View Full Version : soft lead = hard bullets
03-11-2007, 06:37 PM
We are all faceing a problem in the next few years with the wheel weights drying up the way they are with that said here is my question how do we make hard bullets with about the same hardness as wheel weights I have read some on it but with my last computer crash I have lost all my info I had in a file about it :castmine: 44Woody
03-11-2007, 07:17 PM
44woody, maybe this will help...Ray
03-13-2007, 07:51 AM
44Woody, as I've often posted, I'm using soft scrap that I can easily dent with a thumbnail, heat treating and quenching it. Comes out similar to air cooled wheelweights after a few days, I can scratch but not dent it with a nail. It's soft, but not quite pure lead. Works well at any velocity I could reach with wheelweights; ~1400 FPS with plain based boolits in the Super Blackhawk, ~2200 FPS with gas checked 8mm boolits.
I've been thinking about the same thing. I asked around(here) the other day for recipes and was told the "old timers" used a 10:1 ratio of lead and tin. I'm gonna try using a 1 lb. roll of 95/5 solder to 9 or 10 lbs. of plumber's lead, WQ 'em and check the hardness. It'll be awhile before I get to it, but thought I'd let you know what I'd learned.
03-20-2007, 07:07 PM
thanks for the info gentlemen I have about 1000 lb of soft lead would like to use up and not all in black powder bullets anyway thanks for the help :castmine: 44Woody
03-20-2007, 09:17 PM
Ricochet, Would you please be more specific about your "not quite pure lead?" Might be hard to tell with scrap, but how much antimony and tin would you guess it would take to duplicate it? The reason I ask is that it sounds a lot like 50% lead/ 50%wheelweights almost, and that sounds like an alloy that will still expand while getting good velocities. Especially if the noses are annealed a little
03-21-2007, 10:00 AM
I really have no idea what's in my mixed scrap, but it passes the "thumbnail test" for pure lead. .22LR bullets aren't much harder, and they're said to be typically around 3/4% antimony. (In an annealed and work-softened state.) I'd expect that would harden up nicely, but I don't have access to a bunch of scrap .22 bullets to test. I don't yet own a hardness tester, either, so my methods are crude.
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