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Thread: Lee .357 172gr mold

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    Lee .357 172gr mold

    I came across a 2 cav .357/.38 mold that looks to be a Keith style SWC thats $25, is that a good mold/buy?

    Jeremy
    Will engineer for money, food, guns, ammo, knives, motorcyles, trucks, shiny objects and most of all, TO PROVE YOU WRONG WHEN YOU SAID IT COULDN'T BE DONE!

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Lee made a 358-166-SWC that was just a longer version of their 140 gr SWC.I have a 6 cavity, and it shoots OK, but there are other molds just as good. $25 isn't great, but not a ripoff either if it is in good condition.
    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 Mold
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    Ok, thanks, I think i'll pass.
    Will engineer for money, food, guns, ammo, knives, motorcyles, trucks, shiny objects and most of all, TO PROVE YOU WRONG WHEN YOU SAID IT COULDN'T BE DONE!

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    "Looks like a Keith"

    Common statement, often means only that it is some sort of semiwadcutter. Usually
    an oversimplification by someone not familiar with the fairly subtle details of boolit
    design.

    Not meaning to be to critical, but actual Keith designs have very specific design details that
    define the Keith design which are not just a SWC nose. If you are interested, I can
    elaborate.

    I agree - $25 for a used Lee mold is no deal.

    Bill
    If it was easy, anybody could do it.

  5. #5
    Boolit Mold
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    I do appreciate the help Bill, but I am aware of the differences of a Keith and a plain SWC.

    I was interested in it because I want a heavier bullet than what Lee offers for my .357 mag. Money is short, so I'm kind of limited to lee. I'm also leary of lee molds from someone I don't know that I can't inspect and try out first. I think I'm going to get a 358-125-RF for my .357 and 9mm and size differently as needed, and later a 358-158-RF for the mag.

    Jeremy
    Will engineer for money, food, guns, ammo, knives, motorcyles, trucks, shiny objects and most of all, TO PROVE YOU WRONG WHEN YOU SAID IT COULDN'T BE DONE!

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Ohio Rusty's Avatar
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    For $25 I would have snatched it up, and cast boolits from it. There is alot of load data for a 170 grain boolit on the net. It would have been worth trying as a deer load. If you didn't care for the boolit as a SWC, with that weight, you could have it modified into a HP mould with a nice cup face. You can't get a Lyman mould on Ebay in any caliber for $25. They are double that price.
    You can never have too many moulds ....
    Ohio Rusty ><>
    "This is America !!, where many have fought and died for our right
    to celebrate our views with inflatable creatures in our yards ......."

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I had a single cavity Lee back in the late 80's that cast a swc plain based boolit of about 166 grains when cast of wheelweights. I wound up giving it to a friend who had a RedHawk in 357 that just loved hot loads of blue dot with that boolit.

    Have fun with this stuff.

    Big Dale

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I have one of those 358-166-SWC moulds that I bought way back when I was shooting alot of 38s and 357s. I thought it was a pretty good boolit then. I hadn't used it in years but when I was looking for a plinking load for my 35 Whelen, I gave it a try. It does quite well at about 1300 fps which was what I think I was getting in my 6 inch 357. Mine does drop boolits that weigh about 172 grains.
    Last edited by Maineboy; 02-08-2011 at 01:34 PM.
    Maineboy

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    I have never seen a Lee boolit design that I might mistake for a Keith design. Of course,
    that doesn't mean that they never made any, just that they are not in the current catalog
    and I have never noticed one in the past.

    Any pix of this design?

    Bill
    If it was easy, anybody could do it.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    The 358-166 doesn't look like a "Keith" design. If you look at the Lee 358-140-SWC, add one more lube groove and band, then you have the 166. As a matter of fact, the lee 105's I cast are pretty much the same thing, just a shortened 140. The 105-140-166 all share the same style. I believe that the 166 is the mold in the auction the OP was talking about. I don't know of a Lee design that actually looks like a "Keith" design either.
    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!

  11. #11
    Boolit Mold
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    I just saw a bad picture of the mold and the best I could tell it looked like a Keith, one large lube groove and 2 driving bands and plain base.
    Will engineer for money, food, guns, ammo, knives, motorcyles, trucks, shiny objects and most of all, TO PROVE YOU WRONG WHEN YOU SAID IT COULDN'T BE DONE!

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Here's my mould. I couldn't find a loose boolit but I have one seated in a 35 Whelen case
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	lee 358-166-swc.jpg 
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    Maineboy

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    Nothing like a Keith, neither nose, or number or depth or shape of lube grooves,
    design of driving band, or crimp groove.

    These may seem like pointless quibbles to the newbie, but I can assure you that
    they are the key variables in boolit design.

    Sorry, very inaccurate to call it "like a Keith" other than it is circular in cross section.

    Bill
    If it was easy, anybody could do it.

  14. #14
    Boolit Mold
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    FYI, The mold pictures I saw looked nothing like the 166, so come off your high horse. I've been reading Keith and studying his material for a long time, so I do know what a Keith style looks like and from the pictures I saw, it looked like that, not a standard SWC. Just because I haven't been casting bullets since lead was discovered doesn't mean I don't know anything. But if you like, keep being a snob. So please forgive me because my 15 years of studying and serious shooting doesn't account for much. There is obviously no way I can tell the difference Keith vs SWC, especially since Lee never cataloged one. Never mind that it could have been a special run or modified or just an aluminum mold put in a Lee box accidently, I don't know. I suppose I'll wait until I've been casting for 30+yrs before I post or ask a question here, maybe then I might be able to tell the difference between a Keith and SWC.
    Last edited by jeremy_p; 02-07-2011 at 10:20 AM.
    Will engineer for money, food, guns, ammo, knives, motorcyles, trucks, shiny objects and most of all, TO PROVE YOU WRONG WHEN YOU SAID IT COULDN'T BE DONE!

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    You may have a group buy mold. Where did it come from?
    JMHO-YMMV
    dd884
    dgilbert07 at windstream dot net

  16. #16
    Boolit Mold
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    I just saw some guy on the internet selling it, its gone now.
    Will engineer for money, food, guns, ammo, knives, motorcyles, trucks, shiny objects and most of all, TO PROVE YOU WRONG WHEN YOU SAID IT COULDN'T BE DONE!

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    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!

  18. #18
    Boolit Mold
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    Yeah, that one with the crappy picture. Hard for me to see much but it ain't the 166 but almost looks like a Keith, but if you can tell better from that picture you have better eyes than me, or moniter.
    Will engineer for money, food, guns, ammo, knives, motorcyles, trucks, shiny objects and most of all, TO PROVE YOU WRONG WHEN YOU SAID IT COULDN'T BE DONE!

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Its all well and good to debate the merits and drawbacks of different designs but what we all want to know is whether the seller described it as VINTAGE.

    Paul

  20. #20
    Boolit Master

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    Is the design in the photograph the one you are talking about? If so, it is not
    like a Keith. If I misunderstood and you are talking about a different design, I
    apologize, but that Lee design in the pic is not like a Keith design at all.

    Can we go back to the beginning and get a nice clean start on this? It is a small
    error and easy for any new person to make and should not turn into a big
    mess. We try to stay friendly on this site.

    Bill
    Last edited by MtGun44; 02-08-2011 at 08:32 PM.
    If it was easy, anybody could do it.

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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