Lead hardness ?


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bullseye308
September 10, 2008, 10:12 PM
Let's say that you made up a batch of lead consisting of 50lbs WW's and 1 1/2 lbs pure tin and then cast them into bullets that were water dropped to harden them. Now you find out your mold is dropping them undersized and you need to re-melt them and re-cast in a larger mold. How will the new batch of bullets come out as far as hardness this time around? I'm thinking adding a few pounds of pure lead may be needed, but that is only a guess, as this is new territory for me and I'm not a metalurgist. :) What say you?

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frank_1947
September 10, 2008, 11:35 PM
just melt them back down, its not like they will ever get to hard like a jacket with that mixture

243winxb
September 11, 2008, 09:25 AM
I'm thinking adding a few pounds of pure lead may be needed, Adding lead will make the bullets softer and the bullet as it drops from the mould will have a smaller diameter as lead shrinks more than tin or antimony.

frank_1947
September 11, 2008, 09:46 AM
he said he is using WW wheel weights that have antimony there should be no problem with the tin that should be 1/2 pound per 9 pounds of WW for a lyman #2 mix and I have never seen any shrink when drop in water and I been dropping them along time that will only harden them according to support at lynman, who's mold are you using

bullseye308
September 11, 2008, 10:11 AM
The mold is a Lee Tl356-124Tc 2 cavity purchased new.

243winxb
September 11, 2008, 10:13 AM
Frank 1947, The shrinkage takes place inside the mould as the alloy turns from a liquid to a solid. Do a test using the same mold, case some bullets with pure lead, and some with linotype. Lead will be smaller in diameter when measured with your micrometer.

frank_1947
September 11, 2008, 10:37 AM
243win, never heard of such a thing, anything can happen but more lead the heavier the bullet will be but it should not be smaller if the mold is full but like I said anything can happen

bullseye I have never been to crazy about lee molds I may have that mold from when I first started but I use all Lyman and got lucky and bought a HC 45 mold all Iron molds, are you getting your mold hot before casting, I use a little propane cooker thing and set my mold on it just after lead is totally melted down for about 45 seconds. is your mold new if so you might want to take some mineral spirits and scrub it then put it over a flame and I always take a match and get each cavity black with it for a easier release.

Try a few without water and see what size they are drop them on a soft cloth.

what are they coming out of mold at size wise

243winxb
September 11, 2008, 10:39 AM
http://www.castbulletassoc.org/forum/view_topic.php?id=611&forum_id=10 yes, lead makes the bullet more heavy

frank_1947
September 11, 2008, 10:45 AM
One more thing Lee molds cast light if using Lyman #2 mix they test their weight at a 20 to 1 mix, in other words the same mix in a Lyman mold will be on the money weight wise in a Lee mold it will be light by 2 gr. on a 9mm and about 3 to 4 on a 45, I got that info from Lee, long time ago Pat is the guys name at Lee call him he is very good there are adjustments and measurements you might need to make simple ones.

snuffy
September 11, 2008, 01:04 PM
How will the new batch of bullets come out as far as hardness this time around? I'm thinking adding a few pounds of pure lead may be needed, but that is only a guess, as this is new territory for me and I'm not a metallurgist. What say you?

Re-melting lead does nothing to the alloy as far as hardness goes.

A couple of questions; You say they're undersized, what are the measurements? What do they weigh? You're concerned with the hardness, why? From your second post, we see it's a 9mm mold. Even at top velocity, the straight wheel weights are hard enough for 9mm. And, all the tin you added did was make the lead melt at a lower temp, and made it fill out the mold better,(which should have made it cast at a larger diameter). it did NOT harden the lead to any appreciable amount.

There's nothing wrong with lee molds. They work quite well for the average caster. They DO need more care, they ARE made of aluminum so they can't be miss handled. Dipping the corner of a lee mold in the melted lead until the lead no longer wants to stick to it, will pre-heat it properly so the first boolit cast will be filled out.

Since this is a tumble lube boolit, you should be able to lube it and shoot it unsized. I have this boolit in a 6 cavity, I got it for use in 357 sig. Even at top velocity, it does NOT lead the bore, and I shoot it WITHOUT sizing first. They cast at .357.

scrat
September 11, 2008, 06:12 PM
+1 agreed. follow Snuffys advice

Walkalong
September 11, 2008, 06:19 PM
+1 agreed. follow Snuffys adviceYup, he's dead on.

NuJudge
September 11, 2008, 06:29 PM
Adding some Antimony will make for a harder bullet (especially if water dropped), and a lot of people claim they get a bigger bullet with the addition of Antimony. A common source is high-Antimony Lead shot.

CDD

zxcvbob
September 11, 2008, 06:34 PM
It could be that your mold casts too small. I"ve had a couple of Lee molds that were out-of-spec. (one cast bullets too small and the other cast way too big -- from the same lead)

bullseye308
September 11, 2008, 10:02 PM
I use a Lee 4# melter for these to ladle cast out of. I do the smelting/alloying in a harbor freight dutch oven 50 lbs at a time. The mold was cleaned per Lee instructions and then the corner of the mold was dipped into the pot till the lead didn't stick to it to warm it up. First bullets cast filled out nicely. The cavity near the handles is "sticky" and I have to tap the mold to get the bullet to fall out. I used a hurricane lamp to smoke the mold(works nice) beforehand and when the bullets don't drop right out.
The bullets drop out at .355-.356 and average 123.2-124.2 for the 50 I weighed.
Snuffy, the tin was added to aid in fill out, and I did know it will not harden the lead, hardening was to be done by water dropping them which I now realise is not needed for 9mm.
zxcvbob: It could be that your mold casts too small. That's what I'm thinking, I may have to get some lapping compound and open it up some.
NuJudge: Don't have any Antimony, would lino do the trick?

zxcvbob
September 11, 2008, 10:27 PM
Search the "cast boolit" web site for "beagling" (shimming a too-small mold to make it cast bigger.)

BTW, i sent my molds back to Lee and they repaired them.

bullseye308
September 12, 2008, 12:38 AM
Could it be sent back to Lee and be sized up to .358? Is that something they will do, or do I need to do it?

zxcvbob
September 12, 2008, 01:22 AM
If it is spec'ed at .356, they will repair/replace if it's < .356 or >=.360"

With a 2-cavity mold and you only need .001 or .002, you might be better off shimming it or lapping it yourself.

Mine were 6-cavity molds. (all my 2-cavity Lee molds have been right on the mark.)

frank_1947
September 12, 2008, 08:21 AM
have you even tried shooting any of those at .355 or .356 if not shoot them your barrel should be .355 and either should really be ok

bullseye308
September 12, 2008, 08:35 AM
frank_1947 Yep, sure have and the accuracy wasn't too bad. They hit a little low compared to my usual load of 115gr FMJ. I'm thinking the blowby is causing the buildup in the last 1 1/2" of the barrel. http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=391738

243winxb
September 12, 2008, 08:48 AM
The bullets drop out at .355-.356 and average 123.2-124.2 for the 50 I weighed If your shooting a 9mm, your bullets are the correct diameter. I don't see a problem. Dont worry about the weight. If your not going to size a bullet, this is what you will have to work with.The cavity near the handles is "sticky" and I have to tap the mold to get the bullet to fall out. A tap or two to get the bullet out is normal. The less the bullet shrinks, the harder it is to get the bullet out of the mould. If you let the mould cool 5 to 10 seconds longer the bullet may drop out of the mould easer.

243winxb
September 12, 2008, 09:27 AM
Stop dropping bullets into water. While antimony is used to harden the bullet, the mixture of tin is critical, for while antimony mixes with lead in its molten state, it will not remain mixed when it solidifies. If tin were not added, we would have pure antimony crystals surrounded by pure lead. A bullet of this type , while it feels hard , would certainly lead the bore and eliminate all potential for accuracy. In a lead-tin-antimony mixture, the antimony crystals will be present just the same, but they will be imbedded in a lead-tin mixutre. As the bullet cools the tin will form around the antimony-lead keeping your bullets from* leading the bore. I have read that this process can take up to 24 hours as the alloy oxidizes. If your going to size a cast bullet, wait 1 day.

243winxb
September 12, 2008, 09:36 AM
http://www.precisionhuntingandfishing.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=5765&mode=threadedthe best way to
understand your bullet formulations is to remember that
the lead gives the bullet its softness, antimony gives it
the hardness, and tin chemically holds the pair together
with less gaps and cracks, which can tend to separate
upon firing.

snuffy
September 12, 2008, 01:34 PM
Here's a link to a thread over at cast boolits .com. It describes a procedure to solve some of the short-comings of lee,(or other), molds. This could also be used to make the mold cast a bit bigger, IF you kept on with the abrasive treatment.

http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?t=654

I did this to a .458 lee mold for their 340 RNFP boolit. It would always hang up one of the 2 cavities, refusing to let it drop free. Since performing the procedure, it fills out, and drops the boolits as soon as the mold is opened.

Yeah, I know I sung the praises of the lee molds prior to this, BUT of a couple dozen lee molds this was the only one that needed help.

frank_1947
September 12, 2008, 07:56 PM
bullseye, sounds like your good to go, if you have no leading your good as far as dropping in water I been doing that 20 years so I disagree with 243win and if you talk to Lee or Lyman they will tell you it does harden them and like I said been doing that long time never any leading I shoot my 9 mm out of a
open Class gun that has a compensator at 1400 fps, the tin binds the alloys and that what also lightens it to proper weight if using Lyman mold and Lyman #2 mix if you want lyman #2 it is 9 pounds WW and 1 pound of 50/50 solder that is 50% lead and 50 % tin you cant go wrong with that mix Lyman has a hole chart that gives the BHN of 15 by dropping in water you go to an 18 example Linotype is 86% lead 3% tin and 11% antimony that give you a BHN of 22 Lyman #2 is 90% lead 5% tin and 5% antimony is a BHN of 15

scrat
September 12, 2008, 08:17 PM
Snuffy is right again. On the link from Castboolits. i have done that too. it works. What ever you do dont use valve grinding compound or toothpaste. just comet will work fine.

243winxb
September 12, 2008, 11:02 PM
The bullet diameters and weights presented in this list
are based on the use of Taracorp’s Lawrence Magnum
bullet alloy (2% tin, 6% antimony, 1/4% arsenic,
91.75% lead).
Bullet diameters and weights will vary considerably
depending on the lead casting alloy used. This variation
can be as much as 1/2% on the diameter, and 8% on
the weight among the most commonly used casting
alloys. For example, a .358-158 grain bullet might
show a diameter variation of .002", and a 13 grain difference
in weight.
Of the most commonly used alloys, wheel weights (.5%
tin, 4% antimony, 95% lead) will produce bullets having
the smallest diameter and heaviest weight, with
such bullets running approximately .3% smaller in
diameter and 3% heavier than bullets cast with
Taracorp's metal. Linotype will produce bullets with the
largest diameter and lightest weights. This alloy will
produce bullets approximately 1/10% larger and 3%
lighter than Taracorp. Other alloys of tin and antimony,
with antimony content above 5%, will produce bullets
with diameters and weights falling between those cast
from wheel weights and linotype.
Alloys containing little or no antimony will cast considerably
smaller than wheel weights and in some cases
will produce bullets too small for adequate sizing.
Within the limitations given above, the weight and
diameter of a cast bullet can be adjusted by varying the
alloy’s antimony content.
The size and weight of bullets of a given alloy will also
vary according to casting temperature. Higher temperatures
will result in greater shrinkage as the bullet
cools, thereby producing a slightly smaller and lighter
bullet than one cast of the same alloy at a lower temperature http://www.redding-reloading.com/PDF%20files/bulletchart.pdf

MAGNUM44
September 13, 2008, 06:26 AM
80% linotype 10% lead & 10% tin is the way to go for good hard cast bullets

243winxb
September 13, 2008, 07:05 PM
http://www.lymanproducts.com/lymanproducts/images/Bullet%20Guide.pdf Good reading for the new casters

snuffy
September 13, 2008, 08:30 PM
80% linotype 10% lead & 10% tin is the way to go for good hard cast bullets

Since linotype is already 6% tin, adding another 10% is way too much. Those boolits would be way too hard for most any handgun boolits, they would lead badly unless pushed to maximum in a magnum revolver.

My mix for run-of-the-mill handgun rounds is 3# linotype to 17# nearly pure lead. There's plenty of tin in the lino to make for good fill out and they're plenty hard for all my uses.

bullseye308
September 14, 2008, 02:34 AM
"bullseye, sounds like your good to go, if you have no leading your good as far as dropping in water" The problem is I have leading, the last 1 1/2" of the barrel looks like a smooth bore almost. I'm not worried about what they weigh, I can adjust the powder charge no prob. I'm also not too worried about the hardness, seems like WW's are just fine right out of the mold without water dropping. Apparently I just need to open the mold up a couple of thou and will be good to go. I'll work on that monday and see how it goes.

stork
September 18, 2008, 07:59 PM
"a lot of people claim they get a bigger bullet with the addition of Antimony. A common source is high-Antimony Lead shot"

Please be cautious on adding shot. Some shot manufacturer's add Arsenic to the mix to aid in getting the shot round. It doesn't take a lot to spoil a potful for bullets. The result of too much Arsenic is, your bullets will lead your bore horribly. 10-20 shots and you think you're shooting a smoothbore. In shotguns it doesn't make any difference, but in rifled bores you may well have problems.

West Nevada Bullet manufacturer made this mistake 3-4 years ago and took too much time acknowledging the problem. The resulting refunds and loss of their good name as a premium bullet maker forced them out of business.

FWIW

Stork

bullseye308
September 19, 2008, 10:42 AM
Short of adding high antimony shot, is there a better way to get the bullets to drop at a larger diameter? I have 200lbs of WW's, 10 lbs of lino, and 10 lbs pure tin. I'm not worried about bullet weight, just size for now. I also plan to get molds for 38 and 357 and it would be nice to use the same alloy, but if I can't, I'll get more lead for those later.

ETA: I have no budget. Cannot buy anything right now, not even lapping compound to open up the mold(but I did get it polished). What I need to know is if there is some combo of the metals listed above that will drop bullets at a slightly larger diameter, or if I need to wait a while to get something to open up the mold.

zxcvbob
September 19, 2008, 11:28 AM
Go to the "cast boolit" (that's how they spell it) web site and search for "beagling". It's basically shimming the mold open a thousandth or two.

snuffy
September 19, 2008, 12:34 PM
Please be cautious on adding shot. Some shot manufacturer's add Arsenic to the mix to aid in getting the shot round. It doesn't take a lot to spoil a potful for bullets. The result of too much Arsenic is, your bullets will lead your bore horribly. 10-20 shots and you think you're shooting a smoothbore. In shotguns it doesn't make any difference, but in rifled bores you may well have problems.

That's the first time I ever heard that arsenic causes the problem you say. Arsenic is present in some scrap lead, no way around it. It MUST be present to some extent to heat treat boolits, either by dropping into cold water, or in an oven.

I'll do a little research over at cast boolits, http://castboolits.gunloads.com/ To see if they ever heard of arsenic causing severe leading. To say the least, I doubt it.

Bullseye, you're assuming that your leading at the muzzle is caused by sloppy boolit fit. The last inch of muzzle being leaded is a lack of lube problem. Since you're using liquid alox, try coating them twice, see if that makes a difference. If it were boolits being undersized, the leading would show up at the forcing cone and the first couple inches of barrel.

brickeyee
September 19, 2008, 02:46 PM
never heard of such a thing, anything can happen but more lead the heavier the bullet will be but it should not be smaller if the mold is full but like I said anything can happen

Different alloys have different shrinkage from liquid to solid.

bullseye308
September 19, 2008, 05:00 PM
"Bullseye, you're assuming that your leading at the muzzle is caused by sloppy boolit fit. The last inch of muzzle being leaded is a lack of lube problem. Since you're using liquid alox, try coating them twice, see if that makes a difference. If it were boolits being undersized, the leading would show up at the forcing cone and the first couple inches of barrel."
And that is probably the answer I was looking for. :) I'll re-lube a bunch now and send them downrange tomorrow and report back.

stork
September 22, 2008, 02:24 PM
Snuffy,
Here's a link to the archives of Bullsye List.

http://groups.google.com/group/Bullseye-L-Archive/search?group=Bullseye-L-Archive&q=arsenic+in+lead&qt_g=Search+this+group

There is a wealth of information contained there.

Here's the link to the main archive page.

http://groups.google.com/group/Bullseye-L-Archive

FWIW

Stork

bullseye308
September 25, 2008, 09:55 PM
Allrighty, I re-tumble lubed them and loaded another hundred. Finally got to use my new to me chrono. Velocities ran from 1134 to 1214 fps. Still leaded like before. :banghead::cuss::banghead: I will be looking for something to open up the mold this weekend and see what I can do about the diameter.

Anyone got a few inches of that aluminum tape to spare??? I haven't seen it locally at the few places I have looked and really don't wanna buy a whole roll.

frank_1947
September 25, 2008, 10:09 PM
okay did you shoot a hundred? and after you rana brush down the bore did it clean up? if it cleaned up after 100 rounds and no build up and you did not spend hours cleaning it you could be ok, most leading occurs just a inch past chamber you said at end of barrel, right?

bullseye308
September 26, 2008, 03:48 PM
I loaded and fired 100 rounds. Running a brush down the bore just tickled the buildup that is near the buzzle. No buildup near the chamber at all. It will be soaking again in some H2O2 for a while. :cuss:



OOPS. I listed the wrong velocities, those were for 115gr Zero JHP. The cast clocked at 1099-1117fps. That's the high and low for 17rds. Not too shabby I think.

frank_1947
September 26, 2008, 08:30 PM
Save some time go to Brownells and get the Lewis Lead remover I don't remember but I think $25 or so you will have it clean in 10 minutes, I have never had one lead at the muzzle bu it can't hurt to add some antimony or lino type if you have it, some how I think you could be to soft, but lube can play a big part also, If I remember right you are useing liquid alox I have used that and what I did for protection was to lube them let them dry 24 hours and coat them again really heavy, but first get something with allot of antimony in it and try 3 or 4 pounds to a ten pound mix, you have nothing to loose and I know they are messy to handle here is a little trick that will solve that problem, once there dry take a can or something you would use to spread lube around a bowl whatever, and throw a bunch of baby powder in there and roll your lubed bullets in it, they wont be sticky to handle and they will smell like a babies butt. keep us informed of your progress.

frank_1947
September 26, 2008, 08:35 PM
oops i forgot to go up and read a post telling you to double lube so you did that ? now add some hardenner lino or pure antimony, I will just assume your to soft so if you get pure antimony add 3/4 of a pound to ten pounds of what your useing if you cant get antimony then go to ebay for lino type and ad 4 pounds of lino.

bullseye308
September 26, 2008, 08:51 PM
I've got some lino, maybe 8 lbs or so. So what you are saying is to re-melt 20 lbs and add all 8 lbs to it, right? That I can do in the morning.

243winxb
September 26, 2008, 10:49 PM
What is the groove diameter of your barrel? The bullet must be the same diameter plus no more than .001" Your barrel might be loose near the chamber and tighter the last 1 1/2" If the barrel get tighter near the muzzle the bullet will strip, leading your barrel.

bullseye308
September 26, 2008, 11:29 PM
I just beat a bullet down the barrel :eek: at the muzzle end then back out. It measured .3475 at the smallest to .3545 at the largest. I only got it in till it was flush with the end of the barrel. I will have to get a piece of brass rod to be able to push it through the whole barrel, so I will try to get one in the morning.

frank_1947
September 27, 2008, 12:24 AM
yes that will eliminate any more guess work about the hardness

highlander 5
September 27, 2008, 10:29 AM
I cast quite a few pistol bullets and have found that a 50/50 mix of lino/ww makes a very nice bullet. Yesterday I cast up a batch of 45 Colt bullets from an RCBS mold 250gr RNFP weighed random bullets came in at 251-254 gr dia .455 sized .454". I have to admit the few Lee mold blocks I didn't have good luck with. The molds I have now are from Redding,RCBS,LBT and Rapine. The Rapine I bought on a lark best mold I have ever had.

243winxb
September 27, 2008, 11:15 AM
.3545" Thats ok. Does this leading cause a loss of accuracy? If the accuracy is not effected , then its normal fouling. Just run a patch of Hoppe"s #9 down the barrel, brush it, then leave Hoppe's in the barrel till the next time you go shoot. Then before shooting, patch and scrub/brush, then dry patch and shoot.

243winxb
September 27, 2008, 12:35 PM
push it through the whole barrel This will tell you if you have a tight/smaller groove diameter in the barrel before the bullet reaches the muzzle.

243winxb
September 27, 2008, 12:55 PM
.3475 at the smallest to .3545 at the largest. Do you mean that the groove diameter is OVAL/like an egg? That would be a big problem. OR is .3475 the measurement of the lands?

bullseye308
September 28, 2008, 10:59 AM
I use a digital mic and spun the bullet while measuring. Those were the highs and lows. Didn't really pay attention as to where it was at on the bullet.

bullseye308
September 28, 2008, 11:04 AM
Melted 10lbs WW and 7lbs lino last night and then cast another 100 bullets to try today. Lubed them last night and will be loading them shortly. Water dropped half and towel dropped half, we'll see how they do.

243winxb
October 5, 2008, 12:47 PM
we'll see how they do. How did they do??

243winxb
October 5, 2008, 01:01 PM
Didn't really pay attention as to where it was at on the bullet. When your working in measurments of .001" it help if you pay attention.

bullseye308
October 5, 2008, 04:28 PM
How did they do??
Hopefully I will get to try them tomorrow.

When your working in measurments of .001" it help if you pay attention.
You are very right, I will have to be more dilligent in the future.

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