How hard is Babit?


Residing in New England
I got a couple pigs. One im pretty sure is Mono type. Its marked by a foundry known for printing leads. Tests to 22/24 BHN.

The second is not mold marked. But was stamped.

I made a video to show.

So straight out of the mold the bullet tested 16 BHN.


Then this AM about 12 hours later we are @ 40BHN!


Im gonna try to have this scanned. But figured Id ask here too.

What do I have!??



Staff member
Lots of different kinds of Babbitt.

THis is from Rotometals.

Babbitt nameASTM B23 /
Lead %Tin %Antimony %Copper %Melting PointPouring Temperature
Number 1Grade 10%90-92%4-5%4-5%433F825F
RotoNickel -.15% MonelGrade 20%88-90%7-8%3-4%466F795F
Super ToughGrade 30%83-85%7.5-8.5%7.5-8.5%464F915F
Grade 11 (SAE-11)Grade 110%86-89%6-7.5%5-6.5%470F620F
Copper HardGrade 6 +50-52%35-37%11-13%0.5-1.5%360F655F
Formula 0 Heavy PressureGrade 774-76%9.3-10.7%14-16%0%464F640F
Number 4 Hardware-84-86%1-2%12-14%0%473F625F
Grade 13Grade 1383-85%5.5-6.5%9.5-10.5%0%485F620F
Merit Babbitt 73-75%9-10%15-17%0%450F645F
RoyalGrade 879-81%4.5-5.5%14-16%0%459F645F

L Ross

Well-Known Member
Because like a lot of us, I grab anything plumbous. Thus I have stuff laying around marked babbit. I don't think I will ever get to the point that I will need to use it for bullets though. I'd have to shoot up a few thousand pounds of other stuff first.
I used to mess with old hit 'n miss engines and had fantasies that I'd need the babbit for bearings. Yeah right.


Well-Known Member
there isn't a lot of lead alloys with a BHN of 40 air cooled.
airc Tin is only around 35 on it's own and copper is near 50.
zinc is up there,,, and zamac alloys are very hard but have a low melt point.

the old bearing babbits were usually around 85% maybe to 90% tin but had copper and antimony in the mix.
a few had some lead also but it wasn't real common in most small engine applications.
Nickel was, it provided some slickery and more hardness to the bearing area, but had a tendency to be difficult to pour in higher amounts, plus it didn't like to stay in solution very well so it took some skill and knowledge to work with.


Well-Known Member
Probably supertough. Really high Cu content. My 2% was like 36 BHN WD. Shot fine.
I have an old worn out lee 40sw mould I pour the stuff in, don't even use the sprue plate so I got know weight to add as a hardener. Don't shoot them, use as hardener/toughener.
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High Steppes of Eastern Washington
I still have a few ingots, 5 pounds, of "high speed" marked babbit that is 85% antimony and the rest tin, nickel and copper. From a relative who ran a rock crusher for most of his life and used this on that machine. It makes beautiful bullets that weigh about 80% of lead alloy bullets, but if you try to mix it with lead, there is a really lumpy mess in the pasty phase and hard to work with.


Residing in New England
The ingot was stamped "ASTM-2" & "4306"

ASTM we know and it lead me this far. I was shocked this AM to discover a 40+ BHN reading.
It melted at about 675 ish I didnt watch real close.

Ill use to "sweeten" my RF recovered soft lead. I was gonna use LINO or buy SuperHard from rotometals. I have a small quantity of LINO.

I need to do some research to learn a good appropriate recipe. Target would be ACWW.


Active Member
I used to get Babbitt when I was in the oilfield, they used it for pouring "rope sockets" and It made very hard undersized bullets, it did blend ok with my other stuff



Residing in New England
I found a use for this product! I wasn't really comfortable doing a suggested using it as if it were a "super tin". I've worked hard and I know what 20:1 does for me. I don't want to introduce something that would change that and possibly change the outcome.
With my recent expansion into reloading buckshot there's a real need for real hard pellets and seeing as I only have an 7 or 10 pounds of this, it's a really nice candidate for my buck shot pellets.
Today I used a pound of it with almost a pound of pure lead and I cast up to pounds of .390 balls. They are HARD!!!



Well-Known Member
ww alloy is ''super hard'' when it comes to buckshot.
I stressed using that, fearing I might get a little bridging in the choke without a buffer of some type.


Well-Known Member
Babbit runs the gamut from near we to near Lino. My old machinery’s handbook list a couple pages of different formulas from mostly to to mostly lead with lots of different variations of additional metals


Well-Known Member
Wow, just got a look at my earlier post. Hurry up posting isn’t my fortes, I’m in western Ks for opening day of pheasant season and posted between fields. I’d better proof read more often