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Topic ClosedBest Molds?

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NH_Hunter View Drop Down
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aka The Kid

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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Best Molds?
    Posted: 15 June 2003 at 06:49

Hey all ye casters of boolits out there, what company makes the best bullet molds. I am thinking about starting up casting and i would cast round balls, some maxi's, and some bullets for whatever bpcr i end up getting. Thank you ahead of time for the help,

NH_Hunter

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 June 2003 at 08:53

lee or lyman would be the top of my list, as a beginning bullet-caster.

i have 3 lee molds, all in .30-cal flat-point (113, 150 and 170 grain), but i have not prepped or used them yet. from the reading i have done, they look to be the way to go.

TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 June 2003 at 10:09
I guess I'm kinda undemanding of my molds. Either that, or I've just been plain lucky. I have molds by Lyman, RCBS, Lee, And Saeco. They all cast acceptable bullets!
Im know the "mold snobs" look there collective noses down at the cheapy Lees, but they have always worked for me. Just about the most cost effective line of molds
on the market now, IMO.
I like Lee's RB molds much better than Lyman's. On balls cast from Lyman molds, I always have a 1/16 inch or greater sprue on the ball, Lee's are just a small flat where
the sprue cutter whacks it off.
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NH_Hunter View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 June 2003 at 14:51

Thank you Tasunk and Triggerguard, i will probably get some casting equipment over the summer, when i get my paychecks. I dont know when i will fit them in seeing as i am going to buy a muzzleloader, a shotgun, a bow, and maybe a replica 1892 Winchester and shoot black powder in it. I do want to shoot bullets that i make in the muzzleloader and the winchester. While i am at it i will probably buy some molds for my two .30-30 rifles.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 June 2003 at 16:16
You can get started casting pretty cheaply with the lee products. Molds
will run you about $16 to $18. Sizing is not always needed, most Lee designs
are made to be used as cast. Lee liquid alox bullet lube is about $3 per bottle,
and will lube a bunch of bullets. An electric pot is a nice to have item, but
I started out with a Lyman lead pot and dipper over a coleman stove.If you do
have to size your bullets, the lee sizers work well. I use a couplke of Lyman
lubrasizers, but you don't HAVE to have them. Look at Lee's website, go to the catalog
page and scroll down to the bottom, where they have their surplus items listed.
They often have bullet molds at a discount price.
"...A moral compass needs a butt end.Whatever direction France is pointing-towards collaboration with Nazis, accomodation with communists,...we can go the other way with a quiet conscience"-O'Rourke
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NH_Hunter View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 June 2003 at 00:41

Thank you triggerguard and tasunk for your help.

NH_Hunter

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Deputy Al View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 August 2003 at 04:22
I have a pretty wide range of mold makers on the shelf.  I would rate RCBS as the best commercial molds in terms of user-friendliness, SAECO a very close second, and Lyman well behind them.  I have a lot of Lee molds, too--and they are a real bargain.  They can be a little cranky for a new caster to use, but there are little tricks you can use to make them behave like they should. 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 August 2003 at 11:54
al - describe the eccentricities of the lee mold, and the trix. please feel free to start a new thread, or continue this one!
TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 August 2003 at 17:45
Lee molds are a lot better than their low price justifies. They can be a little cranky, though. Once in a while, their dimensions can be out of whack too.

My principal problem with the Lee molds is cavity snags--little machined hooks and crannies that prevent bullet release. I lap the molds by taking a casting FROM THAT CAVITY and drilling a small hole about 1/2" deep centered in its base. Using an Allen wrench or similar tool tapped into this hole, coat the bullet's entire surface lightly with automotive polishing compound--NOT rubbing compound. Place the lap inside the cavity loosely, then begin turning the lap a full turn in one direction while closing the blocks gently. Reverse the lap's rotation one turn, continuing to gently close the blocks. Repeat this process five times. The cavities will be smoothed considerably, opened perhaps .0003" to .0005". Rubbing compound can be used to REALLY open up the cavities if needed, but after doing so be sure to use the polishing compound to smoothe things up. ALSO--BE CERTAIN to wash ALL compound out of the cavities after each application. I use hot water and a toothbrush for this.

BE SURE to lube the centering surfaces with bullet lube--it doesn't take much--and a bit of lube on the sprue plate pivot bolt is a good idea too.

Lee molds DEMAND that the cavities be smoked before casting begins. No slight to Lee--most aluminum molds require this as an ablative coating to slow heat transfer from the alloy to the mold block.

Is your Lee cavity a little too small? No Problemo--just use a little piece of aluminum tape (available at any heating/ventilation/air conditioning supply store). Beagle, one of the regular posters at ShootersTalk came up with this idea--I've used it to "open up" molds from .359" to .362" for my 38 S&W boolits. The process is known as "Beagling", in honor of its developer. BTW, that is some kind of adhesive on the aluminum tape--it sticks at mold block operating temerature quite well, but comes off with Gun Scrubber easily after the blocks cool down.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 August 2003 at 17:50
Post script--

The "tricks" listed above are NOT my developments--they were "borrowed" from the posters at ShootersTalk, and I'm pretty sure Waksupi was among the folks that shared these ideas with us.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 August 2003 at 15:59
Some of the best moulds I have are from companies no longer in business.  Modern Bond and Cramer are some of the best with RCBS following.    Orygun
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 August 2003 at 09:05

O-Mark.....

I hear ya, and I sure miss Walt Melander's work.  The two best molds I own are his tools, NEI's in 25 caliber. 

For the mass produced stuff, the RCBS and SAECO are tough to beat.  I think a beginning caster owes it to him/herself to start with GOOD TOOLS, and learn the tricks of the hobby on good tools.  I think of the Lees and Lymans as better suited to experienced casters, due to the fixes and tricks needed to make them user-friendly.  I wonder how many potential casters have been turned off to the hobby by balky tools........

RCBS molds are NOT cheap......good tools cost money, but the most expensive tool in your workshop is the one you paid for and it sits unused due to poor quality/unserviceability. 

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 August 2003 at 17:17

Always have liked the old Ideal and Lyman moulds.  My old RCBS 32-170 has also done well by me.  Had some trouble with my first Lee, but finally did get it to cast decent.

Just got an older Saeco (.45 Colt) and a Magma (.45-70 405) and am looking forward to them.

Regards,

Regards,

WE
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