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Thread: How Hard is it?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy ACC's Avatar
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    How Hard is it?

    I am looking for opinions here. My brother said that the only good cast boolit was a hard one. So that being said. I have tons of alloy he melted into Lee ingots. I have tried the finger nail test, and I can't afford to go get a lead hardness tester, So in this memberships opinion how hard is it?

    My finger nail didn't do anything to it.

    ACC

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    If you cannot mark it with a thumbnail it is harder than 11 BHN.

    If you drop an ingot onto a concrete floor and it goes "plink" rather than "thud" is is harder than 15 BHN

    If you can clamp 1 inch of the ingot in a vise and break the rest off with a hammer, rather than it bending, it is harder than 20 BHN

    Hillbilly hardness tests are only approximate, but close enough.

    Hard bullets are unnecessary according to Keith:

    Elmer Keith’s book Sixgun Cartridges and Loads (1936) on pgs. 69-70 states:

    “For most revolver cartridges, including all light and normal pressure loads, there is no use to having the bullets harder than one part tin to twenty parts lead for really heavy loads a one to fifteen mixture is hard enough… For automatic pistols, the bullets should be very hard, consisting of about one part tin to ten parts of lead, in order for them to slide up easily out of the magazine into the chamber… A mixture of part tin and part antimony works very well for some heavy loads, but such very hard, brittle bullets are not needed for any revolver load except in the case of extreme penetration, where no upsettage or expansion is wanted.”



    I have found Keith's suggestions to work in my last 50 years experience following them.
    The ENEMY is listening.
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    Keep it to yourself.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    Hickory's Avatar
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    I hardly ever use any boolits over 12 BHN.
    With a gas check boolit and the right powder and lube you can get good velocities even with lead that is around 10 BHN.
    Political correctness is a national suicide pact.

    I am a sovereign individual, accountable
    only to God and my own conscience.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

    Hickory's Avatar
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    50/50 wheel weights and pure lead with very little tin -1-2%- make very good boolits that expands well.
    Political correctness is a national suicide pact.

    I am a sovereign individual, accountable
    only to God and my own conscience.

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master

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    There is a sticky floating around somewhere about using artist pencils to test hardness. A set is pretty cheap.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    Sounds like that stuff is harder than Chinese Algebra.

    I tend to run boolits on the softer side of the scale.
    As expensive as tin & shot is getting, I'd save it to (sparingly) alloy into pure Lead or what ya can scrounge as needed.
    Everyone can learn from their mistakes.
    However; it's less painful, and cheaper to learn from the mistakes of others.

    Old age and treachery will always overcome youth, and skill.

    OK folks. Enough of this idle chit chat. This ain't no retirement home.
    EVERYONE!!
    Back to your oars. The Captain wants to waterski.

  7. #7
    AKA: GRMPS Conditor22's Avatar
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    Try this, get's you close and is much cheaper

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...-testing-trick


  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy ACC's Avatar
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    My brother was a harder the better guy. I have found that out hunting with cast boolits, this is not always what you want. Although I have taken many a feral hog with boolits that he cast super hard, we would argue over this. I would like at least a little expansion to make up for not the best shot. That is why I am trying to make my boolits in the 8-10 range.

    BTW may I give ROTO metals a big thank-you here? When I brought all the metal my brother had, he had recast them into smaller ingots, so I had no idea what their makeup was. Since we also cast for muzzle loaders I called them and they gave me the contents of his last four orders. They didn't have to but it helped me try to figure what was in all those blocks he had at his house. It helped but I still don't know exactly.

    ACC

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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