Lyman Corporation, once known for their extensive line of bullet molds, is offering a newly designed set of mold handles for their four cavity bullet molds. This long overdue addition to their product line is well-designed and quality workmanship that we have come to expect from American craftsmen.
The new handles operate pliers-fashion, and are very convenient in production type casting. These appear to be machined from heavy castings, and have a very robust hinge featuring offset machining, and oversize hardwood handles that are very comfortable for extended casting sessions. This new handle design for the Lyman four-cavity mold blocks is such an improvement over the older designed handles for these molds, that the molds take on a whole new practicality.
In testing these handles, we also used a relatively new bullet design Lyman #429667, a .44 caliber 240 grain FNBB cowboy bullet in four-cavity mold blocks. The mold cavities are exceedingly uniform for a production mold, with cavity-to-cavity bullet weight variation being about one tenth of a grain, and bullet dimensional uniformity showing projectiles within 0.0004” of each other and dropped from the mold at 0.4325” average diameter.
The mold cavities were smooth and bullets dropped easily from the mold right from the beginning of the first casting session with these blocks.
The bullet design is reminiscent of an LBT type LFN design, but with a smaller meplat diameter. The meplat of #429667 is .300” and has a mild bevel base, with a deep, square-bottom lube groove similar to an original Keith bullet.
These bullets were sized 0.432” and were test fired in a Ruger Super Blackhawk in .44 Special loadings. The test load was Lyman #429667 sized .432”/7.0grains AA#5/WLPP/Starline Brass/Crimped in crimp groove with RCBS dies. At 25 yards off a solid sandbag rest, this bullet and load combination printed a .735” twelve-shot group. Not too bad for a quick shoot and see load. With some judicious load development this bullet has great potential within some velocity constraints of course when considering its bevel base configuration.
For those that cast their own, the new Lyman four-cavity mold handles are absolute musts for the casting cupboard, and the #429667 shows great potential for mild velocity .44 caliber applications.
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