Round ball mold question - The Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-21-2017, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
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Round ball mold question

First so happy to have found this site. Dont mean to over load questions but very few traditional hunters out here on the plains. Lol I have been thinking of casting my own round balls. Basically have to order most supplies here. These are my questions

1 Do they shoot as well as brand name round balls?
2 For the money are the Lee molds worth the savings or not?

Thank you for your time and information
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-22-2017, 10:46 AM
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IMO, they shoot just s well. As long as you do a good job casting. Some people weight each one to ensure consistency. I never have & I`m happy with them. I have a Lyman mold & a couple Lee molds. I actually like the Lee molds. You should also check out the muzzleloading
forum website. Tons of great information !!!!
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-22-2017, 12:46 PM
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if you cast correctly they will weigh more consistent than factory round balls and shoot as good or better.

I have Lee and Lyman, I do weigh each ball, Lee is just as consistent as lyman in my experience. Lee also has a nicer spru (almost none) compared to Lyman, neither spru is a problem if you keep them centered.

Lee will heat up faster allowing you to get good balls quicker, the negative with that is it will over heat faster if your going to try and cast 100 or more at a sitting.
For the cheaper price of Lee molds you could buy a couple and when the first gets too hot put it up and use the 2nd one.

Lyman being steel take longer to warm up to start throwing good balls, but you can bang out a couple hundred before they get too hot. Lyman makes a good roundball mold

I only had one double cavity Lee mold (.530), it did throw balls that were about 4/10's of a grain different from each other,
which is still more consistent than factory round balls. But after that experience I would only use single cavity Lee molds.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-25-2017, 09:07 AM
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First off, Yes, hand poured balls are every bit, if not more accurate than factory made balls. Most factory made balls are cold swaged, not hot poured, so there is normally no sprue found on factory produced balls. Factory balls are up around $15.00 to $20.00 for 100 rounds these days. I'm pretty sure you can pour your own for much less than that if you scrounge your lead.

Are Lee molds worth it? Heck yeah. I've got a single cavity in .50 cal for my son's gun, and a double cavity in .530 for mine. I tend to shoot alot more than he does. Worth it, oh yes. I've had my molds for probably 20+ years now. Still going strong.

If you want a traditional "Bag Mold", contact Larry Callahan, at He makes traditional type molds in all calibers. They're a little costly ( I paid $55.00 for mine), but are very well made and will .last a lifetime. Just be advised bag molds are not going to be producing you alot of ammo quick. They're for when you're sitting around the campfire at night and you need something to do. You can produce a few balls for the next day's hunt with one. You'll need a small ladle and some lead as well but they're alot of fun to play with.

If you need pure lead, go to you can buy it in any shape or quantity you want and the prices are good. Buy a 50lb pig(a term for an ingot of lead) and they forgo shipping. A pig of lead will allow you to make alot of ammo.

Last edited by Blue Bird; 08-25-2017 at 09:09 AM.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-25-2017, 12:30 PM
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I just happened to pick up a ball mold a local shop yesterday. No idea of the make, only one number stamping on the side(can't recall what it was). Roughly mic'ing the cavity looked like .480-.490. Wasn't sure, but hey for $10 the handles are worth that. Figured I'd mold a few and mic the finished product.

Now, my question is do you need any kind of mold release? I saw mention of that around. I used to make jigs for fishing and never needed any kind of soot or mold release. Maybe the molds are different materials. Sorry for jumping in here. Just ironic that I found this in a bargain bin at the same time as this post.

Remember, shoot straight and shoot often.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-25-2017, 02:13 PM
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I've always blackened my molds with candle soot. That's all you need........
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-25-2017, 04:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys I love this forum!
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-25-2017, 04:38 PM
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I use mold release, I find it works better and balls come out easier.

have fun, Stant

Last edited by Stant; 08-25-2017 at 04:40 PM. Reason: SPELLING
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-26-2017, 02:42 PM
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Candle soot has always worked for me and doesn't cost anything since there are always candles lying around the house.
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