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Thread: High Copper Alloys- Lets discuss this further

  1. #521
    Boolit Buddy parkerhale1200's Avatar
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    Popper,

    I did a quick reading on that article, and it deserves surely a through reading, but first i am off to CHRISTMAS dinner with the whole family.
    Any info is welcome.

  2. #522
    Boolit Buddy parkerhale1200's Avatar
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    To make it up for my lazy Sunday afternoon here are some crushed numbers from Celsius to Fahrenheit.
    First row of the table is the metal, second row is melting point, third row boiling point, fourth row vaporizing point
    pb 327 1748 610C
    620 3178 1130F
    sn 231 2601C
    447 4713F
    sb 630 1586 700C
    1166 2886 1292F
    as 613 816C
    1135 1500F
    bi 271 1563C
    519 2845F
    zn 410 906 550C
    770 1662 1022F
    al 659 2518C
    1218 4564F
    ag 961 2161C
    1761 3921F
    cu 1083 2561C
    1981 4641F
    h20 0 100 85C
    32 212 185

    My foundries can go really high.
    The small one and the big one are both up to 2282F, max
    The "master" 4172F, max
    The lead pot on propane 1380ish, max.
    Thats why i was intrested in the boiling and vaporising point, and other things to (sand) cast
    When somebody wants to melt at those high temps do it in the wind!!!! Better save than sorry and put a gasmask on, not a p3 dust filter!!!
    Even with some metals wear eye protection because of the uv radiation, i am not kidding.
    Dont fool around, or put cold metal in a hot metal, be safe and enjoy, pleaaaaaaase!

    pressure plus speed is equal to friction
    hardness, surface friction and diameter is also important for bullets, even important as bearing metal alloys.

    But this is all nice theory, i really hope for some feedback before i start melting some metals.
    Any help idea or thought is really appreciated.
    Popper again, good article.

    And now my gents,,,,M E R R Y C H R I S T M A S S

  3. #523
    Boolit Buddy xdmalder's Avatar
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    https://www.rotometals.com/recycled-...ight-included/

    Anybody use this for high speed hunting or would they recommend it?

  4. #524
    Boolit Grand Master popper's Avatar
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    That is close to what I make/use, works well. Knocks down steel @200 yds, ~1700 fps at the target, didn't pulverize - only found a sliced off sliver, still had some PC on it (hit the edge of the plate). Don't think it expands much. Did get a 120# ish pig, tail to jaw, broke a leg & jaw. 165gr 40XDm @ 25 yds., ~950 fps. Hit another pig with 185gr (same alloy), BO pistol but never found the pig.
    Whatever!

  5. #525
    Boolit Mold
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockrat View Post
    Been using a copper alloy for my high speed stuff for a few years. Started off at 3% Cu, but down to a bit less than 1% now and everything seems to be OK. Have some 22's to cast and try out when it warms up.
    Same here, always works

  6. #526
    Boolit Grand Master
    rockrat's Avatar
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    I alloyed some of the Rotometal stuff with some linotype and a chunk of #3 babbit. Should have come out around 4% sb, 3% sn and .3% Cu. Everything was close, except for the Cu, which was 1.2%!!!! That recycled stuff must have had around .7% Cu

  7. #527
    Boolit Mold VeryOldGuy's Avatar
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    High copper alloys work well for casting as long as the copper content isn't above .32% or so. The copper content in that alloy is primarily the result over heating recycled spent range bullets mixed with frangible projectiles. The guys that do lead abatement work on shooting ranges are the ones that melt that scrap down and sell it to various vendors.
    ​March to Cadence. HOOAH!

  8. #528
    Boolit Buddy pcmacd's Avatar
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    Red face

    Quote Originally Posted by VeryOldGuy View Post
    High copper alloys work well for casting as long as the copper content isn't above .32% or so. The copper content in that alloy is primarily the result over heating recycled spent range bullets mixed with frangible projectiles. The guys that do lead abatement work on shooting ranges are the ones that melt that scrap down and sell it to various vendors.
    I've always used FOUNDRY TYPE (FT) as the tin and antimony additive [15% Sn, 23% Sb] blended with range salvage (RS) or wheel weights (WW) (the OLD kind...) to alloy my bullets.

    ---> It was the most economical way to introduce tin to my alloys.

    I started noticing a barely perceptible purple tint on the RS/FT cast bullets, with about 2% tin from FT added to the WW.

    Called up Arthur Green, long gone metal supplier of Beverly Hills fame, from whom I purchased the FT.

    He explained that there is a very tiny bit of copper in FT to make it harder, it shows up as a minor purple cast, and he was surprised I noticed it!

    Don't always see it, but sometime? THERE IT IS!

    Art was a serious hoot, an old Jewish Good Guy; AND? what a freakin' character was Art.

    After his wife left him 20 or so years ago I have been unable to contact him.

    Hell, I'm 67 years and he was at least 20+ to me, so I expect he is no longer with us.

    That's where I purchased my remaining ~175# of FT.

    I hope it is not a life time supply? :-[

  9. #529
    Boolit Bub
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    Tin pewter alloy with 92% tin, 6 antimony and 2 copper as a substitute for pure tin is about 2/3 the price of tin when you can find it on EBay. Most of it is not of known composition though. Using a 7% mix it works out to about 6.4% tin, 0.4 antimony and 0.14 copper. This alloy cast and shot well as a substitute for 16:1 alloy for BPCR.
    labop

  10. #530
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    my mono-foundry mix is LEAD-72.00…TIN-9.4….ANTIMONY-17.6……COPPER-1.0 (per BNE)

    local scrap yard offered it to me @ .80 per pound several years ago, I bought all he had 1000+ pounds

  11. #531
    Boolit Buddy Shadow9mm's Avatar
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    Ok, I'm getting started casting still learning about alloys. Tried to do some reading, but 27 pages is a LOT. I have 3 questions.

    What kind of copper do I add? Can I use pure copper, or copper wire?

    As I understand it copper will alloy with tin, or be absorbed by it or suspended it in. How much copper will the tin absorb?

    Secondly I am hoping to use plain base bullets in magnum loads. My Current alloy is unknown, but it is repurposed brazos bullets with a BHN of around 13, I have round 100lb of it to use up. does anyone know what their alloy is? And Would I be able to just add copper straight to the mix if it has tin in it?

    Thanks

  12. #532
    Boolit Man
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    I have letterpress type and ingots from letterpress type, that already have copper in the mix. Here is a photo of the screen showing the results on an XRF scanner. This batch of ingots was made from letterpress type shows .561%Cu.
    I have other letterpress type that is probably much harder. I forget whether it was the tiny fonts or the largest ones that were the hardest so they would survive the hand setting and multiple printing cycles. I've kept the trays separated and numbered and tested to keep track of them. If anyone needs some let me know. I also have more than a ton of linotype and can whip up various alloys. I may make up batch of ingots at different BHN levels so that people could try different BHN alloys to see what they like.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  13. #533
    Boolit Man
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    I have restarted the copper alloy project again. Some success so far using COWW and adding Zepp. Powder coat and Heat treating for 1 hour at 450 deg. Cartridge is 308 Win. in a Rem 700 with a 24" Broughton match barrel. Bullet is the NOE 311-152-SP-L1 with Hornady gas check. OAL is 2.700"
    Speeds with acceptable accuracy (<= 2") so far have reached around 2800 fps using some old IMR-4320 in the tin cans. Finding a node is up for the next range trip.

  14. #534
    Boolit Man
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    Update: Both COWW and COWW+SOWW alloyed with copper are working well at 2700 fps - 10 twist barrel. Solidly inside 1.5MOA and making good hits at 500 yds on steel. I did manage to get the COWW alloy to 1 MOA before changing test allow over to the 50/50 mix. Sized to .310"
    Last edited by supersniper; 02-27-2023 at 10:00 PM.

  15. #535
    Boolit Master nanuk's Avatar
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    I would think your 50/50 mix would be good for hunting.

    2700fps with 1.5MOA is everything you could want

    can you test expansion at close range? make sure it holds together.
    I am ONLY responsible for what I Say!
    I am NOT responsible for what You THINK I Said!
    ====
    If numbers killed I'd hunt with a Calculator!

  16. #536
    Boolit Master Linstrum's Avatar
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    A long time back, I was experimenting with a mixture of wheel weight alloy and phos-copper brazing alloy to toughen the alloy, while still allowing good mold fill-out. Using phos-copper alloy was a quick and easy way to get copper into casting alloy, since it has a very low melting point, plus the phosphorus has desirable anti-leading properties that help prevent barrel leading.

    My intention was to keep things as simple as possible - no weighing "how much of this and how much of that" down to the Nth degree. I started out with about 5 pounds of wheel weight alloy, and then began adding rods of brazing alloy, just keeping track of how many rods of brazing alloy went into the melting pot until the resulting alloy was what I wanted. The resulting alloy was slightly pink.

    I was casting 140 grain boolits for my 6.5x55 Swede Mausers, which have a fast rate of rifling twist. Wheel weight alloy boolits would key-hole when pushed up above about 2000 feet per second. Using the phos-copper doped alloy, they didn't key-hole.

    Right about that time I moved from California to New Mexico, and never got back to this project.

    I was using Harris phos-copper brazing alloy that is used for copper refrigeration tubing, but the last time I checked, Harris doesn't have it anymore. ESAB welding and brazing products had phos-copper brazing alloy the last time I checked.

    To get the phos-copper dissolved into casting alloy is not easy, since the casting alloy has to be red hot. The way I did it was to super heat the top of the already-melted wheel weight alloy with a propane torch, and then slowly stir a rod of the brazing alloy into the red-hot spot of wheel weight alloy. You have to do this outside, because a lot of lead and antimony fumes are released where the red-hot spot is. As I recall, it takes about 5 minutes to get one rod of the brazing alloy stirred in and diluted into the wheel weight alloy. If you do it too fast, the brazing alloy won't mix in.

    But the resulting alloy I was working with was pretty hard, while it still made good sharp castings. I have a steel SAECO .264 140-grain gas check dual-cavity mold, which I had to lap oversize to drop 0.269" diameter boolits. Then, I run those through push-through sizing dies to fit my M96 Swede Mauser bores. One has a 0.267" bore and the other is a 0.268" bore. I was using IMR5010 (.50 BMG powder) and Lee Liquid Alox. I'd have to look in my notes, but I might have been using 3 grains of IMR4895 over the flash hole to get the IMR5010 to burn clean.
    ~+:/&\:+~+:/&\:+~+:/&\:+~+:/&\:+~+:/&\:+~+:/&\:+~+:/&\:+~+:/&\:+~+:/&\:+
    There is no such thing as too many tools, especially when it comes to casting and reloading.
    Howard Hughes said: "He who has the tools rules".

    Safe casting and shooting!

    Linstrum, member F.O.B.C. (Fraternal Order of Boolit Casters), Shooters.com alumnus, and original alloutdoors.com survivor.

  17. #537
    Boolit Man
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    RPM is a thing....

    I was having a hard time getting the HT cast boolits to shoot decent in the Ruger American Ranch 16" 7 twist until I tried the alloy with added Cu and HT. I have had very good results in my 1:10" twist rifles with this alloy and tried them in the Ruger today... Accuracy is pretty good now with the tougher boolits, running around 1 1/4 MOA now. I matched the load to run around the same RPM as I was running in the 10 twist barrels.

    My next experiment will be to see just what the RPM limits are with this alloy.

    Thanks to all for contributing to this thread.

  18. #538
    Boolit Grand Master popper's Avatar
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    How much copper will the tin absorb
    Cu replaces tin, doesn't alloy with it. Solubility of Cu in Pb is close to ZERO.
    My testing was for an AR10 308W 1:10 twist, 16" barrel. I tried .2% to 2% Cu and NO tin, 3-4% Sb. HT made it really tough. All cast easily, good fillout. All shot fine, no leading and good (for me) accuracy @ ~ 2400 fps. Used a 165gr GC slick sided mold and didn't try for extreme fps. Sold that rifle but use the alloy in 300 BO 145gr GC slicksided mold, good results. I have pushed the 0.5% to 2k fps 145 gr PB in 1:10 BO carbine and 1:8 CVA SS. I use Zep and Zn for the mix as it is cheaper than tin.
    Recovered part of bullet that hit steel target @200.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by popper; 05-28-2023 at 05:36 PM.
    Whatever!

  19. #539
    Boolit Man
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    Testing RPM limits with my copper alloy in my 8-twist 260 Rem. 24" barrel.

    I made it to just over 240K RPM before accuracy went south. Velocity with the 142gr RCBS SIL slug ran just under 2700 fps using IMR-4985 and RP LR primers.

    Next trip will be to see where the accuracy node is.

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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