I should have known better!

  • 2.9K Views
  • Last Post 04 August 2018
Pigslayer posted this 23 February 2016

Over the years I have bought a number of LEE molds. Up until they changed their mold block design, I never had an issue. The first of the new mold block design I had the pin that holds one of the mold blocks to the handle fall out, the second one had the alignment pins fall out. After that I had been vocal about not buying their molds again. I guess the passing of time makes me forgetful.      After deciding to buy a .380 Auto (which I will pick up on Saturday) I thought I'd get a jumpstart & buy LEEs 356-95-RF. What the heck, the molds are cheap & if they drop a little small, I'll add a little tin to the mix. I've done it before. Well, I ordered the mold from Midway and have since received it. At first glance I said “Oh-Oh"! The mold halves were slightly misaligned. I tried casting with it anyway.      The bullets are dropping .354” x .310". Yep, consistently!! I mean . . . what???!!! There isn't all the beagling or sizing in the world to fix that!! I have a number of pieces of LEE reloading equipment & swear by them but their molds suck! But . . . it's my fault . . . I knew better. Pat

If someone else had of done to me what I did to myself . . . I'd have killed him. Humility is an asset. Heh - heh.

Attached Files

Order By: Standard | Newest | Votes
RicinYakima posted this 24 February 2016

Ya buy cheap, you get cheap.

Attached Files

norm posted this 24 February 2016

.354x.310? thats horrible

Attached Files

Pigslayer posted this 24 February 2016

norm wrote: .354x.310? thats horrible
Yep, Starrett dosen't lie. You believe that crap? I even double checked with my dial calipers! Pat

If someone else had of done to me what I did to myself . . . I'd have killed him. Humility is an asset. Heh - heh.

Attached Files

Pigslayer posted this 24 February 2016

RicinYakima wrote: Ya buy cheap, you get cheap.
Guess I have to re-learn that lesson every once in a while. Pat

If someone else had of done to me what I did to myself . . . I'd have killed him. Humility is an asset. Heh - heh.

Attached Files

Ed Harris posted this 24 February 2016

I got an email from Tom at Accurate that my new 35-122T has been shipped. I will send you some from the first heat.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

Attached Files

Pigslayer posted this 24 February 2016

Ed Harris wrote: I got an email from Tom at Accurate that my new 35-122T has been shipped. I will send you some from the first heat.Thank you Ed. Pat

If someone else had of done to me what I did to myself . . . I'd have killed him. Humility is an asset. Heh - heh.

Attached Files

Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 24 February 2016

hey pat ... it is a statistical thing ... getting an adequate product for an adequate price ... kinda like marriage ... a statistical thing ... i have about 12 lee molds ... statistically ( g ) they are adequate . oh, my lbt and old west and original nei molds are 100 per cent ok .... heh ...

edit ::i'll send you 10 bucks for your double-bubble mold .. i'll use it for a mold blank for a 45 cal or so ... pm if ok .

ken

Attached Files

Pigslayer posted this 25 February 2016

Ken Campbell Iowa wrote: hey pat ... it is a statistical thing ... getting an adequate product for an adequate price ... kinda like marriage ... a statistical thing ... i have about 12 lee molds ... statistically ( g ) they are adequate . oh, my lbt and old west and original nei molds are 100 per cent ok .... heh ...

edit ::i'll send you 10 bucks for your double-bubble mold .. i'll use it for a mold blank for a 45 cal or so ... pm if ok .

kenAlready went out in the trash. Pat

If someone else had of done to me what I did to myself . . . I'd have killed him. Humility is an asset. Heh - heh.

Attached Files

Pigslayer posted this 25 February 2016

I noticed that the “Inspected by Shirley” sticker is no longer attached to their molds. Haven't seen that sticker on the last three (defective) molds that I bought from them. Hmmmmmmm. Must have let Shirley go. Probably outsourcing to China. LOL

If someone else had of done to me what I did to myself . . . I'd have killed him. Humility is an asset. Heh - heh.

Attached Files

tturner53 posted this 26 February 2016

I must just be lucky. None of my dozens of Lee molds (old and new) are truly junk. Some are really good. Especially the special order ones from Ranch Dog Outdoors and Midsouth Shooter's Supply. Not in the same class as my SAECO, LBT, NOE,RCBS, even most Lymans. But a lot of good useful bullets, cheap fun too.

Attached Files

  • Liked by
  • 6pt-sika
2coldhere posted this 27 February 2016

I just bought a Lee C309-200-R to add to my eight or so other Lee molds. I like the new alignment method and also noticed the ferrals have been lengthened, even though I've never had a problem with the earlier design. When I went to measure the diameter, had to look closely just to see the match lines they were so well aligned. And the nose measured .2995 Guess I've just been lucky in never having had a bad one.

Attached Files

PredFan posted this 27 February 2016

Maybe that is the problem I've been having with my 44 mold. It's a Lee 240 grain 44 ca and it's making bullets that end up being anywhere from 248 grains up to 260 or so.

Where is the best place to get bullet molds? The bullets so far have been firing fine but I don't like the lack of consistency in weight. It's difficult to figure out how much powder to use. I have to do math!:shock:

Attached Files

Pigslayer posted this 27 February 2016

PredFan wrote: Maybe that is the problem I've been having with my 44 mold. It's a Lee 240 grain 44 ca and it's making bullets that end up being anywhere from 248 grains up to 260 or so.

Where is the best place to get bullet molds? The bullets so far have been firing fine but I don't like the lack of consistency in weight. It's difficult to figure out how much powder to use. I have to do math!:shock:
Accurate molds is where I go! Got a great catalog!  

If someone else had of done to me what I did to myself . . . I'd have killed him. Humility is an asset. Heh - heh.

Attached Files

cbshtr posted this 12 March 2016

I bought several Lee molds a few years back. I tried the CTL 312-160 2R and the bullets were all but perfect except the gas check shank is too large to slip the gas checks on. I have a way of fitting them on square but that adds another step to prepping the bullets. I finally got around today to trying the C312-185R I bought at the same time since it's so much easier to size then bump. I have a couple Eagan taper dies so an oversize nose would be no problem. Well to my surprise, who would have guessed,  they cast almost perfectly round at .3125 on the body but only .2985 on the nose. This is way undersized for the 303 British let alone normal 30 calibers. I bought 2 of the molds at the same time so I'm not expecting anything better with the other one but I'll try it anyway. I really don't like lapping drive bands but I will if I have to. But, there is no way I'm going to try to lap the nose on 2 cavities and expect them to end up the same. I have several more molds I bought at that time that I havent used yet. I guess I'm going to have to try them all so I can send all the rejects back to Lee for replacement. I guess the most frustrating thing is I take the time to prep the molds properly, which has been posted multiple times, and it was all for nothing.

Attached Files

gpidaho posted this 13 March 2016

As I posted a while back, my Lee 6 hole 35cal 200gr. RF is so out of round that when sized .358 the sizing extends half way up the nose on one side. My new NOE 360-200 mould arrived in todays mail. It's a RG2 with flat point, hollow point and cup point pins. I'm hoping this will be the one for my 35cal. rifles. Also took delivery of the NOE push through sizing die. The NOE sizing bushings are exact as to the size ordered. Very nice set up. Gp

Attached Files

Pigslayer posted this 13 March 2016

RicinYakima wrote: Ya buy cheap, you get cheap.
Well, that's just it Ric, I have been more than satisfied with every other LEE product that I own without a hitch. I have two presses, one of which being a 4-hole turret press which is a heck of a lot of bang for the buck, die sets, bullet sizing dies, shell holders, 2 LEE auto primes, taper crimp dies, pro auto disk powder measures etc.. All good stuff.      I know that their molds are made on modern automated equipment. So . . . . how hard would it be to find employees that can read a set of calipers or run their equipment. I don't get it! Pat

If someone else had of done to me what I did to myself . . . I'd have killed him. Humility is an asset. Heh - heh.

Attached Files

John Alexander posted this 13 March 2016

My experience with Lee products has been similar to Pat's except that I have never had a problem with a Lee bullet mold even though I have a bunch of them. I have a lot of other Lee equipment and it has been first rate often better designed than the high priced competition. 

If I had the terrible experience that others have cited I would send them back.  Lee needs to know that bad molds are getting out. I hope that they would make good on them.

If you believe the old saw “you get what you pay for.” you should talk to a Jaguar, Mercedes, or Land Rover owner.

John

Attached Files

frnkeore posted this 13 March 2016

I've also had good quality products in Lee. Of my 3, 10 lb pots, one burned out. I've had one since 1985 and the other two since about 1990. Not sure which one burn out. I now have two 20 lb pots (all pots are bottom pour) and still use one 10 lb. After trouble shooting the 20 lb's I don't have any problems.

Of my molds, I've had two that had mismatch halfs and cast out of round. I don't shoot them much, because I shoot mostly spitzers. The picture is one, shot at 100 yd, I modified the nose on.

When I need a ready made loading tool, I choose Lee first if they make it. I have 3 presses, 4 station classic and two 3  station regular. one of those one up graded to 4 station.

Frank

Attached Files

Pigslayer posted this 13 March 2016

John Alexander wrote: My experience with Lee products has been similar to Pat's except that I have never had a problem with a Lee bullet mold even though I have a bunch of them. I have a lot of other Lee equipment and it has been first rate often better designed than the high priced competition. 

If I had the terrible experience that others have cited I would send them back.  Lee needs to know that bad molds are getting out. I hope that they would make good on them.

If you believe the old saw “you get what you pay for.” you should talk to a Jaguar, Mercedes, or Land Rover owner.

John
John,      The reason I haven't send the defective molds back is this; $6.95 flat rate shipping, packing materials costs at about $2.00 & 1-1/2 hrs. of my time to go to the PO to ship. Sometimes I wonder if they are counting on that. This last incident has though prompted me to write a letter to them. I hope that they listen. Pat

If someone else had of done to me what I did to myself . . . I'd have killed him. Humility is an asset. Heh - heh.

Attached Files

cbshtr posted this 07 April 2016

I finally got around to trying the other C312-185-1R mold the other day. Same dimensions as the first. I emailed Lee and the response was it is dimensionally correct. Someone please chime in because I'm pretty sure the nose is suppose to be .303” instead of .298". They said I could return them for evaluation. I also got a 457-405F mold at the same time that only one of the blocks was cut for venting. They said to try it first to see if it works before returning it. I like their products but these molds are starting to waste my time trying to get them to work.

Attached Files

Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 08 April 2016

i suspect that venting on just one side might work just fine .

but the best i can say about those unsupported undersized nose designs .... is that it shows us the need for bore-engraved noses ....

i played for a year or so with that cute little lee 130 gr. in 7mm ... my wallet groups were 3.5 moa .. ( g ) ...

it was educational ... after making bullet nose bump-up dies and even a couple molds with fatter noses ... i bot a rcbs mold that had a fatter nose and then my wallet groups dropped to under 2 moa ...


i suspect that from lee's perspective, if they aimed at 0.301 nose diameter .... they would get 80 per cent of the molds returned because they jammed the bullet back in the case when chambered ...

i love my custom molds but lee does occasionally hit a homer ... his 300 gr. 430 bullet is such ...and of 6 375 molds, my lee 379 works best in a 38-55 ...

ken

Attached Files

R. Dupraz posted this 08 April 2016

"love my custom molds but lee does occasionally hit a homer ... his 300 gr. 430 bullet is such ...and of 6 375 molds, my lee 379 works best in a 38-55 ...''                 Yep, Ken.    That 379 lee is what I bought for the chickens, pigs and turkeys when I started shooting lever action silhouette some years back. My Marlin CB 38-55 will dang near put them on top of each other at 50 when sized to .380" after the chamber neck was opened up for cast.          

Attached Files

4570sharps posted this 26 December 2016

I have a few Hoch molds that don't  cast as good as any Lee mold I have! 

Attached Files

SierraHunter posted this 26 December 2016

Right now, all I have is lee molds. I actually really like the new style ones.

Attached Files

6pt-sika posted this 26 December 2016

I got a pair of two cavity roundball molds earlier this year and they worked pretty well . However I'm using them for buckshot so as cast size isn't quite as critical to me . I will say the Lee 6 cavity atleast in my experience is of somewhat better quality then the single or double cavity molds .

Attached Files

Ken T posted this 31 December 2016

I avoid Lee molds.I have never had any luck with them.I use mostly Lyman molds and have since the 50's.I have never had a problem with them.All of mine cast to the correct size.

Attached Files

David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 31 December 2016

If Lee molds are as bad as some say, well I am going to buy a lottery ticket tomorrow and the day after, and the day after, and the ........ and should be a very rich guy.. I started with a Lee mold just about 40 years ago, like many first time casters do. Since then my collection of molds has risen way above 150 (yes I admit it, I'm a mold horder) with probably around 25-30 Lee molds. Why, because they are cheap and cast good bullets more times than not. I can only remember one Lee mold giving me trouble in all these years, and it still does. I have to tap it on my bullet land pad to get it to align sometimes, but it responds to this minor abuse to get going. I have tried all other know remedies, but a little cussing and a love pat sets her right. 

My very first Lee, a .357 - 158 gr / SWC, still has some white medical tape wrapped around one handle which cracked about 5 years of hard use. But it has not let me down and still cranks out good bullets, some 35 years after the after a trip to my medicine cabinet (it was the handiest tape at the time, but is not so white any more). I will not hesitate to try a new Lee mold, even though I read or hear a story of a bad experience. I think many people don't have more good things to say about Lee molds for two reasons, both have been proved through scientific testing. First, it is my firm belief that people are more inclined to write bad reviews or relate bad experiences than they are to give praise. Right or wrong, no matter how truthful (and I do believe most are just relating their honest experience), it's just human nature. Second, just like it once was with Savage rifles, no body wanted to say they owned one, they would rather talk about their Remingtons, Winchesters or what have you.

So those of you that have bad Lee molds, I am willing to give them a new home (if I don't have that particular one), and would more than likely pay the shipping.

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

Attached Files

Qc Pistolero posted this 28 April 2018

Coming in late but just in case somebody might read it....I too started with Lee moulds;t'was in the early '70s if my mind serves me right.While I don't have as many as most of you here,I count them by the dozens.I must say that I have more problems with my Lyman than my Lee moulds.I might just have been lucky but I would buy another Lee mould before a Lyman.That doesn't mean that Lyman is out of whack when making moulds;just that I'm unlucky with them.

Attached Files

OU812 posted this 01 May 2018

Midway has a very good return policy. Print out the prepaid return shipping label and drop off at USPS or UPS store.

Attached Files

BigMan54 posted this 02 May 2018

Until 1987 the only experience I had with Lee was their decapping rod & base for .45acp & ought 6. 

At a gun show right after EOT '87, my Dad found 3 used Lee .44 cal molds; 240RN, 214RN & 208WC. I think He paid $12, handed them to me and said to start casting for the .44SPL COLTS we both owned.

I'm still casting with those molds today. Not so Lucky with other things. Bought a new .44WCF factory crimp die when they came out. Blasted things don't work with brass trimmed to minimum.  .44Russian die set came with a defective shell holder. It busted my after market primer catcher system. 

Still I've had good luck with the 2 - 2cav 40-170gr TC molds I bought 15yrs ago. 

Had the 1st set of 6cav handles break after about 40 casts with my new 6cav 32-93grn RN (2yrs ago). Sent them back to Lee w/receipt for replacement. But the postage added $5.00 to the cost of the handles.  

After seeing some stuff on you-tube , I'll just stick with the GOOD Mould Makers. In fact I'm waiting on a new .44-200gr from ACCURATE  right now.

Buying Lee is a crap shoot. If it works it's great. If not, at least you only wasted time & a little money.  

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

Attached Files

Ron Reichel posted this 03 May 2018

Lee makes some good products. Lead bullet sizing dies and those factory crimp die are a couple I find very useful.

Attached Files

kjohn posted this 04 August 2018

I have about 15 Lee moulds, and have only had good luck with them.  If I have the right heat, and smoke them a bit with a wood match before casting, I'm off to the races.  I've poured oodles of tumble lube in 9mm, .38, and .45 ACP.  I keep it as simple as I can, and enjoy a good casting session.

 

The most of mine are all older - 80's and 90's.

smile

Attached Files

Close