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Thread: Tell me about the LEE .358-166-SWC

  1. #1
    Boolit Master maglvr's Avatar
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    Tell me about the LEE .358-166-SWC

    Hey Folks:
    Wondering if anyone has ever taken big game the LEE 166gr SWC in a 357 mag? If so, how well does it penetrate etc.?
    In either handgun or rifle/carbine.
    Also like to hear any likes and dislikes from those that have played around with this boolit, whether you hunted with it or not.
    Also, how it compares(or doesn't) to the 358429, and what yours weighed cast in WW's etc.?
    OK, can ya tell I just want to hear ANYTHING about it? LOL!

    Many thanks!
    maglvr
    Last edited by maglvr; 07-21-2011 at 04:46 PM.
    The .357 Magnum......
    1935
    Major Douglas Wesson, using factory loads which were a 158 gr. bullet at 1515 fps from an 8 3/4" barreled S&W producing 812 ft. lbs of muzzle energy.
    Antelope - 200 yards (2 shots)
    Elk - 130 yards (1 shot)
    Moose - 100 yards (1 shot)
    Grizzly Bear - 135 yards (1 shot).

    The above, kind of makes ya wonder, why today, it will bounce off anything bigger than a rabbit

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Gas Check? Is that somthing like Beano? Yeap it translates to Beano lead.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master maglvr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwight hardy View Post
    Gas Check? Is that somthing like Beano? Yeap it translates to Beano lead.
    Now that's funny right there!!! LMAO!!! Good one
    The .357 Magnum......
    1935
    Major Douglas Wesson, using factory loads which were a 158 gr. bullet at 1515 fps from an 8 3/4" barreled S&W producing 812 ft. lbs of muzzle energy.
    Antelope - 200 yards (2 shots)
    Elk - 130 yards (1 shot)
    Moose - 100 yards (1 shot)
    Grizzly Bear - 135 yards (1 shot).

    The above, kind of makes ya wonder, why today, it will bounce off anything bigger than a rabbit

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I have one in a 6 cavity. It shoots OK, not great, but OK. It is basically a longer version of the Lee 140 gr SWC. I cast a few as I didn't have any to take a pic of. They weigh between 168 and 169 gr cast of WW + a little tin. They are pretty round, casting just over .359. Not a bad boolit, but I have better options, so I rarely use it. Never used it on game or tested penetration.
    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
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    The 166 is a longer version of Lee's 105 & 140 SWC, I shoot both. I noticed Lee no longer makes the 166 anymore. I've found the 105 & 140 to be very accurate in all my guns. The 105 is especially good as a plinker bullet and shoots well in the 9mm Luger. One can use a Lyman 402 Top Punch with all three bullets and a 402 seating stem same as for the Lyman 356402 120 TC bullet. Both the 102 & the 140 cast big---.361" with WW metal so the right top punch is important.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master para45lda's Avatar
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    Them's some purty boolits you "threw together"
    If you're gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough.
    SASS 17373
    Proud Dad of a USAF Airman

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by para45lda View Post
    Them's some purty boolits you "threw together"
    Thanks for the compliment! But you can see the top band on the middle boolit isn't quite filled out. That's my main complaint about this design as far as casting it is. That thin front band doesn't fill out a nicely as a thicker one does, at least for me anyway.

    Incidentally, I have a 140 as well, and it matches the 166 very closely. But my 105 gr Lee is different. Has a thicker top band and the nose is different. Maybe just because it is a newer version, I don't know. I can fit nose of the 166 into the 105 mold, but I couldn't fit the 105 into the 166 mold. I would be interested to see if someone with a newer 140 gr mold, if it had the thin top band, or a thicker one. If it matched the new 105 or the old 166?

    The 105 shoots the best out of all of mine. Maybe because of the different nose and band? 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!

  8. #8
    Boolit Master maglvr's Avatar
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    Thanks guys for the pics and info.!!
    I just ordered one of the 2X molds and can't wait to try it out.
    Thankfully a top punch is something I don't have to worry about, being that I use a LEE sizer and LLA/JPW for lube.
    It looks like it should be a good penetrating boolit, I hope i'm right about that.
    I will most likely be water dropping them, from straight WW's.
    Feel free to chime in everyone! The more info, the better.
    Many thanks!!

    maglvr
    The .357 Magnum......
    1935
    Major Douglas Wesson, using factory loads which were a 158 gr. bullet at 1515 fps from an 8 3/4" barreled S&W producing 812 ft. lbs of muzzle energy.
    Antelope - 200 yards (2 shots)
    Elk - 130 yards (1 shot)
    Moose - 100 yards (1 shot)
    Grizzly Bear - 135 yards (1 shot).

    The above, kind of makes ya wonder, why today, it will bounce off anything bigger than a rabbit

  9. #9
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    It does have one of the smallest meplates ever made in a 38 cal swc.
    [The Montana Gianni] Front sight and squeeze

  10. #10
    Boolit Master TCFAN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCall View Post
    Thanks for the compliment! But you can see the top band on the middle boolit isn't quite filled out. That's my main complaint about this design as far as casting it is. That thin front band doesn't fill out a nicely as a thicker one does, at least for me anyway.

    Incidentally, I have a 140 as well, and it matches the 166 very closely. But my 105 gr Lee is different. Has a thicker top band and the nose is different. Maybe just because it is a newer version, I don't know. I can fit nose of the 166 into the 105 mold, but I couldn't fit the 105 into the 166 mold. I would be interested to see if someone with a newer 140 gr mold, if it had the thin top band, or a thicker one. If it matched the new 105 or the old 166?

    The 105 shoots the best out of all of mine. Maybe because of the different nose and band? Thanks, Billy
    I don't have a 166 but I have a 140 and a 105 that I bought about 1 year ago. They both are as close to being the same except for the length and weight. The nose of one fits in the other mold. Bands appear the same.
    I dug a couple out of the reject box .


  11. #11
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    I have the 140 version with the narrow front band , I found it liked 1 groove of loobe !
    GP100man

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    lee 166

    The Lee 166 was my "go to" boolit for several years. It outshot every other boolit I tried, and I tried a bunch. It really loved to be pushed HARD and FAST. Only complaint was it was a 2 cavity. When I acquired a # 43 H&G in 10 cavity , I retired the Lee 2 banger. Not that it was more accurate it just was far more productive.
    If I could find a 6 cavity 166 I'd be all over it like white on rice.

  13. #13
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    I shot one of the best groups of my life with this boolit cast from a single cavity mould. It was in an old 4" Dan Wesson (external barrel nut) my dad owned. One ragged hole offhand at 25 yards. Wish my dad hadn't sold that gun. Never hunted with this boolit though.
    "Is all this REALLY necessary?"

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Lee 166

    As for penetration... this boolit shot clear through everything I shot at except a 69 Buick.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master maglvr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sagamore-one View Post
    As for penetration... this boolit shot clear through everything I shot at except a 69 Buick.
    I owned a couple of '69 Buicks and know they were BUILT like a tank!!
    The ones made today are much thinner skinned, so I assume i'll be well armed should the need to ventilate a Buick arise
    The .357 Magnum......
    1935
    Major Douglas Wesson, using factory loads which were a 158 gr. bullet at 1515 fps from an 8 3/4" barreled S&W producing 812 ft. lbs of muzzle energy.
    Antelope - 200 yards (2 shots)
    Elk - 130 yards (1 shot)
    Moose - 100 yards (1 shot)
    Grizzly Bear - 135 yards (1 shot).

    The above, kind of makes ya wonder, why today, it will bounce off anything bigger than a rabbit

  16. #16
    Boolit Master maglvr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fishman View Post
    I shot one of the best groups of my life with this boolit cast from a single cavity mould. It was in an old 4" Dan Wesson (external barrel nut) my dad owned. One ragged hole offhand at 25 yards. Wish my dad hadn't sold that gun. Never hunted with this boolit though.
    I love D-W revolvers! I have a 6" 14, 8" 14, and 8" 15, some of my favorite revolvers for sure! They do shoot!!
    The .357 Magnum......
    1935
    Major Douglas Wesson, using factory loads which were a 158 gr. bullet at 1515 fps from an 8 3/4" barreled S&W producing 812 ft. lbs of muzzle energy.
    Antelope - 200 yards (2 shots)
    Elk - 130 yards (1 shot)
    Moose - 100 yards (1 shot)
    Grizzly Bear - 135 yards (1 shot).

    The above, kind of makes ya wonder, why today, it will bounce off anything bigger than a rabbit

  17. #17
    Boolit Master maglvr's Avatar
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    Got my mold yesterday, naturally I had to try it right out! A quick scrub with carb cleaner/toothbrush, Some wood match smoke and I was in business
    Pic below with their 1st coat of LLA/JPW, will size them later today, lube them again, dry them and load a few for testing.
    I am happy to say, using WQ-WW's they dropped at 170-171 gr., just what I wanted!
    I guess this will be my poor man's "358429" LOL!
    Hey, at least the WEIGHT is the same
    I'll always wonder, why LEE bothered to call this the 358-166-SWC, when they could have more accurately named it "The Crayon"
    I bet it is a penetrator though!! Bring on the '69 Buicks
    Last edited by maglvr; 07-26-2011 at 04:56 AM.
    The .357 Magnum......
    1935
    Major Douglas Wesson, using factory loads which were a 158 gr. bullet at 1515 fps from an 8 3/4" barreled S&W producing 812 ft. lbs of muzzle energy.
    Antelope - 200 yards (2 shots)
    Elk - 130 yards (1 shot)
    Moose - 100 yards (1 shot)
    Grizzly Bear - 135 yards (1 shot).

    The above, kind of makes ya wonder, why today, it will bounce off anything bigger than a rabbit

  18. #18
    Vendor Sponsor evan price's Avatar
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    Lee also made a 150-grain version of this bullet. There is the 105, 140, 150, and 166.
    Due to market fluctuations I am no longer buying range scrap jackets.

    Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc

  19. #19
    Boolit Master maglvr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by evan price View Post
    Lee also made a 150-grain version of this bullet. There is the 105, 140, 150, and 166.
    Anybody know what was so great about that "crayon tip", that they made it in 4 different weights in .358?
    The .357 Magnum......
    1935
    Major Douglas Wesson, using factory loads which were a 158 gr. bullet at 1515 fps from an 8 3/4" barreled S&W producing 812 ft. lbs of muzzle energy.
    Antelope - 200 yards (2 shots)
    Elk - 130 yards (1 shot)
    Moose - 100 yards (1 shot)
    Grizzly Bear - 135 yards (1 shot).

    The above, kind of makes ya wonder, why today, it will bounce off anything bigger than a rabbit

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    As far as I can tell, the Lee 150 gr SWC was not the same as the 105-140-166 series. Close, but it was more like the C358-158-SWC, with the gas check cut off.

    As far as being special, I don't think there was anything particularly special about the design. Back before Lee started making the tumble lube designs, you saw a number of molds like this in their catalog. The Lee 358-150-1R mold had a 117gr and a 178gr version. The Lee 410-195-SWC is the same as the Lee 410-240-SWC, just shortened by one band and lube groove. They had a series of wadcutters that were the same way, one light, one med, one heavy. Each one just lengthened by one band ond one lube groove. Even the little 32-93-1r was available at one time in a 119gr version and a lighter 74 grain? version I think. Same with the 32-100-2R. I have been looking for a 32-120-2R, the heavier version of it, for some time, with no luck.

    They did kind of the same thing with 30 caliber rifle boolits as well. With the 150-160-170-180-190-200 series of boolits look the same, except each step heavier, the nose gets s little longer.
    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!

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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