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ZINC and BISMUTH bullets, anybody shooting them?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Onty, May 8, 2005.

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  1. Onty

    Onty Member

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    Had discussion with friends regarding substitute for lead bullets. We hate to admit, but anti-lead paranoia is a reality. Looks like that we should be ready for alternative metals in case things are going to worsen. Since those two metals are lighter than lead (zinc 65% and bismuth about 88% of lead), anybody experimented with those metals? I am aware of brass and copper bullets, but I mentioned zinc and bismuth because their melting temperatures (lead 601 K, zinc 699 K, bismuth 544 K) are close enough so they could be cast. I’ve heard some folks cast zinc bullets, but never about bismuth ones.

    BTW, how much is per pound lead shot, and how much is bismuth one.

    Any info? Thanks, Onty.
     
  2. mete

    mete Member

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    Zinc bullets are not a new idea, someone was working on that back in the 1930s. DIY casting of zinc is not a good idea since zinc is very volatile and zinc fumes are toxic....Copper bullets like those made by Barnes and factory loaded by Corbon etc have been very successful.
     
  3. Bwana John

    Bwana John Member

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    Are you sure? Pb is atomic number 82 with a atomic weight of 207.2, and Bi is atomic number 83 with a atomic weight of 208.98. Do we actually shoot the element Bi, or just a compond or alloy that contains Bi?
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2005
  4. Third_Rail

    Third_Rail Member

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    Bismuth is much more expensive than lead. 8# costs something like $65.
     
  5. RyanM

    RyanM Member

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    Atomic weight and number don't matter worth crap. Gold is number 79 and has an atomic weight of 196.97, and it's 69% more dense than lead. Radon is number 86 and has an atomic weight of 222, and has a density 1/1165 that of lead. That's 0.0858%.


    Oh, crap, I can't believe I accidentally replied to an ancient thread when I forgot I was doing a search for something completely unrelated.
     
  6. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    Anyone for gold bullets???:D
     
  7. Lloyd Smale

    Lloyd Smale Member

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    fooled with zinc a few years ago. Contrary to what people will tell you if you play around enough you can make good lookin bullets out of it. Never had much luck with accuracy out of them though.
     
  8. bakert

    bakert Member

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    Well The Lone Ranger used them!!:D
     
  9. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    No he didn't, Bakert. He used silver bullets. I'm old enough to remember...:D
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2006
  10. bakert

    bakert Member

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    Dang, so am I But my memory aint as good!:uhoh:
     
  11. ~z

    ~z Member

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    Buddy of mine tinkered with zinc years back, cant remember much about it, shy of the fact that he was getting outrageous velicities and poor accuracy. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 4,400fps out of a 24" .308 I do not remember bullet weight. I dont recall if he cast or turned them, my guess would be turned as he was a machinist. Anyone else have experience w/zinc?
    ~z
     
  12. grendelbane

    grendelbane Member

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    I still have several .38 and .45 zinc semi-wadcutters from a couple of years ago. I think that they are still produced, though I seldom ever see them adverized any more.

    They were ok for short range target practice, weight was low, and velocity could be pushed very high. Accuracy was fairly modest in most of the guns I tried it in.

    Forget about expansion, and I suspect that you can forget about penetration of large animals. Seems like they do a good job on penetrating sheet metal.

    If you could get nothing else, they would have to suffice, but as long as I have lead bullets I will load them when economy is required.
     
  13. Alexeyneu

    Alexeyneu Member

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    "Zink fumes are toxic"
    Not true as we talkin about meltin zinc not zinc-plated staff
    "Molten pure zinc does not cause health problems beyond the obvious burns if you pour it over yourself.

    There are two main paths that lead people to think zinc casting constitutes a health hazard: Welding of galvanized (zinc-plated) steel, and casting of brass (a copper-zinc alloy). Both of these activities can make you sick from inhalation of zinc oxide fumes, so people's concern about zinc casting is not entirely unfounded. But these activities differ in important ways from casting pure zinc."

    from http://periodictable.com/ZincSafety.html
     
  14. Alexeyneu

    Alexeyneu Member

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    Zinc fumes are toxic?
    "Since my Popular Science article about zinc casting came out in August, 2003, I've received several questions about whether casting zinc is really safe, and several people have told me it is not, including a respected chemistry professor who called me "stupid" for recommending zinc as a casting metal, on the grounds that using it would cause serious heath problems.

    This is, however, not the case: Molten pure zinc does not cause health problems beyond the obvious burns if you pour it over yourself.

    There are two main paths that lead people to think zinc casting constitutes a health hazard: Welding of galvanized (zinc-plated) steel, and casting of brass (a copper-zinc alloy). Both of these activities can make you sick from inhalation of zinc oxide fumes, so people's concern about zinc casting is not entirely unfounded. But these activities differ in important ways from casting pure zinc."

    from http://periodictable.com/ZincSafety.html
     
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