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Thread: Add copper to your alloy for tougher CBs.

  1. #61
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by madsenshooter View Post
    Thanks Edd, it appears to me that the strength here comes from Cu alloying, as in actually bonding with, the other elements, Don't think I'll try any Pb/Cu only mixes. For all I know though, maybe Cu does bond with the Pb to a limited extent. The chemistry part of my brain isn't working good today, on to something less confusing.
    Don't confuse alloying with reacting -- intermetallic compounds (where metals chemically bond with one another) are relative rarities, while alloys are very common. An alloy is nothing more or less than a solid solution of two or more metals; for instance, common plumbing solder (from before lead was banned for this purpose) was a solution of anywhere from 30 to 70 percent tin, in lead. It could be mixed below the melting point of lead, because the molten tin would dissolve the lead (like water dissolving sugar) -- but when the resulting solution is frozen, the two metals remain dissolved.

    Since different substances are more or less soluble in others (just as table salt is much more soluble in water than lead chloride, or sugar is soluble in water but not in gasoline), different alloys will and won't work. One we discuss a lot here is zinc in lead; lead will only dissolve about 2% zinc by weight, and zinc about 1.8% lead, so mixing lead and zinc to make bullets isn't a very good plan (the two solutions aren't miscible; they'll separate like oil from water).

    Just as with solubility in water vs. hydrocarbons, there are different solubility families in metals; lead, tin, antimony, bismuth, and arsenic (possibly one or two other close chemical relatives) are one family, miscible in virtually any proportion; copper, zinc, aluminum, and tin are another (I include tin in the second family as well as the first because tin and copper alloy well; I don't know if tin alloys with zinc or aluminum), and the two families don't intermix well. If there's tin in your lead, though, you might be able to get the tin to take up some copper, and of course lead will take up small traces of less soluble metals (like zinc, and probably copper).

  2. #62
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    HELP! Popper I need some guidence. I took 4#6oz of pure lead(smelted roof flashing in ingots from years past-dead soft)4#8oz of coww(ingots from years past) let it melt for 1 hour at 10 setting in Lee 20 pound pot. I couldn't find any zinc ww, that's why the 1 hour, was looking. So I weighed a penny and got 39 grs, figured 23 would gives me 2.05 oz and if added to the 50/50 would give me approx 1.5% after exchanging the zinc for copper by your method. I cut 22 of the pennies in half with tin snips, left one whole. I fluxed the melt twice and checked the temp, pegged @750*F(only goes to 750) dumped the pennies on top and they instantly disappear, maybe 10 seconds. The melt started to turn golden/brown, I stirred and nticed a few tiny clumps, melt turned a dark blue. I put 5 tablespoons of copper sulphate on top of the melt(about 1/4 inch thick), it hissed and crackled a bit, edges started to turn white. I gave it a couple minutes and had to leave because of the smell(smelled like a battery that had been on the charger too long) 4-5 minutes later the CS had turned white so I began to stir, the melt turned to oatmeal, so I checked the temp, 725*F. I stirred and stirred, finally gave up and shut the pot down for today. I have a melt with a 3/4" layer of oatmeal on top, tell me what to do next.
    Last edited by swheeler; 01-18-2013 at 09:24 PM. Reason: %
    Hell, I was there!

  3. #63
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    Just after adding 23 pennies to 9 pounds of 50/50
    Hell, I was there!

  4. #64
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    A minute later
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  5. #65
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    After adding 5 tb spoons of CS, letting it turn white and stir in
    Hell, I was there!

  6. #66
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    I am no expert at this but that sounds like allot of zinc to me. Also the melting point of zinc is about 787f so I think your pot was not hot enough. I added about 2% than stirred and fluxed until I felt that all that the alloy would accept was dissolved. I also used a pot that was much shallower and wider. I only added a small amount of CS at a time and after the H2O was gone (turned white) used my spoon to grind the granules against the side of the pot (more surface are on the granules to react) until it was fine powder. Then I stirred it in until in turned to a dark grey almost clay like texture. I did this over and over until the reaction stopped and the CS stayed white. I think you added way too much at one time and did not follow through with the entire process popper described. If I were you I would remelt into a larger pot then flux and scoop off the extra oatmeal. That should leave the soluble zinc in the pot. Then you can follow the procedure popper described and you should be ok.

    Again I am new to this but that is my opinion. Also keep in mind this is still experimental.

    Marc

  7. #67
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    swheeler .... heat it up again and flux it till you have a fine black dust on top of the melt. Remove the dust and flux again till you have just a nice shiney alloy.

    Nighthunter

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by nighthunter View Post
    swheeler .... heat it up again and flux it till you have a fine black dust on top of the melt. Remove the dust and flux again till you have just a nice shiney alloy.

    Nighthunter
    flux it with copper sulphate?
    Hell, I was there!

  9. #69
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    I'm seeing on the Arab's site where SmokinJ says you all are wasting time and materials,,... Best go blend up some powders and get with the program... Onceabull
    "The Eagle is no flycatcher"

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by onceabull View Post
    I'm seeing on the Arab's site where SmokinJ says you all are wasting time and materials,,... Best go blend up some powders and get with the program... Onceabull
    Sounds like smokin' somethin'!
    Hell, I was there!

  11. #71
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    Popper all I can figure is my pot is going to heck. My thermometer only goes to 750* and the 50/50 melt instantly pegged it out. The ingots I use are poured by me and clean, the melt was fluxed twice(yeilding maybe 1/8 teaspoon of dark grey/black dross-as it usually does) and beautiful shiny liquid, when I added the pennies they disappeared asap, the melt turned brown-then bright blue. I did not flux the melt once the zinc(pennies) were added, IS THIS MY MISTAKE? I stirred it and added a 1/4 inch cover of CS(about 5 tablespoons), let it stand and it did turn snow white after several minutes. I then stirred the CS into the melt, and stirred and stirred, got about 3/4 inch of cottage cheese on top of the melt. Unless my math is wrong I should have added approx. 1.4% zinc to the melt, plus the copper plating on the pennies. The melt never took on the oatmeal appearance until I added the copper sulphate. All I can figure is my thermostat went TU during the melt?
    Hell, I was there!

  12. #72
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    i sent him [smokin-j] an outline to get some copper and zink into his alloy to move things along even further some time ago.
    might could see something more there.
    it's all an educated guess,,,, till the trigger is pulled.

    this opinion brought to you by mister low-tech solution..

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by onceabull View Post
    I'm seeing on the Arab's site where SmokinJ says you all are wasting time and materials,,... Best go blend up some powders and get with the program... Onceabull
    That's some funny stuff there...blending powders. Too bad he got himself banned here cause I'd love to hear his comments here...before I diplomatically told him to pound sand.

    Fortunately all who would like to try something that might improve their alloy are not swayed by his comments.

    Edd
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  14. #74
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    swheeler,

    I had a thought about the process that may or may not be correct. Hopefully popper will clarify it some more for us. I am wondering if you didn't get the oatmeal look from the zinc because you didn't actually go over the satuation point of zinc in lead. Also, I kinda got the impression that popper adds a bit at a time of the copper sulfate to his melt rather than a large quantity all at once. I could be totally wrong but it is a thought I had.

    BABore was here today and left some alloy for me to try out as well as some copper sulfate to use on my big time zinc contaminated alloy. I'll be taking the plunge this coming week to see how it works out if is doesn't get TOO cold in the garage this coming week. I still don't know how one knows all of the zink is removed so I figure I gotta take the plunge.

    Edd
    Charter member Michigan liars club!

    "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in Government." -- Thomas Jefferson

    "Consider the clown(s) just one of God's little nettles in the woods, don't let it detract from the beauty. Sooner or latter you are going to run into the nettles regardless of how careful you are."

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  15. #75
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    Add copper to your alloy for tougher CBs.

    I'll have to give this a go, seems like it'd make great hunting hollow points.
    Is this a......what day is this??

  16. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by badgeredd View Post
    swheeler,

    I had a thought about the process that may or may not be correct. Hopefully popper will clarify it some more for us. I am wondering if you didn't get the oatmeal look from the zinc because you didn't actually go over the satuation point of zinc in lead. Also, I kinda got the impression that popper adds a bit at a time of the copper sulfate to his melt rather than a large quantity all at once. I could be totally wrong but it is a thought I had.

    BABore was here today and left some alloy for me to try out as well as some copper sulfate to use on my big time zinc contaminated alloy. I'll be taking the plunge this coming week to see how it works out if is doesn't get TOO cold in the garage this coming week. I still don't know how one knows all of the zink is removed so I figure I gotta take the plunge.

    Edd
    Edd I'm not done yet and will put some more time into it tomorrow, hopefully. I think you might be correct in that I added too much CS at one time, but don't really know. I'm thinking the melt turning blue is from the copper off the pennies? Maybe that and the CS gave me more copper than can be carried in the 50/50. I got fumes off the melt that does give me concer though, blood in my runny nose from it? I'm using ZEP root killer, 99% copper sulphate pentahydrate. Just might be time to get out the turkey fryer, who knows.
    Hell, I was there!

  17. #77
    Boolit Master madsenshooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onceabull View Post
    I'm seeing on the Arab's site where SmokinJ says you all are wasting time and materials,,... Best go blend up some powders and get with the program... Onceabull
    Someone probably said the same thing when people started to use wheelweights vs the traditional boolit alloys. What, fire that grainy metal down my nice bore? No way! I have tried some of his 6mm bullets. They weren't bad out of my rifle, accuracy-wise, but not as good as the Cu containing Eagan bullets at about the same velocity. He tried some of mine in his rifle too, and didn't get results as good as his own. I only tried one load, still have some of his bullets, well aged now, they are soft enough to scratch with my fingernail.

    And, some are just argumentative, if you aren't things the way they are, you can't be doing anything right.
    "If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny."

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  18. #78
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    [QUOTE=madsenshooter;2015706]Someone probably said the same thing when people started to use wheelweights vs the traditional boolit alloys. What, fire that grainy metal down my nice bore? No way! I have tried some of his 6mm bullets. They weren't bad out of my rifle, accuracy-wise, but not as good as the Cu containing Eagan bullets at about the same velocity. He tried some of mine in his rifle too, and didn't get results as good as his own. I only tried one load, still have some of his bullets, well aged now, they are soft enough to scratch with my fingernail.

    Probably just shows there's more than one way to skin a cat?(I'm being nice here) Now this is just personal but I would question any velocity/accuracy claims made by Joe, been there- done that, it is what it is, period. Life goes on
    Hell, I was there!

  19. #79
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    NOW that right there is too darn funny !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!

    Edd
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    "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in Government." -- Thomas Jefferson

    "Consider the clown(s) just one of God's little nettles in the woods, don't let it detract from the beauty. Sooner or latter you are going to run into the nettles regardless of how careful you are."

    Beware of man who types much, but says nothing.

  20. #80
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    Well a trip to the feed store is on for Monday, have a large batch of zinc contaminated ww and have to try this to clean it up rather than throwing it into fishing weights.
    Onward thru the Fog, cuz Liberty is NOT an option, It is a MUST.

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