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Thread: This is a Lee 6 cavity mould

  1. #61
    Boolit Buddy
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    Great thread.

    This may be a really stupid question about the cam screw but the first post was made 2-2006 and here we are almost November 2011 and Lee isn't putting the screw in at the factory? If they're going to jack up the prices to include them, I guess we can do it ourselves.

    Also, why aren't they beefing up the sprue handle like KAL so it doesn't break?

    Thanks

  2. #62
    Boolit Mold
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    Good question....broke mine on the first time out today. I was getting wrinkled bullets anyway. Bad timing as I was showing my neighbor how it's done on the Lee mold versus my H&G and the Lee handle snapped off on the first try as I was showing him. I could not get it to cast non wrinkled bullets. Will have to clean it and try smoking it....when I get a new handle from Lee.

  3. #63
    Boolit Bub
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    Are you the Buckshot with the trapping forum? That's a great idea for reducing wear on the Lee Mold.

  4. #64
    Boolit Buddy TNFrank's Avatar
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    Ok, so you've got my interest. I can pick up a 6 cavity in the same bullet that I'm using now and a set of handles and be into it for less then just an RCBS or Lyman 2 cavity. I just may need to check into this since I'd love to cast more bullets in less time if I could do it without breaking the bank.
    So, these are decent molds? Do the screw "trick" on the spur cutter to make the mold work better, good idea. Now I've got to figure out if I want a good 2 cavity or a Lee 6 cavity.
    "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!"

  5. #65
    Boolit Master


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    Lee 6-cavity for volume. They will spoil you. Their one and two cavity molds are not bad either. I have quite a few 'nice' iron molds but the Lee's make good bullets.

  6. #66
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    To answer the questions of why Lee doesn't incorporate some of the fixes outlined in this and many other threads, it seems that Lee doesn't like to admit that something might not have been a good idea. Changing the material of the sprue plate cam lever over to steel rather than the sintered metal they currently use would be admitting that their original design was flawed. Same thing with adding the setscrew to hold the sprue plate screw from turning. If they made these changes, chances are they would also have to raise the price of their moulds to the point that they wouldn't be competitive. I mean their one BIG saving grace is that they're inexpensive, I mean you can buy a functional 6 cavity mould with handles for right around $50.00, if suddenly that price was $90.00 a lot less folks would buy their moulds. I would rather buy their moulds, and then give extra money to folks like Red River Rick for his cam lever, it's made better than Lee ever thought of making it, and it's also better because the cam is longer, making it even easier to use to open a mould that's sit longer than it should before breaking the sprue.
    - MikeS

    Want to checkout my feedback? It's here:
    http://www.castboolits.gunloads.com/...d.php?t=136410

  7. #67
    Boolit Master
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    I just got my first 6-holer Lee and it looks like it is going back to the factory. On the face of the blocks there are three distinct patterns left by the facing cutters. On one block the center section of the facing is recessed below the other two. The recess intersects the cavities right at the base of the SWC tapered nose/front band and it is deep enough to cast one very serious fin off the nose of the boolit. Then, when a small piece of that fin breaks off and sticks to the mold face it holds the blocks slightly apart and you get fins on several boolits.

    When the bare blocks arrived I held them in my hand and opened the sprue plate to see a very nice scrape across the top of the blocks. It was caused by a burr on the sprue plate which was missed during inspection. Sticker in the box says this was inspected by Lucille, methinks Lucille needs new glasses.

    After I put handles on I couldn't open the blocks without really yanking the handles apart. I had to seat one pin a bit deeper to get the handles to open. Unless they put handles on every mold before it left the factory they can't catch that issue in a normal inspection process. It's not a big deal to fix so I won't hold that against Lee.

    Other than that it cast OK at best, surely not outstanding. I'm still in the learning curve, trying to figure out what works best with it. I love the sprue cam and light weight. A nerve injury that affects my left hand is making it pretty brutal to handle the Lyman 4 holers that I have and love. By comparison the 6 hole Lee is very easy to hold for long periods. I cast 15 lbs of boolits in one session this afternoon. Being only a 105 gr. pill, that works out to one big bunch of boolits.

    One thing I cannot figure out is why I get two boolits that remain soft far longer than others. I push the mold under the pot as I fill it. Front cavity fills first, then work to the rear (closest to the handles). So, lead in the front two cavities has longer to solidify than that in the rear cavity, not much but a couple seconds. Then wait for the sprue to change appearance and cut it off and swing the sprue plate off to the side,,,,,,,, and find lead smeared from the front two cavities and the lead in them still very glossy. Anybody got a WAG about that?

    If I wait long enough for those cavities to freeze before I cut the sprue it becomes quite a bit harder and I'm not sure how much is too much force on that legendary breaking handle.

  8. #68
    Boolit Master

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    Alan:

    By any chance did you preheat the mould by dipping the front into the lead melted in the pot? It sounds like your mould isn't heated evenly, and that the front is much hotter than the rest of the mould. If you don't already, try preheating the mould by placing it on a hotplate rather than on top of the pot, or placing part of the mould in the lead itself (as I believe Lee recommends). I can't think of any other reason for the 2 front cavities keeping the lead softer, other than a mould that's not evenly heated.
    - MikeS

    Want to checkout my feedback? It's here:
    http://www.castboolits.gunloads.com/...d.php?t=136410

  9. #69
    Boolit Master Cowboy T's Avatar
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    If you mean the 105gr SWC mould, I have that model, too. Sounds like you got a bad one, so definitely call Lee and have them make it right. They will.

    When you get your new mould, don't bother preheating it. Assuming your melt is up to temperature, meaning about 700 deg. F., your first two or three casts should get it hot enough to start dropping good boolits. My mould has let me turn out 6,000 perfect boolits in one day, and that's including time waiting for the pot to melt the next load of muffin ingots.

    The only thing I've done to my mould is clean it and smoke it in accordance with Lee's directions...then get to casting with it. It's got over 30,000 boolits on its clock, and oh boy, do I like it. Its output is fantastic, it saves precious lead, it makes .38 Special very affordable to shoot several times a week, and it's affordable. If this mould should break now, I feel like I've gotten way beyond my money's worth already. And it's still goin' strong.

    Now, for that cam lever. I broke one, too. Didn't close the mould all the way. If you do, then even if you let the mould sit too long, you can still break the sprue w/o breaking the cam lever. I've done it. But you do need to make sure the mould is in fact closed *ALL THE WAY*, otherwise the cam lever can't "cam" and you'll snap it.
    "San Francisco Liberal With A Gun"
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  10. #70
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    Saturday I tried my new Lee 6 hole .45 200gr SWC mold. Wow, for a newbie like me I was cranking out nice shinny boolits in no time! Then I had to leave the pot for a short while. When I got back I poured a set and the mold was cold, didn't cut the sprue quick enough and SNAP! I sheered that cam lever clean off. Huge bummer! I was having a blast! BTW, the PID I built with instructions from here was working just perfect. So I did cast over 200 boolits and tonight I was going to size and lube them but I can't find out what nose punch works for this boolit. I looked all over Lees web site and can't find the info. I'm using a Lyman 450 lube sizer. Can someone help me find out what nose punch to use?

  11. #71
    Awesome thread. Really addresses the ways to refine a great mold.

  12. #72
    Boolit Master

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    For a nose punch for the Lee 200gr tumble lube boolit, use the same one as for the Lyman 452460. If it's the conventional lube boolit (that's a clone of the H&G #68) you'll want to use the top punch for the Lyman 452640. I hope this info helps out.
    - MikeS

    Want to checkout my feedback? It's here:
    http://www.castboolits.gunloads.com/...d.php?t=136410

  13. #73
    Boolit Buddy


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    I am going to have to try the set screw. I have a 452 230 mold that is showing the battle scars of steel vs aluminum. The screw should keep it from getting worse. I do need to find a welder to fix the broken cam arm first though. It just snapped clean off one day.

  14. #74
    Boolit Bub
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    This is a Lee 6 cavity mould

    Quote Originally Posted by M Hicks View Post
    I am going to have to try the set screw. I have a 452 230 mold that is showing the battle scars of steel vs aluminum. The screw should keep it from getting worse. I do need to find a welder to fix the broken cam arm first though. It just snapped clean off one day.
    I bought a new cam from a guy on here called Red River Rick. Machined steel. Excellent quality.

    http://www.kal.castpics.net/Molds3.html

    Lots of guys here have bought from him.
    Last edited by DavZee; 12-13-2012 at 07:06 PM. Reason: adding link to seller

  15. #75
    Boolit Buddy
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    I thought about getting one of these for an auto in .40 S&W. Maybe 175 Gn. Maybe 200 Gn.

    Has Lee made any improvements on this mold or am I better off sticking to Lyman?

    Also, I had planned on using my Lubersizer to lube and size these. Do you guys have any advice for me. Its for a Glock 22 Gen. 4
    Thanks Jim

  16. #76
    Boolit Buddy
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    Do you guy's know if anyone makes a steel 6 cavity sprue plate? My new 6 cavity 356-120-TC mold's sprue plate is leaving fins on the bases because they think they need a .020" bow on the mating side for venting. I can make one but if some one already has them made up I would rather buy one.

    Thanks,
    Mark
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  17. #77
    Boolit Mold
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    BUCKSHOT...... how do I contact you ??????
    Interested in custom work on a 30 cal mold.

  18. #78
    Boolit Master
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    Burt, Welcome to the forum. If you Left click on his screen name, and drop menu will show up. You can choose PM or send E-mail.
    I like PM (private message) since most are on the forum more than their e-mails anyway.
    When you log into the site here next time or while your viewing the site, a screen message will show that you have a PM from (screen name EX: "Buckshot"). Left click private message and your inbox will have a message from him to you. Only you and him read these as they are private.
    You can send him your phone number or ask for his and that might serve you better.
    The private message selection is in the dark gray bar just below where the forum and Chat room is at the top of the screen under the Castboolit banner.

    Mike
    Last edited by myg30; 12-01-2013 at 11:30 AM. Reason: More info

  19. #79
    Boolit Buddy
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    I got a 45 200 SWC six cavity, standard lube grooves, and I really like it.
    The top of the mould is getting scraped up a bit from the sprue cutter tho.
    Is this normal ? It doesn't affect the bullets at all, the scrapes are away from the cavities.
    I tried two different kinds of synthetic two stroke oil.
    I also used anti-seize on the pins and lube points.
    I tried smoking with a candle.
    I tried smoking with a lighter.
    For now I've just been making sure there aren't any burs on the top of the mould or sprue plate between sessions.

    I have also noticed that there seems to be a magic point where the lead temp, mould temp, and wait time all comes together and the bullets fall out of the mould with no tapping.
    Is this something that I'm naturally going to develop a knack for with more experience ?
    It sure is nice when its happening.

  20. #80
    Boolit Grand Master



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    It may help to put slight bevel on the leading edge of the sprue plate.
    "Had his shooting been as good as his running, he might have given a better account of himself."
    James. C. Henderson

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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