View Full Version : Lee Tumble Lube Bullets
05-16-2009, 08:34 AM
Question for the List,
In recent years I began using Lee Precision six cavity molds casting their bullet designed for tumble lube and no sizing (TL452-200-SWC) . I would love to hear from others that have experience with this procedure, and do you think the accuracy of those bullets is less then bullets that have been sized and lubricated in the more conventional way. This way is easier; perhaps Iím getting lazy in my old age.
05-16-2009, 08:54 AM
i don't have any 6 cavity molds, but i use only lee molds and have shot them sized and unsized. as long as i get my recipe right and do my part, I see little difference in accuracy to conventonal bullet designs.
05-16-2009, 09:08 AM
If the boolit fits without sizing, nothing more needs to be done. However I hand lube with regular lube and run through an oversize Lee die so the boolit itself is not sized but excess lube is removed and I get 100% better accuracy then I do with Lee snot.
Every gun is different so you just need to test one lube against another. Do not be afraid to put other lubes on the tumble lube boolits. There is nothing at all wrong with the boolit itself.
05-16-2009, 09:41 AM
My favorite boolit for .45 Colt is Lee's TL452-230-TC. I think that's the designation. It would also be a great boolit for .45ACP. I lube them with LLA and load them without sizing (with 7.5 grains of Promo and any LP primer; don't use this load in a prewar Colt SAA, but it's probably OK for any postwar .45 Colt. Use at your own risk) Crimp into the top little lube groove.
I also have a 158 grain .358 tumble lube mold, and I shoot them in .38 Special +P's without sizing them.
I have other molds where I have to size them down to .357 or else use a Lee FCD to take the bulge out of the loaded rounds otherwise they don't chamber in my revolvers (they still chamber just fine in my Marlin carbine, but it's cut a little looser)
Rooster Jacket is another good tumble lube that is less messy than LLA. In nonmagnum pistol rounds, it actually does a better job than LLA. I haven't tried pushing the envelope with it yet because I have lots of LLA and it works great on hot loads.
05-16-2009, 10:33 AM
When I started casting with Lee 6 cavity molds, I sized all of the bullets with a Lee push through sizer just for uniformity's sake. Every once-in-awhile, I noticed that a bullet would take more pressure to size. Sometimes, it seemed like quite a bit of extra pressure was needed. It was then I decided to run everything through the push through sizer.
Where do the oversized bullets come from? Specks of lead on the mold face or relaxing grip on the handles which allowed the mold halves to come apart a bit? I don't know. But I do know that an oversized bullet could lead to a round jamming in the chamber and could also lead to higher pressures.
05-16-2009, 05:33 PM
Thanks to all, your thoughts are much appreciated.
I to get the occasional oversize bullet, i just recycle them. i have found if the mold mark is easily seen the bullet is a bit over size. i am almost out of the Lee Alox, so think i will try a jug of Rooster Jacket.
05-16-2009, 05:41 PM
My best group was .80 inch from a 4" S&W 65 at 25 yards. It was lubed with LLA. I hate it because its so messy. But it sure does its part if you do yours.
05-17-2009, 07:26 AM
I run them all through a LEE sizer for uniformity. They shoot well as cast, however there are some that are just large enough ti cause chambering hangups. I really like the TL series of molds.
05-17-2009, 11:58 AM
LLA works great for me on all types of boolits, however, my homemade lube works just as well.
05-25-2009, 10:13 PM
My favorite game is cowboy sillouette. I cast and load for two of us, and we shoot thousands of rounds a year, 30-30 and .357. I use lee's bullets and lube because it saves me time and money. The LLa can be cut 50\50 with mineral spirits and all you need is a light varnish type coating on the boolit, just like the coating on Hornadys swaged bulk lead boolits. But of course conditions have to be right, like boolit sized to bore ect.
05-25-2009, 10:30 PM
Oh! and yes, I have found that for good groups, and no leading I have to size the boolits from lee's six cavity molds. They are not consistant. But lee's push through sizers make that a breeze. I dont even lube them twice like lee tells you to. Once a boolit is sized properly to a bore, lube is not a major. I have found most boolits in the berm are still full of lube. I laugh when I hear peope talk about lube grooves not being deep enough or holding enough lube. Most boolit lube is wasted.
05-25-2009, 11:21 PM
You realize how much conventional lube a TL boolit holds??? I lubed some TL style with OLD NRA Lube (Beeswax, Paraffin, Vaseline) here a while back, I couldn't tell a difference between the LLA and the Old NRA.
Their boolits shoot good. However, I do have major complaint with their molds. I can't get a TL boolit to consistently fill out if my life depended on it. I run my pot at about 700-750, and my boolits frosty in my Lyman blocks. But even if I cast so that as soon as the sprue is solid I'm cutting and dropping, I can't get them blasted things to fill out. Which is bad because if they don't fill out then they don't usually drop large enough for my barrels.
05-26-2009, 05:25 AM
All I use is lee molds and I size all of them and use lee lube. Why take a chance?Plus I hate pulling bullets apart.:groner: And I have not had any problems with any of them. .356, .357, .452, .401
05-26-2009, 08:56 AM
I feel like the blind hog that finds the acorns. My absolutely best mold is a Lee 452-200 TL six cavity. I can cast faster than the Lee Pro 20 can melt the lead and the boolits jump out of the mold as I open it no matter if it's the first cast or so hot the boolits are frosty. They fill out nicely and are the only cast boolits that my XD45 will function with. All my H&G #62s cause failures to extract/feed as the extracting case rim hits the next boolit in the magazine and strips off the extractor. I couldn't figure out what the problem was at first but by loading alternate GI ball ammo and the H&Gs in a mag I found the GI ball wouldn't extract and the H&G rounds (with the ball next up) worked fine.
05-26-2009, 09:30 AM
Calkar gets the same results as I do. When lubing boolits for .357 and .44mag. rifles I use a thin coat of LLA and an additional coat of paste wax. Don't know if it helps much but it sure dont hurt and is quick to do and they are cleaner to handle and load. Accuracy is plenty good for me and the guys I shoot with.
I use the Lee push through sizers without any lube. Boolits come through sharp and shiny, ready for the tumble lube.
Life is good
05-26-2009, 09:46 AM
Before my divorce and unemployment I shot IDPA all I used was the same mould that you have. I'd water quench then tl no sizing. I used 5.8gr uniqniqe this load shot better than I could. Another shooter using my gun and load put 10 rounds into a group that would fit under a quarter at 50yds. I hope this helps....lost
05-26-2009, 07:32 PM
jd , I just took a look at my melting pot to see what setting I used last on my lee molds and it is set at 850. But I am also using frankford arsenal drop out. I dont boil my molds or any of that sillyness. I just degrease with an old toothbrush and mineral spirits, let dry and lightly spray with the drop out mold release. The spray of mold release has to be very light or it will mess with your measurements.
05-26-2009, 07:54 PM
Remember jd , alum. molds require more heat. That may be your fill out problem, or your pace is not fast enough, or your tin content is not enough. I got a great deal from Granger for lead free solder. Using a combination of scrap lead pipes, wheel weights, and tin I adjust my alloy till the bullet weight is what is shoud be.
Slow Elk 45/70
05-26-2009, 10:29 PM
The TL Boolits work well for me , lube and size or not , them the way you like , they preform very well for me.
If you have issues with the molds , try "Lementing" them , this is not a hard task and has worked very well for me on several molds that were being APITA . Works for Me.
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