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Thread: Hardness Matters

  1. #121
    Boolit Bub
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    Mar 2010
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    25
    Catboat, no I have not tried to duplicate the test. I have about 500 boolits left from the original alloy that I've been shooting. I can duplicate the hardness but I didn't write down what the mixture was. I've handloaded my own ammunition for decades but casting boolits is a new game for me so I'm still jumping from gun to gun and just plain having fun.

    Right now I'm casting for my S&W 696 in 44-Special and a model 60 in 38-Special. Both guns seem to like BHN 8.0 and HS-6 powder. I'm sure there are better loads that I'll adopt when I find them.

    I swore off lead boolits 30 years ago because they turned my 357 into a smoothbore. I lost 30 years of casting experience due to my jumping to conclusions. If we had the internet and this forum around back then I'd be an expert by now.
    Patriot to the Concept of a Nation that Owes its Greatness to the Liberties its People Demand

  2. #122
    Boolit Buddy
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    This is a concept I've heard from several old timers. When I mention leading and hardness, they always say the same thing. Size. Size and lube is much more important than hardness. I hope it's true, because I don't have a tester......

  3. #123
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    39
    I'd say....the amount of bearing surface to the bullet compared to the diameter(weight) of it is an important factor especially considering the rate of twist to the rifling of the barrel.
    A wider range of hardness/maleability to the bullet at a wider range of vel./pressure should be able to be realized using a bullet with the most bearing surface possible compared to the sectional density of the bullet.
    If you take a .223 bullet in the heavy range it'll be longer so it'll need faster rifling twist so it'll need the most bearing surface the bullet can manage in it's design and that will let it perform the best in a widder range of all the variables like maliability...vel./pressure....bullet alloy hardness......powder burn rate ect...ect..ect...
    I'd say.....take a bullet with the most bearing surface it can have with it's inherent sectional density when using any lead alloy in a good gun(naturally) with a good alignment of the chamber....chambers(with revolvers) to the bore and start at the min. loading and slowly work up a .10 or two gr. weight of any powder listed in the manual and try the loads in lots of a certain number of at least 20 cartridges to a lot.
    Watch for any increase or decrease in accuracy and any other problems like barrel leading. When you get to where you can see the most accurate load without leading of the barrel then you have the fastest load that powder with that bullet can achieve with that alloy.
    When things go the wrong way or you aren't satisfied with the accuracy then.....change one variable at a time untill you figure you have the best you're going to get with that bullet made of that alloy with that pressure/velosity from that certain powder.
    I'd have to say....the starting point is to get the bullet with the most bearing surface compared to the sectional density and keep the length of the bullet compatable with the rifle/handgun rifling twist and.......always make sure one of the variables is bullet diameter that ,with lead alloy bullets, is right at or .001-.002 (sometmes .003) bigger than the groove diameter of the barrel rifling.
    If someone believes smokeless powder has the ability to obsturate the alloy bullet then going to a slower burn powder might help but......I don't thunk obsturation of bullets using smokeless powder is all people seem to crack it up to be. I think obsturation is more a black powder concern and figure fracturing harder cast bullets due to set back entering the rifling isn't as prevelent as some believe......unless the gun has a chamber alignment to the bore problem.
    I ain't no expert....that's just the opinion I have about some things shooting lead alloy bullets. I just figger the bearing surface of the bullet in any cast lead alloy should be as much as is possible to work in a widder range. If the bullet has too much non-bearing to the front section then it has less to work against the bullet resisting the centrifical forces and fracturng or destructing the lands(what goes in the rifling grooves) imprinted on the bullet.
    Does this make any sense to anyone but me????? ha ha ha ha
    Last edited by Enyaw; 11-29-2013 at 12:45 PM.

  4. #124
    Boolit Master Walstr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 357shooter View Post
    FYI, you might be interested to see some test results that debunks alloy/pressure matching in a 357.

    I "speculate" that alloy/pressure matching doesn't apply to 99.9% of handguns.

    http://357shooter.blogspot.com/2010/...and-alloy.html
    IMHO -- Here's another case of technical folks listing "obturation" as "critical" when pressure & BHN are discussed. If the boolit FITS PROPERLY to engage the rifling, then "obturation" ain't a factor! Obturation seems to have been a critical element when using Minnie rounds within varying barrel manuf. specs. for sure.
    Novice caster & CWW miner.
    Mountain Mold 45-70-405, sized .461" dia; [for Marlin 1895GS]
    Lyman mold #429421 "Elmer Keith" style 255gr, Dbl Cavity; [for .44 Mag, S&W 629, 6"]
    Lyman #356402, 9mm, Sngl Cavity
    LEE #90282, 12ga Drive Key, 7/8oz Slug [for: 3-Gun]
    LEE #90349, 452-255RF, 6 Cavity [for 45 Colt & 45 Auto Rim]
    LEE #90697, 453-200RF, 6 Cavity [for 45 Colt SASS, 216gr act. lubed]

  5. #125
    How hard would you want to make a standard 9mm boolit before harbor powder coating it?

  6. #126
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dposey717 View Post
    How hard would you want to make a standard 9mm boolit before harbor powder coating it?
    Dposey717,
    welcome to the forum.
    I'm assuming you may be new to loading castboolits in 9mm, here is a good read. While PC isn't covered in the OP, alloy is mentioned in the end...But there is lots of great info, that may answer some of the questions you haven't thought of asking yet.
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...s-in-a-new-9mm

  7. #127
    Boolit Mold BOOLITCASTER83's Avatar
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    So my favorite load is 45LC with six grains of trail boss pushing a 300 gr Hornady XTP. No cronogragh does anyone have any thoughts on this. This load is on the light side I believe but case is not full. This lad is very fun to shoot

  8. #128
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    315
    You Cast Boolit Guys are the experts, but in Semi Auto Pistol Loading, GONRA finds
    harder bullet alloys are needed with worn or otherwise shallow groove depth barrels.

  9. #129
    Boolit Man
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    Iroquois Falls, Ontario Canada
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    YIKES, what a read . The question in my mind that lead me to read this thread was,,, How hard is to hard? and I think I have an answer that makes sense to me. I have really only just gotten into casting in the last two years and got serious about it this season.
    In trying to get an acceptable group with a 577 Snider I experienced just what "44man" said on page one,,, "The first indication of GC boolits too soft will be fliers. 2 or 3 in one hole, then a few fliers. PB too soft will just have large groups. As boolits get harder, groups will tighten. When fliers go away, the lead is right and there is no need to go harder but even harder has never opened my groups.",,,,,,,,,,,, An experiment going from dead soft lead to some 14 BHN WW metal did tighten up my groups considerably. Of coarse this did lead me to the question of,, how hard should I go?,,,, On page six I got a clue from "Nickle",,,, "Do avoid using terms that are relative, such as "hard". Brinell number may not be the whole answer, but it isn't relative. Now, malleability has everything to do with the subject, hand in hand with hardness. A bullet has to be soft enough to obturate, yet neither soft or hard enough to lead. Where that plays out, depends on the caliber, twist, velocity and bullet fit. And design plays a major factor there.",,,,,,

    So I come to the conclusion that if the bullet metal is so hard that it becomes brittle (as some of my scrap babbit metal does) it is to hard.

    Winter has set in here so I won't get to mix up some "custom alloys" with the scrap that I have until next spring but I think I know the direction to go in now. Thanks for the great info.

  10. #130
    Boolit Master Walstr's Avatar
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    Hey BOOLITCASTER83; I settled on 5.5gr Trailboss, 210gr home cast boolits, LEE #90697 mold, in annealed 45LC cases, for my CAS shooting. Originally more powder was needed to reduce the dirty blowback, so I decided to try annealing. It works & I had success with just 5 gr TB, but decided to settle on 5.5gr TB to extend the clean shooting as the cases harden over time.
    Last edited by Walstr; 11-22-2016 at 03:08 PM. Reason: corrected mold #
    Novice caster & CWW miner.
    Mountain Mold 45-70-405, sized .461" dia; [for Marlin 1895GS]
    Lyman mold #429421 "Elmer Keith" style 255gr, Dbl Cavity; [for .44 Mag, S&W 629, 6"]
    Lyman #356402, 9mm, Sngl Cavity
    LEE #90282, 12ga Drive Key, 7/8oz Slug [for: 3-Gun]
    LEE #90349, 452-255RF, 6 Cavity [for 45 Colt & 45 Auto Rim]
    LEE #90697, 453-200RF, 6 Cavity [for 45 Colt SASS, 216gr act. lubed]

  11. #131
    Boolit Man
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Iroquois Falls, Ontario Canada
    Posts
    96

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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