Which top punch do I need?
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Old 12-09-2010, 08:40 PM   #1
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Default Which top punch do I need?

Hey everybody, I am beginning my adventures into casting bullets and need a bit of help. I am starting out with the Lyman Mini-Mag Furnace Master Casting Kit which comes with the 4500 sizer/lubricator. I do not know which top punches I need because the Lyman and RCBS top punches correspond to their own bullet molds. I am purchasing the Lee 2-Cavity Bullet Mold C309-180-R 30 Caliber (309 Diameter) 180 Grain 1 Ogive Radius Gas Check and the Lee 2-Cavity Bullet Mold TL452-230-2R 45 ACP, 45 Auto Rim, 45 Colt (Long Colt) (452 Diameter) 230 Grain Tumble Lube 2 Ogive Radius. Any advice on which top punches I need to size and lube these would be helpful, thanks!

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Old 12-09-2010, 11:56 PM   #2
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Don't know about the other, but Tumble Lube does not need sizing, and is lubed by tumbling (not in a tumbler) with liquid alox. Put them in a cardboard box, spray, shake gently.

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Old 12-10-2010, 02:42 AM   #3
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What exactly are top punches? Long time reloader never a boolit makers.

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Old 12-10-2010, 03:47 AM   #4
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Default Top punches

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Originally Posted by cpttango30 View Post
What exactly are top punches? Long time reloader never a boolit makers.
tango, a top punch is a machined piece of steel that is shaped to the nose of a particular bullet, to push it into a sizer die. With a Luber-sizer this lubes the grooves and sizes the bullet to an exact diameter.
As said before, Lee tumble lube bullets are not generally put through a Luber-sizer, but just shot as cast.
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Old 12-11-2010, 04:29 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bassfishindoc View Post
I do not know which top punches I need because the Lyman and RCBS top punches correspond to their own bullet molds.
Look for a Lyman or RCBS bullet style that is similar to the Lee mould you are using and just order the top punch for that bullet. It may not be a perfect match, but most times it will be close enough.

If you want a perfect match, take a sample punch that is close to what you want and a sample bullet to a machine shop and have them make you one. Some folks have gone as far as filling an over sized punch with epoxy and pressing it down on a bullet nose, then letting it cure. Custom molded punch.
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Old 12-11-2010, 10:36 PM   #6
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For the Lee 45 mold a Lyman #374 is the top punch cross reference number,there is no cross reference number for the 30 Cal. mold one of the guys over at Cast Boolits might could help you out with that one.

Incidentally the 309-150F uses a #8 or #402 punch the 309-200R uses either a #402 or #467 so one of those might work with your 309-180R.

Quote:
What exactly are top punches? Long time reloader never a boolit makers.
http://www.lymanproducts.com/lyman/bullet-casting/top-punches.php
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Old 12-12-2010, 07:01 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the advice! I have decided to drop the Lee 30 cal mold as there is no top punch made for it and I don't want to purchase a separate Lee sizer die. I have opted instead for a Lyman 311291 based on recommendations from Rifle magazine, plus I have read a lot of good stuff about it. I'm still going to go with Lee for the 45 however. Can't wait to get started!

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Old 12-12-2010, 12:57 PM   #8
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You will like the TL45-230 RN,I shoot it as cast no sizing,lubed with two light coats of Lee Alox behind 4.5 grs. Bullseye. It's as accurate as you can hold it.

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Old 12-13-2010, 05:40 PM   #9
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bassfishindoc,

when i started casting 40+ years ago it was lyman all the way for the common joe; when lee introduced liquid alox and reloading press mounted push-thru sizers, the game changed for the better.

as mentioned, tumble-lube designs need no sizing. other designs may, depending on diameters as-cast, but lee sizers are cheaper...lots cheaper...and faster than the traditional methods and i find no difference in shooting.

i now tumble lube all my rifle and pistol castings, sizing and gas-checking with push-thru sizers if needed and save money on the lube and lots of time.

budman

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