How do you measure lead hardness?

Discussion in 'Casting' started by Ikarus1, Sep 14, 2017.

  1. Ikarus1

    Ikarus1 Avtomat Krishna-kov

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    I've seen various ways to measure lead hardness, and for most things that I shoot (pistols) cast lead in, it's not a big deal. Everything from straight COWW alloy to 50-50 COWW/pure and 2% Sn.

    However I'm casting for .35 Remington and .44 magnum in long guns and would like a bit more insight into the alloy.

    Currently I am using the 'lead pencil method' of measure relative hardness. I am looking into a cabintree type hardness tester but just wondering if it's worth the scratch, as the pencils give me a ballpark idea.

    I also scrounge lead from various sources and would like a quick way to test what I am getting.
     
  2. Tailhunter

    Tailhunter I am a Trapper Charter Member Supporting Member

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    Lee makes a lead testing kit.
     
  3. reloader762

    reloader762 Boolit Master

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    I pretty much cast for many years without using a hardness tester,the lead I use was either pretty much pure or close to it or wheel weights that were of a fairly know hardness or on occasions some Lino or Monotype so it was easy to figure out the general hardness range the bullets would cast at air cooled or water quenched an I never ran into any issues in my handguns or rifles. Later on my buddy Andy picked up a Lee tester and it pretty much confirmed we were in a couple BHN of what we originally thought.

    The tester does come in handy on occasion when you get some alloys that your not quiet sure where they at on the BHN range or range scrap which may have a mix of soft as well as hard cast lead mixed in.
     
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  4. Ikarus1

    Ikarus1 Avtomat Krishna-kov

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    Yeah. Its nothing against lee but Ive heard its not the greatest, or easiest to use. The art pencils work comparing A to B, and eventually the cabin tree will be in my toolbox