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Thread: Review: Lee 45 cal six cav molds

  1. #1

    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Land of 10,000 Lakes

    Review: Lee 45 cal six cav molds

    I haven't bought a new, recent production, Lee six cavity mold for 4 or 5 years.
    I recall in 2014, the last time I bought a new Lee six cav 356-120-TC from a large supplier and it dropped under sized boolits, then about six months later, I bought another one, same exact part number but from a different supplier and it dropped a boolit that was a size more to my liking. That seemed to be the case back then, Lee molds could vary from Spec, but some were correct.

    I have bought a few different Lee two cavity rifle boolit molds since then...since the new style blocks came out. And they have all been within .001 of the Spec size. I'm thinking Lee has finally turned the corner on cutting molds consistently. At least that has been my experience and what the rest of this post is about.

    Last week, I ordered two Lee 6 cav molds:

    The molds arrived and looked beautiful, with curved vent lines on the mold faces and mold top. I didn't feel any burrs on the cavity edges, like was typical in years past. I washed the blocks in dish soap and hot water, dried then, and preheated them while the Lead furnace was warming up.

    Using a softish alloy (range scrap and battery terminal blend with a couple ozs of pewter, BHN=10). The PID set to 690. I cast a couple hundred of each. The molds functioned very well, no sticking boolits and good fillout.

    The results:

    the boolits were dropping at .4525 and measured 231gr

    the boolits were dropping at .452 or a hair under and measured 235gr

    I had a couple reasons for buying two very similar molds. I needed to make a minimum for free shipping and also wanted to try some of each, to see which style I preferred...and also with Lee's history, I figured I would have a better chance of getting one mold the correct size, if I bought two of them. ANYWAY, to reiterate, I believe Lee has finally turned the corner on cutting molds consistently.

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    west central Illinois
    I have purchased several Lee molds(usually 6 cavity) in the last few years and all have been to spec. I have seen other people post about various problems with Lee molds, but I have been lucky enough that I never encountered any of them myself.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    toallmy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    easternshore of va.
    My 452-230 TC cast fine with a 50/50 + mix , although they are not all dropping at .452 none are under .4515 and drop out nicely . When I ordered the mold I planned on polishing out the cavities + having the mold cut down to drop a flat base TC cast Boolit , but I decided to not mess up a good thing .
    Another One of my favorite cast boolits come from the Lee 356-120 TC also .

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    SE Kentucky
    I have used the Lee 452-200 SWC for many years. First mold finally wore out at about 45K bullets, second is still going strong. I milled the top of the mold to remove the bevel and they come in about 190 grains using range lead. Have the 120 grain TC 9mm and it also works great when I cast 9mm for my son and the 401-175 TC that I cast for my buddy. Sitting on the shelf is a 44 RN, a 358-150 RF and a 45 Colt 452-255 RF that I bought off the forum here since I cast for my friend but have not had a need to use them yet. I know some people don't care for Lee but I have used their molds and other stuff for years with complete satisfaction.

  5. #5
    Every piece Ive run the 452-200 FN has ate it up.

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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