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Old December 12, 2008, 06:01 PM   #1
60's Refugee
Join Date: September 21, 2008
Location: Galion, Ohio
Posts: 34
Minnie ball diameter .575?

I have a new Armi Sport .58 Enfield. The bore size is supposed to be .577. Yesterday I bought a new Lee minnie ball mould. It's supposed to be .575. Today I cast up about 60 rounds. After they cooled I tried one for fit in the Enfield. The bullet was so big it wouldn't go in at all! Minnies should be able to fall into the bore on their own weight in a clean gun.

I took a mic and calibrated the ball. Its 1/32" oversized! Is Lee in a habit of this?

I know many of you run your rounds through a sizer. I've never had to do that with a minnie ball.

What gives?

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Old December 13, 2008, 02:00 AM   #2
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Join Date: March 15, 2005
Location: Central Connecticut
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So the minnie measures .60625?
What kind of lead was used?
The Lee mold is designed for casting with pure lead. If pure lead isn't used the projectile will be larger in diameter because lead alloys aren't as dense as pure lead is.
But if the mold wasn't made to specifications, then Lee should replace it. While I would guess that's not a very common occurrence, it's a distinct possibility.
Could the aluminum Lee mold have gotten too hot during casting which caused it to expand?
Are electronic calipers or a calibrated instrument being used for measuring? How much do the minnies weigh compared to Lee's stated weight for the cast projectile? Are their diameter & weight consistent? More than one minnie should be measured and weighed to see what their average is.
Another possibility is that the bore is undersized and/or also that the "mic" measurement is off.
And there could also be a combination of more than one of the above.

Last edited by arcticap; December 14, 2008 at 02:06 AM.
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Old December 13, 2008, 05:13 AM   #3
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Location: Mississippi
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Original Enfield bores were .577. Repros are .580. My Lee cast minies are .578 and my Lyman's are .577. Both load easily. No they shouldn't drop down the bore but the weight of the ramrod pushes mine down to the last three inches or so. I use stick on wheel weights to cast my minies. IMHO you got a bad mold. I have 8 or 9 Lee molds and none of them are so far off that bullets can't be used as cast.
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