ASM Premium Russian Slug Moulds
A couple years ago while perusing eBay, I happened across some slug moulds by Russian manufacturer Svarog and decided give them a try. Since then, Russian slug moulds have become increasingly popular with western casters.
Ever since, I’ve been actively searching for other interesting tools that may appeal to reloaders here. After many months of discussion (and shipping), I’m excited to introduce to you a series of premium quality shotgun slug moulds from another Russian manufacturer, ASM.
In the video above you’ll see eight of the samples I procured from them. These include the Shirinsky Shikhmatov (the original design Svarog eventually copied as the ‘Zveroboy’ most of us have seen), Paradox, Grizzly and Grizzly Shock Paradox, Mace, Grizzly Mace, Kontarev 2 and 3, and Leningrad.
In later articles I’ll be going over each in detail, but for now I’m just going to highlight some of the features, and compare and contrast the quality of these designs, relative to the Svarog models most of us are familiar with.
The very first thing you’re likely to notice about these moulds is the excellent build quality. The aluminum blocks are nicely machined and polished to a shine. They’re also small and lightweight, making them very easy to cast with. Edges are smooth and clean, with no burs or marring of any kind. The cavities are completely flawless, with well-defined cuts to maintain sharp detail in the castings. The blocks are also vented and engraved with the gauge for easy identification. It’s challenging to describe well, but if you watch the video above, you’ll see a comparison between the ASM moulds and Svarog’s. It’s night-and-day in terms of quality.
The handles are even more impressive, easily among the most premium I’ve ever seen. The turnings are gorgeous, made from wood with a glossy finish that brings out the patterns in the grain. I realize most of us aren’t buying moulds to display as artwork, but I can’t stress enough how nice they look. Again, the edges have all been sanded perfectly smooth, with brass crimps to hold them securely in place; compare that to the Svarog handles which are pressed on and glued. The action of the handles is like silk; far tighter tolerances mean these almost glide open and closed vs rattling around. Line both manufacturer’s products up beside one another and I think you’ll agree the ASM definitely comes out on top.
In a similar vein are the pins; again, the ASM design uses a much nicer wooden grip, sanded and finished to perfection. The grip also features a recessed area for the fastener and a larger, more ergonomic knob which makes it much more comfortable to use. Once again for a visual depiction, check out the video above and you’ll see an on-screen comparison of the Svarog and ASM pins.
ASM also boasts a much larger selection, roughly double that of Svarog. In addition to standard 12 gauge, many of their moulds are also available in 16G, 20G and even 28G. ASM also offers numerous pin styles for each, often included with the mould at no additional cost. This adds a whole new dimension to slug casting, and provides the reloader with many more potential combinations when designing that perfect load.
Let me be the firs to say that I own the complete line of Svarog moulds– I use them, and I like them. They’re a good product that performs well at an affordable price, and I’m not trying to knock them. With that said, these ASM moulds are clearly built to a higher standard, and if you’re looking for a truly premium mould, this is it.
Stay tuned for my upcoming series of articles on these moulds, and be sure to visit my project site and online shop at www.tatvcanada.com for more updates and information on availability and pricing.
As a long-time firearms enthusiast and reloader, I started TATVCanada (Tactical Advantage TV) back in 2016 to address what I saw as a lack of quality gun-content on YouTube. My goal was, and still is, to produce short, to-the-point media designed for folks looking for information on casting, reloading, firearms and accessories– without the fifteen extra minutes of fluff.
Whenever possible, I strive to incorporate empirical observation rather than relying on opinion, rumor or so-called ‘common knowledge’. In short, if I can’t prove it, or at least cite it, you won’t hear me repeat it. I do not perform paid endorsements or accept advertisements, so you can trust my opinions are my own.
I also believe strongly not just in the right to own and use firearms, but the responsibility we have to operate and store them safely that comes with that right. With that in mind, you won’t find me making home-made guns out of plumbing supplies or dual-wielding automatic shotguns on an ATV. In my opinion, that kind of nonsense has no place in the public forum, and does a great disservice to those of us working to portray the firearms community as what it is; a responsible group of law-abiding sportsmen and women dedicated to the pursuit of a legitimate hobby.