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Thread: Whitworth Lead

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    Whitworth Lead

    I just joined today with the recommendation of Rotometals.
    I would like to know the ratio of pure lead to tin in the melt to make the
    mix flow in the mould. I have a KAL whitworth hexagonal bullet.
    any help will be appreciated.
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    CastingFool's Avatar
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    You only need 2% tin. Welcome aboard! There are a lot of knowledgeable and helpful folks here.

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master Nobade's Avatar
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    Since the hex bullets are already closely fitted, they can be rather hard. Most use 16:1 lead/tin for those. Round bullets need to be pure or nearly so, since they have to bump up and become hex shaped before moving on.

  4. #4
    Boolit Mold
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    Is that by weight or volume?

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    When I mix my alloy, I go by weight.

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master Nobade's Avatar
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    yes, weight.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    As I recall, Sir Joseph's originals were 10/1 lead/tin. That's an expensive bullet, but it's got a hardness of 12 on the Brinnell (BHN) scale. You can also get there by diluting Lyman #2 (90% lead / 5% antimony / 5% tin) 1-1 with pure lead and end up with 95/2.5/2.5 - close enough to the classic wheelweight + 2% tin as to make no difference. The folks as CBE selling your KAL mold claim to have it spec'd for that alloy diluted 1-1 again (more or less) to 97/1.5/1.5, which drops your BHN down to 10. I'm a little dubious about consistently getting good fillout with that last combination on such a bullet, but the others should be quite do-able.

    What those alloy changes do to your diameter - which will influence your paper patching - would be a pressing question.
    WWJMBD?

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    ..............Just an FYI. I've had a Parker Hale copy of the Whitworth Rifle for a bit over 35 years now. I've tried various "Hexagonal" slugs over time. Both Swagged hex, and cast hex. I can tell you right now that a cast or swaged cylindrical paper patched conical, will work as well or better and without the fuss. When the base of the slug see's the "Big Light", it's gonna assume the shape it's contained in.

    Several years ago I built myself a Rigby Style British long range match rifle. It has an octagon 32" long 45 caliber Green Mountain bbl which sports 8 lands and grooves and an 18" twist. I added a long range Vernier ladder tang sight on the wrist. The barrel wears a replaceable insert type at the muzzle. The longest range I have to shoot at close to home only goes to 300 yards. When we go over to my Dads' place in Arizona, the town of Safford AZ has a very nice series of public ranges that are free to use on the north side of the Gila River. Of those ranges, one goes to 1000 yards and has a road out to the thousand yard line.

    The PH Whitworth is capable, but it's issue sights and my 70 YO Mark 1 Mod 1 Eyeball detectors have a bit of a challenge much beyond 500 yards. The Rigby on the other hand with it's much more sophisticated sight setup allows me to give the 750 yard plate a good workout The plate is a foot square and when smacked with a 520 grain slug propelled by 80 grs of 2FG Swiss BP, it DOES dance around on the 2 chains it's hung on.

    Buckshot
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  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy Brimstone's Avatar
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    Buckshot, a 12" target at 750 yards is a tall order for the best eyes.
    The official NRA 800-1000 yard long range bull is 44".
    I hear people say they "can't see anything at 1000 yards", I just smile. I never said anything about the size of the target.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    Fwiw, back in the day there even were steel Whitworth bullets...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brimstone View Post
    Buckshot, a 12" target at 750 yards is a tall order for the best eyes.
    The official NRA 800-1000 yard long range bull is 44".
    I hear people say they "can't see anything at 1000 yards", I just smile. I never said anything about the size of the target.
    The Plates they have set up on the range are all painted black and are a foot square. They contrast with the soil behind it very nicely. The impact berm behind the plates is very light colored soil, so KNOWING it's there, you can pick it up.

    Buckshot
    Father Grand Caster watches over you my brother. Go now and pour yourself a hot one. May the Sacred Silver Stream be with you always

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    Shrink the State End the Fed Balance the budget Make a profit Leave an inheritance

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy Brimstone's Avatar
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    That's another issue as well. Contrast. Funny thing about that.
    Many years ago at the only 1000 yard public range available in my region at the time, I was hammering the 30" plate.
    Cold range was called and took much longer than it normally does. Someone took off with the safety flag. No flag, no hot range.
    RSO chews out two clowns who went down to the thousand without announcing prior to, kinda upsets people when you burn up their range time screwing around.

    Why? What happened? They went down to the 1k and painted all the plates a medium grey to match the sand of the backstop. Not approved range paint. We had high contrast paint for those plates and only RSOs are supposed to do that in the morning prior to hot range.

    I laughed. They saw me using the M1A Standard with NM iron sights. They didn't see the tricked out EMR. So that came out to play. The plates might have been invisible to the naked eye but through the Leopold Mk 4, those plates stand out just peachy.
    Dudes were big mad.

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
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    FWIW i can tell that im one of the idiots that keeps trying with the hex pills. As we CNC cut the molds ourselves, not the end of the world and as you can see, due CNC tech, we get by with a mere 2 piece mold as the twist is cut into the mold parting.

    What weve been at for a number of years is evaluating different nose cones and shapes, as well as hollow rear cavitys for that matter.
    Slowly but surely as the saying goes...



    Yes. Gone down the swaging route too, on more than one occasion. Know that many swears by it but to MY findings theres no appreciable difference in performance when the castings are done right.

    FWIW weve ranged weights from approx 500 to 600 grains.
    Yes. I use an old original rifle. Bore is basically like new still.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigslug View Post
    As I recall, Sir Joseph's originals were 10/1 lead/tin. That's an expensive bullet, but it's got a hardness of 12 on the Brinnell (BHN) scale. You can also get there by diluting Lyman #2 (90% lead / 5% antimony / 5% tin) 1-1 with pure lead and end up with 95/2.5/2.5 - close enough to the classic wheelweight + 2% tin as to make no difference. The folks as CBE selling your KAL mold claim to have it spec'd for that alloy diluted 1-1 again (more or less) to 97/1.5/1.5, which drops your BHN down to 10. I'm a little dubious about consistently getting good fillout with that last combination on such a bullet, but the others should be quite do-able.

    What those alloy changes do to your diameter - which will influence your paper patching - would be a pressing question.
    Harder shrinks less..softer shrinks more.

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy
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    Great thread, with a healthy helping of classic Buckshot ...
    Rick, I visited Safford a couple of years ago and really liked the place.

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy Gobeyond's Avatar
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    I’ve learned a lot about the Whitworth. A real curiosity. Can’t imagine how they get down the bore. Real mechanical I bet.

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by martinibelgian View Post
    Fwiw, back in the day there even were steel Whitworth bullets...
    Now edit that is interesting. I assume they were lubed and I am guessing they softer than the barrel. At long range such projectiles would likely bounce around like a ball bearing. They likely would also emit or strike sparks upon hitting rocks or iron objects.
    Last edited by barnetmill; 05-25-2023 at 10:59 PM.

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