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Thread: hardness level



  1. #1
    Sidewinder
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    hardness level

    Im just wondering if there is any home way of checking hardness on cast bullets i know they have tools out there for it. just looking for something your dad or grandfather taught you..

  2. #2
    Deadeye
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    Well... none that would be very effective...I have been known to use the fingernail method....a press with the thumb nail is as un scientific as it comes...but ive used it.... it doesnt work...but ive used it none the less..

    C45

  3. #3
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    It depends on if you are molding bullets for muzzle loaders or rifles. For muzzle loader the thumb nail test will do. For rifles you are better off with a Lead Hardness tester. I have only cast for pistol and used the Lee Hardness tester, you can find it on the internet for $60.they work well.

    TNY

    Lead Hardness Tester - Lee Precision

  4. #4
    Gunfighter
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    Before I bought a Lee hardness tester, i dropped the ingots on a concrete floor. If it went thud, it was soft. If it rang, it was hard. I used to sort ingots that way.
    M.
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  5. #5
    Gun Wizard
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    Quote Originally Posted by 308/338 View Post
    It depends on if you are molding bullets for muzzle loaders or rifles. For muzzle loader the thumb nail test will do. For rifles you are better off with a Lead Hardness tester. I have only cast for pistol and used the Lee Hardness tester, you can find it on the internet for $60.they work well.

    TNY

    Lead Hardness Tester - Lee Precision
    Ditto on this, it's the way to go.
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  6. #6
    Deadeye
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    Greetings
    Over at the Castboolits site there are several threads that deal with simple methods to work out hardness.
    Mike in Peru
    Mike in Peru God Bless you.

  7. #7
    Uzi
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    The art pencil method (described in a sticky on castboolits web site) looks plausible for judging relative hardness, but not for converting accurately to BHN. For that you would need a real hardness tester.
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  8. #8
    Deadeye
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    I brazed a ball bearing on the end of a piece of .375 dia steel rod. I chuck that up in my drill press. Then I put a good quality digital strain gage bathroom scale on the drill press table. I put the bullet on the scale and use the press to force the ball bearing into the bullet just hard enough to bring the scale up to a certain weight (usually 60 lbs. as I recall). Hold for one minute. Then measure the size of the dimple created in the bullet. There is a formula out there to input the force, dia of ball, and size of dimple to produce the BHN. I think I got it out of the Lee Modern Reloading manual.

    This is a simple and effective method. The results are repeatable although absolute accuracy is probably not all that great. Most importantly it gives a good relative comparison of the hardness of one bullet to another.

    Measuring the dimple is the hard part. I have access to an optical comparator and tool makers microscope. You might have to get a cheap optical comparator - like the kind that looks like a jewelers loupe.
    ww.indianapredatorcentral.com


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  9. #9
    Gun Wizard
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    I use pure lead, 1 bhn for the flinklock.

    Rifles under 1800fps, WW lead.
    Rifles up to 2500fps, 50% WW, 50% Lino.

    Dont test a dang thing, never have had a lick of leading, so I must be doing something right.
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  10. #10
    Gun Wizard
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    1 BHN? I think my tap water is harder than that............
    papajohn likes this.


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