PM
lyman 454424 is the original designation for the keith, I believe. rcbs has a 270 flat nose, and it's a semi wadcutter. Handloader had a blurb about the lyman bullet a few months back.

August 13, 2010, 07:32 PM
I think you're talking about the 452424 Lyman mould, Salvadore. 255 gr SWC. Just got one and haven't used it yet. It's a two cavity mould. Been playing with the 457193 Lyman to produce 405 gr FP loads for my 45-70 and 45-90. Most folks around here like the Lee moulds, these seem to be working fine for me but I'm a casting newbie. There's something about shiny boolits. :D

August 13, 2010, 07:35 PM
i have seven lee molds..and one on the way...I dont have a problem with em.

August 13, 2010, 10:09 PM
That's what happens when you get geezerized tex, use to be 454....E.Pluribus Ammo

August 13, 2010, 10:26 PM
Wonder what the difference is?

August 14, 2010, 08:02 AM
The earlier .45 Colt revolvers shot for a .454 groove diameter, newer revolvers now go for a .452 groove diameter I believe.

August 14, 2010, 08:17 AM
Makes sense, last part of mould # is same as top punch number. Doubt that's a coincidence. I like it when item numbers mean something. :D I work with automotive part numbers for a living and all too many mean very little, just strings of useless numbers assigned by folks that don't know what they are supposed to mean.

August 14, 2010, 11:18 AM
I like Lyman moulds and have many. I happened into a few Lee moulds by accident and now use Lee moulds also including a few of thier 6 cav moulds. The Lee moulds need more attention to detail but work fine if you have just a leetle patience with them. RCBS makes good moulds I have one of thiers.

August 14, 2010, 04:21 PM
Bullet molds are like Kitchens & Bathrooms , the more ya spend the nicer the mold !!!!

I have lees that are some of my favorites along with lymans !

August 14, 2010, 07:20 PM
My favorite, and probably the best is Lead Bullets Technology by Veral Smith and would be good choice for your .45-70 and would be a good choice for your .45 Colt as well. Another good choice would be the RCBS .45-270-SAA.

August 15, 2010, 08:34 PM
I have been casting bullets for over 35 years. I totally quit using iron moulds and now exclusively use the Lee Aluminums. Aluminum moulds are maintenance free. No need to oil after use to prevent rust or clean/burn off the oil prior to use. They are light and do not wear your arm as steel is much heavier. They heat up to temp much faster and plus I often get perfect bullets in the first cast. Dont have to keep dropping rejects back in pot until the temp is right as with iron.
IMHO, cheap has nothing to do with my choice. If there is any drawback to Lee aluminum, they do not have the variety.
Frankly I am surprised RCBS & Lyman et al do not made alum moulds.

One other note to add. The lee moulds come with the handles.. No need to swap over handles all the time. For the price you pay of a set of OTHER BRANDs handles and one double bullet mould, you can buy 5 lee moulds.

August 15, 2010, 09:38 PM
So far the bullets I want to cast only seem to come from Lyman moulds. I'm looking forward to trying some Lee moulds, seem to be an excellent choice for my .30-30 cast bullet project. Dunno what the price difference is but for something like loading or casting equipment it doesn't matter to me as much as quality. Lee and Lyman are both at the top of the game as far as I'm concerned. Someday maybe I'll see the need for custom molds but today I wouldn't know how to order them.

August 16, 2010, 08:31 AM
I was bit of a mould snob, would only buy lee's round ball moulds. When commercial cast .45s went above fifty dollars per, I purchased a 230gr 6 cavity truncated mould from lee and cast up at least 500 in a session, worked great, nice bullet, I was a happy camper. Recently bought a .44 240gr round nose 6 cavity for my specials and a .323 round nose for my mauser and hopefully for my .32 spec. Do I think the Keith designs offered by lyman and rcbs are superior to the lees? Yes. Will I ever use the roll in the goop designs by lee? I hope not. Am I still a mould snob? Probably, but there aint nothin wrong with lee moulds.

August 22, 2010, 02:09 PM
Lee makes a mold #457-340-F that is a round flat nose mold just for the 45-70.My mold drops bullets at 343 gr and a diameter of .4585 to .459 depending on the lead used.I cast from wheel weights and water quinch.What I have cast so far has had a small degree of diameter difference mainly do to the fact that the lead was of a different hardeness.This bullet has 2 grease grooves and a crimp groove and drops at a length of .855 in.It is a plain base and the meplat measures at about .260 in.I keep my loads pretty mild,but still get over 1500 fps.

August 23, 2010, 08:39 PM
Interesting bullet, 458. How does it shoot? Which rifle(s) have you tried it in?

August 24, 2010, 06:31 PM
My first mould for my .45 Colt by choice was the RCBS 45-270-SAA. While it's not "the" Keith mould for the .45 Colt, you can still consider it a Keith mould because it remains faithful to his design criteria (three full caliber bands, flat bottom lube groove, large crimp groove, plain base).

November 18, 2010, 08:15 PM
Didn't see the question to me sorry.I have plinked with the Lee 340gr 45-70 in my Marlin 1895 26in but nothing at anything more than 10-15 yards so far.