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Thread: Problem with new Lee molds.

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Problem with new Lee molds.

    I have been casting since the sixties...this is not my first rodeo. I have used several Lee six-cavity molds over the years. Recently I order two 356-125-2R molds. When they arrived, with the sprue plate swung aside, molds closed and held up to the light, I could see light passing between the mold halves. Thinking that the aluminum molds may close the gap when heated, I proceeded to cast bullets with them. What I am finding is that one of the cavities (not all) in each mold produces bullets with slight "fins" (flash), bad enough for me to reject the bullets. Has anyone else experianced the same with new Lee molds?

    Note: I smoke the molds with a candle and preheat them by laying them with their bottoms flat on a hotplate.https://pix.sfly.com/im3VoK
    Last edited by dahermit; 12-30-2017 at 12:16 PM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy gnostic's Avatar
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    I have a 9mm 120gr TC that's the same as you mentioned, fins and all. The bullets drop at .361, I size them .358 and shoot them out of S&W revolvers.

  3. #3
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    I have had the problem you as you described it. A"slight fin" would probably be OK with me, as long as the boolits aren't out of round. Anything other than slight, and the mold goes back to Midway. I like to buy my Lee molds from them because if there's a problem, you can return it with no questions asked.

  4. #4
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dahermit View Post
    SNIP...

    When they arrived, with the sprue plate swung aside, molds closed and held up to the light, I could see light passing between the mold halves.
    I have noticed this same thing on a couple new lee molds. I don't get a fin when casting, but I don't cast with a Ladle and I don't pressure cast, which would exacerbate fining in a mold with a slight gap. If you use a bottom pour pot, maybe try casting with the Mold a little bit farther away from the pour spout, or slightly smaller stream.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Had an issue similar to this. I returned the mold & they sent a new one & it works just fine. So doing the same would be my suggestion.


    Gluck! with whatever ya choos to do.
    2nd Amend./U.S. Const. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

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  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    If you use a bottom pour pot, maybe try casting with the Mold a little bit farther away from the pour spout, or slightly smaller stream.
    I don't use a bottom pour...tired it years ago, could not adapt to it. Also, I have used several Lee mould over the years without using the technique you suggest to avoid flash. It is apparent that at least one of the cavities on both moulds just do not close all the way. Given that I have not had a problem with Lee's moulds over the years, I think it is safe to assume that the problem lies with the moulds, not technique. Also, by the posts that report an issue similar to mine, they would seem to be faulty moulds. They are going back Monday.

  7. #7
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    I think it is safe to assume that the problem lies with the moulds, not technique
    I wasn't implying your technique was a problem, I was merely suggesting a technique that "might" make a fin-less boolit from a troublesome mold. If you choose to get a replacement, I hope it is a better mold.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    Check that there are no rough edges around the mould holding it open.

    I also find that gently tapping the base of the mould onto the bench before you pour, can help to align the 2 halves correctly.

    ukrifleman

  9. #9
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    I've had a Lee 6 davity mold with a warped side, and another with an improperly staked guide, the aluminum stuck up where the punch missed, and that held the other side too far away and I got finned boolits. I could have fixed it with a dremel but it went back to Lee (trying to educate them that they're not as perfect as they think they are). Both got replaced quickly.
    I give loading advice based on my actual results in factory rifles with standard chambers, twist rates and basic accurizing.
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  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    I have 8 of their 6-cavity moulds and all are excellent. Guess I have been lucky. Yeah, return that thing and make them shape up the quality control process a bit -- I may want to buy another mould from them one of these days.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    My last 2 molds were Lee 6 "bangers" both are ok. I'd say you need to return it. There is no reason you should have to "work around" a defective mold.

    Motor

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by dahermit View Post
    I don't use a bottom pour...tired it years ago, could not adapt to it. Also, I have used several Lee mould over the years without using the technique you suggest to avoid flash. It is apparent that at least one of the cavities on both moulds just do not close all the way. Given that I have not had a problem with Lee's moulds over the years, I think it is safe to assume that the problem lies with the moulds, not technique. Also, by the posts that report an issue similar to mine, they would seem to be faulty moulds. They are going back Monday.
    I would appreciate it if you would let us know here how this turns out for you. Please let us know.


    I was pretty impressed with the quick turn -around of sending in the mold & the new one came back "mucho-pronto". {Used it the same day I got it too & it worked just fine.}

    Granted this is a holiday time for most folks with the Christmas & New Years holidays, so your turnaround might be a bit longer, but when ya get the new one back, and ya get a chance to use it, like said, please let us know how things worked for ya.

    Thanks!


    and Happy New Year! as well!
    2nd Amend./U.S. Const. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    "A man ought ta do what he thinks is best" - "Hondo" Lane.(John Wayne)

    "If ya don't like my gate, ya don't have to swing on the hinges..." - L. Ackerman ( RIP)

    Enforce the Immigration laws & deport the illegal aliens. Quit fooling around!

    ~~ WWG1WGA ~~

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
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    Lee molds are great for the price and I think one of the cost for that is QC on the flip side my Lyman mold sucks and cast out o round bullets. I have been to lazy send it back as I'm only casting gallery loads at milk jugs

  14. #14
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    leadhead's Avatar
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    I had one that did that and discovered the pins had to be "adjusted" to get them to
    close without the gap.... shouldn't have to do repair work on a new mold.
    Denny

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy gnostic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonB_in_Glencoe View Post
    I have noticed this same thing on a couple new lee molds. I don't get a fin when casting, but I don't cast with a Ladle and I don't pressure cast, which would exacerbate fining in a mold with a slight gap. If you use a bottom pour pot, maybe try casting with the Mold a little bit farther away from the pour spout, or slightly smaller stream.
    I think you're right. I'm pressure pouring by inserting the snout into the sprue cutter, and then I flip the mold over.
    I might be filling the grooves a little too well.

  16. #16
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    I've been blessed. I have two of the six cavity molds as well as several more two cavity molds and all work fine.
    Tom
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  17. #17
    Boolit Master gpidaho's Avatar
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    I have several Lee six cavity moulds that just rain perfect bullets, among my favorites and very fast. Then, I've bought a couple that threw bullets so out of round that the push through sizer would not only smear the bands on one side but also size up onto the bullet nose. Some times Lee stuff works great and sometimes no so much. Not being a basher, I have ALOT of Lee stuff on my bench but when you buy at their price point you're going to get a clunker every once in a while. GP

  18. #18
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    I don't think you should be seeing any daylight between the mould halves. They aren't flat and true.
    If mine, I would return it to Lee or stone each half flat so no daylight is seen and the blocks mate up.
    I have run across a couple that showed daylight because of a small small burrs , but a stone took care of them. Those blocks need to start out with no light showing.
    Gary
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  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy wistlepig1's Avatar
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    I have 5 Lee 6 holers and don't have any problems with finning but I bottom pore. I hold the mold about 1 inch from the spout with a small stream of PB. I am not sure method of pour is your problem, bad mold is more likely.

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  20. #20
    Boolit Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    I had a Lee 410220swc 2 cavity that needed a smack with my hobbit cane before each pour to nestle in correctly. It sure made good bullets that my Blackhawk loved, though. That's the only problem I've had with Lee moulds.

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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