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Thread: Bullet molds

  1. #1
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    Bullet molds

    I am wondering which bullet mold do you all consider the best or better. I have used Lee, Lyman, RCBS, and A few odds and ends. Who makes the better molds?

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    Brass Trader WarEagleEd's Avatar
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    Hensley & Gibbs (H&G) molds sure do command a premium when you see them for sale second hand. I have a couple, but have only cast once with a .45 caliber H&G mold. Since that was one of my first casting session I didn't have great results. I don't think that had anything to do with the mold though. There is also NOE, Arsenal, and Accurate molds too, though I have no experience with them. They might be considered better than the typical brands. Other than the two H&Gs and one or two Lee molds the rest of mine are Lyman, of which I may have 5, but have only cast with one.

    Ed

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    I only have experience with lee 2 cavity molds so far, but they seem to work well enough for me.

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    Administrator DukeInFlorida's Avatar
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    If I can add my learned two cents worth. . . .

    I have been casting high quality bullets for decades now. When I started, I didn't know much, and thought Lee "Tumble Lube" bullets were OK. Well, they really sucked. The tumble lube system always failed, and leading and poor accuracy was a result.

    I was fortunate to buy a S&W 500 Magnum, the worlds most powerful hand gun. It quicvkly became my favorite. But, using jacketed bullets, it was very expensive to reload for. One of the gun guys I knew also had a 500 Magnum, and suggested that I get a certain mold that was then in a "Group Buy" at CastBoolits (our parent site.) That mold was a custom made mold. You had to pre-commit to buying one, and pay up front. When they got enough orders to justify a production run, they made the molds, and shipped them. WOW!! I then knew what a good mold was.

    Turned out that there were a few issues with molds like Lee's. Out of round cavities. Varying cavity diameters. And, poor design of the lube grooves. Add in poor alignment of the mold blocks, and horrible burrs on the cut cavities (the primary reason why bullets don't just drop from the mold.) So, the only use I have these days for Lee molds are for making "cores" for the jacketed bullets I swage. They are good enough for that purpose.

    Lyman makes great cast iron molds. Accurate molds are good. NOE (Night Owl Enterprises, Al (Swede) Nelson's company, is also good for solid nose bullets, but his hanging pin hollow points suck.

    My favorites are the molds from MP-Molds. They have regular group buys for those at CastBoolits.Gunloads.Com, our parent site:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/foru...g-and-Archives

    Most of the molds are made from brass, and are skillfully made. Yes, they are a lot more expensive than the two cavity crap Lee molds. But, well worth the money if you are seeking to make quality accurate shooting bullets. MP-Molds uses what is called the "Cramer" style hollow point design, where sliding pins make hollow points. And, the maker usually supplies several insert pins for several hollow point styles with the molds. NOBODY else does that. They also provide a custom Top Punch with the mold, which is needed for lubricizing the cast bullets. NOBODY else does that. MP-Molds does NOT ask for group buy money up front. You can bail out of a group buy easily at any time. When the molds get made, they send you an email, with a link for buying the mold that ypou committed to, good for two weeks, and then they will sell your commitment mold to someone else. They ship via DHL, and get to you in a couple of days. I have 30+ MP-Molds molds. Every single one is a work of art, and a please to cast with. Bullets never hang in the molds. "Smoking" a mold, which some beginner casters do to assist with releasing bullets from cheap molds, is never needed with MP-Molds.

    You can buy molds off their web site, www.mp-molds.com

    I cannot say enough good things about them. So, if you are seeking advice about who's molds to consider, that's my recommendation. Stay away from cheap, especially Lee. Don't get drawn into the low price. Low price means poor quality.

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    Thanks all, especially Duke. You are a good man to ask when people have questions.

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    They all work ok. I started with a 2 cavity Lee mold, decades ago, and quickly tired or constantly having to tinker with it. Since then I have owned Lyman, RCBS, H&G and Accurate. There are a few other custom makers like M&P, Noe, Ranch Dog, to name a few.

    Truthfully, a RCBS mold is a good compromise on a mold that always works well vs cost. I'm slowly buying H&G molds to replace my Lyman and RCBS molds, but thats just me.

  7. #7
    Brass Trader SafetyJoe's Avatar
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    I have lee, lyman and NOE molds. The NOE ones I like because they have ones designed for powder coating that don't have any lube grooves, but I use the lee 6 cavity tumble lube molds more often because they don't require any sizing of the bullets and I'm getting very good accuracy in 38/357 mag carbines. The only problem I have with the lee 6 cavity molds are they like to run a little hotter than other molds and I have to pre heat my sprue plate with a propane torch. Doing that and keeping the sprue pivot and lockup points lubed with beeswax every 10-15 minutes and they work fine.

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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