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Thread: Bismuth/Tin bullet casting

  1. #21
    Boolit Grand Master RogerDat's Avatar
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    Found this data sheet on the alloy. Least size change between liquid and solid. Nearly the highest melting point of bismuth alloys. And as noted at Rotometals it is about 75% the weight of lead.

    https://www.belmontmetals.com/produc...melting-alloy/

    Given 75% weight that would mean a 190 grain 30 caliber bullet would cast at 142 grain. Still viable for hunting I would guess. Especially if one can increase the velocity a bit. Did have a thought, was wondering about the effect on stability of a long for its weight bullet would experience. I recall reading something on it but not exactly what I read. It was I believe also related to twist rate but can't swear to it. Was here on the forum someplace
    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.

  2. #22
    Boolit Master
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    I find it alarming that Rizzo got no accuracy whatsoever with Rotometals alloy.

    I was going to order some of this but if it doesn't shoot straight there's no reason to re-prove it.

  3. #23
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Petander View Post
    I find it alarming that Rizzo got no accuracy whatsoever with Rotometals alloy.

    I was going to order some of this but if it doesn't shoot straight there's no reason to re-prove it.
    Yes, I was very surprised at that.
    Like mentioned, my scope was not loose and I started the testing using a bench rest and with a known cartridge that get bulls eyes with, then finished up the Bismuth shooting with another bulls eye cartridge and it was spot on.

    I am pretty much out of the Bismuth/Tin alloy so I am done for now.
    Maybe down the road I'll try again but with reduced loads to lower the FPS.
    I think that too fast is the problem.

    Give it a try.

  4. #24
    Boolit Master
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    Could it be that your velocity was too high for the alloy? Maybe it works for handgun velocities?

    Here in Europe,we may be facing strange times... a total lead ammo ban has been suggested by EU. It may be true one day,I'd like to be prepared.

    I guess there's only one way to know.

  5. #25
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Petander View Post
    Could it be that your velocity was too high for the alloy? Maybe it works for handgun velocities?

    Here in Europe,we may be facing strange times... a total lead ammo ban has been suggested by EU. It may be true one day,I'd like to be prepared.

    I guess there's only one way to know.
    Yes, regarding velocity (FPS) as mentioned, "I think that too fast is the problem."

    Finland eh? Pretty cool seeing folks from all over.

    <sigh> Hopefully the EU does not go the non-lead route.
    One other thing about the Bismuth/Tin alloy,...it is very brittle, and shatters as shown in my pics.

    I enjoyed the project but have decided to go with copper bullets at this point.
    Good luck to you, if you decide to give it a try.

  6. #26
    Boolit Bub
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    I have always thought that a copper tube with a core of tin or Bismuth would be a viable alternative or even brass tube I only say this because I have melted thousands of military FMJ's for the lead and the jackets were in incredible shape and annealed. So I wasted some time and cut and resized jackets added cores and they are very nice bullets a lot of time spent but with bullets jackets @.16-.35 ea. and to just do a couple hundred for hunting loads? Could use spent pistol cases with a core also. Just thinking.

  7. #27
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rizzo View Post
    One other thing about the Bismuth/Tin alloy,...it is very brittle, and shatters as shown in my pics.
    .

    I remember bismuth shot shattering , I compared a bunch of non-toxic shotgun ammo in the 90's. Bismuth was hopeless,pellets turning into dust when they hit wood. That was such a remarkable failure,easy to remember. And that particular bismuth ammo was advertised big time as "better than lead".

    Sort of hoping for better alloys nowadays.

    A total lead ammo ban for all shooting would really change things.

    Here's a link to one view:

    https://www.gunsweek.com/en/ammuniti...ammunition-ban
    Last edited by Petander; 01-01-2020 at 05:50 PM. Reason: Add link

  8. #28
    Boolit Buddy
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    Thanks for the link.
    I read the article and it is depressing.
    They want all lead shooting banned, not just hunting.
    Incrementalism towards total gun ban.
    <sigh>

  9. #29
    Boolit Grand Master popper's Avatar
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    Ex- Gearnasher cast & shot some Bi/Sn bullets and a small deer when testing. Results were good but EXPENSIVE.
    Whatever!

  10. #30
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by popper View Post
    Ex- Gearnasher cast & shot some Bi/Sn bullets and a small deer when testing. Results were good but EXPENSIVE.
    Good results? Good to know.

    Just imagine what bismuth price will become if there are big lead bans coming...

  11. #31
    Boolit Master
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    Well I found old bismuth shotshells so...





    Everything was too hot at first. But I made some bullets,now to try how they coat.

  12. #32
    Boolit Master
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    Hi Tek is bonding fine,these are sized after coating.

    My added tin was too much,lowering alloy melting point far under 400F. Too close to coating cure temp.

    But I made a bunch, watching temps carefully - and will shoot them tomorrow. Next try will be with straight shot alloy.

    I had no expectations for the coating to work because it's designed for lead alloys. Hi Tek working with bismuth is very good news.


  13. #33
    Boolit Master
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    Petander, you have a Harley? How much did it take to get that beast to Finland?

    Sorry for the drift.

  14. #34
    Boolit Master

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    I’m starting to think swaged bullets with a tin core may be our future or lathe turned copper. I’m also thinking a small lathe may be in my future. Make a tool jig to recreate the boolit um Bullet (ptui) in order to hunt.

    I’m going to keep watching this thread
    Common sense Gun Safety . . .

    Is taught at the Range!

  15. #35
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevin c View Post
    Petander, you have a Harley? How much did it take to get that beast to Finland?

    Sorry for the drift.
    Haha,no problem.

    Yes I have a -99 Road King. Lots of motorbikes in Finland so there has been importing business forever. I also ride Honda Africa Twin,the old model from 90's again. I used to ride crazy plastic missiles,can't do that in public traffic anymore. And I'm 56... Riding keeps me healthy and sane.

    But the topic:

    I made half a box of .358 calibrated 145 grain (Lee 158 rf) bullets and loaded them to 38 Special cases with a little help from Quick Load. Approx 1000 fps.



    Here are my first five fired bismuth bullets ever , I fired at ten meters only,hoping to get them all on paper:



    Considering there's no real instructions for casting,coating or loading bismuth bullets,I'm happy with my results for now.

  16. #36
    Boolit Bub 405grain's Avatar
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    Years ago I experimented with lead free ammo in anticipation of the California lead bullet ban. The accuracy is astonishingly terrible! The bullets don't obturate, and there is a huge amounts of bore leading after only a few shots are fired. Even if they could be made to work (which I doubt), the terminal ballistics on game would seem to be questionable. There are two additional issues regarding the lead bullet ban that people from other states may be unaware of. First; hunters in the field are required to surrender a round of ammunition to any game warden upon request. This round will be sent to a materials testing laboratory to determine if it contains any lead. Does this violate your 4th amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure? They don't care! If you have any ammunition on your person that contains lead, even if it doesn't fit any of the firearms that you have with you - your guilty of hunting with lead bullets. What's the fine? You loose any firearms that you have in possession, you loose your hunting license, and the fine is MUCH higher than you would pay in any other state. Further, any lead free bullets that you are using must be on a list of approved, tested bullets that is maintained by the department of fish and wildlife. You cannot just cast your own bullets and hunt with them; they must be tested and approved by the state. Why would they do all this to us? Because California snowflakes think that hunting is cruel and guns are evil. My answer is that I have two special hunting areas: Oregon and Nevada.

  17. #37
    Old thread I came across.
    Question: Is there increased wear on gun barrels from this mixture?

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