View Full Version : Range Hat Trick

September 5, 2010, 10:19 PM
Took three rifle projects to the range today, made big strides with each! 45-90 Sharps really likes WW boolits :D but the Marlin Guide Gun didn't. It really likes 20-1 boolits so I figure about 6 ozs of tin will bring 20 #'s of WW's up to 20-1. This particular batch of WW's seems like 30-1 alloy, 405gr boolits weighed 412-413grs with both alloys. Will break out the hardness test kit to confirm. Also have a much better idea how much BP the 45-90 needs to launch those WW's. Sharps went from a 6"+ rifle to a 2.5" rifle today, and I still have a bit of very simple tweaking to do. :D
Other rifle is a bit off-topic but I FINALLY found a load (actually two!) that works in my new 30-06.:D:D: Lost track of the # of loads and even the number of range trips involved in this project. Don't really want to do the accounting on it either but the price tag is easily more than the last rifle I bought. :eek:
Only downside is I work for a workaholic so I'm going to work tomorrow. Hope ya'll have a safe and happy Labor Day!

September 6, 2010, 11:57 AM
TX GN, real 20-1 lead tin alloy is 20 parts PURE LEAD to one part tin. Your alloy with WW will have some antimony in it, so it isn't really 20-1. Splitting hairs? Yes. But, you will never really see the benifit of 20-1 alloy if it does NOT contain antimony.

To get my 20-1 alloy, I mix midway's pure lead with midway's pure tin . It's real expensive, but I don't shoot a lot of those bullets. And then only in my H&R buffalo 45-70.

Sounds like a fun range trip. Any time spent shooting doesn't count against your tally for your lifetime. Same as what those crazy fishermen say!

September 7, 2010, 07:21 PM
I guess it'll be closer to Lyman's #2 alloy. Not a bad thing, I guess. Now I'm wondering if I should add antimony to my store-bought 20-1 lead. Think I'll explore the WW recipe further.
Thanks snuffy. Maybe I need to try fishing again. :D

September 8, 2010, 09:01 AM
As you get to tweaking your .45 caliber cast bullets or are wanting to take it to the next level, read through Richard Lee's experiments in Modern Reloading. He winds up calling for harder bullets than are the usual fare, but his theory makes some sense and his targets apparently confirm that it is one good way to go.

Wheel weights are usually given as 4.5% Antimony and 0.5% tin, but there isn't really anything that precise about them. If they have that classic ratio, they should cast (not water dropped or oven hardened) about BHN 9. If they are softer, there is less antimony. Adding about 2% tin to them helps with mold fill. If you go to 5%, you're correct that you'll be close to Lyman #2, but be aware, if you get into hardening bullets, that if you let the % tin exceed the % antimony, they will loose hardness faster.

September 8, 2010, 10:01 PM
Haven't heard much about Lee's writings on the subject. Sounds like I need to get another book, thanks. :D Studied Venturino and Garbe's SPG primer and am looking forward to Lyman's 4th edition cast bullet book. Venturino figures it's an area where rifles seem to have preferences, also seems to think a softer bullet will be a better hunting bullet. I'm not looking forward to buying custom moulds so will experiment with alloys first. I had thoughts of playing the BPCR game but at this point I don't think my eyes are up to it. I like the idea of a softer bullet and if my rifle likes it I'm happy too. Can hardly wait to try the heavier 535 boolits.
I have no illusions about WW's being a uniform alloy, that would be pretty cool, though. Lee hardness kit is kinda fun to tinker with and will be an asset for adjusting and duplicating alloys. It is pretty cool that this rifle seems like WW's, tho. Groups are finally approaching something I'd hunt with. :D
Still looking for solder without a resin core, guess I need to go to a real hardware store.
Good tip about relative tin/antimony ratios, didn't know that. Will keep it in mind, thanks.