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Thread: Lee 6 cavity mould a delight.

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Lee 6 cavity mould a delight.

    Well I finally bit the bullet and purchased a Lee 6 cavity mould in .357 158gr r/f. I have read so many threads here about the weak sprue plate cam and how they are prone to breakage, this has stopped me from trying one of these moulds till now. I have to say I am so happy with this mould and how it performs, no real hang ups just open the mould and they drop out as sweet as. I have to say I can not see how one could break these sprue cams unless you let the lead harden over night and beat the living …. out of it. I will be replacing a few of my double cavity in the future, I am one happy camper. Regards Stephen

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I have one of those. I have had some issues with it. Some of it was my fault, some not so much. Have had to work on it a couple of times.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master bosterr's Avatar
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    I have a 6 cavity in the 125 gr version. As long as you pre-heat the mold and only fill a few cavities at a time until it's up to temp you'll never break a cam lever.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    Pull straight outward and don't pull up and the cam will be fine (don't ask). Have a bunch and love them although sooner or later they die, but first dead one for me (I couldn't rebuild it anymore) cast over 45K bullets. Have yours as well as molds for 9mm (120TC), 40 S&W (170TC), 45 ACP (200SWC), and 45Colt (255RF). Make sure you lube the sprue plate pivot to prevent galling and check the fit on the sprue plate stop, some are too tight, a little bevel and polish on the top of the plate will cure it. A good idea is to order a replacement cam handle just in case. They don't take long to make a BIG pile of bullets.

  5. #5
    I love my collection of Lee 6X molds.

    rule 1 never touch the cam handle when pouring (it will open the mold a little)
    rule 2 get a hotplate and preheat the mold to 400°
    rule 3 lightly lube the sprue screw, sprue and alignment pins every time you use it

    The 6 CAV 358-158-RF is the boolit my friends ask for the most, I can't even begin to guess how many 10's to thousands of boolits its cast.
    and I PC'd
    Some prefer the 6 CAV 358-158-RF.

    I just added another one to my collection yesterday

    Rich, there's a VS who live in Canada (http://castboolits.gunloads.com/memb...Red-River-Rick) that the sells steel sprue plates and heavier cams for the Lee 6X molds)
    Last edited by Conditor22; 06-07-2019 at 01:11 PM.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    The Lee six-cavity molds are really good, but the sprue plate and cam handle are weak, and will break. My solution was to get a sprue plate and cam from RedRiverRick (on this forum), and exchange it onto each of my Lee six-cavity molds. It only takes a few seconds, and works wonderfully. It's a perfect match for the excellent Lee molds.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master


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    Your all assuming sound steel...and even calling it “steel” is a huge assumption too!!! Cintered metal is closer!! I broke one and carefully was able to re weld it back together. (Shocked me. But experience prevails sometimes)



    I didnt force anything. Opened it normally IIRC 7-10th time it split thru the bored hole. **** materials was/is reason. You can have perfect plans administered by a profesional, doing same operation for a decade and substitute sub standard materials and the whole shootin match goes to crapola...

    I buy and use them too but lipstick on a pig is still a pig.

    CW
    NRA Life member • NRA Certified Pistol & Shotgun Instructor • NRA Certified Rifle Coach • Certified Range Officer • Reloading Instructor
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  8. #8
    Boolit Master


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    I have that mold and at least 6 more 6cavs. I broke the cam first pour. I waited too long to open the sprue plate.

    Conditor22 is right on number 1&2. But on #3 I use sprue plate lube from Al at N.O.E. exactly as instructed: A touch on the bottom of the sprue plate with a Q-tip and then wipe it off with the other end of the Q-tip after you apply to mold pins. It's also a good idea to polish the bottom of the sprue plate. I use 400grit on a 3/4"x 3"x 2" soft wood block with the paper stapled tight and over hanging by 1/4". Helped a lot, no scratches on mold top and no build up of lead under the sprue plate.

    I Usually cast from 3-4 molds at a time, very fast. This gives time for the sprues to harden but not "set up", so as to be hard enough to break the cam.

    I've never bent any sprue plate, but have replaced them on used molds I've bought.

    It's a good idea to put a tiny bit of 0000 or 000 steel wool around the sprue plate screw and the stop screw. This will "lock" the screws in place. or you can drill and tap a locking screw like Every other mold Manufacturer does.

    A good RYTHEM is everything.

    Good Luck with that new Lee 6cav.
    I HATE auto-correct


    Happiness is a Warm GUN & more ammo to shoot in it.

    My Experience and My Opinion, are just that, Mine.

  9. #9
    And keep the sprue plate bolt snug during use.

    Good, inexpensive mould for volume casting.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    My 9mm six cavity also broke on the first pour. Had to pay to get a replacement under the "warranty" and got a nasty note about what I did wrong. I already knew what I did wrong. I bought a Lee six cavity mold.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    That's as it should be, and is typical of Lee products. I'm rough on stuff, but have yet to break a sprue lever. I even put one on an Accurate mold, and cast about 5000 bullets with it the month of march. I have yet to break one. The only thing to watch on a Lee 6 cavity is that your sprue plate doesn't gall, they are under spring tension, so they are more prone to it than a set screw type. You can drill and tap them for a set screw too, or just lube them every time you use them. I often give a wipe of lube after a break too.

    If that's not enough, you can buy a spare sprue lever for the hefty sum of $5, and in the rare event years down the road one breaks, you wont be shut down for the day. Provided pictures, Lee will 9/10 times send a free replacement, regardless of how old the mold is, within reason.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    Well I am now up to 7 6 cavity lee's and a #4 buckshot mold which uses the same handles acts the same way.

    Have yet to have one break or give me serious issues. Good tools do IMO need to be treated with a little respect. Fail to do so and they are not good tools for long. Just my opinon.YMMV

  13. #13
    Boolit Master


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    I like the Lee six cavity molds and have been gradually transitioning to them as much as possible. I've never broken one, but haven't cast tens of thousands of bullets with one yet either. I like the idea of polishing the bottom of the sprue plate and will try this. The lube NOE sells with them works, I'm told it is simply synthetic 2 cycle oil (?).

    I made up about 60 pounds of allot from a bunch of "purish" scrap I had lying around taking up space and plan to cast all of it into .45 Colt bullets using one of these six cavity molds. I hope they shoot well, because I'm planning on not having to cast for .45 Colt again for quite a while.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master Petander's Avatar
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    I have the same Lee 158 RF sixbanger,it's more than ten years old. Nothing broken.

    When I discovered Hi Tek last year I found 13 thousand of those bullets,ready to coat. And that was just a fraction of what I had already cast/shot. I used it in a 9mm carbine mostly.

    It's not a Mihec but it still works good for what it is.

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by megasupermagnum View Post
    That's as it should be, and is typical of Lee products. I'm rough on stuff, but have yet to break a sprue lever. I even put one on an Accurate mold, and cast about 5000 bullets with it the month of march. I have yet to break one. The only thing to watch on a Lee 6 cavity is that your sprue plate doesn't gall, they are under spring tension, so they are more prone to it than a set screw type. You can drill and tap them for a set screw too, or just lube them every time you use them. I often give a wipe of lube after a break too.

    If that's not enough, you can buy a spare sprue lever for the hefty sum of $5, and in the rare event years down the road one breaks, you wont be shut down for the day. Provided pictures, Lee will 9/10 times send a free replacement, regardless of how old the mold is, within reason.
    This was a "free" replacement. The shipping and handling (which I had to pay) cost more than the part . How is this "how it should be"? This was a brand new mold and it broke on the first use. This is not my first rodeo and I know how to handle equipment. I still had to send pictures and receipt to get a replacement part.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master OptimusPanda's Avatar
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    When I start casting with a cold(ish) 6 cavity mold I only use the first 2 cavities at first. As it heats up in a few pours use another, then another after a few more. This keeps the pressure on the cam lower by giving it more leverage when the shearing forces are higher at the start of the casting session. That said, the two times I've broken the cam Lee has mailed me a new one free of charge.
    It's only hubris if I'm wrong.

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy AllanD's Avatar
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    I have two Lee Six-cavity molds, my first one was for .451 round ball, because I found casting for my big percussion revolver to be tedious after using a four cavity Lyman (#0 Buck) mold to cast .315 RB for my "Little" percussion revolver.

    My second Lee Six -Cavity is for their clone of the 309141 (170gr 30 Cal GC) Lyman mold

    My next will be a truncated cone .451 (conventional lube groove) for 45ACP.
    Though I'm seriously considering one of those 12cavity .490RB molds

    I don't currently own either a 45ACP or a 50caliber Muzzle Loader, but My neighbor has several 50cal front stuffers
    And I have a SS M1991A1 Slide I want to have fitted to my Delta Elite frame ( I need to shave 0.025" off the disconnector
    rib inside the slide to clear the 10mm Ejector) as I have well in excess of 4000pcs of 45ACP brass
    and barely 500 10mm cases.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by bosterr View Post
    I have a 6 cavity in the 125 gr version. As long as you pre-heat the mold and only fill a few cavities at a time until it's up to temp you'll never break a cam lever.
    Many thanks for this.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by OptimusPanda View Post
    When I start casting with a cold(ish) 6 cavity mold I only use the first 2 cavities at first. As it heats up in a few pours use another, then another after a few more. This keeps the pressure on the cam lower by giving it more leverage when the shearing forces are higher at the start of the casting session. That said, the two times I've broken the cam Lee has mailed me a new one free of charge.
    This is good advice, I did this from first use I would fill two cut sprue and leave them in place and pour 2 more and cut sprue, this way the cast in the mould helped get mould up to temp, my next step is to put a grub in the sprue plat bolt. Regards Stephen

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