If you have a lead hardness tester please get in touch with me.


March 14, 2008, 09:24 PM
If you have a lead hardness tester please get in touch with me.

Iím going to try an experiment to gauge the accuracy and variances of various lead testers on the market. I will be looking for a certain number of people with various types of testers.

I realize this experiment has been done in the past and is published on the lasc.us website, but would like to expand on their test because the number of testers used was inconsistent between brands and fairly limited. It is my desire to get results from a greater number of testers, to be able to make comparisons between brands and check for consistency within brands. I have access to a machine that gives me pretty tight control over constants tied to the production of the bullets, so hopefully I can eliminate most, if not all, variables outside of the specific tester and operator combination.

Here is what I am asking from you.

1. Send me a PM with the type of lead hardness tester you have.
2. I will choose a similar number of each type of testers, and ask those people for their snail mail address.
3. Using a commercial grade machine I will cast a bunch of bullets using a consistent speed, alloy, temperature, and time to quench.
4. Sometime after 21 days from the cast date I will mail you ten bullets.
5. On a given day specified in the letter that comes with those bullets I will ask you to test the hardness of all ten of your bullets with your lead tester, and email me the results.
6. I will post the results on this website, linking measurements taken to tools used to measure.

In order to encourage a wider range of participants, I am posting this request in the reloading sections of the following websites that I lurk or post at. Please respond to me via PM at only one of them.


Iím going to let this float for a while to see how many of you would like to participate, and then I will send out bullets to be tested on an equal number of tools. I am probably looking at another month to a month and a half before I actually get bullets in the mail, if all works out as planned.

If you can think of anything that would eliminate any variables I havenít thought of please drop me a line.

Also, if youíve got a link that can convince me that this experiment is a waste of time please forward that as well. Remember, I am concerned with the accuracy of testers, and the consistency of results obtained by their users.


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March 17, 2008, 02:35 AM
***Edited because I have enough of every kind except Saecos***

April 10, 2008, 11:37 PM
I have enough of every type of tester.

I just sent an IM or an email to get a snail mail addresses for the folks I don't already have the info for.

I will post to this thread again when I get all of the addresses and let you know when the bullets ship.


April 28, 2008, 12:55 AM
Hello all,

I have all of the addresses I need and everything that wasn't mailed out tonight will be mailed tomorrow.

The date I will ask you to test is Saturday, May 10.

The following instructions will be in with the package of bullets:


Enclosed you will find 10 bullets that were cast on March 23, 2008. Please use your tool to measure the hardness of the nose of the enclosed bullets. You should measure the bullets using the same technique you usually use with your tool.

Please take your measurements on Saturday, May 10.

If for some reason you test on a date other than the following, please let me know:

A few notes:
∑ If you are using a Cabine Tree tester please include both the depth readings on your tool, and what you judge the BHN to be
∑ If you are using the Lee tool all you need to include is the BHN measurement, as the chart included with the instructions will let me know what the diameter of your indent is.
∑ If you are using the Saeco tool please include both the Saeco number and what you would judge the BHN to be.
∑ It is my understanding that the LBT provides the BHN directly on the tool, so no other measurement should be needed. Please send me an email if this is incorrect.
∑ If you have another kind of tester and it provides a measurement that is not read directly as BHN please provide that number as well. Also, if possible, please email the instructions/charts that are associated with the tool to provide a better idea of how the tool works.
∑ During the initial test of each bullet, please do not redo any of your measurements if they seem to be out of line. If you find a bullet that appears to be harder than the others, and decide to retest it, please report the retest number separately and indicate that it is a retest. I am really interested in the spread of numbers on the initial test.

Please email your information for all 10 bullets to yammerschooner@yahoo.com.

Once again, I would like to thank you for all of your assistance with this endeavor. I will compile the results and write up a review, which will be posted in the thread where you found this test. If you contacted me for a reason other than direct exposure to the threads I have posted (word of mouth), I will email you a copy of what I post.

Take care,


May 19, 2008, 02:02 AM
I have put together the following information. Since pasting this in didn't want to play well I found it was easier to just put it here...


May 19, 2008, 06:02 PM
Very interesting - thanks very much for posting this.

This comment intrigued me:

The Lee tester appeared to produce the most readings that were both consistent and closest to the actual laboratory results. Although individually other testers came in with slightly smaller standard deviations and numbers that came in closer to calibrated equipment, the Lee appeared to have the best combination between the two areas.

May 19, 2008, 08:27 PM
I may rethink it when I get rid of my students and look a little closer. The high numbers in that testing group were actually measured by a more precise instrument than what comes with the lee kit. If it was thrown out the numbers would shift a little. I found it interesting that that one was at the high end.

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