Taurus Firearm Forum banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,749 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Earlier this spring, maybe late winter, I used the last of my old "clip-on" wheel weights. These were old, I had refined them and recast them into 1 and 1/2 pound ingots way back in '89 or 90. Several hundred pounds of them, maybe 900. Anyway, I'm now having to formulate a useable alloy from the several hundred 1 pound ingots of 22 BHN+ linotype ingots and the many hundreds of 1 pound ingots of mostly very soft lead. I'm doing it slowly and methodically (for me!!!) and keeping notes. I want 9 BHN+/- as the final hardness. I use a Cabin Tree hardness tester, works well. I think I've got my formula refined to an acceptable hardness. I ran 3 tests on the alloy I concocted yesterday and it averaged slightly higher than 9 but did not reach 10; I'm sure it will go over 10 slightly as time goes by. Thats good!!! I'm doing another batch now and I'll see what it tests out to tomorrow after 24 or so hours to stabilize. I really need this as I'm critically short of 95-98 grain RN & SWC for use in 32 S&W Long ammunition. More later.......
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,749 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That linotype was what I refined out of over a thousand pounds of dross that had been skimmed off the top of the linotype furness vat. It is much richer than fresh lino. I got it in 5 gallon steel ink pails. The printing operation had been shut down about 1962, seems no one remembers for sure. I still have one bucket left to refine. Takes a lot of time and propane but it is very worth while. I doubt I'll ever use all the alloy I have.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
35,426 Posts
Jeez, how technical. I find lead, I just cast it. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,749 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
these 32 caliber bullets that I'm casting will be used in every 32 I own, 32 S&W Long at 700 FPS up to maximum loads in 327 Federal Magnum at well over 1200 FPS. I don't want to have to resort to a gas check design if I can help it, for the 327. Casting bullets is a technical labor I love and always has been a fascinating endeavor. I think casting is my favorite part of my shooting sports and I explore, and try different aspects of it. The variations are infinite and the better control exercised the better product and the better shooting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,216 Posts
You'll need hardness testers that are reliable and repeatable and sources of secondary metals such as tin and antimony to adjust hardness.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,749 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have the Cabin Tree tester. Very reliable and very repeatable. I have a very fine electronic scale and I have tin, antimony and copper to add as I deem necessary. I was introduced to casting bullets in 1956, I probably have a lot of time logged; been at it off and on until I retired from the Navy, then it is a full time and very rewarding pass time. As I stated earlier; casting is my favorite part of shooting.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TheOldRedneck

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
35,426 Posts
Meh, I've got one gas check mold, 158 Lee SWC which weighs 165 grains with the gas check installed. I push that bullet 1900 fps over a load of Li'l Gun in my Rossi carbine and no leading. That's the only bullet I push over 1000 fps. :D

I got started in casting for my cap and ball guns. I guess that might be the reason I never worried about alloys. :lol: But, most of my cast loads are just for practice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,681 Posts
I got into casting when I got into muzzleloaders and shooting black powder cartridge guns. I never got into measuring hardness with a tester but have used data I found in manuals and online to get the hardness I need. I mix WW with PB and add a little solder for tin, magnum hard shot to get the antimony then water drop. I can run this mixture over 1400 fps with no leading.
 
  • Like
Reactions: NativeTexan

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
35,426 Posts
I do envy guesser's lead stash. :D And, yeah, I got my hands on some solder slag from work when they were running some high voltage wiring. I used it all up, though. I might have a bit of it left, but in the move, things did get misplaced. I'd just break off a bit and toss it into the pot. The stuff was splatter in big piles laying on the concrete floor in the MCC room.
 
  • Like
Reactions: .452dia

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,681 Posts
I have been on the fence about buying a hardness tester several times and still might if I find one for the right price. I don't think I'll ever need it but it would be nice to know the exact hardness of my mixtures.
 
  • Like
Reactions: muddcatt54

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,749 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The single most advantageous feature of having a consistent alloy recipe is that all the bullets weigh the same. Huge factor in maintaining accuracy..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,216 Posts
Are you aiming for higher velocity bullets or to use up the materials you have to give you the maximum number of usable pounds of lead alloy?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,749 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
PM40.......all of the above and maybe some others also. I cast 6MM and 30 cal rifle bullets too. This alloy should work well for them as well, 32 Winchester Special and 38-55 come on line also. I won't do 22 caliber and I don't shoot enough 7MM to count. I do cast and shoot for 8MM Mauser, works well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
276 Posts

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
35,426 Posts
PM40.......all of the above and maybe some others also. I cast 6MM and 30 cal rifle bullets too. This alloy should work well for them as well, 32 Winchester Special and 38-55 come on line also. I won't do 22 caliber and I don't shoot enough 7MM to count. I do cast and shoot for 8MM Mauser, works well.
I bought a gas check mold for 8x57 some time back and haven't played a lot with it. I need to load up some rounds and shoot 'em at 100 yards, see if I can hit anything. They worked pretty well at 40 yards. :D Just plinking loads, of course, for my old mausers. I don't load 'em hot enough to work the action in my Hakim, but that's a good thing as I won't lose any brass manually jacking the action. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,017 Posts
I have the Cabin Tree tester. Very reliable and very repeatable. I have a very fine electronic scale and I have tin, antimony and copper to add as I deem necessary. I was introduced to casting bullets in 1956, I probably have a lot of time logged; been at it off and on until I retired from the Navy, then it is a full time and very rewarding pass time. As I stated earlier; casting is my favorite part of shooting.
Copper?

You alloy copper in your bullet material? Please explain, I am interested. Does the crystalline structure have any effect on leading? Once, on a streak of experimentation, I cast some 240 grain SWCs for the 44Magg out of hard Babbitt and was not pleased with the leading resultant. I thought the copper might have had some factor there.

Flash
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,749 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The copper that I have is already alloyed in modern industrial pewter. The pewter is 92.5% tin, 6% antimony and 1.5% copper. I add small measurements of the pewter to my alloy. Never a problem and it probably makes a better bullet. Adding the pewter makes an alloy that flows at a lower temp, slightly, and fills the mould faster and more completely.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top