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Thread: The Definitive Answer page for Lead and Alloys!

  1. #21
    Boolit Bub TangoDownPro's Avatar
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    I really like that page, thank you for the link. Newb question here - what do most of you prefer casting with (ingots), Linotype, Monotype, etc. I notice you can pick up some Linotype lead from eBay for a fair price (often free shipping). From the link listed above, Linotype seems good-to-go as is. Thank you.
    A firearm is only an instrument. It contains no evil, no conscience, and no ability. It is strictly the intent, competence, and character of its user that decide the outcome of any and all actions taken with it.

  2. #22
    Boolit Buddy
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    I have always used WW for pistol bullets wit very good results. I just started trying .30 rifle bullets and find it very hard to keep wrinkles out. A few weeks ago an older gentleman gave about 100 pieces of strips that are 1/2" wide and about 12" long. He said they would help the WW pour better. These strips have national lead co. written on them with the number 111 stamped on. Anyone know what this is?

  3. #23
    Boolit Master



    cbrick's Avatar
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    If you bend them do they make a crinkling sound (crying)?

    Rick
    "The people never give up their freedom . . . Except under some delusion." Edmund Burke

    "Let us remember that if we suffer tamely a lawless attack on our liberty, we encourage it." Samuel Adams

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  4. #24
    Boolit Buddy
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    No they don't but they do feel light for pure lead.

  5. #25
    I'm A Honcho!
    Rattlesnake Charlie's Avatar
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    A Google search on National Lead Co yielded the following, plus more not of a nature to help with clarification of what the gentleman gifted.



    http://archive.org/stream/NationalLe...o.47j_djvu.txt

    DUTCH BOY 111

    This is the highest grade solder sold under the
    Dutch Boy trademark. It is guaranteed to be made
    of new lead and new tin, carefully mixed in equal
    parts (50% tin and 50% lead). Its melting range is
    361 F 421F.

    Dutch Boy 1 1 1 is bright, strong and free from
    impurities. It flows easily, covers more area and
    has superior adhesion. It is widely used for new
    roofing work and is popular among tinsmiths,
    manufacturers and canners. Sold in bars weighing
    approximately \ x /i lbs.



    Some interesting history on the company itself.
    http://www.library.hbs.edu/hc/lehman...l_lead_company

  6. #26
    Boolit Buddy
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    What should I use for a mixing rate with Wheel weights, one pound of the 111 to 10 pounds WW? I'm new to usin anything other than WW.

  7. #27
    Boolit Master



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    I would use Charlie's info of 50/50, use your calculator to figure out Sn in your WW alloy at 2% of the total weight. In round numbers (I didn't do the math) it should be about 1/2 pound of your solder to 10 pounds WW. It will do you no good to go higher than 2% Sn so you can make it go further. This is assuming you separated the clip-on weights from the stick-on weights and are using the clip-ons.

    Rick
    "The people never give up their freedom . . . Except under some delusion." Edmund Burke

    "Let us remember that if we suffer tamely a lawless attack on our liberty, we encourage it." Samuel Adams

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  8. #28
    Boolit Master popper's Avatar
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    I'm not a metallurgist but I have been researching this a lot lately. I find that there is no 'alloy' of lead & antimony, just a mixture. Sb/Sn, Sb/Cu, Sn/Pb etc. No Pb/Sb. Sb will precipitate out of the mixture first, the pour cools from outside-in so the outside of the CB is high Sb/Pb, inside is lower Sb/Pb (read antimony wash in the bore). Secondly, Sb mobility in a solid is way low, so globs of Sb in the melt stay where they are in the solid. Sn, Cu & As move quite a bit in the solid, Sn tends to glob if allowed. Normal practice is to use Sn to lock up all the Sb for a harder, more homogeneous alloy (1/3 ratio). As is used to reduce the size of the Sb globs. As, S, Cu actually alloy (go into the Pb lattice) and strengthen the Pb. In the liquidus state, all the molecules are 'happy' they go where they want. As the melt cools, some become less happy. Rapid cooling make lots of really unhappy molecules, they're stuck. Given time, some will become more happy. Unhappy is what we want in our cast boolits. Makes for a stronger and homogeneous metal. Now when I start cooking the PC coated cast I find that 1/2 hr @ 400 then fast cooled gives me hard alloy. Unfortunately, 10 min @ 400F (H-T coating) then fast cooled gives me soft alloy. In fact heating to 200F gives a soft alloy. So I turned unhappy into happy very easily. I'm running more tests this week to see how I can easily make them unhappy. It isn't just the fast cooling or time at temp. Any ideas?

  9. #29
    This thread is why I really like this forum. This information is invaluable in making "Boolits". Thanks fellas!

  10. #30
    Boolit Master popper's Avatar
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    Pretty good article on Pb alloys. Discusses a lot of the additives we use. Interesting that zinc in a small amount is actually a grain refiner like arsenic.
    http://www.artec-machine.com/wp-cont...nvironment.pdf
    Whatever!

  11. #31
    Boolit Buddy
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    I've got a big hunk of pure lead, so if I want to shoot it, I need some hunks of pure antimony, and some hunks of pure tin or pewter, mix em all up and I'm good? I see antimony on ebay for $10/lb. Tin runs about $20/lb, pewter seems to be lucky finds in thrift stores and such. Am I on the right track? Been looking at this hunk of lead for years, ready to shoot it up. Also might start mining the berms at the range, would I be safe to assume it's also pure lead and mix the same hunks of metal into it to make it shootable? Thanks all.
    Last edited by ThaDoubleJ; 05-22-2017 at 12:37 AM.

  12. #32
    Boolit Buddy
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    doubleJ- That all depends on what is the intended use for your lead. Just plinking stuff, full out magnum, or rifle loads. Bumpo has a calculator spreadsheet found on this site for calculating alloys. As for mining the berms that depends on what was shot into them. Most jacketed lead core bullets will average about 3-5% Antimony, Cast would be a guess, Black powder shooters favor pure or near pure lead. Now the real question, do you know your stash is pure lead? Without that knowledge then everything else as far as alloying go's would be a WAG. If your looking to alloy, then I would recommend, lead free solder for tin and antimony addition, (95Sn/5Sb) instead of pure antimony or tin. Much easier to work with. If that will not get you to your desired percentages, then rotometals high Sb alloy (30% Sb) can be an option. Again you'll need bumpo's alloy calculator to figure out what percentage of Sb/Sn/Pb you're trying to achieve.bushman

  13. #33
    Boolit Buddy
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    All pistol, all plinking. My .454 loads may see 1600fps, but I'll probably hi-tek everything anyway. The lead sheet I have is from an Xray room's wall at an old hospital, and I can scratch it with my fingernail, bends like butter, so I figure it's all lead. Just mix in plumber's solder? Sounds easier than cutting up hunks of antimony. I've mined the cast/coated/lubed boolits from the berms in the past with luck, but there seems to be 20:1 more jacketed stuff in there, so I figured I'd dig up a bucket of that and give it a shot. The cowboy guys tend to favor one set of berms, while the tacticool guys use the other side, so I could probably come up with more cast by switching up where I mine as well.

    Edit: I googled Rotometals, I think all my answers are there, pre alloyed everything.
    Double Edit: Not all my answers, that spreadsheet by Bumpo is a work of genius. I owe him a beer.
    Last edited by ThaDoubleJ; 05-22-2017 at 08:09 PM.

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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