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Thread: Good 9mm and .40 alloy?

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold RockRat64's Avatar
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    Good 9mm and .40 alloy?

    Hello,

    New to casting! Never really thought I would get into it. I think I was worried about it. But as I have become more comfortable with reloading and enjoy it so much, now I can't wait to cast my own boolits! I am currently reading the Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook. I skipped over the casting section in my Lyman 50th Edition book, but now I plan on going back and reading that also.

    I am planning on casting 9mm and .40 (125gr and 175gr over bullseye) possibly even staying with the starting load. I've been shooting 124gr jhp over 3.9gr bulleyes and so far it has been fine. I do most of my shooting at an indoor range so nothing over 25 yards and usually just within 7-15. I will mostly be shooting a Sig p320 (9mm) compact and a Sig p229 legion compact (.40) so short barrels. I feel like I kind of made a mistake in buying pure lead and should have just bought some Lyman #2. Now I am wondering what I should mix it with. Should I make Lyman #2 alloy? Or will a 20:1 with tin be fine? I will size and lube with alox. In the end I'm really just looking for something safe to plink around with.

    Thanks for the help

  2. #2
    Boolit Master gnostic's Avatar
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    My bullets are water dropped range scrap, bought online for as close to a buck a pound as I can find. I load 38SPL, 357Mag, 9mm, 38 Super, 44SPL, 44Mag, 45ACP, 45LC, 7.62x39 and 3030Win without leading the barrel. Save the #2 Lyman for mixing with cheaper alloy...
    Last edited by gnostic; 03-29-2020 at 09:12 PM.

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master popper's Avatar
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    Get some Roto metal super hard and add for 2% to your pure. You don't really need tin for shooting paper nor SD.
    Whatever!

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    95-3-2 works for me for 9mm and moderate velocities. Depending on fill out, less tin might work, and if you coat the boolits (powder coat or HiTek) many say that a softer alloy works just fine.

    For just about everything you need to know about classically lubed home cast boolits, the lasc.us site has great articles linked right on their home page. The articles by Glen Fryxell's grouped together as "From Ingot to Target" are especially useful. They're also stickied in this forum here:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...ead-and-Alloys!

  5. #5
    Boolit Mold RockRat64's Avatar
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    Ok I went and ordered some superhard and some #2 to make it easy next time. Any tips on cutting the superhard bar? Grinder with a cutting wheel and respirator?

    Actually I have a chop saw at work which would probably be the best option.
    Last edited by RockRat64; 03-30-2020 at 07:57 AM.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master



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    Powder coating your cast will remove MUCH of the hardness worries.

    I cast most HG stuff to 8-12 BHN and Rifle 12-18 BHN.

    Huge asset with powder is no hand guns “need” gas checks to detour leading anymore. They are still a improvement to the bullets preformance because of the near perfect base that they provide. (Assumes PC and GC are properly cured and applied)

    CW
    NRA Life member REMEMBER, FREEDOM IS NOT FREE its being paid for in BLOOD.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Have cast thousands of 9mm and 40 for friends using straight range lead. No issues with leading at moderate velocity as long as sized correctly. Currently casting 9mm with 96-3-1 because I have a lot of it on hand from smelting some straight PB, but would not hesitate to use straight range lead if it was all I had.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy metricmonkeywrench's Avatar
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    Just recently I cast and loaded 2 diffrent bullets for 9mm, my range scrap (10bhn) lightly leaded, the harder 14bhn both sized to .358 with Lyman Alox had no issues out of a well seasoned 1st Gen M&P

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master popper's Avatar
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    Empty your casting pot, insert superhard and cast some bullets with it. Use those as pellets to add to the pot as hardner. Roto is selling it as pellets now I heard so just add weighed amount. As you are using alox (BLL is better - 50/50 alox and Ludmark liquid wax) drop the bullets from the mould into COLD water to increase hardness. You can get 1% Sb to work in 40sw but size is important and you might start getting keyholes on the target. Given a 401 push thru sizer, soft alloy will come out smaller. I still have #2 from years ago, occasionally use it for rifle sweatener. I have some tin for 'special' occasions.
    Oh, you will need a larger spud in your sizer die when using cast. Get the NOE expander (.399" dia) set - it works good. Plus the insert for the 9mm. I would start with the 40sw as 9mm has more problems.
    Last edited by popper; 03-30-2020 at 10:54 AM.
    Whatever!

  10. #10
    Boolit Mold RockRat64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by popper View Post
    Empty your casting pot, insert superhard and cast some bullets with it. Use those as pellets to add to the pot as hardner. Roto is selling it as pellets now I heard so just add weighed amount. As you are using alox (BLL is better - 50/50 alox and Ludmark liquid wax) drop the bullets from the mould into COLD water to increase hardness. You can get 1% Sb to work in 40sw but size is important and you might start getting keyholes on the target. Given a 401 push thru sizer, soft alloy will come out smaller. I still have #2 from years ago, occasionally use it for rifle sweatener. I have some tin for 'special' occasions.
    Oh, you will need a larger spud in your sizer die when using cast. Get the NOE expander (.399" dia) set - it works good. Plus the insert for the 9mm. I would start with the 40sw as 9mm has more problems.
    I like the idea out casting the whole thing. That will give me some practice too. I would like to coat but also don't want to add to the cost. However, how bad is smoke from lube in an indoor range? Ventilation is pretty good with a constant supply of fresh air, but I don't want to miss anybody off.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by popper View Post
    Get some Roto metal super hard and add for 2% to your pure. You don't really need tin for shooting paper nor SD.
    While I agree completely with exactly what you said, I would submit that a little tin does make it easier to get good fillout. I cast almost exclusively COWW but always add some type metal to get the tin.
    Sometimes life taps you on the shoulder and reminds you it's a one way street. Jim Morris

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockRat64 View Post

    Actually I have a chop saw at work which would probably be the best option.
    I use a wood cutting shop saw to cut ingots. Makes cutting lead fast and easy. Wear a dust mask or a respirator.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    A quick look at the RotoMetals site shows SuperHard sold as five pound bars. They did sell the nuggets before (I have piles of them) but while pure is still sold that way, I don't see it for SH. Anyway, those nuggets are better described as chunks mostly over an ounce each; no pellets of, say BB size

    Casting SH into boolits of uniform weight is a good suggestion, though it'd be good to label the container so you don't accidentally load and shoot it. Cutting the bar with a saw is fast and easy, but, unless you recover the swarf, you're wasting some of your $4/pound alloy. I've heard that some will weigh the bar and make marks along the side with each interval being a certain weight. Then they dip the bar into the pot up to the mark that matches the weight they want to add. This needs very heavy gloves or vice grips to hold the bar long enough for the submerged part to melt off.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master gpidaho's Avatar
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    If you use a chop saw to cut the lead ingots don't use carbide tip blades as the teeth may break off and become a flying projectile. I might put a dull blade in the saw backwards (prevents grabbing) and go slow. Remember, your eyes and fingers don't grow back once they're lost. Gp

  15. #15
    Boolit Mold RockRat64's Avatar
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    Thank you everyone for the help. I am going to try the 96-3-1 blend. I did not see the SH pellets and ended up getting the 5lbs. I was going to use a chop saw I use to cut steel. But I think the casting would be the better way to go as long as label them. I also ordered some #2 I think I will add some lead to for more of a 96-3-1 mix. Everything should be here by the end of the week and I will give it a try!

  16. #16
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    I cast and reload 9mm Luger , 45 acp , 38 special , 357 magnum , 41 magnum and 41 special (light 41 magnum loads) all with a mix of COWW & soft scrap lead / range recovery / stick on wheel weights
    in a 50 - 50 mix.
    I do this to extend my supply of COWW . I had unlimited free wheel weights but my buddy retired from the tire business and sold his shops .
    The 50-50 mix actually works better than straight wheel weights... I wish I had tried it years ago !
    Gary
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  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master fredj338's Avatar
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    I use range scrap pretty much as is. I powder coat & drop those into water out of the oven. I have very good accuracy in all my handguns with that.
    EVERY GOOD SHOOTER NEEDS TO BE A HANDLOADER.
    NRA Cert. Inst. Met. Reloading & Basic Pistol

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockRat64 View Post
    Thank you everyone for the help. I am going to try the 96-3-1 blend. I did not see the SH pellets and ended up getting the 5lbs. I was going to use a chop saw I use to cut steel. But I think the casting would be the better way to go as long as label them. I also ordered some #2 I think I will add some lead to for more of a 96-3-1 mix. Everything should be here by the end of the week and I will give it a try!
    When you get started casting keep in mind that they are recyclable so don't get frustrated if it doesn't work out perfectly right away . Be safe

  19. #19
    Boolit Master WRideout's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnostic View Post
    My bullets are water dropped range scrap, bought online for as close to a buck a pound as I can find. I load 38SPL, 357Mag, 9mm, 38 Super, 44SPL, 44Mag, 45ACP, 45LC, 7.62x39 and 3030Win without leading the barrel. Save the #2 Lyman for mixing with cheaper alloy...
    I also use mostly range scrap. In the past, I used wheel weight for everything but now use range scrap with a little tin for all my pistol loads. I have no leading in my 9mm, using my home formula lube. It is possible to have barrel leading problems from using an alloy that is a little too hard. I like to err on the side of softer alloy.

    Wayne
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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