View Full Version : Lee 45cal 500gr
This is my first post here. I am a BPRC silouette shooter, just picked up new 45-70, I presently have a the Lyman Postell 535 gr mold, I order a the Lee 90577 mold 45cal 500gr mold. since this is my first aluminum mold, what precautions should I be aware of, do I degrease the same as the steel molds. is there any sprue plate galling happening since it's steel to aluminum, and the alignment pins are they also steel pins aligning on alum holes or are they steel inserts where the pins set. any input will be appreciated, I should have the mold this week, for the price, It's worth a try, is there a reason I don't see anything on Lee molds on the BPRC forums.
05-22-2005, 05:59 AM
............Hello Chet and welcome to the board. First of all the reason you don't hear Lee moulds discussed to much (or at all) on the BPCR boards is probably 2 fold. One is that Lee only has one boolit that would be considered useable, and the other reason is that due to the volumn of slugs used by a silhuette competitor for practice, sighters and competition would probably tax a Lee pretty good.
Only the Lee 6 cavity moulds have steel on steel alignment pins. All the other moulds feature 'V''s on their edges formed when extruded as bars and these locate the block halves horizontally, and they're very effective. There's lots of surface area there. The weak link is in vertical location. This is handled by a steel roller bearing which is pressed in longways between the block halves.
Besides being steel on aluminum, the main fault is the lack of surface area involved. Without some care the steel roller bearing can beat against the edges of it's mating surface and lose accuracy. Lee moulds live on carefull use and judicious lubrication. Those long extruded 'V' alignment ridges on either side of the blocks do a good job except when aluminum gets hot it gets sticky, hense lube requirments.
Thanks for the prompt reply! when I cast with my Lyman, Redding molds in 40 &45 cal I normally cast at 800 deg. what is the optimum for the Lee in 45 cal single cavity.
05-22-2005, 10:09 AM
I use the Lee 405 PB mold A LOT, and I run my metal at about 750-775 degrees and get few rejects. About every 50-60 pours, I re-establish what is probably an ablative coating on the cavities by smoking them with a disposable lighter. With aluminum blocks, this coating delays heat transfer sufficiently to prevent premature solidification. Aluminum blocks shed heat RAPIDLY, and pull it away from castings with similar speed. This above applies to 92/6/2 alloy, BTW--I suspect if you're using 30:1 or similar metal, the temps may need raising.
Yes I am mixing 30lbs lead to 1 part tin
05-22-2005, 08:47 PM
............Chet, I use several Lee designs for 58 cal slugs for my P58 Enfield. This is naturally pure (or at least very soft) lead and I have the 20# pot cranked up into the high warp factors. A half full pot can show close to 1000 degrees on the Lyman thermometer.
As Deputy Al mentioned them sucking heat out of the alloy fast, it's true and I'm sure it's the reason Lee says to smudge the cavities from the git-go. The aluminum also radiates it's heat fast. Compared to other iron or steel blocks the Lee's don't have much mass for the bullet, in the 45's especially. If you do find the blocks overheating, a touch on a damp pad will get them back under control rapidly.
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