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Thread: Lyman #2 alloy

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Greenville, SC

    Lyman #2 alloy

    I have not been able to find this in my searches. Is it practical to attempt to make ones own alloy #2? Where would you aquire pure antimony? Also, I read where the melting point of antimony is over 1100 deg. Has anyone here made the alloy using pure lead,5% antimony, and 5% tin? If not, what do you mix with dental x-ray lead to make proper alloy?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    wallenba's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    S. E. Michigan
    Product # 570058 on this page is equivalent to #2 alloy. http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct...tNumber=570058 as well as here, at Missouri bullet co. http://www.missouribullet.com/results.php

    "The future ain't what it used to be".
    -Yogi Berra.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Mar 2005

    I make my own, or at least an alloy that is "close" to #2.

    Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook has 2 recipes, but the easiest is...

    9 pounds of wheelweights and 1 pound of 50/50 bar solder...

    I use Tin solder which is 95% tin and 5% antimony and do the math...

    I get it close but probably it isn't chemically pure #2...

    I mix a 10-pound batch and I mostly shoot straight wheelweights or a mix of 2-1 (ww-#2)...

    Mixing your own would probably be cheaper than buying it already made. Unless you are absolutely into using #2 in it's purest form...


  4. #4

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    HeavyMetal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Orange county, Ca.
    The instructions that used to come with the Lyman molds and pots would give two or three "formula's" for making #2 using lead, 50-50 solder and WW metal.

    If you have an old Lyman mold box you might look in it and see if the instructions are there.

  6. #6
    Vendor Sponsor

    randyrat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    North West Wisconsin
    Bottom of this page has a bunch of recipes. There's enough to read for a long while.
    FOR SALE BEESWAX, TAC 1, TAC X, LANOLIN, CARNAUBA WAX and more check out the link below

  7. #7
    Boolit Master KYCaster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Harry, don't get too hung up on the exact composition of your alloy. Of all the recipes I've seen for mixing Lyman #2, very few of them come anywhere close to 5% tin and 5% antimony.

    My ancient Lyman book shows two different approaches:

    5 1/2 lbs. wheelweights
    1 lb. 50/50 solder
    3 1/2 lbs. lead

    4 lbs. Line-O-Type
    1 lb. 50/50 solder
    5 lbs. lead

    "Do the math" like someone suggested and you'll find that the linotype formula yields 7.4% tin and 4.8% antimony. At least that's somewhere in the ball park. The WW formula doesn't come anywhere close with 5.2% tin and 1.3% antimony. For that one to work the WW would have to have NO tin and 9% antimony.

    The most common recipe I've seen recently is really simple...9 lbs. of WW and 1 lb. of 50/50 solder. That gets the desired 5% tin right on the nose, but only 2.7% antimony. Substitute lead free 95/5 for the 50/50 solder and you end up with a full 10% tin and 3.2% antimony.

    Any of those alloys should cast great with their high tin contents, but most sources say that the percentage of tin shouldn't exceed the percentage of antimony. It really isn't detrimental to the alloy but neither does it have any benefit, it just adds unnecessary cost.

    Another thing to consider is the fact that most of the "soft" lead we scrounge in the form of stick on WW, flashing, X-ray shielding, pipe and many other sources have a significant amount of antimony...up to 5% in some cases. So when you take the standard advice and "treat it like pure" you may be adding the antimony you thought you left out.

    My point is...all these carefully concocted alloys work very well for lots of people, even though they're not often anywhere close to the desired composition.

    So don't get too hung up on the exact composition of your alloy...if it works for you, shoot it. Just try to remember how you mixed it so you can duplicate it later.

    Adding pure antimony isn't a problem and can be done at normal lead casting temps. There are several threads dealing with that subject. A search should turn up the info you want.


  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    GLL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    I use Rotometals 30%Sb/70%Pb alloy for my antimony source along with pure tin and lead !

    Easy math and constant chemistry !

    Even easier if you just buy their Lyman #2 alloy !


    Super fast delivery and very nice people to deal with !

    S&W .38/44 Outdoorsman Accumulator

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Where Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland join.

    Lyman #2 Group Buy

    There is a current group buy in progress for Lyman #2. Here is the thread:

  10. #10
    Boolit Master fredj338's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    I will only add that trying to blend oure antimony w/ your alloy is going to eb diff as the melting temp is so high. Better to use an alloy w/ antimony in it, like lead shot or ww, then add tin to that.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    I have used nothing but homemade #2 alloy for the last 15 years or so. I separate out all the stick-on wheelweights and save those especially for swaging.

    I melt down 19 lbs worth of clip-on weights and then add 1lb of lead-free plumbing solder, or 1.25lbs of scrap pewter. Either will bring the total tin concentration to ~5%. Assuming that clip-on weights are ~5% antimony, the 20lbs of resulting alloy comes close to 90/5/5% lead/tin/antimony. Works good enough for me.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master

    mpmarty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    SW Oregon aka Jefferson State
    I blend clip on ww with monotype. I've built a spreadsheet to calculate my ratios. I'll be happy to share the spreadsheet if someone wants it.
    Marty-hiding out in the hills.

  13. #13
    Banner Sponser Rotometals's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    San Francisco Bay Area

    Lower price/ No waiting- Ships today for Lyman #2

    There is a better group buy going on here

    Quote Originally Posted by Blacksmith View Post
    There is a current group buy in progress for Lyman #2. Here is the thread:

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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