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Thread: plumbers lead for 9mm and 223 PC

  1. #1

    plumbers lead for 9mm and 223 PC

    My plumber buddy dropped off probably 50-60 pounds of lead pipe. I've only casted WW and am not sure of mixtures ill need for this lead. Ill be shooting 9mm (around 1000-1100fps for the 124gr and around 800 for the 147gr) and lee 55gr 223 going around 2400-2500 fps, Ill be powder coating these, and probably gas checking the 223. Any help for a mixture for my 10lb pot, i dont mind making a different mixture but the 2 as they will be going at way different speeds. thanks

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    Traffer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Central Wisconisn
    From what I know plumbers lead is about the softest stuff you can get. I wouldn't use it in proportions of more than 50% to 50% WW to start with. But I have been known to be Waaaaay wrong in the past.
    AKA hans.pcguy

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    rdivito44 welcome to posting on CB. I see you've been "lurking" for a while which is a great way to gather information. If you decided to start casting to save money, forget it. You won't, you'll just shoot more.
    223 and 9mm are fairly fast calibers, the (plumbers) almost pure lead would be too soft and you'd end up with a mess. you would need to alloy some tin (pewter) and maybe some antimony to get to the desired hardness. this chart will give you a basic idea for hand guns.

    Following is some information that will be helpful, check on the lead alloy calculator

    Casting boolits (lead bullets) properly is a science, once you know the basics, not a hard science.
    There is a lot of good information on CB. The Google search (top right of every forum page) is a gateway to all the knowledge on this forum. If you can’t find your answer there ask the question (Please be as detailed as possible, pictures help http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...g-screen-shots I would be very surprised if there wasn’t someone on this forum that could answer ANY (firearm related) question you might have)
    1. Boolits need to be cast .0005 to .003 (normally .002) over the slugged diameter of your barrel for accuracy and to avoid leading. If the fit is wrong nothing else will work right.
    a. slugging a barrel (it is safer to use a brass rod or a steel rod with a couple of coats of tape to avoid damaging your barrel http://7.62x54r.net/MosinID/MosinSlug.htm
    b. chamber casting https://www.brownells.com/guntech/ce....htm?lid=10614
    or pound casting http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...rifle-chamber)
    2. the right alloy needs to be used for the velocity and purpose of the boolit (don’t fall into the trap of going with too hard an alloy
    Economical way to easily test lead hardness

    Some alloys harden over time
    different alloy’s different end hardnesses

    Lead alloy calculator
    3. velocity the bullet needs to be pushed hard/fast enough to get the proper spin, have the proper velocity to accurately reach the target but not so hard as to be dangerous or strip the lead off in the grooves instead of spinning the boolit..
    The boolit needs to be the right weight for the riffling/twist rate of your barrel
    Powders range from fast to slow, you need to choose the right powder for your barrel length & application.
    Loading manuals list the best powders for certain calibers and boolit weights.
    NEVER use any posted noncommercial load data without first checking commercial load data to see if falls in the safe parameter for your firearm!! There are several firearms out there that can handle much higher pressures than others!!
    Link to free online load data

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Central Iowa
    I'd try a 50-50 mix in 147 grain 9mm and just stick with the pure WWs for .223 if that's working for you.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Florida's Nature Coast
    Quote Originally Posted by reddog81 View Post
    I'd try a 50-50 mix in 147 grain 9mm and just stick with the pure WWs for .223 if that's working for you.

    If you H2O quenched the 50/50 alloy mix it would bring you to the upper teens in the BHN and with the gas check and good lube such as Ben's Red you could push the .223 velocities you posted. I would cast a few and give them about two weeks then do a BHN test to confirm. My 50/50 mix H2O quenched turned out to be a 21 BHN and way to hard for my .431 caliber cartridges.

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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