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Thread: Highly Expensive, non-toxic idea

  1. #1

    Lightbulb Highly Expensive, non-toxic idea

    Research Update
    So this is again running with the notion that I can match the ballistic profile and kinetic energy of a lead bullet but with using non-lead metals. The idea is to make lead and non bullets synonymous in terms of raw kinetic energy, ballistic profile.

    The test rifle round will be 90-100 grain 243. This should cut costs with making the bullet. The idea is that this will be a hunting round or something I would cast for lead free hunting. This isn't practice or plinking round, it just simply is supposed to mimic cheaper lead bullets.
    #1) Tungsten/Bismuth composite bullets (most seriously thought out idea I've had yet)

    How they will be made.

    https://www.rotometals.com/lead-free...ismuth-12-tin/

    88%/12% bismuth/tin will be act as the volume of the bullet. While tungsten is merely the weight.

    They will be made just like casting a regular lead bullet. Then hollowed out via drill and a chunk of tungsten rod will be inserted and sealed in. The tungsten chunk should bump it up to lead density easy. the rod does not have to be very long.

    All in all, we are talking about 75 cent bullet, that's the bullet not the actual round with case and all. A significant amount less than I thought it would be, funny what a little research can do.

    This will likely be the very first thing I try.
    So far I have 2 ideas, yes the drawings aren't to scale they are rough, but the tungsten chunk will be tiny. 8mm long 1/8" diameter chunk weighing roughly 19 grains. I have 2 design ideas in mind.

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    Legality concerns
    Ok so I did a fair bit of research. The one think that struck me was the use of the word "Core" (which has a differing definition, legally this bullet would be a Bismuth/Tungsten core that is clearly not designed for armor penetration but instead for improving kinetic delivery from a smaller bullet). Smaller bullets are generally better to shoot (it's just the fact that lightness means it can more easily effected by wind), a way to fix this is to make the bullet denser. Denser bullets have less surface area and are less effected by the wind.

    -- >>> To compare M855 would be illegal if it weren't for a very specific wording.
    a projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely (excluding the presence of traces of other substances) from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium; or
    This states that the bullet must be entirely made of the controlled materials, that is tungsten, brass, and what not. What I'm proposing would be 80% by weight (more so by volume) bismuth (legal), and 20% tungsten (illegal). Much like the M855 is made of steel (illegal), and lead (legal).
    for clarity I'm calling this an unjacketed Bismuth alloy/tungsten composite bullet.

    - it is my belief that it is here I would have strong precedent in fighting the ATF if they decided to arrest or whatever over this (I would win, as they would have to prove intent to disobey the law). Or, I would at least get told to stop, which I would happily comply (as I don't have the resources to lobby for this).

    however I strongly suspect that this will be swept under the water as I don't intend to sell these bullets these are for my personal use. I likely will have more lead bullets than I have these on hand (as these are more of a specialty round). This wouldn't really catch attention.

    #2) Silver/platinum alloy rounds
    This will be done more than likely, for the lols. But it more than likely will not be a hunting round I use if the Tungsten core bismuth rounds work. But essentially the will be made from silver 90/10 from fine materials. The rounds will also likely be milled.
    30-40$ a round (308, 150 grain standard).

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by TheJournier; 10-15-2019 at 03:57 PM. Reason: Progress

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    A machined copper solid has proven to be an effective hunting bullet, and while expensive relative to cast or swaged bullets, it’d be cheap compared to the alloys you’re considering so avoids the issue of practicing with one round and shooting another.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    I try not to over think things.

    If I was so concerned about lead contamination- which is really a non-issue,
    I'd shoot a GI style full metal jacket, or a all copper Barnes solid.

    However; it might be a good idea to make a few in solid Silver for the occasional werewolf.

    Most of the tissue damage you see in a wound channel is caused by the impact shock wave.
    You cut it away due to being blood shot, not just any lead contamination.
    It the same effect as dropping a rock in loose sand.
    The sand (crater) is moved out and disturbed in a larger area than just the rock itself,
    and doesn't have any fragments of the rock in it.
    Last edited by Winger Ed.; 10-11-2019 at 03:13 PM.
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  4. #4
    Werewolves should hate em.

    I don't know if the weight/density will be the only factors if your goal is to replicate practice lead with hunting precious/bismuth alloys. The metal properties such as malleability and hardness will effect it's obturation in the bore and it's specific accuracy compared to lead in the same load...they may shoot completely differently.

    It's a great project for the sake of science but weigh your end result requirements against the cost increase of just one missed shot not recaptured. I can buy alot of lead with 90 bucks. Buy alot of venison too.

    One thing I'll be doing this year is refining the loads I hunt with to enough accuracy to hit a lime-lemon sized target at the maximum distance I hunt at. Every time. If I can do that I can peg the base of the neck where it meets the spine just ahead of the shoulders or my go to high shoulder shot and put them down immediately. Neck = near zero lost meat, high shoulder = some but shot placement being key you can thread the needle and not lose as much as you'd think

    Sent from my Moto G Play using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by JimB.. View Post
    A machined copper solid has proven to be an effective hunting bullet, and while expensive relative to cast or swaged bullets, it’d be cheap compared to the alloys you’re considering so avoids the issue of practicing with one round and shooting another.
    true, might still do it though, for the novelty of it. Like people have done with silver and pure gold even, and those way more expensive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Winger Ed. View Post
    I try not to over think things.

    If I was so concerned about lead contamination- which is really a non-issue,
    I'd shoot a GI style full metal jacket, or a all copper Barnes solid.

    However; it might be a good idea to make a few in solid Silver for the occasional werewolf.
    It is slight but lead is not really something I like in my meat. Granted it is simple to just cut out damaged bits, but still. ~Also think lead is on its way out for hunting.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master


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    You know anti gun people get some of their ideas from things like this. It is better to just leave it alone. They can say "SEE it has been done!"

  7. #7
    Boolit Mold
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    Wait, what? Copper bullets are too expensive to practice with, so let's make $90/ea gold alloy bullets instead?

    You could buy around 120 TSXs for the cost of one of your $90 gold bullets and you won't have mine the berm and hope like hell you find them all afterwards.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I still remember eating prairie chicken dinners growing up, you spit the lead shot into your napkin, I'm just fine! I think, sometimes, maybe, I don't know, what was the question?
    Hell, I was there!

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    I don't cut away meat that I think has touched a piece of lead.

    I cut away meat that has been damaged by hydro static shock. Meat jelly.

    762
    Hope for the best, plan for the worst.
    My amendment can beat up your amendment.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    You are still going to have to cut out the meat around the impact zone. No gain there. Are you a jeweler? You must have some good alloying equipment.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by tomme boy View Post
    You know anti gun people get some of their ideas from things like this. It is better to just leave it alone. They can say "SEE it has been done!"
    Science is great progress my dude. I don't think it will be viable and I think most reasonable people will realize this wouldn't be very commercially viable bullet. Specially when the average joe would be happy with shooting/practicing with straight copper bullets. As said below.

    Besides I have a feeling that by the time we go asteroid mining and the gold market floods for these resources. We'll start all shooting 100% pure gold because it technically would be a better projectile because of its density and it is just as soft as straight gliding metal from FMJs.

    Quote Originally Posted by kerplode View Post
    Wait, what? Copper bullets are too expensive to practice with, so let's make $90/ea gold alloy bullets instead?

    You could buy around 120 TSXs for the cost of one of your $90 gold bullets and you won't have mine the berm and hope like hell you find them all afterwards.
    That's a generious estimate though. $90 would be the brass, and the most expensive copper 82/18 copper/platinum alloy. I may actually get it down to about 40 or 50 copper bullets. And that would be a saving considering, I can recover what I shot 9 times out 10 if I hit. I should have loads of practice with lead which is mimicked by that metal.

    Quote Originally Posted by swheeler View Post
    I still remember eating prairie chicken dinners growing up, you spit the lead shot into your napkin, I'm just fine! I think, sometimes, maybe, I don't know, what was the question?
    Yeah we've eaten and done things we shouldn't have way back when. I watched a casting tutorial just now, and the kid was literally decked out to prevent himself from breathing in any lead fumes from casting.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by dondiego View Post
    You are still going to have to cut out the meat around the impact zone. No gain there. Are you a jeweler? You must have some good alloying equipment.
    Also, I do plan on doing things with said metals in the future. Jewelry is one of them, my interest materials in general mainly. It will be more a science experiment than a serious "OMG! everyone should do this!".

    I also hear it's more than impact. A lot of issue with the metal litterally dispersing in the dear when shot. Of course I could go the FMJ round XD. Also depends on the round you use too, like some rounds don't have a lot of shock damage.

  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    You're gonna die anyway. Just eat right up to the bullet hole. Lead equals dead when it is a projectile and hits something alive in a vital place. Otherwise? Eh.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    [QUOTE=TheJournier;474299
    I can recover what I shot 9 times out 10 if I hit. [/QUOTE]
    That's quite an assumption, In my 50+ years of hunting whitetail deer I have very VERY rarely recovered a projectile let alone 9 out of 10! Honestly I doubt I recovered even 9 out of at least 75, that's going up the cost quite a bit.
    It's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years (Abe Lincoln)

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  15. #15
    what do you use usually?

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy
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    if i was that afraid of lead poisioning i would never cast or touch a lead bullet. there seems to be a lot of fear in your life. so sad.

  17. #17
    Boolit Bub
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    I think it is an interesting experiment, even if not actually practical. I suspect that you will have issues with differing points of impact but only experimentation will determine if that is the case.

    Please keep us posted.
    quando omni flunkus moritati

  18. #18
    Boolit Master

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  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Welcome to CB.GL Forum.

    I wish you well in your experiments, but I do not like your idea, so I think that is all I will say about it.

    G'Luck!
    2nd Amend./U.S. Const. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

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  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy Valornor's Avatar
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    Copper bullets such as Barnes TSX and Hornady GMX are swaged not machined. Definitely a harder material to cold work but it is done.

    I have played around with jacketed zinc bullets, as a lead free alternative to solid copper. Pure zinc tends to be quite brittle, so itíll expand but it tends to break up quickly. You have to keep the zinc pure as to get the highest density. Really makes a great bullet for shooting steel, itís softer on steel then lead is. You can check out Barnes Range AR, they use a zinc core bullet.

    As far as using a precious metal for bullets. If it wasnít so expensive youíd probably find it on the market. After all the military uses, or at least, used to use, depleted uranium as cores for some of its AP rounds. High sectional density, and Uranium has some pretty unique characteristics when it impacts something aiding in its ability to penetrate armor. Obviously not, non toxic.

    I think probably next generation bullets are going to use a poly metallic core and jacket. Instead of alloying they use blended metal powders to get the density and weight they are after, mixed with a polymer, and then baked to bond everything. The bullets have some pretty unique shapes that would be difficult if not impossible to swage, and the terminal ballistics match if not exceed conventional bullet designs.






    Check out my website www.theballisticassistant.com

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