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Thread: lee mold

  1. #1
    Member akriverrat's Avatar
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    Default lee mold

    any opinions on the lee 1 cavity mold for the 45-70. # 459-405-HB mold number 90268. it has a round nose and flat point, hollow base. theres one on ebay for 24.00 plus shipping and am just wondering about any opinions on this mold before i purchase.

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    Member akriverrat's Avatar
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    Default forgot

    to mention it makes the 405 grain bullet.

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    All Lee molds are Aluminum and they are no where as nice as RCBS, Lyman or Seco steel molds. Aluminum is hard to get truly good bullets out of. I have cast over 1/2 million bullets by hand and i threw out the lee mold i had for rifle. Hand gun where you are plinking they are OK. Spend the extra and get a great mold. You will not regret it. Actually by the time you are done buying molds, lube and sizing gear you could buy a heck of a lot of bullets as with a 45-70 a few hundred a year should suffice.

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    With what little memerory I have at times, I beleive the 405 hb was for use in the spring field trap doors or the rolling blocks. I have a book by Pat Wolf (I think thats her name) and that bullet is the one recomemded. Will have to go to the shed and find the book.

    Gun Runner

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    Member HCL's Avatar
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    Hard to beat the RCBS 45-405, spend the extra money and get a good mold, you wont be disapointed in the long run. It will give you aprox 420gr bullet with GC and lube, using WW.

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    Member jakec5253's Avatar
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    Default lee mold

    I would pass on the Lee molds. I have a hard time keeping them in the right temp range to get good bullets. They go from cold to too hot really fast, then back to too cold. I have the best luck with RCBS, then Lyman.

    Jake

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    The Lee 6-cavity molds are good quality, with steel alignment pins. Lee uses a softer aluminum than other makers of aluminum molds, so you have to be gentle with them, even with the 6-cavs. I would never mess with a Lee 1 or 2 cavity mold--it's an exercise in frustration.

    It's definitely true that the aluminum molds cast differently than iron or steel. In my experience they like the lead on the hotter side, and a fast casting pace to keep the mold from cooling. When I cast with steel molds I'll usually touch the sprue plate to a wet rag as soon as the sprue cools, and sometimes also the bottom of the mold if it looks like the mold is starting to get too hot. This allows me to keep my casting pace up. With aluminum molds though, I generally don't have to do that since the aluminum cools faster.

    Mike

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by akriverrat View Post
    any opinions on the lee 1 cavity mold for the 45-70. # 459-405-HB mold number 90268. it has a round nose and flat point, hollow base. theres one on ebay for 24.00 plus shipping and am just wondering about any opinions on this mold before i purchase.
    I use Lee moulds for about 90% of my muzzleloader casting, but only three or four for my CF revolvers and rifles. Take that more as a sign of 40 years with other brands before getting into muzzleloaders, I guess. So I've got lots of experience with both. I agree about the differences in technique required. I don't notice any significant quality difference in the results however.

    Cost difference can be huge when you get away from the standard offerings by the old line mould makers. I paid over $100 when I ordered a double cavity round ball mould block without handles from RCBS. Meanwhile my wife ordered me a double cavity the same size from Lee for Christmas. Nice thought by her, and casting side beside you can't tell the difference between the balls. But the Lee cost $20 with handles.

    The big difference between the old line steel blocks and the aluminum Lees is a question of volume. If I was casting tens of thousands in a year from individual moulds as I did at the peak of my handgun shooting, I wouldn't think of using the Lee. But when I'm only casting 500 or so a couple of times a year out of a particular mould as I do for some of my muzzleloaders, I sure wouldn't "waste" the money on anything but Lee. Follow directions for breaking them in and take care of them, and they work just fine. If you're not sure how much you'll use a mould, I'd go for the Lee. You can always add a steel mould to your setup if it later turns out you are casting huge volumes of a particular model or style. You just haven't "lost" that much money starting out with a Lee to test things out, before moving on to the steel version later when you really need it.

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    I use a Lee mold for 170 gr '06 and it works well. I find them easier to use because the bullets drop out easier. I have RCBS, Lyman and Lee. All of them cast great bullets and are more accurate than thos I can buy in the sporting goods store. I lub them but do NOT size them. Shoot at cast size. I can routinely shoot 1" groups with 5 shots at 100 yeards with these cast bullets; often bettering the jacketed bullets. JMO. J.

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    I like the lee moulds but am not familiar with that one. The lee moulds are more fragile but you can buy 5 or 6 for the price of some of the others. Also google Graf and Sons, midwayusa, midsouth shooters supply and others. You should be able to get a single cav lee for about $19 and a double for about $24. That will be new not someones abused junk. A lot of people scoff at lee products and I too don't like some of there stuff, but there 1 and 2 cav moulds are ok and there 6 cav moulds are quite good.

  11. #11
    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    The thing about Lee is they make a wide range of quality levels. They make the cheapest stuff out there that are lower quality but will work for the guy that just wants to do a bit of reloading and has little money. Lee also has equipment that is as good as can be found on the market. The trick is telling the difference, this takes some research! People tend to just buy on the least price, and then are ticked off when the item won’t do what they want . . . never considering the product was never intended to do the job they ask of it. The other companies, like RCBS, make only top notch quality intended for a lifetime of hard home use and are more pricy then Lee’s cheap line. Lee’s name gets a bad rep from the cheep line even as they make a line of product as good as anyone around.

    Andy

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    Default Lee molds

    I have a Lee mold in 500 for the 500 Smith. It cast bullets out of round. It did not have have something keeping the mold from closing properly. Thatn was the narrow side. I finally sent the mold and some rep bullets back to Lee they sent a new mold, It did the same thing, not as bad so sent it back whit bullets. Got anew mold it is almost round so have kept it and use it. For the revolver it sizes out round and shoots well. The other Lee molds I have have worked out fine. Lee treated me fairly with the mold and their service. It the only Lee I have had any trouble with, I have three other Lee molds. On the other hand I Six Lyman molds, in steel, and have never had a problem with any of them. Just my nickles worth.

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    Hi Guys
    I just bought the same mould . I am very satisfied with it.
    I dont size the bullet, shoot it as cast out of my Marlin xlr.
    I have not loaded any hot loads, but mid range 1500 fps.
    Accuracy at 75 yrds is about 1-1 1/2 inches. Just getting
    into casting my own bullets and shooting cast. I was told
    you can load to the same velocity as gas checked bullets.

    mike

  14. #14
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    It seems folks either love or hate Lee molds. I've used molds from just about every maker, and have several lee molds. I have quite a few Lee molds and every one of them has produced good accurate bullets. Yes, they aren't nearly as tough as other makers molds, and the alignment pins will get thrown off if you get the slightest amount of lead in the alignment pins or recesses.

    I've found if you cast straight wheel weights, and cast hot enough to get frosty bullets that the lees fill out well and make good bullets. Like any mold they need to get up to operating temp before they will throw a good bullet. Just don't beat the mold cutting the sprues or slam the mold when you close it, and it should last a long time. That goes for all molds.

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    Why risk ebay?
    You can get it from Lee, for only a cupla dollars more, and from Midway for less than $20.00 plus shipping, of course. You may have to backorder.

    Smitty of the North
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    You can't out-give God.

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    Default New molds

    I just picked up three new molds. All seem to cast well. Lee 90471 and 90394 for smoke poles and Lyman 462560 for the smokeless stuff.

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