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Thread: Lead Hardness in pellets

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy

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    Lead Hardness in pellets

    Guys

    Here is some of the pellet testing, I have completed so far.

    Notes:
    I started with a Steadler set of pencils from the 8B thru the 2H,
    all pencils were sharpened to a point as provided via a 23* Steadler pencil shapener,
    with the point flattened to 90* with approximately .030" diameter of pencil lead,
    then re sharpened/flatten as needed to maintain a point.

    I did a 5 pellet random sample from each can, using a new pellet for each test,
    I held the pencil at approximately 45* angle,
    and pushed the pencil to have the point bearing inline with the length of the shaft.

    If the pencil lead slid along the skirt (bottom edge towards the waist),
    and left no marks that could be seen or felt (via finger nail), I marked it has as = did not cut = DNC,
    if the pencil lead left a visible mark and could be felt, I marked it as CUT, any other notes were noted etc.

    I also noted approximately how long I have had some of these pellets, some of these pellets were from the 70's,
    and ALL are OEM pellets as produced via their brands/types etc, and if they had a model/type or number,
    for each pellet, it was noted.

    There was a surprise with the noted hardness..........of a certain brand names..........

    I started with the 22 caliber first...........which I shoot the most of for starling sniping........

    JSB 22 caliber
    Exact Jumbo-15.89-gr-6B DNC/5B cut=BHN=7/8
    Jumbo Heavy-18.13 gr-6B DNC/5B cut=BHN=7/8
    Jumbo Monster Redesigned-25.39 gr-7B DNC/6B cut=BHN=4/5
    Ultra Shock Heavy-25.39-7B DNC/6B cut=BHN=4/5

    H&N
    Field Target Trophy-#1069-14.66 gr-7B DNC/6B cut=BHN=4/5
    Field Target Trophy-#10618-14.66 gr-7B DNC/6B cut=BHN=4/5
    Baracuda Match-#10632-21.14 gr-7B DNC/6B cut=BHN=4/5
    Baracuda Match-#02187-21.14 gr-7B DNC/6B cut=BHN=4/5

    Crosman Premier Dome-14.13 gr-8B DNC/7B cut=BHN=? (this can is 5-6 yrs old)
    Crosman Premier Dome-14.13 gr-6B DNC/5b cut=BHN=7/8 (new can just bought this yr)

    Skenco
    NewBoy HP-20.3 gr-8B DNC/7B cut=BHN=?
    Newboy Jr-20.3 gr-8B DNC/7B cut=BHN=?
    Ultra Shock HP-16.66 gr-8B DNC/7B cut=BHN=?

    Ruger Super Point-16.80 gr-7B DNC/6B cut=BHN=4/5

    Gamo
    Platium PBA-9.7 gr-2B DNC/B cut=BHN=13
    Red Fire Poly Tip-15.4 gr-5B DNC/4B cut=BHN=9

    Beeman (these pellets are at least 20+ yrs old)
    Silver Bear HP-#3040-12.3 gr-7B DNC/6B cut=BHN=4/5
    Silver Sting PT-#3025-15.4 gr-6B DNC/5B cut=BHN=7/8
    Lazer Dome-#3100-13.4 gr-5B DNC/4B cut=BHN=9
    Silver Arrow PT-#3088-16.5 gr-6B DNC/5B cut-BHN=7/8
    Crow Mag HP-#3002-18.2 gr-6B DNC/5B cut=BHN=7/8
    Kodiak Dome-21.14 gr-6B DNC/5B cut=BHN=7/8

    Benjaman Sampler Pack
    Dome Mag-14.13 gr-5B DNC/4B cut=BHN=9
    Dome HP-14.13 gr-5B DNC/4B cut=BHN=9
    Pointed-14.13 gr-5B DNC/4B cut=BHN=9
    Dome-14.13 gr-5B DNC/4B cut=BHN=9

    JSB Sampler pack
    Straton PT-15.9 gr-7B DNC/6B cut=BHN=4/5
    Jumbo RS Dome-13.4 gr-8B DNC/7B cut=BHN=?
    Jumbo Monster-25.4 gr-6B DNC/5B cut=BHN=7/8
    Jumbo Heavy-18.1 gr-7B DNC/6B cut=BHN=4/5

    17 Cal
    Crosman Premier HP-7.9 gr-6B DNC/5B cut=BHN=7/8 (new can just bought this yr)

    Gamo
    Whisper-10.5 gr-5B DNC/4B cut=BHN=9
    Tomahawk-7.8 gr-5B DNC/4B cut=BHN=9

    25 Caliber
    Beeman (these pellets are at least 20 yrs+ old)
    Silver Arrow-#3008-24.2 gr-7B DNC/6B cut=BHN=4/5
    Crow Mag HP-#3003-25.6 gr-7B DNC/6B cut=BHN=4/5

    Pencil Hardness -vs- Brinell Hardness of lead alloys
    Pencil # BHN # Alloy
    8B....?
    7B....?
    6B....4-5...Pure Lead-sheet Lead-Lead Wire
    5B....7-8...40/1 Lead-Tin = Plummers Lead
    4B....9......25/1 Lead-Tin
    3B....10....20/1 Lead-Tin = Clip on Wheel Weights
    2B....11-12.Range Scrap-Air cooled Wheel Weights
    B......13...Quenched Range Scrap/WW+2% Tin
    HB....14-15..Lyman #2 Alloy/1-1 Linotype Lead
    F.......16-18..Lyman #2 Alloy Quenched - Commerical cast bullets
    HB....20-22..50/50 Linotype/Wheel Weights
    2H....26-28..Quenched Wheel Weights/Monotype


    Here is a chart to use: (post# 2 for the chart)
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...rdness-testing

    Your thoughts or suggestions.............

    I hope others will follow along and provide more info/results, for all to use...............

    Tia,
    Don

  2. #2
    Boolit Master 35 shooter's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting your results on this, and the time and effort you put into it.
    I was surprised at the hardness of some of the pellets listed.

    I picked up some tomahawks recently for my .177 and thought they were softish until I saw them penetrate 3/8” into a pine board at 20 yds. From a little Daisy 880.
    I was very surprised they did’nt just flatten out against the board, but with a bhn of around 9, I see why they penetrated so well now.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    With cast bullets, I've been lead to believe that when the lead alloy is harder it in some way generally means that the bullets will be lighter than bullets cast of pure or near pure lead.

    Did you find that the pellets you stated as being older pellets now weighed less than they originally weighed when first bought? I understand that cast bullets when left unused for a long time will harden but does this mean that they also lighten in weight as well; and if so, would this hold true for pellets as well or does the mass of the projectile have some bearing on this?

    HollowPoint

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy

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    I found out why my 79/HPA that was shooting extremely accurate with OEM crosman's, (Old Ones),
    and when I changed to the new ones, accuracy went into the toilet, it had to be the hardness changes,
    when Crosman changed their lead hardness, as nothing else was changed during my tests.
    I was pulling my hair out attempting to figure it out and why.

    Now, I know what hardness range to buy for pellets, in the 22 cal caliber,
    and I plan on casting pellets from the NOE molds for the 79.

    HP
    That info is unknown to me, I can weigh some, as there is NO weight that is written on the can,
    Beeman 25 cal, Crow Magnum #3003, weigh in at 25.6 grs, and the Silver Arrow #3089 are 24.2 grs.
    note, that NONE of these (OLD) Beeman pellets have their weights listed on the cans, for any caliber......

    I have melted some pure lead, cable sheathing (know the date I done it) and I have tested it,
    and will will test again in a short time period, to see if there is any difference/results etc.

    I have some WW and lino/ww poured ingot (from the 70's) and will test them also, just to see the results.

    What I am after, is the PUREST lead I can find, just a small sample to test the 7B & 8B pencils and see the results,
    I know from the Roto-Metal site/emails that their pure lead is 5 on the hardness scale,
    I have some pellets coming to test for hardness using the pencils test etc.

    Here is the GTA site where we can now post info relating to casting/using pellets:
    https://www.gatewaytoairguns.org/GTA...hp?board=229.0

    HTH,

    Tia,
    Don

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    In my casting of .25 and .30 cal. pellets the pure lead ones have been more accurate than any made from harder alloy.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy

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    MT Chambers

    Thank you for the info,

    What alloy did you cast the pellets from?

    Have you tested the hardness of these pellets as cast compared to the original alloy?

    Tia,
    Don

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I have not compared alloy with factory pellets but my most accurate cast pellets are made from pure 100% lead.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy

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    Guys

    I just tested some of Roto-Metals 99.9% pure lead, using the pencil test and found this info out,
    a 8B would not cut and a 7B would cut this lead.

    So this pig of lead is soft, which might rate a BHN hardness of 4, instead of the 5/6 scale,
    that pure lead is rated at now, on the pencil test scale?

    These were cast pellets and bullets, 22 caliber.

    Your thoughts or suggestions, as for the hardness scale rating.....

    Tia,
    Don

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Is the accuracy that you are referring to just out of one of your air rifles or across the board with any or all of your other air guns? I'm asking because I had plans of buying one of the NOE .22 pellet molds once they come out with the one I've had my eye on but, I had also planned on casting those pellets using the stick-on lead weights.

    This is not pure lead but if I remember correctly the hardness level is around the 8 Brinell hardness. I figured this would be soft enough. My reason for asking about the weight in my previous post was because the pellet mold in question is said to cast the lightest pellets at 20 grains. I figured I might be able to lighten the weight of the pellet by alloying my lead a bit but, if harder pellets are less accurate I may have to stick with the 20 grains they are listed at. I may be able to figure out a way to symmetrically and cleanly hollow point them to reduce the weight closer to the store bought 18 grain pellets that all three of my air rifles like so much.

    I'm wondering if the reason for the loss of accuracy is because harder alloyed lead may not have the various ingredients mixed evenly through out the pellets so there are undetectable light spots and heavy spots distributed around the pellet's makeup and diameter?

    HollowPoint

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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