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Thread: Lyman 4 cavity rifle moulds

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Lyman 4 cavity rifle moulds

    Who is lucky enough to have and cast with the older Lyman 4 cavity Rifle moulds ?

    I just picked up this week older # 311410 with the bevel base, and a # 319247

    They will be added to my collection that all ready has
    # 31141
    # 311332
    # 311334
    # 311359
    # 311467
    # 37583
    # 457483

    Lets hear from you.

    JW

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    farmerjim's Avatar
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    I don't know the numbers but I have a 30 cal and 8mm 4 cavity lyman mold that I bought back in the 60's. They still work fine.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    311291/ 452488 / 457124 Heat them up on a hotplate and get good boolits after first or second cast. Boolits fall out with every opening of the mold. A little heavy after a hour or two though. Mine all seem to be very consistent from cavity to cavity.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    Chill Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oily View Post
    A little heavy after a hour or two though.
    That put a smile on my face! If you are like me, an hour much less two casting will produce a huge pile of rifle bullets! Which of course is a good thing!
    Those big 4 cavity Lyman rifle molds are a rare bird. If you have one in a bullet design that you shoot often, owning one really is great! Lots of rifle bullets fast!
    Chill Wills

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    I have a 311403, a Pope flat base design, and a 366408 for the 9.3x57's. I really like the 311403 after I figured out how to load them properly, they shoot great in my Krag.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    I have a 311-041 and a 457-192. Both cast lots of good boolits quickly, but the 457-192 heats up pretty fast and requires a more moderate pace than that acceptable with the the lighter 30 cal.
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master
    Chill Wills's Avatar
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    New V old style handles?

    Here are a few rifle caliber 4-cavity molds I use a lot
    457 124, 457 193 and 311 284
    What do you like better? the new style handles or the old?
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    Chill Wills

  8. #8
    Boolit Master


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    New style for sure, and I turn the mould 180 degrees from your pic.


    Cat
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    (I think, therefore I'm armed.)

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Jack Stanley's Avatar
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    I have a couple around here , they don't get used daily but then , when you make such a large pile of bullets so fast .....................

    As for the handles , I think I prefer the old style . Not in just the way they open but I've had more than one Lyman cast iron handle break . With that in mind I try to avoid them . I have one of the new handles , watching to see how long it lasts on a four cavity mold .

    Jack
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  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catshooter View Post
    New style for sure, and I turn the mould 180 degrees from your pic.


    Cat
    I like the newer style handles a little better too. I have enough of the old handles and have used them for so long, I don't mind using them either.

    Interesting about the mold turned 180 degrees; I used to cast with the mold in the handles the normal way, if there is a normal way But because I use a gloved hand to open the mold, not a pounding device of some kind, I changed the mold in the handles.
    About 10 years ago go, while casting, it came to me, with the top plate arm in the rear, I would have a lot more advantage using the heal of my hand pushing down and cutting the four sprues. I tried it and found it much easier. Now the cutter is in the right place for my hand and the top plate, as a bonus is better at staying out of the way.

    It may not be the way everyone would want to do it , but it works better for me.
    Last edited by Chill Wills; 04-11-2018 at 10:21 AM.
    Chill Wills

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    I've got a few that were purchased in the late 60's or early 70's that cast great. A friend had a few from the 80's that the sprue plate was bad to gall the top of the mold. I don't remember what, how, or if he lubed the mold. You see complaints of newer Lyman molds casting smaller than desired diameter bullets. But my older molds cast great.

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
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    Just added a 4 cavity # 280468 to my moulds.

    Will be seeing the seller again in a couple of weeks, he has five more 4 cavity rifle moulds that are calling me.

    JW

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Jack Stanley's Avatar
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    Buy them ....... it will give you good reason to get another gun if you don't happen to have something in that caliber

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

    Black Rifles Matter

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    I have ground down the LEE 6 cavity handles and they work great on the Lyman 4 cavities that I have. The 30 caliber or close can be run fast as you can cast but the 458 300 to 500 grain need to be moderated as to cadence on pouring as they get very hot very quick. A wet towel does not cool these iron molds down like a Lee aluminum mold. I really don't like to use the wet towel method on iron molds. My opinion only. I like to keep my molding cadence to a acceptable level and let the mold cool just a bit with other things like powder coating or lubesizing. MHO Oily

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    My Lyman 4X molds are 35793 (pointed GC), 358101 (75 WC) and 452460 (200 SWC). I cast with the 45 mold more than the other two combined. Beyond that I have a Saeco 313-325 (most accurate 32 revolver boolit I have ever cast), NEI 105-313 (full WC) and a H&G 521GC430 (SWC-GC from a close friend now deceased). Then there are all the routine Lee 6X patterns and several group buy treasures, but that's another story.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master Harter66's Avatar
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    In have one in 25 cal it casts fine , I just can't keep it hot enough . I wish I had some of the new style handles for it instead of the clam shells . Maybe next year .
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  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    I've got a few... I'm a fan of the 4 cavity designs, and think they're the sweet spot for weight/productivity.

    I've got a few H&G 10 cavity rifle molds as well, and they're a little unwieldy!
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  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy
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    Was at the local gun show yesterday and just could not leave empty handed.
    Well taken care of in the old orange and black boxes, Lyman 4 cavity moulds

    # 37582, a flat nose short range bullet for the 38-55 that should weigh about 170 grs
    # 410426, a round nose plain base bullet designed for the old 401 WSL, about 240 grs, but in a pinch can be used in a 41 mag

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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