New Molds UNDERSIZED

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BigMan54 posted this 27 November 2017

I cast some Bullets from a pair of new LYMAN molds a few weeks ago. Went to lube&size them this past weekend. Cast from a #429667 4cav & a #429244GC 2cav. Used LYMAN#2 alloy that I purchased from ROTOMETALS last year.  Put a RCBS .430dia size die into my old LYMAN 450 & started the 1st #429677. Felt no resistence when I pulled the handle down or up. When the bullet came up out of the die there was a thin film of lube coating the bullet. 

UNDERSIZED !  After the same result with 5 more bullets, I switched TP and tried the #429244GC. The gaschecks wouldn't stay on the bullets, the shanks were all undersized. I was using my last batch of LYMAN slip on gaschecks. At $40 bucks a box + shipping, Hornady crimp-on gaschecks are an expensive option for me when I still have a full box of LYMAN. But to get on with it the the #429244GC popped out with a thin film of lube.  UNDERSIZED AGAIN.

The #429667 mold was purchased less than 2 months ago, the #429244GC was purchased about 3yrs ago & not used until now.

The LYMAN#2 alloy was used to cast some LYMAN #429421 & RCBS #44-250-K this past spring & then sized in the same RCBS .430dia size die. No problems, both bullets sized as expected, clean, sharp & smooth driving bands & a well filled lube groove with some resistence on pulling down on the handle to push the bullet into the die.

I sent an email off to LYMAN to see what they'll do about these UNDERSIZED molds. Guess someone at LYMAN got lazy & used  cutting CHERRY'S too long.

 

CORRECTION, I should have said I bought the #429244GC  3 months ago, NOT 3 years.  

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun.

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R. Dupraz posted this 27 November 2017

That's why I quit buying Lyman molds years ago. Every one that I have save for the two original four cavities that I got in the mid sixties had to be lapped out. I've become a satisfied NOE customer since. At least I know what I'm getting every time. 

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GP Idaho posted this 28 November 2017

BigMan54; I second Mr. Dupraz's recommendation and suggest NOE or Accurate moulds. Of all my moulds only two are Lyman, a 50cal. Maxi and a 20g sabot slug. Lyman is infamous for undersized cavities. Now that you own these undersized examples, there is an easy fix. Take the clean out of the mould castings and give them a coat of powder coating. The process is very simple and will bump the bullets up a couple of thousandths with the added plus that you will no longer need a messy lube. This works especially well for handgun bullets. If you would like a few examples or a quick tutorial on the process PM me. Gp

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BigMan54 posted this 28 November 2017

Well Guys, I was raised on LYMAN molds. H&G too, but 40+yrs ago H&G were out of my price range. I've never had a problem with a NEW LYMAN Mold before. But the last new mold I bought from them was back about 1995. The #429244GC was bought on sale to replace one stolen several years previously.  The #429667 Cowboy Mold was bought by my Chiropractor buddy that I load .44mag cases for his Cowboy Action Shooting. His source for these bullets had dried up, if given the choice I would have tried one of the NOE, ACCURATE or ARSENAL molds. But that's what he wanted. Even though LYMAN discontinued the 4cav they had a few left & I was able to get one through GRAF&SONS. I never expected any problems.

On a good note I got an email from LYMAN to call them this morning. They emailed a form with a return number. I'm sending in the 2 molds & some sample bullets. We'll see how that turns out.

 

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun.

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R. Dupraz posted this 29 November 2017

"On a good note I got an email from LYMAN to call them this morning. They emailed a form with a return number. I'm sending in the 2 molds & some sample bullets. We'll see how that turns out."

 

Good first step. Hope they do the right thing for you.

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JSH posted this 06 December 2017

I am another that swore off of anything but one of the custom molds folks. I was on the same lines as others, to much month at the end of the money. So that put a dent in my spending. In the long run, I would have been way better off saving up and buying what I wanted, not what was made for the masses. It would have saved me a LOT of time,energy and frustration. If I just had primers or powder back from a lot of it I would be mo when ahead.

This is not a dink on any one mold maker. I had small and large issues with all of them, depending on design. All of the iron block off the shelf molds I have are good ones. I went through a bunch to get them though.

Neighbor got into casting. I gave him some from a mold of mine. I don't loan out molds anymore. He liked it and ordered one, even though I told him to spend a few extra dollars and go custom. It was in the mail more than it was used. It was within specs, supposedly..........

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jimkim posted this 06 December 2017

This is why I only buy used Lyman, RCBS, and Saeco moulds. The older ones, had tighter tolerances. I'll buy new Lee moulds though. If I have to finish machining a new product, it will be on aluminium, and inexpensive.

I think the only way to get true quality now is, to buy from the custom shops like NOE, Mountain Molds, and MP.

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BigMan54 posted this 07 December 2017

The #429244GC I bought was used. But recently made, stamped 01-15. Now I why it was being sold. Guess I'll have to be more careful in the future. But the vast majority of folks on ebay know nothing about molds and often can't even understand questions. I just won't buy a rusty molds as I don't have the ability to machine mold faces/tops or "beagle" a mold.

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun.

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BigMan54 posted this 23 December 2017

Well Guys,

I got my replacement molds from LYMAN yesterday. Brand spanking new molds. I opened the #429667 4cav first. There is a little orange card in the box that states: " At LYMAN, customer satisfaction and quality are our top priorities." The back of the card has the info: "Inspected by Sheila 1/6/2016 employee 4091. Mold has manufacture date of 12/15

I then opened the #429244 2cav. It was inspected by Jorge on 1/26/1917 employee 4069. Mold has a manufacture date of  01/17.

Something felt a bit off. I checked the copy of the LYMAN RA form that I had sent in with the molds. Dates of manufacture:  12/15 and 01/17 respectfully.

I then checked the inspection stickers from inside the original mold boxes, I kept them, I figured "what the heck, I'll get two more mold boxes." The stickers read: "inspected by Sheila 1/6/2016, Jorge 1/26/2017 respectfully.

I was really looking forward to breaking in theses new molds on Tuesday.  Now.......

Guess I'll have to wait until after New Years to call lyman. Was all excited when that box came yesterday, puts a kind of damper on my CHRISTMAS SPIRIT. THANK THE GOOD LORD FOR FAMILY.

WISHING ALL CASTING BROTHERS A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS.  

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun.

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358156hp posted this 23 December 2017

Try them anyway before calling. They could be alright. Lyman probably produces large batches of individual moulds in a single production run before moving on to the next one. They may not all be bad.

That said, I have a decent sized accumulation of Lyman moulds, but mine are all older moulds and I haven't bought a new one in ages, primarily because of price.

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358156hp posted this 26 December 2017

I just remembered something. Lyman switched from cutting moulds to sizing based on #2 alloy perhaps a decade ago. I think they now proof moulds with linotype instead, like other manufacturers went to (RCBS). IIRC, SAECO still proofs their moulds with Taracorp Magnum alloy, or Rotometals "Hardball" alloy.

This may help explain the undersized bullets. Mould manufacturers seem to have moved away from alloys you have to mix yourself in favor of alloys you can buy ready to use.

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BigMan54 posted this 26 December 2017

LYMAN made no reference to alloy type when I talked to them about this on the phone before I sent in the molds. And I specifically told them I was using LYMAN #2 ALLOY. If I hafta cast bullets from those molds outa pure LINOTYPE, then I'm screwed. I've got barely 100lbs of LINO, BUT 600+LBS OF #2 .

At 29 bullets to the pound, I won't even get 3000. My buddy shoots 350-500rds a month.      

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun.

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358156hp posted this 27 December 2017

What diameter are the bullets dropping at?

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BigMan54 posted this 27 December 2017

I didn't get to cast today. Too beat up from all that partying. And I don't even drink noxious spirits.

The first set dropped .428 from the #429667 and .4285 from the #429244GC. Guess I'll hafta wait 'til friday, before i can do any casting.

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun.

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BigMan54 posted this 02 January 2018

Well I got some casting done with the replacement molds.

SCREWED AGAIN.

They are dropping at .428 from the #429667 and .4285 from the #429244GC. A .429 sizing die doesn't leave a mark on them.

I don't think there is a single person left at LYMAN that can even comprehend what the problem is.

I wish i had the ability to beagle these molds myself. Don't know what to do ? Can't afford to send them to HOLLOWPOINTMOLDSERVICE. Can't afford to buy proper sized molds from one of the good makers like NOE or ACCURATE. Guess I'll try to sell them on EBAY. but that idea galls the heck out of me to dump these bad molds of some poor unsuspecting soul. That's probably why I got the almost new #429244GC for $40bucks. It was undersized and the original owner didn't want to mess with it. 

Well i guess I'll call LYMAN tomorrow and see what they have to say.

So much for my Happy BLASTED New Year.

 

 

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun.

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BigMan54 posted this 02 January 2018

I just bit the bullet and ordered a  .44cal FN 4cav mold from N.O.E. Took advantage of their New Year's Sale at the last minute.

BOY HOWDY !!!!! 

Is my Wife gonna  be pissed.

Sure hope LYMAN stands up and refunds my money.

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun.

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 02 January 2018

hi bigman54

i have been following your adventures with the lyman 42(8) molds with some understanding ... only a few of my molds as cast are what i prefer.  some need squeezed, some need squished ... heh.

just in case lyman finds your molds " already in spec " ... and you prefer not to use gp idaho's remedy of powder coating ... i don't feel it would be unethical for you to sell these molds as long as you fully described them as what size they cast with what alloy .... might even suggest that they would be perfect for powder coating .... i notice more and more loaders are going to poly coated bullets .

also thanks for reminding me that i no longer shoot 429 bullets and that i have some molds to get into the selltrading mode ... and i should cast some fresh bullets in order to describe the molds correctly . ( g ) .

anybody need a 429 mold ??   rcbs 2cav  245        and rcbs 2 cav 240 silhouette    exc cond.       pm me  might trade for some warm weather ( g ) .

ken

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joeb33050 posted this 02 January 2018

Well I got some casting done with the replacement molds.

SCREWED AGAIN.

They are dropping at .428 from the #429667 and .4285 from the #429244GC. A .429 sizing die doesn't leave a mark on them.

I don't think there is a single person left at LYMAN that can even comprehend what the problem is.

I wish i had the ability to beagle these molds myself. Don't know what to do ? Can't afford to send them to HOLLOWPOINTMOLDSERVICE. Can't afford to buy proper sized molds from one of the good makers like NOE or ACCURATE. Guess I'll try to sell them on EBAY. but that idea galls the heck out of me to dump these bad molds of some poor unsuspecting soul. That's probably why I got the almost new #429244GC for $40bucks. It was undersized and the original owner didn't want to mess with it. 

Well i guess I'll call LYMAN tomorrow and see what they have to say.

So much for my Happy BLASTED New Year.

I wonder if the (undersize) bullets shoot in your gun/s. Soft revolver bullets might bump up and shoot fine.The GC bullets should shoot. Shoot some and report. 

Beagling is easy and works and takes about 2 minutes. Try it.

http://www.castpics.net/subsite2/MoldMods/BDE.pdf

If not, why not lap some cavities. Cast a bullet, drill a hole in the base, put a screw in, coat with valve grinding compound, put it in the mold and rotate. An electric drill, care and patience has lapped mold cavities for me and countless others since 1912.

Or, try bumping soft bullets up ion the lubrisizer. That's worked for us for years, .001"-.0015" ain't hard.

I love iron Lyman molds, they work for me. Manufacturing tolerances are a fact of life, NOE seems to go on the high side, making nose sizers mandatory.

joe b. 

 

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GP Idaho posted this 02 January 2018

Big Man 54: I agree with what Joe said above. Until the guys here at the forum started educating me on cast I would never of had a thought of doing some of the adjustments I do to bullets, moulds and rifles. If you don't own Joe's books "Cast Bullets for beginner & expert"  I recommend you get copies from the forum store. Read up, then jump in and fix your moulds. Lapping, Beagling and other adjustments are explained in detail by some of the best minds ever to shoot cast bullets. I'm a big fan of NOE products but as mentioned they run large so read the spec. sheet carefully before you order. Good luck with this my friend. I'd buy them from you as they would be perfect for powder coat but I already have more 44 moulds than 44 guns. Best.  Gp

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BigMan54 posted this 03 January 2018

Guys' I really appreciate all the comments and good ideas.

Unfortunately every single one of our Ruger VAQUERO'S, SREDHWK, SBHHWK  and my old S&W model 29 all PREFER .430dia bullets. We've tried .429dia: softer & harder. Leading and accuracy issues. If I am going to continue to get free CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENTS, not to mention powder and caps and lead, I'm going to hafta give the DOC what he wants. Bullets sized at .430dia. and cast of #2 alloy are what the man wants. And he doesn't want powder coat. Some guys at the Club shoot them, DOC says they're "gamers" I hafta agree with him. We've both been shooting COWBOY so long we remember the days when folks still said: "Would JOHN WAYNE have done it that way".

In another vein I called LYMAN today. Talked to a different nice young Lady than the last time. She couldn't understand the problem. "We sent you 2 brand new molds?" I asked her how could sending me another set of molds from the very same lot as the 1st undersized set fix the problem. She suggested that "maybe I was 'using the wrong tecnique' or 'using the wrong alloy'. I held in my temper, and my voice. Asked her what alloy should I be using ? She didn't know. She would call me back when everybody got back from lunch. 

I hung up the phone and sat back to think a bit. I had an email conversation with someone from LYMAN  last spring about a question that I had sent in to HANDLOADER Magazine that had been passed on to him. Sure enough I had archived it. Tom Griffin, personal phone# LYMAN Technical Mgr. The MAN WHO PUTS TOGETHER THEIR RELOADING MANUALS. Gave him a call, left msg .

Fifteen minutes later he called back. We discussed the problem. He asked what day I would be home for FED-EX to come by with a call tag to pick up the molds? Thursday. Sending some freshly cast bullets along too. He also told me that They use ROTOMETALS Alloys to test their molds.

GP,

I do have Joe's books. Got a set for Xmas. Used info from the chapter on mold prep to prep these new molds. I was amazed how the bullets almost leaped out of the cavities. I think  brushing the cavities with toothpaste and a brass toothbrush is what really did the trick.  

joeb33050, 

I don't have the fine motor control in my hands anymore that I would need to beagle a mold. Hands are just too beat up, hard recoiling guns and Boxing. Arthritis and too many fights in my youth.

Well between Al Nelson at NOE and Tom Griffin at LYMAN I guess I'll end up with at least one mold that will give me some GOOD COWBOY BULLETS.

 I guess I'll take all those undersized bullets and shove 'em in a .428dia. LubeSizer and load them for my COLT .44-40's. I have extra cylinder's for 2 of them in .44spl. Better than wasting already cast bullets by throwing them back in the pot.

 

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun.

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GP Idaho posted this 03 January 2018

Big; Given your constraints, my thought is that you should contact Tom at Accurate molds and order a mould cut to your size requirement using your alloy. Still cheaper than paying for your treatments. If the economics of this escape the better half you may need to take your beating and move on. This is easy for me to say as it's been years since I've had any female supervision. LOL Gp

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