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Old July 12, 2011, 07:41 PM   #1
studman5578
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General Bullet Alloying Questions

I'm looking at the specs for hardball (2-6-92) on MidwayUSA (as a refference) and they quote percentages of metals on it. Is this percent by weight or by volume? I would guess by weight, but would like to be certain.

Second, I'm trying to find a local source for tin (ive allready given up on finding antimony locally) and I see that people use tin solder. I was at a home depot and a lowes today and didn't see anything about tin content on their soldering packages. Do I need to go to a more specialized store or do they call tin something different when it's used as a solder? Thanks.
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Old July 13, 2011, 12:20 AM   #2
res45
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The (2-6-92) simply means that that particular alloy Hardball has 2% Tin 6% Antimony and 92% lead content. Say if you wanted to make a 20 lb. batch of Hardball alloy your would use 4 ounces Tin,1 lb.2 ounces Antimony and 18 lbs. 4 ounces pure Lead if you want to be exact.

For Tin I use 65/35 bar solder which is 65% Tin 35% Lead I got mine form a retied plumber and it came in 1 lb. bars. That equals out to 10.4 ounces of Tin and 5.6 ounces of Lead per bar.

You can probably find bar solder at your local plumbing supply house,HVAC or you can buy a plain Tin bar form http://www.rotometals.com/Tin-Ingot-s/27.htm the stuff is kinda pricey though.
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Old July 13, 2011, 11:04 AM   #3
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Also check "Lead Free" solder. Contents will be listed on package, but mostly tin. http://josephjenkins.com/store/solder-bars/ I bought some bar solder here because locally it was way more costly. There are some vendor/sponsors at http://castboolits.gunloads.com/index.php that have tin, antimony, and lead.
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Old July 14, 2011, 07:49 AM   #4
studman5578
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So the percentages are by weight then?

I was looking at the lead-free solders an i couldn't find where it listed the materials in the solder. Maybe I wasn't looking hard enough. I'll try to get back out there next week and have another look.
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Old July 14, 2011, 08:01 AM   #5
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I notice that you're looking at .45 ball and I'm curious why you think they need to be hard? If you're shooting them through a .45 ACP, they're going slow enough that pure lead would suffice, with just enough tin to get good mold fill-out.

Folks shoot a lot of Hornady and Speer swaged ball and I doubt you'll find any softer lead than that. I cast bullets for .45 ACP from whatever scrap is laying around and save my hard alloy for calibers with more speed.

But, yeah, to answer your questions, the percentages are by weight.
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Old July 14, 2011, 09:13 AM   #6
Roger Ronas
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There are 16 oz in a lb.
20 lb batch x 16 oz = 320 oz.
So for Tin 320 x .02 = 6.4 oz
for Antimony 320 x .06 = 19.4 oz = 1 lb 3.4 oz
for Lead 320 x .92 = 294.4 oz = 18 lb 4 oz.

To be exact. Above posted numbers in another post are close enough to get that mix but I am anal and thought someone may enjoy the math to get it to a gnats a$$.
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Old July 14, 2011, 09:43 AM   #7
studman5578
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Pawpaw,

For the 45 Ball it is for the 45 ACP. I assumed that since the only time I've heard of pure lead being useful is for muzzleloaders, it needs to be hardened for just about anything else. I haven't gotten a BHN test kit yet (expensive for somebody such as myself) but I am very certain that it's pure and the hardness is around 6 or 7. Will this be OK?

To get a little more clear about the usefulness of a hard bullet, a hard bullet is for higher velocities. I also plan on loading 357 mag and using a GC for very hot loads, would I still need to harden the lead for use with a GC? and for 9mm and 38 SPL, without a check, a bullet with hardness of around 13 would be ideal correct? Thanks
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Old July 14, 2011, 10:26 AM   #8
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On the lead-free solders, usually tin is the only ingredient... sometimes a touch of silver is added. Tin is listed as "Sn", and silver is listed as "Ag", or sometimes "Sil". So you will usually see something like "Sn 98% Sil 2%" on the label.
Silver will not hurt your bullet alloy at all... the Lone Ranger HIGHLY recommends it. As a bonus, you'll be prepared for any vampire or werewolf attacks. Zombies? You're on your own
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Old July 14, 2011, 10:38 AM   #9
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95% tin / 5% antimony is a popular solder alloy.

Wheel weights are a good source of hard lead of unknown composition (but watch out for zinc weights)

Shotgun shot is hard antimonial lead with a touch of arsenic and no tin at all. "Magnum" shot has twice the antimony of chilled shot.
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