Inline FabricationBallisti-CastGraf & SonsStainLess Steel Media
Titan ReloadingRotoMetals2MidSouth Shooters SupplyLee Precision
Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: zinc bullets

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Indiana a dozen miles from Michigan
    Posts
    190

    zinc bullets

    I read somewhere that shooting a few zinc bullets through your gun will clean the lead out of the barrel. Does anyone know if this is true? How much of a pain is casting zinc?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Base of the Blue Ridge
    Posts
    1,152
    Casting zinc is a terrible pain, not only to do, but casters who use range scrap. Your zinc bullets contaminate their casting material. Please do not do it.
    Sometimes you gotta wonder if democracy is such a good idea.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Indiana a dozen miles from Michigan
    Posts
    190
    That someone might dig it of of a hill and try to recycle it, seems like a pretty week reason not to try it, if it is otherwise practical.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    4,951
    I use a large amount of zinc in my melt. I also paper patch.
    The round corners on the lube lands are not an issue, my sizing die takes them out. At our range we are not allowed to berm mine. They have a contractor who pays to mine our berms, and redo the range every other year.
    Zinc needs lots of heat. It clogs bottom pour spouts. It is miserable stuff to cast with. With paper however, it works well for me. I only target shoot and I have not yet recovered a fired casting. They powder when they hit the range. I would not use these as an hunting round.
    When I am done firing only castings, I do fire a few rounds of jacketeds through my firearm.
    So far, no issues with leading.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Posts
    4,364
    I read an article in an old book about using zinc for casting. Pretty much what others have said about contamination. That said, the article stated zinc needs no lube and will cast a bullet much lighter than the lead slug. IIRC a 158 gr. mold cast about a 90 or 100 grain slug.
    The article also said the zinc bullets are not good for longer ranges because of the lighter weight.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

    454PB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Helena, Mt.
    Posts
    5,143
    Firing a couple of gas checked cast boolits clears all visible leading, and is less hassle than dealing with zinc.
    You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Indiana a dozen miles from Michigan
    Posts
    190
    Quote Originally Posted by docone31 View Post
    I use a large amount of zinc in my melt. I also paper patch.
    The round corners on the lube lands are not an issue, my sizing die takes them out. At our range we are not allowed to berm mine. They have a contractor who pays to mine our berms, and redo the range every other year.
    Zinc needs lots of heat. It clogs bottom pour spouts. It is miserable stuff to cast with. With paper however, it works well for me. I only target shoot and I have not yet recovered a fired casting. They powder when they hit the range. I would not use these as an hunting round.
    When I am done firing only castings, I do fire a few rounds of jacketeds through my firearm.
    So far, no issues with leading.
    I read that if I wanted to cast with zinc, it would help to enlarge the hole in the mold. What else makes casting with zinc a pain?

    Also I don't understand why paper patching is advantageous for zinc bullets?

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    sheepdog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1,077
    Not sure at yours but at my range shooting zinc will get you the boot.

  9. #9
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    31
    I've seen a few old boolet molds that were made to put a zinc washer in the back of the boolet to use as a wipe.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master odoh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    234
    One of our club members used cast zinc in his 50BMG rifle. Picked up a few of those nuggets from the berm but wasn't usable to me.

  11. #11
    Banned
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    9,176
    Quote Originally Posted by delmar View Post
    I read that if I wanted to cast with zinc, it would help to enlarge the hole in the mold. What else makes casting with zinc a pain?

    Also I don't understand why paper patching is advantageous for zinc bullets?

    A few things that makes zinc a pain are for one you have to keep zinc separate from your lead alloy or it will contaminate the lead alloy most likely making it unusable. Another is that cutting the sprue off is pretty hard to do because zinc is really hard..much harder the even linotype. Because of the just mentioned hardness you would destroy an aluminum or brass mould....and be very hard on a cast iron or steel mould. Probably the only practical way to size them would be with a push through die on a reloading press.

    Joe

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Indiana a dozen miles from Michigan
    Posts
    190
    Quote Originally Posted by Leftoverdj View Post
    Casting zinc is a terrible pain, not only to do, but casters who use range scrap. Your zinc bullets contaminate their casting material. Please do not do it.
    I have decided that I won't be casting with zinc. At least not any time soon. Thanks for the input everyone!

  13. #13
    Vendor Sponsor evan price's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Ohio's BEST CCW resource: http://ohioccwforums.org/
    Posts
    875
    One thing about zinc- if you breathe zinc oxide vapors it will make you very sick, we had that problem when welding galvanized metal. You feel like you have a really bad case of flu. It sucks.
    Due to market fluctuations I am no longer buying range scrap jackets.

    Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

    MikeS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Weston, Florida
    Posts
    2,187
    I wonder if zinc will alloy with tin? I was trying to figure out a good lead free alloy that I could cast for when shooting at indoor ranges that don't allow cast lead boolits. When casting with zinc I guess I would have to stay with iron or steel moulds, I have a couple of Lyman 2 cavity moulds that I was thinking of trying this with, and I also have a bunch of extra sprue plates, as before I sold off most of my Lyman 2 cavity moulds I had changed them all over to using the newer thicker sprue plate, so if I reinstall one of the older thinner sprue plates on the mould, then if the plate gets ruined by casting zinc, it wouldn't really matter. I wonder how much zinc and/or a zinc-tin alloy would shrink? They might come out of the mould under size, and that would make them useless.
    - MikeS

    Want to checkout my feedback? It's here:
    http://www.castboolits.gunloads.com/...d.php?t=136410

  15. #15
    Vendor Sponsor
    x101airborne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    6 foot deep in trouble Victoria,Tx
    Posts
    2,821
    I make my offshore fishing weights out of my left over zinc. I heat them in a cast iron pot with a cutting torch, ladle them with an old stainless measuring cup on a stick and cast in a home made mold. I make 10 ounce weights to drop snapper rigs to the bottom. Make dang sure you dont breathe that stuff. Make DANG sure.
    I came into this world kicking, screaming, and covered in someone elses blood. I plan to go out the same way.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master


    williamwaco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    3,918
    Quote Originally Posted by 454PB View Post

    Firing a couple of gas checked cast boolits clears all visible leading, and is less hassle than dealing with zinc.

    Works for me !
    First reload: .22 Hornet. 1956.

    Where is John Galt?

    (If you don't know, you owe it to yourself to find out. )
    .

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Missouri Ozarks
    Posts
    667
    If you want zinc bullets just for bore cleaning it is not worth the trouble and expense casting your own when they can be bought cheaply enough from ZEE Bullets.

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