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What lead alloy are you using or straight lead?


No, pure lead is too soft. I use range scrap with a bit of tin added to fill out the mold and a small amount of Linotype or Rotometals Superhard to get the BHN up to about 20.

When I’ve got it, I’ll also use wheel weight lead with a bit of tin added.



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3 hours ago, razorfish said:

No, pure lead is too soft. I use range scrap with a bit of tin added to fill out the mold and a small amount of Linotype or Rotometals Superhard to get the BHN up to about 20.

 

Looks like Rotometals might be the first place to source an appropriate alloy to start with. Thanks!!!

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I would take a look at Missouri Bullet Company for commercial mixed alloy 92-6-2. I have used a lot of their alloy and it’s clean and consistent. I think ACME sells the same alloy as well.


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Just now, RAP said:

I would take a look at Missouri Bullet Company for commercial mixed alloy 92-6-2. I have used a lot of their alloy and it’s clean and consistent. I think ACME sells the same alloy as well.

Gees...I"m surprised that these guys in business would sell alloys. I saw Rotometals has the 92-6-2 alloy.

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Gees...I"m surprised that these guys in business would sell alloys. I saw Rotometals has the 92-6-2 alloy.


92-6-2 alloy aka “hard cast bullet” alloy is what most coated bullet makers use to produce their bullets. I’ve found that you can get away with about half the antimony and tin and still make great bullets.

If you read their website, Missouri Bullet Company makes a great case for the idea that 96-6-2 alloy is too hard for pistol rounds. They call it “Hardness Optimized Bullets”; I call it saving money as I get my range scrap lead for free. My barrels remain shiny as new with zero leading.

https://missouribullet.com/technical.php





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41 minutes ago, razorfish said:

92-6-2 alloy aka “hard cast bullet” alloy is what most coated bullet makers use to produce their bullets. I’ve found that you can get away with about half the antimony and tin and still make great bullets.

If you read their website, Missouri Bullet Company makes a great case for the idea that 96-6-2 alloy is too hard for pistol rounds. They call it “Hardness Optimized Bullets”;

https://missouribullet.com/technical.php

GREAT article, I've had plenty of success getting range brass for reloading...but how do you salvage lead from a range?? That's something entirely new to me!!

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GREAT article, I've had plenty of success getting range brass for reloading...but how do you salvage lead from a range?? That's something entirely new to me!!

 

Lately I have an indoor range that throws me bucket or two for keeping an eye on their computers. I’ve also had success just picking up spent bullets off the ground around the berms at my local range. Amazingly easy to pick up a bucket full without digging.

 

Start spreading the word and people will bring you scrap too. In past couple months I’ve been given a few old lead roof flashings from a friend putting on a new roof, a small bucket of wheel weights and a 26 pound ingot of pure lead that was being used as a door stop.

 

 

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2 hours ago, razorfish said:

Start spreading the word and people will bring you scrap too.

Then you add a bit of tin and go at it with out too much attention to the alloy composition?

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Then you add a bit of tin and go at it with out too much attention to the alloy composition?


Sort of... I can pretty much tell what I have. Using range scrap, I typically need to harden my alloy up a bit. I’ll add a bit of Linotype or Super Hard to my range scrap but I’m not too scientific about it. The tin doesn’t add much hardness but it helps the lead to fill out the mold a bit.

I mostly use my fingernail to test the alloy but occasionally I’ll pull out the pencils to test my ingots.






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9 hours ago, razorfish said:

Sort of... I can pretty much tell what I have. Using range scrap, I typically need to harden my alloy up a bit. I’ll add a bit of Linotype or Super Hard to my range scrap but I’m not too scientific about it. The tin doesn’t add much hardness but it helps the lead to fill out the mold a bit.

I mostly use my fingernail to test the alloy but occasionally I’ll pull out the pencils to test my

Thanks! That makes it quite simple!! The pencils aren't spot on like the Lee tester but close enough for running down the barrel.

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On 6/12/2018 at 1:55 PM, razorfish said:

 


No, pure lead is too soft. I use range scrap with a bit of tin added to fill out the mold and a small amount of Linotype or Rotometals Superhard to get the BHN up to about 20.

When I’ve got it, I’ll also use wheel weight lead with a bit of tin added.



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20 bhn?  Ya know that wheel weights are only about 12 right?  Elmer Keith only used a 14 bhn in the .44 Mag.

 

Range scrap runs about 8-10 depending on how much rimfire there is.  So you have to be added quite a bit of linotype or superhard.

 

I've been using 50/50 pure/wheel weights with 1% added tin.  Works like a champ and it's cheap.  Also gives really good results with all my hollow point molds.

 

Here's a spreadsheet that will help ya figure out your alloys.

Alloy12.xls

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20 bhn?  Ya know that wheel weights are only about 12 right?  Elmer Keith only used a 14 bhn in the .44 Mag.
 
Range scrap runs about 8-10 depending on how much rimfire there is.  So you have to be added quite a bit of linotype or superhard.
 
I've been using 50/50 pure/wheel weights with 1% added tin.  Works like a champ and it's cheap. 


Lol. I noticed that when I started explaining my recipes. My ideal alloy for pistol is wheel weights but lately when I have wheel weight alloy I cut it by at least 50% using my range scrap. These days I just throw a pinch of tin and a couple small chunks of Super Hard or Lino into a pot of range scrap ingots and start casting. I used to measure everything but now I just “wing it”. I still get great results.




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