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More Bullet Casting Questions Please?

hermiemhermiem Member Posts: 261 ✭✭✭
Ok, I told you that there would be more questions. Here are 2 more.

So far ALL of the molds that I've purchased have been from Lee. (Ya, I know they are aluminum and I am aware of the pitfalls. It was more a matter of economics than anything. If I do ALL of my calibers it will be 12 different ones. PLUS, I've had some really good luck with every other Lee product that I've purchased so far - which has been significant.)

The first question that I have is concerning the bullet lube. According to Lee, and product ratings at MidwayUSA and other online retailers, their Lee Liquid Alox bullet lube product is SUPPOSED to be not only good for their "micro band" bullets, BUT ALSO with the traditional deep-grove bullets - regardless of manufacturer.

The second question is regarding bottleneck rifle cartridges. According to the Lyman Bullet Casting Reloading Manual they recommend purchasing special neck sizing dies that "bells" the case mouth specifically made for cast bullets used in bottleneck cartridges. I believe that they call them "M" Dies. (But not sure - don't have the manual with me right now.)When I was a kid reloading cast bullets with my Dad and brother I'm certain that we did NOT have any special neck expanding dies for the bottleneck rifle cartridges.

Any positive feedback on these 2 questions would be greatly appreciated - as always!

Best Regards,

Mike

Comments

  • bartman45bartman45 Member Posts: 3,008 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have no experience in cast with bottleneck cases, however, I shoot many cast deep lube groove bullets in a 38 & 357 magnum pistols. Works well, and do not get any leading. The best amount of lube to get on the bullet is about the same that is on a 22lr bullet, a light coating. The liquid alox is available from White Label Lube in larger quantities which brings the cost per ounce way down.
  • charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 7,348 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Some Lee stuff is top shelf and some not so much. The Saeco sizer/luber is better than the Lyman and cost more, not really sure a regular shooter or rifle could tell the difference.

    I have had several Lee molds and they will never sell me another one. Some of my favorite Lyman's have been in service for more than 30 years with me, others were well used when I got them. Quality never goes out of style, and yea I have had bad Lyman's from the factory.

    Never tried tumble lube bullets or the liquid alox. 50/50 beeswax/alox is what I use. I have run various homemade concoctions and other wonder products. I don't usually push lead bullets past about 1800 and I seldom use gas checks.

    Make sure your cases have a inside bevel at the mouth. I bell cases as little as possible and not shave lead. I do have a .311 expander but I'm not shooting 30 cal. these days.
  • hermiemhermiem Member Posts: 261 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Charlie,

    Thank you so much for your honest feedback to my questions as it is greatly appreciated.

    I would like to ask you though if you could please elaborate a bit more on the issues that you had with the Lee bullet molds?

    Best Regards,

    Mike Welsch


    quote:Originally posted by charliemeyer007
    Some Lee stuff is top shelf and some not so much. The Saeco sizer/luber is better than the Lyman and cost more, not really sure a regular shooter or rifle could tell the difference.

    I have had several Lee molds and they will never sell me another one. Some of my favorite Lyman's have been in service for more than 30 years with me, others were well used when I got them. Quality never goes out of style, and yea I have had bad Lyman's from the factory.

    Never tried tumble lube bullets or the liquid alox. 50/50 beeswax/alox is what I use. I have run various homemade concoctions and other wonder products. I don't usually push lead bullets past about 1800 and I seldom use gas checks.

    Make sure your cases have a inside bevel at the mouth. I bell cases as little as possible and not shave lead. I do have a .311 expander but I'm not shooting 30 cal. these days.
  • charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 7,348 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    The last one a Lee improved mini 50 cal. throws outa round bullets by about .002. I made a hand sizing die to correct them. Back in the 80's I wore about a dozen Lee's out. Aluminum will not hold up to commercial type casting. If you only shoot a few boxes of ammo a year then they might be ok.
  • hermiemhermiem Member Posts: 261 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks - this helps. I'm most likely not going to cast a lot -at least right now anyway. I have enough jacketed, plated and other manufacturer lead bullets probably to last quite a while. I only get to go shooting 2 maybe 3 times a month. (I have to drive 40 miles 1 way to the range.) I'm just kind of "stocking up" for the potential of "just in case" situation arises. Meaning that the cost of commercial ammo, commercially manufactured reloading components get so expensive that I really need to utilize them. The scuttle-butt I've been hearing at the local gunshops and gunshows is that the Feds and possibly some states are going to tax this stuff like they do for liquor.

    Best Regards,

    Mike


    quote:Originally posted by charliemeyer007
    The last one a Lee improved mini 50 cal. throws outa round bullets by about .002. I made a hand sizing die to correct them. Back in the 80's I wore about a dozen Lee's out. Aluminum will not hold up to commercial type casting. If you only shoot a few boxes of ammo a year then they might be ok.
  • hermiemhermiem Member Posts: 261 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks to all of you that have replied. I think that I have sufficient info to answer my questions now.


    quote:Originally posted by hermiem
    Ok, I told you that there would be more questions. Here are 2 more.

    So far ALL of the molds that I've purchased have been from Lee. (Ya, I know they are aluminum and I am aware of the pitfalls. It was more a matter of economics than anything. If I do ALL of my calibers it will be 12 different ones. PLUS, I've had some really good luck with every other Lee product that I've purchased so far - which has been significant.)

    The first question that I have is concerning the bullet lube. According to Lee, and product ratings at MidwayUSA and other online retailers, their Lee Liquid Alox bullet lube product is SUPPOSED to be not only good for their "micro band" bullets, BUT ALSO with the traditional deep-grove bullets - regardless of manufacturer.

    The second question is regarding bottleneck rifle cartridges. According to the Lyman Bullet Casting Reloading Manual they recommend purchasing special neck sizing dies that "bells" the case mouth specifically made for cast bullets used in bottleneck cartridges. I believe that they call them "M" Dies. (But not sure - don't have the manual with me right now.)When I was a kid reloading cast bullets with my Dad and brother I'm certain that we did NOT have any special neck expanding dies for the bottleneck rifle cartridges.

    Any positive feedback on these 2 questions would be greatly appreciated - as always!

    Best Regards,

    Mike
  • jonkjonk Member Posts: 10,121
    edited November -1
    Lee makes a universal case neck flaring die that is not caliber specific; yes it is necessary for rifle, though most pistol dies come with an expander already.

    Lee Liquid Alox can be used for all bullets. However, just like some guns like some powder/bullet combos better than others, some guns do really well with the LLA, others prefer traditional lube. You'll just have to try and see.

    I second looking at the cast boolit forum referenced, nice group of guys who knows more than you could ever need about cast lead and guns.
  • nemesisenforcernemesisenforcer Member Posts: 10,513 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I've never had good luck with straight LLA on any bullet that I've cast.

    However, it works great as a base for home made lube. I use it with Minwax floor wax 50/50 and have had better luck with all my bullets rifle and pistol.

    An expander die for rifles is nice but not essential. I don't use one (yet) and have had good luck with sized and lubed bullets with gas checks in my 30 cals.
  • steve4102steve4102 Member Posts: 186 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I new to casting as well. Like you I purchased Lee Molds and use the "tumble" lube method. My Lee molds work and I am not unhappy with them. I have one tumble groove mold and it is my least favorite. In the future I will stick with the single groove molds.

    I use the 45/45/10 tumble lube, I think it works a little better and is a little less messy than the straight Lee Alox.

    I also use the Lee push through bullets sizing die. My 40/10mm die was a tad small so I opened it up a little to fit my 10MM bores better. So, far so good.
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