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Thread: 50-50-2% Blend

  1. #1
    Boolit Man SharuLady's Avatar
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    Question 50-50-2% Blend

    Hi, I have finished up smelting all my COWW into ingots (boy that was a major job). I hand sorted all the COWW while using sidecutter dike. All total I only had 4 zinc & 2 steel floaters. Kept the melting temp to 670 to 690 degrees. Fluxed with sawdust & wax. Numerous fluxing, all cleaned up very well. I just finished today the 1st load of SOWW. I still have 2 more loads to smelt of SOWW.

    I will be re-smelting the COWW (50 lbs of it) taking x amt of ingots from 10 lots that was done to uniform that amount. Then I intend to put in 50 Ibs of SOWW plus 2% pewter.
    I can repeat this action as more is needed later. At least I wll have some to use for making boolits.

    We have a 1- 380acp, 2- 9mm acps, 1-38 spl revolver, 1- 357 mag (sp101), 1-45acp & 2- 30-30's.

    So my question is - will the above mix (50-50-2%) work for the above weapons? If not, I am certainly open to suggestions and any help or guidence in this matter.

    TYVM in advance,
    SharuLady

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    50/50+2% is the most versatile alloy there is I think. It just works. The only variation that I see a real need for is a harder alloy for large boned dangerous game up close with a big bore revolver, and rifle boolits pushed over 1800fps.
    Got a .22 .32 .357 .38 .40 .41 .44 .45 .480 or .500 S&W cylinder that needs throat reaming? 9mm, 10mm/40S&W, 45 ACP pistol barrel that won't "plunk" your handloads? Shoot me a PM! Also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cylinderhone-756429174391912/

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Just cast one hundred 340 grain .459 bullets for my 45-70 with that mix

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    runfiverun's Avatar
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    actually it's 50 plus the 2 then mixed 50-50
    the new ww's don't got enough antimony in them to use that much tin when cut.
    it's all an educated guess,,,, till the trigger is pulled.

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

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Oklahoma Rebel's Avatar
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    the difference is only 3 ounces, but what would you use for boolits in the 1800-2200fps range, I have a copper mix, but lets say if I were to use COWW's as the main ingredient. consider this alloy for both hunting and shooting, so expansion would still be needed, maybe 75%co,25%pure,2%tin, again, runfiverun, I know that's 102% lol
    Norinco SKS
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  6. #6
    Boolit Master JBinMN's Avatar
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    I use it & it works fine like what DougGuy mentioned.

    Good all around alloy mix for most folks.


    G'Luck!
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    My regular house alloy is 50/50 + 1% tin/pewter. Sometimes I'll go COWW's +2% tin/pewter for the 9mm if I'm pushing it pretty good.

  8. #8
    Boolit Man SharuLady's Avatar
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    Hi DougGuy & Retumbo,
    Ty for your replies! It is good to hear that this blend is a versatile alloy.

    Quote Originally Posted by DougGuy View Post
    50/50+2% is the most versatile alloy there is I think. It just works. The only variation that I see a real need for is a harder alloy for large boned dangerous game up close with a big bore revolver, and rifle boolits pushed over 1800fps.
    I understand the variation or real need for a harder alloy for large boned dangerous game with a big bore revolver and rifle boolits pushed over 1800fps. At this time, we don't have a big bore revolver but I would like to get a 45 LC and a 30-06 and/or Enfield 303.
    But, we only have deer here, but we have had news reportings of black bear and cougars/mountain lions, & wild hogs in further areas away from us.
    Last edited by SharuLady; 12-04-2017 at 01:44 AM.

  9. #9
    Boolit Man SharuLady's Avatar
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    Hi JBinMN, Ty for your reply as well.

  10. #10
    Boolit Man SharuLady's Avatar
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    Hi jsizemore, Ty for you reply also.

    Quote Originally Posted by jsizemore View Post
    My regular house alloy is 50/50 + 1% tin/pewter. Sometimes I'll go COWW's +2% tin/pewter for the 9mm if I'm pushing it pretty good.

  11. #11
    Boolit Man SharuLady's Avatar
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    Hi runfiverun, Ty for your reply.

    Quote Originally Posted by runfiverun View Post
    actually it's 50 plus the 2 then mixed 50-50
    the new ww's don't got enough antimony in them to use that much tin when cut.
    This may be a dumb question but if I have understood your reply by using the 50 lbs COWW and adding the 2% combined first then the antimony in the wheel weights will blend together better? Then adding the 50 lbs SOWW to that will get me the 50-50-2%?

    But, doesn't the 50 soww still dilute the mix down? So 2% of 50lbs would be a lot less pewter than 2% of the 50-50 mix? Just trying to understand.

    How would the expansion be on this mix? Am considering on RN, some type of wadcutter and Hollowpoint for the boolits.

    I do appreciate your input!

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    The 2% you base your tin on is the ww portion not the total. So 50% ww/ tin mix and 50% pure

  13. #13
    Boolit Bub
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    I am watching this thread with great interest also and have a question for those that have used this alloy with gas checked 30's. I have seen Larry Gibson say that he only gets 10/12 shots before he has to clean from Leading I suppose. The op is using plain base pistol boolits. Has anyone noticed the 50 plus 2/50 leaded any more than say coww. DougGuy alluded to maybe 1800 being the upper limit? Hopefully my post is not considered a hijack, if so I apologize.
    Tony.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master Oklahoma Rebel's Avatar
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    abj, that's kind of what I was asking in post#5, no answers yet
    Norinco SKS
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    Remington 597 22lr w/30 rnd clip
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  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    no leading.

    leading occurs when you have room for gas to blow past the boolit base,
    or when your forward momentum exceeds the ability of the alloy to hold on to the rifling.
    both are generally a diameter issue more than a hardness issue. [or a combination of the two]
    if your getting leading you need to reexamine your process.

    there are upper limits to things and there are self imposed limits to things.
    for instance I push both my 45 colt and 44 magnum lever guns to 1600+ fps with plain base molds and the above alloy.
    I air cool them from the mold and size them to just barely over groove diameter [actually at groove diameter in the 45 colt]
    I slow them down for deer hunting, there just isn't a need for that much speed and it can actually be counterproductive..
    anyway the 45 has not seen a patch or brush since about 1995, the 44 has had one series of patches down it's barrel in the last 10 years.
    that was when I was doing some lube testing and noticed an anomaly and wanted to make sure I was manipulating what I was seeing so I could make an accurate synopsis of the situation.

    the same alloy in my smaller caliber rifles [35 down to 7mm] get water dropped from the mold giving me a harder BHN to work with but the same malleability and toughness on target which means I get good terminal performance when hunting but no drama in the rifle.
    I put gas checks on the rifle stuff and run them up as high as 2400 fps with some specialty molds.

    my smaller caliber rifles get a more balanced alloy which is close to lyman number-2.
    those are rifles like the 220 swift, the 5.56 in my AR's, and the 22-250, they are all pretty much running well over 2650 fps

    okay that sounds impressive but the terminal performance for hunting at those speeds is too much with a normal flat nosed bullet. [or perfect for small varmints depending on how you look at it]
    in other words I tear up too much meat on a deer.
    so finding a balance between striking velocity, alloy malleability, and meplat diameter is the key.
    as speeds go up a smaller meplat is desired and a tougher alloy is more desirable to prevent over expansion.
    [it works the exact same way with jacketed bullets BTW]

    OK Rebel questioned me because he knows my alloy is more like 30% soft lead to clip on ww's and then I add some tin to it.
    sometimes there is also copper and sometimes zinc is included in the alloy, it just depends on what I want the boolit to do.
    that alloy also fit's 90% of my molds, as in they pour out large enough I get good engraving on the nose and a large enough diameter on the body to be able to seat the gas check evenly and squarely on the shank in a push through size die.
    balance..
    fitment, both kinds.
    launch, gentle and easy.
    terminal performance,, 2-K plus- too much [shrug, maybe] 1900 just right with most off the shelf molds, 1800 better if your running a cup point.
    what is right for you is probably in that mix somewhere but not too far away from what everyone else is doing.
    it's all an educated guess,,,, till the trigger is pulled.

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

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    it would make sense to me if you combine ww lead with pure lead, you deplete the antimony totals down to 1.5 %

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
    runfiverun's Avatar
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    correct or lower.
    many of the newer ww's are probably a big mix of old ww's and old stick on ww's and some other stuff laying there and some battery cable ends.
    they just don't make them like they used to.... close kind of though, and cheaper don't forget cheaper.
    it's all an educated guess,,,, till the trigger is pulled.

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

  18. #18
    Boolit Man SharuLady's Avatar
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    Hi Retumbo, TYVM for your reply once again!

    Quote Originally Posted by Retumbo View Post
    The 2% you base your tin on is the ww portion not the total. So 50% ww/ tin mix and 50% pure
    Ok, your statement above makes it much clearer!
    Today I smelted another load of SOWW. Only 1 more load of SOWW to smelt down. I put aside & weighed 50 lbs of SOWW and 50 lbs of COWW (each kept separate).

    I still have to re-smelt my pewter since they are in 3+ lb ingots and it would be easier (I think) to have in smaller ingots. I don't want to cut them and have to pick up the cuttings since this stuff is so expensive.

    I figure I can use my Lee ingot molds or I also have made up 4 sets of stainless steel condiment cups (3 cups ea mounted on a wooden base with handles).

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    I was put onto 50-50 third party. It's a very versatile alloy. What's nice about it too is that you can it different Bhn hardnesses by air dropping, water quenching, and oven heat treating. Another modification for it is to blend it 60-40 with the 60 being the pure lead percentage. This is for a softer version should you need it. I'll have to go along with runfiverun on not needing to add 2% tin. 50-50 has always casted very well for me.

    I've never gotten leading with this alloy and feel leading issues are more related to the bullet lube you are using and bullet fit.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by ABJ View Post
    I am watching this thread with great interest also and have a question for those that have used this alloy with gas checked 30's. I have seen Larry Gibson say that he only gets 10/12 shots before he has to clean from Leading I suppose. The op is using plain base pistol boolits. Has anyone noticed the 50 plus 2/50 leaded any more than say coww. DougGuy alluded to maybe 1800 being the upper limit? Hopefully my post is not considered a hijack, if so I apologize.
    Tony.
    I mostly refer to it as "fouling" as I have learned to clean it out before it gets really built up and this is in rifles pushing the velocity mostly at 2000 - 2200 fps. That alloy in magnum handguns with velocities under 1450 fps can be shot all day long w/o any appreciable fouling. Leading occurs by other than gas blow by also. Note also I use the 50% COWW +2% tin + 50% lead alloy for my GC'd hunting bullets in rifles and in HP'd GC'd cast bullets for use in magnum revolver cartridges in handguns. The problems we face today is not all COWWs we find are created equal. The current batch COWWs which I've had in buckets for 20+ years run 2.5% antimony with .5% tin.

    DougGuy is also close to correct in that 1800 fps +/- in rifles is probably the upper limit before fouling begins. If the bullets are WQ'd or HT'd they will hold up fine and you can probably shoot all day long with a good load w/o and appreciable fouling. And excellent soft lube such as NRA50/50 or 2500+ is also highly recommended.

    runfiverun is correct that current COWW quality these days is pretty poor. Most will have 1.5 to 2% antimony in them, maybe, along with a trace of tin.....again, maybe. Adding the 2% tin to the COWWs then balances with the antimony creating a better alloy. Only the user of any batch can judge what he has. Just adding the 2% tin may be good enough. Adding lead after that is a judgment call with 10 to 50% may be okay........just have to make that call when you are there and see what works with that batch of alloy. If in doubt add 10% lead at a time to the COWWs +2% tin, cast some bullets and see how they turn out. Add 10 more % in increments until you find what works best. It's not as hard to do as it sounds.

    I also am finding with current COWWs what I used to do in years past is not working anymore. Ergo I have to adjust what is added to make it work as well today. Back when I started casting many years ago COWWs were of excellent quality and could be used for most every kind of cast bullet shooting......not so anymore.

    Back to the OP's use for PB'd handgun bullets. WQing them would certainly avoid any potential problems but at velocities of 1050 fps or less, using a good lube on a bullet that fits should pose no problem with an AC'd alloy of decent COWWs +2% tin then mix 50/50 with lead.
    Last edited by Larry Gibson; 12-04-2017 at 06:04 PM.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
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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