does WW shatter ?

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does WW shatter ?

Post by mtngun » Fri Feb 15, 2008 7:08 pm

from the old forum:

I have read elsewhere that if ww is heat treated that it will shatter. I was under the impression that it would not because the antimony was only about 4 percent. I thought this was only a problem with high antimony alloys and not alloy. So does it shatter when heat treated or no? Is there a certain point where the bhn needs to stay below and not go any higher?

Answer: Any lead bullet can and will splatter if it hits something hard enough while it is going fast enough, however, HTWW does not seem to be especially brittle.

By comparison, linotype has a reputation for shattering on hard targets like steel silhouettes. I watched a full house 44 mag load fail to knock over steel chickens at 50 meters because the linotype (or possibly monotype) bullets shattered like glass when they hit.

Once customer had some type metal (he wasn't sure if it was linotype or one of the other type metals) so brittle that he could break the check shank off with his thumb. Sometimes the shanks would break off when the cartridge was fired. Accuracy was very poor, as you might imagine. His private range was littered with bullet shanks that broke off before they reached the target (originally, he suspected that his gas checks were slipping off the bullet, but at my suggestion he searched the ground with a metal detector and found the broken shanks instead).

I have never observed these kinds of brittle behaviors with HTWW.

We don't have a scientific way to test the brittleness of our bullets, but you can get a pretty good idea how a bullet will react to a hard target by smashing the nose with a hammer. Below is a comparison of HTWW vs. linotype.

This batch of linotype does not appear to be brittle. I bought it used 20 years ago in line-type form, so I guess that makes it linotype, but can't vouch for the exact chemical composition.

The right-most HTWW bullet did fracture at a 45° angle, but only after it had been squashed like a pancake. I wouldn't hesitate to use those HTWW bullets on big game. After doing this test, I wouldn't hesitate to use this particular batch of lino on big game, either.