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Thread: Had my lead and Pewter tested, here is what I have to work with so far.

  1. #1

    Had my lead and Pewter tested, here is what I have to work with so far.

    I used my foundry to melt and cast my materials into a 6 muffin pan sized ingots and had the local scrap recycler test them.
    Listed below, but the names don't line up with the columns.

    Up until now I always purchased all the ammo assembled and now am collecting everything needed to get into reloading.
    All I need now is the electric pot to melt it in.
    The guns I intend on reloading and casting for right now is an H&R single shot in 300 BLK (Lee 240 grain subsonic), an AR-10 in 45 Raptor (Lee 300 grain gas checked) and on the softer pure lead side a couple black powder revolvers and shotgun 7/8 slugs and #4 Buckshot.
    I eventually want molds for every caliber I own but that's it for now.

    I have some antimony in the Pewter but when I blend it with the lead that will dilute.
    Now, about the copper, has anyone tested alloys using something like dissolved copper, titanium or other metals to increase the hardness for those of us short on Antimony?

    Also, what about projectiles made out of straight Pewter if that was all you had?

    Materials on hand for reloading.
    Material Tin Antimony Lead Copper Titanium Iron Chromium
    ID # Pewter Sn Sb Pb Cu Ti Fe Cr
    P1 Pewter 89 5 0.14 3.49 0.45 0.65 0
    P2 Pewter 91 4 0.28 2.9 0.7 0 0
    P3 Pewter 90 4 0.31 3.3 0.5 0 0
    P4 Pewter 89.6 6.5 0.23 2.4 0.81 0 0
    P5 Pewter 88.1 6 0.22 4.2 0.71 0 0
    P6 Pewter 89.4 5.9 0.22 3 0.9 0 0
    P7 Pewter 87.9 5.7 0.27 4.6 0.71 0 0

    Material Tin Antimony Lead Copper Titanium Iron Chromium
    ID # Lead Sn Sb Pb Cu Ti Fe Cr
    L1 Lead 0.31 0 93.58 0.66 0 1 0
    L2 Lead 0.31 0 93.58 0.66 0 1 0
    L3 Lead 0 0 97.75 0.21 0 0 0.37
    L4 Lead 0 0 98.2 0.2 0 0.53 0
    L5 Lead 0 0 98 0.2 0 0.57 0
    L6 Lead 0 0 98.1 0.18 0 0 0
    L7 Lead 0 0 97.8 0.25 0.1 0.59 0
    L8 Lead 0 0 98.6 0 0 0 0
    L9 Lead 0 0 97.9 0.27 0 0 0
    L10 Lead 0 0 98.09 0.22 0 0 0

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Grmps's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    this is easier to read

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Grmps's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Throw some of these figures into this alloy calculator http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...=1#post2883499

    Your good for the BP and you could mix some pewter with some lead to get a good BHN for the 300 AAC BO

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    Yodogsandman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    New Hampshire
    Antimony is easy, get some linotype from evilbay. Linotype is 82% lead, 12% antimony, 6% tin. Be sure to get the actual type and not the stuff that's been melted into ingots. The ingots are too easy to fake.

    Another source is Rotometals Super Hard.

    Another is magnum shot.
    A deplorable that votes!

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    If you have access to radiopharmacy lead containers, nearly all that I have gotten analyzed have 2.5% Sb or better, good for pistol alloy and used as such by many I have read here.

    For harder, higher Sb content alloys, I have still been able to find Linotype in scrap yards (I live in a large urban population center), though what I have actually had analyzed has varied a bit in both Sb and Sn content. SuperHard from Rotometals is a ready source of alloy of known content.

    The very first boolit I cast was all pewter. I still have it. Some would say it's a shame to use twenty to fifty times the tin needed, but, if you do it, run the mold and pot hot and cut the sprue promptly. That first boolit was beautiful, with perfect fill out and a flawless surface, but I almost killed myself and the mold trying to cut the sprue.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

    retread's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Sell or trade some pewter for COWW. Use the lead for mixing 50/50 with COWW with 1 or 2 % pewter and you will be good for handgun loads. Straight COWW with the same amount of pewter for rifle. You will be ahead of the game maximizing the value of the pewter.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master RogerDat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Michigan Lansing Area
    I read that chart as plain lead (soft) and pewter.

    Soft is good for black powder revolvers. You want those to be soft lead.
    Tin is good for fill out in small amounts (2% or less) or balanced with antimony in some more rifle or magnum bullet alloys. 94/3/3 or 90/5/5 (Lyman #2)

    Copper makes a bullet "tougher" not harder. Think hollow point that expands but doesn't break apart. Harder is generally more brittle. You can snap a bar of linotype with a hammer. Copper is going to be a trace amount also. If pewter is 90% tin which you add a small amount to get 2% tin in your bullet alloy you will only have a tiny decimal amount of the other alloys. Having antimony in pewter is nice because it doesn't dilute the antimony in the bullet alloy, but it won't harden things much at all at from the amount riding along with the tin.

    To start with I would melt all those small sample batches into one batch of pewter and one batch of lead. Then test a single sample of the big batch of pewter. You know the lead is all essentially the same. You want to be able to use the pewter and have it be consistent working with larger batches is better for that. It is good to make sure you only melt down marked pewter items and keep individual melts of pewter small enough if you make a mistake and get some zinc handle in a batch it only contaminates that small batch (don't ask, I don't want to talk about it). Then once tested you can combine or set aside that batch. I try for between 3# and 10# batches of pewter.

    Depending on how much of that plain lead you have you might want to buy some printers lead (linotype, monotype) which as pointed out by others is rich in tin and antimony. You can use that to "sweeten" the plain lead. OR you could post a WTB (wanted to buy) for COWW (clip on wheel weight) lead in the swapping and selling forum. Expect to pay about a $1 per pound. Typical amounts are ~25 lbs. and ~60 lbs. based on what fits in a USPS small flat rate or medium flat rate box. It fits it ships applies to lead ingots so that is cheapest way to ship lead.

    Here is why I suggest the COWW purchase. COWW + 2% pewter is excellent rifle bullet alloy. 50/50 mix of COWW and Plain lead + 2% pewter is good pistol bullet alloy and mild rifle load bullet alloy. You might want to buy a bit of printers lead just to have on hand to try a harder bullet alloy. Remember tin makes it more ductile (pliable) and a tiny amount harder. Antimony adds a lot of hardness but can be brittle. Too hard won't expand in the barrel to grip the rifling.

    I would buy any and all "used" alloys here in the swapping and selling forum rather than EBay people here know what they have, and this is a community, people who are not honest in what they are selling are not likely to last long. We know the difference between linotype soft spacers and linotype EBay even if they know they may sell the soft as linotype or mix it in. Rotometal is a site sponsor they have a link in those ads on the top of every page. If you need the bullet alloy to be foundry pure known alloy you pay more but they are a good source.

    Just a suggestion start by casting plain lead round balls for the muzzle loader. Easy to cast, and very satisfying to shoot your own in a muzzle loader or cap and ball. Plain lead, no worry about alloy mix. Last time I checked they were not cheap to buy either. For those rifle calibers you may want to do some reading on PC (powder coating) and/or water dropping. If you have a revolver they tend to be easier to cast for, more forgiving on the alloy. I would say the same of the 45 ACP. Slower moving bullet is less fussy. Rifle bullets however cost an arm and a leg so that is where one can save the most per bullet.

    Good luck
    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 http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...light=RogerDat I do trade a bit from time to time.

  8. #8
    Good info thanks

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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