Let down by LYMAN--TWICE

  • Last Post 24 March 2019
Vassal posted this 15 November 2009

Well I am officially frustrated. I recently purchased a Lyman 314299 with hopes of using it to create “match quality” ammunition. I had read comments like “if you want to compete get a custom mold” and “I have given up on Lyman molds long ago” but I have also read of many people using standard production molds in competition, so I thought I would gamble and hope for the best. That was a bad choice. I firsat cast with the mold and was pleased when the bullets dropped so easily from the mold. BUT, when I checked them over I realized they were out of round. the blocks do not mate properly; you can see the mis-match. It was out by four thousandths. I thought “oh boy” that is probably right above acceptable specs for these molds. After a few questions here I decided to send the mold back to Lyman. they were responsive and about two weeks after I sent the mold out--it came back. It said they had “re-cut” the mold and that it was now “in-spec” at .314-.315 . They sent two samples cast of #2 alloy. I was really excited. I figured it would be perfect. NOPE. When I measured THEIR BULLETS they were out of round by 2 - 3 thousnadths!!!!  I figured I would try it again anyway- needles to say the mold now casts a base which is one thousandth larger than before (the nose is the same) but Both (meaning the entire bullet) is out by four thousandths! .313 - .317 . ( in an alloy very similiar to #2) I can size the base to .314 and remove most of the problem there but the bore ride nose is a loss.!!!!!!

I use the LYMAN handles with another lyman mold and it works flawlessly. I tried them upside down also; it is the blocks.

I understand that manufacturing tools to such tight tolerances is difficult, and that you get what you pay for - BUT this mold is far worse than all but one of my $20 Lee molds that come WITH handles!!!!

Now I have a useless mold. It may shoot “OK” but I will always have to wonder if the results are me or the bullet.

SO the lesson-----If you wish to compete DO NOT “GAMBLE” on a LYMAN mold. be patient and put that $60-$90 toward a custom mold. If you don't you might end up spending twice that after two months of waiting and frustration.

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corerf posted this 15 November 2009

If you bought from Midway, write a simple letter to Larry Potterfield, send back to them and they will give your $$ back, guaranteed. LP doesn't take having unhappy clients. If you bought elsewhere, I dunno. There are some things that I buy at Midway can Cabelas just because of their return policy and LP is a stickler about performance and satisfaction.

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Vassal posted this 15 November 2009

I did buy from midway but I am not sure if that would be right,,,of course Midway is better equipped to take the loss than an unemployed student (meaning me.)

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mrbill2 posted this 15 November 2009

I waited 11 weeks. Got the same results as you. The sticker inside the box reads: This Quality Lyman Product Was Inspected By Cathy T.


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Vassal posted this 15 November 2009

Yes!!    Cathy T is remiss in her duties.

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blindeye posted this 15 November 2009

Let it rust a bit, take an out of focus picture, describe it as 'rare' and let someone on Ebay happily pay you more than you have in it when they “win".

 I too have a Cathy inspected mold but mine produces beautiful round 335grain 38/55 bullets. Maybe the only inspector slips they have are marked Cathy. Like waitresses picking name badges out of a box at random. I only have 4-5 Lyman relatively recent production molds, but no complaints. It's possible for anyone to put out a lemon but they should have made it right; not by fiddling around with the lemon but by replacing it. When I was in manufacturing that was my approach; no half measures with customer service. A quality reputation is hard to get and easy to lose.

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corerf posted this 16 November 2009

I have bought and returned to Lyman,(from Midway) one 30 cal mold with all the same defects you described. I was successful in writing a very stern “I'm really pissed about your QC” letter to Lyman, laughed at them that their product sucked but that 50 year old molds were perfect. They agreed and fixed my mold, sent me two bullets and the mold really is perfect. I called them and thanked them approving their repairs. Larger diameter, ROUND, blocks aligned without a 1/4 inch gap btw blocks, etc.

I would and believe you should send you mold back to Midway. If you think LP is going to take a Lyman mold and toss it, your nuts. He's not going to loose much on the situation. Shipping and handling... maybe. He will put RTV on the blocks, procurement will return the mold to Lyman as defective with a note, and he gets a credit toward more inventory.... END O' Story!

Midway is a GREAT company, they will stand behind the purchase. LP is a shooter first, proprietor second. He cares and understands the mold situation. He knows full well it takes time to discover faults in products, you have done the “due diligence” with the manufacturer and he would be happy to handle the rest of the process for you. That is a fact.

After said mold is returned and you get your money back, then call Veral Smith and get 'er dun!

Or the Ebay deal is good too. I have never seen more stupid folks than on Ebay. If Midsouth has it for $35, you can save some money by buying it for $49 on Ebay, plus shipping and handling. I don't friggen get it. Ebay.... Americas Defect Dumping Grounds.

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codarnall posted this 16 November 2009

Re-cut molds my ass. Like China man say, buy Used Goldmine only get shaft.

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biddulph posted this 16 November 2009


Kathy T inspected my moulds too. They cast OK.

Who is Kathy T? Is she real? Or an archetyple mould checker out of the lyman Id?

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tturner53 posted this 16 November 2009

Vassal, sorry to hear you're having trouble like that, I'm sure it's frustrating. Not what you'd expect from an old giant in the mold business. If it's a 314299 you want there's a GB on boolits that may be still open, it's modified though to cast .316, otherwise a copy of the Lyman. DC for $72. Good luck Tim

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Vassal posted this 16 November 2009

I contatcted Midway and told them about the situation. They have already responded and asked me to send the mold back. They truly ARE a GREAT company. There is no gamble with them. MAybe a good day ,,,maybe a bad,,,. No way. They WILL fix the problem. I wish I could have a good 314299 but I can't afford to Gamble again. I think I will ask for a refund and contact Veral when I get som money. Of course that means a cost  about twice what a Lyman mold is ( factoring handles ) but I guess that is what it takes. I feel like badmouthing LYMAN all over the place (and sending me BACK a mold still defective deserves it) but on the other hand I know many of Lymans molds work fine (I have a .357 devestator that works great in 9mm and 38 special) and that creating molds to high standards is difficult. I will try to let my anger subside before I comment too much more.

I AM EXCSTATIC THAT MIDWAY IS WILLING TO HELP, EVEN AFTER I HAVE TOLD THEM ABOUT SENDING THE MOLD BACK. I feel like I am not “passing th buck” since midway will return the mold to Lyman. I don't think I could have sold it on ebay; the thought of someone elses stomach sinking when their hopes for a great mold were dashed (like mine did) is too much. Some of us don't have much money and buying something like this is part of what makes life great. If that is taken and replaced with bad or dishonest practice it becomes hard to deal with. Maybe that guy who WINS the ebay for that mold is a young man trying very hard to compete in a sport that is VERY costly and thinks he has finally “made the move” and found a good mold at a price he can afford; only to be let down by ME. Sorry to ramble but in todays world it is easy to forget that the entitiy on the other end of the computer, or phone (or even the room) is a MORAL HUMAN, with hopes and emotions. I don't want to take part in living like that even if it is done that way to me. The responsible party WILL lose on this one. AHH JUSTICE.    THANK YOU MIDWAY for being responsible and responsive to your customers large and small. 

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Ed Harris posted this 16 November 2009

The moral is that a good mould costs $200. The cost is the same whether you go through several mass-produced ones until you find a good one, or if you just ante up and spend the money for a custom one which is right the first time.

People who figured this out give Veral Smith a decent living.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Maven posted this 16 November 2009

"The moral is that a good mould costs $200."

Really Ed, in what universe is that?  Ever deal with Jim Allison at Cast Bullet Engineering?  Smokiejoe, Jeff in NZ, and I can vouch for his workmanship, and I certainly didn't pay anywhere near $200 for mine.  Btw, some of Lee Precision's custom molds (group buys) are jewels, but the operative word is “some."




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giorgio de galleani posted this 16 November 2009

As usual Ed's advice is worth  his (Ed's) weight in gold.

I ponder my mould molds purchase ,and buy Veral's four cavity Aluminum molds.or NEI 6 cav moulds.

I lost ten pounds weight in theese last 4 months,I wonder how much my advices are worty presently.


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Dollar Bill posted this 16 November 2009

Maven wrote: Really Ed, in what universe is that?  Ever deal with Jim Allison at Cast Bullet Engineering?  Smokiejoe, Jeff in NZ, and I can vouch for his workmanship, and I certainly didn't pay anywhere near $200 for mine.  Btw, some of Lee Precision's custom molds (group buys) are jewels, but the operative word is “some." Ed's price may be off, but his point is valid. Jim Allison is just like Veral Smith and MiHec, a custom, rather than mass-producing mould maker. Your statement that “some” of the Lee group buys are jewels is no different than “some” of the off-the-shelf molds I've bought from Lyman.

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Vassal posted this 16 November 2009

Some cast from four or six cavity molds and some from one or two. I know the price is different and four cavity molds cost around 200 by the time you figure in shipping and certainly with handles. At this point I like the one or two cavity molds. Any way it happens I'll be waiting for a while. It probably takes awhile even after you order plus i know LBT wants a throat slug.  

PS Please lets not get Freudian with the manufacturers. For me its a love and hate relationship-I actually want to kill Lyman and sleep with RCBS.

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corerf posted this 16 November 2009

Vassal...... I told you Midway would get you straight!

Midway may not be the cheapest in town, but service is THE BEST.

But send your money to Veral or the like. you'll be happier with a GREAT mold.

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tturner53 posted this 17 November 2009

Giorgio, I believe at the current rate you just lost $14,000. Congratulations.

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flattinman@yahoo.com posted this 04 January 2010

Ive never had a problem with lyman. THAT MOULD HAS WON ME 2 MATCHES!!!


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argie1891 posted this 04 January 2010

I do know that when you find a mould that works in one rifle NEVER NEVER NEVER LOAN IT OUT. First you might never see it again second you might find it abused. i dont know which is worse. The reason we own a hundred moulds is because we are looking for the perfect mould. personally i have not found it but am still looking. joe gifford aka argie1891

if you need me I will be at the range

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Tazman1602 posted this 06 January 2010

Vassal that is why some of us here buy a LOT of reloading stuff from Midway. NO HASSLES if it's not RIGHT.

And Ed Harris has a valid point, you get what you pay for........and I'm a lover of LEE molds. All of my $20 Lee molds cast exactly what I need them to but if you had to pay for my labor they might be worth a million dollars. On the other hand I can spend $20 on a mold and if I screw it all up (nah, never happen......right) I'm only out $20.

I do have a couple of custom molds that I paid $100+ for and one more on order. Only problem with those if they take about forever to put your hands on them.

And what Argie1981 said. When you get a mold that throws EXACTLY what you want, well, LIE about it to all your casting buddies “that mold couldn't throw a round bullet if I stood on my head and did spins..."

I just scored an older Lyman 4 banger on boolits for my .357 and I'm very happy it isn't new manufacture.........


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