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Thread: Lee/Midway TL309-230-5R

  1. #21
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks for the compliment Gunor. This is a tumble lube mold, but if you used a gas check it could be run through a lubrisizer. With out the check the boattail area would fill with lube and probably make a bit of a mess.

    No leementing on this mld, just cleaned and cast. 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!

  2. #22
    Boolit Grand Master Artful's Avatar
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    I just saw this thread - tag for future

  3. #23
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    Anyone tried it for a M1A? I just created a thread about this before I stumbled across this thread...

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?t=155792

  4. #24
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    Thank you for the pictures! I just went over and ordered this mold to try out. Looks good, but I am not a fan of the tumble lube grease grooves. Nice to know we can throw a gas check on it!

  5. #25
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Got my mold today and did a quick wash and cast a couple boolits. I'm not impressed!
    I posted in another thread but the front driving band is undersized, cavities cut .020" off center and a boat-tail design??? What were they thinking?
    The description on Midways' website says it has a large meplat. Looks more like a small roundnose.

  6. #26
    Boolit Master thehouseproduct's Avatar
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    What does the nose measure?
    Visit my page at www.echoarms.com for casting, reloading, and firearms accessories as well as FFL services in Southern California.

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  7. #27
    Boolit Master

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    There is no meplat on this boolit, it is certainly a small rn after the long 5R ogive. It looks like it will feed perfectly, I've had issues with other FP molds feeding in my 300.

  8. #28
    Boolit Bub afrance's Avatar
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    I had written John Lee about something like this in 2010 and got the response from him below that stated they were very unlikely to add it as a standard item but I could make one myself. Midway obviously has deeper pockets than I do and could afford the "full responsibility for success or failure". Maybe I should have written Midway instead. I have to admit I was impressed though that he wrote back so quickly and not with a canned response.



    From: John Lee

    Sent: Mon 3/08/10 11:28 AM

    To: AFrance


    Very unlikely we would add a 30 caliber bullet over 200 grain weight as a standard item. I haven't done the Greenhill calculation lately but I am pretty sure a 1-10 twist limits a 30 cal to about 200 grains. That is not to say heavier bullets won't stabilize in some applications it does create a product that doesn't always give satisfactory results.

    I know we could apply all sorts of warnings that this heavy weight bullet may not stabilize in all rifles but I know exactly what kind of monster this special product will create.

    You are welcome to have a custom mold made as you can accept full responsibility for success or failure.

    Sincerely John Lee, President




    At 10:06 AM 3/8/2010, you wrote:


    Dear Mr. John Lee,

    As a happy Lee customer with dies, molds, lubes, trimmers, a press, powder measure, scale and reloading manual I figured the best place to go when looking for a new cast bullet mold that does not exist is Lee Precision. Realizing that even great ideas do not necessarily translate to good business plans I have taken several weeks to think through the features and benefits of my idea from both the consumer side and perceived business case. I realize that you have significantly more experience with casting and shooting than I do so please do not interpret my verbiage below as trying to "educate" you but rather note that it is the thought process I went through.

    Obviously in the current environment various factors have lead to a resurgence in handloading, casting and frugality. Additionally, there has been a surge in interest related to subsonic loads, primarily driven by the 300 Whisper's popularity (which builds on the "black" rifle popularity) but also by a new generation of casters learning about people like Ed Harris and "The Load".

    My current load development that started me down this road is an interest in low velocity, 30-06 loads that are accurate, economical, easy to lube, suitable for hunting and easy enough on my young son's shoulder to allow him to graduate from rimfire without excessive recoil and blast. As I looked around I was unable to find a heavy for caliber, cast bullet sans gas check in 30 caliber without expensive custom mold services. As you can note by the attachment (220 TL.bmp) I am not a professional bullet designer but ultimately took many of the design concepts I have learned from my own casting and information learned from fellow casters on castboolits.gunloads.com and made an attempt to show a proof of concept.

    My thought is to have a 220 grain (with wheel weights), round nose, tumble lube plain-based cast bullet that "bore rides" for alignment as well as extra "grip" on the rifling. Using the heavy for caliber weight obviously allows for energy retention at low velocity and is exactly what the 300 Whisper crowd is desperately looking for and yet can be stabilized with the 1-10" twist of the 30-06 and other magnums. With the blunt round nose a reasonable BC is created yet expansion still is possible when hunting. Plain-based allows for the extra step of adding the gas check to be skipped and a cost per round reduction of 35%+ with current gas check costs. This also allows the newer or occasional caster to dabble in low velocity 30 caliber cast bullets without needing gas checks and a sizer die in the beginning and falls directly in line with your current marketing ad in Handloader of "Recycle and Save, start your own bullet factory". The tumble lube design, as you well know, allows fast lubing with your Alox lube and again the ability of the casual caster to get started without having the extra step of sizing.

    This also allows the increasing number people wanting to try paper patching to easily wrap the bullet with the cylindrical tumble lube section. Afterwards, one pass through one of your appropriate sizer dies and they can approach jacketed velocity with cast. Lastly, in addition to subsonic Whisper loads and 30-06 low velocity loads, this weight and style bullet fits perfectly into the 300 Win Mag, H&H, RUM, WSM, RCM group wanting a low velocity practice round with Accurate's 5744. The 30-30 group looking for a heavier than normal cast bullet would appreciate this as well. A quick search on Google with the terms "subsonic cast 30 caliber" yields thousands of hits just begging for a sensible answer to this issue.
    A few recent ones that coinsided with my desire to acquire such a mold are: http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...light=subsonic http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...=mould+whisper http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?p=689247

    To summarize this lengthy email I believe a 220 gr, tumble lube, .311, plain based mold added to your current line would:

    Serve 30-30, 30-06 through all fast magnums with a solid, low velocity, hard hitting, economical, hunting/target/practice round,

    Be the only commercial 300 Whisper cast bullet,

    Reduce bullet costs by 35%+ without gas checks,

    Allow paper patching with the same mold as traditional cast shooting,

    Lube quickly with your Alox lube,

    Require minimal to no sizing for new casters.


    Again, I realize that few ideas translate to great business plans so I thank you in advance for your consideration.


    Sincerely,

    AFrance

  9. #29
    Boolit Master at Heavens Range

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    I also ordered one of these molds, and now I'm doubting it will stabilize in my 10 twist Contender or 12 twist rifles. We shall see.....

  10. #30
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    The nose on my the bullets cast from my mold are .303" in front of the front band to 301' to 302" just before the ogive. The nose will not enter any of my 30 caliber rifles but will enter my 7.65 Arg Mauser.
    I cast a bunch up today and had a heck of a time with the mold. Even though it soaked in mineral spirits overnight and I washed it with purple soap it still would not fill out well had pits inthe boolits. I used a soft brass brush to get the burnt machine oil off the cavities that kept leaching out and had to smoke the cavities a couple of times.
    The mold blocks must not be flat near the nose of the cavities as I kept getting flashing on the nose. Checked repeatedly for anything on the blocks but found nothiing holding them apart. Had to squeeze the handles as hard as I could to not get the flashing.

    I think I will install gas checks on some and leave some plain based to see what happens. The pb boolits I will tumble lube with some LBT Commercial lube and the gc will get lubed with Carnuba Red.
    I have a good load for my 300 Whisper with 314299 and WC680 so will probably reduce that charge and work up.
    Hopefully I can get these loaded tomorrow and go to the range by the weekend.
    I was hoping for a wide meplat as advertised so I could have used it in my 30-06 as a hunting boolit.

  11. #31
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    I just got my mold in, and it casts just fine. The nose is .301 in front of the band, and .300 right before the olgive. The drive bands are .310, and stays that way to the boat tail. all of the casts weigh between 234.5 to 235 grains with straight 100% air cooled w/w. The nose is interesting. There is defiantly a meplat on the nose, but it is small 1/16 of an inch or so almost not enough to mention. I will tumble lube with felix, and load them up in the morning. I should be able to take them out Saturday, and see if they shoot. I will use 240 grain load data for the whisper, and will shoot them out of a 16" blackout AR.
    Leadman, I would return your mold to Midway. It sounds like you may have got a dud. My cavity's are centered, and drop the bullets out easy. Some if not most cast in my mold just fall out when I opened it.
    xacex

  12. #32
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    leadman, if you close the blocks and hold the seam up to a light and see a sliver of light, the blocks aren't closing. No wonder the nose end makes big noses and flashings. You might have to tap the blocks closed with a semi-soft hammer such as a plastic hammer or a stick.

    In post #30 you also said you "soaked [the mold] in mineral spirits overnight.. . " I doubt you ever get all the "mineral spirits" out of that mold.

  13. #33
    Boolit Grand Master

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    No problem getting the mineral spirits out of the mold. Use either acetone or one of the purple soaps that are a strong alkyal (sp?).
    Don't know what Lee is using for cutting oil no that they went to cutting molds on the mill but it very hard to get out of the mold. The spirits does it, then the other stuff removes it. The mold is casting good looking boolits now, just not the right size,,,, YET. May modify it later.

    I added some lino to the alloy and the front band is still .307"
    Did get some gas checked boolits loaded in my 300 Whisper and hope to go out Sunday to shoot them. My thought was if these do not shoot well the plain base probably won't either.

  14. #34
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junior1942 View Post
    leadman, if you close the blocks and hold the seam up to a light and see a sliver of light, the blocks aren't closing. No wonder the nose end makes big noses and flashings. You might have to tap the blocks closed with a semi-soft hammer such as a plastic hammer or a stick.

    In post #30 you also said you "soaked [the mold] in mineral spirits overnight.. . " I doubt you ever get all the "mineral spirits" out of that mold.
    Good point about getting those mineral spirits out. I just use dish soap, and a soft brush to thoroughly clean my molds, and dry them on the hot plate set on low. Smoke with a wood match, and start casting. Some of the leementing may be unnecessary if the mold was cut good. Mine came out perfectly cut so I just cleaned, smoked, and cast.
    xacex

  15. #35
    Boolit Master at Heavens Range

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    Quote Originally Posted by xacex View Post
    Good point about getting those mineral spirits out. I just use dish soap, and a soft brush to thoroughly clean my molds, and dry them on the hot plate set on low. Smoke with a wood match, and start casting. Some of the leementing may be unnecessary if the mold was cut good. Mine came out perfectly cut so I just cleaned, smoked, and cast.
    xacex
    Here's how I prep new Lee molds. I hold the blocks over my bathroom sink and souse them with rubbing alcohol. Then I scrub the cavities with the alcohol and an old toothbrush. Then I scrub the cavities with the alcohol and a brass-bristled brush. That removes all burrs, etc. If it scratches the cavities I've never noticed. But, me, I'd rather have a scratch than a cavity which refuses to drop a bullet. After the double-scrubbing I rinse the cavities with the alcohol, give it some slinging to remove most of the alcohol, then let it dry. YRMV. Don't scrub it with the brass brush like you're removing paint. This method has worked fine on 30+ Lee molds, and is about to work fine on my new Lee mold, the one which is the subject of this thread.

  16. #36
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6.5 mike View Post
    Might make an interesting core for pp'ing in a 30-06, hummmm.
    My thoughts exactly...but with my fast twist 308 bolt gun. Re-read the thread and picked up what folks are getting for nose and driving band sizes...yup, sounds like it's worth a try.
    Last edited by offshore44; 06-09-2012 at 11:01 AM.

  17. #37
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I ran a plain based boolit thru the lubersizer and it did get lube on the boattail as expected. I set a boolit in a case with no flare on the mouth and it is a good fit, will almost scrap all of the lube off the boattail when seated.
    I wonder if this was designed with a boattail so it could be loaded without expanding the case mouth??

  18. #38
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I shot this boolit at the range today in my 300 Whisper carbine with 1 in 8 twist barrel. The results were not very good as far as group size, about 4 times as large as when I use the 314299.
    I do have some pictures that show the boolits are yawing when going through the target. All shooting was done at 100 yards with WC680 as the propellant. I started low at 9 grs and went to 12.3grs. My normal load with the 314299 is 11.5grs.
    Best group was over 4".
    These boolits were gaschecked and lubed with Carnuba Red, sized to .309".

  19. #39
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Just checked Midway's website and they did change the description of this mold so it seems pretty accurate now.

    I am going to load up another batch of these without the gas check and see what happens. I should be able to use the same range of powder charges as I did with the gas checked version.

  20. #40
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    According to the Springfield website, my M1A has a 1:11 twist rate. Any idea how well this would work in it with a supersonic load?

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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