Bullet hardness 357

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  • Last Post 23 May 2022
2frogs posted this 20 May 2022

What hardness are you guys running you bullets for 38/357. My bullets are 125 gr round nose, 158 gr semi wadcutter with gas check and a few button nose wadcutter. Thanks. Oh some of these are used in my Rossi rifle as well.

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Eutectic posted this 23 May 2022

After years of experimenting with dozens of alloys, I came to the following conclusions:

You want at least 1% tin for easy casting. Anything over 2% tin is wasteful as tin is EXPENSIVE. To increase hardness add antimony. The only reason to go over 2% tin is if you need the hardness and excellent casting of the eutectic linotype at 4% tin. 

1% tin 3% antimony at BHN ~12  does all my standard revolver loads This about wheel weights (If you have some) plus 1% tin.
2% tin 6% antimony at BHN ~18 takes care of auto pistol loads, magnum revolver and light rifle.

Lyman #2 5% tin 5% antimony costs more than the equivalent hardness 2% 6% for no advantage I can find. 

If you cast hollow points, you want high tin low antimony alloy for expansion and must pay for it.  

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Aaron posted this 22 May 2022

I use Lyman #2 alloy at 15 BHN for the 357. The 38 Special is anywhere from 8-12 BHN with a variety of alloys.

With rifle in hand, I confidently go forth into the darkness.

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Ed Harris posted this 22 May 2022

I blend one half of a 4pound, 11 ounce ingot of Bell System Type "E" wiping solder, 63% lead, 37% tin, to fill a 10 kilogram Ohio Thermal casting pot using 1980s FBI Quantico indoor backstop lead, composed mostly of .38 Special bullets, slugs, buckshot and 9mm core lead, having an average analysis of 3% Sb, < 0.05="" cu,=""><0.15 as="" and="" the="" rest="" lead,="" as="" measured="" by="" x-ray="" diffraction="" back="" in="" the="" day="" when="" i="" had="" access="" to="" lab="" equipment.="" for="" black="" powder="" guns="" u="" blend="" the="" same="" ratio="" with="" soft="" plumbers="" lead="" or="" x-ray="" shielding.="" as="" and="" the="" rest="" lead,="" as="" measured="" by="" x-ray="" diffraction="" back="" in="" the="" day="" when="" i="" had="" access="" to="" lab="" equipment.="" for="" black="" powder="" guns="" u="" blend="" the="" same="" ratio="" with="" soft="" plumbers="" lead="" or="" x-ray="">

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Idahocaster posted this 21 May 2022

I have had good luck with 158 grain bullets using 20:1 lead/tin. I use that alloy for low power loads all the way up to full power 1200 ft/s loads. Revolvers only though, I don't have a 357 magnum rifle (sigh!!).

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RicinYakima posted this 21 May 2022

I use 1990’s ww’s plus 2% tin for about BhN of 14. Only for HP’s do I add twice the weight of pure lead, 8+ BhN. FWIW

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