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GUNS Magazine June 2011 Digial Edition - Page 18
• M I K E “ d U K E ” V E N t U R I N O • P h O t O S : Y V O N N E V E N t U R I N O • n the past 50 years, I’ve had precisely one cavity in I my teeth. That’s good. As pertains to handgun bullet moulds, one cavity is bad. That’s an area where I want lots of cavities—at least three and maybe four. I learned this the hard way in 1968 because upon getting my very first US Model 1911A1 .45 ACP I could only afford a single-cavity bullet mould. It was Lyman 452374 for a 225-grain roundnose. Pouring enough bullets to feed that pistol was bad enough, but then our local chief of police began allowing his son and me to take out the department’s Thompson submachine gun. Several times I stayed up near all night casting bullets and loading .45s so we could shoot that thing for less than an hour the next day. That experience soured me on single-cavity moulds for handgun calibers. Eventually the Lachmiller firm was absorbed by RCBS, but the latter company made a big mistake, in my humble gun’riter opinion. They stopped making bullet moulds holding more than two cavities. Don’t get me wrong. I am a great fan of RCBS bullet moulds, currently there are dozens on my shelves with nary a bad one among them. But I’ve been told their mould making process precludes cutting ones with three or four cavities. That’s too bad because they have some very well thought out handgun bullet designs. Which means you will shoot lots of them, which in turn means a double-cavity mould is a lot more work. The mould ones. Cavities Duke’s all time favorites as pertains to handgun bullet mould cavities are triple ones, such as this Redding/SAeCO mould (above) he uses for .30 Carbine bullets. At one time Duke thought that bullet moulds with each cavity cut for a different design were intriguing (below). he found out in practical use they were not so great. rCBs By 1971, I was a hardcore .38 Special/.357 Magnum shooter and coincidentally money was a bit freer. So I ordered a Lachmiller brand 3-cavity mould for a 150-grain semiwadcutter. Talk about a change! Never again did I have to stay up till the early morning hours to have enough handgun bullets—at least for that bore size. I cast tens of thousands of bullets with that Lachmiller mould. It’s still with me and casts bullets as good as when new. For casting bullets for handguns Duke prefers 3- and 4-cavity bullet moulds. Lyman & Ideal Lyman is our oldest name in bullet moulds. It dates back to about 1926 when the Lyman Gunsight Corporation bought out the Ideal company that had been in the bullet mould business since the 1880s. At one time Lyman offered bullet moulds for virtually every metallic cartridge you might reload. Their handgun moulds came in 1-, 2- and 4-cavity versions. For some reason they ignored triple- cavity moulds. When I was a young and still relatively inexperienced caster, one of the more intriguing moulds I encountered was a Lyman “four holer” in which each of the cavities was a different design of .45-caliber handgun bullet. I was very close to plunking down the cash for it when this thought entered my head, “What if I end up favoring one of the cavities more than the others? Then in practical effect I’m back to casting with a single-cavity mould and a much heavier one to boot.” So I passed it up. Still the concept intrigued me, and years later at a gun show, upon seeing a used Lyman double-cavity mould with one hole as a .45 and the other 18 WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • JUNE 2011