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Thread: How Hard is Federal Magnum Shot when melted for casting?

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
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    How Hard is Federal Magnum Shot when melted for casting?

    I have a new 25# bag of Federal Premium Magnum Shot that I purchased for melting and casting boolits with. It says "Hard, High Antimony Lead". Any idea how hard that would be? I am looking to cast some hard bullets in the Lyman #2 range, or Brinell hardness around 16 for 500 S&W and 454 Cassull. How hard is this shot in comparison? I know I can order a hardness tester for $50 or so, but I figured I'd ask here first. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master



    jmort's Avatar
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    Magnum shot is typically around 4 to 5% antimony with a dash of arsenic
    Add some tin and you have a fine bullet alloy
    "Had his shooting been as good as his running, he might have given a better account of himself."
    James. C. Henderson

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    Hickory's Avatar
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    I'm guessing between 12-16 BHN.
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  4. #4
    Boolit Man
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    If you have any segnificant quantity shot I would sell it and get known alloys since shot is more valuable as shot than lead.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    it is actually re-bagged Rio shot with an antimony content of 3%
    it's all an educated guess,,,, till the trigger is pulled.

    this opinion brought to you by mister low-tech solution..

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Shot is a mess to melt down if you haven't done it before. The graphite is a pain to clean up IMO. I melted some down once and won't do it ever again.

  7. #7
    Boolit Man
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    How much do you have? I need shot at reasonable prices, let me know if we can work out a trade

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  8. #8
    Boolit Master



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    "Produced with strict quality control, Federal Magnum lead shot is sure to deliver the performance and reliability you expect. Magnum Lead Shot is harder and slightly less dense than Chilled lead shot. Harder shot is more prone to retain its spherical shape during the firing sequence. Some shooters prefer Magnum's hardness advantage because it will likely pattern more predictably than softer shot. Magnum lead shot contains 4-6% antimony."

    Chilled Shot is usually around 2 to 3%
    Magnum is as I stated, typically
    "Had his shooting been as good as his running, he might have given a better account of himself."
    James. C. Henderson

  9. #9
    Boolit Man
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    Well I usually see alloys in a parts ratio, not as a percent. I don't know what 4-6% antimony translates to in the alloy. My bullets are gas check designs, so I don't think I need super hard alloy. In fact, I am hoping these will rivet to some extent on target to offer more tissue damage. In the past I have water quenched the bullets when they drop from the mold, but i didn't on this batch. Not sure how much that matters though.

    As for the shot, I can buy it locally. I only buy it when I am in the mood to cast some, but since I don't get to shoot as much as I once did, I don't cast as much as I want--I run out of empty brass to load up.

    As far as melting the shot, it melts pretty easy, and the dross, and graphite float. So I scrape it off. No issues.
    Last edited by Ironduke; 01-08-2018 at 01:28 AM.

  10. #10
    The alloy calculator shows Magnum 6 and 9 at 4% Sb with a BHN of 13.
    The alloy calculator shows Magnum 7-8.5 at 6% Sb ALSO with a BHN of 13.

    Those numbers originally came from http://www.ballisticproducts.com/Lea...d/products/68/ per the notes.

  11. #11
    Boolit Man
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    Hmmm. SO these bullets are likely 3 BHN less than what the Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook recommends for the bullets I'm wanting. That assumes I didn't lose antimony from the initial alloy during the melt and scraping off the dross. That sucks, because I alread lubed and seated gas checks on these bullets. I guess I can load them down and plink with them.

  12. #12
    Boolit Man
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    So before I do anything with these bullets, I am curious about what my risks are. If the potential for poor accuracy is a problem, I can live with that for plinking purposes. If the risk is they might shatter on game, I am also okay with that because I believe the mass and expected velocity will do what I need done, at least on the size and toughness of the game I am looking at shooting. If the risk is that they might come apart at the forcing cone of the revolvers I plan to use, that is something else entirely.

    I loaded 10 rounds in 45 Colt using PMC brass, CCI 300 primers, 4 gr. of Trailboss, and these 300 gr WFNGC sized to .452". Shooting in a Ruger SRH, so I have plenty of room in the cylinder. The boolits, by the way, sure feel hard. They dang sure don't scratch with a thumb nail.

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
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    I use magnum shot alot, having been given several hundred pounds of it a while ago. I cast 9mm, .38 and .45 boolits with them in target pistol loads and add some tin and water drop for my target rifle loads. All have performed to my satisfaction. Been a while since I tested the hardness of them. Iíll test some soon and get back.

    Jeff

  14. #14
    Boolit Master lefty o's Avatar
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    hard to say exactly what they are selling, but having worked a few years in the lead plant at federal, the premium stuff loaded in shells is 5%, the stuff loaded in promo shells is approx 3%, and the plated shot in the hunting loads is 4%. the 4, and 5% stuff is purchased (not from rio), and the 3% stuff is made in house.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    if you been gone a year or two they done changed and went cheap.
    their federal grand shot shells are now their old promo shells just with the C-5 wad and a white color with a steel head and 3% antimony lead.
    they are repackaging shot from Rio with the federal name on it.
    Rio is making most if not all of their shot shell stuff now under contract.
    the whole shot shell world has turned on it's ear in the last year or two.
    it's all an educated guess,,,, till the trigger is pulled.

    this opinion brought to you by mister low-tech solution..

  16. #16
    Boolit Master lefty o's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by runfiverun View Post
    if you been gone a year or two they done changed and went cheap.
    their federal grand shot shells are now their old promo shells just with the C-5 wad and a white color with a steel head and 3% antimony lead.
    they are repackaging shot from Rio with the federal name on it.
    Rio is making most if not all of their shot shell stuff now under contract.
    the whole shot shell world has turned on it's ear in the last year or two.
    i know who makes what of their shells, as of current day only the walmart 4 packs are made by rio, and they suck!

  17. #17
    Boolit Man
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    Well I took one of the .501 440 gr bullets and banged on it with a hammer. I placed it, gas check down on the anvil portion of my vice, and smacked it 6 times with a stone hammer. The bullet did squish down, and bent, but I did hit it pretty hard. Who knows what accuracy will be with this bullet, but my alloy isn't brittle or anything I would call soft.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  18. #18
    Boolit Master lefty o's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    Well I took one of the .501 440 gr bullets and banged on it with a hammer. I placed it, gas check down on the anvil portion of my vice, and smacked it 6 times with a stone hammer. The bullet did squish down, and bent, but I did hit it pretty hard. Who knows what accuracy will be with this bullet, but my alloy isn't brittle or anything I would call soft.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Hard Lead.JPG 
Views:	5 
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    accuracy with that bullet, is going to be very poor!! LOL the rest of em are hopefully better.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master



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    Their bagged shot is as I stated
    As Federal themselves states
    "Had his shooting been as good as his running, he might have given a better account of himself."
    James. C. Henderson

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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