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Old November 12, 2009, 05:26 PM   #1
reloader28
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Soft nosed bullets

I want to test some soft nosed cast bullets. I want only the nose pure lead and the rest hard. I know how to do it, and have done it with different alloy, but not sure about making the new batch of lead. I got some water pipe from my uncle and made a few ingots from it but I want it as soft as possible. I will use my normal mix for the base. The question is this. To make it purely soft, do I skim without fluxing or stir than skim or what? I just basically want the nose ( or front 1/3rd ) lead as soft as I can get it.
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Old November 12, 2009, 08:08 PM   #2
trip_sticker
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If I was going to make a soft point hard base bullet I'd probably just drop a .32 cal lead ball on the mold and melt that in for the point. That would ensure pure lead and consistant weight.

I don't think that fluxing would make a difference on the alloy. Skim off the dross that floats, add your wax and stir then skim again. Shouldn't really make much difference in alloy composition.
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Old November 13, 2009, 09:39 AM   #3
reloader28
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Thanks.... Toyed with with the lead balls idea, but thought I would play around with this instead. I didnt see a thread about it anywhere unless I missed it. Think I'll just skim a couple times and than flux it.
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Old November 13, 2009, 12:56 PM   #4
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RL28, you have probably heard the myth that lead alloys separate when melted. That is wrong! Once tin, and antimony are mixed it forms a true alloy, the elements form a true mixture. They cannot be separated once mixed.

Some will tell you all you have to do is melt the alloy, let it sit, the tin and antimony will "float" to the surface, you can then skim it off, leaving pure lead. The theory goes that the antimony and tin, being lighter separate and float out. No, since a mixture will stay mixed.

Your water pipe is most likely pure lead, with possibly ½ percent tin to make it flow better when the pipe was made. Flux it good to remove dirt and crud, you'll be fine.

As for your soft nosed bullets, that's been tried time and again. There was even a mold set that made the bullet in two parts, then the nose was GLUED to the harder base! Another method was to measure a certain weight of molten pure lead into a mold, then while still hot, pour the mold full of the harder base metal. It would seem to me to be a lot of trouble to get it right, also your production rate would be awful low.

I experimented with a hollow pointed Lyman mold for a 255 SWC .452 mold to be fired in my Ruger blackhawk 45 long colt. I cast them from the purest lead I could find. Lubed with 50-50 alox, I could push them close to 44 mag velocities, without leading, and reasonable accuracy. Then, shot into wet newsprint, they expanded similar to a hollow point jacketed bullet. I no longer have that Ruger, but still have the mold.
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Old November 13, 2009, 02:20 PM   #5
reloader28
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Snuffy... thanks for the info. I thought it would just float to the top and you could skim it off. You explaned basically the way I made them before except when I put the nose lead in I let it harden. Then added the base material and let it harden. Then heated the mold till it liquified to fuse it,and carefully removed it from the heat to harden again. It is very time consuming but I didnt have nothing else to do at the time. I just get a kick from making something myself......Thanks again for the information................PS. Another question please? An after thought. If it stays a mix, what exactly have I been fluxing all this time? Is it just to clean the alloy?

Last edited by reloader28; November 13, 2009 at 02:28 PM.
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Old November 13, 2009, 03:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Another question please? An after thought. If it stays a mix, what exactly have I been fluxing all this time? Is it just to clean the alloy?
The surface of any lead alloy that's in a molten state, oxidizes from contact with the atmosphere, or the oxygen in the air. Fluxing re-combines some of those oxides to their metallic state. It also makes the lead more fluid, which allows the dirt to float out to be skimmed off.

I left out one thing in my explanation of alloys. The tin in an alloy oxidizes more readily than the lead or antimony. So in a sense, the tin is more present by percentage, in the film you see forming on the surface of the melt.

Some put a barrier on the surface of a bottom pour pot. Kitty litter is dichotomous (SP?) clay. It prevents air from being in direct contact with the melt, so it prevents loss of the tin from the alloy through oxidization.
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Old November 13, 2009, 05:58 PM   #7
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Thank you much.
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