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Thread: Lee 358-158-RF Mold

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Fire_stick's Avatar
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    Lee 358-158-RF Mold

    For those that use this mold, I wonder if you can tell me what the dimension is of the meplat.

    My Rossi 357 tends to like a nice size meplat in order to cycle 357 cartridges without hanging.

    Thanks
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  2. #2
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    I'm not sure what bullet lee is making now. I bought a 2 cavity a couple years ago, that's the one on the left. It's meplat is approx .270. The one on the right is from a new 6 cavity and it measures .290. I have had no luck with these bullets at 1100 fps or so out of my Rossi 92 with the 30" twist. They will group 10 shots under 2" at 50 yds and by 100 yds the group is measured in feet! You can see on the 50 yd target they are starting to tip. I have not shot them at higher speeds so they may be ok at magnum velocities.
    Last edited by fecmech; 11-22-2009 at 04:08 PM.
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    I have had much better luck with the Lee 125 rf boolit than with the 158. I have been unhappy with every load that I shot with the 158 Lee in my revolver and Marlin.
    Crabo

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  4. #4
    Boolit Master Fire_stick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fecmech View Post
    I'm not sure what bullet lee is making now. I bought a 2 cavity a couple years ago, that's the one on the left. It's meplat is approx .270. The one on the right is from a new 6 cavity and it measures .290. I have had no luck with these bullets at 1100 fps or so out of my Rossi 92 with the 30" twist. They will group 10 shots under 2" at 50 yds and by 100 yds the group is measured in feet! You can see on the 50 yd target they are starting to tip. I have not shot them at higher speeds so they may be ok at magnum velocities.
    Thanks fecmech.

    In the photo below, the bullet on the right has a a meplat somewhere close to .290 (I am not sure of my measurement). It was pulled from Monarch ammo, that is inexpensive, but cycles perfectly in my Rossi. All other brands tried do not. So I am trying to come as close as possible with a stock mold and cast bullet.

    I wonder now if the newer 2 cavity molds have that same profile as your 6 cavity.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Thank you for the information.
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master NHlever's Avatar
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    I was shooting the Lee 158 RNFP today out of my Winchester Legacy .357. I get very good groups with it using light loads of TiteGroup. Today I was shooting 3.6gr, and 4.0 gr. with boolits sized .357, .358, and .359. They all shot very well I thought. I would post some pictures of the targets, but so far I've been unable to get clear pics with my camera. Maybe I'll try the tripod. Those loads also shoot very well in both my Ruger Security Six's. Anyway I did save the targets since I'm trying to get my load data on the computer.

    Edit: I did take some pictures of the groups I got yesterday at 50 yards with the Lee 158 RNFP from my Legacy 357 so here they are. All groups are 5 shots.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by NHlever; 06-30-2009 at 01:06 PM.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Fire_stick's Avatar
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    Thanks NH,

    Nice shoot'n.

    I cannot find the 2 cavity molds in stock, so will order and wait.
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  7. #7
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    Fire stick--Is your rossi a newer one with the 1 in 30 twist?? The reason I ask is that the Lee bullet does not do well unless you want just a 50 yd gun. Out of my rossi and a friends EMF rossi (both newer guns) the lee bullet tumbles before 100 yds when shot at around 1100 fps. My Winchester trails end (1 in 14 twist) will shoot the narrower meplat bullet into 2-3" at 100 yds, the larger meplat no so good.
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  8. #8
    Boolit Master Fire_stick's Avatar
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    fecmech,

    It is one of the newer guns with a 1:30 twist. Both bullets in my post above perform good at 100 yards. I am pushing them at more than 1100 fps. The cast was running 1265 fps using a 38 spcl case. The factory ammo on the right is moving at about 1500 fps.

    My plan is to paper patch the 358-158-RF (air cooled clip-on WW) and drive it in the 1500 to 1800 fps range.

    Do you think pushing it faster may help?
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  9. #9
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    My old Rossi shoots the Lee TL358-158-SWC @ 1620 fps with zero leading using acww alloy and two coats of LLA. No need to paper patch if 1600 fps is fast enough.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Four Fingers of Death's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fecmech View Post
    Fire stick--Is your rossi a newer one with the 1 in 30 twist?? The reason I ask is that the Lee bullet does not do well unless you want just a 50 yd gun. Out of my rossi and a friends EMF rossi (both newer guns) the lee bullet tumbles before 100 yds when shot at around 1100 fps. My Winchester trails end (1 in 14 twist) will shoot the narrower meplat bullet into 2-3" at 100 yds, the larger meplat no so good.
    Thats interesting, until I read this thread, I never realised that my 5-6 yr (I think) old Rossi has never been used over 50 yards (where it never missed a beat) apart from one unexpected foray into cowboy silouette, where it fared ok with another boolit, apart from not having enough clout to reliably knock down the rams as it was leftover target ammo. It got there, it hit the targets if you used an artillery approach (well almost, I did bracket it), but mostly just tickled the ram and made it wobble some. Had to hit em' on the nose or rear and spin em' off, high failure rate, but still fun.

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  11. #11
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    I shoot that bullet (Lee 158gr RNFP) and it shoots very accurately. I use 3gr. Bullseye. I have shot a 6 shot group out of my 4in. Model 10 at 75 yds and 3 were in a ragged hole! I wouldn't have believed it if I didn't see it right then myself!! I size to .358.
    Last edited by EMC45; 07-01-2009 at 10:36 AM.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMC45 View Post
    I shoot that bullet (Lee 158gr RNFP) and it shoots very accurately. I use 3gr. Bullseye. I have shot a 6 shot group out of my 4in. Model 10 at 75 yds and 3 were in a raged hole! I wouldn't have believed it if I didn't see it right then myself!! I size to .358.
    Mine shoots pretty decent out of my K-38 at 100 yds. Six shots will go into 4-6" at that range. The difference I believe is the twist, the S&W's are 1 in 18 3/4" and the Rossi is 1 in 30"and as I said in my original post it shoots good out of my Winchester 94 (1 in 14").
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  13. #13
    Boolit Master JIMinPHX's Avatar
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    The 125 grain version of that thing has a .23" meplat, or at least that's what my mold throws. I know that Lee has been jacking around with the boolit base design on that one lately. Some molds have a flat base (like mine) & others have a bevel base. When I bought my mold, I was expecting a bigger meplat, based on the picture that I saw in the catalog I ordered it from. I'm not sure if the picture was from the 158-grain version or if the 125 has been getting different noses put on it at different times. All that aside, the 125 grain version shoots well in every gun that I have tried it in. It even necks down pretty well for use in a friend's 9mm.
    Last edited by JIMinPHX; 07-01-2009 at 10:36 PM. Reason: punctuation......
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  14. #14
    Boolit Master Fire_stick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fecmech View Post
    I'm not sure what bullet lee is making now. I bought a 2 cavity a couple years ago, that's the one on the left. It's meplat is approx .270. The one on the right is from a new 6 cavity and it measures .290. I have had no luck with these bullets at 1100 fps or so out of my Rossi 92 with the 30" twist. They will group 10 shots under 2" at 50 yds and by 100 yds the group is measured in feet! You can see on the 50 yd target they are starting to tip. I have not shot them at higher speeds so they may be ok at magnum velocities.
    fecmech,

    I did find a 2 cavity mold at Ammo Depot. Got it today, and cast 50 or so bullets. They appear to be the same shape as your 2 cavity.

    Tried one in a dummy cartridge, and it cycles well with brisk levering. I might have to trim the case a few thou for perfection.

    Now to load some and shoot! I will post pictures in another thread later.

    Thanks to all for the replies.
    He who knows best knows how little he knows.
    - Thomas Jefferson

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy
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    Does wad cutters work for the 92/357?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by techlava View Post
    Does wad cutters work for the 92/357?
    If you single load them!
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