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Thread: Lead alloy calculators

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
    bumpo628's Avatar
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    Lead alloy calculators

    I made a spreadsheet that will let you calculate the properties you get when mixing two or more types of lead. Let me know if there is anything that is incorrect or needs improvement.

    EDIT (2/6/11): Added Brinell hardness estimate.
    EDIT (2/14/11): Expanded calculator to mix up to 10 alloys.
    EDIT (3/10/11): Simplified the form down to just the mixed alloy calculator. Now you can mix all of the alloys in the table.
    EDIT (3/15/11): Added more alloys and updated the notes.
    EDIT (3/16/11): Added a column for arsenic data, two rows for custom alloy data, and updated the alloy specs.
    EDIT (3/25/11): Added a column for copper% so that pewter could be added to the table.
    EDIT (3/26/11): Added some data for lead free solder (Sn-Cu & Sn-Sb).
    EDIT (3/29/11): Easier to read the weights and added a link to Glen Fryxell's online book on casting "From Ingot to Target: A Cast Bullet Guide for Handgunners".
    EDIT (6/28/11): Separated magnum shot into two categories by pellet size - 4% & 6% antimony.
    EDIT (8/23/11): Added 40/60 solder and reference link.
    EDIT (1/15/12): Added a column for silver% so that silver solder could be added to the table.
    EDIT (5/26/12): Added alloy and boolit cost calculator.

    EDIT (7/6/12): Corrected tin-lead alloy formulas and updated cost calculator.
    Lead Alloy Calculators 070612.zip
    Last edited by bumpo628; 07-12-2012 at 09:17 PM.
    Ronald Reagan once said that the most terrifying words in the English language are: "I'm from the government and I'm here to help".
    Download my alloy calculator here: http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?t=105952

  2. #2
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    Bumpo,

    Here is a thread that talks about alloy calculators. If you do a search here, you will find several different versions, mostly written for Excel.

    I downloaded yours and used your first alloy and it came up with the same results that the one I wrote a few years ago so it looks like yours is correct.

    John

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    looks good printed it out
    thanks will come in handy
    Hit em'hard
    hit em'often

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks for the link and for double-checking my calculations.

    I've only been casting for a year or so and I have been using straight WW. I have been reading several threads about alloy content on this site and I see that many people use 50/50 Pure Lead/WW ratio in their low velocity pistol boolits. Some people add a little solder to make it fill the mold better.
    Last edited by bumpo628; 12-06-2011 at 12:10 PM.
    Ronald Reagan once said that the most terrifying words in the English language are: "I'm from the government and I'm here to help".
    Download my alloy calculator here: http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?t=105952

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    The spreadsheet has been updated to include a Brinell hardness estimate for the alloys. Notes and more reference info has also been added. The estimated hardness values are shown next to the known values to show the accuracy of the calculations.

    Lead Alloy Calculators 020611.zip

    Description, Composition, Uses, Hardness, Est. Hardness
    Pure Lead, (100% Lead), Minies, Round, Brinell 5, 8.6
    Pure Tin, (100% Tin), Alloy, Brinell 7, -
    Pure Antimony, (100% Antimony), Alloy, Brinell 50, -
    Antimonial Lead, (5% Antimony, 95% Lead), Alloy, Brinell ???, 13.2
    Super Hard Alloy, (30% Antimony, 70% Lead), Alloy, Brinell ???, 36.2
    40 to 1 Alloy, (2.5% Tin, 97.5% Lead), Blackpowder, Brinell 8, 9.3
    30 to 1 Alloy, (3% Tin, 97% Lead), Blackpowder Brinell 9, 9.5
    25 to 1 Alloy, (4% Tin, 96% Lead), Blackpowder Brinell 9, 9.8
    20 to 1 Alloy, (5% Tin, 95% Lead), Blackpowder Brinell 10, 10.1
    Chilled Shot, (2% Antimony, 98% Lead), Shotgun, Brinell ???, 10.4
    Magnum Shot, (5% Antimony, 95% Lead), Shotgun, Brinell ???, 13.2
    Wheel Weight - Stick On, (0.5% Tin, 99.5% Lead), Minies, Round, Brinell 6, 8.7
    Wheel Weight - Clip On, (0.5% Tin, 2% Antimony, 97.5% Lead), Pistol, Rifle, Brinell 12, 10.6
    Lyman's No. 2, (5% Tin, 5% Antimony, 90% Lead), Pistol, Rifle, Brinell 15, 14.7
    Hardball Alloy, (2% Tin, 6% Antimony, 92% Lead), Pistol, Rifle, Brinell 16, 14.7
    Linotype Alloy, (4% Tin, 12% Antimony, 84% Lead), Alloy, Brinell 19, 20.8
    Monotype Alloy, (9% Tin, 19% Antimony, 72% Lead), Alloy Brinell 26, 28.7
    Ronald Reagan once said that the most terrifying words in the English language are: "I'm from the government and I'm here to help".
    Download my alloy calculator here: http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?t=105952

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    The spreadsheet has been updated to allow you to mix up to 10 alloys. You can also copy and paste the properties from the table into the mixing calculator.
    Now you can find out what you get if you mix all of your different types of lead into the same pot.

    Here is the latest version: Lead Alloy Calculators 021411.zip
    Ronald Reagan once said that the most terrifying words in the English language are: "I'm from the government and I'm here to help".
    Download my alloy calculator here: http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?t=105952

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I simplified the form down to just the mixed alloy calculator. I found that I never used the calculators on the 2nd page anymore, so I figured that I would expand the mixed alloy calculator to include all of the 19 alloys in the table.

    Here is the 3/10/11 version: Lead Alloy Calculators 031011.zip
    Ronald Reagan once said that the most terrifying words in the English language are: "I'm from the government and I'm here to help".
    Download my alloy calculator here: http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?t=105952

  8. #8
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    I took it a step farther to calculate the cost/value of the alloy.
    You just plug in the latest prices of whatever.
    Sent from my PC with a keyboard and camera on it with internet too.
    Melting Stuff is FUN!
    Shooting stuff is even funner

    L W Knight

  9. #9
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    Pretty handy gadget.

    Thanks for sharing.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ole View Post
    Pretty handy gadget.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Thanks.
    I've got another update coming soon where I added a little more data. I am including Muddy Creek Sam's isotope lead and a rough estimate for range lead. Any other ideas?

    I estimate that range lead has about .25% Tin and 1% Antimony. In the vendor sales section, people have said that the range lead for sale tested at around 11 bhn. So it must have some additives in there. Obviously there is no way to know for sure, but if you had a hardness number you can adjust the numbers until the composition matches your measurement.
    Last edited by bumpo628; 03-15-2011 at 07:12 PM.
    Ronald Reagan once said that the most terrifying words in the English language are: "I'm from the government and I'm here to help".
    Download my alloy calculator here: http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?t=105952

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    I added more alloys and updated the notes.

    Here is the 3/15/11 version: Lead Alloy Calculators 031511.zip
    Ronald Reagan once said that the most terrifying words in the English language are: "I'm from the government and I'm here to help".
    Download my alloy calculator here: http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?t=105952

  12. #12
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    I have a request. With my state banning wheel weights, I would like to create an alloy that mimics wheel weights, when water dropped, using range lead and magnum shot. The critical part is the amount of arsenic. Could you add a column for arsenic?

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee W View Post
    I have a request. With my state banning wheel weights, I would like to create an alloy that mimics wheel weights, when water dropped, using range lead and magnum shot. The critical part is the amount of arsenic. Could you add a column for arsenic?
    Sure. However I don't know how much arsenic is in any of those alloys.
    If you post the data (and/or the source) then I think I can squeeze it in there.

    What does the arsenic do specifically? Is it just for hardening or does is help shot form into a ball?
    Ronald Reagan once said that the most terrifying words in the English language are: "I'm from the government and I'm here to help".
    Download my alloy calculator here: http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?t=105952

  14. #14
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    Lee
    10-1(lead/tin) will get you close at 11.5 bhn
    Hit em'hard
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  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    With the volume my friend and I do, tin is just to expensive.

    From what I have read. Lawrance magnum shot has 1% arsenic. I cannot find more info than that.


    Some info about arsenic.:

    http://www.lasc.us/WiljenArsenic.htm

    http://www.lasc.us/HeatTreat.htm

  16. #16
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    Very easy for even a caveman like me. I didn't even have my wife have to come help me the first time. THANK YOU SIR
    Kevin

  17. #17
    Boolit Master

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    so call me stupid but how do you use it ????
    Hit em'hard
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  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee W View Post
    With the volume my friend and I do, tin is just to expensive. From what I have read. Lawrance magnum shot has 1% arsenic. I cannot find more info than that.
    Some info about arsenic.:
    http://www.lasc.us/WiljenArsenic.htm
    http://www.lasc.us/HeatTreat.htm
    Ok, I found some numbers on Magnum shot and COWW lead. The magnum shot has 4% antimony and 1.25-1.5% arsenic. Clip on WW has 0.5% tin, 3% antimony, and 0.25% arsenic. I'll incorporate this into the calculator and have it ready tomorrow. Arsenic seems to be a catalyst of sorts for heat treating. It helps the quenched alloy harden and retain it's hardness. Does this sound right to you?
    .
    .
    .
    Quote Originally Posted by kbstenberg View Post
    Very easy for even a caveman like me. I didn't even have my wife have to come help me the first time. THANK YOU SIR
    Kevin
    You're welcome. I tried to make it easy to use and look good when printed out. It also serves as a handy reference chart to boot.
    .
    .
    .
    Quote Originally Posted by white eagle View Post
    so call me stupid but how do you use it ????
    I'm assuming you are directing that question at Lee W, not about the calculator. I would also like to know how Lee is using such vast quantities of lead. Please explain a bit.
    Ronald Reagan once said that the most terrifying words in the English language are: "I'm from the government and I'm here to help".
    Download my alloy calculator here: http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?t=105952

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    The plan is to use the magnum shot to bring up the arsenic to wheel weight level. The goal is to water drop to 15-17 BHN. With the mixture in our club's range, they water drop at 10-11 BHN. Good for 45 and 38s, but not for 9mm and 40. With the addition of the shot, the hardness is where we want it.
    When my casting buddy and I smelt, we try to do 1,000 pounds. That might last the year..
    If we did 10:1 we would need 100 pounds of tin at $17-18 per pound. Too much.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master

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    no the calculator
    so you can use the thing for what ?
    I can't seem to figure this out
    does it just tell you what certain BHN values are or can
    you figure out mixes and alloys
    Last edited by white eagle; 03-16-2011 at 10:13 AM.
    Hit em'hard
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