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Are Hard Cast Bullets Best

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Old 12-01-2009, 02:18 AM   #1
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Default Are Hard Cast Bullets Best

Hi, I'd like to show every body an article about cast bullet alloys. It talks about whether or not cast bullets have to be as hard as most people make them, and does it hinder performance when they are.
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Old 12-02-2009, 01:08 PM   #2
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We do tend to frown on links to other sights, especially for first posts. BUT, Having read the info available at the other end of the link, I found it free of advertising and interesting. The initial site is generic, click on "older posts".

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Old 02-06-2010, 12:26 AM   #3
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IMHO casting hardness depends on the application. When I used to shoot IHMSA Silhouette, I made and used hard cast and heat treated gas-checked bullets in Revolver and Production categories. These worked very well with very stout loads in 44 Mag and 7mm TCU. I've used similar bullets in heavy 45-70 and .357 mag loads using 4198 and H110/WW296 respectfully with excellent success (also .41 Mag with H110). Also good success in 30-30 and some moderate 30-06 loads using the same process (IMR 4198).

However, for more reduced loads you don't need the same degree of hardness. I shoot lots of Cowboy action and I believe the hard cast is not as good here. I have become a fan of Desperado Soft Cast bullets for this purpose and they work very well for me with light to moderate loads, AND they are excellent using full Black Powder substitue loads (American Pioneer Powder and Hogdon Triple 7) in 44-40, 38-40 and 32-20. For the in-between stuff like .45ACP you don't need the very hard cast alloys either (used lots of the old wheel weight alloy for many years).
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Old 02-07-2010, 07:51 PM   #4
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Just as important or more important , is bullet fit . Often commercial bullets are small than optimum . Also , many molds drop bullets smaller than what works best .

Try for ~ .002" over bore diameter , as a starting point .

Get this right , then work on bullet hardness .

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Old 02-15-2010, 11:44 PM   #5
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Cast bullets are far from being all the same. I have shot them that will lead heavily at 900 fps. and pushed others at over 2,500 fps. with excellant accuracy and no leading. If your going to buy those good hard cast gas checked bullets that you can push to those velocities get your wallet out as they will be at least as expensive as jacketed bullets and sometimes more. But if you are wanting a bullet that will go deep in tough game they are a good choice.
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Old 02-16-2010, 08:34 AM   #6
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I've cast bullets for over thirty years, mainly for my 44 Redhawk. When I started tin was easily found due to the use in newsprinting, now it's much rarer and a lot more expensive. So now days antimony is added for hardness (wheel weights) trouble is that antimony and lead melt at slightly different temps and if one doesn't watch the temp, stir and flux frequently you may end up with the antimony crystalizing while lead is still molten which causes pure lead to form around the antimony. Though the bullet may test hard it can smear lead in the bore. Before my bullet mould came that I ordered from Lee Factory Outlet I bought some hard cast .40 cal. bullets at a gun shop that leaded my barrel really bad, but once I started casting my own (with a little bit of tin I happen to find), the same powder and primer load left very little lead. For my 44 mag I have hand loads using Accurate Powder #9 using 19.5 gr under a Keith 245 gr. SWC lead no gas check sized to .429, that load in their book under a 240 gr. SWC lead is a start load rated at 1364 fps. so my loads are probably not that much slower. I also use near full loads of WW296 powder under the same bullet, both loads leave very little lead and all retreaved bullets have no signs of stripping. The 296 load is faster but I like both powders. One other thing, the base of the retreaved bullets only have a slight frosting from powder heat, no melting.

Last edited by Viking; 02-16-2010 at 08:41 AM.
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