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Thread: Lead Brick Purity

  1. #1

    Lead Brick Purity

    Are lead bricks (see below) generally made of essentially pure lead? I found this one in the second hand shop. It is very easily scratched by fingernail.
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  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    NE Kansas
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    Run a cord through the hole and hold it up and tap with a hammer. If it goes "thud" probably very soft lead. If it has a ring to it, not soft. Aside from that, it looks really clean for pure lead which usually will be darker with age and sometimes start to form oxide.

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Drop it on concrete and listen if it goes Clunk. If it goes Clink, it’s not pure Pb
    Regards
    John

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    georgerkahn's Avatar
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    When (50+ years back) I lived on Long Island, NY, I helped a fellow out who ran a recreational sailboat refinishing business/service, and the bottoms of said sailboats often were chock full of similar lead "brick" -- to be used as a counterweight vs the wind caught by sails to propel the vessel. (Bion, when the Mayflower made its voyage to Amerika, its hold was filled with kegs of beer -- the ballast used back then )
    Anyway -- while I can't compare the SIZE of lead block you have versus the zillions (so it seemed) I took out of to-be-refinished boats, they sure resemble them shape-wise. The consensus then is they were made of lead. Just as Oxygen gas is sold as such (for, say, oxyacetylene welding) AND/OR the guaranteed pure "Medical Grade Oxygen" (for, say, folks with COPD) -- the "grade" lead of the boat brick was "close-enough" to pure to be so labeled.
    geo

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
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    Most lead bricks are near pure. The holes in yours make me think it was a counterweight and the alloy may be different. Drop a drop of acid on it to test for zinc and scratch it with your thumbnail. If it does not bubble and you can scratch it, call it soft.

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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