The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting > Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old October 13, 2012, 10:17 PM   #1
steve4102
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 23, 2005
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 2,184
Zinc in Lead

I just purchased a bunch of WW ingots on-line for a pretty good price. I'm new to casting and could use some help.
How can I tell if these have Zinc present? What do I look for when I melt these ingots as far as Zinc and other unwanteds?

Thanks
steve4102 is offline  
Old October 13, 2012, 11:07 PM   #2
dahermit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2006
Location: South Central Michigan...near Ohio, Indiana.
Posts: 3,505
You may not be able to tell if Zinc is present while it is in the ingot form. However, a contaminated (Zinc, Calcium from maintenance free batteries, etc.), will cast a bullet that will fill the mold but as it cools, it will shrink away from the side of the mold and will drop from the mold distorted. The proof is in the casting.
__________________
Sometimes you get what you pay for, sometimes you only pay more for what you get.
Three shots are not a "group"...they are a "few".

If the Bible is the literal, infallible, unerring word of God...where are all those witches I am supposed to kill?
dahermit is offline  
Old October 13, 2012, 11:12 PM   #3
steve4102
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 23, 2005
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 2,184
So, not much to look for in the pot, bad lead will show up in the bullet casting.

Thanks
steve4102 is offline  
Old October 14, 2012, 12:10 AM   #4
sidewindr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 4, 2011
Location: somewhere out there
Posts: 101
put a few drops of Muratic acid(not spelled right I know), or some drain cleaners, they will fizz with zinc but not lead.
How do you feel there is zinc present?
sidewindr is offline  
Old October 14, 2012, 08:28 AM   #5
steve4102
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 23, 2005
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 2,184
I don't really. The guy I bought the ingots from said they were 100% WW. I was just wondering if there was a a way to tell if he happened to melt some Zinc WW into his ingots by mistake.

He has more for sale and told me to give him a call if I liked them and wanted more. Don't want to order more until I know if I like them.

Thanks
steve4102 is offline  
Old October 14, 2012, 10:39 AM   #6
sidewindr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 4, 2011
Location: somewhere out there
Posts: 101
Ya, there are a lot of good sources of ww and a few that don't bother with temperature or seperating out the bad. I've had nothing but good stuff when I've boughten it. I would say melt a couple lbs of it and watch the temp that it melts at, if it is around 600-650F and all melted without "oatmeal" like slug on top(zinc doesn't melt till 800F so it will kind of seperate out and form a slug ). If it is all melted, other than maybe some normal oxides on top(no thick junk) it should be the good stuff. Cast a few and see if the bullets get all rough and chunky, or smooth(as long as the mold is hot enough or preheated) and well filled out.
sidewindr is offline  
Old October 15, 2012, 03:44 PM   #7
dickttx
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 29, 2011
Location: Fort Worth
Posts: 474
Sidewinder, if the slugs are present can they be skimmed off to make the lead usable?
__________________
Education teaches you the rules, experience teaches you the exceptions (Plagiarized from Claude Clay)
dickttx is offline  
Old October 15, 2012, 04:15 PM   #8
Chaz88
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 4, 2010
Posts: 1,004
I normally melt the WW myself. Normally I can separate the zinc WW before melting. If one slips by I just scoop it off with the slag because they float and melt at a higher temperature. Unless the zink has alloyed with something in your lead I think it would separate and could be scooped off the top with the other sludge. When I melt my WW ingots in the casting pot I also add pure lead and flux the mixture to get the hardness I want and scoop off any slag that forms.
__________________
Seams like once we the people give what, at the time, seams like a reasonable inch and "they" take the unreasonable mile we can only get that mile back one inch at a time.

No spelun and grammar is not my specialty. So please don't hurt my sensitive little feelings by teasing me about it.
Chaz88 is offline  
Old October 15, 2012, 04:49 PM   #9
zxcvbob
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2007
Location: S.E. Minnesota
Posts: 4,165
If the zinc has dissolved and alloyed into the lead, the lead will cast about like oatmeal. You will know. Supposedly the zinc can be removed by fluxing with sulfur (think about that for a minute) but I don't know. That would be really unpleasant to try.
__________________
"The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun"
zxcvbob is offline  
Old October 15, 2012, 09:00 PM   #10
sidewindr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 4, 2011
Location: somewhere out there
Posts: 101
I meant to say sludge not slugs, as stated above it would turn into an "oatmeal" you'll know it, there's no mistaking it. Unless the ww were melted at a high temperature the zinc just floats and can be scooped out. Most know this and the risk of it being there is low, but some don't.They usually are those that don't cast themselves.
I have some good scrapyards nearby and I smelt my own now also, I use my thermometer and never get any hotter than 650F, even down to 575F. I can seperate certain brands of ww that have higher pure lead %
because they will not melt until around 630F , so they'll float also,they are not zinc. I now have a couple piles of ingots that are sperated by ww brand( most ww have a stamp or pattern on them so it's easy to sort them out) ,some are older and have higher antimony and tin. Someday I plan to do some testing to see just what the difference really is.
If zinc is mixed in, skimming the oatmeal can get some of it out, how much I don't know( a small % of zinc is usable as bullets) but to get good clean lead requires powdered sulfur mixed in outdoors and downwind. It is doable, but not something I'm interested in. I would just find something else .to cast out of the mixture(heating it high enough to fully melt the zinc).

Last edited by sidewindr; October 15, 2012 at 09:11 PM.
sidewindr is offline  
Old October 15, 2012, 09:16 PM   #11
dickttx
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 29, 2011
Location: Fort Worth
Posts: 474
Thanks for the info. Did a little casting 40+ years ago and I am accumulating equipment and lead to start again. Used a Coleman stove, a 10# lead pot, a dipper, and a single cavity 250gn 45 Colt Lee mold, then pan lubed.
I just acquired a Lee bottom pour pot and a couple of two cavity molds. I have about 20# of linotype and 20# of Lyman #2 from back then. Recently acquired some range lead ingots from our club and have been raking the pond dam where I shoot at the farm for range lead.
When the weather cools off and I get things all together I am looking forward to trying again.
__________________
Education teaches you the rules, experience teaches you the exceptions (Plagiarized from Claude Clay)
dickttx is offline  
Old October 15, 2012, 09:43 PM   #12
zxcvbob
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2007
Location: S.E. Minnesota
Posts: 4,165
If you heat the scrap lead too fast, you can have some zinc trapped at the bottom where it melts before the lead on top melts. Don't ask me how I know this.

On an unrelated topic, I had about 7 pounds of zinc-contaminated lead on my bench, mocking me. I probably should have thrown it out, but I can't throw anything out (you'd think I was raised during The Depression.) So I cast a bunch of silver dollar sized ingots, and I can put one or two of those in a 20# batch of lead without hurting anything. Three would be pushing my luck. I've used up a couple of pounds of the stuff that way.
__________________
"The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun"
zxcvbob is offline  
Old October 18, 2012, 08:35 PM   #13
GP100man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 1, 2007
Location: Tabor City , NC.
Posts: 1,917
Oopps.
__________________
GP100man
GP100man is offline  
Old October 18, 2012, 08:37 PM   #14
GP100man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 1, 2007
Location: Tabor City , NC.
Posts: 1,917
Melt some & pour in a normal manner if there`s more than 2-4% zinc you`ll know trust me !!

The mold will not fill out ,no matter what !!

Keep it all seperate from known good alloy until ya know.
__________________
GP100man
GP100man is offline  
Old October 18, 2012, 09:10 PM   #15
teeroux
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 12, 2006
Posts: 1,492
Lead weights thud when droped on concrete. Zinc pings. Zinc also melts at a higher temp. If a large group of weights melt down to good liquid state and there are still weights floating those are the zinc ones. Just scoop em out before they melt and your good to go. I do this every time and have had no problems. I don't even try to cull them out anymore.
teeroux is offline  
Old October 20, 2012, 10:17 AM   #16
m&p45acp10+1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 3, 2009
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 3,307
If they are already ingots then use a casting thermometer, if it looks chunky, or soupy at 700 degrees then it more than likely is contaminated with zinc. Also if you are not getting proper fill out no matter what you do chances are it has zinc.
__________________
No matter how many times you do it and nothing happens it only takes something going wrong one time to kill you.
m&p45acp10+1 is offline  
Old October 22, 2012, 10:37 PM   #17
steve4102
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 23, 2005
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 2,184
Thanks guys. I cast a few 10MM bullets and everything seemed OK. Molds filled nicely, no sag, and all is well.

Thanks
steve4102 is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:40 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.10671 seconds with 9 queries