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Old July 3, 2013, 04:00 PM   #1
etcher1
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? about zinc

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.
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Old July 3, 2013, 05:18 PM   #2
Mike / Tx
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Well I am not going to say it can't be done, but I doubt seriously you can with out screwing up your mold trying.

The biggest hurdle will be getting any of it to fill out properly. Then not to mention what it might do to a nice mold.

For a better answer you might look over on Castboolits.com. I know there was one or two fellas pouring it up somehow.
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Old July 3, 2013, 06:03 PM   #3
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from my research.....

It's gotta have some aluminum in it to fill properly. Pull tabs, soda cans and aluminum foil will work. You don't get up to the melting point of AL, but it rather "dissolves", than melts, into the alloy. It's harder (not impossible) to do with an aluminum mold (since zinc does dissolve aluminum), because you gotta work pretty hot and risk soldering your mold closed. It also helps to enlarge the sprue holes to make it easier to get lots of zinc in there while it's still hot. Remember too, the sprue is gonna be lots harder to cut. When you do get the bullets, if you managed to get the voids and wrinkles out..... they will be an oddball weight and so you'll have to make up your own load data. Also, they will be at 30+ bhn and won't grip the rifling, so you won't gain any meaningful practice from shooting them. Trade it to ShadyGrady for lead. He'll trade even and you can keep enjoying lead.
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Old July 4, 2013, 11:11 AM   #4
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Lead melts @ 621° and zinc melts @ 787°. So it is doable but I would not expect good fill out. By the way aluminum alloy melts @ 865°-1240°. Depending on the alloy of an aluminum mould you could get the mould soft enough to deform.
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Old July 4, 2013, 07:15 PM   #5
m&p45acp10+1
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It can be done. A poster here sowed pics that he had done it. The end result is not worth the time, and effort. Much less the wear on the barrel of the gun. If you get zinc into a bullet mold from what I have read, and heard it will never work well with lead again.

If you do so make sure to use a disposable pot as well. You can decontaminate a pot. Though you will be sanding on it for a long time.
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Old July 5, 2013, 04:05 PM   #6
Old 454
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IS there a way to get Zinc out of lead ?

I have some lead that might have Zinc in it. No matter what temp I cast it at its frosted, all though you can wipe the frost off., and its hard to get the melt to cast good sharp edges on the lube grooves.
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Old July 7, 2013, 03:32 PM   #7
m&p45acp10+1
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Zinc does not make frosty bullets. Zinc contaminated alloy will look not quite all the way melted at 800 degrees or so. At 750 it looks chunky.
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Old July 8, 2013, 06:52 PM   #8
Mike / Tx
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Quote:
I have some lead that might have Zinc in it. No matter what temp I cast it at its frosted, all though you can wipe the frost off., and its hard to get the melt to cast good sharp edges on the lube grooves.
You can test for zinc in your alloy using a common cleaner that has muratic acid in it like toilet bowl cleaner or similar, or if you have a pool then straight muratic acid used for it. Just put a few drops on it in a central area and let it stand for several minutes. If it fizzes or bubbles up you have zinc in your lead. If you see nothing your good.

You might however add in about 6-10" of 95-5 solder to 10# of it and see how that does for you. Sounds like your just a bit deficient in the tin dept there.

Try and keep your pour temp in the 675 - 750 range and you should see the frosting subside.
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Old July 8, 2013, 08:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
I have some lead that might have Zinc in it. No matter what temp I cast it at its frosted, all though you can wipe the frost off., and its hard to get the melt to cast good sharp edges on the lube grooves.
It may not be zinc, but another contaminate. I once melted a bunch of then-new maintenance-free batteries from which I could not get good bullets. The bullets would show that the mold had filled alright, but the bullets would slump away from the wall of mold before it was completely solid. A few years later I read about how maintenance-free batteries contained calcium and would contaminate lead alloys, making it unusable for bullet casting. As I remember (it was in the '70's), they had a frosted appearance. I attempted to dilute the alloy enough to get usable bullets but wasted a lot of good lead as I remember. I think that I may have sold that alloy to a junk yard to get rid of it.
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Old July 9, 2013, 04:32 PM   #10
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Ya I am thinking I am going to the scrap yard with it. I was going to add a small amount of at a time to a clean melt, but it just makes bettor sence to take it to a scrap yard.
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Old July 10, 2013, 09:37 AM   #11
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You might try rousing your melt several times with sawdust to see if it pulls the impurities (whatever they may be) out of the melt. It's a cheap experiment and the only hassle is dealing with all the smoke. Leave it on the melt long enough to turn to charcoal to get the full affect and kind of stir it in and out of the melt to expose it to more metal.
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Old July 19, 2013, 12:45 PM   #12
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Now that this thread has run its course, and I apologize if it has not, I wish to add a historic aside relative to Zinc and Cast Bullets. Most here will not likely be old enough to remember the Lyman molds that had a bullet design shape somewhat like a collar button and the mold had a relief cut into the cavity for the purpose of holding a zinc washer, resulting in a bullet with a zinc washer infused around the circumference of the the bullet. As I remember it (being old, I can be wrong), the purpose of the zinc washer was to create and maintain distance between the lead of the bullet and the rifling so that the bullet would not lead the barrel. As I remember, even at that time, it had been dropped from the Lyman catalog and was likely from as early as the twenties to as late as the forties. Seems like it was only available for the .45 ACP.
Does anyone else remember that abomination?
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Old July 19, 2013, 12:54 PM   #13
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Yes I remember the "Harvey Bullet", and it worked too. There was a die company that made swaging dies for that bullet. The zinc washer was swaged onto the soft lead bullet and scraped the bore clean leaving a coating of zinc behind. The zinc helped prevent more leading.

As I have said it worked, fired full house 44 magnum loads from a TC Contender and there was only a few wisps of lead left behind that came out with one pass of a brush.
The problem was, pure lead bullets do not have any controlled expansion like a jacketed bullet has, they just open and flatten out when hitting something.
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