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Thread: hardness of range lead

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    hardness of range lead

    I use recovered shotgun slugs as a source for pure lead
    but what about pistol bullets?
    How hard are jacketed cores in the common cals,
    and are wadcutters the same?
    If this is already on the site please point me in the right direction.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    btroj's Avatar
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    I just melt it all together. Mine goes 11 or 12 BHn air cooled and 14 to 16 water dropped.

    It makes a nice bullet for hunting....

  3. #3
    Boolit Master


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    All of the range scrap that I have is from jacketed, and comes in at 12 to 15 bhn. There is definitely some antimony in it.

    Shad
    I believe in gold, silver, & lead, and the rights of free honest men... You can keep the "CHANGE"!

    Shad

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Any Cal.'s Avatar
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    My range scrap water drops pretty hard, but there is quite a bit of commercial cast in it. With mostly jacketed cores you probably won't get much.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master


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    I just received the results from some range lead I had analyzed yesterday. It was 1.2% antimony, 97.33% lead, and .862% copper. The copper was a surprise and the absence of tin was another. This is pretty soft and I'm thinking the best use would be for 45 acp or 38 special bullets. I would want to "sweeten" it for anything faster or with more pressure. This was a sample of the range scrap from Ft. Hood being sold on this site in the swapping and sellin' section. I'm certain different batches of range scrap would test differently.
    Take care,
    Rick

  6. #6
    Boolit Master


    Kraschenbirn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samwithacolt View Post
    I use recovered shotgun slugs as a source for pure lead
    but what about pistol bullets?
    How hard are jacketed cores in the common cals,
    and are wadcutters the same?
    If this is already on the site please point me in the right direction.
    Like btroj, overall the range lead I recover from our club's pistol line runs around 11-12 BHn, air-cooled, after fluxing and skimming off the trash.

    At one time, out of curiousity, I smelted down a few pounds of jacketed stuff and found the cores to be pretty close to pure lead for hardness.

    Wadcutters, though, can vary considerably. Swaged WCs are almost always pure lead but cast can be anything from 'range scrap' hardness to COWW+. 10-15 years ago, a shooting buddy owned one of the largest (sales volume) cast boolit companies in the U.S. and they used the same 'enriched' #2 alloy for their cast wadcutters as for their Keith SWCs.

    Bill
    "I'm not often right but I've never been wrong."

    Jimmy Buffet
    "Scarlet Begonias"

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I was wondering if recovered pistol bullets would be sift enough
    for my .38-55 at 11-1200 fps. Maybe 50/50 with pure lead and
    throw in some sodder.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master


    Kraschenbirn's Avatar
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    Smokeless or BP? I use straight range scrap, with just a touch of tin added, when casting .38-55 boolits for smokeless loads in my .38-55 Highwall but those don't shoot for c**p with BP.

    Bill
    "I'm not often right but I've never been wrong."

    Jimmy Buffet
    "Scarlet Begonias"

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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