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Thread: Lee .225 2 cavity vs 6 cavity

  1. #1
    Boolit Master trixter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Where E. Pine crosses I-5

    Lee .225 2 cavity vs 6 cavity

    I've been casting since 2000, and had various molds of different brands and calibers. About 6 years ago I ventured into casting for my bolt and semi auto 223's. I bought the Lee "Bator" mold and cast bunches and bunches of boolits with it. When Lee came out with the C225-55-RF, I bought one in the 2 cavity. I've cast many many boolits with it and learned to get good results with it, but it is kinda slow going to make a big pile of them, so I stepped up and got a 6 cavity and I am having troubles. I have done all of the proper mold prep, but continue to get wrinkled boolits I started out at 760 and went to 780 and stopped there because I was getting frustrated, I will take it up again on my next day/morning off. In thinking back I think I did not heat the mold long enough. Remembering back my "Bator" Mold is a six cavity and I had to go right along kind of quickly, pour, let the sprue crust, open and dump bullets close and right back for more to keep the mold hot. What has been your experience, I am open to all constructive advice.


  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Central VA
    You might have better luck asking this question in the section, “Molds... Maintenance and Design.”

    That said, I’ve been told but have no way of confirming that Lee uses a different, higher grade of aluminum for the blocks in their gang moulds. Will this effect your bullets? No personal experience to tell you. I’d guess the guys on M...M&D would be more knowledgeable on the subject.

    "It aint easy being green!"

  3. #3
    I use a hot plate for pre heating and keeping molds hot. However, the smallest bullet I cast for is 32. I had debated on getting one of those Lee 22 molds like you have there op but I can't see loading them in anything that I have.
    Closest thing for me would be the 22tcm and I think they would be too long.
    Was I a fan of the 218 or 22 hornet I would be all over it though.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    St. Louis
    6 cavity molds with tiny 22 cal cavities are gonna have to run hot and fast. Keep the heat cranked and don't stop pouring and dropping. As soon as the sprue darkens, cut and drop. Leave the corner of the mold in the lead for 30 or 40 seconds to help get it up to temp when you start if you don't have a hot plate.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Communism closing in!
    I have a friend and member here that has a 22 mold and I am pretty sure he incorporates a hot plate for maintaining mold temperature. I have a hard time thinking that a six cavity alluminum mold in such a small caliber can be ran and kept hot enough with just lead pouring though.

    Quit fretting about climate change. Its how much stronger gravity is getting every day that is bothering me!

  6. #6
    Boolit Man
    Join Date
    May 2013
    I have no direct experience, but I think that the external dimensions of the mold must all be the same. This means that a mold 6 C. in cal. 22 must have a greater "mass" in comparison for example with a cal. 38 or 45. For this reason it should have a greater thermal inertia and therefore be less subject to cooling, but it should take longer to heat up!
    Try to put the mold on an electric plate, and measure its temperature before pouring the lead into the cavities of the mold!

    long ago I thought of inserting a resistance in each half of the mold + a thermocouple connected to a PID, just to regulate the temperature of the mold!
    but I did nothing!
    I live in Italy, and the price of molds is MUCH higher than in the USA! I was afraid of ruining a mold.

    Perhaps some of you might try!

    Put the mold on an electric stove, if you are not fast enough, it can cool the mold! This could be avoided by inserting a resistance into each half of the mold!

    or you could increase the thermal inertia by screwing a cast iron block to each half of the mold (to improve the contact you can put the paste used between transistors and cooling fins, or of high temperature grease).

    PS Excuse me but I don't speak English and I use the copmuter traslator!

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

    Springfield's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    San Jose, California
    Just buy a mould from Accurate molds. The blanks are smaller and much easier to keep up to temp, plus they are just better quality in general.

  8. #8
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    In the beautiful timber of the PNW
    Try more heat. And more brake clean. My last mold from lee c309-180 took 3 heat cycles to get good results. Im gonna try arsenal molds for 223.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Northwest Indiana
    Good advice here, more heat, faster pace, higher tin alloy and keep trying until you get that magic combo to crank out great boolits

  10. #10
    AKA: GRMPS Conditor22's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    I cast that mold at 720 with good results. You may need a little more tin and preheat your mold to 400

    You could try pressure casting to start by hold each cavity up to the spout and filling the cavity.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    One of the things we found out at work 25 plus years ago is that all brake cleans are not created equal. Some of the cheap ones leave a horrible residue.

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Dawn dish liquid worked for me plus heat cycling three times helps. Most of my lee molds usually take 1 or 2 heat cycles. I have two high end molds take 3 or four cycles to start dropping good bullets. More heat and tin usually always helps.

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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
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