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Thread: Mold material for casting zinc boolits

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Sep 2016
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    Mold material for casting zinc boolits

    Except for the cannon folk, it seems a pretty common sentiment here that zinc is not wanted as a boolit casting metal. However there is pending legislation on the Left Coast that might ban lead bullets at ranges (still would be legal to own such ammo, but who knows what lies ahead). In the interest of preparing for the worst case (sorta like for COVID19) I'm investigating alternatives that will keep me shooting in volume (handgun action pistol). Zinc might be an option, especially if I can cast and coat my own.

    I've searched the forum and one issue raised is the mold material. Zinc apparently is very hard on steel, iron and aluminum molds; it attacks them chemically and erodes the cavities. Does anybody know what zinc will do to brass molds?

    The most common zinc alloy is Zamac, which is mainly zinc with a little aluminum. It's commonly used to make die cast parts. Anybody here with experience in the industry who might comment on its use in bullet casting?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    Rcmaveric's Avatar
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    Not on the industry but I have a bit of knowledge on the topic. Cast iron is fine. It won't eat at that. So the Lyman blocks and a cast iron skillet are good to use. The old RCBS pots use a cast iron liner if you do get into and want to speed up.

    Do not use stainless steel. Zinc will attack that and galvanize that. The Lee pots use a stainless steel liner and it will eat a hole in that. Zinc will dissolve aluminum like sugar in water and yes that fast. I added a few aluminum cans to the molten zinc to see what would happen

    Aluminum in zinc has the same effect as tin in lead. It helps with lowering the melt temp and helping fill out. You can also add tin to zinc for better fill out and lowering melt temp.

    I have only made zinc ingots this far. Give you tube a search there are videos on there from Elves ammo and a few others.

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  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks for the tips!

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    Might be worth getting your zinc alloy tested. I assume forum member BNE can do that as well. Couldn't say for sure, but I saw somewhere a while back that zinc wheel weights were already Zamak of some sort.
    Last edited by Silvercreek Farmer; 03-10-2020 at 04:49 PM.

  5. #5
    There is a fellow on youtube that had some zinc casting videos. I believe it was elvis ammo (?)

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    That was Elvis ammo, along with a couple others.

    It's good to know that iron molds work, though I'd have to get them made. Anybody know how brass and zinc get along?

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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