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How to Alloy/Harden lead?

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by richrob, Nov 10, 2007.

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  1. richrob

    richrob TS Member

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    I came across a fellow shooter who has a very good supply of sheet lead, building rooms that hold in radioactivity. From what I have heard that is too soft to make good shot. Is there a way to harded it other than mixing it 50/50 with wheel weights? Thanks, Rich
     
  2. blizzard

    blizzard Active Member

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    Antimony.
     
  3. Dave P

    Dave P TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    What does antimony in general cost, how much do you use and where do you get it?
     
  4. richrob

    richrob TS Member

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    I have a source to get antimony through an aluminum plant who makes their own alloys, I dont have a price yet but I dont think I want to work with it. It seems to be more toxic than I feel like dealing with. Hopeing someone out there has other ideas. -Rich
     
  5. Haskins Bill

    Haskins Bill TS Member

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    Midway USA sells antimony.So does Brownells. Heck your wheel weights have antimony in them and so does linotype and just about every other lead alloy you might run across. Check out Midway and look at the alloys. Look for a McMaster and Carr catalog or Bostwick Braun or most any other industrial supply catalog. Ventilate /ventilate /ventilate and or keep the wind at your back when dealing with lead and its alloys!!!! A heads up, tin is used to make the lead flow more freely and antimony is used to harden it.
     
  6. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    There is more in good shot than soft lead and 5% antimony. Some binders, including arsenic, are included. I would mix the soft lead with about 65% wheel wights and stay away form making your own alloy.

    This advice was given to me by a past ATA president. He lived in Ohio but graduated from Texas Tech and specialized in metallurgy. He made a good living instructing large industrial operations on how to make things from different metals. I miss Tom A.

    Pat Ireland
     
  7. ricks1

    ricks1 TS Member

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    linotype is the cheapest but you also need tin and arsenic best way is the wheel weight way 40% pure lead to 60% wheel w rick
     
  8. richrob

    richrob TS Member

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    I suppose I havent come across another method because there isnt a better one out there. I will have much more of this lead than wheel weights/linotype. I dont want to push it too far and make inferior shot, but would a 75-25 mixture be enought? thanks, Rich
     
  9. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    Rich- Try a batch and see. You can crudely compare shot hardness by dropping a weight on the shot and measuring the compression.

    Pat Ireland
     
  10. Shootrman

    Shootrman Member

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    Rich ...Pat Ireland is correct (as always) Raw lead will drop at 3.12. I have my home made lead test where i work by our chemistry department and they bitch slap me if its anything less than 6.39
     
  11. Haskins Bill

    Haskins Bill TS Member

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    I had another thought on making your sheet lead hard enough for shot. Take some known chilled magnum shot and melt it down and cast a few centerfire bullets from it. Test the bullets in a Saeco hardness tester and then cast some from the sheet lead and then from your various mixes of sheet lead and wheel weights. The Saeco is about a hundred dollars from Midway USA. If I was doing it and I plan to this winter I know of a couple of members in my gun club that have Saeco's that will be more than glad to test a few bullets for me. I seem to remeber that nine pounds of wheell weight to one pound of 50/50 solder is equal to 'hardball' or was it Lyman #2 I can't remember. A quick source of alloy mixes is to look at Midway USA site they list the percentages of their lead alloys or look in their master catalog.They may also list the alloy for shot, I have not looked. A word of warning a friend of mine had his first Saeco and it turned out to be defective he was mixing Linotype with wheel weights and he could not get his bullets to read where he wanted. He took some to another guy that had one and they were off the scale, sent the questionable one back and received another one. The moral is just becasue it is new don't trust it without checking against a couple of others. Hope this has all been helpful. Bill
     
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