Graybeard Outdoors banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm getting ready to cast some bullets for light 38 special loads. I plan to use 4 to 5 grains of Unique with 150 to 170 grain bullets for 600 to 800 fps.

I have some wheel weights and some # 2 alloy. Which would be best to use for these loads?

I understand that the # 2 alloy casts better because of the tin content. I have never cast bullets from straight wheel weights. Also, when casting rifle bullets, I drop them into a bucket of water to harden them. I assume that I should not harden these 38 special bullets -- correct?

If later, I decide to load some of these for 357 mag, should these bullets be harder?

Thanks for your help,
George
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,111 Posts
How Hard Should Alloy Be for 38 Special Pli

Hey George,
I have been casting with straight wheelweights for a number of years. Everything from 9mm, 38/375, 40 and 45. Sometimes I cast into water and other times I don't (depends on how cold it is!) About the only thing I have noticed is the water cast ones are a bit harder to size in the 450 sizer/luber. I don't push them and have had good luck with all.
You are correct that a bit more tin will help but this has never been a large problem for me. I use both Lee and Lyman molds.
My humble suggestion is to just cast some and see how they work.
Walt
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
632 Posts
How Hard Should Alloy Be for 38 Special Pli

:D I USE A LOT OF RANGE LEAD IN MY CASTING...IN THE .38 TO THE .44 I HAVE FOUND THAT IT IS A LITTLE HARDER THAT PURE LEAD.MAYBE ABOUT A 1 TO 40 MIX.....ON MY SAECO TESTER IT RUNS ABOUT 4 TO 5......IF YA KEEP THE SPEED DOWN U SHOULD NOT HAVE ANY PROBLEMS AND MAKE SURE U USE A GOOD LUBE ON THE PROJO....HAVE FUN...KING
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
22,505 Posts
How Hard Should Alloy Be for 38 Special Pli

I use either range lead or pure lead cut 50-50 with ww for my low velosity .38 stuff with no leading problems.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,048 Posts
How Hard Should Alloy Be for 38 Special Pli

I'm with Lloyd...pure lead with a pinch of tin added for fillout, lubed with something real soft. Most of the time quite a bit more accurate than harder bullets and doesn't lead. Size 'em to fit the throats, as always.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
How Hard Should Alloy Be for 38 Special Pli

i use wheelweights for everything. make sure they are a snug fit in the cylinder throats and they will work ok at most pistol velocities.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
How Hard Should Alloy Be for 38 Special Pli

I use wheelweights for 99% o my casting. For the low velocity/pressure stuff, I cast and give 'em 2 weeks to harden then size them. They turn out around 14 BHN. For all else, I drop them from the mould into a bucket of water. These bullets test out at around 22 BHN +/-.
Sometimes I'll mix a little Linotype in just because I have SO much of it. When I cast hollowpoints I use an alloy of 7/1 wheelweights to lead. So far my .30 cal. 172 gr. hollopoints have killed 3 deer and they appear to expand quite well.
Greg[/quote]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
95 Posts
How Hard Should Alloy Be for 38 Special Pli

I use wheel weights for most of my plinking loads (800fps and below)
I do add 1 lb. of 60/40 bar solder to the mix to fill the moulds out a little better than strait wheel weights. i mix lino with it between 800 and 1200 and gas check anything with a faster velocity than 1200.
works for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,286 Posts
Lead Hardness

Lower velocities need softer bullets. Bullets that are too hard will not obturate to fill the barrel and leading will result. I think it was Veral Smith that came up with a factor of 1422 (or something close) that you multiply the Brinnel hardness by to get the pressure needed to bump up the base of the bullet to prevent leading. Commercial bullet manufacturers have perpetuated a myth that hard bullets are better. The fact of the matter is that hard bullets are easier to cast and result in a more consistent bullet (fewer culls). Match your hardenss to the pressure.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top