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Discussion Starter #1
Phooey! I was getting all excited about casting bullets and have even collected some WW from local auto repair garages. I have a birthday coming up and was getting ready to tell my wife I wanted a Lee 2 cavity mold as a gift. I looked in my new MidwayUSA catalog and Lee is not offering any bullet molds in .358 diameter. Neither is it listed in the products on their website.

I can't find any other bullet molds in this price range. Everybody else wants $50 or more PLUS extra for some mold handles. I can't justify that much money on a bullet mold.

Is there any source for .358 bullet molds in the $20 price range?
 

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For a rifle, those would be pitifully inadequate. I'd save my money and get a Ranch Dog mold and or a RCBS. They'll do the rifle justice. You can use the bullets you make to take the place of the jacketed bullets you're used to firing. You do get what you pay for. If Lee sold the 2 bullet designs with Ranch dog, you'd be set.
 

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Maybe I'm missing something. The OP doesn't mention anything about him needing them for a rifle. While Ranch Dog molds are the best, he said he wanted something for $20.00. Key
 

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Dr. A said:
For a rifle, those would be pitifully inadequate.
Oh, definitely, sorry, forgot to mention that the mold I linked above I picked up for use in my j-frame snubby. I do have Ranch Dog molds for the Marlins, definitely worthwhile ;)
 

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This is what I was going from:

So I've been reloading for my 336 in .35 Rem for a while now and have gone about as far with jacketed bullets as I'll ever go. I have lots of powder on hand but am out of bullets and need to buy some if I'm going to have anything to fill the empty cases I have.

I've been thinking about trying some cast bullets to have something new to experiment with and maybe to save some money on bullets.

Here's some questions.

1. Can I alternate between shooting cast and jacketed in the same rifle? I've read you should clean the barrel of all copper before shooting lead. Does that mean that once I go to shooting lead in my rifle, I'm going to screw things up if I shoot a couple boxes of jacketed rounds?

2. If you purchase cast bullets instead of making your own, does it really save much money? I see the Beartooth bullets are about $22 per 100. That's only about 30% cheaper than good quality jacketed bullets. Does the savings increase significantly if you mold your own bullets?

3. What is the minimum equipment needed to mold your own? A mold is a must. What about some kind of swager to size the bullets - is that an essential? Can you get by without a commercial melting pot? Can I melt the alloy in a pan on a gas stove?

4. Are there any special concerns with shooting cast bullets in micro-groove barrels?

5. Can I use ordinary powders to shoot cast? I have lots of H335 on hand that I'd like to use.

If I give lead bullets a try, I figure I'll start by buying a box of cast bullets. If I like it, maybe then I'll look into casting my own bullets. I like the idea of making my own bullets to save money and not being at the mercy of regulators who might restrict manufacture of bullets made of lead. I'm just a do-it-yourself kind of guy. But I don't have any money to spend on melting pots and swagers and gas check crimpers or whatever. I can make my own tools if they aren't too complicated. Making some kind of sizing swager can't be that complicated can it?


This is from another post of his.
 

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That’s a good assumption. I didn’t read that thread. When I see 358, I assume 357 handgun.
So when the OP doesn't specify he will get all sorts of answers. Key
 

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Kart29 said:
I looked in my new MidwayUSA catalog and Lee is not offering any bullet molds in .358 diameter. Neither is it listed in the products on their website.
Not sure where you were looking, but Lee offers no fewer than 10 molds suitable for .38 Special / .357 Magnum. From the Lee site:

http://www.leeprecision.com/cgi/catalog/browse.cgi?1297474816.5545=/html/catalog/bullmol2.html

And Midway:

http://www.midwayusa.com/Search/#lee%20mold%2038%20special____-_1-2-4_8-16-32
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yes, I'm quite sorry I forgot to mention that I would be casting bullets for a .35 Rem. They confusion is all my fault. Sorry again.

Maybe a 158 grainer would be okay but I really had something more like 200 grains in mind.

Does Lee not make a .358 rifle mold anymore? I thought they used to. Maybe they never did. I just can't say for certain.

Anyhow... my family doesn't spend $50 or more for birthday presents. $20-$30 is more like it. And while I have far more than enough money right here in the house (not to mention the bank
) to be able to afford a top of the line bullet casting setup, there's a limit on how much money I am willing to spend on what is essentially a hobby. We sacrifice alot to be able to live on our own without financial assistance from anybody -a family of 4 on a single non-union, blue collar wage. I don't want to sound like I'm crying about being poor - because we're not. But I can't justify spending $50 on a toy when my son is happy as a clam to have his "new" tennis shoes we got at the garage sale for fifty cents.

If Lee doesn't make a rifle bullet mold in .358 I'll keep an eye out for a deal on a used mold somewhere someday. Or, maybe I'll put a Ranch Dog mold on my Christmas list where our budget for toys is enough to cover the worthy expense of such an item.

I was just sure that Lee made a mold for a rifle bullet in .358 diameter. Baahhhhh! Well, I guess one of the reasons I like the .35 caliber is just because they are a little 'different'
 

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Hi Kart, you know, casting bullets saves you money. The $80 you spend on a Ranch Dog mold and a pair of handles will make you tens of thousands of quality bullets. Just a thought... ;D
 

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If you're putting together a casting outfit, get a LEE MAGNUM MELTER lead pot...a 20 pound dipper pot. It is a lot less trouble than the bottom pour. I ladle cast five and six cavity pistol boolit moulds with mine. A lot of people use a COLEMAN type camp stove to get started...an electric hot plate might work also. BUT LEE electric pots are so trouble free and cheap that I'd get one anyhow. You need a ladle and the LEE leaves a lot to be desired; get the LYMAN or RCBS.

A LEE sizing outfit and LEE LIQUID ALOX will do for a lot of inexpensive lubricating and sizing...and works well.

I buy my stuff at GRAFS, but there are various moulds, etc over on eBay. KNOW what retail is AND what you can get it for at GRAFS, MIDWAYUSA, MID SOUTH SHOOTERS SUPPLY, NATCHEZ SHOOTERS SUPPLY, WIEDENERS, etc and you can evaluate auction prices better. I've had good luck so far, but look over the used stuff critically.

If you're looking for the RANCH DOG 35 rifle mould, I've got a used one. Too long a nose so it doesn't work in my 1894 Cowboys and he is designing one specifically for them. Send me a PM.
 

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He told you right. Hope it all works out for you. It does seem excessive to get startes, but the price to shoot is so low afterward, its easy to overlook.
 

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Kart29 said:
Yes, I'm quite sorry I forgot to mention that I would be casting bullets for a .35 Rem. They confusion is all my fault. Sorry again.

Maybe a 158 grainer would be okay but I really had something more like 200 grains in mind.

Does Lee not make a .358 rifle mold anymore? I thought they used to. Maybe they never did. I just can't say for certain.

Anyhow... my family doesn't spend $50 or more for birthday presents. $20-$30 is more like it. And while I have far more than enough money right here in the house (not to mention the bank
) to be able to afford a top of the line bullet casting setup, there's a limit on how much money I am willing to spend on what is essentially a hobby. We sacrifice alot to be able to live on our own without financial assistance from anybody -a family of 4 on a single non-union, blue collar wage. I don't want to sound like I'm crying about being poor - because we're not. But I can't justify spending $50 on a toy when my son is happy as a clam to have his "new" tennis shoes we got at the garage sale for fifty cents.

If Lee doesn't make a rifle bullet mold in .358 I'll keep an eye out for a deal on a used mold somewhere someday. Or, maybe I'll put a Ranch Dog mold on my Christmas list where our budget for toys is enough to cover the worthy expense of such an item.

I was just sure that Lee made a mold for a rifle bullet in .358 diameter. Baahhhhh! Well, I guess one of the reasons I like the .35 caliber is just because they are a little 'different'
Nuth'n wrong with being frugal ;)

Whenever I get a reloading set up, trying cast boolits in my .35Rem is on the bucket list :p
 

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I bought two Lee molds, soup can 308 and 500gr 458
Lubing was a big hassle
I used them both once, and never used them again.
Ranch Dogs are the only way to go.
 

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I've got a STAR and several DILLON 550B presses and a bunch of moulds, but I'm 62 and had a good stable job for the last 41 years. BUT I can remember starting out with a LYMAN single cavity mould, a Kake-cutter and sizing die for my 310 tool, and the 310 in 357 'way back when in '66.

If the LEE sizer set-up with LEE LIQUID ALOX and the inexpensive LEE moulds were available back then, I'd have been a happy camper. That COLEMAN camp stove wasn't any prize either. LYMAN has a new lead pot that is competitively priced with the LEEs and not the joke that the little one I got in a package deal at MIDWAY was...they are actually thinking about entry level equipment to get new customers for the future.

The LEE LIQUID ALOX can be a hassle; but for low volume use for the financially challenged, it is a gift. Pan lubing makes LLA look easy.
 

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I'll have to say I prefer Lee liquid alox myself. I have a conventional sizer, but tire of the bit of work involved. After I got my doe on new years, I cast up 1000 boolits with my ranch dog mold, sized, checked and lubed all in one day. They might last me throough May. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #20
edk said:
If you're looking for the RANCH DOG 35 rifle mould, I've got a used one. Too long a nose so it doesn't work in my 1894 Cowboys and he is designing one specifically for them. Send me a PM.
edk, PM sent. Did you get it?
 
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