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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
tested some bullets today that i cast back in december, 250 gr for a 38-55 half water dropped half air cooled. water dropped tested 27 bhn air cooled tested 10.5 bhn alloy was 50% wheel weights and 50% lead they tested 8.5 bhn a couple of days after casting. i am thinking this is a good way to stretch my limited supply of wheel weights.
 

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My alloy is 75/25 and air cools to 13bhn and water drops around the mid to high 20's but then I pan lube in a toaster oven and it drops the bhn down to 19 to 21, just where I want it. Im running out of pure lead though :ahhhhh: so I need to find a supply soon.


Doc
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
doc
i have played with a toaster oven (5$ good will) for heat treating, ice water and tap water 400 to 450 degrees surprising how close you can get to a desired bhn, but i have settled on mostly water dropped. i dont think it takes much antimony in an alloy for it to harden. i even use them in 30-06 at around 1800 fps in mbabr matches, doing quite well against others who are using nosler custom comp bullets
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
dawei
vary your alloy composition and or your heat treating methods
 

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I'm beginning to wonder if a hard cast bullet really matters anyway. Under 1500 f.p.s I shoot 1:20 tin:lead alloy and over that velocity I shoot the same alloy but with a gas check. I don't know to what extent these bullets obturate when hit from behind by a blast of smokeless propulsive gases but a hard cast, water quenched bullet, without a gas check moving beyond 1500 f.p.s. seems to give a lot of leading in my rifles. Depends who you read. And then I don't believe half of them !!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
smithy
i think you are right, i try for 10 or 11 bhn for most pistols and 45-70, 14 or 15 bhn for others, but i am firmly convinced that size is more important. i get no leading with the softer alloys when they are gas checked, but for me the accuracy is better when approaching 2000 fps in a 10 twist barrel
 

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I think I remember read that you want a higher bhn for higher pressures.
The base has to expand enough to properly seal, so not to have gases passing bullet.
this means to harden to the pressure your loading?
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
hunter
if the bullet is already 1 or 2 thousands over the size of the throat and groove dia. where is it going to expand to
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
dawei
i reread your post and saw that i gave a dumb answer to a good question, what i should have said is, i use a little gizmo from lee inc that screws into the loading press and impresses a small dimple into the alloy which is then measured by a small magnifying glass included in the kit
 
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I know there are 2 thought on boolit hardness, 1 is that Keith shot 44 Mag boolits that were 20:1 to 30:1 with no antimony, water dropping or heat treating... Then there is the people that have done the experiments for years and have data to back up their claims.. The Los Angeles Silhouette Club is best place to learn about cast boolits, bhn and all sorts of gun related info.

Chapter 3.3 Cast Bullet Hardness Requirements - Cast Bullets For Beginner And Expert

I like hard data to back up my boolit casting for different calibers and I try to stick with what is recommended for the pressure I will be exerting on the boolit.
But to each his own... It worked for Keith for a long time


Doc
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
doc
most of my 40 or so years of casting and shooting were before al gore invented this internet thing, and thousands of empty primer boxes in my trash cans say you have a good point, both ways work and work well
 

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Yes it has and each person can decide what way they want to go with it... LOL, I remember Al saying he invented the internet... ROFL

Doc
 

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My alloy is 75/25 and air cools to 13bhn and water drops around the mid to high 20's but then I pan lube in a toaster oven and it drops the bhn down to 19 to 21, just where I want it. Im running out of pure lead though :ahhhhh: so I need to find a supply soon.




Doc
Doc. Roto Metals has New pure lead right now for about $2.59 a lb. ......in 5 lb. ingot's

Lead Ingot Pure 99.9%
Price per INGOT $12.54
Price Breaks Click the Blue Volume Button to the right for Volume Discounts!

javascript:void(0);
 

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I use the Lee Hardness tester and it works well if you have the patience and a steady hand. That magnifying scope/tube and image upside down/backwards takes practice to get it read correctly. It has help me out when looking for the best options in an old 44-40 Marlin. Too soft and even if they bump up, they can skid or strip down the barrel and not start spinning correctly. This has happened to be with 5-8 Bhn and pushing then a little too fast (1400fps) But at 14 -15 Bhn that skidding or striping is eliminated and I get nice rifle grooves in the recovered lead even pushing them fast (1600-1800fps). I think fit (diameter) is most important, followed by selecting the right Bhn for the pressures you intend to developed with your load choice. Matching the variable to suit your particular barrel/firearm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
david
i like the lee, but had to build a fixture for the microscope i could check an ingot ok but a single bullet was hard to hold steady, we also have the saeco tester but i cant get it to work as as well as the lee except on ingots
 
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I know there are 2 thought on boolit hardness, 1 is that Keith shot 44 Mag boolits that were 20:1 to 30:1 with no antimony, water dropping or heat treating... Then there is the people that have done the experiments for years and have data to back up their claims.. The Los Angeles Silhouette Club is best place to learn about cast boolits, bhn and all sorts of gun related info.

Chapter 3.3 Cast Bullet Hardness Requirements - Cast Bullets For Beginner And Expert

I like hard data to back up my boolit casting for different calibers and I try to stick with what is recommended for the pressure I will be exerting on the boolit.
But to each his own... It worked for Keith for a long time


Doc
20:1 or 30:1 what? Tin?
Thanks, Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
cowboy
those alloys are most always in lead to tin, he liked 16-1 when he was working with revolvers, costly to make nowdays
 

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I use the pencil hardness tester.
A set of Staedtler pencils About $10 bucks from Hobby Lobby - less with 40% off coupon and good enuf for what I do.
Sharpen the pencils then flatten the tip on a piece of sandpaper.
Start with the lower number pencils (I skip to where I guesstimate the hardness). The pencils that are softer than the lead will just slide off without making a scratch.
When you get one that digs in and makes a groove then the pencil is *harder* than the lead so lookup the hardness of the previous pencil hardness.
So a 3B slides off but a 2B scratches then it's near 10 BHN.
Hope that makes sense...

Here's the chart that I compiled - easier than sifting through that thread.

8B - Sheet lead
7B
6B - Pure Lead (about 5 BHN)
5B - Plumbers lead (40/1) Lead/Tin
4B - 25/1
3B - 10 BHN - 20/1 Air cooled wheel weights
2B - 11 BHN
B - 12 BHN
HB - 15 BHN: same as a #2 pencil
F - 18 BHN: Lyman #2 air cooled wheel weights + 2% tin OR water quenched wheel weights
H - 20 BHN : 50/50 Linotype/Wheel Weight
2H - 22 BHN : Monotype

These are rough - put the word "approximately" in front of the BHN numbers. But I tested against commercial alloys and dang it's close.
Each pencil hardness increment is about 1.7 average Brinell. so a 3B is #6 from the bottom = 6 * 1.7 = a tad over 10. This is a rough estimate.
 
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