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Thread: BHN for PC'd pistol boolets

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    BHN for PC'd pistol boolets

    What is the recommended BHN range for pistol boolets that will be powder coated? From a KISS principle, hoping for a BHN that will serve a fairly wide range (9MM, 45ACP, 38, 357 and 44 mag).
    “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem.” Ronald Reagan


  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy joe leadslinger's Avatar
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    I use COWW + a touch of tin if needed air cooled after PCing which gives me a BHN range of 12 to 14.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    Copy air cool after PC, are you water quenching or air cooling after casting?
    “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem.” Ronald Reagan


  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    I have not noticed any difference in accuracy between plain soft lead (with a bit of tin) and hard lead as long as it is powdercoated properly. I actually prefer the soft lead because it mushrooms nicely.

    This is shooting relatively low vehocity of handguns, 458 SOCOM and 357 Maximum (up to 1800fps). I dont have any experience with faster powdercoated projectiles.
    Alcohol Inventory Reduction Specialist (Journeyman Level)

  5. #5
    Boolit Master


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    For everything but my 327 Federal Mag I use a 50/50 of wheel weights/pure with 1% added tin.

    This gives me a BHN of around 11 and it works quite well.
    NRA Benefactor.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
    Petander's Avatar
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    Similar KISS here.

    As a relatively new PC:er, I'm still amazed at how low BHN I can shoot with PC. That is with low power/pressure/velocity loads.

    My 500 S&W 300 grain "ladies load" is 1200 fps 8" and BHN 8-10. Accurate and clean. NOE 305 hp.

    There is no universal recipe for anything but in my case, PC really threw old BHN rules out of the game.

    I just did some mixes tonight, mostly Smoke's powders.


  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Petander View Post
    Similar KISS here.

    As a relatively new PC:er, I'm still amazed at how low BHN I can shoot with PC. That is with low power/pressure/velocity loads.

    My 500 S&W 300 grain "ladies load" is 1200 fps 8" and BHN 8-10. Accurate and clean. NOE 305 hp.

    There is no universal recipe for anything but in my case, PC really threw old BHN rules out of the game.

    I just did some mixes tonight, mostly Smoke's powders.

    ^^^^100%^^^^

    I regularly shoot 20:1 powder coated to 2000fps in multiple guns. ZERO BULLET FOULING!!

    Powder coat is a game changer!!

    CW
    NRA Life member • REMEMBER, FREEDOM IS NOT FREE its being paid for in BLOOD.
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    https://www.youtube.com/user/cwlongshot

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master
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    10 to 12 + PC does it for 95% of my loads. You do not need hard lead anymore!



    banger

  9. #9
    Caveat: Proper sizing of the bullet to the groove diameter is still vital even for PCd bullets!

    So PC will let you shoot soft lead, but don't think you can expect to "bump up" bullets to seal the bore.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Jaque Janaviac View Post
    Caveat: Proper sizing of the bullet to the groove diameter is still vital even for PCd bullets!

    So PC will let you shoot soft lead, but don't think you can expect to "bump up" bullets to seal the bore.
    Roger that.

    BHN aside, from reading I was under the vague impression that a very slightly undersized bullet could be given a second coat of PC to get just enough diameter to make a seal for that slightly larger barrel without having to order a pistol/barrel specific mold. Not a fix-all, but a possible option.
    Last edited by oley55; 01-27-2021 at 06:20 PM.
    “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem.” Ronald Reagan


  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master
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    There is no universal guide for hardness for each boolit and each gun barrel and each load. That is where the experimentation comes in. Fit is King today, not hardness, as in the old school books some people still user for references. PC has added a totally new spectrum to the variants we can do with reloading, including using much softer alloys and eliminating leading and smoke.

    It is not a cure-all for poorly fitting boolits!!!!! PC should not be relied on to make up for a sloppy fit. Slug your barrel and then get a mold & sizing die that fits. You can figuratively say PC adds 1-2 thousands of an inch to the diameter, but I would not rely on that in figuring the bore fit. A poorly fitting boolit still can lead your bore even with PC!

    I start out figuring sizing as if no PC is there, cast & size the boolits to the gun, and the PC is just one of those extra little goodies to improve overall performance. I am sure some on here have relied on PC as a crutch for bad fit and it may have worked. Just something I would not rely on for repeat performance wit the gun. Thicker coats of PC can potentially allow the boolit to move around, throwing off the dynamic balance in flight. It all totally depends on your accuracy needs.

    Have fun!

    banger

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I'm finding 12 BHN is enough. That includes a 500 S&W load that produces about 32k psi according to the Lyman cast bullet manual. That's without a gas check too and no spraying in the muzzle brake either. The bases are of course PCed as well.
    Motor

  13. #13
    Boolit Master bruce381's Avatar
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    thats all you need just get good fillout sharp edges

  14. #14
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    If you have a properly coated & cured bullet you can shoot pure lead because you have created a polymer jacket and it does everything a jacket does. I shoot nothing, but range scrap, which is in the 10-12 range.

    When I got into this in 2012 a retired professor of polymer physics calculated that a 3 mil buildout of polymer would withstand the torque spin up of a 30/06's 50K of chamber pressure. In actual testing I have since found he was absolutely correct. Additionally, I know the jacket will withstand 3600+ FPS of muzzle velocity. The polymer is about a 26+ bin. and your land to groove depth is approximately .004".
    Last edited by Dragonheart; 02-09-2021 at 01:50 PM.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master Forrest r's Avatar
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    95%+ of all my shooting needs are done with cast bullets made from 8/9bhn range scrap then pc'd. This is for loads up to +/-30,000psi & I air cool al my pc'd bullets.

  16. #16
    Boolit Bub
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    Pretty much the same, I use 10-11 BHN for everything from 9mm to slow 7.62x39, no need for harder alloy anymore. 45acp and 38sp, I can get away with about 8-9 BHN. If I push the 7.62 a little faster (say 1800+ FPS), I add soda can gas checks. In a semi rifle and under 2000 FPS, soft lead is not the enemy, heat is. And since softer alloys have a higher melting point, it may actually be better to use a bit softer alloy rather than harder (to an extent of course, you don't want it to jump rifling or deform with rotational force on its way to the target).

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy
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    You have no idea how much I like the information in this thread.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by BJK View Post
    You have no idea how much I like the information in this thread.
    I do. PC hardness was a big surprise to me,still is.

    Many of us have used up WW stash, or at least it's diminishing fast. Hard alloys are harder to make, yeah,pun...

    Pure / scrap / almost pure is still obtainable. Add PC and shoot away, even high pressure lke 9 mm. My "scrap" is my own alloy from my trap but commercial scrap is all pure from j-bullets. Everyone shoots j over here.

    Good,good.

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Petander View Post
    I do. PC hardness was a big surprise to me,still is.

    Many of us have used up WW stash, or at least it's diminishing fast. Hard alloys are harder to make, yeah,pun...

    Pure / scrap / almost pure is still obtainable. Add PC and shoot away, even high pressure lke 9 mm. My "scrap" is my own alloy from my trap but commercial scrap is all pure from j-bullets. Everyone shoots j over here.

    Good,good.
    Beginner still in diapers here, OK, Depends at my age.

    I just bought a GC mold "just in case", but if I never need to crimp a CG I'll be just as happy. I was going to buy lightweight jacketed bullets for supersonic .300BLK, but I think I'll just get a mold for bullets 135-150ish grains, PC them and call it good. I don't see a flaw in my thinking based on what I'm reading in this thread. Anyone, am I wrong? FWIW I have what for me is probably a lifetime supply of COWW.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master

    Dieselhorses's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Petander View Post
    Similar KISS here.

    As a relatively new PC:er, I'm still amazed at how low BHN I can shoot with PC. That is with low power/pressure/velocity loads.

    My 500 S&W 300 grain "ladies load" is 1200 fps 8" and BHN 8-10. Accurate and clean. NOE 305 hp.

    There is no universal recipe for anything but in my case, PC really threw old BHN rules out of the game.

    I just did some mixes tonight, mostly Smoke's powders.

    Petander-that's the most prettiest bowl of big ole skittles I saw in a long time! I gotta get some more PC colors.
    The unexamined life is not worth living....Socrates
    Pain, is just weakness leaving the body....USMC
    Fast is fine, but accuracy is FINAL!....Wyatt Earp

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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