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Nawlins Kid

BP pistol caliber bullet survey

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This is a BP pistol caliber bullet survey on hardness.

 

What type of hardness is preferred? Hard cast ( Brinell hardness ) or soft cast?

 

Nawlins Kid

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SOFT SOFT SOFT. No more than Brinnell 8 for my BP bullets that I cast for revolvers and main match rifle loads. About 5 parts soft lead, 1 part COWW and enough tin to get to 0.5%.

 

Good luck, GJ

Edited by Garrison Joe, SASS #60708

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Survey...okay.

Standard cast bullets, I bieleve with a 12-15 Brinnell.

This is not the best choice, but I only shoot bp/subs a couple of times a year.

I make sure not to use hard cast bullets, that run in the 18-20 Brinnell range.

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Soft, that I test to 9-10 Brinell hardness. Harder can work but softer is more forgiving if used in different guns.

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Soft

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Howdy Nawlins,

 

For low pressure loads, such as we use in CAS, I find that 100% pure lead, works just fine for me. This is especially true in my .38 caliber loadings. For .45 Colt I will add a small amount of tin since pure lead bullets shrinks somewhat before sizing.

~:Wylie:~

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Soft, that I test to 9-10 Brinell hardness. Harder can work but softer is more forgiving if used in different guns.

I'm going with this answer, seeing how I use his bullets exclusively.

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Pure lead for percussion, straight WW for suppository cartridges. But, then I don't go by popularity, I've tested what works in my guns, with my loads.

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I have now idea what they test I just use wheel weights with a sub powder

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Soft 10/1

200gr BP Full load .

44 special :-)

Edited by Rooster Ron Wayne

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I have used my cast bullet for the 44WCF for quite a while now and I keep them at 9-10 . You have shooters giving you the different numbers but it's important to know how they load and what they shoot. I shoot full case loads of 2F and my bullets give a perfect seal. If someone shoots 38 spl with a mouse fart load, they will not have much blow by. A person who shoots 45 Colt with full loads of real BP not only needs a soft bullet but you should anneal your case necks to soften the brass and stop most of the blow by.

You can't compare the play like powders with shooting the real thing as the two don't burn alike.

Paul Matthews has written several books that are good reading for a person interested in shooting the real powder. The lube you use is very important for good sealing, accuracy, clean up. I use NASA. Take Care Fairshake

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45 LC's - any alloy that I have the most of between Bhn 13.4 to 15.4 for both revolvers and rifle

* With a good lube, which is the key to no leading, I have a Rossi '92 with close to 15,000 reloads and I have never found a lick of leading in the bore - even the several times I looked down it with a bore scope

44 Percussions - pure Pb to insure the balls are shaved when seated

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.45 Colt load soft with a tad of tin and warthog loads of Ffg.

 

Works for me!!! :):P:D

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I use 20:1 lead to tin but that was along with cheap lead and 50/50 bar solder on ebay for low bids :) .

 

 

May have to start diluting WW next batch.

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Thanks for the replies.

Last year I purchased a 1878 Smith & Wesson model 3 in 44 Russian. I'm using a 200 gr bullet ( with a # 10 hardness) with 3F BP. The bore is in good shape considering it's age. At 10 yds it has a decent group size. I would like to try to tighten it a little

 

. I shoot CC and in one match last year I used the Smith and my repro Schofield. What a hoot shooting DD with both revolvers, was not fast and the TO did not have to use a hour glass for timing. :D

 

Nawlins

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Hard. Whatever commercial bullet in the weight I'm looking for. But I only shoot full case BP loads with a lube wad and in Rugers with the throats properly sized to the caliber. IMO, there's more to the discussion than just the hardness of the bullet when loading BP(or subs).

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Howdy

 

Soft.

 

I have not cast bullets in several years, I buy them from Springfield Slim. However, when I used to cast I was casting pure lead for my 44 Mav-Dutchman bullets, and about 1/20 tin/lead for my 45 PRS bullets. The reason for the difference is that pure lead shrinks more on cooling than lead alloyed with tin. My Mav-Dutchman mold was dropping bullets slightly larger than I would have liked, so I used pure lead so they would shrink a little bit more.

 

I too have S&W New Model Number Three chambered for 44 Russian. I use the soft Mav-Dutchman bullets for it. I size all my Mav-Dutchman bullets to .428 and use them in all my 44 Russian and 44-40 firearms.

 

Over a full charge of FFg, of course.

Edited by Driftwood Johnson, SASS #38283

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I have now idea what they test I just use wheel weights with a sub powder

+1 with a caveat and a question.

 

I shoot .44-40 in my rifle. (You asked about pistols) My pistols are cap guns loaded with real BP and a soft lead ball.

 

I noticed several people mentioned using FFg in their loads. I would have thought FFFg would be better for pistol cartridges. So, why 2F instead of 3F?

 

p.s. I have just started experimenting with real BP in the rifle with a Mav-Dutchman(?) bullet. Still wheel weights. I didn't notice any leading in the barrel with the ~50 rounds fired, but it was much dirtier when I looked down it. Any difference between 2F and 3F in a rifle?

 

Angus

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Like Fireball I use hard cast bullets. My cartridges are loaded full case triple 7 2f , no wad standard lube, heavy bullet for caliber.

Antique firearms would need a little more gentle load but modern mfg firearms, hard is better. Less leading equals less pressure build up as you shoot and easier cleaning. Less deformation of bullet gives better accuracy. It needs to fit the chamber mouths go smoothly into the forcing cone and obdurate into the rifling and it'll hit where your barrel ends up pointed.

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I would have thought FFFg would be better for pistol cartridges. So, why 2F instead of 3F?

 

Softer shooting. 2F will give less pressure and recoil. Nice in pistols especially if filling the case.

 

good luck, GJ

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(hard alloy is better because it will among other things:) obdurate into the rifling

 

 

A 12 Brinnell bullet needs about 10K PSI pressure to obdurate the base into the rifling of the barrel. Almost never will pards get that kind of pressure in a revolver with BP or with subs.

 

Good luck, GJ

Edited by Garrison Joe, SASS #60708

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I order most of mine from Whyte's. I don't like to cast,,,, but I have when I've had to . I use 20-1, I think that comes out to about bh-10, but it's pretty soft.

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There is a lot of painting being done here with a broad brush and that always get's annoying and could turn a prospective BP shooter away.(whether the OP or someone else reading) The OP left the survey kind of open, asking only which hardness is preferred, setting no other qualifications. I took/take that to assume a typical 5 or 6 stage match. Also assuming that they probably already reload their ammo. For the "non-enthusiast" BP shooter, someone looking to "dip their toe in", perfectly acceptable results can be found easier than casting up or hunting up a supplier that makes soft bullets. He also didn't specify that he's loading for an odd throated/chambered/bored relic. Hardcast bullets, that he already has, with subs, can most likely be loaded on his existing tooling with virtually no changes. For BP (and pushing the easy button), a lube wad can be added. This isn't a Bullseye game. The guns need to run for 5 or 6 stages and hit large, close steel. Our prospective shooter may want to indulge in chasing lube rings/stars at the muzzle and shooting a 2 or 3 day match with no/minimal cleaning, but that isn't necessary to compete successfully with BP/subs. Nothing wrong with the nostalgia of "that's the way they did back when" or loading for guns that may need special care or for the guy that likes sitting in front of the lead pot, but it's not necessary for most CAS competitions and I've been competing in CAS with BP since the early 90's.

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I run all my stuff around a 10. For 38sp and Cowboy 45sp it's 3f with real BP. For .45 Colt and 44/40 I use 2f. Good Luck :)

 

Jefro :ph34r: Relax-Enjoy

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There is a lot of painting being done here with a broad brush and that always get's annoying and could turn a prospective BP shooter away

 

I'm pretty sure that NK (the OP) can sort out what he gets as answers, though.

 

Good luck, GJ

Edited by Garrison Joe, SASS #60708

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Soft. Another satisfied customer of Slim...

 

Seamus

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Wow! Does everyone have a Brinnell hardness tester? I have NO idea as to what the real hardness level is on my own cast bullets......

 

I have been using smelted isotope balls (whatever hardness that is) in my cap & ball revolvers and my all of my 44-40 revolvers and rifles with GREAT success.

 

Anyone know what hardness isotope balls are?

 

Bugler

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Wow! Does everyone have a Brinnell hardness tester? I have NO idea as to what the real hardness level is on my own cast bullets......

 

I have been using smelted isotope balls (whatever hardness that is) in my cap & ball revolvers and my all of my 44-40 revolvers and rifles with GREAT success.

 

Anyone know what hardness isotope balls are?

 

Bugler

 

 

Anyone know what an isotope ball IS?? :blink:

 

As a veterinarian I castrated a lot of things, but no isotopes...

 

I don't have a Brinnell tester either. Wheelweight lead in cartridge bullets, pure lead in percussion revolver balls.

Edited by J-BAR #18287

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BP pistol caliber - If it melts it goes into a big lube bullet mold

That being said - pure lead for round ball, 20/1 for BP long range, WW w/ gas checks for rifle caliber smokeless 7 mm mauser, 35 rem, 348, 405 win, 416 Rigby and so on.

JA

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I use a Lee hardness tester. It is not high tech but it gives a general idea what the harness is.

 

I normally shoot smokeless but have cast thousands of civil war musket and carbine bullets in the 25 yrs that I shot in N-SSA . Using two hundred pounds of soft lead a year was not uncommon especially when your better half also shoots. You never had to worry about bullet hardness.

 

I have been casting bullets for my 1879 Trapdoor since the mid eighties with a hardness of about 10 and shooting BP and was using the lead for the S&W. I 'm going to try to cast a softer bullet for the S&W just to see what happens . Hitting large targets is fun but shooting small groups with a revolver that is 138 yrs old is lot more fun.

 

Nawlins

Edited by Nawlins Kid

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I noticed several people mentioned using FFg in their loads. I would have thought FFFg would be better for pistol cartridges. So, why 2F instead of 3F?

 

p.s. I have just started experimenting with real BP in the rifle with a Mav-Dutchman(?) bullet. Still wheel weights. I didn't notice any leading in the barrel with the ~50 rounds fired, but it was much dirtier when I looked down it. Any difference between 2F and 3F in a rifle?

 

Howdy Again

 

It really does not matter whether you use FFg or FFFg. I used to use FFFg in my 45s and 44s, and FFg in my shotshells, but I got tired of stocking two different granulations.

 

Everything else being equal, you will see somewhere around 60 fps to 100 fps more when using FFFg instead of FFg.

 

You will not get any leading with Black Powder.

 

I don't know why, but I have been shooting Black Powder for a long time, and there is never any leading to clean out of the chambers or bore.

Edited by Driftwood Johnson, SASS #38283

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Soft

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Howdy,

 

I don't cast my own bullets so I can't help there. I've been shooting full BP loads in .45 colt for 11 years and buy my bullets from Desperado Cowboy Bullets in Washington. I'm pretty sure their lead formula is on their website. They come lubed for BP so I don't have to lube them either. A little expensive compared to other bullet companies, but I have never had fouling or leading issues so I'm a happy customer.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Shakey

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