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Best cast lead harness for 9mm

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Tinker, Jun 10, 2013.

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  1. Tinker

    Tinker Member

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    I have some pure lead that I'd like to alloy up for casting 9mm. Is there a "golden range" of BHN for lead 9mm?

    In my manual and reading online I keep seeing reference to Lyman #2. What hardness is that alloy? Thanks.
     
  2. splattergun

    splattergun Member

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    Lyman #2 is 90% lead, 5% tin, 5% antimony. Brinell +- 16.5
     
  3. eam3clm@att.net

    eam3clm@att.net Member

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    Mix it half to half with clip on wheel weight alloy. I dont have a hardness tester so I cannot say for sure how hard they are. My bset guess is around 12 bhn. Whats more important is the size of the bullets, I size to .358. The hardness will matter on how hard you push them.
     
  4. USSR

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    eam3clm@att.net's suggestion of mixing your pure lead 50/50 with wheelweights is a good one. BHN would be about 10, which is plenty. Simply no need to go as hard as Lyman #2 (BHN of 15) for 9mm.

    Don
     
  5. dragon813gt

    dragon813gt Member

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    50/50 WW/Pure puts you at a BHN of 9.6. It also gives you reliable expansion for hunting. Not that you'd be hunting w/ a 9mm. But the 50/50 alloy is one of the most common used. Even using straight WW will work just fine for 9mm.


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  6. kerreckt

    kerreckt Member

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    Last edited: Jun 11, 2013
  7. USSR

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    If anyone wants an Alloy Calculator in Excel format that determines BHN of whatever alloy mix you might use, send me an email and I will send it to you.

    Don
     
  8. steve4102

    steve4102 Member

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  9. NuJudge

    NuJudge Member

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    I like them really hard

    There are frequent discussions on the various 1911 boards about how one should use a softer bullet in lower pressure cartridges (like the .45 acp), and harder bullets in higher pressure cartridges. I disagree with them and like hard Lead for everything, but the 9mm is a higher pressure cartridge.

    Even if you want a soft Lead bullet, a bit of Tin will vastly improve fill-out of your bullets, with just a little increase in hardness. A large increase in hardness will come with adding both Tin and Antimony, and the hardness will increase a lot more if you drop the hot bullet from the mold into a 5 gallon bucket of water. I like wheelweights plus 2% Tin, water-dropped. The water dropping also simplifies handling all those HOT bullets.
     
  10. LUCKYDAWG13

    LUCKYDAWG13 Member

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    mix your pure lead with wheel weight lead clip on 50/50m good to go
    stick on WW lead is soft like pure lead
     
  11. Tinker

    Tinker Member

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    Thanks for all the input. I'm looking to make about 20lbs of a good, medium hardness alloy for my 9mm shooting the next year or so. Make one big batch to just have on hand. I don't have a hardness gage, so I hope to get it right by mixing to formula.

    Already have the pure lead. Just need some antimony and tin. My aim is to buy these other additives. Found a place called Rotometal that sells this.
     
  12. USSR

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    Tinker,

    You would be much better off just going to http://castboolits.gunloads.com/ and finding someone selling ingots made of wheelweights or isotope lead. Much cheaper!

    Don
     
  13. dragon813gt

    dragon813gt Member

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    Not really. If he added 1# of Rotometals SuperHard and 1/4# of 95/5 solder to 20#s of pure. The resulting alloy would be 97.4/1.5/1.1 at a BHN of 10.3. Leave the solder out and it's at 9.9 BHN. Solder can be found cheap at yard sales if you don't have any. I'd try it w/out the solder first and see how fillout is. Chances are it will be just fine.

    Whatever you do, don't buy pure Antimony. It's a pita to get it to blend w/ the lead. The super hard melts right in like any other piece of lead.


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    Last edited: Jun 12, 2013
  14. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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  15. USSR

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    Have you priced Rotometals lead as opposed to what can be bought through individuals on castboolits? "Solder can be found cheap", show me where and I will buy it. I have bought it off of individuals on castboolits website (sorry, but my yard sales searches have turned up zero solder), and it ain't cheap. Rather than pay $4.60 a pound for Rotometals SuperHard (which contains no tin), or paying nearly $20 per pound for 95/5 solder, buy some isotope lead (95/2.5/2.5) for about $1.50 a pound and mix 8 pounds to 12 pounds of pure for a 9.8 BHN alloy.

    Don
     
  16. dragon813gt

    dragon813gt Member

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    Yes I've priced out their alloys. SuperHard is one of most economical ways to add antimony to an alloy. Solder is hit and miss. But pewter is another economical way to add tin to an alloy. I'm on castboolits daily. The lead sales have gone down quite a bit as of late. I buy isotope lead as much as I can. Unfortunately the consistent suppliers of it are not getting it anymore.

    Tin is nice for fillout but not 100% needed. And a few pounds of SuperHard will go a long way. The OP said he has pure already. Order up 5#s of SuperHard and go from there. Yes you can buy WW lead. But I don't trust others to clean it up properly. And the chance of zinc contamination is to high for me to spend money on it.


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  17. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Since it's really pressure that dictates how hard the bullet should be it's not exactly tied to velocity but since we can't test pressure velocity is all we have.

    Here is a general chart on bullet hardness and velocity.
    Muzzle Velocity Brinell Hardness (BHN)

    800-1000 fps 10-12
    1000-1400 fps 12-16
    1400-1700 fps 14-20
    >1700 fps 20-30
     
  18. Tinker

    Tinker Member

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    9mm has proven to be interesting to reload, to say the least. :fire:

    In hindsight, I should have started with .45ACP stuff. :D The end goal is just to have a non-leading home cast recipe for medium pressure range plinking ammo.

    I've fiddled with some wheel weights, but I have no idea what hardness it is. Seen some light leading. My barrel slugs at .356". The WW castings come out of the mold .358". I have a Lee push through die for .357' OD, but leading seems worse. Been running as cast .358"s with better result. I read a slight oversize is safe. Hadn't blown myself up, so far. :D

    If buying some additive metal is slightly expensive, that is OK. I reckon a lb or two of whatever is still cheaper than investing in a hardness tester. I just want to run one batch of about 25 lbs, in the right hardness, to have for a while.
     
  19. germ

    germ Member

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    Make sure your brass isn't post sizing your bullets down. I find that 9mm cases can be really tough and may spring back some after expanding. CPC and HRTRS are two that seem unusually tough to me. But I'm expanding out to .358 for .359+ bullets. Remember, if you're using heavy for caliber bullets, that 9mm cases are tapered and can easily swage the bullet's base when seating deep.
     
  20. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Try adding 2oz of 50/50 solder to 10 pounds of wheel weights and see if the leading goes away.

    Then try 4.0gr to 4.4gr W231 under that 125gr bullet and see how well they shoot. I think you will like the results.
     
  21. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    Sorry if this is a hair off topic, but what are you using for lube? Lee Alox?
    I've had horrible leading with it in 9mm. The .40, .38 Spcl and .45 Colt do okay with it, go figure. My barrel measures .356 as well and my RCBS 124 grain mold drops them at .3575, so no need to size. I've got a batch pan lubed up I'm about to try and see if that helps me. I think it will.
     
  22. greyling22

    greyling22 Member

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    according to my lee hardness tester, water quenched wheel weights with just a smidge of lynotype are about bhn 14. My barrel slugged out .356 according to calipers, so +/- .001, of that. I had bad leading with .356 and .357 bullets. .358's do a lot better, but I still don't have a particularly accurate load yet. Can't do better than 10 rounds in a fist at 10 yds. 9mm is hard. Hardest caliber I've ever loaded for. Stupid tiny high pressure tapered case........

    I'm using lee alox paul.
     
  23. Tinker

    Tinker Member

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    Germ,
    This, I think, was a problem for me when I first started making some with lead WW alloy. I even made a special "spreader" die insert that attaches to my universal decapping die. It has a section that opens every case mouth to .358" during decapping. Then I set my factory crimp to just barely set some tension. Just enough that pulled bullets OD at .357". Still fiddling with that alloy experiments (purpose of this thread). This has lessened leading from what I first saw.

    The lubes I've tried are straight alox and other home recipes that use alox and other stuff. Still fiddling with that too.
     
  24. Hondo 60
    • Contributing Member

    Hondo 60 Member

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    Here's a real good read on bullet hardness. (also an outstanding product made by outstanding people).
    I'm not related, nor do I know them, other than being a very satisfied customer.

    http://www.missouribullet.com/technical.php
     
  25. greyling22

    greyling22 Member

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    oops, I just rechecked my data, and and my ingots are running bhn 14, not my cast quenched bullets. they will be harder than 14. I think a water quenched wheel weight is supposed to run around 18, which is slightly harder than lyman #2, if my faulty brain is working right. 18BHN should be good for roughly 22,000 psi of pressure, which is a medium light 9mm load.
     
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