Gold projectiles


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gamestalker
July 10, 2011, 02:52 AM
One of my part time hobbies is finding gold. I live in Az. so it's a pretty good place to make small finds without too much effort. So over the years I have accumulated a fair amount of gold, in the neighborhood of 6 1/2 ounces. Recently I thought of making 6- 125 gr. hollow points made of pure gold for my .357. But since I have no knowledge of metal properties I was wondering if anyone would be able give me a go, no go, answer. I don't actually plan on shooting up what would be a rather expensive cylinder of projectiles being they are primarily intended as a converstaion piece, but they will be in the firearm I carry most of the time, so I would like to know if my firearm will explode or other wise suffer a catrastrophic failure if I ever had to use them for S.D..

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dmazur
July 10, 2011, 03:11 AM
Well, gold is maleable like copper, and it has a high melting point. So far so good.

The problem is its density, which is roughly 1.5 times that of lead.

As you know, charge weights are lower for heavier bullets (same cartridge, same powder).

So, you might consider using COL data for a 125gr (as that would be the mold size and the location of the crimp groove) and charge data for 180gr (as that would be a good guess as to the weight of a 125gr bullet cast in gold.)

I have no idea if the friction of a solid gold bullet is similar to that of a jacketed lead bullet, so this is pure guesswork.

Probably not a good idea to ignore the COL / bullet weight issue, though.

Good luck.

leadcounsel
July 10, 2011, 03:24 AM
I don't actually plan on shooting up what would be a rather expensive cylinder of projectiles being they are primarily intended as a converstaion piece, but they will be in the firearm I carry most of the time, so I would like to know if my firearm will explode or other wise suffer a catrastrophic failure if I ever had to use them for S.D..

Let me understand this - you want to cast gold bullets which you intent to have as a conversation piece that you will carry in your Self Defense handgun???

First, you do know that Gold is about $1500 an ounce, right? For the amount of gold you would be using you could buy buckets full of proper self defense ammo... For the 6.5 ounces you have, you're sitting on about $10,000 worth of gold there!

Secondly, how often do you pull out your self defense gun to show someone the ammo as a 'conversation starter?' And frankly I don't think it would be a flattering conversation... You: "I made these here gold bullets; yep, solid gold, to shoot in my self defense handgun." Other person: "You did WHAT?!?! Are you a (insert unflattering term)?"

And thirdly, even if you didn't intend on shooting it, if you are carrying the rounds in your carry gun, then you may be in a sitaution where you need to defend yourself and then must decide whether to shoot or not and why would you want your expensive gold bullets going downrange into a assailant??

This all just makes no sense...

Frankly, sell the gold and buy the tried and true self defense ammo like Speer, Corbon, etc. literally by the pallet full with your gold profits.

argyle1812
July 10, 2011, 03:47 AM
no offense but with gold prices sky high why not just sell the gold?

memphisjim
July 10, 2011, 03:55 AM
Go for it !!

Lost Sheep
July 10, 2011, 04:30 AM
James Michener wrote a novel (Centennial) I think, wherein he described an American Indian who discovered that he could "cast" bullets out of gold nuggets he found without actually using any heat at all. He just had to squeeze the bullet mold really hard. This was in a flintlock with molds traded for in the the early 1700's (if memory serves from the time I read the book-I am not old enough to have been around when the English and French fur traders were exploring North America)

Yes, you could do it. I don't suppose that six, or even twelve rounds would gild up (the analog to leading up a barrel) so badly that you would have a problem in the shooting.

As far as the increase in density (bullet weight) when considering COL (cartridge overall length), the measurement the loading manuals are trying to get at, that is, the critical measurement, is the volume under the bullet. Do some calculations to figure out the free space UNDER the bullet. Use whatever loading data is appropriate for that bullet weight, powder charge, and free volume under the bullet.

I suppose that leadcounsel's advice And thirdly, even if you didn't intend on shooting it, if you are carrying the rounds in your carry gun, then you may be in a situation where you need to defend yourself and then must decide whether to shoot or not and why would you want your expensive gold bullets going downrange into a assailant??might be right on the spot. You weight the necessity of using deadly force against the personal cost of firing that first round. "It is REALLY worth $x,xxx to pull this trigger?"

It gives weight to the argument that you REALLY needed to shoot a perp.

It also sets up an insanity defense if self-defense doesn't fly.

As far as expanding/hollowpiont bullets are concerned. I suspect that the softness of gold bullets would make the hollowpointing unnecessary to get good expansion. Indeed, they may be too soft and you may have to mix the pure gold into a harder allow to make a round nose bullet hard enough to penetrate before expanding.

Sounds like a good test to do in ballistic gel from which your gold would be recoverable.

While my reply has been 100% serious (like dmazur's) except for the insanity defense line, in response to your (what I assume is completely serious post), I have to ask, what leadcounsel implied, "Are you SERIOUS?"

Gold bullets are a good conversation piece (especially in light of Michener's novel), but having them in your carry piece seems a bad idea. The nature of carrying for defense has, at its core and essence, the expectation of the unexpected, which COMPLETELY NEGATES using a bullet construction (or material) that has not been thoroughly tested.

In summary: Great conversation piece (remember the Lone Ranger, whose silver bullets came from his silver mine, which gave him the independent wealth that allowed him to do his altruistic law enforcement). Possibly a great defensive round, but not until it has been vetted. Take note of bullets cast of depleted uranium. They are even better than gold (and probably more expensive,too.) Look up the terminal ballistics of uranium armor-piercing rounds. They are GREAT against tanks.

Lost Sheep

memphisjim
July 10, 2011, 04:37 AM
Still I say go for it back in the old days ( before they went extinct) old timers swore on silver bullets to kill wearwolves

FROGO207
July 10, 2011, 06:06 AM
I am thinking that the best of both worlds would be to sell some of the gold and buy a bunch of bullets of your choice and send them off to be gold plated. This way you will know what the properties will be of the original bullet (almost) and have the "look" that you want at the same time. Then do a load workup before and after the plating. LOTS less expensive in the long run as well as a reliable round for use intended.:D

Ohio Gun Guy
July 10, 2011, 06:43 AM
:evil: You make it and I'll pay you 2.00 per round...

Shadow 7D
July 10, 2011, 07:57 AM
Why bother
Find someone who will do gel testing (it's more that just shooting a block of jello)
fire a production HP
fire the cast gold HP

keep a dummy on your key ring (actually might want to plate that given the gold prices)
and have you considered alloy, I imagine 14K would hold up better with a higher pressure round, 24K is really soft.

BluegrassDan
July 10, 2011, 12:03 PM
My opinion...

1. Self defense rounds must be absolutely reliable. You need to be certain of their terminal ballistics and that they function in your gun. 6 rounds is not enough.

2. If you did end up shooting someone in self defense with a HAND MADE GOLD BULLET, the prosecuting attorney is going to rip you a new one. You'll wish you had that golden bullet back to help pay for court costs and attorney's fees!

3. The "conversation piece" would probably amount to, "Why would you waste gold on something so ridiculous?"

Time and research have gone into developing ammo, particularly for self defense. Gotta be honest, this is a pretty bad idea anyway you look at it.

You could cash in that gold an buy a REALLY fine antique firearm in museum condition. THAT would be a conversation piece!

4v50 Gary
July 10, 2011, 12:20 PM
You make it and I'll pay you 2.00 per round...

I double that and pay for the postage and registered mail too.

In melting any metal, a portion is lost as vapor. Gamestalker, I hope you realize that while it can be done, that your money will be going up in smoke. Gold is going to increase 20-30% sometime this Sept. Don't sell it. Keep it. It's better than the dollars in your wallet or bank account.

BTW, you especially don't want to put it in your carry weapon. It's like re-enactors in the North-South Skirmish Association. They're told to have two rifles. One is for shooting and the other is for re-enacting. The shooting gun goes only to the range and the re-enacting gun is part of the props. By having two guns, the reenactor never accidentally shoots anyone. If you must have gold bullets, have it for a collectible (display) or showpiece gun that will never be carried or fired.

Jim Watson
July 10, 2011, 12:48 PM
But since I have no knowledge of metal properties

Have you ever cast any plain lead bullets?
Do you handload your ordinary defensive ammunition?

There is a good series of articles on the difficulties of producing silver bullets for the werewolf fantasy trade at:
http://www.patriciabriggs.com/books/silver/silverbullets.shtml
Will working gold be easier or harder than silver?
I don't know but you should.

This outfit charges $50 for a silver bullet (actually an inert cartridge) no doubt much more for gold.
Would they use or exchange your gold?
Call 'em up.
http://www.bulletforge.com/index.php

Rembrandt
July 10, 2011, 01:04 PM
You may want to change your user name to "Francisco Scaramanga", (worlds deadliest assassin)......character in the James Bond 007 series "Man With the Golden Gun".

Bond found one of Scaramanga's golden bullets in the naval of a belly dancer, who prized it as an ornament. The source of the gun and bullets were from Macau gunsmith named Lazar.

.....also important to remember his price for using such ammo was not cheap, a million dollars a shot.

snuffy
July 10, 2011, 01:04 PM
I'll address this as a serious question. The high melting temp of gold will make it very difficult to cast. I know nothing about how well it pours into a mold, in others words, how well it flows. Aluminum and brass molds would melt just by pouring the molten gold into them. Best bet would to be to pour a cylinder or plug of gold, then machine the goldllet,(gold bullet), from that plug.

You'd be out in no-mans-land with no load data for that goldllet. If it were me, I'd load it in a nice shiny nickle plated case with no powder or primer just to carry around for show and tell.

Melting temps of gold-1063-C, 1945-F.

4v50 Gary
July 10, 2011, 01:16 PM
dmazur's suggestion to work the gold by hand may be better. Depending on its purity, gold is malleable and could easily be swaged into the right diameter or bullet shape. Of course, you'll probably lose a few grams on the equipment, but it probably will be less lost than if by vapors.

armarsh
July 10, 2011, 01:23 PM
Dang, working up a load is gonna suck. Mining the berm will never be the same.

hso
July 10, 2011, 03:19 PM
Firstly, any jeweler/goldsmith that casts gold jewelry can melt and cast your gold to match a standard bullet mould.

Secondly, you'll have to work up the ballistics data and loads for the increased weight of the bullet to safely fire the heavier projectile.

Thirdly, it seems absurd that you'd actually want to carry live ammunition around that has a real value of a small fortune and would be lost if you actually have to fire it. I think putting one gold bullet into an inert round on a keychain would be far more interesting/practical. OTOH, if you've come about the gold easily as a recreational activity you're not out as much as one of us that decided to purchase the precious metal so the cost isn't the same for you as us.

Purchase a bullet mold, see a jeweler/goldsmith, ask if he casts gold for custom jewelry, provide the bullet mold, pay the man and hand load your own.

Afy
July 10, 2011, 05:25 PM
Feel free to shoot me with your gold bullets. ;)

snuffy
July 10, 2011, 05:45 PM
Purchase a bullet mold, see a jeweler/goldsmith, ask if he casts gold for custom jewelry, provide the bullet mold, pay the man and hand load your own.

As I said in my above post, the ONLY mold that could possibly be used would be one made of cast iron or steel. I saw a history show about how gold is cast into rings. They use a centrifuge to spin the molten metal into the mold. That tells me that gold has to be FORCED into a mold. It's not as simple as letting gravity fill the mold. Then, will the gold let loose of the iron/steel mold?

The same problems presented themselves with the "silver bullet".

jerkface11
July 10, 2011, 06:09 PM
What you would do is cast the bullet you want out of lead then take that bullet to the jeweler and let them make bullets to match it.

murf
July 10, 2011, 06:27 PM
at least you won't have to worry about "gold poisoning" if you inhale the fumes! suggest 14 karat for a little harder bullet about the same density as lead. i guess you could get "nickel" poisoning, though.

murf

Hondo 60
July 10, 2011, 08:22 PM
If it were my gold??
No way I'd make bullets out of it! :eek:

But it ain't mine, so if you really wanna do that?
Go for it!

As posted above you'll need to watch the weight of the bullets & the charge weights.
A 125 gr gold bullet will be shorter than a 125 gr lead pill.

LightningMan
July 10, 2011, 10:39 PM
This is my take, I wouldn't make any gold bullets for SD, with that said I would like to see how a bullet made from gold would compare to a bullet made of lead of the same weight would perform in gel tests. You could still recover the gold after testing. I'm not sure but I think pure lead is softer than pure gold, but someone with knowledge or a brenell tester could tell. Still would be interesting to see the results. LM

dbarnhart
July 10, 2011, 10:43 PM
You could just gold-plate some standard lead bullets and no one would know the difference, not even the Chinese:

http://gold-quote.net/en/articles/fake-tungsten-gold-bars.php

o Unforgiven o
July 10, 2011, 10:51 PM
At $2646.36 for 6 bullets or just about $441.03 per shot, my official answer is go for it.

rfwobbly
July 10, 2011, 11:23 PM
Gold found in nature is alloyed with many other metals. So first off, you'd need to find out what those other things are to know how it would cast and/or shoot.

A far, far better plan would be to sell the gold you have while it's at an all time high price. You said yourself that finding it is fairly easy, so replacement is not a concern. Then take some of the thousands of dollars you'll have and get 6 copper plated bullets flash plated with gold.

There are specialty platers that do this type work. Look in the phone book. The thickness will be less than .001" so the cost is minimal. Then you can tell all your pals they're solid gold bullets. That way you'll have the bragging rights AND the cash in the bank!

Joe Demko
July 10, 2011, 11:48 PM
I used to help one of my grandfathers with his hobby of jewelry making. He worked much more with silver than with gold, so I'm going off limited experience here. If I was going to do this, I'd use the lost wax (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost-wax_casting) method to cast the gold slugs. Use lead slugs of the desired profile as your model.

I'd load the gold slugs, after I eventually produced them, into dummy cartridges to give as really valuable gifts, but it's your gold to use as you see fit.

gamestalker
July 11, 2011, 04:06 PM
Hey this wasn't a question concerning how I decide to use my gold that was found by me, but rather will it work for this application. If I had to use it in self defense to save my life, it then has earned a value greater than any precious metal could represent.
Regarding the conversation piece, I have company ove to my home anf often times it is others with a simular interest in guns and ammo. who would get a kick out of something like this.
And regarding the value of my own finds, it is only gold and only worth money. I place a value on monetary items that has a very different regard than what most might have for it. There is no amount of gold or other riches that will buy me salvation, therefore the quality of my life is not guaged
by a monetary value.
If a prosecutor got a hold of it he would actually be fighting a worldly perspective in that it must have been of absolute necesity to shoot, becuase that bullet was worth $100 or what ever the value is.

Sunray
July 11, 2011, 04:24 PM
You are kidding aren't you? You have a bit over 10 grand in gold and you're asking if it's any good for bullets?
"...Gold is about $1500 an ounce..." $1552.30US as of today. That is, of course, refined gold.

Six
July 11, 2011, 04:30 PM
If you really want to do it, I'd cast some bullets and keep with a display piece on the mantel. Your favorite single action revolver or lever action rifle maybe.

Heck, get the guns engraved and use some of the gold as inlays.

brickeyee
July 11, 2011, 05:26 PM
In melting any metal, a portion is lost as vapor.

with a melting point of 1337 K (1947 F) and a boiling point of 3129 K (5172 F) the vapor pressure is going to be minuscule.

You will not lose any significant amount to vapor.

Cast a cylinder and machine it.

Gold will fill a mold just fine, lost wax molds use a centrifuge to ensure mold filling for relatively complicated shapes.

Neither aluminum molds (MP 1933 K) or iron molds (MP 1811 K) would stand up to molten gold at 1947 K.

Lost wax is done using plaster as the most common mold.

GLOOB
July 11, 2011, 05:31 PM
At $2646.36 for 6 bullets or just about $441.03 per shot, my official answer is go for it.
I couldn't agree more.

Chances of needing to use a gun in SD are slightly better than winning the lottery. And if you fire a cylinder of these to save your life, I don't think you'll care.

Chris Rock:
"Bullets should cost $10,000 each. When someone gets shot, you'd know they deserved it!"

Bovice
July 11, 2011, 05:44 PM
you know Montana Gold (a component bullet supplier) sells "gold" jacketed bullets, right?

I use them for my reloading, along with winchester primers. That's about as close to gold ammunition as you can get without really using gold, and having it usable in a practical sense.

"I wonder where you can find your gun, Monsieur Scaramanga... Your little golden gun..."

1SOW
July 12, 2011, 01:22 AM
re load data:

Shouldn't be a problem at all. Just cast a std .357 bullet "weight" with enough straight wall to seat it at the same seating depth of the std bullet. Whatever's left is the nose shape you choose.

Load two gold ones at the low end of the model bullets load range and same seating depth , then two up .3 grs, two more up .3 grs, etc. and you'll find the "Mother Load" easily somewhere within 10 test shots.

If you had to use them for SD, the coroner may say the bullets "couldn't be found".

Isn't this a great forum!

blarby
July 12, 2011, 01:41 AM
Great display pieces.

Functional, beautiful art is to be enjoyed wherever possible.

A great way to showcase the fruits of what sounds like a partial lifetimes "work" collecting.

Good show.

ADKWOODSMAN
July 12, 2011, 09:48 AM
I'de sell it, buy new guns and have some bullets gold plated for show!

ForumSurfer
July 12, 2011, 10:37 AM
Chances of needing to use a gun in SD are slightly better than winning the lottery. And if you fire a cylinder of these to save your life, I don't think you'll care.

True.

It is also true that lawyers are overpriced and expensive. Since the plan is to have them in case you need them, they may be better served as exposed reloads on a nice leather belt...or inside of a case marked "break in case of a sudden need of a lawyer or economic collapse."

:)

http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p188/johnnnyhgmail/RossCowboyAccessoriesPagePHOTO2.gif

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