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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Vassal posted this 10 January 2010

I have not posted for awhile but I thought it was relevent to mention that I sent the mold back to Midway and asked for another. I thought perhaps I just got a “Bad Apple.” Midway graciously sent me another----"Bad Apple"!!!!! Smae production date, same problem. I opened, cast a few, packed it up and sent it back. Midway took it without ANY HAssle.

I LOVE MIDWAY!!!!!!!!!!

LYMAN is  (well I'll try to be polite - I do have one 9mm mold that works)

Now I don't have anything to shoot! my rifles Sit. I don't know what to say other than I won't be getting any more Lyman molds unless I see them in action first.

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hunterspistol posted this 10 January 2010

     Vassal, I'm sorry you've had this trouble.  Midway USA is one of my favorite stores and, yes, the Potterfield family is the greatest.  As for the Lyman molds, well some are good and some are bad I guess.  I have the added complication of fitting molds to short barrels.  Some RCBS molds work for it, some don't. Even bullet weight gets real touchy with the single shot TCs.  And, like yourself, I've thought about making the jump to customs but, have never used an aluminum mold.  But, I still have an eclectic set of RCBS & Lyman molds that feed 22 Hornet, 32-20WCF, 7mmTCU, 7mm-08, 32 Magnum, and now 41 Magnum guns.  I trade the molds that don't work back into the used market because sometimes the firearm just doesn't like them. My calipers just tell me what sizing die to get.

     It's all in a day's work, not a big deal.


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Vassal posted this 11 January 2010

I admire your patients. I guess I'll get sopme of that foisted on me some day. I'm starting to concede the fact. Shooting is so complex that it will take me years to achieve a solid knowledge base. I am getting there though. I don't get to give much help here but I sure take alot of it!!

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Qc Pistolero posted this 29 April 2018

I know this is an old post but just in case some late comer like me reads this,I'll put in my 2 cents.Like Vassal,I rate Lyman quite low through bad experiences.Actually,I've been luckier with Lee moulds.So I'd rate Lee above Lyman with RCBS(good quality and superb service)above Lee,with Saeco on top of the off the shelf molds.Then,all the what I call semi-custom guys(LBT,NEI Accurate and I know I shouldn't have started naming them since I know I'm forgetting some excellent ones)are right there on top.All in all,we bullet casters have never had it so good!

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BigMan54 posted this 05 May 2018

Well I learned to jump up and down and yell at the top of my lungs to get service. 

I doubt I'll ever buy a new LYMAN mould again. There are still some that I want to replace that were stolen, but I guess I'll haunt flea-bay & gunbroker to eventually find them. I think the LYMAN moulds with the slotted set screw for the sprue plate screw are about old enough that quality still existed when they made.

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. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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shootcast posted this 11 June 2018

Although no company is 100 percent great in every aspect. Lyman recently did good for me. About a year or so back I bought one of there small digital scales. I like it and have used it a lot. The wire coming out of the power reducer frayed ( cheap wiring, China I believe ) After calling Lyman to buy a replacement I was surprised that they replaced it free of charge.  Might be worth another call to direct your concerns.

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BigMan54 posted this 12 June 2018

I did buy a set of NIB set of 4cav new style handles. The package said 4cav but the handles were 2cav. I called LYMAN straight away and the Cust. Serv. Mgr  just said keep the 2cav , I'll just send you a pair of new 4cav handles. 

So they are trying.

They just gotta teach the chinese man doing the packaging to read ENGLISH. 

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. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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Qc Pistolero posted this 23 March 2019

Coming in late but...what the heck.Maybe it'll help somebody.

While I have some very good Lyman moulds,the ratio of good vs bad is the lowest...and that includes Lee.While a few Lyman's I have will never be put up for sale,there are a few I would let go at bargain price.

if I'm running tight on the bread,I consider Lee.If the sales are good,Accurate gets the order;and nowadays,I think Accurate is going to get a few more.

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BigMan54 posted this 23 March 2019

N.O.E. is having their 10 Anniversary Sale right now. I think Tomorrow in the last day.

It's 25% off. thru tomorrow. 

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. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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BudHyett posted this 24 March 2019

The RCBS 30-180-SP is the beginner's mold that I recommend. This mold is lighter in bullet weight, but has the accuracy to compensate for the wind drift differential at 200 yards. This mold is the first mold I bought and maybe gave me a jaundiced view towards the ease of cast bullet shooting. 

Ed Doonan and I cast and shot many bullets from this mold in testing. One cavity shot markedly better, especially in better quality barrels. The other cavity shot as well as the first only in military barrels. When Ed and I first competed in CBA matches, this was the mold that we used. When I moved to California and a job in aerospace, Ed hinted he would buy or trade for this mold.

The RCBS 30-200-SIL mold I cannot recommend. There are two series of this mold, the second series being a lightly thicker nose, and neither series will not shoot well enough repeatedly to be useful in competition. I have shot this bullet mainly with linotype alloys, different powders and charge weights, seating depths, and sizings in two Remington .308's, several .30-'06 Springield's and a Ruger #1 in .30-'06 to have this opinion. I have a number cast up and will try again in two months; hope springs eternal in the human breast.

Farm boy from Western Illinois, living in the Magical Pacific Northwest

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Tom Acheson posted this 24 March 2019

Have to agree with Bud on the RCBS .30-165 Sil mold. That was my first .30 cal. mold. I did a get a 78x80 at the IHMSA Internationals in 1990 in Unlimited category with an XP-100. The next year I finally got the 40x40 with that bullet. I have had all of the RCBS .30 cal SIL molds. The 200 -grain version didn't work well for me. A friend loaned me the 130-grain variant which I used to make couple hundred bullets. In the next few weeks I'll be trying it. If it works I'll have to have Accurate make a mold since I heard that version is no longer in RCBS production.

Yes, the older Lymans are OK. I've only owned (2) Lee molds. However, those two will be the only ones. A friend recently gave me a NEI 3-cavity mold to try. RCBS and especially Saeco molds have been top notch for me. LBT, Hoch (nose pour) and NOE are custom makers that do excellent work.  My best custom mold is a Paul Jones single cavity .40 cal. 416-grain for my Sharps rifle.

When I bought that Sharps rifle someone said to me..."welcome to the world of rear sight and mold collecting". Rear sights cost a lot more than molds. So far only one rear sight has been bought, but molds?....that collector statement was right-on.


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