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Thread: Poor quality Lee Custom 8mm Max mold

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Poor quality Lee Custom 8mm Max mold

    This is a Lee two cavity 8mmMax custom mold from Midsouth (not to bash Midsouth as they are my favorite supplier.)

    In casting with it the bottoms of the bullets were flanged. It was very annoying. In closely inspecting the mold blocks it became obvious that the mold blocks were not square with each other. This is just poor QC in the manufacturing process.

    In perusing a solution to this earth-shattering dilemma it occurred to me that I could take a light fly-cut with the vertical milling machine until the blocks were flat with each other. I'm pretty sure there's enough heel on the bullet to insure the gas check room to crimp. I'll have to give that some more thought.









    As I wanted a heavy 8mm slug for the 8x57 Mauser I bought a 4 cavity NOE mold approximating the Lyman 323471.



    Not to bash Lee as I have several other Lee molds that drop beautiful perfect bullets. This must be the 45 caliber 250 gr mold. Drops perfect bullets, excellent quality. I shoot these in my S&W Brazilian revolver .45 AutoRim.


  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Dutch, is that Lee mould a current one, as the alignment pins look different than the new style. Also, would that bullet be a good one for a Swede rolling block?

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gewehr-Guy View Post
    Dutch, is that Lee mould a current one, as the alignment pins look different than the new style. Also, would that bullet be a good one for a Swede rolling block?
    The mold is 5 yrs at least.

    The Swede RB have varying barrel dimensions. Mine shoots .323" and .324" very well. I've not shot this Lee in the RB so I can't say.
    The .323" that shot real good is the RCBS 170 gr flat nose sold by Gardner's Cache http://gardnerscache.com/8mm_170_lfp_g_c.html. He sizes them either .323" or .321" for the .32 Winchester Special. I've shot them in 8x57 Mauser and 8x58RD with very good results so they're worth trying.

    Dutch

  4. #4
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    Several years ago , I bought a Lee 170gr 30 cal 2 cavity mold and when you looked into the cavities with the mold closed, you could see light . The blocks did not make contact at the nose of the bullet. The mold would close completely if you squeezed it hard, but that's not right. Fortunately I don't live too far from Lee Precision, so I went to the factory and showed it to them. I believe Dick Lee's grandson looked at it and tried to fix it. After several attempts, he presented me with a mold that closed completely. Now I don't know if it was the same blocks or a different mold that he gave me, but I was happy with the results.
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  5. #5
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    I have an old (used) Lee mold that often failed to close properly. After a few minutes of examination I found that the problem was the mold handles, there was a slight twist in one of the gripping tangs that slightly missmatched the other side. After a bit of carefully torking the bent tang it was straight and all was well. It could have been an error of Lee's, it could have been something a clumsy previous owner did; I don't care, it's good now.

    No matter how hard they try, ALL makers of everything will let an occasional defective device out; that's just a fact of life. Therefore, the real issue should be, "How well does the maker respond". I've noticed that other makers get kudos for how well they respond without a blip of complaint about the defective device itself. That is, unless it's something from Lee. ???

  6. #6
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    I have an old (used) Lee mold that often failed to close properly. After a few minutes of examination I found that the problem was in the mold handles, there was a slight twist in one of the mold gripping tangs that slightly mismatched the other side. After a bit of carefully torking the bent tang was aligned and all was well. It could have been an error of Lee's, it could have been something a clumsy previous owner did; I don't know and don't care, it's good now.

    No matter how hard they try, ALL makers of everything will let an occasional defective device out; that's just a fact of life. Therefore, the real issue should be, "How well does the maker respond". I've noticed that other makers get kudos for how well they respond without a blip of complaint about the defective device itself. That is, unless it's something from Lee. ???

    You say that mold was five years old - did you ever ask Lee if they could help?

  7. #7
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    "No matter how hard they try, ALL makers of everything will let an occasional defective device out; that's just a fact of life."

    I don't know about that, does anybody have a defective H&G mold that the defect wasn't caused by abuse? Or the old Saeco Molds? How about NOE? I am in the $1K NOE club and my brass molds typically will drop 8 cavities that vary by tenths of a grain.

    I have two Lee molds and one is a 6 cavity that every bullet dropped is a significantly different weight. I realize I bought the Lee just to try a different bullet design and it was cheap, but as far as I am concerned I wasted my money. It wasn't worth my time and effort to return it. I hear more complaints about Lee than all the other mold makers put together. But I do own other Lee products that work well, I just cannot recommend Lee Molds.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonheart View Post
    "No matter how hard they try, ALL makers of everything will let an occasional defective device out; that's just a fact of life."

    I don't know about that, does anybody have a defective H&G mold that the defect wasn't caused by abuse?
    Well, my own H&G six hole .429 240 gr. mold is the only one of that brand I've ever touched and I got it some 55 years ago at a great price; it is indeed excellent.

    I have several Lee molds I class as quite good but, regarding the quality and Q.C. difference, I wonder how well Lee could do if we were willing to pay H&G prices.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1hole View Post
    ...I have several Lee molds I class as quite good but, regarding the quality and Q.C. difference, I wonder how well Lee could do if we were willing to pay H&G prices...
    Exactly! I bought Lee molds when I was starting out because they were less money than any other mold. Did they have the exact shape I wanted? I was too inexperienced to know. Did they cast bullets? Yep. Were they perfect? Probably not. But they were cheap! And for hunting they worked.

    I liken them to the VW Bug. Inexpensive, get you where you are going and easy to work on. Perfect? You get what you pay for.

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  10. #10
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    so the noses are good they don't have a step on one side?

  11. #11
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    I have a lee mould that has the bottoms of the blocks offset like shown. The top is milled flat and the cavities are fine. It's an old style and cast well.

  12. #12
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    If you are a savvy shopper many times you can get a whole lot more than you pay for. I mentioned H&G because I have acquired several of their molds over the years. I am 71 and I have H&G molds that are older than me that cast as perfect and uniform weight bullets as any new custom CNC molds. These Hensley & Gibbs actually were custom Meehanite Cast Iron molds that came with handles fitted to the mold.

    My point to all of this is I see these coming up for sale on EBay and selling in some cases no more than what one would have pay for and aluminum Lee mold. There are others like the old cast iron Saeco that would be a very close second to H&G. The old guys are dying off and the families, especially in places like CA don't have a clue so they unload them.

    Some here are so prouf to get a "clone" that is a close copy, but not exact, of the old classic H&G #68 or H&G #130 when with a little looking and patience they could own the original. These molds can be abused, but find a good one and wearing one out with normal care and use will take generations.

  13. #13
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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
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