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Thread: Add copper to your alloy for tougher CBs.

  1. #21
    Boolit Master







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    Has anybody hardness tested those w/copper? Are they water dropped and or heat treated? If so, what BH?
    1Shirt!
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  2. #22
    Boolit Master
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    Mustang, thank you.
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  3. #23
    Boolit Master
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    One important item left out of Mustang's description is that the tin also acts as a seat holder for the copper. Treating your alloy with copper sulphate will strip out both the zinc and tin, so if you want tin in your alloy, you will need to add it back in after adding the copper.

  4. #24
    Boolit Master John in WI's Avatar
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    Sorry about that guys. What I was talking about in my "oxidation/reduction" post was which metal takes on a charge.

    In copper sulfate, copper has a +2 charge (it's a copper ION). In the melt you have lead and tin, both with no charge (they are metallic lead and tin)

    I think what is happening is that since tin is more "active" than copper, when you mix copper ions with tin, copper is able to "steal" 2 electrons from tin. So copper goes from having a +2 charge, to having a 0 charge. And tin goes from having a 0 charge, to having a +2 charge.

    Or, copper is reduced and tin is oxidized in the reaction. (in a way, tin is acting like a "sacrificial anode")
    Too much of a good thing is an awesome thing!

  5. #25
    Boolit Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by John in WI View Post
    Or, copper is reduced and tin is oxidized in the reaction. (in a way, tin is acting like a "sacrificial anode")

    Give up tin to get copper? Is that my take on the matter?
    At one with the gun.

  6. #26
    Tagged for updates

  7. #27
    Boolit Master

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    So after I make this copper rich alloy and dilute it with more lead, can I add tin without the tin chemically combining with the copper?

  8. #28
    Boolit Master
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    How well does this lead/copper alloy fill out a mold?.............castability?

  9. #29
    Boolit Master

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    Thank you popper... So to be sure that I understand, adding Sn to the Pb/Cu alloy to aid fill out is ineffective because it will remove the Cu. Correct?

  10. #30
    Boolit Master
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    In my thread, I dissolved the copper into pure tin, then added it to the lead by weight.
    I figured roughly that I had 50%pure, 50%COWW, & about 1% tin/copper alloy.
    The final tally should be about .2-.3% copper introduced into the mix.

    As far as casting, I found I had to get the pot HOT to not have wrinkles -over 750F
    the tin comers to the top pretty quick. I've been told a pinch of citric acid will help keep the tin in

    I heat treated some at 485F for one hour, and dumped in snowy water.
    after 2 days, they are up to 28.3 BHN
    I'm gonna ride out 7 days, testing everyday, then smack some with a big hammer
    I never thought they would get that hard with that much pure in the mix- the Cu must do something
    Now if they just are tough and not brittle - fingers crossed

    Mustang thanks for the clarification, and as it happened in my thread, enough folks have responded
    that the mud is clearing, I understand the technique and principle of poppers method, I dont know the
    symbolism for chemical stuff is all

    Thanks for starting your own thread on this popper, much easier to keep the principles isolated

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Flinchbaugh View Post

    As far as casting, I found I had to get the pot HOT to not have wrinkles -over 750F
    the tin comers to the top pretty quick.

    Jim, I have my PID on my bottom pour set at 735 degrees...it seems the copper does increase the needed temp to keep the spout on my Drip-o-matic running consistently. 720 degrees will sometimes freeze off if I tarry too much between casts.

    Thanks for starting your own thread on this popper, much easier to keep the principles isolated
    Yes, thank you popper. This is the exact reason I asked you to start another thread on your technique. It DOES help to separate the 2 methods and keeps things clearer.

    Edd
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  12. #32
    Boolit Master
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    When I stopped in one gun shop the other day, they are selling beer and wine making supplies now too.
    Guess what they have on order? citric acid

  13. #33
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    http://www.bulkapothecary.com/raw-in...FUeRPAodB3gA3Q

    Here is the place I got citric acid in bulk, if you don'r mind ordering it.

    Edd
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  14. #34
    Boolit Master
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    thanks Edd,
    we'll see what kind price this guy comes up, don't like paying for shipping
    & I isnt in any hurry

  15. #35
    Boolit Master
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    Spurred on by all the fun everyone is having with this new copper alloying method, I decided to try batching up some last night I took a full 10lb drip-o-matic pot of COWW alloy, and added (2) 1/4 oz zinc wheel weights to the pot, got them mixed in, sure enough my first contaminated batch of alloy. To this was added a few tablespoons at a time, approximately a cup of copper sulfate, the last two additions staying white after mashing and stirring. After heating a mold, it definitely takes a much warmer pot to cast properly, but the mold eventually started filling out properly. All the bullets were water dropped straight from the mold. After drying them, the pencil hardness test yielded approx HB, whereas normal WD COWW is usually around 2H to 4H. 24 Hours later, hardness is still about the same.
    Here's the Question: Does anyone have a guess as to what the lower limit of copper in a high antimony alloy is in order to get the additional hardening/toughness desired? It would appear that approx. .3% isn't enough.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdcitizen View Post
    Here's the Question: Does anyone have a guess as to what the lower limit of copper in a high antimony alloy is in order to get the additional hardening/toughness desired? It would appear that approx. .3% isn't enough.
    Although I haven't yet tried popper's idea for getting copper into boolit alloy, my experience with adding copper has been that 0.3% copper will indeed add the "toughness" one will find beneficial. Hardness by itself hasn't shown me to be beneficial. I have noticed an improvement in accuracy and the ability to withstand higher chamber pressures with as little as 0.1% copper. My response is based on adding copper and tin through babbit in a balanced alloy...YMMV.

    Edd
    Last edited by badgeredd; 01-12-2013 at 12:29 AM.
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  17. #37
    great read.

    i can't wait to see some test results.

    so this is going to be better for high pressure loads, what about how the toughness will act for better hollow point performance?
    i would think this would really help in magnum handgun loads with HPs, you can could really push the boolit, without having leading, and without the brittleness of an alloy without the Cu

  18. #38
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by popper View Post
    Contemplating 1 US penny/ #Pb for 0.5% Cu. Cut in half and drop in Pb with 1 1/2% Sb.
    Hmm, copper plated zinc, 2 birds, one stone -brilliant!

  19. #39
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks Popper, Badgeredd. This weekend I will probably Pour out the rest of the pot, and maybe try 9lbs pure, 1 lb magnum shot, and then add at your suggestion 1 penny's worth of zinc to react with copper sulfate and see where that alloy gets. I did re-test hardness of the bullets after 4 days aging, still showing HB on the pencil test.

  20. #40
    Boolit Master
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    Oops, sorry that was meant to read 5 pennies worth of zinc.

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