Lee PrecisionTitan ReloadingADvertise hereInline Fabrication
WidenersMidSouth Shooters SupplyRotoMetals2

Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: can zinc be used instead of lead, for bullet swaging into gilding metal cups?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master dbosman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    East Lansing, MI, USA
    Posts
    1,782

    can zinc be used instead of lead, for bullet swaging into gilding metal cups?

    Or copper cups?
    Just curious.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    978
    Zinc is hard and brittle, I doubt it can be swaged without heating it considerably.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy Valornor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Somewhere, Utah
    Posts
    280
    Yes, itís been used before and is currently used in Barnes Range AR ammunition.

    Itís much harder to swage, and you need pure zinc. You canít bleed off the zinc core like you would a lead core so you need some way to keep a tight control on core length.

    Obviously the bullets are light for weight, but the zinc fragments readily on steel. More so then lead, so itís considered ďSoftĒ on steel. It also leaves a bright white mark which is nice.

    However it also wears more on barrels.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    Boolit Master dbosman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    East Lansing, MI, USA
    Posts
    1,782
    Ah, thanks.
    I expect we'll see a lot of experimentation coming out of California in the next couple of years.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy Valornor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Somewhere, Utah
    Posts
    280
    Yeah, there was some experiments with expanding zinc bullets but thereís some performance and corrosion difficulties there.

    There was also some talk about heating zinc core prior to swaging to reduce the forces needed to swage the cores.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Moderator



    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Oregon Coast
    Posts
    5,299
    There have been bullets made from pure zinc in the past. The old .38 Special, and later .357 Magnum, "metal piercing" rounds made for police use on cars come to mind. During the Great Depression, when gangsters were robbing and killing, the police needed something to penetrate the getaway cars, since they were made from real steel in the 20's and 30's, not plastic like today. I had a couple of the .38 Special rounds for many years, but I've misplaced them during one of my moves.

    I don't know the method used to form them, as they appeared to be a round nose bullet. The later "metal piercing" bullets in both calibers consisted of a lead bullet with a metal cap in the form of a truncated cone. I do still have samples of those bullets. The samples I have and had were made by Winchester and I believe Remington, so they had the know how and machinery to make them.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
    After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. - William S. Burroughs.

  7. #7
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    NW Arkansas
    Posts
    15
    Die casting zinc pot metals is a pretty mature technology. It can be done with a clean (read new...) lead furnace. You don't want lead in your casting metal. The castings shrink a bit more than lead does, and for sure don't try casting in aluminum mold blocks.

    A 150 grain lead slug comes out weighing around one hundred grains cast in zinc.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    brisbane ,qld,australia
    Posts
    885
    Zinc is brittle and crumbly as cast....but so is brass......when zinc is drawn and redrawn into wire and annealed,it can be quite soft and bendy......this kind of zinc wire is used in metal spraying ,where it replaces hot dip galvanizing......the wire has similar tensile strength to brass wire as drawn,some 60,000psi yield,and is hard and springy...........so you could easily form zinc into bullets with no jackets needed...in fact jackets would be a nuisance......but you are not going to form zinc in reloaders machine........you would need an industrial machine capable of exerting hundreds of tons.,then you throw them out at ten thousand an hour.
    Last edited by john.k; 10-07-2019 at 05:15 AM.

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