lee tumble lube bullet size question.


December 3, 2008, 12:35 AM
This is the scenario, 240gr swc .430 tumble lube bullet mold. I poured with straight wheel weights, bullets weight between 239gr to 241.5gr. as an average. When I measured them, I got .4295 around the lube grooves which I'm okay with, but the bottom band I get .432 which makes me hesitant that I don't have a good mold or that my lead got contaminated. My cylinder throats measure .4295

I am thinking that it might just be easier to get a regular mold and size and lube in a more convntional manor.

Thanks for your help.

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35 Whelen
December 3, 2008, 12:45 AM
Just size them and shoot them.

December 3, 2008, 12:49 AM
Lee designs some molds were the tumble grooves taper so the bullets will size and align them selfs as they are forced threw the throat.

December 3, 2008, 12:50 AM
Load up a few of those unsized bullets. If they chamber easily, shoot them.

December 3, 2008, 05:19 AM
but the bottom band I get .432

If the loaded rounds chamber easily, shoot them as is.

I find there is less chance of leading and often better accuracy with cast bullets if they are a little oversized, due to a better seal in the bore.

And if they won't chamber, just use a Lee sizer for tumble lube bullets, to size them at .430". And another light tumble lube after sizing.

I shoot the Lee TL-158gr SWC in a 357mag S&W 686, unsized. And I get better groups, than any bought cast bullets that I've tried.

December 3, 2008, 09:14 AM
oversize is better than undersize. Give them a try. Load a few test rounds, if they chamber in the gun ok, then shoot for accuracy. Let us know how the shot. Maybe i have been sizing all these years for nothing.

December 3, 2008, 09:17 AM
I get better results shooting as cast after the tumbling in alox and drying. Only size if they chamber hard.


December 3, 2008, 09:35 AM
I get .432..............My cylinder throats measure .4295
Then you are in good shape as long as they chamber. A couple thousandths over throat size is actually very good. If they are undersized for the throats you will almost always get leading. (Every time is you are shooting them in .44 Mag. ;))

I used to shoot a Lee 208 Gr WC (http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=86850&d=1224940857) cast from wheelweights with a bit of 95/5 solder in my .44 Spl with zero leading. I don't recall off hand what they measured, but they were a little over throat size, I know that. I can measure a couple when I get home. That bullet pic is a bullet I cast over 15 years ago.

August 7, 2011, 09:18 AM
I am finding that all my tumble lube .357 bullets are too large at the base, causing a noticable bulge in the case when loaded. I can chamber them in my rifle, but they will not go into the cartridge gauge. I thought the mold was bad, but I checked 9mm at it was bigger as well.

I thought the tumble lube was supposed to be able to be used without sizing. Should I be concerned about the bulge in the case?

August 7, 2011, 09:27 AM
Welcome to THR dyrwolf.

Yes, Lee's intention with the tumble lube design was to have a bullet that many times would not have to be sized. It does not always work that way though. If you have good neck tension, there will often times be that little bulge in the case at the base of the bullet. Unless it causes chambering problems, it is a non problem.

Lee makes push through sizer dies that work great. No need for a lubrisizer.

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