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Why lead?

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by Browning Guy, Jan 3, 2008.

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  1. Browning Guy

    Browning Guy TS Member

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    i was just curious if anyone knows why lead is used in shotgun shells. why can't they use a type of plastic or something?
     
  2. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    If someone could come up with an economical substitute they could become wealthy. Browning Guy, this could become a good project for you. Several years ago I did some preliminary calculation involving the substitution of gold for lead in shells. I think that would work but there seemed to be little interest in this change.

    Pat Ireland
     
  3. Capt. Morgan

    Capt. Morgan TS Member

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    Greatest mass, smallest volume, relatively inexpensive compared to the alternatives.

    Plastic has little mass for its volume. It loses speed very rapidly and packs very little punch in doing so.

    Morgan
     
  4. Browning Guy

    Browning Guy TS Member

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    thanks Pat for not thinking i'm completely insane. i would invent a substitute but i don't have the right equipment or materials.
     
  5. timb99

    timb99 Well-Known Member

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    Density, my boy, density! (Mass per unit volume)

    Not destiny...

    Lead is an abundant, dense material. It is well suited for use as a projectile.

    There are more dense materials available, such as tungsten, uranium, etc. but these materials are less abundant and more expensive.

    There are more available materials such as iron, but iron is less dense than lead. That is, a pellet of a given size made of iron weigs less than that same size pellet made of lead.

    I just don't think you can get plastic, or otehr man-made materials to have similar density or behave like lead.
     
  6. FarmerD

    FarmerD TS Member

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    Plus lead is renewable. FD
     
  7. Capt. Morgan

    Capt. Morgan TS Member

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    "Plus lead is renewable."

    So is plastic, and probably at a faster rate!

    Morgan
     
  8. Hipshot 3

    Hipshot 3 TS Member

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    They've already come up with something....its called Steel! Although it will work, it doesn't have the desirable weight!
     
  9. Browning Guy

    Browning Guy TS Member

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  10. timb99

    timb99 Well-Known Member

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    DU is almost too dense to be useful for target shooting.

    Approximately 68% heavier, pellet for pellet, than lead.

    A shell carrying the same number and size of pellets as a lead 1-1/8 shell would have almost 1-7/8 ounce payload, if DU were used.

    So, you either have to handle MUCH heavier payload shells, or accept WAY fewer pellets for the same weight of shot.

    Not only that, there are "issues" with DU. It is a radionuclide, after all.
     
  11. dewley

    dewley TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Engineering work in a welding shop. Use the floor sweeping from the cutting room. Works great back to about the 23 line. Laser cutter drippingsd are the best Cylinder choke in a 391 32 barrek ub a Eureaker. Yes, I know about the barrell, big deal, they are cheap. Worked last summer, hope to get thru this year.
     
  12. Browning Guy

    Browning Guy TS Member

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