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Old 04-29-2013, 01:21 AM   #1
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Default Casting Questions

I'm casting 40 and 45 bullet out of straight WW alloy, sizing to .401 and .452 with the Lee Push through dies. I am lubing with Lee Tumble lube. Accuracy is good and leading is minimal.

I read that it's possible to test the hardness of cast bullets with pencil lead. So, I purchased a set.

I tested my 45 and 40 bullets and came up with a pencil hardness of HB. I then pencil tested some Missouri cast bullets (12 BHN) and came up with the same HB pencil. So, that tells me that my cast WW bullets are approximately 12 BHN, give or take.

I then cast several 40/10mm bullets and water dropped them. After about an hour, I pencil tested them, they were actually softer than my other bullets as they tested at a B pencil. I also air cooled a few bullets and they also tested at B. Either I'm doing something wrong or testing hardness should be done after a longer period of time. If so, how long do I wait to test hardness?

I have been reading about alloys and bullet hardness till I'm blue in the face and I could use a real simple answer to this question. What should I add to my WW to bring the harness up from 12 to about 18?

Thanks

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Old 04-29-2013, 02:08 AM   #2
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I've been using nothing but WW for years with good results. I'm reloading 380, 38/357, 9mm and 45acp. That being said, if you want to increase the hardness you can add antimony to your lead recipe. Good luck

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Old 04-29-2013, 02:15 AM   #3
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I have never hear of the pencil test except for breastes. Straight wheel weights will harden with time (a few days) when dropped directly into water. They should not be softer initially

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Old 04-30-2013, 10:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robocop10mm View Post
I have never hear of the pencil test except for breastes. Straight wheel weights will harden with time (a few days) when dropped directly into water. They should not be softer initially
Found it here.

http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?75455-Testing-hardness-with-pencils
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