Reproofing a BPE rifle to NE?

Discussion in 'Double Rifles' started by matt85, Jan 14, 2016.

  1. ikeda

    ikeda AH Veteran

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    It is obviously important to have access to a chronograph.
    My new gun
    440 gr Hawk RNSP, .505" diameter. Hornady 3" brass, Rem 9 1/2 Mag primers with a wad, shot from 25.875" long barrels.

    50 gr. SR 4759 1743 fps
    56 gr. Accurate 5744 1744 fps
    59 gr 4198 1634 fps
    61 gr 4198 1724 fps

    Max pressure for the above listed loads is estimated @ 8.8 tons.
    I believe I can reach the nitro for black ballistics at less than 10.0 tons. But I don't know if I want to.
    I'll next try regulating it.
     

  2. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Might I make a suggestion before you go too far?

    I have a mixed opinion of Hawk bullets. I ordered them custom made with thick jackets and arsenic alloyed to be extra hard. I was going to use them for dangerous game with my life on the line. I "trust but verify" and found out that they were NOT hardened bullets. I do not trust Hawk to do what they say they will do, they cut corners.

    Woodleigh makes a 450gr bullet with a .065" thick jacket that would make this weapon suitable for dangerous game, rather than the 440gr .025" or .035" thick jacket.

    I would regulate for the 450gr bullet. I *think* I was at about 1825fps - 1835fps out of a 28" barrel with the load I was using that regulated well.
     

  3. ikeda

    ikeda AH Veteran

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    Woodleigh is a very good bullets but the 440 gr and 450 gr bullets are too large diameter for my gun.

    Fortunately, I’ve had very good luck with Hawk. They made some thin (.025”) jacketed 400 gr .466” diameter bullets for my sons 577/450 that he used in Namibia and they were great…also made some 300 gr for my 50-110.

    The main reason I went with Hawk was that they were the only place I could get .505” diameter bullets lighter than 525 gr. They list as std .505” 400 gr and 500 gr but he made me some 440 gr (with .032” jackets) and had them delivered in less than a week. When I take it for big stuff, I’ll have some made up with .050” or .062” jackets.
     

  4. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    And you used pin gauges to deduce you needed .505” ?
     

  5. ikeda

    ikeda AH Veteran

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    Nope....I used lead slugs driven through the barrels and measured very carefully with a dial caliper.
     

  6. ikeda

    ikeda AH Veteran

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    This method is the only way I know of that will give you the groove diameter. It also allows you to check the bores for tight or loose spots along the length of the barrel.
     

  7. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    You might want to try a pin gauge. If all but say 1" of the barrels near the muzzle measures .508"-.511" you wouldn't want to be using the .505" bullets. You may be able to use woodleigh bullets instead.

    Alternative to that, you might want to use woodleighs and swage up or down.
     

  8. ikeda

    ikeda AH Veteran

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    Thanks for the advice.
    A practiced hand can tell lose and tight spots in the bore.
    A pin gauge tells you nothing about the groove diameter.
     

  9. ikeda

    ikeda AH Veteran

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    Did you say arsenic, but mean antimony?
     

  10. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Arsenic is a classic hardening technique for lead bullets. It has different properties than antimony. Give it a google for details on valid uses for both.
     

  11. ikeda

    ikeda AH Veteran

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    Arsenic (As) Melting point, 1,503o F. Arsenic is a catalyst to heat treating Pb/Sb alloys and only a trace is required (¼ to ½ of 1%). Arsenic in itself does little to harden the alloy.

    Tin and/or antimony are added to lead (~2% to ~5%) to increase its strength and hardness. In the as cast condition arsenic raises the hardness only about 1 or 2 BHN. This compared to raising the BHN by ~10 BHN for a typical alloy containing 5% tin and antimony.
     

  12. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Superior grain refinement and hardness by the introduction of arsenic into Linotype and other lead mixtures:

    http://www.lasc.us/WiljenArsenic.htm
     

  13. ikeda

    ikeda AH Veteran

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    But Hawk doesn't use linotype or any other alloy. They use essentially pure lead, which is barely affected by the addition of arsenic.
     

  14. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    If what you say is true, that would be a perfect reason why not to trust and/or spend $500 on custom Hawk bullets. Because if you do, and they promise you hardened bullets, and they promise to bake them to further harden them, they do not do so. They did this knowing I was going to use the weapon in Africa for Dangerous game. Their negligence could have gotten someone injured or worse.
     

  15. ikeda

    ikeda AH Veteran

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    Obviously I have no way of knowing what you asked for, or if what you asked for would perform satisfactorily, nor do I know what Hawk delivered.
    But what I do know is that Hawk has always delivered exactly what I asked for in a timely manner.
     

  16. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    My letter to Hawk Bullets and the accompanying pictures sent March 9th, 2016:

    Hi Andy,

    As discussed, I ordered some .510" 440-450gr bullets for my 500 Express. The order included what we discussed:

    -antimony and other alloys added to provide hardness for penetration

    -arsenic added and a heat treatment oven process concluded to increase Brinell hardness further

    - .065" copper jacket made to assist with penetration.


    What I received after many months concerned me. I had 100 rounds loaded at $15 per unit for $1500 total. I shot them at wet phone books and saw significant mushrooming and weak penetration. Something was very wrong. I then had them tested by a ballistics technician and photos are attached. The bullets had a Brinell hardness of 4-5, not the intended 25-30. Indeed, they are soft lead, not what I ordered. The lab tested multiple samples and tested the nose and heel of the bullets with identical results. BHC of around 4 (+/- 1).

    Please investigate. I've now invested $1500 (loading) $386 (bullets) $100 (lab fees) $75 (test range fees) on this project. I ended up with something inferior to what I already had available off the shelf from woodleigh.

    I'm really alarmed as I could have died using these on dangerous game. I'm a family man and while hunting is fun, I have to return home and be a dad. These would not have killed a Cape buffalo or hippo, they would have just enraged the animal.

    I look forward to your reply once you test your samples.

    CA07E0A9-12BF-4461-871D-749A7CB0A4E7.jpeg A678EA41-8BF3-4E0C-A7E5-CA4C2919528B.jpeg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2019

  17. ikeda

    ikeda AH Veteran

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    Like I said, I have no way of knowing what was actually asked or agreed to.
    During this discussion you originally mentioned only arsenic, now you say you asked for arsenic, antimony, "other alloys" and heat treatment . So which is it?
    But I repeat...what I do know is that Hawk has always delivered exactly what I asked for in a timely manner.
     

  18. Thomas Rutledge

    Thomas Rutledge AH Member

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    Rookhawk, did you ever get a response to your complaint to Hawk?
     

  19. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Andy called me. As the conversation goes that is foggy some 3-4 years later, it was "whoops, we forgot to harden them". No refund was given to my recollection. No compensation for the lab fees to catch their error. No compensation for the costs of buying custom loaded ammo based on the flawed bullets.

    I was frustrated because "what the hell was the point?". Without the hardening, there were superior off-the-shelf bullets available, yet i waited for months for these bullets to be made.

    In the future, I'll buy woodleigh bullets. If they don't fit, I'll get them swaged.
     

  20. ikeda

    ikeda AH Veteran

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    A very interesting video featuring the anatomy of the ".500 Nitro Cartridge for Black Powder express rifles."

     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 23, 2019
    Thomas Rutledge likes this.

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