View Full Version : New guy with alloy questions

D Thomson
June 9, 2010, 04:11 AM
I'm new to this site, and it seems to be a good one. I've been hand loading off and on for several years 22 Hornet, 38/357, and 44 mag. Also I have started playing with some 30 and 357 Herrett loads in aTC Contender, 14 bull barrels. I purchased, at a local auction, about 400# of what appears to be pure lead, all in factory cast ingots. My question concern alloy. How much tin and how much antimony? Tin sounds easy enough to mix in, antimony doesn't. Do I need antimony and where can I purchase it? Any and all input is readly accepted.

June 9, 2010, 05:57 AM

After finding , shippin ,then smeltin to clean it up I think we are $$ ahead to order it from Rotometals

They have all the blends we as casters will ever need & wheel weight sources are gettin fewer by the day!!!


June 9, 2010, 07:13 AM
Welcome to the form, with un known alloy content on what you are starting out with is your main problem, If you know a local caster, he could give you a starting point, a lot has to do with what you intend to cast, Mid-range pistol, if these ingots where cast from Wheel weights would be ok as they are, a test I do when looking for pure lead, if you can scratch it with your thumb nail, its close to pure lead, and will need to be hardened up some, for everything but Muzzle loader and shotgun slugs, if starting out in casting, I would strongly suggest getting a copy of the Lyman cast bullet book. If you cannot find someone locally to test your lead and want to PM me, you can send me a few slugs, I could test the Hardness to give you a starting point. If you do don’t do like one guy and send me a five pound box of bullets, I can average the hardness with 6 or 8 slugs.

June 9, 2010, 08:59 AM
If it were me, I'd swap across with the muzzle loader crowd. They (we, I suppose, since I've gone back to black) are always looking for the pure lead. A swap straight across pound for pound for clean WW alloy will get you a good alloy to start and them the pure lead for RB's. It would be cheaper for some flat-rate boxes than a tin/antimony bar to alloy with too.

Just my 2-cents.

June 9, 2010, 09:09 AM
Before you get discouraged by the above posts, check out the information and the alloy of anitmony that this guy has been selling for years to fix the problem you have.


June 10, 2010, 12:06 AM
The easiest way to add antimony to your lead would be by adding type metal. I've never tried, but I hear adding straight antimony is a big PITA.

June 10, 2010, 12:33 AM
Not saying that alloying your pure lead with a tin/antimony mix would be difficult--it IS NOT difficult. A little involved, will cost a few dollars, but not difficult by any means. However, when you have a product that is semi-difficult for those who need it to get it, and they have what you need without the added hassle of figuring alloy mixed, etc., why not make it productive for both ends? Alloying lead is easy. But throwing a dozen bars in a box and swapping it out with the dozen bars of already alloyed mix that arrive in the return box is easier. You get a hard lead alloy that will feed autos/modern cartridge nicely that comes ready to melt and all you have to do is send some of your soft lead to someone who will turn it into usable round-balls, conical, slugs, and mini/maxi.

You have a nice stash--but there are easy ways to take full advantage of it from both sides of the shooting genre. ;)

D Thomson
June 10, 2010, 07:33 PM
I am going down to Friendship this next week, maybe I can pick up some tin and antimony there. Any of you all going it is always a good time, and there is stuff you wonder how you got by without. I gave some of my lead to my son to do a brinnel test to see how hard it is. All the ingots were cast by Lead Spl'y Inc., and they seem to be thumb tail soft. Thanks for the input. I want to make sure that I don't miss out on any of the fun of casting and then throwing it away 200 gr at a time. Let the fun begin!

June 12, 2010, 08:24 PM
95/5 tin/antimony solder. AKA "plumer's silver" it is lead free solder. It has 95 percent tin, and 5 percent antimony. I use it with WW alloy to make a near Lyman's #2 alloy it is a bit pricey, but still worlds cheaper than buying lyno to alloy with. Any welding supply, hardware, or pluming store will sell it. Most rolls are either 12 ounce, or 1 pound. I pay close to $20 a pound at a welding supply store here. It does not take much when alloying with WW so it goes a long way. I am with the other suggestion in seeing if you can find a BP shooter to trade with. To them that stuff is like gold. Some may even offer you more than a even swap for for pure lead.

June 13, 2010, 09:06 PM
Like m&p45acp10+1, I alloy wheel weights with 95/5 solder. Rolled wire solder is much easier to use than the bar type -- I simply divide a roll into equal lengths (based on the ratio desired) and toss in a length of solder for each pound of WWs added to the pot.