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Thread: Anyone use the Lee casting moulds?

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    Sharp Shooter J-Rod's Avatar
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    Anyone use the Lee casting moulds?

    I'm needing to buy a new mould to cast some 45acp. I have a Lyman mould I have casted up some 38wadcutters with. It is a tad cranky but a good quality. Have been toying with the idea of a Lee mould for the 45. Anyone actually been using the aluminum moulds that could give me some feedback? I guess for the price I could pitch it the trash and worry too much if I don't like it. But hell if I can save some money that would be cool. Thanks J-Rod


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    Super Moderator handcaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J-Rod View Post
    I'm needing to buy a new mould to cast some 45acp. I have a Lyman mould I have casted up some 38wadcutters with. It is a tad cranky but a good quality. Have been toying with the idea of a Lee mould for the 45. Anyone actually been using the aluminum moulds that could give me some feedback? I guess for the price I could pitch it the trash and worry too much if I don't like it. But hell if I can save some money that would be cool. Thanks J-Rod
    I have, and use, LEE aluminum moulds a lot. I also have SAECO, Lyman, Ideal (old!), NEI and others. The only LEE moulds I've ever had any trouble with are
    the 6-cavity jobs. Keep breaking the sprue plate/handle set. But the double and single cavity moulds are fine. They come to temp quickly. If the melt has enough
    tin in it and the temperature is adequate, they fill nicely. Lyman and the others typically size their mould cavities to cast almost true size with the Lyman #2 alloy.
    LEE sizes theirs to cast true with wheel weight alloy. Convenient back when wheel weights were available cheap.
    The LEE 228gr Microgroove mould for .45acp is nice... the round nose is slightly smaller diameter than the body so it feeds easily through most actions. And the multiple, small, lube grooves lend themselves to Liquid ALOX lubing which, if your mould casts bullets true (don't need sizing), means you can lube them in a plastic bag instead of running them through a sizer/luber. Very quick and convenient.


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    Sharp Shooter J-Rod's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input. I've got a lubrasizer and about 5 pounds of homebrew Ben's Red bullet lube so I could go with either style mould. Also got about 200 lbs of wheel weights so I need to make a decision and start casting. I had to add some tin (actually 95/5 solder) to get my Lyman mould to fill out the front face on the 38 wad cutter. Hoping the round nose 45 acp won't be as picky. Adding tin adds alot more money to the casting pot. I'm just getting into casting and am really starting to enjoy it. Got to admit it pissed me off a little at first. Now checking Midway for some more moulds and casting equipment. The 44 magnum could really use some homebrew Keith bullets!!


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    Administrator 1911's Avatar
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    The 44 magnum could really use some homebrew Keith bullets!!
    Keith is the man and so is his bullets! I have fired around 7500 rounds out of a 44 mag Super Redhawk, but have never fired a cast bullet out of it, but back in the day was always curious.

    I was always in fear of leading the bore, so never wanted to chance shooting them, so just plinked with Hornady jacketed bullets.

    When I got into 45 Acp and got convinced to try cast, I realized that it wasnt that scary, you just need to know a few ballistics and how lead/cast works.

    My best 45acp loads to date, have been cast bullets and shot damn fine!


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    Super Moderator handcaster's Avatar
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    And removing lead from the bore is so easy you can do it in the field. Let's start another thread on that one.

    Elmer Keith designed THE best bullet for revolvers but Lyman/Ideal made them off spec because it was easier to machine.
    Look closely at my avatar - it's a Keith design bullet but I had to have the mould made custom to his specs because anything
    made commercially to his specs is so collectible you buy them and put them on the shelf.
    His grease grooves were square and only one was necessary.

    Don't buy tin (or solder) to make up your alloy... go to thrift stores and estate sales, and watch CL for pewter. It's mostly tin and the casting world has MOSTLY
    not figured it out yet. Tin sells for beaucoup bucks per pound but pewter stuff is often cheaper... toss it in the melt and scrape off the dross. The tin
    has already alloyed in your melt.


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    Sharp Shooter J-Rod's Avatar
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    Got to do some shopping for some Pewter!


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    Sharp Shooter J-Rod's Avatar
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    2 cavity Lee 228 grain 45 acp mould is on it's way. I went ahead a got lubrasizer punch and sizer too. Whole works cost me $60 from Midway. Can't beat that. Hope the new Ruger SR1911 likes em. Going to give the mould a try with straight wheel weights, Ben's Red bullet lube, and smashed down on some Red Dot powder.


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    Super Moderator handcaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J-Rod View Post
    2 cavity Lee 228 grain 45 acp mould is on it's way. I went ahead a got lubrasizer punch and sizer too. Whole works cost me $60 from Midway. Can't beat that. Hope the new Ruger SR1911 likes em. Going to give the mould a try with straight wheel weights, Ben's Red bullet lube, and smashed down on some Red Dot powder.
    Now you'll hit the steepest part of your learning curve... keeping melt and mould temperatures in sync with your casting speed.
    Cold melt takes forever to heat the mould. Cold melt results in 'wrinkly socks' bullets.
    Too hot melt (way too hot) causes frangible bullets - you'll know 'em when you see 'em.
    Too hot melt makes for smear on under side of your sprue plate unless you wait longer before dumping bullets... but allowing bullets to cool too long makes them stick in the mould. Etc.
    Get the melt temp right, then adjust your casting speed for optimum mould performance.
    Adding tin makes the mould cavity fill out so you get square (sharp) edges on your base rim and lube grooves.
    Dropping the bullet into a five gallon bucket of water prevents dents and adds a surface hardening.

    Fun game!


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    Sharp Shooter J-Rod's Avatar
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    I appreciate the tips Handcaster!


  10. #10
    Sharp Shooter J-Rod's Avatar
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    Got to cast some 45 acp. Lee mould worked very good. A little bit different technique than my Lyman mould but worked good. Got keepers very very quickly. Pot was about 640-650 degrees. Mostly straight wheel weights with just a bit of left over Lyman in the pot. My only concern is they drop at a consistant 219 grain vs the advertised 228. Measure at .4525. Lubrasizer just kisses the outside edge with the .452 die. Very tiny lube grooves too. They look very nice though. Filled very well with sharp edges. Should I be concerned about the weight discrepency? Hell I'm going to load em up anyway.


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