Author Topic: The Differences between 'Lead' Bullets and 'Hard Cast' Bullets  (Read 2085 times)

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The Differences between 'Lead' Bullets and 'Hard Cast' Bullets
« on: December 04, 2011, 05:26:32 AM »
There seems to be a lot of missunderstanding of what true lead bullets are. :-\ Here is a great article that sets the record straight.


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Re: The Differences between 'Lead' Bullets and 'Hard Cast' Bullets
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2011, 05:52:22 AM »
Good short introduction.  Thanks!

Pure lead can be easily alloyed by adding 80/20 or 60/40 bar solder proportionally by weight.  I used this method for years and, with differing proportions and tempering methods, could get a number of differing hardness readings.

Elmer Kieth wrote that a Brinnel Hardness between 9-11 was sufficient for .44 cal lead bullets with no leading problems.  That's pretty much been my experience.

I once alloyed 240 pounds of Lyman #2 from standard lead, tin and antimony.  It took 4 days to get it alloyed correctly and cast into ingots.  Antimony has the highest melting point of the three and one doesn't melt it as much as "dissolve" it.  Also antimony is dangerous so must be handled in either an extremely well ventilated area, or preferably outdoors.  Rough calculations says I have enough #2 "on hand" to make around 6000 pistol caliber bullets depending on bullet caliber and weight.
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Re: The Differences between 'Lead' Bullets and 'Hard Cast' Bullets
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2011, 06:21:51 PM »
I guess I am lucky. I work for an Electric Utility Co. & when we rebuild A line we put up new insulator pins. The old pins have A lead type threads for the insulator to screw on. Near as I can figure when I melt the lead stuff off the pin in is about 16 to 18 hardness. Today is my 31 year anniversary with the company. I cant guess how many hundreder pounds of lead I have melted off & made 9 40 45 & 44 mag bullets out of. What is sad is the new pins have polymer threads & not lead. I just keep stock pilling the old pins for A rainy day when I retire.
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