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Old February 4, 2013, 10:05 PM   #1
chris in va
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Zinc...and pennies?

Canada just cancelled their penny.

At some point in the near future, lead is going to get scarce for casting. I've certainly seen a reduction in WW availability. The EPA has made it clear for years they want to ban lead in all forms.

The somewhat obvious answer is casting zinc bullets. Right now the .gov spends 2.4 cents per penny, which leads me to believe the cent might be a cost effective source of zinc, being 97% made of the metal.

Bottom line, would it be prudent to keep pennies for future use? Zinc is only going up in price.
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Old February 4, 2013, 10:11 PM   #2
smokin54
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Zinc is not a good choice for casting , hoard the lead
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Old February 4, 2013, 10:20 PM   #3
chris in va
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I would, if there was any to hoard. A guy the next town over saw this coming a couple years ago and confiscated every wheelweight within a 20 mile radius from all the tire stores. Now the stores aren't allowed to sell the weights, the EPA has mandated they turn them in to a recycler.
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Old February 4, 2013, 11:02 PM   #4
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Call the recycler and see if they would sell you some scrap lead. They might be open to it but you'll end up paying more than scrap price for it. Worst case scenario you can buy it off e-bay but that might be a bit pricey.

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Old February 5, 2013, 02:14 AM   #5
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What have we become

I don't want to live to see the day a government agency says we can't shoot lead out of our guns. Being a young man, intent on pursuing a career in firearms, seeing the United States head the direction we are in makes me doubt the security of my future. It scares the heck out of me folks. All I want to do is make guns and shoot them. Now it seems there are many people that want to take that away from me.

But to answer your question, I don't believe it's worth your time to save pennies. Not only would pure zinc bullets be a terrible product, but it would be a federal offense to melt down currency.
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Old February 5, 2013, 02:40 AM   #6
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Thread reminds me of that time when we made zinc coated pennies in Chemistry class and then put them over the bunsen burner and turned them into brass pennies.
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Old February 5, 2013, 07:49 AM   #7
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Alex...

To Deface / destroy US Tender is a federal crime

Quick.. Arrest all those trains, as they have killed pennies
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Old February 5, 2013, 09:14 AM   #8
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I'll move this thread to the cast bullet forum.
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Old February 5, 2013, 09:31 AM   #9
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Is there a "Bad Humor" section ? that seems more appropriate
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Old February 5, 2013, 09:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adamc View Post
Alex...

To Deface / destroy US Tender is a federal crime

Quick.. Arrest all those trains, as they have killed pennies
False. http://www.coinflation.com/is_it_ill...elt_coins.html

Sent via teletype
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Old February 5, 2013, 10:18 AM   #11
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Defacing/destroying US currency is only illegal if you have "fraudulent intent".

When I was a banker, I'd have people all the time walking up to the counter with 20s and say "Can you break that for me?"

For my more known, regulars, I'd say "Sure!", tear it in half and hand it back. The looks were priceless!

Once had a guy about 2 back in line flip out when he saw it. he told me he just witnesses a felony and was calling the FBI.

Anyway, zinc makes bad bullets, legal or otherwise. Not to mention, you think 1c each penny is cheap... imagine how many pennies it would take to make a typical bullet. You'd be better off, by far I imagine, to buy regular, jacketed bullets.
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Old February 5, 2013, 01:42 PM   #12
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Why is the EPA so against lead? It seems like anyone inexperienced with lead thinks that you will be instantly poisoned. Even though it takes years and years and years of buildup to start showing effects. You can wear lead jewelry and use lead silverware for decades and be completely fine.
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Old February 5, 2013, 07:14 PM   #13
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For the same reason they are against toilets that flush, light bulbs that provide light, etc.
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Old February 6, 2013, 11:47 AM   #14
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^^^^ Too FUNNY!!

That and our society is ate up with a bunch of DO GOODER RETARDS!!! Or at least they THINK they know whats good for everyone!
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Old February 6, 2013, 12:31 PM   #15
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I should mention that, though zinc can be cast by itself with practice, its density is only about 60% that of most casting alloys, so a zinc bullet cast in a current mold for a 230 grain lead .452" round nose bullets will come out weighing a little under 140 grains. That means the sectional density will be 40% lower, too, which means the ballistic coefficient will be 40% lower, too. Same will apply to all bullets cast in molds not made for zinc. This may not seem like a big deal for 7 yard ranges with handguns, but for a lot of rifle bullets it means they won't stabilize in existing rifling twist and the powders normally used will be too slow for them.
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Old February 6, 2013, 03:49 PM   #16
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Go to a plumbing supply house and buy pure lead.

The sky is not falling.
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Old February 11, 2013, 04:31 AM   #17
chris in va
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You can't use pure lead in handguns and modern rifles.
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Old February 11, 2013, 06:00 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris in va
You can't use pure lead in handguns
Sure you can, but it helps if you put a little tin in the mix to help the mold fill. Many of the bullets that the factories (Speer, Hornady, etc) sell are swaged lead and are very soft. Millions of those bullets are shot every year. I don't worry about alloying metal until I plan to drive the bullet over 1300 fps, which covers the bulk of my .38 special, 44 special, and .45 ACP loadings.

The most important part of shooting lead bullets in handguns and rifles is that the bullet fits the bore. In handguns especially, it's important that the bullet be soft enough to obdurate under pressure.
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Old February 11, 2013, 07:58 AM   #19
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"You can't use pure lead in handguns and modern rifles"

True, but you can use the pure lead to make a great alloy.

95:2.5:2.5
lead/Antimony/Tin

And there are many, many others. the tin and antimony are available at rotometals.
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Old February 11, 2013, 12:48 PM   #20
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As PawPaw said, many pure and near pure lead bullets (swaged bullets usually have a percent or two of antimony anymore) get shot all the time. You just can't go for much pressure and velocity with them. There are several theories of optimum hardness of the bullet for the peak pressure of the load. For BHN 4.5 (pure lead) you generally want loads in black powder pressure ranges, and lower ones at that. But many light target loads qualify.
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Last edited by Unclenick; February 11, 2013 at 12:53 PM.
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Old February 12, 2013, 11:41 PM   #21
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I came across this company while I was looking for some Zinc for another project. I'm not sure about pricing, however they have lead in stock and ready for sale.

http://www.rotometals.com/Bullet-Casting-Alloys-s/5.htm
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Old February 13, 2013, 05:55 PM   #22
chris in va
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Quote:
Many of the bullets that the factories (Speer, Hornady, etc) sell are swaged lead and are very soft.
Those are swaged cores inside a jacket. The lead doesn't touch the rifling.
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Old February 13, 2013, 09:49 PM   #23
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Many popular handgun bullets are swaged pure lead, loaded and fired many thousands of HBWC's from my friends in Ruleville, MS.
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Old February 14, 2013, 12:21 PM   #24
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Chris,

It's true that cores are swaged, but so are whole bullets. Take a look at the gray bullets on this Hornady list, or at the Corbin bullet swaging site, here.


TXGunnut,

They aren't all pure lead. Hornady or Speer used to claim theres had a couple of percent Antimony. Corbin sells pure lead wire, but he also has a calculator for figuring pressure for swaging different alloys up to about BHN 8-10.
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Old February 14, 2013, 10:17 PM   #25
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Would 45 acp have a low enough pressure to fire pure lead without problems? I couldn't imagine doing so in 9mm.
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