Ag and Ag-alloy sheathed Bi-2223 tapes were fabricated by a powder-in-tube technique with different configurations of the precursor and restack sheath materials: Ag, AgAu7 wt%, AgSb0.6 wt%, AgMg0.2 wt%. Analysis of the I/sub c/ and volume fractions of the Bi-2223, Bi-2212, Bi-2201 and Bi-3221 phases indicated that volume fractions of Bi-2223>90%, Bi-2212/spl sim/5%, Bi-2201/spl sim/0% and Bi-3221<2%, normally result in tapes with the highest I/sub c/. The mechanical properties of the tapes revealed consistent results. Generally, the harder the sheath material, the higher tolerance to the bending strain and higher the tensile strength of the tape. The sequence of the alloys' hardness from highest to lowest was AgMg0.2 wt%, AgSb0.6 wt%, AgAu7 wt% or Ag.