View Full Version : 4 cavity moulds vs. 2 cavity?

max it
January 15, 2010, 08:33 PM
HI Guys,

I just picked up a couple of thousand 147gr bullets to tide me over; not enough time to cast. Nice looking stuff from Bear something, got moly coating on them.

Anyway I may go to this 147 grain bullet. I see Lyman and Saeco have moulds on MidwayUSA for that. In fact one of them is the Bear something bullet.
But I am wondering; are 4 cavity moulds going to be heavy and unwieldy? I am used to Lee 2 cavity and these are steel not aluminum. I am kinda tired of the Lee Aluminum I get much better bullets from my steel moulds.

Any thoughts, suggestions, cranky ideas?

Much obliged,


January 15, 2010, 09:03 PM
There's nothing unweildy about a 4 cav mould. You wont regret it.

January 15, 2010, 10:14 PM
Had a four cavity steel saeco for the .41 magnum. It was heavy however, I have learned in my forty years of casting that the more cavities the better for volume casting for handguns.

January 18, 2010, 07:24 AM
The 4-cavity steel molds are heavy. Unweildy? No. But heavy. Put it this way...If I was going to cast for more than an hour, I would choose a Lee 6 cavity over a Lyman 4-cavity. I am getting to the point where I am switching over all my molds ot aluminum or brass. I have 1 steel mold left, and it is a 2-cavity. I will never buy another 4 cavity Lyman (partially because I am through with Lyman because I have had too many problems with their molds and they can't seem to fix simple problems. But enough of my rant...) My advice to you...tkae it or leave it...go over to cast boolits and sign up. Look in the group buy section and get in on one of those and see how you like it. The custom molds over there are pretty much exclusively aluminum or brass molds....for a reason. You may pay a little more than a Lyman, but I can vouch for the quality and customer service. I think we have about 3 or 4 guys over there making superb molds. Good luck!

January 18, 2010, 12:49 PM
I have one 4 cav. Lyman, it's for the 225 RN. I seldom use it just because it is quite heavy. I got spoiled by the light weight of lee 6 cav molds, was surprised how much heavier the Lyman 4 cav was.

BUT I've had that 4 cav for 30+ years, it still makes nice boolits. Will the lee 6 cavs still be making good bullets when they're 30 yrs old? I'd be 90 YO, but I bet they will!

David Wile
January 18, 2010, 09:26 PM
Hey Max,

For whatever it may be worth, I have been casting both pistol and rifle bullets for 50 years now, and almost all of my moulds are over 40 years old. I do have two moulds I bought nine years ago.

All of my moulds are steel, most are Lyman, some are RCBS. I tried a Lee aluminum mould for my 45-70 nine years ago to try to save some money, and I just never could develop a care for it. I know some folks like them, but I'm not one of them. I sold the Lee mould and bought two RCBS moulds for the 45-70.

I would always choose a four cavity mould if it was available. If not four cavity, then I would go for a two cavity - again if available. When I bought those two RCBS moulds for my 45-70 nine years ago, I wanted a 300 grain mould with gas check and a 400 grain mould with a gas check. RCBS was the only moulds I could find with the gas checks, and I had to settle for a two cavity mould in the 300 grain, and I really hated to have to settle for a single cavity mould in the 400 grain. I hate single cavity moulds. They are so slow compared to two cavity, and the four cavity moulds are just great.

What about the weight of the four cavity mould? A four cavity mould is definitely a lot heavier than the two cavity moulds. Not only is the size of the steel mould bigger of course, but the handles are also heavier. Whenever I start casting for the first time in a long while, the four cavity moulds take some getting used to handling compared to the two cavity. When I get a bit tired using the four cavity, I simply start casting something in a two cavity mould and rest my wrists for a while. Before long, however, I get used to the heavier four cavity mould, and I am quite pleased with the number of bullets I am cranking out with each fill of the mould. What really ticks me off is having to cast one bullet at a time with those simple single cavity moulds. If I did not need the bullets, I would refuse to use a single cavity mould.

Now I don’t have any, and I have never used any, but even at my advanced age, I would like to try casting with a six cavity steel mould. It would be heavier I know, but I think I could get used to it and would like to try it. I just wouldn’t want to pay for the mould.

So, that’s my take on the subject, and you can use it for whatever it may be worth.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile