View Full Version : Mould Modification?

08-11-2006, 03:26 AM
Hi All,

I just got a new .380 and love shooting it so much I am going to have to buy dies and a mould. I was looking around and the only moulds I can find are just round nose 95gr. I want a HP or a SWC or both and preferably 80 to 90 gr. I don't want to spend $150 to have one desinged. The problem vexed me for weeks. No catalog or manufactures website had anything but the 95gr Round nose. The other day I was cleaning my bench and I picked up my Lee 158 gr .358 SWC HP GC mould to put it away and I got to thinking. .355 is real close to .357 and the shape is what I want. A quick pass through a resizer and wala. Why don't I just order a second one of these, bring it down stairs to the milling machine and shave off enough alluminum from the bottom of both halves to bring the final bullet to the desired 80 or 85 gr. Since this mould has the sprue on the base of the bullet it would work. Wouldn't it? I even took a bullet I had cast with this mould and cut off a little bit at a time from the bottom until I had the weight I wanted. Doing this pointed out a problem, shaving that much off the bottom will bring the handle attachment point right up to the bottom edge. I would have to cut new groves for the handles to move them more twords the center of the shaved mould halves. Again the only problem with that is I can't find any way of removing the handle mountings.

Thoughts anyone??

Good Luck

Reverend Richard Eue

MT Gianni
08-11-2006, 03:36 AM
I know some folks have milled the gas check off of Lee moulds and done ok. Lee no longer makes HP molds as of this year so that may be a concern especially if it gets mucked up. Are you sure they will open at 380 velocities? I think I would practice with cast and buy enough JHP's for "social situations". Gianni.

08-11-2006, 04:11 AM
Hi Mt Gianni,

.380 auto Velocities can be as high as 1050 fps. In fact, the only load data I have on the .380 (from Horniday) lists velocity ranges from 750 fps to 1050 fps. That puts the .380 in the lower mid point of the .357 Mag velocities and very similar to the velocity range of the 38 spec. Plus, hollow points just look cool. Anyways, its all beside the point, I want the shape more for the SWC than the HP.

Good luck.

Reverend Richard

08-11-2006, 04:21 AM
Richard . Have you tried next door in Cast Boolits? These blokes are a wealth of information when it comes to modifing moulds .


08-11-2006, 01:26 PM
Hi Rich!

With so much taken out of the mold you won't have anything to attach the sprue plate anymore.
My experience is that you can get rid of one lube groove and one driving band and still have about half of the threads in the block to screw the plate back, I wouldn't go lower; check your mold.

LEE has a 358-105-SWC and a 125-RF which would be better to work on I think, though you might have to fiddle with the lube groove if you want a weight of 90gr. No lube groove would be ok if you use liquid Alox.



08-11-2006, 02:25 PM
Lee has five moulds in current production in .356 for 9mm/.380, and eleven in .358 for .38/.357, any of which will easily size down to what you need. I am surprised that your .380 feeds SWC's easily, but you must have a good one. My Dad's Walther refuses to. Anyway, I would advise against altering your HP mould, as has been mentioned they are no longer made and will be getting more and more valuable over time if in good condition. That mould makes about the best all-around hunting boolit for the .357Mag & Max that you can find. (I know because I have one and now guard it jealously!)

I would buy a mould of the weight you're looking for and consider hollow pointing them after seating. Forster makes a great little hollow pointer that fits on their case trimmer, but the design is simple and easy to reproduce in a few minutes on a lathe. I made them for my RCBS and Lyman trimmers - Just a shortened and reground drill bit that fits the pilot hole and a countersunk (45*) aluminum centering collar that slides over it. It works slick, took me less than 15 minutes, and now I can HP anything I want.

Also, if you find a good steel mould that shoots well in your .380, Buckshot over on the CB board makes a great HP conversion for them - cost is very reasonable and the work is of excellent quality. They can be made adjustable for depth and he can make extra pins for different nose shapes, too.

08-23-2006, 11:27 PM
After hearing the disturbing news about Lee not making the hollow point moulds anymore I went to their web site and looked. Sure enough no hollowpoint moulds are listed. So I emailed Lee to ask whats up. They emailed me back that the rumor is false and they do still make hollow point moulds. There was no explaination as to why they don't apear on the web sight however.

Good luck

dale clawson
08-24-2006, 02:54 AM
Lees 2006 catalog has a picture of a hollowpoint mold on page28, but I'm unable to find any reference, price , or mention in the catalog. Wonder what gives?

08-24-2006, 02:41 PM
Nothing on the website, no prices in the catalog, none available to any of their distributors that I've seen. If they're still making them, I bet it's only on special order. I just cast 150 yesterday from my .45ACP HP and will size and load them today. Off to the range tomorrow!

Marcello Morbin
09-28-2006, 12:20 AM
Hi RevRich
Here in Brasil we have a mould maker that carry about you want ... .380 truncate cone 90 grains.
You can ask him at : http://www.recargamatic.com.br , I think is cheap ...about US72,00.
I have one and works very nice.
Hope to help you.

10-10-2006, 04:55 AM
While I'm not recommending that you alter your Lee mould, the handles can be removed. Use a Dremel tool and carefully cut away the peening around the bottom that secures the pins. Tap the top of the mould gently a few times, and the pins will drop out.

11-23-2006, 03:28 AM
First thought.... Lyman makes several 9mm (.....380 is 9mm, yes?) 90 grain molds witha truncated cone nose design. Maybe a 35691?