Quantcast

Lead Hardness

Help Support Muzzle Loading Forum:

jbolt

32 Cal
Joined
Sep 20, 2020
Messages
4
Reaction score
2
Does the lead projectile for a C&B revolver need to be pure lead? I have north of 1000 lbs of recovered range lead I use for other non-BP shooting. As cast the hardness averages 10-12 BHN.
 

ADK Bigfoot

40 Cal
Joined
May 29, 2016
Messages
407
Reaction score
275
Location
Lake George, NY
I would recommend saving your range lead for other bullets; keep the pure lead for the C&B revolver and muzzleloading rifles. Less stress and strain on your loading lever/ramrod, and better seal an obturation in the cylinder/bore. Others will say they have used it for this application, but if accuracy and consistence are your goals (I hope they are), keep with the softest lead you can find.

ADK Bigfoot
 

Eterry

54 Cal.
Joined
Aug 15, 2010
Messages
1,986
Reaction score
716
IMHO alloyed lead is nigh useless in a C&B revolver and minie balls. Sell it or trade it for pure lead.
 

griffiga

40 Cal
MLF Supporter
Joined
Sep 16, 2020
Messages
249
Reaction score
282
Location
Utah
I would recommend saving your range lead for other bullets; keep the pure lead for the C&B revolver and muzzleloading rifles. Less stress and strain on your loading lever/ramrod, and better seal an obturation in the cylinder/bore. Others will say they have used it for this application, but if accuracy and consistence are your goals (I hope they are), keep with the softest lead you can find.

ADK Bigfoot
I remember one of the first Civil War reenactment shoots I attended. I didn't know much about it then (you learn from experience thank goodness). I cast me some minie balls using wheel weight lead (all I had a the time). Not many of my shots hit the paper, and the ones that did went thru sideways. Yes, pure lead works much better.
 

hawkeye2

58 Cal.
Joined
Apr 12, 2004
Messages
3,858
Reaction score
866
Location
Winchester, VA
Eterry and griffiga are right on. Pure lead only for minies and revolvers. Rifles will accept harder lead though you may have to experiment with the patch thickness to make it work. 10 or higher Brinell is too hard for a rifle in my opinion. Lead of any hardness will work fine in a smoothbore and there are some that claim it works better than soft there as it isn't distorted by loading or bouncing down the barrel when fired. I think you should keep all 1,000 lbs. and buy a couple of smoothbores. 😀
 

Eutycus

62 Cal.
Joined
Nov 10, 2018
Messages
2,651
Reaction score
1,000
Location
South Texas
How much pure lead would you have to melt into wheel weight lead to make a soft enough mix. Say 50/50? Or is it even worth it?
 

hawkeye2

58 Cal.
Joined
Apr 12, 2004
Messages
3,858
Reaction score
866
Location
Winchester, VA
A lot but why bother? Wheel weight lead is great for cartridge guns and getting very hard to come by. Save it and trade it off.
 

Griz44Mag

62 Cal.
MLF Supporter
Joined
Nov 12, 2017
Messages
2,817
Reaction score
1,844
Location
Republic of Texas, District of Krum
Back when I was loading lead for high pressure modern rifles I had need of EXACT mixes to obtain BH of know values.
See LEE Second Edition pressure charts for more info.
I cooked up a little spreadsheet to help get mixes correct.
It's a bit crude - I never took the time to refine it - and if you have any questions about how to use it - PM me and we can get together on a phone call.
You don't need to know the content of the lead - but do need an accurate hardness tester.
If you download this - you must change the filename extension to .xlsx for it to function.
 

Attachments

nkbj

Cannon
MLF Supporter
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
7,253
Reaction score
463
And it would make a big difference depending upon how old the weights are. Much softer in recent history than in previous decades.
Like with most anything, there's ways to make something work if it's all you got. With percussion revolvers the smaller the caliber the easier it is to use alloyed lead, up to a point. If say you have a Pietta .44 and you're trying to load .457 alloyed lead balls then you'll likely have a problem. If you have a Navy Arms 1861 with .380 balls it would be easier. All a matter of how much lead you're trying to shear your way through. And if your chambers have smooth chamfered mouths then it's easier still.
But if the resistance is significant when you try to load the ball then stop and don't do it. A grown man can damage a percussion revolver.
 

Latest posts

Top