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Thread: What the heck is "Hardball" lead?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    What the heck is "Hardball" lead?

    I see it listed on cast bullet assoc alloy page. A guy wants to sell me some for $2 a pound, sounds high.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Wireman134's Avatar
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    "Hard Ball" is alloy mix 92%Pb/2%Sn/6%Sb Bhn 16.
    http://www.lasc.us/CastBulletAlloy.htm

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    It has a higher antimony content. Same elemental metal the makes linotype as hard as it is.
    Both are to hard for my boolit casting purposes and are used as a hardening alloys exclusively.

    SHiloh
    "A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves."
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    “Any government that does not trust its citizens with firearms is either a tyranny, or planning to become one.” – Joseph P. Martino

    “If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert , in five years there would be a shortage of sand.” – Milton Friedman

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Let me rephrase it. I know the mix %, I know its hard, what I'm asking is what was its original use or source? Was it like linotype, a known alloy out there in the wild originally not used for something bullet related or like Lymans #2, an alloy made almost exclusively for bullet and sinker casters?

  5. #5
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    Sheepdog,

    I think that the hardball lead was primarilly used by Bullseye (type of match) pistol shooters shooting 45 ACP. The Bullseye guys talk about having a "hardball" gun and a "wad cutter" gun.

    John

  6. #6
    Boolit Master HORNET's Avatar
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    AFAIK, It was made for commercial boolit casters, think 50/50 Lino/lead. The theory was that a hard alloy was needed to avoid stripping out on the shallow rifling in Colt .45 ACP barrels. They still lead like crazy if they're too small.......$2 per pound is lots more than I'd pay, even including shipping. Try RotoMetals (link at top of page- I think forum members get a discount).
    Rick
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master fredj338's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garandsrus View Post
    Sheepdog,

    I think that the hardball lead was primarilly used by Bullseye (type of match) pistol shooters shooting 45 ACP. The Bullseye guys talk about having a "hardball" gun and a "wad cutter" gun.

    John
    No, hardball 1911s were stock guns feeding RNFMJ or ball ammo or hardball. I am not sure of the origin of the alloy, but I am sure it the thought is something for the 45acp & 230grRNL. Not much diff than Lyman#2, a bit harder, less tin, same price. I would cast the Lyman #2 for the add'l. tin. Maybe for water quenchers, less tin would be better.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    "Hardball" alloy is the generic designation for M*gn*m (insert your vowels) alloy.
    M*gn*m alloy composition is 2/6/92 (Sn/Sb/Pb).

    The alloy was a joint development effort by Terracorp and Magma. The goal was to develop an economical yet effective replacement of Lyman No.2 for the commercial casters.

    The hardball alloy is most easily created by mixing equal parts of pure lead with linotype (4/12/84). Doing so gives us the resulting 2/6/92.

    Lyman No.2 composition---5/5/90
    "Hardball" composition------2/6/92

    Terracorp copyrighted the term "M*gn*m alloy". As others began using the 2/6/92 composition, legal battles ensued. The final decision was that although Terracorp had rights to name, they had no rights to actual alloy composition. So the industry name for 2/6/92 has developed into "hardball alloy". Otherwise, the two alloys are nearly identical.

    Although they are very different in hardening characteristics, antimony and tin are very similar in other ways, namely in casting characteristics.
    So the two alloys (hardball and No.2) are very similar. Final casting diameter is nearly identical, as is final hardness. Accomplishing these results while using less than half the tin is definitely to the advantage of the commercial caster. Not to mention that at the time of development, linotype metal was readily available.
    The largest difference between the two alloys concerns malleability/brittleness. The No.2 alloy has a slight advantage in this aspect (less brittle) due to increased tin content in relation to the amount of antimony present.

    One is more malleable, while the other is more economical- take your pick.

  9. #9
    Boolit Man
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    According to Rotometals price list i doesn't appear to be economical.

    ML

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by HORNET View Post
    AFAIK, It was made for commercial boolit casters, think 50/50 Lino/lead.
    That is my understanding as well Hornet. Hard with great fillout and few flaws.
    Great stuff, casts a fine boolit, just to hard for my needs.

    Shiloh
    "A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves."
    Bertrand de Jouvenel

    “Any government that does not trust its citizens with firearms is either a tyranny, or planning to become one.” – Joseph P. Martino

    “If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert , in five years there would be a shortage of sand.” – Milton Friedman

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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