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Thread: Lee 452-255-RF Mold

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Lee 452-255-RF Mold

    I bought a Lee 452-255-RF Mold to make some boolits for my Vaquero 45 Colt.
    The mold casts nice once it is up to temp, but one problem they are out of round.
    The mold box says .452 they measure from .452 to .454 as they are rotated with some being up to .455 using a Starrett 0 to 1" Mike

    I have bought Lee molds before and not had this problem. I have read about their molds being out of round but thought I might get lucky.

    I dont think I will go shopping for Lee untill I hear they have this problem fixed.

    I only want people to beware of the problem I had not to trash Lee. I have many of there products which work as they are suppose to.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master pistolman44's Avatar
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    I have the same mold. It's also a little out and it cast 252 grains with WW. But it shoots good in RBH 45LC and my new S&W 625 using Auto Rim brass. I size all to .452. I'm on the pre paid waite list for Pat's 45PB gas check maker hoping this will shrink my groups more. Cheap as this mold is I don't think I will do anything to it. I have a Mihec 45 -200HP that I will use for bullseye shooting.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    I had a similar problem with a 452-230TC 6 cavity. It measured .452"-.458" because the alignment pins were loose in their sockets and allowed the blocks to shift laterally. I sent it back to Lee and they sent me another.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I have always dropped cast boolits on a doubled shop rag in a pan on a slope so when they fall they will roll to the end and not be in the way for the next drop.
    I am curious if the drop is making them out of round. I will check the alignment pins but they didn’t look loose to me. I was checking to make sure the mold tightly was closed for every cast.

    I am going to try some water drop boolits to see if they are round.
    I will post the results.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swede44mag View Post
    I have always dropped cast boolits on a doubled shop rag in a pan on a slope so when they fall they will roll to the end and not be in the way for the next drop.
    I am curious if the drop is making them out of round. I will check the alignment pins but they didnt look loose to me. I was checking to make sure the mold tightly was closed for every cast.

    I am going to try some water drop boolits to see if they are round.
    I will post the results.
    No, I can't see that.
    Makes a guy wonder how a lathe turned cavity can be out of round though. This seems to be a common Lee problem. I just send a bad one back.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Harter66's Avatar
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    I've that mould too for my RBH Colts . Mine drops at 265 and .454+- .0005 . Mine must have been a Wednesday mould.
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    For ANY Lee Mold: Grip the handles and see if the wiggle up and down. They all do. Tighten the bolt on the handle. This will allow the mold halves to close and open in the same plane.

    Results: Your bases will not be perfectly the same diameter, but they will have a smaller variance
    Regards
    John

  8. #8
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    Lee moulds are said to be cut on a cnc machine but I have had more than one that was out of whack. I sent back three custom moulds because of Quality. Maybe it's a Operator problem rather than the machine you think.
    Shooter of the "HOLY BLACK" SASS 81802 AKA FAIRSHAKE; NRA ; BOLD; WARTHOG;Deadwood Marshal;Bayou Bounty Hunter; So That his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat

  9. #9
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    Probably operator error. First, make CERTAIN there are no burrs on the edges of the cavities or top of the blocks that keep the mould from closing completely, and make sure there aren't little bits of lead flashing sticking to the blocks. If it's a two-cavity, you can't tighten the handles on the blocks because they are pinned, and they need some "play" in them to let the blocks close properly. If it's a six-cavity, the handle pins are just studs anyway, that's not causing your problem. A common six-cavity problem is the user gripping all three handles when pouring, and gripping the sprue plate cam handle will cam open the blocks a slight amount without you noticing.

    Use Bullplate or pure silicone oil to lubricate the alignment points, that will help the blocks glide home to their as-machined positions each time you close them. Like 44man said, I don't know of too many lathes that can bore an eccentric hole. (actually I do know of a few, and Lyman owns all of them, I believe!)

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  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    I have also found that on the Lew 6 cav the alignment pins can move over time. The male pin can start to stick out of the block enough to cause the mould to not close fully. Over time this leads to finning from the cavities closest to that pin. I put that half of the mould on a solid surface and use a hammer to pound the pin back in a hair.
    I have had this on numerous of me Lee moulds. I have to think that I was getting out of round bullets long before I noticed the finning.

    Brad

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Rocky Raab's Avatar
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    I have that mould also. I Lee-mented it right out of the box and haven't noticed any out-of-round problems at all.

    But then again, I've always had extraordinarily good luck. (A thought that brings to mind what I was doing at this time 40 years ago over 'Nam!)
    Please visit my shooting articles at www.reloadingroom.com and my Vietnam novels at www.rockyraab.com (Do use Firefox, NOT Internet Exploder)

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    After removing the handles I looked at the mold last night it had what appeared to be a thin coat of crud all over the face of both sides of the mold. This certainly would not be a good thing it may have been what caused the boolits to be out of round. When I had cleaned all of the crud off with my fingernail I use a toothbrush and toothpaste to scrub any crud that was left. It looks nice a clean now. I took it under my magnifying light to check for any burrs. There were some around the alignment pins this might have been what allowed for the buildup of crud. I took a sharp knife and lightly removed the burrs. I closed the mold to check for any problems that I might have missed. It closed fine I will try to cast some boolits this weekend and check for crud buildup and roundness.

    Thanks for your remarks and possible solutions.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    I coated the sprue plate, top of the mold & inside face of the mold. I tried the water drop quench method but the bollits came out pitted on one side. I cleaned the boolit cavities out with some acetone to remove any of the bull plate that might have merged inside of the mold. The boolits were cast onto 3 folded shop towels inside a rectangular pan with one end elevated to help cushion the boolits. I measured the boolits when they cooled they are still about .001 to .002 out of round. I suspect this is the best this mold is capable of producing I am not surprised it is about as good as my Lyman and RCBS molds can do without trying the Bull Plate. I am going to drill, tap and put allen screws to lock the bolts for the sprue to swing and stop against. I also plan on putting the plated screw on the side the cam presses against to stop it from gouging into the mold side as suggested by other forum members.

    Did I say I like the Bull Plate

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