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Thread: Best alloy mix for Pistol calibers less than 1100 fps?

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
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    Best alloy mix for Pistol calibers less than 1100 fps?

    What is the best or opinions of the best experiences for the best alloy mix and casting technique for pistol bullets of 230grains for a .45acp, 180 grains in .40S&W, and 165 grains in .40S&W.


    trying to figure out the best/ cheapest mix I can use...


    I will have Wheel Weights and Lead roofing flashing that I will be using, and I can of course throw in some lino if needed.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    lwknight's Avatar
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    The statement itself is an oxymoron ( best / cheap) you know.
    Luckily for your question , most guys here are cheap and want the best on the cheap so we are experts on the best/cheap.

    The 45acp can use a pretty soft bullet and I don't work with the 40sw. I can tell you that if the 40 is anything like the 9mm , it can be a booger to cast for.

    Your clip WWs will probably be hard enough for the 40sw and surely enough for the 45acp. Roof flashing is pure lead and will make a pretty hard bullet when mixed 50/50 with linotype. The alloy would be 2-6-92 , the same that almost all commercial casters use
    and should be the hardest alloy that the 40sw would ever want.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master fredj338's Avatar
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    For low vel 40s or 9mm & any pressure 45acp, straight ww often work fine. You can also get good results, depending on the individual gun, using a 50/50 mix of lead/clip ww. It's what I shoot most in 45acp & std pressure 45colt.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Hmmmmm........I have shot untold numbers of boolits for .45 ACP made of wheel weights. I have a Glock 27 in .40 S&W that I treated to an after market new barrel. I have a 6 cav. mold for the .40, but thus far haven't cast a boolit for it. I feel wheel weights are what I would call the "universal" alloy. I usually add 1%-2% tin to the wheel weights. This added tin will produce nicer boolits. I can get most any practical degree of hardness wanted or needed by simply heat treating my wheel weight boolits at the appropriate temperature and water quenching. The most important things are to size the boolits properly and use a good lube. I also have lino but I am inclined to use it sparingly since it is hard to come by. From things I've read, it may be a possibility the .40 may need an alloy a bit harder than wheel weights, depending on how fast you want to push the boolits. If you are inclined not to heat treat, add lino to wheel weights to arrive at an alloy hardness approximately that of Lyman #2. The late, legendary Elmer Keith favored Lyman #2 alloy. Mike Venturino casts and successfully shoots a tremendous number of boolits made of 20:1 alloy. I don't feel high velocities with handgun boolits are really necessary unless it's for hunting purposes over 50 yards. Many's the man and beast that fell to handgun boolits traveling less than 900fps. IMHO, wheel weights should suffice for everything you describe. LOL

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  5. #5
    Boolit Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by Trifocals View Post
    Hmmmmm........I have shot untold numbers of boolits for .45 ACP made of wheel weights. I have a Glock 27 in .40 S&W that I treated to an after market new barrel. I have a 6 cav. mold for the .40, but thus far haven't cast a boolit for it. I feel wheel weights are what I would call the "universal" alloy. I usually add 1%-2% tin to the wheel weights. This added tin will produce nicer boolits. I can get most any practical degree of hardness wanted or needed by simply heat treating my wheel weight boolits at the appropriate temperature and water quenching. The most important things are to size the boolits properly and use a good lube. I also have lino but I am inclined to use it sparingly since it is hard to come by. From things I've read, it may be a possibility the .40 may need an alloy a bit harder than wheel weights, depending on how fast you want to push the boolits. If you are inclined not to heat treat, add lino to wheel weights to arrive at an alloy hardness approximately that of Lyman #2. The late, legendary Elmer Keith favored Lyman #2 alloy. Mike Venturino casts and successfully shoots a tremendous number of boolits made of 20:1 alloy. I don't feel high velocities with handgun boolits are really necessary unless it's for hunting purposes over 50 yards. Many's the man and beast that fell to handgun boolits traveling less than 900fps. IMHO, wheel weights should suffice for everything you describe. LOL
    I also find wheel weights plus a dab of tin works great for my handguns also and plenty good for my .357 rossi, I only add the Lino when I want to make the .357 higher velocity for the Rifle. When I have extra soft lead I just mix it into thewheel weights for the 45acp boolits.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master songdog53's Avatar
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    I have always used WW's and added some silver Babbit to mine and have been know to add too much and have super hard boolits.....i can't give u exact ratio i use because just depends on what happen to add. I cast for my 45,44mag, 44special and 40 S&W. But will all i am not known to try and push them to max. If going to max i use the dreaded jacketed boolits. And being cheap i try not to use them unless in my carry gun.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    mix yer soft roofing lead 50/50 with you lino and you have hardball alloy 16 bhn
    mix ww with lino @ 3 /2 and you have #2 15 bhn
    either of which is plenty hard but you absolutely had to you could ht or wq
    Hit em'hard
    hit em'often

  8. #8
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    Most all my shooting has now been with straight WW's which run about a BHN of 10 in Louisiana. I do add a touch of tin fo fill out the bullets. I do as a lot of others who shoot SASS and that is with the 20-1 mix. It does a great job and uses up your resources at a slower rate. This is all shot with BP
    Shooter of the "HOLY BLACK" SASS 81802 AKA FAIRSHAKE; NRA ; BOLD; WARTHOG;Deadwood Marshal;Bayou Bounty Hunter; So That his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    I use range lead I mine myself. I melt it in batches of 125lbs. The hardness on the Saeco hardness tester run from 4 to 7. I run it in all my pistols & revolvers without any problems.
    Free is pretty cheap and my labor fills my time and keeps me out of the tavern. Retired a long time ago and luvin it.

    Bob

  10. #10
    LEAD MAGNET



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    I use straight WWs. For 9mm and 40 SW I cold-quench them. I air-cool 45 Autos. thats it. They work just fine for me. For high volume casting, straight WWs make it simple.

    For high power or precision shooting, the devil is in the details! For precision casting, I would defer to others on this forum...more experience than I have!

  11. #11
    Boolit Master


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    depends on what your looking for. WW will work just fine and shouldnt lead but if your looking for the best accuracy harder is usually better. I usually cast a pile of auto gun bullets out of ww and use them for practice but when im competeing i like my bullets as accurate as they can be and depending on the gun will usually cast out of 5050 ww/lino or even straight lino. But like you said lino is getting tough to find and one of these days im going to have to start fooling with heat treating some ww for them.
    sixgun junky

  12. #12
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lloyd Smale View Post
    depends on what your looking for. WW will work just fine and shouldnt lead but if your looking for the best accuracy harder is usually better. I usually cast a pile of auto gun bullets out of ww and use them for practice but when im competeing i like my bullets as accurate as they can be and depending on the gun will usually cast out of 5050 ww/lino or even straight lino. But like you said lino is getting tough to find and one of these days im going to have to start fooling with heat treating some ww for them.



    I am thinking I am going to do WW and water dropping....

    I am really just looking for plinking rounds to practice a lot with my KAHR PM40


    Thanks!

  13. #13
    Boolit Mold
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    First post here

    Is it alright if I quench WW molds for my 45? Or would it be better to let them air cool? This is for WW only.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master fredj338's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elixin77 View Post
    First post here

    Is it alright if I quench WW molds for my 45? Or would it be better to let them air cool? This is for WW only.
    IMO, ac ww are fine for 45acp. It's a low pressure round, the bullet upests a bit to take the rifling, accuracy is good.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master knifemaker's Avatar
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    I cast a 230 gr. TC bullet my practice load on 45 ACP and a plinking load for the 44 Spec. that I have taken up to 1000 fps. Both loads use a 50/50 mix of clip on wheel weights and pure lead from x-ray sheathing.

    After several thousand rounds of the above bullets, I have never encounterd any leading in several 45acp pistols and my Ruger 44 spec. Blackhawk. Have had very good fillout in my molds. For your pistol loads that are 1000-1100 fps, you normally do not need hard cast bullets if they are sized for the barrel of the gun you will use them in.
    When I kick the 255 gr. load for the 44 spec. to 1200 fps, I use straight clip on wheel weight and still no leading. Both alloys give me great accuracy in both 45acp and 44 spec.

  16. #16
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by knifemaker View Post
    I cast a 230 gr. TC bullet my practice load on 45 ACP and a plinking load for the 44 Spec. that I have taken up to 1000 fps. Both loads use a 50/50 mix of clip on wheel weights and pure lead from x-ray sheathing.

    After several thousand rounds of the above bullets, I have never encounterd any leading in several 45acp pistols and my Ruger 44 spec. Blackhawk. Have had very good fillout in my molds. For your pistol loads that are 1000-1100 fps, you normally do not need hard cast bullets if they are sized for the barrel of the gun you will use them in.
    When I kick the 255 gr. load for the 44 spec. to 1200 fps, I use straight clip on wheel weight and still no leading. Both alloys give me great accuracy in both 45acp and 44 spec.



    What lube are you using Knifemaker??


    Thanks!

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
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