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Thread: What is an easy way to compare Tin and Lead

  1. #1
    Boolit Master pete501's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    What is an easy way to compare Tin and Lead

    I would like to know what weight percentage tin is in relation to the same volume of lead. Someone out there has figured this out.

    I have some suspect "tin" soldiers that I want to cast into a mold and compare the weight to the known weight of a lead boolit. The scrap yard has a XRF gun but with my work schedule it would be difficult get out there.

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Easiest way? Put it aside and wait 'till you make it to the scrap yard?

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Cowboy_Dan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Northern Indiana
    You could compare the weights of a bullet cast of pure lead and your mystery alloy. With a little math, this is pretty easy. Here are the formulas you need to fill in:


    (M2-112V)/63=P (remember to do the part in the parentheses before dividing)


    M1 is the mass of the pure Lead boolit
    V is the volume of the boolit
    M2 is the mass of the mystery metal boolit
    P is the amount of Lead by volume
    L is the percent Lead of the mystery alloy

    Note: these particular formulas are for a Lead/Tin alloy, other metals in the alloy will give an incorrect result.
    "It is wrong always, everywhere, and for everyone to believe anything on insufficient evidence."
    -W. K. Clifford "The Ethics of Belief"

    "They hate you if you're clever, and they despise a fool."
    -John Lennon "A Working Class Hero"

  4. #4
    Boolit Master pete501's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Thanks. That was what I was looking for.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Wikipedia says pure lead at room temperature is 11.34 grams per cubic centimeter. The same volume of pure tin at room temp is 7.27 grams, or 64.1 %.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master RogerDat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Michigan Lansing Area
    What cowboy dan is noting is any antimony or zinc or copper or any other metal other than lead/tin will throw the math off. I'm with the get it tested and know. Lucky enough to have a scrap yard that will test then just put a sample on a shelf with any other mystery alloys, when you have enough make the trip. Or contact member here BNE you can mail him a sample + one pound of lead per sample and he will test it. Mailing might save some of your time and only cost you postage and a pound of lead.
    Je suis Charlie
    Scrap.... because all the really pithy and emphatic four letter words were taken and we had to describe this way of getting casting material somehow.
    Feedback page I do trade a bit from time to time.

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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