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Thread: NOE vs. Lyman: 311299/314299

  1. #1
    Boolit Master nitrohuck's Avatar
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    NOE vs. Lyman: 311299/314299

    Hey all,

    So I wanted to pick your guys' brains a bit concerning the pros/cons of Lyman and NOE molds...

    Both offer the 314299 and 311299, one of which I will be buying in the very near future (most likely 314299)

    Who owns either or? Is it worth the extra cash for the NOE mold over the Lyman? I have heard so-so things about Lyman molds, NOE seems to be touted as a higher quality mold

    Does the 314299 NOE truly drop at size in your experiences?

    This will be for a B barrel m39, the reason I am on the fence between the two different sized molds is I have yet to slug the bore, I am just looking for general feedback about quality concerning the two companies... One thing I really like about the NOE mold is that it is a 4 cavity, compared to the Lyman 2 cavity (if there are 4 cavs that exist I just haven't seem them)
    Sometimes a teacher, always a student.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    BruceB's Avatar
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    I have all three..... Lyman's 311299 and 314299, and the NOE 316299.

    The Lyman moulds CLEARLY cast smaller in diameter than the NOE bullets. The noses in both moulds are UNDER .300.....yuck. My NOE bullets run about .315/.303", as I recall, which is great.

    For those wanting to cast for "fat" thirties, I think the NOE is definitely the better bet. Medical problems have kept me out of my shop for over ten months now, but one of my priorities when I get going again will be workups for my four hungry .303 British rifles. Working with bullets that FIT will make it a pleasant task!
    Regards from BruceB in Nevada

    "The .30'06 is never a mistake." - Colonel Townsend Whelen

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    NOE all the way they cast to the diameter stated. In my experience they do not cast any larger than the given dimensions but that is fine as they have a number of choices with proper diameters listed. The Lyman molds are just a lucky guess if you do get one that will work for you but I haven't seem one in the last several years that even comes close to casting the proper dimensions.

    RB

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Hi and welcome to the forum. Definitely worth the extra cash for the NOE. Lyman is not dependable for correctly sized bullets. A bullet nose (especially one) that is undersized (unless it is "bumped up")-(extra work) will not shoot accurately. It will slump in the bore and exit "cockeyed" resulting in a yaw. Specifically a thirty caliber bullet should have a nose that measures .301 to .303 so that it is positively guided. As I understand it NOE will/can cut their molds to whatever specs you want/need. Four cavity molds are desirable for high production. LLS

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    Jon K's Avatar
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    +1 more for NOE...not only are they sized as advertized, they are concentric. Lyman is usually small and out of round. Lyman is only available in 2 cavity.

    Jon
    Col 2:13-17

  6. #6
    Boolit Master HARRYMPOPE's Avatar
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    lately the Lyman's are all over the board concentric and diameter wise.A buddy had a 314299 that cast .312 x .301 it took Lyman one month to correct it and the new mold is .002 out of round!

    George
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    I started off with .303 British using a borrowed Lyman 314299 that cast at 0.311"/0.312". Now, I agree that I am not using Lyman #2 alloy so there may be some difference in cast size due to that but 0.002" to 0.003" undersize on a .30 cal!?!

    Since my groove diameter is 0.314" these were significantly undersize and these boolits gave poor accuracy.

    The mould is supposed to cast at 0.314"... or larger to be sized to 0.314"

    Since at the time there were few other options, I ordered a Lyman 314299 figuring I would Beagle and/or lap it when I got it. Well, I had to do both. It cast at 0.312"/0.313" so only 0.001" to 0.002" undersize. I wanted 0.315" after sizing so lapped a couple thou and Beagled.

    Oddly, I have an old Lyman 31141 that casts at 0.310"/0.311" which is perfect for standard .30 cal and apparently right on spec for the mould. It is stamped "311".

    Now what I don't understand here is that Lyman (Ideal?) came out with the 314299 specifically for .303 British and since they typically have large groove diameters of 0.314" and larger, you would figure (I would anyway) that they would cut a mould to cast at least 0.001" over the largest groove diameter expected. At 0.314" it would be just large enough for most Lee Enfields ~ I have 3 with 0.314" groove. So it would seem that 0.314" to 0.315" is what the mould should cast at then size down as required.

    Sorry, ranting a bit.

    So, back to your question.

    No, my Lyman 314299 did not drop at size nor did another I borrowed.

    Yes, my NOE does drop to size ~ well, not quite it, it is a 316299 that casts in my alloy at 0.3155". I can live with 0.0005" undersize in my alloy. It also casts virtually perfectly round boolits and with mirror finish and you can hardly find the seam. The NOE does what it is supposed to and is a well made mould.

    Go with NOE you will get a well made mould that casts to the size stated.

    Longbow

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Another vote for the NOE. I have their 314299 exactly on size with WW.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master nitrohuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by longbow
    It also casts virtually perfectly round boolits and with mirror finish and you can hardly find the seam
    +1 for lookin pretty! Looks like the NOE is the hands down winner here, will be more than happy to spend the extra few bucks on the NOE over the Lyman after reading the words from here...

    I suppose it is best to probably buy the 314299 NOE mold for my m39, I haven't slugged yet as mentioned, but the bore is pristine and I imagine in the ~.311 range, so I can just resize the bullets and then hope to use the .314 unsized in my 91/30 if it slugs out accordingly
    Sometimes a teacher, always a student.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    I have purchased one new Lyman mould (cut in 2008). I won't buy another. Is NOE a better product? Absolutely! Fit is better, finish is better, the mould is actually cut to specification. What more could you ask for?

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    My shooting budget is limited. That means I need to get value out my mould purchases. I have a handful of Lee moulds, mostly pistol moulds in 6 cavity that cast round enough, and sized big enough to satisfy me, then I have a couple of Lees that have problems. I used to consider Lyman as the Gold standard and I have several fine examples of Lyman moulds, older moulds that cast on size and round. I love them. However, I've been disappointed in the last couple of new Lymans I've bought, same story as the rest, mis-aligned halves, small diameters, out of round by seveal thousandths.

    Then I gritted my teeth and bought my first NOE mould. 314008 for a .32 H&R Single Six. It makes very round, less than a thousandths, boolits, that drop at 0.3135 in my alloy of 1 part wheel weight to 3 parts pure Pb with a dash of tin. Exactly how it should be, and in a five cavity aluminum mould. High value here. I've bought two other moulds from NOE and am getting ready to order my fourth. I've quite looking at Lyman and Lee. I have one Saeco mould but it looks like I'll be buying NOE in the future. His track record is that his moulds work.

    I'll mention that NOE is a small buisness operation. He obviously is a good machinist, but he won't be around forever. His moulds will outlive him by generations, but my point is, get it while the gettin's good! He might be in business for 20 years, or 2 months. I'm trying to buy ahead while I have a good source on good moulds.
    "Time and money don't do you a bit of good until you spend them." - My Dad

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by shooting on a shoestring View Post
    My shooting budget is limited. That means I need to get value out my mould purchases. I have a handful of Lee moulds, mostly pistol moulds in 6 cavity that cast round enough, and sized big enough to satisfy me, then I have a couple of Lees that have problems. I used to consider Lyman as the Gold standard and I have several fine examples of Lyman moulds, older moulds that cast on size and round. I love them. However, I've been disappointed in the last couple of new Lymans I've bought, same story as the rest, mis-aligned halves, small diameters, out of round by seveal thousandths.

    Then I gritted my teeth and bought my first NOE mould. 314008 for a .32 H&R Single Six. It makes very round, less than a thousandths, boolits, that drop at 0.3135 in my alloy of 1 part wheel weight to 3 parts pure Pb with a dash of tin. Exactly how it should be, and in a five cavity aluminum mould. High value here. I've bought two other moulds from NOE and am getting ready to order my fourth. I've quite looking at Lyman and Lee. I have one Saeco mould but it looks like I'll be buying NOE in the future. His track record is that his moulds work.

    I'll mention that NOE is a small buisness operation. He obviously is a good machinist, but he won't be around forever. His moulds will outlive him by generations, but my point is, get it while the gettin's good! He might be in business for 20 years, or 2 months. I'm trying to buy ahead while I have a good source on good moulds.
    Don't overlook Miha, my NOE moulds are perfect but Mihas' are works of art.

  13. #13
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    dromia's Avatar
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    Does Miha do a 314299 or a 316299?


    For fine firearms and shooting requisites visit my Web Site by clicking the link below:

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  14. #14
    Boolit Master


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    Over the years I've had several 311299s and 314299s, single and double cavity. All of them have case nominal or larger diameter. The 311s almost invariably ran .312 - .313 with .229-.301 noses. The 314s ran .314 - .316 with .301 - .303 noses. This was with an appropriate ternary alloy (doesn't necessarily have to be Lyman #2 but the tin to antimony ration should be correct). With straight WWs or most range lead alloys they cast undersized and out of round. A little tin and/or some lead added to the alloy always solved the problem. Also appropriate casting technique solves a lot of problems; casting at 725 degrees, opening the spout of a bottom pour to get the alloy into the hot mould quickly, keeping the prue plate within 1/4 - 3/8" of the spout when pouring, leaving a good sprue (even if some runs over) or using correct laddle technique are just a few of the others.

    I've offered several times here to test Lyman moulds that were supposidly casting "undersize". I've been taken up a couple times here and numerous times over the years by others. Haven't had one cast below nominal yet. I'll offer to anyone with a Lyman mould in good condition that if you think it doesn't cast to at least the nominal diameter stamped on the mould send it to me for testing. So her's the offer;

    If I find the Lyman mould (single, double or four cavity) casts to at least nominal diameter I will return the mould with sample castings and all the alloy and casting technique particulars and will pay the postage both ways. If the Lyman mould does not cast to the nominal diameter stamped on the mould I will buy the mould from you. I will pay a reasonable rate for a used mould (rate pretty much as what a used mould is slling for on the "For Sale Forum") or if you bought it new and have the reciept I will pay what you paid for the mould. Fair enough? If so PM me for my address.

    Larry Gibson

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
    selmerfan's Avatar
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    I've got the NOE 311299 and it is perfect as advertised. You may pay more, but it will be correct, and if it's not, they will correct the issue.
    God gave us music that we might pray without words

  16. #16
    nice post Larry, My lym 311299 bought in 08 cast one side 312-300+301+ the other 312-299+ 300+ this is with a good lym simulated #2 alloy. The smaller nose will sneak into my 30's if I line up the small part to bore and large with the groove, easy to do with my two groove 03a3, but they both shoot just as good. The next time out I'll clean the mould a little better to see if that helps. Now my 4cav. 311291 bought in 75-76 gives me 315-298 I've heard that was the norm back then and that's why they started to make smaller. OH my sprue sticks.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
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    "Now my 4cav. 311291 bought in 75-76 gives me 315-298 I've heard that was the norm back then and that's why they started to make smaller."

    Yes that does seem to be the "norm". I've almost all of my older Lyman/Ideal moulds drop .002 - .003 over nominal diameter. I believe back then the "nominal" diameter was the intended "size". My old 2 cavity 311466 drops at .314 and my newer U311466 ("U" being Undersize) drops them perfectly at .311. Same with my older 311359 which drops them at .313 and my U311359 dropping them at .311. All my newer Lyman moulds drop .001 - .002 over nominal with an alloy similar to #2 alloy. I have a lot of Lyman and Ideal moulds of various calibers and designs BTW.

    Larry Gibson

  18. #18
    Boolit Master

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    If you are buying new, then it's NOE. Hands down. I have several copies of each, and with the exception of the older Ideal/Lyman. the NOE is not only a better mould, it makes boolits the correct size (and round).
    It ain't rocket science, it's boolit science.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master fred2892's Avatar
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    I own a Lyman 314299 and an NOE 316299. The Lyman casts at .315 dead and the NOE casts at .3155. The Lyman is a few years old now and a joy to use. The NOE is new and to be honest is a PITA to cast with (sticky cavities and allignment pin issues). I needed a .316 for a .303 Enfield, pretty disappointed in a mould labelled 316 that cannot reach that diameter. Have even vibro-etched .315 over the original lettering. Now what would be nice would be a 318299 that can be sized to.316. Have to say though, a friend of mine got the 314299 and the 311299 from NOE and they cast absoulutely perfectly and to spec.

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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
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