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Thread: Help identifying National Lead Co. bar

  1. #1

    Help identifying National Lead Co. bar

    I have two of these ingot bars that I bought in a lot purchase off of Ebay about 15 years ago. The lot was advertised as soft plumbers lead, but these bars seem to be quite a bit harder than pure lead. I don't have any kind of hardness tester, so I don't know much harder. Google hasn't turned up anything that looks even close. Each bar weighs 4 lbs. 2.2oz. ea. Says National Lead Co. on top, Metal on the bottom, and in a recessed area in the middle it says "Genuine" that is upside down from the other two lines. There is also the Dutch boy on one end of it. The only other markings on the bars are a stamp on the back that reads "U82C4 R"

    One of these days I may get around to picking up a hardness tester, but haven't had much of a need for one as of yet. Also, I may never get around to using these in making bullets because of having plenty of other hardening options, but just out of curiosity, I'd like to know what I have.

    I'm going to attempt to post pictures from my photobucket account, but I'm not expecting it to work, which is the reasoning for the detailed description.


  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    This is a link to a catalog of National Lead from the 40's.


    Plenty to drool over.

  3. #3
    Wow, that link has some awesome and interesting information, however, through my relatively quick scan, I didn't find anything that seemed to indicate what kind of metal I might have here.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    New Brunswick Canada
    The answer to your question is cast into the center of that ingot. Search "Genuine" babbitt, also known as Nickel Genuine. I've used a bunch of it, treating as tin.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    I would be tempted to keep one of them just for the "cool" factor. I have a whole shelf dedicated to cool stuff! Odd or vintage bars, ingots, odd wheel weights, ect ect.

  6. #6
    After thoroughly scouring the info in the link that jsizemore posted, and based on what WKAYE says, I'm inclined to believe that it is "genuine babbitt". According to the literature, the composition would be 88.9% tin, 7.4% antimony, and 3.7% copper.

    If I had any inclination to use these ingots for making bullets, I would have them tested to be sure, but as I posted before, I have plenty of other hardening options that these probably won't be needed in my lifetime. For now, I'll keep them as they are, and keep them for emergency, or pass them on to my two sons when I'm gone.

    Thanks for the info. This has helped a lot.

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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