Lead Source


April 24, 2003, 01:32 AM
I recently helped clean out a printing shop, and ended up with a load of printing press type. I've got family members who have used the stuff to cast fishing weights with. Is it safe to also cast bullets with? Or would the pressures during shooting cause problems with this kind of lead?


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April 24, 2003, 05:57 AM
Lineotype is like gold to casters. There is nothing wrong with using that lead for bullets. You might want to add some softer lead to make your supply stretch though.

April 24, 2003, 11:45 AM
Them there's GOLD. Linotype is generally 4% tin, 12% antimony and 84% lead. Unless casting high power rifle bullets, it is much harder than needed. Mix 50/50 with lead to get 2/6/92 alloy, which is what most of the commercial bullet casters use and is still harder than necessary for pistol bullets. For most pistol bullets, mix one linotype with two lead. Nice gift, wish I had that opportunity.

April 27, 2003, 01:20 PM
It's GOLD, as noted by all...

If I'm lucky, I can get it for $.50 at the local scrap house. I've got to get fifty pounds or so fairly soon: not all bullets are recovered from my back yard berm.

Unlike everybody else, I guess, I cast my pistol bullets from straight lineotype. No leading, although I'm using standard, not magnum calibers, and I'm not pushing that hard.

FWIW, the bullets come out of the back yard berm looking new, unless they hit a rock, of course. Every so often I ponder simply relubing the .40's, which have gone a polygon bore, and sending them back through the weapon.

April 27, 2003, 01:50 PM
Is a bullet cast of pure Linotype (22 brinnel?) softer than a conventional, jacketed bullet?

April 27, 2003, 04:58 PM
I'm not really sure, though I suspect that it is by a fair amount.

But I should note that I think of lead slugs as somewhat elastic, and thus assume that the wear of a jacketed slug will not be present in any cast bullet.

I'll start ducking now....

April 27, 2003, 10:39 PM
Cast bullets are softer than jacketed and they are elastic. When not too hard for the velocity, they will expand to fill the barrel, avoiding leading. When a hard bullet is driven at lower velocities and is somewhat undersize, it will not expand and this causes leading because the gases cut around the sides of the bullet rather than being contained behind the bullet.

April 27, 2003, 10:49 PM
Cherokee, pressure is what is important for obturation, not velocity, but the concept is good.

Jacketed bullets are far harder than even linotype or monotype bullets, as far as surface hardness goes. The core of all jacketed bullets is softer than Lino, often almost dead soft lead due to swaging requirements. S/F...Ken M

April 28, 2003, 07:26 PM
Thanks Ken for the clarification. I was equating velocity with pressure but you reminded us of the true power at work.

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