What's the difference in an aluminum rb mold and a steel mold.

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Larry (Omaha)

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I have only used steel, cuz that is all I have ever had. That said I copied the following off the net
The lee 6-cavity design will crank out the bullets once you get them at the sweet spot for temp. Steel molds hold heat better and are more dimensionally accurate.Feb 1, 2013
 

LawrenceA

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Apart from the mechanical differences.
Aluminium blocks heat faster and are easier to hold in long casting sessions.
Lee RB blocks seem to be sprue less, or just about so, which has nothing to do with the material but I like it.
 

hanshi

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I have probably an equal number of both iron and aluminum. The majority of my rb molds are aluminum but quite a few are iron. I like both, have equal success with both and use both.
 

Treestalker

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The use of aluminum for bullet molds is an excellent idea from the aspect of utility and thrift. It has the ability to heat rapidly, and cast excellent bullets and balls. The iron molds take longer to heat, rust if not cared for, and cost more to machine. They also weigh more, and in long casting sessions the excruciating pain in your wrists and hands will make you weep bitter tears of remorse for not buying the aluminum product. I used both for about 30 years and had no complaints. I saved a bunch of money casting for modern revolvers and black powder guns. And it is a relaxing hobby. Unfortunately, all my reloading equipment, molds included, sank to the bottom of a fast moving river during an ill advised crossing in Arizona some years back.
 

ord sgt

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I started out with Lyman steel molds. They have worked very much good for many years. I also have Lee aluminium molds. Cast many bullets with them. I even have one steel mold that i can't identify the maker. But it casts the minies that my Enfield likes the best. Don't really care who made it 'cause it just works!
 

flinter1977

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I use both , steel molds are lot easier to temp control. The aluminium molds are good for the cost difference. you just have to learn how each like to be used .
 

bubba.50

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When l had access to a friend’s gas plumber’s pot l could do well with either. But with my Lee drip-o-matic l do much better with aluminum. Run the temp wide open and pour fast as l can open & close the mould.
 

oldwood

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Casting for 60+ yrs. , Used Lyman molds until aluminum molds came on line. Prefer the aluminum ones as the balls are usually the size stamped on the mold , and heat up time much quicker , and price is right. ............I have a couple of the more expensive Lyman R/B molds that are up to .004 oversize. Gave up on Lyman.
 

Josephg

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Only problem I ever had with aluminum molds is gauling of the blocks by the sprue plate. Just annoying, not a huge problem.
 

SDSmlf

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Only problem I ever had with aluminum molds is gauling of the blocks by the sprue plate. Just annoying, not a huge problem.
$20 gets you a complete aluminum replacement mold. Can’t get parts for a steel mold for that. Many of my muzzleloading molds are Lee aluminum ones (plus I have a number of TC Maxihunter and Maxiball molds that are aluminum), but I also have quite a few steel molds, conical and RB. No real complaint about steel or aluminum molds. They all seem to work.
 

mooman76

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Both work well and do their job as stated. Also as stated they take slightly different techniques to use. I started with Lee aluminum because of cost. I now prefer them because I got use to them but I also have steel moulds. Some don't like the Lee aluminum moulds because they claim they are not durable to last but if you take care of them and don't beat on them, they will last a lifetime with ordinary use. I have some that I bought used and some I have had for many years and I have never worn out a mould yet.
 

oldwood

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Gotta lube the sprue plate axis. Years back I didn't lube ,but learned to do it on aluminum and steel for success.
 

Rifleman1776

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Lot of good responses already. As I see it, aluminum is economically the best choice. The iron moulds hold heat better and are more forgiving. But, with aluminum, I set up a rythym when casting and that assures my moulds stay at a constant temp.
 

mooman76

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Steel can get so hot some people with cast with a second or even a 3rd mould alternating them.
 

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