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Thread: Bismuth?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Josh Smith's Avatar
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    Bismuth?

    Hello,

    I'm looking at bismuth casting. It will have to be an alternative once lead becomes prohibitively expensive.

    The other alternative will be pure tin for really light projectiles.

    Anyway, has anyone tried casting bismuth? What are its flow properties? I've read that it tends to be a bit brittle..?

    Thanks,

    Josh

  2. #2
    Boolit Master


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    You need at least 10% tin

    As less and the bullet is brittle

    We found this out years ago when they brought out the first Bismuth shot for reloading

    It was cracking
    As soon as they upped the tin content to 10% that problem went away


    I have put a lot of it down range in the form of shot while hunting ducks
    But I have never cast any boolits

    John
    Yea, thou I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
    And I carry a SIG

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Harter66's Avatar
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    That is very true . A fellow duck hunter I knew said a state biologist showed him a flat with shot cups still partialy filled with crushed shot during the 1st few seasons. I cannot say about casting it but being as brittle as the shot still is the spin might just blow it up. Though I can't say for certain.
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master sagacious's Avatar
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    Bismuth will surely always be much more expensive than lead. Zinc is a far better option-- and far less expensive option-- for casting lead-free bullets.

    As Johnch said above, you'll need a Bi/Sn alloy. There are several standard Bi/Sn alloys commonly available for casting lead-free fishing weights and lures. Your bismuth supplier can likely sell you a ready made BiSn alloy best suited for your purpose. Good luck.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    If lead becomes too expensive to buy , just what do you think bismuth will cost?
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  6. #6
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    Are Sn and Zn miscible? If so, would that make a less brittle alloy?

    Gear
    You can't fix Stupid, but you can occasionally head it off before it hurts something. --Stephen Adams

    To universalize one's experience and state it as the norm is always thin ice on which to stand.--CharGar

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  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    can't see the price of lead raising that much but would believe it becoming illegal to shoot at state and county ranges also indoor ranges. Out west large parts a becoming lead free hunting zones. Wath California because that the way the rest of the country goes 35 mill+ people

  8. #8
    Boolit Master sagacious's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geargnasher View Post
    Are Sn and Zn miscible? If so, would that make a less brittle alloy?

    Gear
    Yes, Zn and Sn are miscible. No problem with alloying. I alloyed some to test a long time ago, when I was working with Zn/Ag alloys for lost-wax casting. No benefit for my aplication. Pure zinc is not excessively brittle, like bismuth is, but adding Sn to Zn will certainly make for a harder Zn alloy.

  9. #9
    Vendor Sponsor thehouseproduct's Avatar
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    I am also curious as to the ins and outs of this. Mostly for the potential of casting frangible. Would bismuth work for that purpose?

  10. #10
    Boolit Master sagacious's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thehouseproduct View Post
    I am also curious as to the ins and outs of this. Mostly for the potential of casting frangible. Would bismuth work for that purpose?
    Well, bismuth will shatter when it's hit hard. You'd likely still want a BiSn alloy, as I can easily imagine a pure bismuth bullet cracking in half when crimped even moderately. Like starting out with anything else, some trial and error and R&D will be necessary. Good luck.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    just what do you think bismuth will cost?
    Can your wallet afford $17 a pound? My last purchase 2 years ago was $14/lb
    Regards
    John

  12. #12
    Boolit Master


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    I just looked for shot to load the other night

    6.6 lb ( 3 kilo ) of shot .................... $154.99 at Precision Reloading

    You could melt it down to make non toxic Boolits

    John
    Yea, thou I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
    And I carry a SIG

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Josh Smith's Avatar
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    IF I'm understanding things right, bismuth is a by-product of tungsten refining.

    I would therefore think that if lead were banned, tungsten (and, therefore, bismuth) production would go up, while the price went down.

    Gasoline was originally a waste byproduct of oil refining which was poured out and burned...

    Josh

  14. #14
    Anti-Socialist Texan


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    Gasoline still IS a waste product of some processes not direcly related to refining.

    Sagacious, thanks for the answer.

    Gear
    You can't fix Stupid, but you can occasionally head it off before it hurts something. --Stephen Adams

    To universalize one's experience and state it as the norm is always thin ice on which to stand.--CharGar

    Being able to separate the wheat from the chaff has always been a valuable skill in all of life's activities. --Bwana


  15. #15
    Boolit Master

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    I agree that bismuth will almost guaranteed always cost a bunch more than
    lead.

    Bill
    Last edited by MtGun44; 07-31-2010 at 02:36 AM. Reason: too late at night when typing!
    If it was easy, anybody could do it.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master Josh Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtGun44 View Post
    I agree that bismuth will almost guaranteed always cost a bunch more than
    lead.

    Bill
    Bill,

    FIFY! (Fixed it for ya' - just something we do on InGunOwners.com , mostly to be smartbutts or change it to something we think it should say )

    Josh

  17. #17
    Boolit Master

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    Thanks - I went back this morning and fixed it myself.

    Shows what happens when you stay up too late posting on the web.

    Bill
    Last edited by MtGun44; 07-31-2010 at 03:03 AM.
    If it was easy, anybody could do it.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master


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    The main reason I am intersted in bismuth casting, in a tradational M/L it seams for now, the only game is the cast lead ball. As more F&W depts decide to eliminate small groups from hunting a possible alternative may be needed.
    Don't buy nuthing you can't take home

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  19. #19
    Boolit Master

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    I'd look at pure tin, maybe it can be used with proper boolit design.

    Bill
    If it was easy, anybody could do it.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRT Farmer View Post
    The main reason I am intersted in bismuth casting, in a tradational M/L it seams for now, the only game is the cast lead ball. As more F&W depts decide to eliminate small groups from hunting a possible alternative may be needed.
    Balistic Products has 50 cal non toxic RB's
    Made with ITX shot I believe

    Not cheap , but avaible

    John
    Yea, thou I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
    And I carry a SIG

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