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Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by gunfreak, Mar 30, 2013.
Gonna fire up the lead pot today and make some more bullets.
So I melt now and again for fishing, is there special requirements about the lead for making bullets?
Seems that I heard a more brittle lead is used for bullets where's for fishing weights it doesn't really matter.
Fisherman prefer lead that is soft for two reasons. First, it's normally cheaper to buy if it doesn't have tin. Secondly, the soft lead is perfect for sinkers that need to be crushed or deformed with a pliars.
Shooters, prefer lead that doesn't lead up the barrel too badly. Shooting at low speeds (<1300 fps) requires an alloy such as 96% lead and 4 % tin. Shooting at higher speeds (>1300 fps) requires a gas check and water drenched bullets (drop into ice water while still hot from mold). The harder bullets with gas check cause very little leading.
i have no personal experience with this but i was told that with high power rifles using lead rounds you should be closer to a 70/30 mix. is that invalid or can it be done in many ways? i ask because ill be moving into a place where i will have the space to load rounds and considering doing so.
Lead bullet alloys typically start with "no 2" which is sorta similar in hardness to wheel weight (WW) alloy, except it's 2% tin, 4-6% antimony, balance is lead. This is a great alloy for low velocity (cowboy) rifle and pistol bullets. For more modern applications linotype tends to be the preferred alloy, (4%/8-12%/bal Sn/Sb/Pb) as it may top 30 brinel, whereas No2 usually peaks in the 12-16 brinel, pure lead is 5 brinel, and is really too soft to be useful in all but a few applications (namely hollow base, heel base, and minnie balls). Personally, I like WW, but I bump up the tin content a bit to make it pour better, Magnum shot is another common alloy, usually no tin, but 5% Antimony, I use it quite a bit because it's cheaper, and other than mold wetting, tin really doesn't do much for the bullets.
Antimony alloys can be significantly harder than lead/tin, as a consequence, most modern bullet alloys include antimony. Even WW alloy contains about 3% Sb, however WW also contains arsenic, which in quantities of about .5% can dramatically increase the hardness of the lead alloy.
While tin does make bullets easier to cast, it's not really necessary, and contributes little to the hardness, it's main purpose is to improve wetting characteristics and lower melting point.
This is more of a reloading than a preparedness topic, and casting bullets is a whole dark art in itself.