Lee tumble lube mold for .357

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thumbs

Single-Sixer
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Nov 7, 2008
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157
Has anyone used this mold Lee Precision 6 Cavity Block .358 Diameter 90295? I saw a youtube where they said the bullets don't have to be sized. They drop fine right out of the mold. I would like some info on tumble lubing also. Just how well it works. I am just getting into casting for center fire and am trying to go as "economical" as possible. I will be casting for a .44 Redhawks and a Security Six.

thanks for the help
 

Jim Puke

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Jul 9, 2013
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I have shot the Lee tumble lube bullets and they do fine. They are great for starting out, makes getting your feet wet in casting, just that much easier and cheaper. Later on, you can buy a Lee push-thru sizer for about $25 dollars per caliber or size that you want. The sizer will broaden your choice of bullets for whatever caliber. And, you can tumble lube regular grease groove bullets without problem.

As far as tumble lubing...it is the only lube process that I used until I started powder coating, last year...and I actually tumble with powder coat, now.
 

thumbs

Single-Sixer
Joined
Nov 7, 2008
Messages
157
Thanks, Just to get on the same page. With the tumble lube mold I don't have to size right? I can go from the mold to lubing then to loading?


Just want to know what I am getting into. LOL

thanks
 

Tom W

Blackhawk
Joined
Oct 4, 2003
Messages
854
Yep, that's the procedure. I have used the T/L bullets in my .45 for quite a while. I have since changed to the same bullet, only with a lube grove, and I do size now. I like to use Johnson's paste wax for a T/L rather than the Lee stuff. It's easy to do, same procedure as the LLA. And as Jim Luke said, you can T/L any bullet and it will work. I T/L the bullets for my 30/30 and some 30/06 loads, especially when fire forming for the 30/06 A.I.
 

thumbs

Single-Sixer
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Nov 7, 2008
Messages
157
Thanks, I saw a youtube where a guy had a formula using LLA, Johnsons past wax and paint thinner I think. The mix was 45-45 and 10% thinner. Do you just use the Johnsons right out of the can?
 

Jim Puke

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thumbs said:
Thanks, I saw a youtube where a guy had a formula using LLA, Johnsons past wax and paint thinner I think. The mix was 45-45 and 10% thinner. Do you just use the Johnsons right out of the can?

I sent you a pm.
 

dougader

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Jun 18, 2008
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I've used the tl bullet mold from Lee. It works fine in a GP100 as is, but the tighter chambers of my old model Blackhawk won't take loaded rounds. I actually had to remove the primer removal pin from my sizing die and run the loaded rounds through the sizing die so they could be loaded and fired.

A Lee bullet sizing die is inexpensive, $21 plus shipping at midway, and can be ordered with your mold (or after if needed).
 

Clovishound

Blackhawk
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Jan 3, 2012
Messages
802
I tried the TL in 9mm 124 grain. Had terrible problems with tumbling, and leading. Got a TC with the standard lube groove. Tried tumble lubing them. No tumbling, but still leading. Ended up making a beeswax/lithium grease lube and pan lubed them. Much better. Still just too much work when I can get them for $60 - $70 a thousand.

As for not needing to size them. It all depends on what they end up coming out of the mold as. You will need to measure them and then match them up to the size your weapon needs.
 

Mobuck

Hawkeye
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Dec 25, 2007
Messages
6,896
The TL bullets are sort of a compromise. Probably not optimal sizing but maybe good enough. IF it works, you've saved some steps. I have some of the molds but lost interest in casting(actually a SHTF backup plan anyway) so the molds haven't been used. I have used the tumble lube. My thoughts: have a lot of bullets cast before starting to lube. The stuff dries up quickly and I couldn't find any container that would seal tight enough to prevent this.
My solution was to constantly watch the auction sites until I found a lubri-sizer within my price range.
 

Chuck 100 yd

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Tumble lube bullets are best when used for soft target type loads but can be successfully used for heavy loads IF they are cast of alloys of proper hardness and are a thousandth or two over grove diameter as cast.
The 9mm is a high pressure round ,relatively speaking, and to shoot lead,it is difficult to find a lead bullet that will not lead the bore while still function a semi auto. Oversize bullets may not chamber in 9mm semi auto pistols so one must rely on hard bullets at high pressures to prevent leading. Not always a good plan!
 

Tom W

Blackhawk
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Oct 4, 2003
Messages
854
thumbs said:
Thanks, I saw a youtube where a guy had a formula using LLA, Johnsons past wax and paint thinner I think. The mix was 45-45 and 10% thinner. Do you just use the Johnsons right out of the can?

I do. I'll put a dollop in a small container, like a zip-lock sandwich box, throw some bullets into it and set it in the sun for a few minutes. It melts quickly. Then I'll TL as normal and set the bullets on wax paper to dry for a day or so.
 

gster

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Apr 13, 2014
Messages
104
I have a Lee TL .45 200 grn SWC 2 cavity and the bullets were dropping small at .451 with wheel weight alloy. Yesterday I Beagled the mold and they started dropping at .453. Now I have about 500 or so bullets that are.451 that I lubed in allox/Johnsons liquid paste wax to melt down next time I smelt.
 

Rick Courtright

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Mar 10, 2002
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7,786
thumbs said:
Thanks, Just to get on the same page. With the tumble lube mold I don't have to size right? I can go from the mold to lubing then to loading?

Hi,

The answer to your question is a definite "maybe!"

I've used a number of Lee molds, including a couple of the TL models, though not the one you mentioned. In my experience (read "YMMV"), the alloy and casting temp have affected the final sizing enough that I DO size 'em all today. Just as an example, I have a 124 gr LRN mold for the 9mm, nominal size .356". With straight wheelweights over a Coleman stove that needs some fiddling about with the flame now and then, it will produce a .357"-.358" bullet, which I found works beautifully in a .38 Spl case "straight from the mold", but causes some lumps and bumps in a 9mm case. Same mold, commercial hardball alloy, run at a more consistent temp in electric casting pot where it's "set it and forget it": they're almost dead on to the .356 spec.

So... there's only one way you'll know! Heat up some lead, make some bullets, then put your caliper to work! If you do need to size 'em, the Lee push thru sizing kits are inexpensive and do a fine job on tumble lubed bullets. It's suggested you lube 'em first so they don't stick in the sizer, size 'em, then lube 'em again to replace the lube that was rubbed off in sizing, but you can play around to find what works best for you.

Rick C
 

mikld

Blackhawk
Joined
Apr 22, 2009
Messages
947
I have a two cavity mold for that bullet and have loaded it for my .357 Magnum. 45-45-1- and regular alox tumble lube both work quite well (I use them as a 'dip lube"). But I like to know how big my bullets are and like to size them to the same diameter as my cylinder throats, so, I measure the bullets and if they run .359" or larger, I'll size them to .358" (the Lee push through die works quite well and is easy and inexpensive.). My mid range loads don't lead the barrel either...

Excellent info on all aspects of casting, alloying, lubing, and shooting lead bullets. Also a subforum on lubes and a bunch of home made lube recipes. http://castboolits.gunloads.com/index.php
 
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