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  1. #1
    Senior Member BruceW's Avatar
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    Hardcast, what do you Really think?

    I tried hardcast bullets, dug them out of the backstop and suspect I could have used them again. I don't think that's a good thing when a bullet passes down a barrel and shows no sign of having done so.
    Then last winter at a gunshow we came across a model 94 in 375win. It had styrations down the barrel, something had been stripping/skipping the lands, for lack of a better description. If you'll excuse my complete gunsmithing ignorance, I wondered if it hadn't fired Lot's of hardcast.

    Now don't get me wrong, I shoot cast bullets in my webley, son's enfield, etc. They're not Hardcast, the bullets are soft and conform to the barrel, not ignore it. You know, like lead and, copper bullets do.

    Am I alone in not trusting hardcast?

    I understand some who shoot, "cowboy action" use lot's of harcast, what do your bores look like?

    I also realize wheelweight bullets seem to be like a religion to some, but I just don't buy into it.

    Am I missing something? What say you?

  2. #2
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    I agree with you, the reason most use hardcast, even for cowboy action is because that is what the production bullet makers offer. They offer this because they drop from the molds easy, it's also why they don't offer multi-groove bullets or bullets with sharp edges, it's not for your benefit, it's because they drop easily and don't tie things up. They use a lube that "ships well" not because it works. For hunting bullets I use pure lead, tin, and linotype...even for higher velocity, I don't make over BHN 20 except for target shooting. I use gas checks where necessary, but I want expansion and deep penetration and wouldn't hesitate to go to a longer bullet to gain both expansion and penetration. For me, there is no place in my hunting loads for those BHN25 hard bullets, they don't expand, may actually shatter, and if the fit is not perfect they will lead your bore very badly...IMHO

  3. #3
    The Gunsmithing Moderator blacksmithden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M.T. Chambers View Post
    I agree with you, the reason most use hardcast, even for cowboy action is because that is what the production bullet makers offer. They offer this because they drop from the molds easy, it's also why they don't offer multi-groove bullets or bullets with sharp edges, it's not for your benefit, it's because they drop easily and don't tie things up. They use a lube that "ships well" not because it works. For hunting bullets I use pure lead, tin, and linotype...even for higher velocity, I don't make over BHN 20 except for target shooting. I use gas checks where necessary, but I want expansion and deep penetration and wouldn't hesitate to go to a longer bullet to gain both expansion and penetration. For me, there is no place in my hunting loads for those BHN25 hard bullets, they don't expand, may actually shatter, and if the fit is not perfect they will lead your bore very badly...IMHO
    I have a question for you Mr Bullet Guru !! Have you ever used a Lee lead hardness test kit ? Are they at all accurate ? I've got one, but I don't have access to a real BH tester to compare it against.
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  4. #4
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    I have one and use it, I believe it is accurate enough, but very hard to read, I've heard Cabine Tree and LBT are much better, but if you know exactly what you are putting into alloy mix, you really shouldn't need to measure hardness. I think it would be more useful for unknown alloys or bullets you've come upon and need to know the hardness. I prefer to start with known alloys, eg: pure lead, pure tin, linotype.....no quenching, no heat treating, as this introduces other factors that change as the bullet ages.....Ben

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by M.T. Chambers View Post
    I agree with you, the reason most use hardcast, even for cowboy action is because that is what the production bullet makers offer. They offer this because they drop from the molds easy, it's also why they don't offer multi-groove bullets or bullets with sharp edges, it's not for your benefit, it's because they drop easily and don't tie things up. They use a lube that "ships well" not because it works. For hunting bullets I use pure lead, tin, and linotype...even for higher velocity, I don't make over BHN 20 except for target shooting. I use gas checks where necessary, but I want expansion and deep penetration and wouldn't hesitate to go to a longer bullet to gain both expansion and penetration. For me, there is no place in my hunting loads for those BHN25 hard bullets, they don't expand, may actually shatter, and if the fit is not perfect they will lead your bore very badly...IMHO
    Pretty much bang on. For most pistol/revolver applications ordinary wheelweight alloy works great. Both .38spl and .45LC cartridges are low pressure rounds so you really are better off with a softer alloy. From my experience soft lubes work the best. The above reallly does describe why commercial casters use hard lube.

    Take Care

    Bob

  6. #6
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    The original post had to do with hard cast bullets being so hard that they wouldn't take the rifling, and being hard on the rifle barrel.
    My answer to that is, "No way."
    "Hard cast," bullets are not nearly as hard as standard copper bullet jackets from factory bullets.

  7. #7
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    If the very hardcast bullets are of the proper size for the barrel they will have no choice but to engrave on the rifling IMHO, I don't believe they will wear a barrel nearly as much as jacketed bullets. The problem is when those hardcast are slightly undersized, they will lead, not grip the rifling and be inaccurate. Their poor terminal performance is a matter for another day.

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