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Thread: Hardness Matters

  1. #21
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gibson View Post
    .With regards to "hardness" what does "Hardness is like everything else, it only matters if it does." mean?

    In the 60s, Hippies had a similar saying, if it feels good do it.

    It means that everything is discussed in endless detail with opinion on top of opinion.

    In the end, Professor Gun has the only opinion that matters.

    No rules.
    Evaluate everything you read for safety and use common sense.

  2. #22
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    Overall, an interesting test. There are some issues that need to be discussed.

    First, the whole range of hardnesses tested is pretty small and with most testers, I wonder if you
    could repeatably tell the BHN difference between one sample and the other due to the
    variability of the measurement process. Also, it is a bit odd that a TINY, almost unmeasurable
    change in hardness from 11BHN to 12.5 BHN makes a giant difference.

    Second, one set of groups is interesting but means almost nothing. If you can run the
    same test about 9 times more and get the same results it will be meaningful.

    Sorry to be a wet blanket, but there are so many variables in a test like this that are
    totally uncontrolled that drawing hard conclusions at this point is scientifically and statistically
    impossible. WAY too little data. It is an interestig result, and if confirmed by more
    repetitions, is very valuable. Color me skeptical until it is confirmed by at least 4-5 more
    identical results, and 9 would be a lot more valid.
    If it was easy, anybody could do it.

  3. #23
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    Yep, have to agree, there are a whoop of variables. Guess that's what keeps me casting/sizing/lubing, loading and shooting. If everything were exactly the same, and every group fired was min of angle, and, and, and. Sure do enjoy this forum!
    1Shirt!
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  4. #24
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    I studied the LEE book religiously for hours on end comparing the pressure vs velocity and so forth and have decided that the book is only right part of the time. A very small part. I shoot cast in 7.62 Nato and my boolits run around 15bhn. I shoot them with H-335 and Varget and get velocities in the 2200fps range. Accuracy is fine and there is no leading at all. My lead stock is comprised of straight clip on wheel weights that are air cooled and gas checked. All my boolits are lubed with 50/50 LLA JPW without the mineral spirits.
    Marty-hiding out in the hills.

  5. #25
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    Larry, you have broken the bank this time! Just maybe the best way it has ever been said.
    This deserves a "sticky"!

  6. #26
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    I spent quite some time in replying to the previous replies and posting the other targets when the site requested that I log in again. I did so and lost 45 minutes of text. Have a Honey-Do list to take care of and a Honey that's pushing the issue so if my post doesn't show up soon I'll write it again later this evening, in my text editor and SAVE IT before pasting it here.
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  7. #27
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    In my 45 ACP revolvers, hardness does matter. 12 BHN 200gr SWC shoot twice as accurate as 22 BHN. I have to increase pressure way past SAAMI limits to get hardcast bullets to even approach the assuracy I get with softer slugs. My 1911's don't care about hardness, but my revolvers do.

  8. #28
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    458 has seemed to have found the place where the Professor likes to be
    will that place be shared amongst the rest of the class has yet to be determined
    I doubt it ...........
    Hit em'hard
    hit em'often

  9. #29
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    What's hard and what's not?
    When I first started casting , I thought that any ingot that clanked or rang was hard lead.

    Truth is that you can put a little bit of just about anything in lead and it will not thud anymore.
    So far me a 15-16 bnh is pretty hard.
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  10. #30
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    Wow! I'm amazed at the responses. Keep in mind that I'm still very wet behind the ears when it comes to casting boolits. Being ignorant is bound to cause me to make some wrong assumptions at times. I realize that a single 5-shot group in no way is conclusive of anything. But at the same time, in comparison of the other targets, it stands out.

    I'm an experienced shooter and handloader but for 30 years or so I thought lead boolits were too soft to work in the guns I enjoyed shooting. Companies advertising their "hardcast" boolits that would shoot great in anything just misled me even more when they wouldn't shoot in my guns.

    After finding this forum and reading for hours I decided to try a new hobby. I've only scratched the surface but what little scratching I have done has been very encouraging. Getting ideas from you guys after sharing my test results has been fantastic.

    I have about 100 boolits left from the alloy that shot so well and of course I will shoot more groups with the same load. Unfortunately I could spend a lifetime trying to recreate the exact alloy. It was the first I mixed when my bottom pour kettle arrived. It was 5 pounds of linotype, 5 pounds of roof flashing, a partial roll of 60/40 rosin core solder that had something spilled on it that made it sputter when soldered with and a bunch of those purchased "hardcast" boolits that wouldn't shoot straight and filled my bore with lead.

    Last night I mixed pure lead with Roto's Hardball alloy to the same hardness. I put a rubber band around the Lee microscope and drop it into a Lee 452 sizing die mounted on my press. With the microscope stable I can slide the boolit around on the ram and focus by raising or lowering the ram. As some here have eluded to, the same hardness number doesn't make for the same alloy. They may not shoot well at all but I'll find out next week.

    btroj: All groups were fired from a portable bench at 25 yards from a scoped (Leupold M8-4X EER) Freedom Arms 454 Casull with a 6 inch barrel using 2 sandbags. Recoil is light with this load so flinching wasn't an issue. All boolits were sized .452 and generously pan lubed with beeswax and petroleum jelly, about 9/1.

    At the beginning of this year I had never cast anything but pure lead for my muzzleloader so I’m very much encouraged with these early results.



    WW at 10.1 BHN


    11.0 BHN


    12.5 BHN


    Rotometal’s Hardball alloy at 14.3 BHN


    Roof Flashing and Roto’s Superhard at 15.4 BHN
    Last edited by .458; 03-05-2011 at 06:34 PM. Reason: Pictures are in next Post
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  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by .458 View Post
    I spent quite some time in replying to the previous replies and posting the other targets when the site requested that I log in again. I did so and lost 45 minutes of text. Have a Honey-Do list to take care of and a Honey that's pushing the issue so if my post doesn't show up soon I'll write it again later this evening, in my text editor and SAVE IT before pasting it here.
    Been there, done that, got the tee shirt! Nothing worse than getting a post just right and then having it disappear.

  12. #32
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    Having the pics not show up is also a pain.









    Last edited by .458; 03-05-2011 at 06:32 PM. Reason: Pictures Didn't Post
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  13. #33
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    Larry and some others have brought up something I've been preaching on for some time- alignment. I spend a lot of time reading old American Rifleman mags from back in the 30's, 40's and 50's. I don't know how many times I've seen reference to poor grouping with spitzer type boolits like the 311413 "Squibb" boolit or some of the real short bodied number like the 323366. Without perfect alignment those long noses are going to work like a lever on those relatively fragile boolits. Push them faster and they just get worse. It simply makes sense, yet nowhere in my reading did I ever see any discussion of alignment as regards cast boolits- till I got here.

    I keep harping on this board being THE cutting edge for cast, no matter what some famous author says. I maintain I'm correct!

  14. #34
    Nice pics and results .458. If you think folks here are obsessed with cast boolits, you'd be right. It's a good thing though.

    I use those Dirty Birds too, they work well.
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  15. #35
    Bret4207: When you say alignment, it sounds like bullet alignment in the gun and how it affects stability after it's out of the gun. Am I getting that right?
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  16. #36
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    458 what you have shown here is exactly what

    several of the folks I know /shoot with say

    And some here have alluded to

    And some others have let their education get in the way of

    Perfessor gun will tell us what shoots well, hardness of a certain level or not

    And as the PhHds all said and were adamant about being the absolute truth in all cases . . .

    In dealing with higher temperatures or pressures the statement it should behave thusly should be preceeded by an experiment to show that and that it true, not known not . . . NOT based on scientific suppostition.

    Thus shoot it, if it does well, that is a good combination for your gun.
    Nothing is impossible for the person that does not have to do it.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by 357shooter View Post
    Bret4207: When you say alignment, it sounds like bullet alignment in the gun and how it affects stability after it's out of the gun. Am I getting that right?
    Alignment as in having the boolit aligned with the case and the case aligned with the chamber. Picture seating a boolit with a long nose, of less than bore diameter, crooked. It happens, I've even done it with wad cutters! Any way, then picture that brass you seated the boolit into crooked being FL resized and that you have a sloppy chamber to start with. That would be about the max for chances of poor shooting in a rifle, in a revolver add in that the cylinder doesn't index well. Now picture that cartridge pretty much laying in the bottom of the chamber wit the boolit nose pointing towards 3:00. Then the next round it might be at 7:00 or 12:00. Every time you shoot the boolit is leaving thr case headed in a different direction. The boolit slams into the leade and is deformed to an extent, giving you a bent boolit to one degree or another. The base is not aligned with the nose, one side of the boolit may show it's further into the rifling than the other. So what happens when it hits the muzzle? No more barrel walls to contain the boolit and it's now somewhat slanted base. As the boolit exits the muzzle the powder gases may be released sooner on one side of the base than the other causing even more imbalance. As the boolit flies the nose works like a lever or an out of balance tire on your car and flies far more wildly than a boolit in balance. The less support the boolit has over it's length, the poorer the fit of the boolit, the less aligned it is then the more chance that things will go haywire.

    Hope that helps illustrate what I'm saying.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by .458 View Post
    Having the pics not show up is also a pain.









    Your dispersion is almost all horizontal. That strikes me as extremely odd to the point of wondering if this isn't a mechanical issue.

  19. #39
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    Thanks for posting the other groups. I am with Bret in that the almost all horizontal dispersions makes it look like it could be a problem in how the gun was held or how it was sitting on the rest for some of the other groups.
    If we seem cynical or harsh it is because we have seen too many times where one group was a fluke, not a real proof of anything. If you can go out and repeat these results a couple more time it becomes far more believable.
    I am willing to agree however that extreme hardness is not needed at lower velocities and pressures. Every gun and load combo will have a hardness it wants with that bullet.

    As for Bass's comment that hardness only matters when it does- I agree entirely. Hardness is just another variable in shooting. It is no more, or less, important than factors like diameter, pressure, velocity, lube, bullet fit, etc. When you are at a point in load development where a simple increase or decrease in hardness makes "the difference" then it matters, if that change does not improve things then it obviously didn't matter. We can only find out if hardness matters in our gun/load situation by finding out thru testing. Bass is simply stating that the assumptions made about hardness are not always right, not always wrong, but they are always an assumption. Hope I explained that well Bass.

    Brad

  20. #40
    Bret4207: Thanks, that description was perfect.
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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
GC Gas Check