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Old Ranger
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Posted: January 04 2017 at 7:30am | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

Ideal/Lyman began making double cavity moulds right after WWII and around the late 40's they began to cut vents into the blocks. Now I use many Ideal moulds and a few early Lymans. A few are double cavity, but for the most part they're all single cavity moulds from long ago. Do I mind? Hardly, I like em.

Today's loaders want it fast. Big high dollar progressive presses cranking out loads. 6 cavity moulds and big 20# pots dumping out cast rounds faster than you can say "Jimminy Cricket". Yup, most folks want it fast and in mass quanities. Well not me. I enjoy the simpler ways. Old single press, or for pistol, a turret press from the 60's. And let's not forget the number of 310 gear I use too. My casting is much the same. Nearly all are single cavity moulds.

And I like it. Casting from a single cavity insures that you get a repeatable bullet. There are some doubles (not too often) that will have one cavity that either is slightly different or will just cast different than the other. Rare, but it happens though.
Once I get my rythmn set when casting with my singles, I can go at a relaxed pace keeping the mould heat just right and the bullets drop perfect every time. With aluminum moulds especially, you must cast at a pace that will make your head spin. If you don't cast like there's no tomorrow then you get crummy castings. Me? I don't cotton to being pushed. I have my own pace that's easier on me and it works well. If ya rush, something's always gonna get messed up.

So when I see where someone casts with massive moulds dropping pounds of bullets in record time I just smile and keep casting 'em one at a time. In many ways I'm much like my mentor of old. Uncle Leo. He'd cast from a small steel pot over an open fire off in the red coals. Used an early Ideal single cavity that was the old integeral block/handle style with no vents. He'd meticulously drop his .45 Colt bullets one at a time onto a rag off to the side. Sometimes he'd use my mother's stovetop with her watching him like a hawk for lead droplets on her clean stove. And later, when I was casting, I'd get that same look from my mother as I used her stove top for my casting. One round at a time.

So in an age of everything built for speed, I'm happy to plug along at a slower pace. One round at a time.

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Rex
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Posted: January 04 2017 at 8:00am | IP Logged Quote Rex

I also like the single cavity, not fast but what else have I got to do. It's all part of having fun.
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joed
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Posted: January 04 2017 at 11:30am | IP Logged Quote joed

When I started casting I tried to stay with 4 cavity molds whenever I
could get them, mostly Lyman.

Nowdays I wonder what happened to me, I get tired of lifting those 4
cavity molds pretty quickly.   

Best advice I can give anyone is don't get old.   And above all else
don't buy heavy tools to work with while you're younger.

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Rex
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Posted: January 04 2017 at 12:16pm | IP Logged Quote Rex

Joe, I knew I'd get old someday if I lived long enough. I just didn't know it would happen so quick!
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Old Ranger
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Posted: January 04 2017 at 1:00pm | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

When a class 6 loading constantly, I had 4 cavity moulds for .38Spl, .44Mag, and. 45ACP. Now 35 years later after I closed up shop, the only 4 cavity I have is the 44. And I don't use it because I prefer the Gordon Boser design SWC over Elmer Keith's creation and cast the Boser design and a 200gr RNFP for my .44Mag sixgun.

But again, I enjoy the slower pace of the single cavity and the consistent performance of every round it drops. And I still cast atop a stove out of convenience due to the tiny house I live in. Granted I use a bottom pour or a 10# open top furnace for dipping but it's still on the stove top. But when a drop of lead hits the stove top I sometimes look up wondering if mom saw that even though I lost her decades ago.

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joed
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Posted: January 04 2017 at 1:32pm | IP Logged Quote joed

Rex wrote:
Joe, I knew I'd get old someday if I lived long enough.
I just didn't know it would happen so quick!


Amen to that one.   I was fine with those 4 cavity molds 10 years
ago, now I tire from them and stop casting long before I did when I
started casting.

There is one other thing to be said for the consistency of a 1 cavity
mold.   I have a Lyman .45 Colt mold that constantly throws 4
different sized bullets.   

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RT58
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Posted: January 05 2017 at 8:50am | IP Logged Quote RT58

I've never had a problem with using single cavity moulds. I'm never in a hurry when doing anything ammo related because it's an enjoyable hobby and I'd rather have it done perfectly instead of done quickly.
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joed
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Posted: January 05 2017 at 12:02pm | IP Logged Quote joed

RT58 wrote:
I've never had a problem with using single cavity
moulds. I'm never in a hurry when doing anything ammo related
because it's an enjoyable hobby and I'd rather have it done perfectly
instead of done quickly.


Nothing at all wrong with single cavity molds.   I had a casting
business a few years ago.   If a bullet wasn't available in 2 or 4 cavity
I would buy 2 single cavity molds.    

Did pretty good with the business till the shortage, then the orders
stopped flowing.   Doubt that I'll get back into selling again though.

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mikld
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Posted: January 06 2017 at 11:03am | IP Logged Quote mikld

I'm in the "don't mind" camp about single cavity molds, although
most of mine are double cavity. When I sit down to cast up a bunch
of my 429241 boolits I figger there's only one way to eat an
elephant, that's one bite at a time. If I feel like cating for 1/2 hour
fine. If I feel like casting for 2 hours that's fine too. I don't count the
bullets I cast, just how long I play...

Edited by mikld on January 06 2017 at 11:04am


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The_Shadow
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Posted: January 06 2017 at 6:20pm | IP Logged Quote The_Shadow

Using the Lyman Devastator Hollow Point molds, is still
a joy, even though they are a single cavity. They
produce nice hollow point bullets, so you have that
hollow pointer pin to also contend with. With some use
and practice you can work up some speed, as you drop and
then put the mold back together for the next pouring...



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Old Ranger
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Posted: January 12 2017 at 8:51am | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

I'd stopped loading and casting .45ACP some years ago and had given my brother the Lyman four cavity mould since I wasn't using it. Of course I recently bought a great plain Jane 1911A1 and realized it still cost me $0.22 a round using even plated bullets. Now the plated rounds are fantastic but just shy of a quarter a shot still gets my goat. Solution? Simple. Cast!

Found an early Lyman single cavity #452374, the 225gr RN (same as my old 4 cav) for auction on eBay. Put a modest bid on it and bingo! It arrived Monday. Cast up around 65 rounds and loaded up 25 with Red Dot for tests in those small primer cases using my old ideal 310 tong tool. They shot well and I hit everything I aimed at. But as with most of my cast loads I got leading. In the 45 the entire bore was coated. Oh well, but it only cost a dime a shot. That's gotta count for somthin' right? But a 30 min soak in Ballistol and a few passes with a brush had the bore spotless again. So at under half the cost of plated reloads and under a quarter of the cost for factory loads I'll put up with it.

But my point was I'm casting with yet another old single cavity mould. And like others here I don't get in a hurry and cast for hours at a time. I'll sit on my stool in front of my stove watching for a curious cat and cast a bit until I get tired. That might be under an hour or if I'm feeling good might even stretch to two. Either way, when it feels more like a chore than a choice, I stop.

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