Graybeard Outdoors banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I intend to create roundball for the 45, 50 and possibly the 320 grain REAL bullets in 50 cal. Just for my shooting. Nothing commercial. I am going into this because of roundball availability and the facts about commercial roundball weights that you all seem to be building on the forum. Sounds like we are all better off if we do it ourselves in a more controlled environment.

I would like to do my purchasing once, so in your opinion, which melting furnace and bullet molds do you all prefer ? Lee seems to be cheap, is it cheap for a reason ?

Lyman is a little more, RCBS is significantly more expensive.

Looking forward to learning more from you all.

-Thal
:grin: :grin: :grin: :grin: :grin:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
823 Posts
My preference is the Lee

For the round ball, my preference is the Lee moulds. I have Thompson Center moulds for round ball and Lee moulds. Never had any problems with my Lee moulds, just read and follow the directions that come with the mould. They produce good projectiles and are easier to use and maintain.

Those Lee Combo moulds with the REAL and the round ball are a good choice. Remember the aluminum moulds like the Lee and the now out of production Thompson Center, can be damaged by missuse and accident, as can steel moulds. For the price you can easily afford to have a couple of spares with the Lee.

I also use a couple of the Lee brand bottom pour furnaces. They have been working very well for me. Use one for wheel weight material and the other for the solf lead intended for the muzzleloaders.

Good luck with your casting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
188 Posts
I was a firm believer in RCBS, Saeco, Lyman, and Rapine, as far as casting went. Been in it over 30 years. However I just lately saw the light, and now I don't think you can do better than Lee, both cost wise and quality. I use a Lee bottom pour, and I really haven't had a problem. My other furnaces were RCBS, and one Lyman. They all do the same job for the most part, but Lee does it cheaper. Good Luck RR :grin: :eek:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,027 Posts
Unless you're really picky, sloppy about equipment maintainence, abusive on equipment, or don't follow the directions at any point, I'd recommend Lee.

Not that the others are inferior, it's just that Lee has been serving me well for years. Sure I've run into problems, and occasional defective parts. But Lee backs thing up. Their products work. And by the time they wear out they've long since paid for themselves many times over. Plus Lee will recondition any of their products for 1/2 the manuf. sugg. retail price - which is something like 2/3 or 3/4 the cost of new.

If you get a Lee mold, I'd recommend getting two. Even if they're the exact same caliber/bullet shape. With two molds going you can set up a pace to really crank out a lot of bullets. Fill a mold, set it down, fill the next mold, set it down. Pick up the 1st mold, cut sprue, drop bullets, refill, set down. Pick up the 2nd mold, cut sprue, drop bullets, refill, set down. Back to the 1st mold, then the 2nd, then the 1st, and so on.

With only one mold, I found what slows me down is waiting for the lead to freeze. By operating two molds at once, you aren't standing idle. The price of Lee molds also allows you to buy two.

For a lead pot I use a Goodwill stainless steel saucepan, placed over a $13 propane campstove. The stove is hooked up to a 20# tank so the propane is cheap. The big pot is nice for catching drips of lead and cut sprues.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
455 Posts
I have two Lyman round ball moulds, dating to the early 1980s, in .380 and .490 diameter.
The thing I don't like about either is that they leave quite a teat (sprue mark) on the ball.
That's okay with the .490 ball in my rifle, where the ball's sprue is easily centered up-and-center in the muzzle, but it's a real pain in my Colt 2nd generation 1851 Navy revolver.
In the confines of the revolver, there's not much room to move a ball so the sprue mark is up and centered.
So I just today ordered a Lee round ball mould in .380 diameter. Lee's round ball moulds cut off the sprue at a tangent, Lee claims, which eliminates the bothersome teat.
I'm not sure how true this is, but I'll find out soon enough. Anyway, the idea attracted me enough to make me order one.
By the way, go into Ebay, Gunbroker, Auction Arms, For The Hunt and other websites that sell merchandise.
I often see Lee moulds, new in the box, for sale at prices far less than what Lee charges. Many of these moulds are from sporting goods stores that closed out, or estate sales where the original buyer never used them.
I bought my two-cavity, Lee .380 ball mould for $25, shipping included, from such a site.
This was for a mould new in the box, never used. Saved about $4 over what Lee charges on its website.
I sent the money order today. Should have it next week, and be casting next weekend.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
I've been using Lee equipment for more years than I care to remember. With the exception of the Lee Shotgun loader, I've never had a complaint.

For a lead pot I use a Goodwill stainless steel saucepan, placed over a $13 propane campstove. The stove is hooked up to a 20# tank so the propane is cheap. The big pot is nice for catching drips of lead and cut sprues

I use the Goodwill pans and a Goodwill Hotplate! I've had the Hotplate since 1972 and can't imagine how many tons of lead it's melted! :eek:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
455 Posts
Just a quick warning:
You MUST use a steel or iron pot for melting lead. Some have used aluminum cooking pots and it's dangerous.
With a large flame underneath, the aluminum is weakened. Add the weight of lead pressing against that weakness and the bottom of the pot gives way, spilling waves of hot lead all over the burner, the table, and probably the operator.
The American Rifleman warned about this danger many years ago. I haven't seen it mentioned in some years; it's probably a good thing to mention again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
557 Posts
Thanks, Gatofeo.

I'll share my experience, not quite as bad as that. I started with the camp stove, still using it, and an old stainless steel pot with an alum. plate on the bottom to distrbute the heat. Filled it with lead and melted it for the first attempt at maling bullets. When the lead cooled and I picked up the pot, I left the alum. plate on the burner! Thought for a moment that I'd lost the bottom of the pot, but the bottom was stainless, not lead.

I still use the pot, but I shudder to think of what would have happened if I'd used an alum. pot!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,021 Posts
:D Hey there folks.

Guess every party needs a fly in the punch, so might as well be me.

I know that you round ballers have a smaller selection of molds then the rest of us, but the best I can say for Lee is that they are made from aluminum. Aluminum casts GREAT!

As one poster indicated, I may be picky but Lee and quality are hard to put into the same statement unless we are talking about a lack there of.

Sorry. I think Lee has some good ideas, but the products just don't hold up so I go with different brands.

As to heat source, it is an old three burner Colman that the folks bought when I was about 6 +/-, I am 60 now. I did replace the guts a year or so ago from parts out of a stove that my son hit with his pickup. The origional had already melted hundreds and HUNDREDS of pounds of lead and WW before the transplant.

The best way to pour the bullets by far is the rowell bottom pour ladle! See their ads in the back of the shooting mags.

Pick up a gallon size or bigger cast iron pot at the good will or second hand. Make sure the bottom has a LARGE FLAT AREA.

I set up with a friend and his bottom pour one time to really have a go at it, and spent most of the time waiting.

I can cast circles around a bottom pour, may work a bit harder, but when I set up, I am after production. Will have 3 to 5 molds going at one time, depending on the outside temp. If I am lucky and have a good partner and the temp. is reasonable, it might be 6 molds.

Keep em coming! :wink:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
144 Posts
:D I'll shed more good light on lee moulds and bottom pore pots , i own seaco moulds lyman moulds, rapine (real expensive alluminum moulds),rcbs,hensly and gibbs, ideal,and pedersoli brass moulds and dixie gun works brass moulds, and the tested and true lee moulds, all are some of my favorite moulds the are inexpensive and will last as long as how well you treat them, one more thing that i havent seen anyone add too the list of items is a lgood lead pot thermometer this will help to moniter your lead temperature, remember lee stands by their product like most other companies do, to be honest i also use lee reloading equipment, presses and dies.
have fun casting and be careful,
kevin
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,021 Posts
:D Hey Kevin,

Glad the Lee products are doing Ok for you and the rest of the folk, I guess at 60 (and before) I am just a bit persnickity about quality. You might check out my feeling about the TC Classic under the heading of Rimfire Rifles etc. to see just how persnickity.

I have little time for a products which shows rapid wear no matter what the ads say, even if the price and/or repair-replacement policy is "right". I don't like the handles on the Lyman molds which I must rebuild to keep useable, but the molds just last better, don't cast as easy, just last.

Some companies remind me of the old Herters ads, "model perfect" this and "model perfect" that. NOT! in at least many cases, for example the set of .243 dies that looked more like a pipe die on the inside. Didn't take me long, about 30 years ago, to get real selective about Herters products.

By the way, I do have a set of LEE dippers which are used to dip powder charges for weighing almost every time I reload, so like I said, they do have some good ideas.

The best mold I have, ever had for that matter, is an LBT custom 4 cavity. Glad to hear that Veral is getting back into the business.

Keep em coming! :wink:
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top