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Old February 8, 2013, 08:10 PM   #1
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Need some help with mold choice

I am completly green to casting my own bullets and have a couple of questions for you seasoned vets. I am wanting to cast for my 45acp 1911 and have always shot 230gr fmj round nose out of it. I am only going to be punching paper with the rounds i cast and am doing it more for the enjoyment than anything. I am having trouble deciding what brand and what mold to get. I have noticed that most molds have a model number with them...can anybody point me in the right direction? I am going to be using wheel weights and i currently don't have a sizer.Is this something I need to acquire also?
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Old February 8, 2013, 09:08 PM   #2
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The Lee tumble 230 grain (or close to that weight) round nose tumble lube mold will cost around $20 or a little less from a majority of online vendors. It would feed like any 230 grain round nosed jacketed round.
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Old February 9, 2013, 06:08 PM   #3
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You MAY need a sizer. Slug your bore to determine groove diameter. Your boolits need to be .001-.002" over that size. This will virtually eliminate any chance of leading. You may be able to shoot as cast, depending on what size your mold drops. By the way, measure with a micrometer, not a caliper. GW
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Old February 10, 2013, 05:04 PM   #4
Mike / Tx
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As mentioned the Lee molds are great for the price as well a their sizing kit. I can also second the .452-230 as well in either TL of the standard. You can tumble lube them both.

Another one you might look at since your looking, is the NOE .452-230 as well. It comes with 2 sets of pins so you can pour HP or Solids from the same mold. It cost a bit more, but you get what your paying for. It also comes with a choice of either a small or large HP design.
Mike / TX
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Old February 10, 2013, 11:53 PM   #5
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If your 1911 will feed a SWC projectile (and most will!) the moulds patterned after the H&G 68 will be more pleasant to shoot and will make your precious supply of lead last a bit longer. Lee makes a nice 2 or 6 cavity TL version and I size them in the Lee sizer just to keep things uniform. Sizer comes with the excellent LLA lube, BTW. I started out with the 2 cav and moved up to the 6 cav after making sure they would feed and shoot well in my 1911's. The 6 cav just works so much better and faster.
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Old February 11, 2013, 03:33 AM   #6
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The best 45 mould I have is a Lyman 452374 which is a 225 gr RN. It's trouble free and easy to load and absolutely reliable. I have a 6 cav lee mould that is very similar which is just as good but 6 cav so perhaps better for that reason.

I had trouble getting the H&G #68 style 200 gr SWC to work right. It's finicky to load with (for me).
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Old February 11, 2013, 04:10 AM   #7
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nis, 2/11/13

Picking the right bullet mold can be really easy or a pain. If you're lucky you'll pick the right one which will drop all cavities the same size, 0.001-0.002" oversize so you can load them without resizing them (a messy and time consuming step). I've tried the Lee .45 Tumble lube mold, #TL452=230-2R and it dropped bullets from 0.452-458". Thus I had to resize everything. I got moderate leading and after a lot of time and effort found that loading the tumble-lubed bullets into the cases swaged the bullet diameter down to 0.450" which allowed gas cutting around the bullet and the resulting leading (Dillon Square Deal B reloader).

I tried the Lee 228 grain conventional lube groove mold and got bullet drop sizes of 0.452-453". However the ogive of the bullet was too fat for the cartridges to feed into my case gauge and some pistol barrels without sizing. Once sized it seemed to work OK.

I've also tried the Lee 9mm tumble lube and conventional lube molds with some of the similar problems.

Finally I just ordered a .45 mold from You slug your barrel and then order the size and style of mold you want, in either Aluminum, brass or iron. Mine drop at just the size I ordered so no sizing needed and they load and shoot well. No leading whatsoever. They work so well that I ordered a 9mm, 44 special and 770 grain 12 gauge mold.

Some people swear by the Lee molds and some swear at them. Take a look at a dedicated casting forum, and they have a bunch of "stickies" for the new reloader. Good luck.

best wishes- oldandslow
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Old February 11, 2013, 04:26 AM   #8
chris in va
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I use the Lee 452 228 mold. Frankly it's not the same profile as a 'normal' FMJ and has to be loaded at a short OAL for it to chamber. I also have issues with the aluminum peening where the halves come together.

Spend the extra $$$ on a Lyman or similar.
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Old February 13, 2013, 04:36 PM   #9
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The Lee tumble 230 grain (or close to that weight) round nose tumble lube mold will cost around $20 or a little less from a majority of online vendors. It would feed like any 230 grain round nosed jacketed round.

I started out trying to reload using the Lee Tumble-groove 230 grain lead round nose bullet. I had problems in my Ruger P90!

See my page with pictures here:

And a follow up here:

What I am certain of is that the shoulder on the Lee 230 grain LRN bullet is too big. That is, the step from the ogive nose to the maximum diameter is too harsh. It makes the brass case mouth stand very proud of the nose of the bullet. Enough so that when a spent case is being extracted, the rim of the case will catch on the case mouth of the next round in the magazine.

I talked with Lee about this, and their recommendation was to crimp the case mouth harder. I do not like this for a couple of reasons: First, it may increase pressures. Second, the 1911 is supposed to headspace on the case mouth. Crimp it too much and it will instead headspace on the extractor. Lee said not to worry most 45s headspace on the extractor anyway. I was unconvinced.

Fortunately, Lee makes another mold, the TL452-230, which is a 230 grain truncated cone tumble lube bullet. It has no step in it - the cone of the bullet nose goes straight to the outer diameter of the bullet, so the only step upon seating is the case mouth itself. I have had no problems with this bullet.

This mold costs the same as the 230 round nose bullet - about $20. Midway is out of stock but here is the link:

I wish Lee would fix this and offer a tumble lube 230 grain LRN bullet without the harsh shoulder on it.

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