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Help i cant get my bullets hard!!!

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Casull, Feb 13, 2020.

  1. Casull

    Casull Member

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    So i made some really nice bullets for a 454 casull but my hardness readings seem all over the place. I test the same bullet a couple Different times and get different results 15-19. Then i tried heat treating them at about 475 for 2 hours then plunged in cold water. Now 18 hrs later my BHN is 15? one five thats the same as my 45lc’s from clip on wheel weights not heat treated. I must be doing something wrong but i cant figure out what.
     
  2. Scooter22

    Scooter22 Member

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    What lead are you using for them? You mention clip on WWs for the 45lc.. IIRC an alloy needs to have arsenic in it for heat treating. Old style clip on WWs did. From your post I'm not sure your using them for the 454.
     
  3. Casull

    Casull Member

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    The casull rounds are the problem and my mix is 4% tin 6% antimony and 90% lead. The antimony and lead came from pure antimony and roto superhard and a mix of cww and pure lead so those percentages are as close to true as i could get. Someone reminded me that the inconsistent bhn could be because i may not have mixed the pot good enough. Im trying tho reach a bhn 22 or higher.
     
  4. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    What hardness are you expecting and what is your alloy? I would not expect above that for WW lead.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
  5. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    When I cast bullets the weight seems to change in relation to weight. Out of a 230 grain mold, pure lead drops at 240 and is quite soft, silver solder drops at 210 and are almost as hard as Superman’s head.
     
  6. blue32

    blue32 Member

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    I think the problem with super hard is that if you dont have enough tin in the mix the antimony will tend to congregate together and not mix well. For that reason I never fooled with it. You may want to try at least 2% tin to the mix and keep adding .5% increments until it gets more homogeneous.
     
  7. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    *Oven heat treated, water cooled bullets containing 2% antimony can take up to 2 weeks to fully harden.*

    Bullets harden faster with a higher % of antimony, like your 6% But your blended metals may be less then the 6% ?


    1 hour in the oven is best.
    Problem- sizing requires lube. Cant have lube on bullets in the oven. So, oven heat treat, water cool bullets as cast. Then size & lube the same day. Bullets will continue to harden. Test has shown hardness is thru to the bullets center.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
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  8. Casull

    Casull Member

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    Im pretty sure i went as high at i should go with the antimony because i used pure antimony plus super hard plus a mix of cww, and ww i aimed for no more then 6%. I used a spreadsheet that someone created on the forum to get my +/- percentage.
     
  9. Casull

    Casull Member

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    Could arsenic be my problem?
     
  10. Casull

    Casull Member

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    Could lack of arsenic be my problem?
     
  11. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Test hardness in 2 weeks. Double check diameter after sizing. Different alloys spring back more then others.
    I have never tested bhn. Thumb nail, screw driver & how hard* it is to size the bullets, gives me an idea of hardness. But i only shoot 44 mag.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020
    Casull likes this.
  12. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    http://www.freepatentsonline.com/5464487.html

    Unless you buy certified pure lead, most all lead has some arsenic. Factories like win rem fed use scrap lead, mixed with virgin alloys to reach the required hardness.

    Screenshot_20200214-105324.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020
  13. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    What you're doing wrong is putting way too much emphasis on BHN.
    Why would you want to take a bullet that is between 15 and 19 and make it harder?
    If it is the proper size for your firearm, that is plenty hard for .454 Casull, especially if you're using gas checks (I don't know if you are).
    If you get it too hard, and they don't fit just right, you're going to create more problems than you solve.
     
  14. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    If I want hard cast bullets I drop them directly from the mold into a bucket of water. I know they are hot when they fall from the mold, probably hotter than I could safely get them in the oven.

    Check them again in a couple of days. Bullets continue to harden after they are quenched. That’s why I try to dry them and to size them within a day or so if possible.
     
  15. Casull

    Casull Member

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    Ok ill hang tight then test again in a couple weeks and continue scouring forums.
     
  16. Casull

    Casull Member

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    Yeah i am using gas checks and im going off the lee BHN test sheet and to reach a psi of 45k psi it says to use a bullet around 25-28 BHN. Im not sure exactly what the BHN should be because i dont have the sheet with me at the moment
     
  17. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    I've never seen or heard of someone using a number that high, but I'm not familiar with your caliber. If your gas checking them I would not worry and test a few.
     
  18. Texas10mm

    Texas10mm Member

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    STOP.

    Read this.

    http://www.lasc.us/Fryxell_Book_Contents.htm

    Your alloy is PLENTY hard.
     
  19. frankmako

    frankmako Member

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    i drop my wheel weights bullets from the mold to water. i size them within a week of casting. they will get harder as time goes on. some will spring back after sizing.
     
  20. Scooter22

    Scooter22 Member

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    Theres lots of good info here. I've followed my the Lyman Cast Bullet handbook. They have a segment on heat treating WWs.. One thing here is they are basing this on the old real lead clip on WWs from the 70s, 80s ect. Now the new ones. I'm lucky to have more than I;ll use. But according to them properly treated you can get up to 30bnh. BUT hardness isn't everything. Proper sizing is very important. I've used heat treated Lee 150srn GC FP in my 30-30s up to 2200fps with no leading. I use the Lee push through sizing dies and their tumble lube. Lube, size and relube. Has worked great since the 80s. One thing I plan on trying is powder coating. Seems as good or better than heat treating.
     
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  21. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Just a note, if you are your cast bullets cure for a month or so they will harden too.
     
  22. Casull

    Casull Member

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    This is the part that catches my eye View attachment 892133
     
  23. Texas10mm

    Texas10mm Member

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    Error on the attachment.
     
  24. Casull

    Casull Member

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    AFE0DC7F-6401-41E5-A4F1-A9C2B67415F9.jpeg
    I noticed that too is there something under the attachment you can click on. Im looking to reach 35,000 psi. 330BCA87-D234-4362-9F2A-78CED66633D2.png
     
  25. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    This chart would have a lot more critical meaning if you were running bare lead. Your running a GC so gas cutting of the base and some of the other issues are not a concern. You may have more issues with the harder lead. Please for all that is holly run a few test shots and see if your chasing your tail to fix a problem that does not exist. Start low, work up to the desired pressure in steps seeing if there are any issues at each interval.
     
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