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.