Inline FabricationADvertise hereRotoMetals2MidSouth Shooters Supply
Titan ReloadingLee PrecisionWidenersRepackbox

Donate Now Goal amount for this year: 6000 USD, Received: 6135 USD (102%)
OUR GOAL HAS BEEN MET!
Our Annual server fund drive is going on now! This donation drive helps fund Cast Boolits for an entire year, and helps support our 2nd amendment rights! You can donate by Paypal by clicking the DONATE button. Or by Cash / Check / MO to the address below:

Willy Snyder
PO Box 2732
Pocatello, ID 83206
****Due to overwhelming e-mails, I will be very slow in updating this list. Please bear with me!****


Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Reducing Alloy Hardness

  1. #1
    Boolit Master



    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Posts
    1,032

    Reducing Alloy Hardness

    I have a great source for range scrap. Most people want to harden range scrap, but mine comes from a handgun range where you can only shoot lead boolits. Most shooters either buy their boolits pre cast or buy rounds with hard cast boolits.

    Its not that easy for me to find pure lead, except making a long trip and paying a high price for it. I do find some old water pipes or lead flashing, but not as much as I need.

    Is there any way to soften an alloy besides adding pure lead? Can I cook antimony off or add something that will mix with it and make it removable ? Any other ideas?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Putnam County, NY
    Posts
    771
    Have a few batches tested by BNE and trade it out for soft lead in S&S.
    Last edited by NyFirefighter357; 02-10-2019 at 07:55 AM.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    Hickory's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    The Great Black Swamp of Northwest Ohio
    Posts
    4,057
    It has been my experience that most shooting needs can be accomplished with boolits in the 8-12 BHN range. Because specialized alloy for hunting is a very small % of your shooting.
    Political correctness is a national suicide pact.

    I am a sovereign individual, accountable
    only to God and my own conscience.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master



    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Posts
    1,032
    I wish mine was 8-12 BHN. It’s more like 16-18 BHN.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    toallmy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    easternshore of va.
    Posts
    2,142
    Quote Originally Posted by GregLaROCHE View Post
    I wish mine was 8-12 BHN. It’s more like 16-18 BHN.
    You might consider offering up some for trade with a member that has a softer range scrap that wants to harden their alloy .

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    NE Kansas
    Posts
    1,147
    If you had a general location in your profile, you might find someone willing to do FTF for several hundred pounds of good soft lead. Shipping FR boxes is a lot of work and needless expense.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Low country, SC
    Posts
    487
    The easiest thing is to dilute the mix with pure lead.

    The next option to reduce alloy hardness is to oxidize the alloy out as you re-smelt it. Get it really hot and stir stir stir for hours - skimming off the dross as you go. The big downside of this is that you lose a LOT of lead by oxidizing out the tin, antimony, and arsenic. Tin comes out first and fairly readily. Next - the other stuff starts to come out, but you will oxidize out a LOT of lead in the process.

    Hopefully it makes sense why simply cutting the alloy with pure lead is the preferred option if you can....

    Another final option is to trade harder lead to sinker casting guys or with other rifle and pistol bullet casters for soft lead they have accumulated.... This acknowledges that you often end up with a hodge podge of stuff over the years... For example - I ended up with probably 100# or so of soft lead plate. I am just saving it for someday because I basically only use hard lead.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    2,404
    For what was side already water it down is the best way to reducing the alloy BHN with pure lead.
    Life Member of NRA,NTA,DAV ,ITA. Also member of FTA,CBA

  9. #9
    Moderator



    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Land of 10,000 Lakes
    Posts
    12,024
    there is no reasonable way for a home boolit caster to cook off antimony.
    The only real answer to soften a 'hardcast' range scrap alloy, is to add pure or near pure Lead. You just need to keep looking for sources in your region.
    good luck.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.
    ― The Dalai Lama, Seattle Times, May 2001

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    North West Ohio
    Posts
    476
    Quote Originally Posted by GregLaROCHE View Post
    I have a great source for range scrap. Most people want to harden range scrap, but mine comes from a handgun range where you can only shoot lead boolits. Most shooters either buy their boolits pre cast or buy rounds with hard cast boolits.

    It’s not that easy for me to find pure lead, except making a long trip and paying a high price for it. I do find some old water pipes or lead flashing, but not as much as I need.

    Is there any way to soften an alloy besides adding pure lead? Can I cook antimony off or add something that will mix with it and make it removable ? Any other ideas?

    Thanks
    You did not say how you know the hardness.I agree to have it tested then you know what alloy you have and where you want to be.Ypur lead my not be as hard as you are thinking enough 22lr or soft wad cutters in the mix.You could just cast some and see how they shoot and save all the bother.

    I am the other way around.I find much more soft lead than harder stuff.May be you can get enough soft stuff to last a while and keep lookin for more soft stuff.If you have it tested you will be better off in trading or selling.I for one would be happy to have the alloy in my stock pile.


    trying to cook off any alloys would be a realy spencive [propane] and take a lot of time.Then still no know what you have.

    cast some and shoot em

  11. #11
    Moderator


    ShooterAZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Flagstaff, AZ
    Posts
    6,318
    Try to find some "Stick On" wheel weights if you can. They are very soft lead, and would be useful to "dilute" your hard lead if you can find some. Check with your local tire shop, or even the scrap yards might even have some.

  12. #12
    AKA: GRMPS Conditor22's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    1,170
    Scrapyards sell pure (ish) any roofing lead should be pure or close to it.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master



    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    NH
    Posts
    2,740
    Real lumber yards, not the big box named , will sell lead flashing. Priced at market rates for the item.

    I get flash from a mason who does chimneys and pay him the price of 75% of new. I am happy and so is he.

    I also buy lead bullets from 2 gun shops that buy collections of reloaders at 1/2 of market price of clean lead. Works for me and them.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master



    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Posts
    1,032
    I’ve tested the BHN with a Lee tester. I’m sure it varies too. I agree adding pure lead is probably the best way to go. I was just hoping maybe there was a chemical i could add that would bond with the other elements and float them to the top where I could skim it off. No such luck I guess.

    I’m currently in Europe, so trading with others is a no go, because of shipping costs. A member gave me a good idea about putting up a sign, where they sell roofing supplies offering to buy scrap at a higher price than the junkyards. I may do the same at a plumbing supply shop. There’s still a bunch of lead pipes getting removed when remodeling.

    Thanks to everyone for the help and ideas.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
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