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Really hard round balls!!!

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by maint1517, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. maint1517

    maint1517 Member

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    I ordered some .454 round balls from a seller on Etsy a while back. Today my stepson wanted to shoot one of my .44's, so I got them out. While loading the 3rd chamber in the cylinder I was having to use so much force to load it my hand, slick with lube from the balls, slipped down the loading bar and the catch took a chunk out of my last 2 fingers. I stopped there and finished loading with Hornadys. I was worried that the amount of force I was having to use was either going to bend or break my loading bar.
    Has anyone else had problems like this with balls purchased from someone who makes them?
     
  2. Shanghai McCoy

    Shanghai McCoy Member

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    Yep. Had some cast balls that I'd gotten at a rondy years back that must have been wheel weights not pure lead. They were OK with a thin patch for plinking in a rifle.
     
  3. Mizar

    Mizar Member

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    Maybe they are cast from wheel weights - put them in an oven, preheated to about 300 F, for half an hour and try them again. The lead will anneal to almost a pure lead hardness, but it will slowly regain it's original hardness within two weeks. That's how I shoot WW bullets in Cap & Ball revolvers - just annealing them the night before my shooting session.
     
  4. maint1517

    maint1517 Member

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    Thanks, ill give that a try. Im still new to this and learning. I just bought my first BP revolver, a 1860 army .44, about a year ago . Since then ive added a 1858 army .44, a CVA .31caliber derringer, a Classic Arms Snake Eyes .36 caliber, and just today my Pietta 1851 "yank" .36 caliber was delivered. Guess you can say im addicted.
    But this today showed me I still have a lot to learn!
     
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  5. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    I had a similar problem when i left some WW lead in the bottom of my pot, and melted some pure lead on top. The mix was so hard that i sheared a hinge screw on my 58 rammer.
     
  6. maint1517

    maint1517 Member

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    I was thinking about getting a cylinder loading stand for my 1858.But would it be any easier loading these balls that way ?
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  7. Jimster

    Jimster Member

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    I’ve only cast pure lead in the past (rb and ringtail Sharps). If I also did some modern alloys I would consider buying a separate bottom pour Lee Production pot. I don’t cast much anymore.
     
  8. damoc

    damoc Member

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    I shoot a lot of wheel weight balls which are too hard I like the way they shoot but they are hard to load and ive sheared the loading lever pin several times
    BUT I cast them so i did it too myself.on my want list is a loading stand.
     
  9. RecoilRob

    RecoilRob Member

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    Wheel-weights won't cast at the same diameter as pure lead, so if they were .454 moulds the balls could be quite a bit larger...along with harder. Have you measured the difficult to load balls? I've cast some not quite wheel-weight type hard but probably closer to #2 mix...and they can be difficult to load if the .454 mould is used. They come out of the .451 mould a little smaller and load easier...but have a reduced shaved ring so always get lubed wads under them for chain-fire protection.
     
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  10. Hanshi

    Hanshi Member

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    That's one of the reasons I cast all the ball I shoot; pure lead is the way to go.
     
  11. maint1517

    maint1517 Member

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    I haven't measured them, but I will. I havent got started casting my own.But after this im definitely giving it a lot of thought.
     
  12. Ratshooter

    Ratshooter Member

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    If you are using WW lead don't flux the metal and the tin and antimony will float to the top where you can skim it off and then you will have pure lead or at least very close to pure lead. Thats what I have done for many years. All of my WW metal has been melted into pucks and the ones that were cleaned for BP shooting are marked "pure lead" on top so I know what I have. But once a mix is fluxed its fluxed forever.

    There is a formula I found in my BP shooting book by Sam Fadala that tells you how to measure a round ball and weigh it. And if its pure lead what its weight will be per its diameter. But I don't know the formula off the top of my head. Sorry.
     
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  13. Ratshooter

    Ratshooter Member

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  14. Ratshooter

    Ratshooter Member

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    OK I did the math for a .454 RB and if pure lead it should weigh 140.79 grains. If its lighter than that by very much it is not pure lead.
     
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