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Thread: Lyman #2 versus Rotometal's Hardball Casting Alloy

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
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    Lyman #2 versus Rotometal's Hardball Casting Alloy

    I'm interested in people's thoughts on suitability of Rotometals "Hardball Casting Alloy" compared to Lyman #2. According to Rotometal website...
    Hardball Casting Allow = 2% tin, 6% antimony, 92% lead. Brinell hardness about 16
    Lyman #2 = 5% tin, 5% antimony, 90% lead. Brinell hardness about 15.

    The Hardball Alloy is $0.32 a pound cheaper. I have been using ww for 30+ years in pistol and revolver loads with complete satisfaction. The ww are now harder to find in WA. state, since they have apparently been legislated out of existence for new installation. So all I need is something equivalent to ww. From what I read, 2% tin is enough for good castabilty (filling of fine detail in mold). Do others agree with this statement? Is it worth paying extra for the Lyman #2 alloy?

    Thank you for your thoughts.

    Keyhole

  2. #2
    Boolit Master



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    Welcome to Castboolits Keyhole,

    I don't think you'll find any noteworthy difference between the two for revolver and pistol loads, so if it were me I would go for the less expensive. 2% tin is all that's needed for castability. The Lyman #2 is more expensive because of the tin percentage and in reality the ballistic difference of 1 BHN is insignificant. You didn't mention if you were quenching your WW but if not the Hardball will be somewhat harder than what you have been using. If you do quench the WW your WW and the Hardball will be very similar. This could make a difference depending on your calibers, loads, pressures etc.

    Try buying a small quantity of the Hardball, cast up some of your favorite bullets and see if there is any difference between your old WW loads and the Hardball. I'd be willing to bet you'll be a happy camper.

    Let us know how it works out, curious minds want to know.

    Rick
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    The increased percentage of tin in #2 is probably more to hold the round together after impact than castability. As cbrick stated you pretty much reach your peak of castability at 2% but depending on the type of boolit you are casting the added tin could help with keeping your boolit more intact after impact. This would be in the case of a hollowpoint and would make no never mind in a solid boolit.
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  4. #4
    Boolit Man
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    Thanks for the replies.

    I don't heat treat my boolits anymore. I did for awhile many years ago when I had more time and access to an oven not within the wife unit's vision. I'm just a paper puncher so performance on target is not important. All I care about is feeding reliability and accuracy. WW bullets without heat treating have worked fine. Mostly what I shoot is Lyman 452374 and 452460 in various .45's, 358156 w/ gc in .357, and 429421 in S&W .44 Mag. Recently I got some Lee handgun molds which I am just starting to break in and use.
    The advice to try the Hardball Alloy makes a lot of sense to me. I will go that route. It will be some time before I can report back on the results.
    Thanks again

    Keyhole

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    92/6/2 alloy is kind of my "default setting" alloy for rifle, magnum revolver, and high-pressure autopistol boolits (9mm, 40 S&W, 10mm). It is essentially one half each of Linotype and unalloyed lead.
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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