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Finally decided to start casting...

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by XDRoX, Oct 30, 2011.

  1. XDRoX

    XDRoX

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    Couple questions. Assuming I have everything to smelt and make ingots...

    How is this?
    Production Pot IV
    [​IMG]

    I don't want to spend the money on a magma/star lube/sizer right now.
    Will this work in place of it or should I get some other inexpensive tool that will get the job done better?
    [​IMG]

    Thanks
     
  2. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    I don't find the Lee 20lb big enough for making a ton of bullets in a session. I run two at a time and still nearly run out of lead.

    I tried that sizer. They are often undersized. But they work ok if you get one that is the right size. You can open it up pretty easy Or just buy the the next size up. I don't like TL because it's sticky. It didn't take me long to buy a STAR.
     

  3. sig2009

    sig2009

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    If you get the Lee 20lb pot make sure you get the bottom pour. The 10lb pot is worthless. The Lyman 450 sizer can be had anyday on ebay for $75. Buy that.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2011
  4. XDRoX

    XDRoX

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    Ok, I'll get the 20lb pot with bottom spout.

    In what ways will the Lyman be better than that Lee I posted above?
     
  5. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

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    The 10# pot works fine. I've been using mine for a few years now. It will keep up with a 2 cavity mold fine. That said, spend a few more bucks and get the 20# because the higher cap molds are so much faster and twice the pot capacity is only a few bucks more.

    The Lee sizers and tumble lube are great. Think of all the rimfire bullets, bagillions of them, that have been tumble lubed for over a century. Many bullets don't even need sizing. My Lee 9mm 120TC drops them at 0.357". All I do is TL them and shoot them through my 9mm's and in 38Spl.

    Just like reloading, you CAN CAN CAST cheaply without getting high-end stuff. The high-end stuff is good too, but is mostly superfluous.
     
  6. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

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    It costs more and makes prettier bullets. If it costs more and makes something look better, it must be better.
     
  7. XDRoX

    XDRoX

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    Another question.
    Am I correct in assuming that I need a 356" mold and the 356" lube/sizing kit?

    For 9mm that is.
     
  8. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    The Lee is simply a sizer. It does not lube the bullet. All the other sizers lube the bullet with wax type lube at the same time. Lee requires you to use some Liquid Alox or similar. Wisky loves the stuff. I hate it. Sticky, nasty stuff. When I bought my Magma it was $250. It's now up to $275. If you don't mind sticky bullets Lee lube can be ok. I don't like dropping them on the ground and having them collect dirt. Of course I shoot in a sandy berm.
     
  9. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

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    Buy a .358 mould, that way you can size them for you 9's and .38/.357's.


    Jack
     
  10. XDRoX

    XDRoX

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    Good to know Jack. Will I be able to easily size them down in a non heated sizer/luber. I assume they're heated to melt the lube, but not sure if they also heat the bullet :dunno:

    What is your guys favorite 2-cav mold for 9mm from Lee?
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2011
  11. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

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    You can size down bullets 3 or 4 thousandths without any problem at all. (Bear in mind that I know absolutely nothing about the Lee sizer, you'll have to ask someone else about that.)

    A heater on a sizer simply warms the lube so that it will flow into the grease grooves, it has no impact on the bullet.

    Can't help you with the Lee mould, I use Lyman 4 cavities in 121 grain RN and TC for my 9's. May have a couple different ones stashed away but I can't remember what they are.


    Jack
     
  12. norton

    norton

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    I use the Lee 20 # bottom pour pot.
    Lee molds.
    Lee sizing dies
    Lee Alox.
    I tried some of the recipes found on the Internet for lube. Gulf wax, crayons, STP-too messy, too time consuming for pistol bullets IMO.
     
  13. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

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    Typically, bullets drop bigger than what the mold is spece'd for. It's supposed to be that way so you can size them. You can size a 0.359" bullet to 0.356", but you can't size a 0.355" bullet to 0.356", so they hedge things by making them a lrch oversize. FWIW, the vast majority of 9mm guns will chamber and shoot a bigger bullet. The biggest bullet you can manage to chamber is the best size to use.

    Lee has several 9mm molds that work well. Many use a 38 cal 125 2R bullet in both 9mm and 38. I have used my Lee 158RN in 9mm. My 9mm 120TC Lee mold drops bullets at 125 grains and shoots well in my 9's and in 38.
     
  14. fredj338

    fredj338

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    The Lee molds are so hit & miss as to proper size. A 9mm bullet should drop between 0.356-0.357", but w/ the Lee could be anywhere from 0.355"-.0358". You would want a 0.356" die if sizing for several diff 9mm or slug the bore & go 0.001" larger.
    The Lee 20# pot is a far better choice than the 10# IMO. I still use my 10# but only for LHP, I don't need much capacity for that.
    You can melt lube & pan lube the bullets, then size in the Lee. You can use Alox & JPW mix to tumble lube & then size. It gives good results, I just prefer a luber/sizer, only one step. Come on by, I'll get you some hands w/ the Lee 20# & a 2cav mold. I'll show you how to paqn lube & sizing is just as it appears in the Lee add.
    regards, fred
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2011
  15. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

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    Here's my $0.02 on iron vs aluminum. The bullets from each are equally good. The Lee 2 cav makes good bullets but are very easy to ruin. The sprue must be cut perfectly horizontal. Any upward or downward thrust on the cutter (easy to do) will effe it up. Iron molds can be, within reason, are less fragile. A new caster will very likely screw up a two cav Lee mold. Once you get the hang of casting, it is pretty easy to use a Lee 2cav without damaging it. Also, the alignment system on the Lee 2cav makes it likely to get screwed up.

    The Lee 6cav are much easier not to ruin. They make big piles of bullets cheaply, but are not as fool-proof as an iron mold.

    The iron molds are less fussy about temperature and are pretty hard to damage. Lubing them after use stops them from rusting, but cleaning the lube off before casting is a pain. I think Jack doesn't lube his and they don't rust.

    I have a Lyman 2 cavity and it's a good mold. The rest are Lee's. I ruined a Lee 2cav in the beginning because I didn't know what I was doing. I own several 6 cav and they are great. I bought a 2 cav for 32 ACP and have only used it once since I don't shoot much of it. For $18.00, I made $50.00 worth of bullets and put it away for the next time. It will probably last forever since I knwo how not to damage it.

    If you buy a Lee 2 cav, your learning process as a beginner will be longer. You will probably screw it up in the process. That will cost you the princely sum of $18.00, not bad, and you will end up with bullets and a desire to buy a 6 cav. If I spent 10 minutes showing Jack the ins and outs of Lee 6 cav molds, he'd probably end up using them.

    Iron molds cost more. You can get a Lee 6 cav for about half the price of an iron 2 cav.

    People all have their favorite molds in terms of bullet shape. Personally, I think they would all shoot well or they wouldn't keep making them. I'm talking about pistol bullets. Rifles bullets and long range are a whole different animal and I'll leave it to Fred to post about what works better there.
     
  16. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

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    That would be the best way to go about it.
     
  17. fredj338

    fredj338

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    I like the Leee 6cav molds. The alum could be higher quality, then they wouldn't be so fragile, & the spru plate/hanlde could be a bit more robust, but they work & make a ton of bullets fast. I would bypass the cheap 2cav, buy the 6cav & handles, make them 2, 4 or 6 at a time. I prefer a good iron mold, but 2cavs are slow & 6cav are too heavy to cast along time. For $120, Mountain molds can make you a custom 3cav from waulity alum & you can have any design/wt you desire within his program.
    WT, the only lead rifle bullets I am shooting are 350gr/45-70 running around 1600fps. Really just fast handgun bullets, but they shoot well in my 1886 & Marlin GG. Now, getting a good supply of cheap or free alloy in Kalif, a whole nother story.:crying:
     
  18. sig2009

    sig2009

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    The Lee 6 cavity molds are the only wat to go. I threw out all my 2 cavity Lyman molds. Not worth the time to cast. Takes to long to cast any quanity. When my mold and lead is up to temp the sprue cutter cuts the sprue like butter. If I have to force the sprue open then the temps are not right. I get all my lead from the indoor private range that I shoot at. Usually fill a 5 gal bucket up half way evry Sunday. Of course that's if I am the only one in there at the time.
     
  19. EL_NinO619

    EL_NinO619 EX-Swage Monkey

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    I think I got the bug and I haven't even coasted a single bullet. Yesterday at my shooting spot, I was more worried about picking up bullets on the ground and digging through a tree that was like a gold mine... Chris said I'm turning into Fred...LOL HELP ME..


    [​IMG]
     
  20. fredj338

    fredj338

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    Could be worse, you could turn into Liberal Democrat!:tongueout: Think of yourself as a green recycler, works for me.
    Bring over the lead, I'll let you guys run the Lee pot. If you are nice & donate to my lead supply, I may even let you run the Magma Caster. It's no faster than a 6cav mold, but way less work.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2011