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Thread: Pewter as source of tin?

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    Pewter as source of tin?

    Is pewter ok to use as source of tin or are there other ingredients that will damage the casting properties of the lead alloy?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Yes pewter is a great source of tin. Read the following link about pewter hallmarks so you can be sure of what you have.
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...-and-hallmarks

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...ts-tin-content
    Last edited by NyFirefighter357; 08-04-2017 at 08:04 PM.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master


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    Modern dietary pewter is 90-94% tin plus antimony and a maybe a smidge of copper. Nothing to hurt boolets, rather, desirable as antimony is the additive which makes water quenched boolets harder. Lead, Antimony and Tin (Pb, Sb, Sn) is the ternary alloy discussed in the LASC articles linked below. Great read for novices. Copper in such small quantities-1% of 1% or less, isn't very much. probably not noticeable to the casual caster

    In searching for pewter, you can depend on hallmarked items. I have seen it alleged that Selangor (sp?) is nearly 100% tin. Don't overlook Quadra Plate items, they are silver over a tin alloy base.
    Last edited by William Yanda; 08-04-2017 at 08:41 PM. Reason: additional para
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master Traffer's Avatar
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    When I am in doubt I take a knife to it right there in the store. (when they aren't looking) Pewter carves almost as easy as lead.
    AKA hans.pcguy

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Newer pewter is a great source of Sn......if you can find it. Old pewter can be of lesser content in Sn. After 15+ years of looking in junk stores around here, all I have found are valuable antique pewter items that are worth many MANY times the small cost of Sn. Those are in my collections of antiques! I buy solder and pure Sn from junk yards all the time. It's nice to find 40 one# bars of foundry Sn........for a buck a pound!!!!!!!!!

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

    imashooter2's Avatar
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    Royal Selangor uses a 97% tin alloy.

    My Straight Shooters thread:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...raight-shooter

    The Pewter Pictures and Hallmarks thread:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...-and-hallmarks

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Traffer's Avatar
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    One of these is my latest purchase from Good Will. It was $0.78. It is in perfect shape (except for the place I shaved a bit off to make sure it was pewter.) I am using it for a catch all bowl on my desk. I won't melt it until/unless I have to. (These things sell for over $100 in places.) Would you melt it? I am listing the cheapest one I found for comparison:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/KIRK-STIEFF-...YAAOSwuxFYsvzG
    Oh it comes in at 11.5 oz troy. So 1 lb of good high tin content pewter for $0.78. Just gotta look a lot. That Goodwill is notorious for having very high prices too. I just got lucky.
    AKA hans.pcguy

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I'd melt it without hesitation. Just because someone wants $20 and up for it doesn't mean that's what it's worth. I buy those for $3-4 each. That means I'm paying $3-4 instead of $18+ for a lb of tin. Kirk Stieff is still making those with a lb of tin and a whole bunch of markup.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy MAGA's Avatar
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    I am new to casting so I am hitting all of the thrift stores in the area looking for pewter
    Found a bowl last week.

    How do you guys process your pewter? do you smelt into ingots? Is it the same process as smelting lead?

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Just like lead. I pour coin sized ingots, and mark them with the weight for future use. Ingots are usually in the 1-3 ounce range.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

    imashooter2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traffer View Post
    One of these is my latest purchase from Good Will. It was $0.78. It is in perfect shape (except for the place I shaved a bit off to make sure it was pewter.) I am using it for a catch all bowl on my desk. I won't melt it until/unless I have to. (These things sell for over $100 in places.) Would you melt it? I am listing the cheapest one I found for comparison:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/KIRK-STIEFF-...YAAOSwuxFYsvzG
    Oh it comes in at 11.5 oz troy. So 1 lb of good high tin content pewter for $0.78. Just gotta look a lot. That Goodwill is notorious for having very high prices too. I just got lucky.
    When I was selling pewter on here regularly, I melted dozens of those.
    My Straight Shooters thread:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...raight-shooter

    The Pewter Pictures and Hallmarks thread:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...-and-hallmarks

  12. #12
    Boolit Master

    imashooter2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAGA View Post
    I am new to casting so I am hitting all of the thrift stores in the area looking for pewter
    Found a bowl last week.

    How do you guys process your pewter? do you smelt into ingots? Is it the same process as smelting lead?
    A Lyman dipper will pour 1.5 - 2.5 ounce ingots depending on the fill. I use a Potter mold, but mini muffin tins, the bottom of drink cans, or any other small container will work.

    My Straight Shooters thread:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...raight-shooter

    The Pewter Pictures and Hallmarks thread:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...-and-hallmarks

  13. #13
    Boolit Master dbosman's Avatar
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    I use a bunch of measuring spoons, screwed to a piece of 2x, for my pewter. They come out at two to three ounces.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check