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Thread: When to give up on a mold

  1. #21
    Boolit Master elmacgyver0's Avatar
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    I guess I don't cast that many boolits.
    What is there to wear out on a mold?
    So far all of my Lee molds are fine.
    I did break a sprue cutter lever trying to cut sprues when cold, but that was my fault.

  2. #22
    Boolit Master
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    The mold I have cast most with is probably a Lee 6 cavity 357-140 SWC. I’m sure I have 10,000 bullets out of it and 20,000 wouldn’t surprise me. I bought a replacement mold for the day when it eventually gives out however I have no desire to buy a “better” mold. The Lee mold does what it supposed to do and works well.

  3. #23
    Boolit Grand Master

    gwpercle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfdog91 View Post
    When do you finally just say it's time for a new mold ? Say you bought a cheap lee or a old used one , when do you just stop trying to make it cast and decide it's time for either just a new one or a better quality one ?
    I was thinking some more on your question ... and believe I have a better answer ...

    When your casting consistently produces more unusable boolits than useable boolits
    And you have tried everything you can think of and everything we could think of to fix that .
    Then it's time to throw in the towel and buy a new mould or send the offending mould back to maker .

    You will always have some rejects , I like nearly perfect boolits so am picky about what I keep ... but even so 85% to 90% of the ones I drop should be near perfect "Keepers" ...
    Usually If I do my part with heating , the moulds will perform . I had one old unvented Ideal that needed a vent line scratched in the flat face before it would cast .
    Newer moulds are much better vented.

    Wolfdog ... what exactly is the nature of the problem ?
    Don't let lack of a good excuse stop you from buying a new mould ... any excuse to buy a new / improved / better mould , is a good excuse .

    And don't forget , when casting boolits , you have to hold your mouth right !

    Gary
    Certified Cajun
    Proud Member of The Basket of Deplorables
    " Let's Go Brandon !"

  4. #24
    Boolit Master
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    If a boolit mold annoys you - get rid of it.
    *
    I have given up on aluminum molds entirely - no more aluminum for me (just give me a year to justify the cost.)

  5. #25
    Boolit Master Wolfdog91's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwpercle View Post
    I was thinking some more on your question ... and believe I have a better answer ...

    When your casting consistently produces more unusable boolits than useable boolits
    And you have tried everything you can think of and everything we could think of to fix that .
    Then it's time to throw in the towel and buy a new mould or send the offending mould back to maker .

    You will always have some rejects , I like nearly perfect boolits so am picky about what I keep ... but even so 85% to 90% of the ones I drop should be near perfect "Keepers" ...
    Usually If I do my part with heating , the moulds will perform . I had one old unvented Ideal that needed a vent line scratched in the flat face before it would cast .
    Newer moulds are much better vented.

    Wolfdog ... what exactly is the nature of the problem ?
    Don't let lack of a good excuse stop you from buying a new mould ... any excuse to buy a new / improved / better mould , is a good excuse .

    And don't forget , when casting boolits , you have to hold your mouth right !

    Gary
    Mold just plain not casting good, wrinkles fins ect. I've read and re read watched and re watched did allll kinda of heat cycling and mold prep and I just can't get anything going good. Honestly just tired off messing with them. Looking at biting the bullet buying some nice alloy from roto and MP/ NOE molds and just run them

    With what I want to do good enough and ok just plain don't cut it.
    A wise man will try to learn as much from a fool as he will from a master, for all have something to teach- Uncle Iroh
    MS Army Guard 2016-2021

  6. #26
    Boolit Bub
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    I have a Lee .309-160-R that is very close to being thrown on the junk pile. I’ve tried everything to get it to drop bullets easily and it plain old refuses. It’s the only piece of Lee equipment I have ever had outright fail to work as advertised.

  7. #27
    Boolit Master slim1836's Avatar
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    I have a new one from a well known maker that would not cast a decent boolit until I smoked the mold as a last resort. I tried everything prior to that, and I hate to smoke my molds.

    Slim
    RETIRED
    NOT MY PROBLEM ANYMORE

    LET'S GO BRANDON

  8. #28
    Boolit Grand Master

    gwpercle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfdog91 View Post
    Mold just plain not casting good, wrinkles fins ect. I've read and re read watched and re watched did allll kinda of heat cycling and mold prep and I just can't get anything going good. Honestly just tired off messing with them. Looking at biting the bullet buying some nice alloy from roto and MP/ NOE molds and just run them

    With what I want to do good enough and ok just plain don't cut it.
    Life's too short ... Order a nice new mould and start fresh .

    I started casting with Lyman steel moulds and then Lee came out with $9.95 moulds and being a tight wad penny pinching Cajun I started buying them .
    I learned how to make Lee's work because I'm stubborn .
    After hearing all the talk about "custom" moulds I decided I just had to buy one and make sure they wern't as all fired nice as everyone claimed ...couldn't be was my thought ...
    In 2015 I get my first 4 Cavity NOE , set me back $92.00 ... a 2 cavity Lee was $19.95 ...
    Well I was dead wrong ... that NOE is just a joy to use , it must be broke in correctly and cleaned and lubed correctly but after that it's a Joy To Use .
    I started buying NOE Moulds whenever I could scrape to gether a $100 bill .
    I think I have 6 or 7 now ... even a "Elmer Keith Signature " mould ...
    When Lyman stopped making 41 magnum moulds I started buying the designs I wanted from NOE ... some I cast with , the Signature Moulds ( 38 cal & 41 cal. ) are just works of art .

    Life's too danged short ... get a few good moulds and really enjoy the hobby ...
    Are they worth the cost ? Heck Yeah ... they are worth every penny !
    Gary
    Certified Cajun
    Proud Member of The Basket of Deplorables
    " Let's Go Brandon !"

  9. #29
    Boolit Master
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    Over the years I've owned a LOT of Lee molds. All but 2 of them worked fine. The only Lee molds I have now are the 6 cavity ones for my .357 and .45acp. They work fine and produce acceptable bullets.

    Lee molds are great for experimenting. Father-in-law and I did some HP testing back in the 80's with them. Took some and milled the top down to compare different weight of bullet. Turned all the bevel base molds into plain base. One we turned into a slick side paper patch mold. Another was milled out to make lead cylinders for a shop project. That led to a variable size mold for the .357. Nose shape milled into the adjustable plug. Also made a nose pour out of one and my FIL designed and made a cherry he tested with a Lee mold that we had no other use for. I had one that was a GC model and I needed a plain base, so I milled the top down.

    When do I 'give up' on a mold? If I don't use it anymore, for any reason, I either scrap it or give it away.

  10. #30
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Bannister View Post
    If a person feels that their time is worth $25.00 an hour, why cast at all, just buy commercial cast and take what is offered. For many of us this is not a job so the salary issue is moot. For those that are retired, it is a pleasant way to pass the day because the pay is the same whether we roll out of bed at 6AM or lounge until 7 or 8AM. When I go out to the shed, I am "off the clock" and the passing of time is not a factor. We all have different priorities, hence some tinker, some toss, and some just never take the time to try casting at all....
    Exactly. And this whole forum is evidence of it. It was pointed out by a coworker last week when I told him about my success reloading large pistol primers using toy gun caps. I spent probably 20 mins and ended up with 3 primers. He did the math. Just about $0.90 an hour for the effort, and I was feeling pretty good about it. This ain't a job, it's therapy.

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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