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Lee Bullet Mold Preparation, Lubing and Smoking

Lee Bullet Mold Preparation, Lubing and Smoking

Preparing your new Lee bullet mold is essential to get a wrinkle free, easy bullet release. The following steps are easy to follow and will help you maximise the life of your mold.


Firstly, a new mold will need to be cleaned before use. There may be rust protection or other materials on the mold which need to be removed, also make sure the mold cavities are clean.  Lighter fluid or isopropyl alcohol can be used with a cotton swab.


The mold must be smoked, use a match or butane lighter. Use the tip of the flame to deposit carbon on the cavity surface. On a new hole this may have to be repeated every 75 to 100 casts. In addition to the insulating properties of the carbon, it also enables easy bullet release from the hold. Smoking is accomplished by using a lighter or match and letting the soot from the flame darken the bullet cavity. This process helps the mold release the bullet without undue "persuasion".


It cannot be emphasised enough the importance of properly lubricating the mould.  Failure to lubricate the mold would render it useless and would provide less than 100 casts.  A properly lubricated mold will last a lifetime. A technique that works well is to have a glob of hard, stick-type bullet lube (like beeswax, Permatex Anti-Seize or equivalent) about the size of a .45 slug rolled into a football; when the mold gets hot, touch one end to the aligning grooves along the sides of the mold block, on the underside of the sprue plate, and on the male alignment pins along the bottom of the mold block. Use sparingly, as if any gets into the mold cavity it will cause wrinkled bullets. 


The mold requires occasional lubrication. They should be re-lubricated if/when you notice the sprue plate begins to become more difficult to move and/or when the mold blocks do not line up when the mold is closed. Lack of lubrication will cause the mold blocks to mis-align, or the sprue plate to gall the top surface of the mold.


Fill your melting pot right to the top with lead, and then when the lead is molten, dip the corner of the mold (the aluminium part) into the lead for at least 30 seconds. A good indicator of mold temperature is the puddle that forms on top of the sprue cutter after the mold fills. If this puddle solidifies as you fill the mold, the mold is not hot enough. It should stay molten for 3 to 5 seconds after the mold fills and you stop pouring.


I hope you found this useful,  The link below is to a Lee Precision instructional video - and you can also download the Lee Precision instruction manual from here -


Happy Casting!