Lee vs Lyman bullet molds ???
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Thread: Lee vs Lyman bullet molds ???

  1. #1
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    Lee vs Lyman bullet molds ???

    Are Lyman molds REALLY worth three times as much as Lee molds? I mean, I really can buy three Lee molds for every Lyman mold, plus I have to buy a set of handles for the Lyman molds, while handles are included with the Lee molds. That means ordering my first Lyman mold will cost $100.
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    Yes
    "You can never run a hill too hard, you will collapse before hurting it."

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    What makes them worth 330% more? Are the bullets better, easier to keep to temp, or what? If they only cost half again as much, I would buy them in a heartbeat, but for this price difference there would have to be some significant difference. So far the biggest problem with the Lees is that I have to periodically tighten the sprue plate.
    Slightly used, but new.

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    I've been researching bullet molding myself Joe and wondered if there really is a difference.


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    Hardware is better, no galling or binding on Lyman's.
    Tight alignment of the right and left sides after hundreds of hot-to-cold cycles.
    Better bullet quality across a wide hard was range, from almost pure to very hard lead
    Even temps in cold weather casting

    Just like he rest of the Lee line, lower price and quality, you get what you pay for in this world
    "You can never run a hill too hard, you will collapse before hurting it."

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    Joe Williams (February 21st, 2012), Mudcat (February 21st, 2012)

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    This guy talks about the differences between the Lee and Lyman moulds.

    cast bullets :: casting and loading cast bullets

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    Joe Williams (February 21st, 2012)

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    The only part I disagree with is the rust issue, if you take care, and give them a light wax coating before putting them in long term storage, rust is no more an issue than with my 130 yr old rifles. If I put molds and guns under the work bench in he shop, both would look like hell in 3 months.
    "You can never run a hill too hard, you will collapse before hurting it."

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    Gonna bump an old thread to give some input of my own.

    The answer is Lyman.

    Cathy's Dad visited a few weeks ago, and brought with him an ancient Ideal (Lyman) mold so I could teach him to cast. It was good to finally get a side to side comparison. I found that the steel mold simply wasn't that hard to get up to temp, and once there the temp stability was superb. The Lees come up to temp faster, but also get cold faster, and overheat easily. Compared to the Lyman, they are a bit of a pain.

    Durability is another issue. As I said, Pap's mold was ancient, but was still tight and precise. My Lee molds date from the beginnning of the year or so. I have cast 3000-5000 bullets with a couple of them. The sprue plates are loose, and are beginning to not cut as precisely as I wish. I am starting to get little "tails." I cannot tighten the sprue plates up.

    For the price, the Lees are good molds if you do not intend to cast much, or for a bullet you won't cast a whole bunch of. But for something you want to cast a lot of, and for much better temp stability, I think the Lyman's are worth the extra money, and will start buying some to replace my more heavily used Lees.
    Slightly used, but new.

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    Hello to the forum first.

    This is a very good debate on this issue.
    First off I wouldn't buy a new lyman mold, just because their QC in the past couple of years has been slipping. Lots of molds are throwing undersized boolits.
    Lee molds on the other hand, IMHO are junk if they are the 2 cav. 6cav molds are all in all a good investment.
    Lyman molds while being steel, will come up to temp and hold temp longer, but then you have to deal with rust issue and prevention when done with them.
    Lee on the other hand wont rust due to being aluminum.

    Lee molds to me are not worth buying in the 2 cav, just because everyone i have owned I've had to Leement. They are sub rate quality, and just not worth my time and energy to have to QC and work on.
    The 6 cav mold, while the sprue cutter handle is on the fragile side, is worth te investment.
    Plus lee molds you have to run hotter to get to cast good quality. i don't know if this is from being cheap aluminum or what.

    If you can find an old Lyman mold in good condition, you'd be better off. While they don't come with handles, they will last longer vs a Lee.
    With the Lyman molds qc really in question anymore, you might look into RCBS or for a few $$ more, look into Accurate molds. Accurate molds will accept Lee 6 cav handles.
    Tom is awesome to deal with, will make a custom mold for you and his turn around for a private shop is mere days anymore.
    I hope this helps a little bit

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    I've had good luck with Saeco, Lyman, and RCBS over the years, they seem to last forever. Lee molds less so unless you are really careful. Things like letting the lead get too hard on a 6 cavity Lee before cutting can ruin your day.
    Too old for this, I'm getting.

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