View Full Version : not happy with lee tumble lube mold

October 10, 2010, 12:29 PM
i bought a 6 cav 45 swc .452 200 gr tumble lube mold .im using straight ww.no stick on ww. im having bullets ranging from .449 to .458. come from this mold .am i doing somethin wrong or did i get a bad mold? :confused:

October 10, 2010, 03:32 PM
What is your casting temperature and what is your casting rate? Are you air cooling or water quenching? Did you smoke the mold? Are you lubing the mold pins?

I would love to help you, but I need more information.

October 10, 2010, 04:23 PM
the mold is a lee 45 swc tumble lube 6 cav .im using a lee production pot20 pounder with the heat seating set on 7.and yes the mold has been smoked and i always lube my pins and hinges with a smeer of lube. my casting rate is about as fast as i can clear the spru off and empte the mold with out it getting overheated. im just air cooling the slugs

October 10, 2010, 05:13 PM
If the mold is dropping that narrow I can think of a few things.
1 Worst case thinking is zinc contamination. This would cause the alloy to not fill the mold.
2 Mold not hot enough. Are there wrinkles or lines in the nose, and base. This can be remedied by preheating the mold.
3 Defective mold. If so call Lee thier customer sevice will fix the problem.

October 10, 2010, 06:22 PM
.432 200 gr tumble lube mold .im using straight ww.no stick on ww. im having bullets ranging from .429 to .437.

Something is badly wrong with that mold. Either that, or your measuring device is messed up.

A 45 TL/tumble lube mold should drop at .452, not .429. That's what a 44 mag mold should drop at.

I know that lee says to use bullet lube on the locator pins and sprue plate. Also they say to smoke their molds, I do not do that! I use sprue plate lube sold by a guy over on the cast boolits forum, called bullplate. It leaves a high temp film of lube on the mold and wear points.


Re-measure your bullets and get back to us.

October 11, 2010, 05:39 PM
sunday i cast 12 each in each hole .measured them today. still way out of specs . some were even .464. i think ill call lee up and ask for another mold .i dont want to have to buy a sizer die . after all isnt that the idea of tumble lube dies?

October 11, 2010, 06:44 PM
It`s way too big a bullet for 357 magnum :p

Pre warm ya mold on a hot plate & when ya close the mold look between the blocks for lite ????

If ya see any it`s probably a peice of lead or the guide pins need tweekin !

Another way to warm the mold is pour a couple holes at the time till ya get all 6 a hittin !!

October 11, 2010, 07:02 PM
From the thread on handloading.
this mold is throwing bullets anywhere from .431 to .437

But now you changed this thread to .449-.458. That's a lot closer to where it should be. The .449 bullet is probably not filled out completely, the .458 bullet is caused by NOT having the mold closed all the way tight. You have to have the mold hot, the lead hot, and the mold closed tightly.

I've got 8 different 6 cav lee's ALL of them work well, they are all within 5 ten thousandths of what they should be. That's not saying they can't make a bad one. But your inconsistency shows OPERATOR ERRORS. If all your bullets were round, and all the same diameter but undersized, or over sized, then the mold is at fault.

Take a long look at the mold. Does it close tight? Hold the closed mold up to a bright light, try to see if you can see light coming through between the closed halves. If you can, then there's something holding them apart. The guide pins have to go all the way into their sockets, and there CANNOT be any lead on the blocks that will hold them from closing.

If there's some lead stuck to the block faces, be very careful getting it off. Use a sharp wooden stick, nothing harder. The soft aluminum is easily damaged.

October 11, 2010, 09:53 PM
Something I have done on these six holers for years, and it's worked for me, as I have micced them and they come out pretty dead on is when I close them with the left hand, I have the little sprue mallet that I use on most of the "other" moulds and just lightly tap the bottom of the mould halves while closing. This seems to let the halves close a bit better on those line-up pins all the way. I reject dang few this way.

My two pesos

October 12, 2010, 01:12 PM
I'd cast up a few and keep the boolits from each cavity separate. Then measure each group to see if a particular cavity (s) is consistantly dropping odd size boolits. I think this will determine if the prob is the mold or my casting technique.

chris in va
October 15, 2010, 11:45 PM
Ditch the TL mold, get a 'regular' version. Both of mine wouldn't shoot worth a darn. You can still tumble lube them, just use some Johnson's Paste Wax in the mix.

October 16, 2010, 10:12 AM
i called lee and they said send it in . so its saterday ill se if it comes back in the mail today

October 16, 2010, 10:29 AM
Lee will most likely send ya a new mold instead of putzing around with the 1 ya sent in !!

I`d call em & see if they would trade for a 158rnfp , ya can still TL but ya have the option to pan lube or sizelube & wring out the alloy !!!:cool:

It`s kooled down & I`m gonna smelt a bit :D

February 18, 2012, 02:45 AM
What did Lee do for you? I just sent mine back because of the same issue. Did they communicate with you in terms of what they found and what how they would resolve the issue? Thank you.

chris in va
February 18, 2012, 12:43 PM
This post is 1.5 years old, probably better to PM the OP author.