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? about zinc

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by etcher1, Jul 3, 2013.

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  1. etcher1

    etcher1 Member

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    Can you cast zinc ww in an aluminum mold? If so would they be good enough for dummy rounds? Don't want to ruin any molds.

    Was just a thought as not to waste good cast boolits for dummy rounds.
     
  2. JohnM

    JohnM Member

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    Don't even mess with it in your casting equipment.
    If you're getting a lot with your wheel weights, save it in a bucket and see if you can peddle it back to a scrap yard.
     
  3. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    ^ That or advertise it for sale. Some guys use it for cannon balls so I hear. There was a guy on the castboolits site that would trade you straight up lead for zinc. Don't know if hes still doing it or not.
     
  4. wgaynor

    wgaynor Member

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    It is possible to cast zinc projectiles. The problem is that zinc weighs different than lead, so the bullet weight will be off. This will throw off your load data.

    Plus, zinc is alot harder than lead. The base of a zinc bullet will probably not deform and seal the bore under pressure.

    My biggest question would be, do you use jacketed load data or lead load data?

    I've been kicking the idea of zinc bullets in my head for a while. I have spare equipment that was given to me, so I would be out nothing to try it... Might have to do this the next time I'm off.

    If you do this, please PM me and let me know how it went.
     
  5. wgaynor

    wgaynor Member

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    Sent you a PM with a link of this being done succesfully. Won't post it for all to see out of respect (different forum).
     
  6. Reefinmike

    Reefinmike Member

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    hmm, got me thinking some zinc 38's would be fun to play with, I have a few pounds of zinc i set aside and a pretty close to trashed 158gr two banger.
     
  7. wgaynor

    wgaynor Member

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    It also makes good fishing weights
     
  8. Rottweiler

    Rottweiler Member

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    The guy on castboolits.com is ShadyGrady.

    Yes he is still swapping zinc for lead. even trade pound for pound.

    I just swapped 80 pounds of zinc to him last week
     
  9. Thompsoncustom

    Thompsoncustom Member

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    It's not that big of deal to cast zinc tho operating temp is hotting and can destory your aluminum mold as I have wreck one so far doing it. The lee 124gr bullets for me dropped at 80grs in my zinc/alum alloy and the lee 102gr drop at 60grs.

    I haven't done a ton of testing but the fastest i've been able to push the 60gr so far is just over 1700fps.

    Here is a pic of a recovered 80gr zinc round.

    Picture2005.jpg
     
  10. JohnM

    JohnM Member

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    My main question is:
    Why bother?
    Zinc in our smelting pots is junk and will ruin a batch if heated enough to melt in.
    Trying to cast it will ruin a good aluminum mold.
    How do you size the things if you get some?
    What do you do for a lube.
    What do they leave in a barrel?
    They're too hard for the powder to obturate the bullet and seal the bore.
    Again, why?
     
  11. zdc1775

    zdc1775 Member

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    Please re read the highlighted portions.
     
  12. Thompsoncustom

    Thompsoncustom Member

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    Why not just clean it out? and it can also be fluxed out of lead with sulfur.

    Not true as long as you do it right it should not hurt the mold even aluminum. Heat and alloy will determine the stress on the mold.

    Same way you size lead bullets.

    No need.

    Nothing.

    Why not? Only reason I started doing it was to see if it could be done but other possible reasons could be faster bullets or better barrier penetration. A 60gr 9mm will leave a dent in 3/8in soft steel.
     
  13. JohnM

    JohnM Member

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    I'll continue to scoop out zinc weights when they float to the top in my smelting pot with the rest of the junk and chuck it all in the scrap bucket.
     
  14. wgaynor

    wgaynor Member

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    I like the idea of casting zinc bullets. People are finding that lead can be more expensive. I bet you can get zinc for cheap.

    Funny how people view themselves as being open minded until they are approached with a new idea.
     
  15. oldandslow

    oldandslow Member

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    etcher, 7/5/13

    There are some folks over at the castboolits forum (www.castboolits.gunloads.com) who have worked with zinc bullets. If you use google and type in "turbo 1889 zinc" it will get you into one thread. If you do a search over there it will bring up others. I've tried blending zinc in a 1% ratio to a lead and antimony alloy but couldn't get it to blend into the mix at the max temp my mold would go (850 degrees). Some folks have mentioned it as a way to toughen the alloy to shoot higher velocities (the other way is blending in copper). Good luck.

    best wishes- oldandslow
     
  16. wgaynor

    wgaynor Member

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    After reading on the castboolit forum, I believe that a zinc alloy would make a great plinking bullet for rifles. Leading and lubing would not be an issue. Plus, most rifles have a better selection of load data for lighter bullets.
     
  17. JohnM

    JohnM Member

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    After you actually cast and shoot some zinc, then come back and tell us how great it is compared to lead. :banghead:
     
  18. wgaynor

    wgaynor Member

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    How about you look at the others results that have succesfully done it and then make an educated comment.
     
  19. wgaynor

    wgaynor Member

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  20. dragon813gt

    dragon813gt Member

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    A high copper content is a better option. Zinc kills fill out when mixed w/ lead. The thing about the copper alloys is that you want zinc in your alloy to start. The copper replaces the zinc. The threads on this subject are very interesting.

    Zinc is to light for all practical purposes. If it's pure zinc you will be able to cast it. If it's in a lead alloy good luck. It takes very little zinc to ruin a pot of lead.


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  21. wgaynor

    wgaynor Member

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    I've been reading that adding aluminum to the zinc would work also.

    I'm a tinkerer and like to figure things out. This might be a worthy project.
     
  22. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I had an OLD A.R. article on zinc bullets.
    They used an undersize .30 mold, then regularly available from Lyman, so as to not have to size down the hard bullets. They melted fresh Zamak die casting zinc in a clean pot.
    They loaded the bullets as cast, no sizing, no lube, to full power .30-06.
    Accuracy was about as good as hardball, penetration in wood was about like AP, although of course metal penetration wasn't.

    Early days of worries about lead pollution on indoor ranges, there was a line of commercial zinc pistol bullets.

    Don't use an aluminum mold. The DIY aluminum "welding" process is zinc based.
     
  23. JohnM

    JohnM Member

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    Zinc for bullets has been debunked constantly over the years, yet every now and then some one will think they've found a new holy grail.
    Wanna try it?, have at it, but remember also at the temperatures needed zinc is some dangerous stuff to be around.
     
  24. Thompsoncustom

    Thompsoncustom Member

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    What do you mean debunked? Zinc bullets work fine.

    I think one of the biggest problems is people don't know anything about them only what they may have read here or there and a fewer amount have tried to cast them. I'm not saying there as nice as lead to cast but it can be done with great success just more time consuming.

    This is the only way I cast zinc, Adding alum to zinc is like adding tin to lead it really improves fill out. The most interesting thing about adding alum to zinc is that it doesn't melt but dissolves like salt does in water. This is also the reason temp and alloy determine the stress on the mold. After the zinc is molten and just high enough temp to cast the best thing I have found is to add alum till it's no long soluble that way the zinc won't attack your mold and heat is the only thing you have to worry about.

    If you have the heat to do it you can also increase the strength of your alloy by 20% by adding 3 percent copper but it also should slightly raise the melting point of the alloy after you get it melted in. I have yet to test this but the next batch of zinc I cast will be something close to 3%copper,4%-6%aluminum,and the rest Zinc.
     
  25. stevehenry1

    stevehenry1 Member

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    Is zinc safe???

    :confused: I may be wrong, but aren't zinc fumes toxic?? Seems like i remember reading that when welding on galvanized metal (which means zinc plated) you were supposed to wear a welding helmet that piped in air to keep the zinc fumes away from being inhaled.
     
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