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Thread: Empire Pewter any good?

  1. #1

    Empire Pewter any good?

    I've found some empire pewter, but it not cheap.
    So I don't want to buy it if it's not good for casting or has some other junk in it.

    Anyone ever used it or melted it for bullets?

  2. #2
    So educate me on pewter - I'm obviously clueless even though I've been casting for 50 years. - a quick online search yields this:

    Pewter is a malleable metal alloy consisting of tin, antimony, copper, bismuth, and sometimes silver. Copper and antimony act as hardeners but lead may be used in lower grades of pewter, imparting a bluish tint.

    Are we melting down scrap pewter as a source of tin and antimony

    Inquiring minds want to know.

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Modern food service pewter is 92-96% tin. With the balance antimony and copper. At the concentrations we use it, might as well call it pure. That is how I use it. There is a sticky thread linked in my signature.
    ”We know they are lying, they know they are lying, they know we know they are lying, we know they know we know they are lying, yet they are still lying.” –Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn

    My Straight Shooters thread:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...raight-shooter

    The Pewter Pictures and Hallmarks thread:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...-and-hallmarks

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shanghai Jack View Post
    So educate me on pewter - I'm obviously clueless even though I've been casting for 50 years. - a quick online search yields this:

    Pewter is a malleable metal alloy consisting of tin, antimony, copper, bismuth, and sometimes silver. Copper and antimony act as hardeners but lead may be used in lower grades of pewter, imparting a bluish tint.

    Are we melting down scrap pewter as a source of tin and antimony

    Inquiring minds want to know.
    Yes, cheap tin.

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Empire manufactured pewter-ware in Brooklyn NY starting 1946. It should be lead free and genuine.

    http://web.archive.org/web/201110291...es.asp?Metal=P
    ”We know they are lying, they know they are lying, they know we know they are lying, we know they know we know they are lying, yet they are still lying.” –Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn

    My Straight Shooters thread:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...raight-shooter

    The Pewter Pictures and Hallmarks thread:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...-and-hallmarks

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by imashooter2 View Post
    Empire manufactured pewter-ware in Brooklyn NY starting 1946. It should be lead free and genuine.

    http://web.archive.org/web/201110291...es.asp?Metal=P
    You are the man thanks for the help I couldn't seem to find much.
    Has anyone else here used it?

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by phidelt208 View Post
    I've found some empire pewter, but it not cheap.
    So I don't want to buy it if it's not good for casting or has some other junk in it.

    Anyone ever used it or melted it for bullets?
    If it isn't cheap then you might want to keep looking. The whole point for pewter is to get the items cheap.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by dondiego View Post
    If it isn't cheap then you might want to keep looking. The whole point for pewter is to get the items cheap.
    What is cheap for pewter?
    2 dollars a pound?

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by phidelt208 View Post
    What is cheap for pewter?
    2 dollars a pound?
    Even double that is a good enough deal if you need it. Look up tin at rotometals for a retail comparison.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    Tin sells for over $10 per pound......so pewter is 96% tin. $2 a pound is a great price. Over $10 a pound is not. You have to make that call.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by imashooter2 View Post
    Modern food service pewter is 92-96% tin. With the balance antimony and copper. At the concentrations we use it, might as well call it pure. That is how I use it. There is a sticky thread linked in my signature.
    Don't forget, lead free solder is the same composition as modern food service pewter. I have a lot of solder both bars & rolls. Tag sales are a good cheap source of solder and fishing weights.

  12. #12
    AKA: GRMPS Conditor22's Avatar
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    IF the item is marked "pewter" or "Zinn" and is malleable (and the price is right <$4 per #) I will usually buy it.

    the pretty/nice stuff goes into my china cabinet (to look at -- for possible resale, or to be smelted IF I ever run out of the "ugly stuff I smelted ) the rest will get smelted then cast into .5 oz boolits.

  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by phidelt208 View Post
    What is cheap for pewter?
    2 dollars a pound?
    The price point for any commodity depends on how much you need it, how much you have and what your prospects are for getting more. I have a pretty fair pile. I bought most of it at under $4 a pound during some pretty dedicated scrounging back when I was selling it here. I sold it for $8 a pound delivered in 5 pound batches. I still see it near that price occasionally in the S&S section.

    Virgin metal from an online supplier or solder from the home center will be 3 times that or more.

    So… if I had none, and I needed it, I would not be embarrassed to pay $10 a pound or maybe more for enough to tide me over until I could find a better deal.
    ”We know they are lying, they know they are lying, they know we know they are lying, we know they know we know they are lying, yet they are still lying.” –Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn

    My Straight Shooters thread:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...raight-shooter

    The Pewter Pictures and Hallmarks thread:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...-and-hallmarks

  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by phidelt208 View Post
    You are the man thanks for the help I couldn't seem to find much.
    Has anyone else here used it?
    I probably had some at one time or another. Their catalog looks like ho-hum hollowware. Nothing special. I would have melted it without a second thought. You can dig through the sticky thread looking for the touch mark if it pleases you.
    ”We know they are lying, they know they are lying, they know we know they are lying, we know they know we know they are lying, yet they are still lying.” –Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn

    My Straight Shooters thread:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...raight-shooter

    The Pewter Pictures and Hallmarks thread:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...-and-hallmarks

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Here you go. Post 822 in the sticky thread.

    https://castboolits.gunloads.com/sho...=1#post3180161
    ”We know they are lying, they know they are lying, they know we know they are lying, we know they know we know they are lying, yet they are still lying.” –Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn

    My Straight Shooters thread:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...raight-shooter

    The Pewter Pictures and Hallmarks thread:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...-and-hallmarks

  16. #16
    Boolit Master Sasquatch-1's Avatar
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    I usually look for old goblets and picture frames for 25 to 50 cents apiece at yard sales. Pitchers and the like I will spend $1.00 to $1.50 for depending on size. Got lucky once at the old Harper's Ferry Flee Market and got three boxes of assorted pewter for $10.00.
    A vote for anyone other then the conservative candidates is a vote for the liberal candidates.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    $2/lb is a good price, no doubt. the first thing I do as thrift store or wherever is try to bend it with my fingers if it is soft and price is right it follows me home.
    good bullet casting alloys are getting more and more difficult to find at low cost. experience has taught me not to hesitate on taking it home when I find good alloys.
    it does not take much tin to sweeten up wheel weights and other lead, but, bullets just don't cast as good without it.

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy Dunross's Avatar
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    My cutoff point for pewter is $10 a pound or half of what new tin sells for (last I looked). Thus far in our searches the most I've paid has been $6.35/lb and the cheapest $2.25/lb. All depends on what we come across. If it's marked "pewter" (important that it is correctly spelled) and it has the right sheen and some heft to it for its size then it should be the real deal.
    Chance favors the prepared mind.

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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