Now that the coyotes have been sent on, I thought I would try comparing non-hardened bullets against hardened bullets for both accuracy and penetration into bundles of newspaper flyers. My bullets were both 405 grain HB and 500 grain flat base bullets used in one of my trapdoor 45-70's, all loads with 55 grains Goex FFG powder and CCI 200 primers, SPG pan lubed. These loads give me 1000 to 1100 fps. I have had better groups with heavier charges, but I think this shows a trend; maybe more shooting for comparison starting mid-April or May as temps now are in the -teens and colder.
The non-hardened bullets were some I had on hand that I did nothing particular to, range scrap cleaned and cast. The hardened bullets were from recovered range scrap, newly cleaned, tin added (no antimony on hand), and dropped from the mold into a ceramic lined large pot half filled with water and a bunch of snow added on top. The snow kept the water below the snow pretty much at a constant 32 degrees F.
For accuracy with the 405 grain bullets I compared 2 sets of 5 rounds for groups with 3 levels of hardness: non hardened, hardened with a little tin, and hardened with a little more tin. The day I shot was in the +20's, light wind, overcast, and shot off a bench with sand bags. Distance shot was 50 yards.
Accuracy for the 500 grain bullet was for hard only, it just got too cold for my hands to continue, so that will have to be finished another day. I made the decision to not shoot more this winter if the temps start with minus.
Groups for the 405 grain are shown below; all in all the most tin did the best, but this is only a small population.
The most interesting for me was comparing hardened 500 grain penetration to the non-hardened penetration. The bullets actually weighed in at 518 grains, all run across the scale.The most penetration was the non-hardened bullet by one flyer (25 per bundle), but it weighed significantly less on recovery than the hardened bullet. It also had less deformation, but was skewed in the paper more than the hardened bullet. Residue from the penetration channel had more lead specks from the softer bullet. I think the ;more penetration was because there was less surface area presented as the lead was scraped off to allow for deeper,though modest, penetration.
Thought somebody might be interested, this definitely calls for more shooting after the weather warms up.
Happy New Year.