View Full Version : Reply from Mountain Moulds
11-12-2005, 09:18 AM
I went ahead and talked to Dan at Mountain Moulds. I get along with the guy so don't give me any of that brown nosing bullshit. I asked about him doing custom moulds for us, here's his reply:
Nice to hear from you again.
The question has been raised before and the answer is the same -- anything that I can do, can be done with my online program. That's all I do, so I doubt if I can help them out with custom designs and certainly not gang molds. I used to do a little custom work as a favor to friends but it wasn't profitable, so that came to an end.
I'm not surprised to hear about the Lee problems. I've said all along that Lee is losing money on custom molds and the day will come -- when the founder dies and the company is taken over by beancounters -- when Lee raises prices and/or stops doing custom work alltogether. This is not a criticism of Lee, just simple economics.
11-12-2005, 09:21 AM
I think the moral to the story is to get the kind of custom LEE's you want now, for as long as the gettin's good.
11-12-2005, 09:40 AM
Well I have listed before all the parts they have to make to mfg. a 6 cavity mold, that they sell and ship to distro for like 25 bucks.
Now another thing to look at is MOST of our bullets a 30 caliber round nose mold could be recut to our cavity, so we have 33 in the blocks, and then have them recut.
11-12-2005, 05:35 PM
I get along with the guy so don't give me any of that brown nosing bullshit.
I've said all along that Lee is losing money on custom molds and the day will come -- when the founder dies and the company is taken over by beancounters -- when Lee raises prices and/or stops doing custom work alltogether. This is not a criticism of Lee, just simple economics.
This ain't no ****, but you explain to me just how LEE is losing money when: they sell their 6 cavity molds to distributors for about $25 who sell them for $36.79 and we get charged $50 a pop. Does it cost them $25 a mold to cut them (highly unlikely). I can put that same question to bean counter types at work to. I already know what they will say because i've asked them. So just how does Dan come up with that?
11-12-2005, 05:51 PM
Hell I don't know, ask Dan.
11-12-2005, 06:08 PM
We all know that products are carried that make little profit because over all margins on other products can hide the difference. These products are maintained as long as they benifit a portfolio offering.
I think that Dan's point is that someone else may see the product mix differently and be forced to either raise prices dramatically or discontinue the service. That is a judgement call probably made on his view of his costs involved. Since he is in the same business, I can't argue with that.
11-12-2005, 06:52 PM
Looks like an awful small spread to me. The cost of the machinist's time, the materials, the whole cost of business operation, and then if they come back and have to be redone? Wholly Molly.
How long does it take to decipher drawings and then set up? Then how long to cut accurately and make the run?
Still looks like a meager margin, even at $50... :shock:
11-12-2005, 10:30 PM
Just a few of My Own Thoughts.
I think Lee is making a few bucks on these custom molds. It does take time to set up a machine for a different mold, weather its theirs or ours. Once its set up, them more they make (molds) the more they make ($s)
If you think they didn't figure out R eturn O n I nvestment with this new machine, then you are nuts.
I bet Mountain molds could not knock off a bunch of molds at a reduced price because Dan would never send out a mold like my BD454CM.
11-13-2005, 05:38 AM
...........Brown Noser! :D But heck we already knew Dan wouldn't do CUSTOM moulds. The question was, would he give a price break on a run of X many that had been designed off his website. And remember, no 6 cavity. What's he do? Two cavity, 3 cavity?
11-13-2005, 06:08 AM
I'v run CNC and manual machines all my life, and I can tell you that priced 1,25,100,1000 I would not be the least bit surprised to see the 100 and 1000 prices 50% below the 25 part price. Lee has a "blanket" PO on the molds as he is both the maker and the buyer.
11-13-2005, 06:12 AM
What does he mean by?: "and certainly not gang molds"
11-13-2005, 08:40 AM
I gather Dan would do the moulds as long as the bullets could be designed from his online program, like he said AND probably that they were, I guess, two cavity. Far as a volume discount I don't know. Shall I ask him?
11-13-2005, 08:57 AM
He does do 3 cavity molds, but the cost goes up. I have his molds in aluminum, brass and steel - they all work good.
11-13-2005, 09:12 AM
This is likely to upset a few folks here, and I'm sorry for that. I do like the Lee 6-cavity molds, for sure. They are a cut above the 1- and 2-cavity critters, by all means. But as a consumer--given the quality of the product, the ease with which it is ordered, and the satisfaction I've received from Dan's molds--I far prefer the Mountain Molds, even if they "only" come in 2- or 3-cavity options. The molds cost a bit more, but are worth it to me.
I don't need a 6-cavity mold to feed my Ruger #1 in 45-70......it isn't belt-fed. If I have to "custom-order" a mold in order to get reasonable quality from Lee......I'll just spend a little more money with Dan and get a top-end tool right from the start.
I think Buckshot called the Lee 1- and 2-holers "consumables". That's a good way to view them, and as they wear out they will be replaced with RCBS, NEI, or MM tools. Life is too short to deal with cheap tools.
11-13-2005, 09:59 AM
When I querried Dan before, he wouldn't give discounts on volume orders. If someone can get that done for the same price we're paying now, it might be a good option.
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