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Thread: Do all alloy? Any suggestions?

  1. #21
    Boolit Grand Master


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    The issue with COWW, is supply...and that supply will not be worth finding. It is a lot of work and time. The good old days are never coming back.

    When you read stuff written over twenty years ago, or by the old timers here who got their stash when times were good, keep that in mind.

    You can formulate COWW alloy if that is what you want, and that is the value of stuff like Linotype.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  2. #22
    Boolit Master



    Tazman1602's Avatar
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    Lyman #2 from Rotometals has served me well for many, many years.

    Art
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    "Only accurate Rifles are interesting"
    "Calling criminal invaders Illegal immigrants is like calling dope dealers unlicensed pharmacists"

  3. #23
    Boolit Buddy

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    My default is 92-6-2 hardball but I am a smokeless pistol bullet caster only. Sometimes I add musket ball lead to hardball to up the weight of a certain moulds dropping boolit, if I think it痴 dropping a bit light. If I get into Rifle casting then linotype will become a thing for me.

  4. #24
    Boolit Master FISH4BUGS's Avatar
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    5 lbs ww to 1 lb lino. Probably too hard but I have never leaded a barrel in 40 years of casting.
    Supposedly that is the Lyman #2 equivalent.
    Works for me.
    Collector and shooter of guns and other items that require a tax stamp, Lead and brass scrounger. Never too much brass, lead or components in inventory! Always looking to win beauty contests with my reloads.

  5. #25
    Boolit Master

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    "Do all" alloy? The "easy answer" is - it depends...

    I was gifted one-half ton of nuclear shielding lead. As an equal weight to that I add COWW's. To the product of 50-50 percent Pb-WW alloy (and whatever else is in the WW's), I add 2% tin.

    One to twenty (1:20) alloy is to 5% Tin (1 divided by 20 = 0.050 * 100% = 5.0%) and 95% Lead.
    One to thirty (1:30) alloy is 3.333% Tin and 96.667% Lead.
    One to forty (1:40) alloy is 2.5% Tin and 97.5% Lead.
    One to fifty (1:50) alloy is 2% Tin and 98% Lead.
    etc....ignoring all other WW constituents.

    Multiply ANY weight of Lead or COWW's by the percentage of Tin you want and ADD THAT WEIGHT in Tin to the alloy.

    A purchased Gas Check currently adds over $0.04 to EVERY GC round, so choose wisely which boolits to pour as GC. The days of cheap GC's are seemingly behind us.

    Even making your own GC's means A LOT of shooting before you amortize the cost of the GC making equipment...including a lot of primers, a lot of powder, a lot of case prep, a lot of reloading, a lot of use (and "abuse") of your handguns and rifles, a lot of maintenance, a lot of cleaning, a lot of TIME, and yes - a LOT of FUN. You can shoot hotter loads with GC's, but to what end? The Plains Hunters didn't have today's "common" metallurgy at their disposal in the 1800's and nearly killed the buffalo to extinction with "slow moving" Heavy for Caliber lead boolits. Dead is dead. Wildlife doesn't know or care how fast the boolit was going. I am an advocate of load moderately and shoot MORE for less $$'s.

    "Saving money" through casting and reloading our own boolits is what we tell ourselves. If done frugally over time, shaving cost here and there, we spend A WHOLE LOT LESS in this hobby - compared to shooting the same number of Factory loads. We shoot more - we spend more. One goes with the other.

    Powder coating has become a "game changer" by "eliminating" leading (boolit fit of course remains a necessity) and allowing increased velocity in cast boolit loads. I believe, not that I have changed my Old School ways - though I have gotten on board, that PC is the way forward and I am investigating.
    If it was easy, anybody could do it.

  6. #26
    Boolit Master

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    A little tip from personal experience: grow your lead stash. Its better to look for lead when you dont need and have the time to haggle and deal. Than to need lead and have to pay the scalper his pound of flesh.

    It takes time and experience to learn how and where to find lead. Its out there. It just takes patience and people skills and research skills.

    I am an introvert and people scare me. Shocking i know but the internet has the veil of anominity (only a few people here know my real name or even where i live). My wife on the other hand is a social butterfly and spill her life story to sny pour sap who will listen. I send her to tire shops. Grease monkeys love a pretty lady (i will abuse her feminie charm, good looks only last so long ya know). So whil she is canvassing tire shops i will canvas recycle places and craigslist.

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  7. #27
    Boolit Master


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    Lyman’s Cast Bullet Handbook is a good place to start, but there are a lot of variables and opinions out there. Reading books and manuals makes casting more interesting for a lot of people. Don’t hesitate to buy used books and manuals. Nothing much has changed recently, except the advent of powder coating. This site is a great source of information, whether searching through past threads with the search engine or asking questions directly. There’s a lot of friendly people here with plenty of knowledge and willing to share it.

  8. #28
    Boolit Master
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    You need some pure and some pewter. Also download and learn to use an alloy calculator. I run my med. hot handgun loads at about 12 bhn and light ones about 10. Lymann #2 alloy for my med. 1700 fps checked rifle boolits. The Lyman manual lists harder alloys than necessary imho, but has much very good info in it.
    brotherhood of the black booger.

  9. #29
    Boolit Master
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    I as probably many others do-all alloy is clip on wheel weights with a bit of tin added. but I'm not no big game hunter and the only one I compete with is myself shooting mostly at paper, metal and wood targets. but I might add I have still yet to venture into powder coating, my Lyman 4500 still works great, and maximum velocity of my cast bullet loads is still at about 2000-2100 fps.

  10. #30
    Boolit Buddy
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    For ALL my straight walled handgun cartridges, many +P, (9mm, 357 mag/max, 41 mag, 44 mag, 445 super mag, 45ACP, 45 LC and 460 S&W) I use a 30:1 alloy of 50% COWW and 50% soft lead (30 lbs.) with 1 pound pewter and no gas checks, 10 to 13 BHN under 1800fps. For ALL my rifle cartridges (30/30, 35 Rem, 308 Win, 375 Win, 414 super mag, 444 Marlin, 45/70) most are gas checked due to velocity - 1800fps to 2350fps, I use another 30:1 alloy of 100% COWW (30 lbs.) and 1 pound pewter, 14 to 17 BHN. I am 100% a hunter first (deer, hogs elk, bear, caribou and the like), and do my plinking/practicing with the same loads I hunt with. Although I have swapped bullets styles and loads in search of the best performance, my alloys have always performed to my expectations with on game performance. Just my $.02. Good luck on your quest!

  11. #31
    Boolit Master 243winxb's Avatar
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    BHN 15

  12. #32
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by Rancher2882 View Post
    I知 new to casting, and intend to cast of all of my handguns and a few rifles ranging from mid to hot(ish) loads. I知 curious if anyone can suggest a sort of do all alloy? I have a couple hundred pounds of cleaned and ingoted wheel weights as well as about a hundred pounds or so of rotometals linotype, which I broke down into one pound ingots. I also intend to powder coat and gas check most boolits that I cast. Would something like 4 pounds wheel weights to one pound linotype do the job? Maybe 3:1? Or any other suggested alloy would be much appreciated!!
    A do all alloy will be a compromise.. I prefer softer for expanding handgun..and harder for magnum rifle..but if I only had 1 and needed rifle too.. Lyman #2 would be my choice.

  13. #33
    Boolit Master
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    Low velocity pistol versus hottish rifle really requires two different alloys. I use range lead as is for my 45 ACP loads, but have also used COWW either straight or with perhaps 1% tin added to either. If there was any difference in castabilty or performance I couldn't see it. Rifle I cast approximately 92-6-2 or perhaps a bit harder, but my rifle loads don't see much past 1600 fps. If you have a source for range lead get all you can. Wheel weights, either clip on or stick on, are quickly becoming extinct. For alloying Linotype is good, but unless purchased new is getting hard to find. Foundry type is also available from suppliers and has a much higher percentage of Sb and Sn so uses less when mixed with soft lead or range lead. Don't worry about exact percentages, find a mix that gives the BHN that works and smelt in large batches to keep it uniform. The idea (at least for me) is to cast as economically as possible. Using range lead and components purchased before the current insanity 45 ACP is running about $2.50 a box and my rifles 12-13 cents each. I have enough powder. primers and gas checks on hand to see me off and still leave a good stash for my son. My heart aches for those getting started right now or who didn't stock up in the good times.

  14. #34
    Boolit Master

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    I also cast 2 alloys. Hard and soft. Find each that work for you.

  15. #35
    Hey all! First, sorry for not responding sooner, been out of town and incredibly busy. Second, thank you all for the information and guidance, I appreciate it all! So let the tinkering/experimenting begin, and I値l let y誕ll know how it turns out!!

  16. #36
    Boolit Grand Master

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    My do-all alloy has always been straight clip-on wheelweights. Occasionally I'll add maybe 2% tin to it. This covers all of my needs pretty nicely.

  17. #37
    Boolit Buddy
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    I use straight isotope lead and haven't had a problem with leading. BHN is10.5 and is 97.5 lead, 2.5 Anthony no tin.
    I have some foundry lead and linotype/ monotype mix.
    How would you mix to achieve Lyman #2 for rifle casting.

    Bill
    Last edited by wwmartin; 01-18-2022 at 04:11 PM.

  18. #38
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by wwmartin View Post
    I use straight isotope lead and haven't had a problem with leading. BHN is10.5 and is 97.5 lead, 2.5 Anthony no tin.
    I have some foundry lead and linotype/ monotype mix.
    How would you mix to achieve Lyman #2 for rifle casting.

    Bill
    There is a very handy video on youtube that will help you get a specific BHN (hardness) by mixing known alloys.

  19. #39
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by wwmartin View Post
    I use straight isotope lead and haven't had a problem with leading. BHN is10.5 and is 97.5 lead, 2.5 Anthony no tin.
    I have some foundry lead and linotype/ monotype mix.
    How would you mix to achieve Lyman #2 for rifle casting.

    Bill
    Lino and your core lead 50/50 would yield about a 16ish alloy and be a hair harder than #2. You could adjust your alloy about 55% core and 45 lino and be real close to #2.

  20. #40
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcourson View Post
    I second this.
    Pick up a the Lyman cast bullet handbook and check the load recipes. #2 is not suitable for all loads and powders, obviously, but a large portion of the calibers will have a loadout for #2.

    There is a short paragraph in one of the earlier chapters (probably want to add a bookmark to it, I know I did) that tells you the breakdown of the various common alloys. You can (more or less) create #2 from pure lead and pewter if I remember correctly (sorry, I'm at work and can't check the handbook or my recipe book)

    #2 is 90% Lead, 5% Tin, 5% Antimony. Modern pewter is tin, copper, and antimony.
    Use the alloy calculator (https://castboolits.gunloads.com/sho...oy-calculators) to determine how much to add.
    here is a web based calculator that doesn't require downloading a zip file. No idea if it's on par with others or not, but it works for me. https://www.weatherby.dk/bhn.htm
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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