Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    (Delaware County)
    Posts
    1,328
    Rep Power
    6540

    Default When do you test lead hardness?

    Beginning to get into casting. I've read that dropping bullets into water makes them harder, and at least Jerry Mikulek thinks they get harder yet after aging a week or so.

    So, my question is, when you test the hardness of your alloy, do you test it after quenching and aging, or just as it would be after pouring into ingot molds?

    All the lead I have is range scrap, and I'd be making pistol bullets, if it matters.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Welfaristan., Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,488
    Rep Power
    12313498

    Default Re: When do you test lead hardness?

    honestly, unless you buy a hardness testing kit , IF a nickel doesnt gouge it too much it's hard enough .




    or bite it like a pirate.
    Wacky D is not a rapper, Wacky D is an entertainer !

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Ambridge, Pennsylvania
    (Beaver County)
    Posts
    1,671
    Rep Power
    14576475

    Default Re: When do you test lead hardness?

    If your not shooting Magnums, 357 or 44 I wouldn't worry about it. People shoot swaged lead bullets everyday that are made from dead soft lead. More important is lube and proper diameter.

    You don't have to worry about lube if you are going to coat them though.

    I cast about 150,000 bullets a month commercially. Feel free to ask any questions.
    www.Steelvalleycasting.com is your new home for coated bullets and custom ammo.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Piney twp, Pennsylvania
    (Clarion County)
    Posts
    1,211
    Rep Power
    20012916

    Default Re: When do you test lead hardness?

    Quote Originally Posted by DucatiRon View Post
    More important is lube and proper diameter.
    Truth.
    Cheap way to test lead hardness: http://forum.pafoa.org/showthread.ph...rdness+testing
    Conventional wisdom states there needs to be at least 2% antimony in the mix for decent results.
    Couple weeks seems to be the agreed upon curing period.
    Range lead mix can be hodgepodge. If it casts I shoot it.
    It ain't what they call you, it's what you answer to.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    (Delaware County)
    Posts
    1,328
    Rep Power
    6540

    Default Re: When do you test lead hardness?

    Quote Originally Posted by DucatiRon View Post
    If your not shooting Magnums, 357 or 44 I wouldn't worry about it. People shoot swaged lead bullets everyday that are made from dead soft lead. More important is lube and proper diameter.

    You don't have to worry about lube if you are going to coat them though.

    I cast about 150,000 bullets a month commercially. Feel free to ask any questions.
    I only have a 9mm bullet mold right now. Molds for .40, .45 and .38 may follow, some day. The plan is to polycoat, because I don't like lube smoke very much.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    (Delaware County)
    Posts
    1,328
    Rep Power
    6540

    Default Re: When do you test lead hardness?

    Quote Originally Posted by cephas View Post
    Truth.
    Cheap way to test lead hardness: http://forum.pafoa.org/showthread.ph...rdness+testing
    Conventional wisdom states there needs to be at least 2% antimony in the mix for decent results.
    Couple weeks seems to be the agreed upon curing period.
    Range lead mix can be hodgepodge. If it casts I shoot it.
    I read about the pencil test somewhere, maybe here or castboolits, and I bought a pencil set a little while ago. Sounding like I don't really need to bother though.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Moscow, Pennsylvania
    (Lackawanna County)
    Posts
    175
    Rep Power
    7335484

    Default Re: When do you test lead hardness?

    My method: when planning on a casting run, I already have ingots of the lead I'm going to use. I check the hardness of these with a Lee lead tester. This gives me a ballpark number for the hardness for that batch of lead. Oh, and those are tested 24 hours after making the ingots (so they can cool). I magic marker the hardness number on the ingots so I don't have to recheck them later.

    After a bullet casting run (with water quench), I wait at least 2 hours before doing a hardness test on some bullets from that batch. Usually one of the malformed ones that will be recast anyhow back into an ingot.

    That batch gets labeled, if not used right away. Label will have date and hardness. If not being used right away, I don't size them just yet. If they have sat for a year or so, I recheck the hardness. Sometimes bullets will harden, or go slightly soft (depends on lead blend and storage).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Ambridge, Pennsylvania
    (Beaver County)
    Posts
    1,671
    Rep Power
    14576475

    Default Re: When do you test lead hardness?

    If your going to coat use the Hy-Tek coating from Bayou Bullets. Buy the powder form. It's the easiest to use. The liquid form is ok but easier to make small batches with the powder.

    Remember to size after coating and not before.
    www.Steelvalleycasting.com is your new home for coated bullets and custom ammo.

Similar Threads

  1. [Want To Buy] lead hardness tester
    By tripleS in forum Classifieds Archive
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: June 24th, 2012, 04:19 AM
  2. Lead hardness testing
    By cephas in forum Ammunition & Reloading
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: April 8th, 2012, 08:09 PM
  3. [Want To Buy] Lead Hardness Tester
    By chutestrate in forum Classifieds Archive
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: April 19th, 2010, 02:14 PM
  4. Boolit hardness?
    By Jim1911 in forum General
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: August 1st, 2009, 12:21 AM
  5. hardness of primers?
    By lethal93ta in forum General
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: April 24th, 2008, 11:03 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Local gun shops | Local shooting ranges | Philadelphia Shooting Ranges | Philadelphia Gun Shops | Pittsburgh Shooting Ranges | Pittsburgh Gun Shops