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Delmar
January 22, 2010, 04:37 PM
I have a chance to pick up some lead that tests 13-14 bhn. Is that soft enough to make good round balls for a .44 percussion revolver?

Noz
January 22, 2010, 05:08 PM
I wouldn't. Go dead soft. Roofing, lead pipe, x-ray sheilding etc.

robhof
January 23, 2010, 12:23 AM
If you have access to an outdoor range; the cores of most jacketed bullets are soft enough for b/p. I've used them for years. My local range is a great source after a few days rain, as the bullets come out of the berms and are easy picking, I pick it all and use the cast for modern and jacketed for b/p.

Deadguy
January 23, 2010, 12:43 AM
10 or less bhn is what you are looking for for round balls!

darkgael
January 23, 2010, 01:22 AM
That BHN number sounds like wheel weight alloy. Too hard. Pure lead has a BHN of about 5/6.
Pete

Edward429451
January 23, 2010, 01:27 AM
Old lead drain lines

Hawg
January 23, 2010, 10:59 AM
Hi Del, if you have a loader they'll work but they will put undue pressure on your loading lever and you may get leading from them. Pure lead has a BHN of 5. You can get stick on wheel weights and they will be fine. They have a BHN of 6 which is plenty soft enough. Clip on weights are anywhere from 10-16 BHN which is probably what you have.

okiefarmer
January 23, 2010, 05:27 PM
Hawg,

I learn sumpin' every time I read the forums.

You said harder lead would lead BP firearms if used. I always understood the biggest reason for softer lead was to let it (the bullet) obturate, and saving stress on loading rams, but I didn't think harder lead would leaf up the barell. I don't have issues with leading on any of my smokeless pistols using WW, so why would it lead in BP. I don't use WW in BP, but just curious why it would cause leading.

horseman308
January 23, 2010, 06:14 PM
Your really need pure lead - 99-100%. Soft enough that you can scratch it with your fingernail, easily.

Hawg
January 23, 2010, 07:34 PM
You said harder lead would lead BP firearms if used. I always understood the biggest reason for softer lead was to let it (the bullet) obturate, and saving stress on loading rams, but I didn't think harder lead would leaf up the barell. I don't have issues with leading on any of my smokeless pistols using WW, so why would it lead in BP.

Because of what you just said. Soft lead obturates and fills the rifling and seals the bore. Hard lead doesn't until you get up in smokeless pressures. Even mild smokeless loads benefit from soft lead.

Hawg
January 23, 2010, 07:36 PM
Your really need pure lead - 99-100%. Soft enough that you can scratch it with your fingernail, easily.

As a general rule but someone that works with his hands a lot can easily scratch 10-12 BHN which is too hard for bp.

okiefarmer
January 23, 2010, 08:24 PM
DOH. :o:o:o Guess I can't put two and two together, Hawg.

Thanks for 'splainin' that.

the rifleer
January 23, 2010, 09:24 PM
why cant you use hard lead? i would assume a copper jacket is harder than a wheel weight.

Hawg
January 23, 2010, 09:29 PM
Because it wont fill the bore and you cant use jacketed bullets in a bp revolver anyway. I can just see somebody trying to seat a FMJ in a 58 Remington.:D

okiefarmer
January 24, 2010, 11:47 AM
Now wait just a minute Hawg. They make conversion cylinders for some of these BP pistols. Seems kinda silly though, if ya bought the dang thing for the fun of re-living the joy of BP, then get a conversion smokeless cylinder to save on the mess and cleanup. :confused::confused:

My original confusion concerning obturation/sealing/leading was related to the fact that RB doesn't obturate like conicals. The issue then is broken loading rams more than anything. I have never tried a RB made from WW, but have heard that WW would likely shrink back just a few thousandths, so likely would be too small for the cylinder anyway.

Hawg
January 24, 2010, 08:18 PM
Pure lead shrinks on cooling more than ww's. Lead is lead it will obturate if soft enough and once a round ball is pressed into a chamber it's no longer round but rather a short conical rounded on both ends. Also percussion .44 bores are usually .450 and smokeless .45 bullets are .452 so theres no need for them to obturate.