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Thread: Where to start with pure lead for 9mm and .45?

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    Where to start with pure lead for 9mm and .45?

    Hello everyone,

    I have the Lee 124GR round-nose 9mm mold and the Lee 230GR round-nose .45ACP mold.

    I have quite a bit of pure lead which I have tested with pencils to be in the 4-6 BHN.

    I like reloading with Titegroup for 9mm and .45ACP

    I'm not opposed to powder coating, but will probably start with Alox for now.

    What should I add to my pure lead for a starting alloy? Whatever I add I will probably have to buy from Rotometals because I don't have access to linotype or wheel weights, etc, unless I get lucky and find it online. I've heard I should aim for about 10BHN when loading 9mm and .45?

    I'm just looking for a starting point on my alloy. I can experiment with dropping in cold water, powder coating, slugging, sizing, later. I'd just like to get some boolits made so I can start somewhere. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    contender1's Avatar
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    Pure lead will be too soft for 9mm & .45 acp. Even if you powder coat them.

    You need to alloy them.

    If you plan to order from Rotometals,, you can call them & ask them what they suggest in their alloy's that can be added to your pure to harden it.

    Or,, do a search around here,,as there's a chart that shows how to blend metals for whatever hardness you seek. (I can't recall where the chart is at the moment.)

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Pure lead , even when powder coated is too soft for loading into a 9mm Luger .
    When you seat the boolit in the case it gets squeezed down and the soft nose deforms on the feed ramps .
    I mix pure lead and COWW 50-50 for a bhn 8-9 and this works if you are careful with boolit seating .
    You are going to need something to alloy with your pure lead for semi-auto use ...
    Call Roto-Metals and talk to tech. , explain what you are loading for and get advice as to most cost effective alloy to mix with your pure lead .
    Pure Lead is a good thing to have ... lots of other alloys out there can be mixed with it for boolit metal .
    The 50-50 mix (pure - COWW) is a great revolver boolit alloy too ... I use it , air cooled , for just about all handgun needs .

    Gary
    Certified Cajun
    Proud Member of The Basket of Deplorables
    " Let's Go Brandon !"

  5. #5
    Boolit Mold
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    Great thanks for the help I’ll call them and see what they say!

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    RMR Bullets has leftover lead from their jacketed bullet manufacturing for a better price than Rotometals. It's about 10 BHN.

    I use it for 10mm and .45 auto all the time. If I had a mold for 9mm I'd use it for that as well.

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master fredj338's Avatar
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    Issue with pure lead in shallow rifling is getting good stability. Just adding a bit of tin helps, certainly a bit of harder alloy like lino makes a big diff. I shoot a lot of range scrap with very good results. I PC but used to shoot lubed with equal results, just dirtier & in 9mm, more leading.
    EVERY GOOD SHOOTER NEEDS TO BE A HANDLOADER.
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  8. #8
    Boolit Master mehavey's Avatar
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    Pure lead , even when powder coated is too soft for loading into a 9mm Luger
    ^^^^ THIS ^^^^

    However in the 45 ACP, it can work well at target velocities:
    https://castboolits.gunloads.com/sho...=1#post5521279
    Cast HOT (800 dgr or so)

    BTW: Tin adds very little if any effective hardening.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Half Dog's Avatar
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    Just my 2 cents worth, if you care to add your location to your avatar someone local might be able to suggest where they get their metals.

    Good luck.
    The sooner I fall behind...the more time I have to catch up with

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    Adding 5% tin will give you 20/1. A very good pistol alloy. Bhn 10. Good expansion. Been used a long time. Tin is pricey if you can’t make scrounging it work for you. I scrounge pewter. I alloy my own red neck 20/1 with pewter. I’ve cast and shot both 9mm and 40 S&W with my redneck pewter 20/1. My results have been satisfactory.
    Good luck finding a solution to making your pure soft work to suit your 9mm.
    Willie.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master mehavey's Avatar
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    One of the reasons Lead/Tin alloys give good expansion is that that they are soft -- even at high (and expensive) tin ratios.
    When actually measured/tested for hardness, 30-1 is ~BHN 5.8, and 20-1 no more than ~7.8.

    Making sure that they are sized to properly fit the barrel, they perform exceptionally well and are GREAT for hunting even
    at (what are nowadays) "moderate" velocities.





    (But 30-35,000 psi 9mm is a bridge too far for such soft alloys -- Lyman #2 is your best bet)
    Last edited by mehavey; 05-21-2024 at 06:39 AM.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    GONRA sez "Range Lead " verks Just Fine for plinking with common Auto Pistol calibers.
    Bet the PC innovation makes it even better? ??

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    Plenty of alloys will get you there. Keeping the cost down will depend on what is available to you. Tin is king but expensive. Adding 20% linotype and 2% tin will also get you there.
    If liars pants really did catch on fire, watching the news would be a lot more fun!

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willie T View Post
    Adding 5% tin will give you 20/1. A very good pistol alloy. Bhn 10. Good expansion. Been used a long time. Tin is pricey if you can’t make scrounging it work for you. I scrounge pewter. I alloy my own red neck 20/1 with pewter. I’ve cast and shot both 9mm and 40 S&W with my redneck pewter 20/1. My results have been satisfactoryWillie.
    Well close

    4.76 percent tin gives you 20-1

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy
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    Just measured out this coming weekend's melt- 304 pounds of pure lead and 96 pounds of Foundry metal. Should come in at BH 15.2 according to the calculators. Just a little softer than hardball and a little harder than lyman 2.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master 243winxb's Avatar
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    70/30 lead/linotype.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master 243winxb's Avatar
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    Pure & 2% antimony, with a touch of tin will water harden.


  18. #18
    Boolit Master 243winxb's Avatar
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    Sizing before heat treatment


  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    I see the lube pad, do you lube your boolits before sizing on the Lee dies?

  20. #20
    Boolit Master 243winxb's Avatar
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    Yes, lube is needed before sizing & after.

    RCBS 2 lube first sizing before heat treat. Easy to remove before the oven.

    After heat treat, Lee Liquid Alox or Lyman 450 sizer/luber.

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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
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HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
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