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Thread: Iron mold; 3 vs. 4 cavity ?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Iron mold; 3 vs. 4 cavity ?

    I love RCBS molds but the one downside is that they only come in 2 cavity versions.

    I like iron molds and don't mind the extra work to protect them from rust. In the Saeco line, the price difference between 3 cavity and 4 cavity molds is slight. A 3 cavity mold would produce significantly more bullets in a session than a 2 cavity mold but at almost twice the cost of a 2 cavity. It's a one time expense and an expense than would be amortized over a long mold life.
    A 4 cavity mold is only slightly more expensive than a 3 and It would produce even more bullets per session but there's the weight penalty.

    Any thoughts or experience concerning 3 vs. 4 cavity iron molds?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    I don't have any difficulty casting with 4 cavity iron molds. I have both H&G and Lyman molds. I feel like more than 4 cavities would be tiring. I can't imagine casting with an 8 or 10 cavity! RCBS does make a good casting mold!

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    NoZombies's Avatar
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    I like 4-6 cavity iron molds alright. I'm less of a fan of my 10 cavity molds than I was when I was younger.
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master Jack Stanley's Avatar
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    Perhaps it depends on how sensitive your wrists are . I know many don't like the weight of iron at all and other like me use H&G four and six cavity without problem . Maybe in another twenty years when I turn eighty I'll turn in my iron but not right now .

    With the cost of bullets now the larger molds make more sense to me as long as you are comfortable using them . Three and four cavity molds are pretty easy to use for several hours .

    Jack
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    farmerjim's Avatar
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    I find 2 cavity molds too slow. A 4 cavity is minimum' I have a bunch of 4 cavity Lyman iron molds and like them all. I really love 6 cavity Al molds. I particularly like 2 each 6 cavity Al molds at the same time.
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  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    So the 4 cavity is looking a little more attractive.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master


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    My experience is any 4 cavity is manageable weightwise. The only mold that I have that gives me problems is a 6 cavity H&G. I would always go 4 cavity over 3.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Petrol & Powder View Post
    So the 4 cavity is looking a little more attractive.
    Its a good compromise.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    So I went with the 4 cavity SAECO #382.

    It arrived and appears to be a good mold. I cast a few bullets just to test it out with my alloy. Everything seems right. Bullets drop out of the mold, they're running around .358" .359" , seem to all weigh within a grain of each other.

    I don't really have the time to cast right now and I have an adequate supply of loaded cartridges, so it may be a while before I really get to know this mold. So far I'm pleased with it.

    Thanks to all for the input.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Jack Stanley's Avatar
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    You're welcome , keep that mold warm now

    Jack
    Buy it cheap and stack it deep , you may need it !

    Black Rifles Matter

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Grmps's Avatar
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    I'm glad you went with the SAECO.
    The newer Lymans and a really bad track record.
    I"ve acquired several of them for pennies on the dollar because none of the cavities match (if I remember right, there was almost 5 grns difference between the 4 cavities

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I've never met a Saeco I didn't like.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by WALLNUTT View Post
    I've never met a Saeco I didn't like.
    I have............borrowed one from a friend. A four cavity, 200 grain, 44 RNFP. I was surprised how small the blocks were for a four cavity, so weight is minimal, IMO. Casting wise, it was a nice mould to work with. With my alloy, very close to CWW, it would only drop bullets at .430 diameter. I was hoping for larger for my Marlin carbine and or CA Bulldog with .4325 throats.
    So, I promptly returned the mould. Didn't even waste my time, trying them in the Marlin. Will use them up for defensive practice in the Bulldog.

    Winelover

  14. #14
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    Dragonheart's Avatar
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    I think 4 cavity is the best way to go. I personally find the old Saeco molds to be better then the new stuff just as I think my H&G molds can't be beat. I also believe Iron is King.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master Forrest r's Avatar
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    I guess it depends on the bullets I plan on casting. Smaller bullets can be cast in small blocks. I have a 3-cavity 32cal wc mold that's the same size as the standard 2-cavity molds. To get the same bullet in a 4-cavity mold they would have to use 4-cavity blocks.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check