My experience has been that I don't know the hardness or velocity of my reloads, but I rarely run a brush down the bore of the m96 or K31; they always look pretty clean to me. Perhaps, I am not as particular as most shooters. I simply don't see where they are dirty or fouled. Recently, I've been running more of the coated bullets, since they are quite affordable and eliminate the need to cast, lube and size my own cast bullets. Granted, I do prefer the Lyman #266469 profile over the 150g GCTC that I've been buying, but I can live with that. Personally, I am not so concerned with velocities, but rather if the loads shoot and group okay. Since I'm shooting cardboard, not Cape Buffalo, it's not that critical. Yes, I've used the 18g plastic riot bullets in the K31 and FR-7 to knock down bowling pins, so how much more energy is required? Get out there and experiment (within reason) and find what works for you... Okay...perhaps the hardness scale on this one is questionable..