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Thread: Frangible bullets in range scrap

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Frangible bullets in range scrap

    We have a number of police agencies renting our bays. Not only do they leave their brass (hey, my taxes paid for it) but, of course, their bullets are now in our berms.

    Lots of jacketed, of course, but some are frangibles, made of some compressed reddish brown powder that often does not fragment in our sand faced berms. The weight is close to lead, but just light enough that I can tell the difference, most of the time.

    What are these things made of? Anybody know if this will cause problems with alloy reclaimed from berms shot up with these types of slugs? (I don't relish the thought having to hand sort the scrap I recover.)

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    I have been told they are sintered tungsten cores on the green ammo. If this is true it wont melt at lead temps so it should float on top and be easy to scoop out when fluxing. I would set up a small amount with a propane torch and see if it melts or what it takes to melt. Do this outside and if possible a set up you can stay back from due to unknown fumes and splash splattering hazards. Definitly wear full protective gear for this also.
    The old one I remembered ( I cant think of the name now) was a jacket filled with lead shot and a gelatin then a plastic nose cap. The shot was high antimony lead shot in the 8-6 sizes depending on caliber. bullet was light for caliber and supposedly stayed intact until impact, Then on impact it released the shot and the jacket nose cap becoming a large dia wound inside.
    If you can melt enough of it you could send it off to one of the guys with an XRF gun and have them read it as to what it is.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master brewer12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by country gent View Post
    The old one I remembered ( I cant think of the name now) was a jacket filled with lead shot and a gelatin then a plastic nose cap. The shot was high antimony lead shot in the 8-6 sizes depending on caliber. bullet was light for caliber and supposedly stayed intact until impact, Then on impact it released the shot and the jacket nose cap becoming a large dia wound inside.
    .
    Is that the Glaser Safety Slug? The modern frangibles are sintered "something" so I guess you would just have to see what they could be and identify if they could be anything that would melt near lead temps. If not, skimming them off would probably be the way to go. Tungsten is considerably denser than lead, so I imagine they would sink too the bottom of the pot rather than floating on top.
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master maxreloader's Avatar
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    I used to love the "beehive" rounds! Penetrated just enuff then no more gas and lots of brake.
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master



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    most of the frangible is a sintered copper. Skim and sell for scrap copper. Not sure how to remove copper from unusable dross - someone here may have some thoughts. Obviously jackets are easier to clean/sort from the top when skimming.
    Mustang

    "In the beginning... the patriot is a scarce man, and brave and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." - Mark Twain.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    Yes Glaser Safety Slug was the one I was thinking of and familiar with.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    So if it's tungsten I'll end up with with a powder that will sink to the bottom of the lead pot, which is way too cold to melt it (~6200F, per Wikipedia), I'm thinking that, if that's the case, I may forgo my habit of pouring out the last dregs into an ingot mold: don't want to put that in my bottom pour casting pot. I'll let the residual lead harden and will discard it or use it for some other purpose like casting fishing weights.

    If it's copper, it'll float and also not melt, just skim it off with the jackets and debris. Thanks guys!

    Oh, I have some of the Glaser rounds in the second and third generation forms. They were marketed as being effectively non penetrating on interior walls, so that a miss on the target was less likely to harm someone on the other side, but would still dump the energy of the round in the target when hit. Not a bee hive round, in that the slug is intact in the air until it hits something. Cor-Bon owns the company now.
    Last edited by kevin c; 01-08-2018 at 02:47 AM.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    You could try putting it in a ladle and dip it in the pot & once hot slowly swish it around gently, if that works and its tungsten you'll keep the powder inside the ladle and can then dump it easier? Or maybe put it in a small steel cup / small can (maybe best made from a folded up can lid?) with iron/steel wire, if no ladle handy. Hmmm if you did that, see if it melts in the little "boat" and if not you know to just remove it? (add a lil lead if you want to see if it floats on lead)

    I've used a little 10# lead pot for testing this sort of thing before, first one was stolen but it's replaced now. Anything thick steel or cast iron should do

  9. #9
    If they have small + looking symbol on tip, I get them all the time in my range scrap. Probably have 15 pounds worth. They just float to the top and I skim them off.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    Mr Sheesh - those sound like tests that could provide useful information - thanks!

    Jarhead - yes I've seen that mark on some of the frangibles. Good to know they float on the melt (my eyes would stage a mutiny if I tried squinting at every slug before it hit the pot).

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    The frangibles I have used are 90/10 copper/tin powder. I don't think I've tried to thow one un the pot and see what happens next. They shoot good and were $68/1000 for 224 bullets delivered.
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  12. #12
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    So they may add a little copper and tin to your smelt... good thing!

    Quote Originally Posted by fcvan View Post
    The frangibles I have used are 90/10 copper/tin powder. I don't think I've tried to thow one un the pot and see what happens next. They shoot good and were $68/1000 for 224 bullets delivered.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master


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    Most frangible are "sintered copper" from what I've seen.

    I've found a fair number of those in range scrap. They always just float to the top. I've mistaken them for TMJ and whacked them with a drilling hammer. The frangible just break when you hit them with a hammer, where you can crack the jacket on TMJs.

    Frangible are the only kind we're allowed to shoot at work. They hit the angled plate backstop and disintegrate. There's a tough that catches most of the dust, and the rest gets sucked out the vents and filtered. A company comes and collects up the dust. I presume that they recycle it.
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  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    Everything i find is copper based and always floats so its not a problem. I know Ruger ARX is one of those and its labeled as polymer-copper but I've seen other brands too and they always float.

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy
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    Good to know. Thanks, all, for describing your experiences. :

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

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    I expect that someday range scrap is going to replace wheel weights as our main source of free or cheap lead. It seems like it already has in some parts of the country. I hate hearing about all of these lead free bullets. Its good to hear that at least some of the non lead stuff can be skimmed off. All the more reason to stock up now.

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