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Thread: Lee Slugs - Getting Started

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

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    Lee Slugs - Getting Started

    Ordered the Lee 1-ouncer yesterday, and will be dusting off a Mec press that probably hasn't seen the light of day in 25 years. Metallic is old hat; shotshell is mystic voodoo.

    Bear in mind I'm primarily after RIFLED barrel info, but will probably be lobbing them from ungrooved sewer pipe as well.

    What I've gleaned so far:

    1. 7/8th ounce wad cups are probably the desired vessel to stage the warhead at the right height for the star crimp.

    2. You WANT the wad to jam into the drive key for a rifled barrel, but possibly not for a smoothbore. In either case, you want the wad to let go of the projectile easily. Seems like base wads are the order of the day for smoothbore, but not for rifled and that some manner of goo to help separation may be desired.

    3. It would seem these things want to be soft. I scrounge and melt recovered slugs that test out around 40-1 / 8BHN. Figure to use that, maybe add some tin if the mold doesn't behave. I have a PID on the pot - how hot does this puppy need to run?

    4. I have access to once-fired Federal 2 3/4 buckshot hulls. Anybody know what they equate to in the recipe books? Do they equate to ANYTHING? The Flite Control wad they come packed with is a rather different animal.

    5. Back to the drive key. . .seems like you would want to deliberately line that up with the collapsible bits of the wad piston somehow. Any thoughts on that?

    How am I doing so far? Any thoughts and pointers before I dive in the pool?
    WWJMBD?

    Buried in molds until covered with mold.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Your over thinking this whole thing.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy MAGA's Avatar
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    Great thread
    Interested as well!

  4. #4
    Boolit Man
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    re #4 how many hulls do you have? id probably focus on a recipe for a hull you have a lot of.
    I like to use the same hulls as im using for my grouse/trap loads, i used the cracked ones i cut them on a drill press and roll crimp.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    First thing you guys have to do is learn to use the "SEARCH" function. Lots of great info buried in this forum.

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...-for-lee-slugs

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by zymguy View Post
    re #4 how many hulls do you have? id probably focus on a recipe for a hull you have a lot of.
    I like to use the same hulls as im using for my grouse/trap loads, i used the cracked ones i cut them on a drill press and roll crimp.
    We throw 'em away at work after they're fired, so the supply is basically limited by when I stop picking them up. I sliced one open and it's a once-piece, apparently non-tapered body.
    WWJMBD?

    Buried in molds until covered with mold.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    The mold comes with load data, you can look at it now on their website.

    My current favorite load with my 1oz Lee:
    2 3/4" Cheddite Hull Ched209 Hodgdon Clays 21.0gr PT1205 1oz Lee Key Slug Pressure 9500 1300fps with a roll crimp.
    Last edited by Moonie; 08-15-2017 at 07:48 PM.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master MOA's Avatar
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  9. #9
    Boolit Master Huntsman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retumbo View Post
    First thing you guys have to do is learn to use the "SEARCH" function. Lots of great info buried in this forum.

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...-for-lee-slugs
    My favourite;

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...z-load-success!!

  10. #10
    Boolit Master



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    Casting hot and keeping the base-pin hot is important with the Lee slug moulds. I use pure lead with about 1/2% tin added--just enough to get better mould fill-out. You may find that the addition of a 20 gage over powder wad in the bottom of the shot cup helps with accuracy. Look at your fired wad columns fr signs of the cup base being driven up into the slug's hollow base. The Lee "key" mostly prevents this but not always. One or two hard card wads under the slug absolutely prevents this.

  11. #11
    Boolit Man
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    My experience was with the 1 oz. I used ww and range scrap cast hot they filled out great. I used win aa hulls. Claybuster wads didn't work well for me win brand wads shot better . a hard card under the slug in the shotcup is your friend . the herco load in the Lee data was brutal. I ended up using a red dot load out of the Lyman shotshell book for a 1 1-8 trap load recoil was a lot kinder and deer couldn't tell the difference. On a good day I was getting 100 yard 2 in groups out of an hr ultra slug hunter . smooth bore shot pie plate size at 50 yds

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Huntsman's Avatar
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    Along with hulls, I'm sure I read on Shotgun world.com or in one of my Lyman shotshell handbook that Federal uses a tapered hull so wads must accommodate the hull. As for your buckshot hulls I'm not sure if they're tapered or not?
    Here's a good read on hulls;
    https://www.ballisticproducts.com/bp...in_general.htm

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    Pretty sure we're dealing with a non-tapered hull, both by simple appearance on slicing, and their being made for the Flight Control wad - which is basically a rigid plastic cylinder.

    Sounds like I'll have some 'sperimentin' to do with wad type, orientation, and base wads.
    WWJMBD?

    Buried in molds until covered with mold.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    In my experience Federal hulls are straight walled hulls. Their paper base wad hulls are the classic design with straight plastic tubes. The Federal Gold Medal hulls are one piece plastic but straight walled as far as I know.

    The buckshot hulls are one piece, at least the ones I've seen, and I am sure they are straight walled as well. Not sure if they are the same as the Gold Medal hulls or not. A phone call to Federal should get that answered. I have a few in my collection of old hulls but have not reloaded them.

    The tapered hulls are Win AA, Remington RXP and the newer styles of compression formed hulls.

    Best to confirm load data with a reliable source like Federal or BPI just to be sure of safe load data.

    Longbow

  15. #15
    Boolit Mold
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    Here is some load data for the Lee Drive-Key slugs from Ballistic products.

    http://www.ballisticproducts.com/load14_04_25.htm

    http://www.ballisticproducts.com/load14_06_13.htm

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

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    Confirmation received from Federal - the Flight Control buckshot hulls are same as Gold Medal. Plenty of load data for those.
    WWJMBD?

    Buried in molds until covered with mold.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Huntsman's Avatar
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    MOA,
    Are those cast from pure lead or COWW or??
    Looks like some good shoot'n!

  18. #18
    Boolit Master

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    I took the data card that came with the mold down to my local gun shop to look for components. Found a pound of Blue Dot and a bag of WAA-12 wads, which form a "recipe" with my Federal hulls. Since the data listed is for a screamin' 1,700 fps max load, I also bought a bag of WAA-12 SL's with a longer piston midsection in the hopes of dialing things down to a low-recoil, duty load kind of level.

    I cast up a couple hundred over the weekend out of what to all appearances is 40-1 from smelted slugs picked up off the berms at the outdoor range (I knew segregating my range scrap was a good idea!). I had to jury rig a repair to one of the pins that hold the blocks to the handles when it fell out mid-session (what do you expect for $28 bucks delivered?). 825F seemed to be the ideal pot temperature. .68 caliber on the nose and a tad heavy at about 443 grains. Also right at .729" when you drop them in the wads, so it appears homework was done. Shiny little buggers. . .

    In a case of serendipity, a MEC 310 press landed in my lap last week. I have yet to take inventory of what parts it needs to get running again, but I figure this will become a dedicated slug press, and won't have to de-tune the other from birdshot mode. NICE!
    WWJMBD?

    Buried in molds until covered with mold.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    would start 5 gr less than book to see if shoulder could stand it. Put one 20 ga 1/8 hard card in bottom of wad or wad will cram into base.. And the long wads sre prolly too long for a good crimp. Good luck!
    Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance and the gospel of envy. Its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery. Winston Churchill

  20. #20
    Boolit Master MOA's Avatar
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    Yes Huntsman. I use roofing jacks that a roofing friend gets me from every roof he replaces that has the old lead roofing jacks. I can usually put together about 3 to 4 hundred pounds of pure lead each summer. I do all my casting during the winter months of November thru March. Way to hot and humid during the summer here in the costal south.

    Last edited by MOA; 08-30-2017 at 03:36 PM.

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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