Rimfire lead

  • Last Post 23 August 2020
JeffinNZ posted this 22 August 2020

Hi all.

Recently I had cause to breakdown a large amount of ammo collected in our 'duds box' at my club.

I took the opportunity to segregate the .22RF bullets and melt them down to measure the hardness.  Reading on the Lee tester came back at 8.2BHN, a shade harder than I was expecting and close to 40/1 alloy.

Ammo was a wide variety of brands, subsonic, standard velocity and HVHP.

Cheers from New Zealand

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 22 August 2020

michael jackson advised " better think twice " ...

since decent 22rf shoot about 1/3 moa ....  

maybe 40-1 is worth


Shot ...



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Spindrift posted this 22 August 2020

I have a batch of alloy, salvaged from an indoor range, that almost exclusively fire .22lr from RWS. And a sprinkling of airgun bullets. With added 2% «pewter», I get BHN8 from freshly cast bullets, no difference between air-cooled and water quenched. After about two- three weeks, they reach BHN 11-12. 

My interpretation, is they probably contain 2-3 % antimon, but no arsenic.

I believe the alloy used in commercial swaged bullets often contain a bit of antimon. The grain-refining effect of antimon is useful in the swaging process (form-filling). But the hardening effect of the antimon is negated by the swaging process. So, when we melt swaged commercial bullets and cast new bullets with the alloy, our new bullets can turn out harder than the original bullets were.

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RicinYakima posted this 23 August 2020

My chemical analyses from the 1990's said that RWS and Lapua and Eley were 2% antimony. FWIW

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Bud Hyett posted this 23 August 2020

I have tried at each NRA Annual meeting that I have attended to nail down the alloy and lubricant from the excellent .22 LR Target ammunition manufacturers. Eley, Federal Match, Lapua and others are asked. Suddenly, all the people there are sales and do not know the answer since they are not technical experts. 

I feel they have centuries of experience and have refined a lubricant specific to their need that might possibly transfer to the plain-base breech-seat Schuetzen shooter. Each company's lubricant is different in look and smell. 

Farm boy from Illinois, living in the magical Pacific Northwest

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