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Thread: Lead choice for Sharps rifle

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Lead choice for Sharps rifle

    i have lino,wheel weights and range lead that i could possibly use for a RCBS 530 bullet mould used for long range shooting out of my Sharps, People recommend shooting 20-1 mix but i cant find any or at least someone who can positivly say it is 20-1. What would u suggest?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    If you want 20:1, order it from rotometals. Quick and easy.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    I use 20-1 and occasionaly 15-1. This range is where I would recommend with true Black Powder. From the bullet weight given I'm assuming 45 cal but there are several case lengths here also. The above alloys bump up well under BPs pressures and pressure curve. Fit is more important here than hardness.

    With the smokeless or substitutes you might try the wheel weights ( clip ons) sweetened 50-50with pure lead and air cooled.

    You can order the above alloies from buffalo arms or rotometals, its also offered in swapping and selling here

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    im not using black power but 5574. would 20-1 be too soft is that why u suggest wheel weights

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    I like 20-1 and it is easy to whip up using pure lead and solder, do the math for proper amounts.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    i cant find any pure lead..not even here.Everyone seems to have what i have.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    I have a Sharps "Papercutter" Berdan made by Pedersoli. I use 50/50 Clip on wheel weights and pure lead and it shoots 2" groups @ 100 yards when I do my part.
    Maker of Silver Boolits for Werewolf hunting.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hickok View Post
    I have a Sharps "Papercutter" Berdan made by Pedersoli. I use 50/50 Clip on wheel weights and pure lead and it shoots 2" groups @ 100 yards when I do my part.
    is a 20-1 mix too soft for smokeless powder?

  9. #9
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barnabus View Post
    is a 20-1 mix too soft for smokeless powder?
    No. I use even softer 25:1 mix in all my single shots and don't have any leading issues. I started shooting softer bullets to save buying more tin, and it's worked so well that I never went back to harder bullets.
    If you have wheel weights, I'd use them as is and see how they work for you. Just be sure they're good wheel weights and not some of the newer stuff with zinc in them.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    If your bullet fit is correct either clip on WW or 20 to 1 will work.
    I much prefer 20 to 1 since I can consistently mix it from solder and pure lead. Wheel weight alloys vary and some time you might get considerable variation or even a bogus alloy.

    This is coming from a sometime user of 5744. Most of the time I use a stash of SR4759 which is another good powder for reduced loads.

    Quote Originally Posted by barnabus View Post
    im not using black power but 5574. would 20-1 be too soft is that why u suggest wheel weights
    EDG

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    if i could find some pure to mix my own thats what id prefer to use but no luck finding any.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master

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    I know some guys in N-SSA who use straight wheel weights in their single shot Sharps, Maynards, and various CW single shot rifles, and some of the guys use 50/50 lead and clip on wheel weights.
    Maker of Silver Boolits for Werewolf hunting.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barnabus View Post
    if i could find some pure to mix my own thats what id prefer to use but no luck finding any.
    Rotometals sells pure lead scuba diver ingots.

    https://www.rotometals.com/lead-ingots-wire/

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    I've had a Shiloh Sharps .45-70 for more than twenty-five years and don't recall using anything but plain ww alloy. I don't use shoot black powder and don't shoot heavy loads. These rifles are very accurate and I suspect with some slight load adjustments I could use harder and softer alloys that would provide very satisfactory results.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master

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    Assuming that you're shooting the Postell or something similar. . .the idea there is that you boot that bullet out a subsonic initial speed and it holds onto that speed for a LOOOOOONG way without any pesky trans-sonic effects to contend with. In effect, it's a .22LR match bullet that got a massive dose of Captain America serum.

    If you're playing below the sound barrier or not too far above it, 20-1 is fine. 16-1 would be worth trying. The real advantage to lead/tin only bullets with no antimony for a "match" bullet is that your hardness won't change over time. If that's not a major concern, straight wheelweights are only slightly harder.
    WWJMBD?

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  16. #16
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    When I used range scrap I would separate the jacketed bullets from the cast and plated ones. I fished the jackets out of the melt and used that exclusively for black powder grease groove boolits. If I could separate out all the .22 RF bullets I would use them the same way.

    The rest of the stuff, air or water cooled, worked fine for smokeless grease groove loads in pistol or rifle, sized and lubed according to normal practice. Cooled in air, they worked for black powder paper patch boolits.

    The plated bullets are typically the same mongrel alloys as the cast are, but the jacketed cores have to be soft to go through the swaging machines. .22 rimfire the same thing. I would guess that they are about the equivalent of 30:1 lead/tin alloy, though I never bothered measuring the hardness.

    I used to use the stuff all mixed together for smokeless loads with the Ideal 457124 in my Garrett Sharps carbine. I once got third place at a 300-yard Gong Shoot with it, barrel sights.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master

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    This just my experience of the years, but I have had a lot more trouble going too hard than too soft with alloys.

    Dog-gone Lyman cast boolit manuals were the cause for most of it for me. "Lyman #2, linotype, use harder alloy for magnum velocities...etc." How did that work out?......not too good!!!
    Maker of Silver Boolits for Werewolf hunting.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master

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    when i shot .45-70 and .40-65 greasers with the excellent aa5744 white powder, 1:30 worked best in the rollers and sharps i had. i get my pure lead and pure tin from rotometals. it's easy to smelt up whatever alloy tin:lead ratio is required.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master Don McDowell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barnabus View Post
    i have lino,wheel weights and range lead that i could possibly use for a RCBS 530 bullet mould used for long range shooting out of my Sharps, People recommend shooting 20-1 mix but i cant find any or at least someone who can positivly say it is 20-1. What would u suggest?
    If you are thinking of the 82054 bullet from RCBS 20-1 works fine. Wheel weights do as well.
    That bullet is a good one out to 800 yards beyond that distance it can have some problems
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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