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Discussion Starter #1
I'd like to hear about other molds that work real well for you guys in pistol calibers. I have a dozen Lee 2 cavity molds which most cast adequately but some are much better than others. Some of my best are in 45, 380/9mm, and 40 cal. I have two in 44 and one 357 that don't cast very well and I usually end up rejecting around 25% or more.

My favorite is a Lee 356-102-1R that works so well that I rarely have a reject. I cast and coated nearly 600 of them over the last two days and had maybe 10 rejects out of the bunch. Too bad Lee doesn't make it in 6 cavity because I'm starting to load and shoot several hundred of these every month.
 

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Funflyer I'm with ya. That is the first bullet I ever started casting. At the time I had a few members of the different forum send me a handful of different casts to try. It was that one, the 356-95 FP Lee, a 95 gr RN and some 358-105 SWC Lee. The 102gr shot the best from my Witness Pagona and the S&W 380EZ So that is what I started with and believe it was the right choice.

I then started with a Lee 452-200 SWC that cast really nice bullets but they wouldn't function in either my Witness or XD Mod2. But I was soon able to trade that mold with another member for a Lee 452-200 RNFP that shoots very well in the Witness and not quite as well in the XD. I now also have a Lyman single cavity 452-225 RN but I haven't been able to test it yet because of this shut down.
 
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358-105 SWC loads very accurately in .38, 9x19, and .380, though I haven't fired my .380 in many moons. Mostly, I shoot that bullet in 9x19 light loads. For .38s, I prefer the 148 WC.
 
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i like the lee 356-95 FP . i cast up about 500 saturday from wheel weight metal . i just shoot them tumble lubled and unsized in 9mm`s . cast a batch of lee 358-105 SWC `s
while i was at it too. with the 6 cavity molds you can make`m quick . like the lee tumble lube .45 round nose 230 gr. bullets for 45acp ,and does a great job in .45 colt too .
so easy to make just dumping them out of 6 molds ,and tumble lubing ---------
 

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For me in 9mm it's Lee 357-120 TC and nothing else in 9mm after trying about 8 different molds

In .40 s&w all non Lee molds , 142 TC , 146 SWC , 157 SWC ( favorite ) and 163 RNFP

In 10mm same as .40 plus Lee 180 RNFP

In .357 SIG a 128 TC w/o lube grove
 

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Discussion Starter #6
For me in 9mm it's Lee 357-120 TC and nothing else in 9mm after trying about 8 different molds
In 10mm same as .40 plus Lee 180 RNFP
I almost forgot about the 120TC. That one has been 100% reliable in all my 9's and extremely accurate with every powder/load I've tested. I plan on getting one in 6 cavity and hope is casts as well as the 2 cavity does. I don't see a Lee mold in 180RNFP. is it an older mold they don't make any longer? I have the Lee 175TC and would like to try a heavier bullet. Thought about milling out the lube groove on that one which should increase the weight to 190-200gn.
 

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I stand corrected , thanks I do have the Lee 175TC it drops at 180 depending on the alloy , I was thinking of what it drops I guess .

My 357-120TC 6-hole drops around 125gr which works out just great for me
I heat up the 6 hole on a hot plate before casting to appox 230 dig. and about 4 or 5 drops and it's ready to go . I keep it clean with a small brass brush at the air vents and spew plate and oil it and it works great
 

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One of the finest bullets I have ever cast (not including all my Lyman 230 gr RN .452" ) was the Lachmiller 205 gr wadcutter .452". I sized them with the Lyman RN top-punch which gave them just a bit more rounding and everyone who shot them found them to feed flawlessly and about as accurate as anybody's cast WC. Something like 4.5 gr Bullseye and seated with shoulder just flush with the case mouth. Cast slightly hard, same alloy used for the 357's.

Also, back in the 70's Lyman made two different 9mm 124gr truncated conical-nosed, WC's, one with a dead-flat nose and one with a rounded nose. The rounded one worked better in my Model 39, and I also loaded it in 38 SPL for PPC. It was a QUICK reload with speedloaders. but I found it less than perfect in my Model 19's. Maybe just too light for that gun.

I have some Lee molds, and maybe it is time to set the leadpot up again.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Any of you guys ever modify a mold and have good luck with it? I had to modify two Lee molds for making usable 32ACP bullets. I cut down a 311-100-2R and also a 314-90-SWC that were too long/heavy to load safely. Now both drop very nice bullets that weigh in the 70-73 grain range that feed well and are surprisingly accurate.
 

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How did you do it? Surface-grinder or endmill? Either way, sounds workable.

Once, decades ago, I opened up an old "no-name" 45ACP mold that was dropping .451" 230 RN up to 453" with a 3/8 Black&Decker drill, a length of wooden dowel, a wad of 0000 steel wool and some 400-grit powdered abrasive and G96 oil. It took a very little while, and it took more off the lube-groove than I hoped, but they fell out at 243 - 244gr., sized nicely, and shot well.
 
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Discussion Starter #11
How did you do it? Surface-grinder or endmill? Either way, sounds workable.

Once, decades ago, I opened up an old "no-name" 45ACP mold that was dropping .451" 230 RN up to 453" with a 3/8 Black&Decker drill, a length of wooden dowel, a wad of 0000 steel wool and some 400-grit powdered abrasive and G96 oil. It took a very little while, and it took more off the lube-groove than I hoped, but they fell out at 243 - 244gr., sized nicely, and shot well.
I cut the molds down on my mini mill, then using a tiny ball-end mill I made several vent cuts across the top. With the SWC mold I also cut the lube grooves out of it using a .312" end mill. When I was done, I cast a few bullets and tapped them for a screw then using a drill I polished the molds to a super smooth finish. I was really only hoping for a decent shootable bullet but was pleasantly surprised at how well these actually shoot. I'll post some pics later.
 

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My 6 cavity Lee 105 grain SWC, and my Lee 6 cavity 95 grain FN molds really spit them out. For me, the 105 grain bullet works well in revolvers but doesn't function good in my semi-autos. My 9mm is very accurate with the 95 grain Flat Nose and it functions very well.
 

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As of today, 5/24/20 I don't have a favorite.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
My 6 cavity Lee 105 grain SWC, and my Lee 6 cavity 95 grain FN molds really spit them out. For me, the 105 grain bullet works well in revolvers but doesn't function good in my semi-autos. My 9mm is very accurate with the 95 grain Flat Nose and it functions very well.
The 105SWC functions better in my 380's than the 9mils. The last two mice I bought were a Kahr P380 and SA 911, both ate em like candy.
 

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Asking me which one of my molds is my favorite is like asking me which one of my children is my favorite. When I purchase a mold I do lots of research as to who and what that particular bullet is being shot in and how it preforms function and accuracy wise at least to a reasonable degree because you just never really know till you actually try it in your gun.

Without having to pick a particular mold though I would say the Lee six cavity molds are becoming a favorite of mine.
 
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