Author Topic: Bullet alloys  (Read 496 times)

Offline 6thMissp

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Bullet alloys
« on: September 20, 2023, 08:16:23 AM »
Good morning all!  What's a good mix of alloys to use for casting. Pure lead , wheel weights,  linotype and solder to be used. Just asking. Joel Foss

Offline Ranch 13

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Re: Bullet alloys
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2023, 09:20:46 AM »
Most anything will work. My preference in black powder loads is 16-1 or 20-1 lead tin. Smokeless in higher velocity I like #2 alloy
Eat more beef the west wasn't won on a salad.

Offline El Supremo

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Re: Bullet alloys
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2023, 10:51:19 AM »
Hello, 6thmissp/Joel:

The NRA published a comprehensive book, CAST BULLETS, in 1979, and CAST BULLETS SUPPLIMENT NO. 1, in 1981 and 1987, both by E. H. Harrison. The info in these is exceptional and is, practically speaking, the "last word". I have seen faulty, incomplete and misleading info on Forums and even in loading manuals. Short of metallurgical engineering, all you need to know about casting lead bullets is in that book and its suppliment.

Since you have a variety of metals, rather than trying to create a specific alloy, perhaps starting with a mix of three pounds pure and one pound of lino will get you close enough.

The widely suggested simple test for ample hardness, that I incorrectly used for years, was to use my thumbnail to see if it would or not not scratch an indent on the test cast bullet ogive or flat on its base. The book recites on page 102, that this method is useless on hardened alloys.  So, I will email you a chart from it on page 30, showing alloy composition versus Brinnell hardness.

The composition of wheelweights has changed to include some other metals such as zinc and cadmium that will contaminate a pot of metal.  They cannot be fluxed out. Old lino is nominally 24BHn (Brinnel hardness) and pure lead is around 5BHn.  Cutting the lino with pure will drop the BHn to around the desired 16BHn, which is the same as NEW lyman #2 alloy. That will be ok, providing the as-cast bullet diameter is above your groove diameter plus .001" so it can be sized TO groove OD plus .001.  If the as-cast bullet is too small, add more lino to reduce shrinkage.

This subject can put us into brainlock, so please call me if you wish.

I modified this Post to include the NRA CAST BULLETS HANDBOOK. Smiles.
El Supremo/Kevin Tinny
Pay attention to that soft voice in your head.


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Re: Bullet alloys
« Reply #3 on: Today at 04:04:13 PM »

Offline Sedalia Dave

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Re: Bullet alloys
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2023, 10:38:47 PM »
Check out this thread. Especially the lead alloy calculators


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