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Thread: Cast ZINC bullets for magnum and rifle loads

  1. #1

    Cast ZINC bullets for magnum and rifle loads

    Elvis Ammo inspired me to start doing this some years ago. As a german engineer I had to try it and it actually works perfectly for me. I hope I'll find some likeminded folks here.

    Here in Germany lead wheel weights aren't in use any more, that way there's a huge supply of zinc wheel weights for free.
    - I get my lead for free too, as we have to use steel bullet traps (perfect to harvest lead from) at pretty much every shooting range in Germany - .
    Since a while now I'm casting zinc bullets for use in higher pressure and speed applications, where lead just doesn't seem to cut it, like real rifle bullet speeds no reduced "cast bullet loads.

    I cast zinc HP bullets for my 308 hunting rifle (nominal 180gr mold casts 110gr zinc).
    I cast 44 Mag bullets (nominal 240gr mold casts 165gr zinc) for high speed high loads in my Desert Eagle (no gasport clogging if someone feels the need to educate me about cast bullets in DEs) and a Marlin 1895 cowboy.
    As the bullet weights are on the low side ~63% of a identical lead bullet, I had to develop a load accordingly.
    I tried zinc bullets in pretty much every caliber I have, but there's just no need to go through the more complicated process of casting zinc for slower bullets I think.
    My next project is developing a cast zinc load for my HK SL6 in 223.
    I'm looking forward to discuss the topic with you guys!

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Are you using pure zinc or s Zamak alloy? https://www.rotometals.com/search.ph...ection=product

  3. #3
    Pure zinc from wheel wheights, as I wrote above

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    I worked hard on slugs for shotgun. Used Zamak 3 (4% aluminum), had a mold made, pressure tested the loads and killed pigs!
    I did it to reduce weight and increase velocity to reduce recoil from big slugs. At .731" not worried about expansion. There's a long thread (some of it wandering!) in the shotgun section if you want to do a search.
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master



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    How does the trajectory change with distance compared to lead? Maybe not much at 25 yards or meters, but with longer range it would be interesting to see.

    What are we going to call these new projectiles? Zoolits?

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    Possibly off-topic, here in Oklahoma, last I checked, the law requires all bullets to be at least 60% lead. Zinc being harder than lead, they might be considered armor-piercing "zoolits."

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy iwottopq's Avatar
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    Hello to alla.
    But...the zinc "Zoolints" how many consumes the barrels due the greater hardness of this new alloy?
    Thanks
    Ciao
    Nino

  8. #8
    Boolit Master


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    Might I ask are you using iron molds only. I have heard heat was an issue for aluminum. I would be curious as to what a 95 grain mold would cast for a .243 but I am worried about ruining my mold.

  9. #9
    I use brass molds, they hold up perfectly. Aluminium wears heavily because of the much harder sprews.

  10. #10
    Regarding trajectory, just let a balistic calculator do the job. Lighter bullets (same load) means faster bullets means flatter trajectory, which is a relaoding-truism.��

  11. #11
    My self made casting furnace specially for casting zinc. With zinc I only use brass molds. I would use steel if I there were multi cavity (more than 2) steel molds. But brass seems to work just fine, no extensive wear of other problems.

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  12. #12
    Boolit Man
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    Zinc bullets will have a lower ballistic coefficient being the same dimensions and lower mass.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeG52 View Post
    Zinc bullets will have a lower ballistic coefficient being the same dimensions and lower mass.
    True

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  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy mrbill2's Avatar
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    Do you use gas checks ? What do you use to size and lube ?
    Mr. Bill2

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Finster101 View Post
    Might I ask are you using iron molds only. I have heard heat was an issue for aluminum. I would be curious as to what a 95 grain mold would cast for a .243 but I am worried about ruining my mold.
    About 63% of your 95gr lead projectiles, so about 60gr. You American guys know basic physics, like different densitys of different elements and stuff right?

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  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by mrbill2 View Post
    Do you use gas checks ? What do you use to size and lube ?
    No gas check needed. I size with cheap Lee push through sizers. Lubing the bullets before sizing makes that process a lot easier of course. As it gets rather hard to push a 30+ bhn bullet through a sizing die without it.

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  17. #17
    Boolit Master

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    Nice, good work. I save my zinc just incase. Good to see someone taking the plunge into the unknown.

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    "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far."
    ~Theodore Roosevelt~

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Paying attention , there are a few states in the U.S. that are banning lead boolits .
    I am surprised that brass molds are working , but that is nice .
    Please keep us updated as you continue with the testing .
    Nice custom pot also .

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy super6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidh0302 View Post
    About 63% of your 95gr lead projectiles, so about 60gr. You American guys know basic physics, like different densitys of different elements and stuff right?

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    Periodic table is printed on the back of our birth certificate.
    Last edited by super6; 03-29-2020 at 04:08 PM.
    six, better now!

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
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    Does seem a shame to waste all those zinc weights. Who makes the brass dies? I have only use Lee Dies and a couple Lyman.
    What can I say?
    I'm cheap!

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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