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Thread: Lee 22 Bator mold caution

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Lee 22 Bator mold caution

    My 22 Bator mold arrived today and I cast up a few to dimension. I hope that the batch that Midsouth is shipping out are not all like this one. I printed out the detailed print of the bullet, so I know what it should look like. The mold that I have produces a bullet that has a gas check shank that is only .030" long, then a .055" wide third lube groove. The gas check has nowhere to crimp as this area is a lube groove. Also, the bottom of the mold blocks mismatch in height by about .005" to .025", although this does no harm. I will be calling Lee tomorrow, and I will report the results on this site.
    Bullet dimensions were taken on a 14" X 10X Optical Comparitor
    John

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Was it a 2 cavity or 6? I got a 6 cavity when they first became available and haven't done anything with it yrt, so I pulled it out and I can't tell any difference between it and the 2 cavity I have. Looks just like the drawings.
    Lyman 22596,225107,225353,225438,225415,225450,225646, 225462,228367,244203,245496,245497,245498,245499 RCBS 22-55-SP,22-55-FP,243-95-SP,243-100-FP, NEI 100244GC-#14, 55 224 GC-#4,225 45-#3 PB, NOE 22-055 SP,MX2-243,Saeco 221 & 243, RD TLC225-50-RF,Lee 22 Bator 6c & 2c HP. Love casting small boolits, let me know if you have one that I don't that you would part with!

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Bcall, It is a two cavity.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    My 2 cavity is a couple of years old. Wonder if it was just yours or all of the 2 cavity ones. Guess we'll see if anyone else has an issue. Thanks, Billy
    Lyman 22596,225107,225353,225438,225415,225450,225646, 225462,228367,244203,245496,245497,245498,245499 RCBS 22-55-SP,22-55-FP,243-95-SP,243-100-FP, NEI 100244GC-#14, 55 224 GC-#4,225 45-#3 PB, NOE 22-055 SP,MX2-243,Saeco 221 & 243, RD TLC225-50-RF,Lee 22 Bator 6c & 2c HP. Love casting small boolits, let me know if you have one that I don't that you would part with!

  5. #5
    Boolit Master phaessler's Avatar
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    I checked mine (a 2-cavity), had it about 6 months now, and looks ok, casts ok, but the GC shank runs small, you get a spinny check when crimped/sized.
    Pete

  6. #6
    Boolit Master at heavens range
    smokemjoe's Avatar
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    Got one mid summer and it was okey, 2 cav.

  7. #7
    Moderator & Lyman 45 Devotee


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    I got a 2 cav. bator this fall from Midsouth.
    and yes the gas check shank is real short...I didn't measure it.
    I lubed some with 45-45-10 and
    I dip lubed some with a experimental beeswax base lube.
    the gator checks I have don't "snap" on, they fit very loose and they can just fall off before sizing.
    when I do size them with a Lee .225 push through sizer die, they crimp on tight.
    I can't pick them off with a finger nail, in fact I had a few go on crooked,
    and I had to use a pliers to pull the Check off.

    When My range thaws out ????
    I have some loaded for 22 hornet I am itching to shoot.
    Jon
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I will be offering the GC seater plate for the lyman 45.
    Also I have replacement springs for the Lyman 45 lubesizer, If your's is weak or missing, let me know

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

    Moonie's Avatar
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    Mine is the same as JonB_in_Glencoe, I was unaware I needed a crimp groove lol.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    I talked to the mold technician at Lee Precision, who stated that the bullet should look just like the print that I downloaded from Midsouth, which shows an .085 long gas check shank. He asked me to return the mold to the factory for replacement. He was professional and polite; I could not ask for more to end the year.
    John

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Moonie, there is not supposed to be a crimp groove for the gas check. The .215 diameter of the gas check shank should be long enough to provide solid metal for the gas check to crimp in to. In the case of my mold, the .215 shank diameter is only .030" long and then the bullet diameter is reduced to .205", thus the gas check is trying to crimp into thin air. I think that your and JonB's mold are just like mine. Being CNC machined, the recently made batch may be all the same.
    John

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

    Moonie's Avatar
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    My gas checks crimp on perfectly, do not spin, do not come off even when pulling boolits out of cases with an impact hammer.

    My Bator boolits shoot great as well, I have no issues with mine at all. I'm sorry you do and glad Lee is taking care of it for you.

    Mine looks just like the image, haven't measured it as I haven't had any issues with it.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master

    wallenba's Avatar
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    John, I recieved my six cav from them this week. I won't be able to cast for a while so I took a pic. I don't have the tools you have for measuring that small (or the eyes to see it). Can you tell anything just from looking at it? click first image, click second image and then single click again for largest pic.

    My Hornady checks measure .040 from the inside center bottom of the cup to top of the rim. The closest I can check with my caliper is what you get a .030 high shank. I think they could be OK if they grip good.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by wallenba; 12-31-2010 at 01:41 PM.
    Dutch

    "The future ain't what it used to be".
    -Yogi Berra.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    My most recent Lee molds have a groove at the top of the gascheck shank. These are the 310gr 44 cal and 300gr 45 cal in 6 cavity. Don't know why Lee made this change as the gascheck does not crimp into this groove.
    The difference in height of the 2 mold halves is probably due to Lee cutting the molds with a mill one side at a time, so if the aluminum block is not set up properly this can happen.
    The group buy Mak bullet molds had the center of the cut offset to one block, made it very difficult to get the bullet to drop out. Lee did replace all molds turned in. Mine works great.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Hey Dutch, you did a great job with that photo, much better than my explaining it. You have exactly the same situation that I have. My gas checks are loose even when sized .224. The gas check has nothing to lock onto, as you stated, the gas check shank on the bullet is .030 high and the gas check has an inside height of .040. The gas check is not supported for 25% of its length. Sending you a PM.
    John

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Talking

    phaessler, have you tried annealing your gas checks to eliminate spring-back after sizing?

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmh54738 View Post
    Hey Dutch, Sending you a PM.
    John
    Got it, sent reply. I also just tried the 22LR case paper punch I talked about. It fits just fine in the check. Please try one on a boolit and see if it works. Could save a lot of trouble.
    P.S. two disks reduced the check inside height to exactly .030 with the paper I used.
    A 17 HMR case would be even better and easier to handle, but I don't have any.
    Last edited by wallenba; 12-31-2010 at 03:00 PM.
    Dutch

    "The future ain't what it used to be".
    -Yogi Berra.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master



    home in oz's Avatar
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    I got one from Midsouth yesterday, have to check it out.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Dutch, I have a dozen bullets to play with, but the mold already went back.
    Sent you another PM
    John

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    My six cavity is scheduled to arrive on Tuesday, and I have a 2 cavity mold that I purchased several years ago to compare with. Hopefully all is well.

    John

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Johnly, be sure to let us know, as you will have the old and the new together in the same place at the same time.
    John

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check