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Thread: How long do lee ignots molds last? Mine just broke....

  1. #41
    Boolit Master


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    The half doz Lee ingot molds I use are from 5-10 years old and the handles are still intact despite lots of use. If there was a flaw in the handle area I can see it being the weak link, but otherwise, ham handed treatment is likely the reason.
    Unless there are burrs that need correction, there is no need to beat the mold to drop the ingots.
    Information not shared. is wasted.

  2. #42
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by retread View Post
    I have two that I bought about 15 years ago. Still going strong. I do not handle them roughly. When hot they are at their weakest and slamming them down to dump ingots is a no-no. Handle them with care and they should last for years.
    I do the same , I let them cool for a while and gently dump them, for the most part the will release from the mold with out getting ruff with them.
    I like 1911's and Wheel Guns , Wood Stocks and Blue Metal , Dislike Black on Black and Magazines on Rifles whats this country coming to.
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  3. #43
    Boolit Buddy
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    It's an aluminum cupcake mold for me. Cheap to buy and no complaints, although an ingot from a proper ingot mold sure looks classy.

  4. #44
    Boolit Master
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    I use an old cast iron corn bread stick baking pan. Openings are 3 1/2" long, 1" wide and just over half round in cross section. It casts 18 per pan. Check out antique stores.

  5. #45
    Boolit Master
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    I just obtained a new RCBS cast iron ingot mold.It is not as well cast as an old Lyman mold and the ingots hang up in it a bit.Appears to be caused by the way RCBS is cast into the cavities.It seems to be getting better with use.It is still to be preferred over the aluminum molds.

  6. #46
    My Lyman and LEE ingot molds are both 20 years old, and still working well.

  7. #47
    Boolit Master
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    I was using two Lee ingot molds,an aluminum Lyman,a one each of the Lyman and RCBS molds today cleaning up some linotype that went thru the Nisqually River flood years ago.The little Lee molds are obviously easiest to use due to their size.Probably the best choice of the group if I was just starting would be the current production Lyman.They're made of thicker metal than the Lee.

  8. #48
    Boolit Master

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    1000 to 1500 ingots. I would be happy with what that production. By the way, now you have a Lyman or RCBS ingot mold just use some pliers. That must have been one long afternoon.

  9. #49
    Boolit Man pete501's Avatar
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    OP answered his own question. Answer is 2 months.

  10. #50
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by KenT7021 View Post
    I just obtained a new RCBS cast iron ingot mold.It is not as well cast as an old Lyman mold and the ingots hang up in it a bit.Appears to be caused by the way RCBS is cast into the cavities.It seems to be getting better with use.It is still to be preferred over the aluminum molds.
    Set the mold out and let it rust. The rusted surface will act like a "release agent"...

    When I was deep sea fishing (rock cod fishing to 300' or so) I used 3 lb "cannon ball" sinkers. I also used this mold for "ingots" after melting a bunch of scrap lead. No problem with rolling around, just put them in a box....
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  11. #51
    Boolit Mold


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    Duke, quick question. just replaced my lee 356tl 124 mold. my old mold warped and the new mold is a different design. old mold dropped 358 and then I sized 356, good fill out, but feathers. new mold drops 352 and not round. contacted lee and was sent a new mold. same problem??? phoned lee, talked to a tec. that was arrogant enough to tell me it is all my fault. pot is 725, mold is about 450 boolits are shiny. too small and not round both new molds. old mold drops good size boolits. using coww 2 cavity mold, smoked. been casting over 20 yrs Bill in FL
    precision= measure with micrometer, mark with chalk, cut with chainsaw
    The only constant is change.

  12. #52
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    Put some vise grips on the stub, and carry on.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
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    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


  13. #53
    Boolit Master
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    My Lee ingot molds are from the '90s and still going strong. Use a little finesse in handling and they will outlast you.
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  14. #54
    Boolit Buddy

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    Have two. Been using both for 9 years, no problems.

  15. #55
    Boolit Bub
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    Had an RCBS break the little lip off on my first smelting session with it. Been using a couple Lee's for a long time 15+ with no issues. They are cast so maybe it had a void.

  16. #56
    Boolit Bub
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    Not to elaborate too much on the comments from other Pards, but concur with so many that my Lee ingot mold has given faithful service for decades.

    Have you sent the broken mold back to Lee? No guarantees as it is their call but I suspect they might send a replacement ingot mould. When I've had issues with their equipment (rare ... they're made of tough stuff and tend to hang in there) even when it's way, way past any reasonable warranty period, they have almost always replaced it with no questions asked. When a powder measure broke after two decades of faithful service, they gave me a heck of a deal on a new, improved version.

    Just my 2 cents

    Fort Reno Kid

  17. #57
    Boolit Bub
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    In my experience Lee customer service and quality control both suck. That is why Lee has the so called "2 year" warranty that they don't stand behind while everyone else has a lifetime warranty. Lee knows what they put out and figure most people won't use their stuff much and by the time they do finally use it, it will be over two years old and they can tell you to stick it as far as warranty work.

    I've got presses that were warped from improper heat treating (Lee admitted this) but still refused to refund or replace the press. Many of the lee molds I have got were bad too. They are good for using to check various weights and bullets shapes, but you will note that Mike Venturino does not own ANY Lee molds and there is a good reason for that, he actually uses his molds and it is far cheaper and easier on the nerves to not deal with junk or Lee customer (dis)service.

    If other people got good service, great, I am happy for you. But I'm too old, too broke and too pissed to deal with the lies, cheap pot metal trash and stuff that is obviously broken/unusable straight out of the box that quality control should have caught, as many times as I have from Lee. Sure I still buy Lee products, some actually is very good, but I am pretty picky about what I do buy from them any more. YMMV

  18. #58
    Boolit Master

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    I purchased a Lee ingot mold a couple years ago. I'm thinking it will last forever, because I can't find it.
    I put somewhere safe when it came in, and haven't seen it since....
    "Varium et mutabile semper femina." - Virgil
    Man, ain't it the truth....

  19. #59
    Boolit Master


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    I have three items that are Lee. I have a ingot mold with handle. I have a universal primer decapper which works well since I got a decent decapping pin from Squirrel daddy off ebray and I have taper crimp 9mm die that chews the heck out of anything you use it on. The universal decapper is a no brainer. The ingot mold it is a matter of letting the lead solidify and then gently turning it over and the ingots fall out on their own. The 9mm taper crimp die is burried in a drawer never to be seen or used again by me. I figured why not when I saw the ingot mold as they certainly couldn't screw one of those up. The rest of the Lee stuff they can keep as I prefer to purchase slightly used RCBS dies or new Dillon, Redding, or comp RCBS dies.

  20. #60
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by waksupi View Post
    Put some vise grips on the stub, and carry on.
    What I was thinking +

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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