Mixing linotype with straight lead

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  • Last Post 25 November 2009
pschmidlkofer posted this 26 October 2009

Can any of you guys give me a basic ratio for mixing linotype with straight lead to make something similar to ww lead?

 

Thanks in advance!

:dude:

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corerf posted this 26 October 2009

Search on the CBA alloy calculator. Its a spreadsheet that will let you plug in the values of weight for specific metals/alloys and will show percentages. Free and easy to use. There is controversy over the BHN results it produces but it does basic math for you in calculating percentages of compounds perfectly and a lot faster that I can on paper

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KenK posted this 26 October 2009

Three pounds of pure lead for each pound of linotype should make a real nice alloy.  Like wheel weights with an extra pinch of tin.

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454PB posted this 28 October 2009

I just did some today. I mixed equal portions of pure lead and monotype. Cast 200 RCBS 35-200 FN, they weigh 202 gr. as cast, hardness tested 18 BHN.

For WW equivilent, 3-to-1 lead to lino should be about right.

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runfiverun posted this 29 October 2009

or to put it another way 50-50 then cut that 50/50 puts you right about 1% tin and 3% antimony.

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Dicko posted this 23 November 2009

The comments so far are not far off but it depends what you think linotype is and what wheelweight alloy is.    What we think of as linotype is 4% tin 12% antimony.   If you mix 3 to 1 with pure lead you will get 1.33% tin 3% antimony.

I consider that too soft but then I consider wheelweights too soft.   They are supposed to be 0.50% tin 4% antimony.    In recent times the specs have gotten slack in my part of the world and my tests show that 2 - 3% antimony can be expected.   Good quality bullets should have 5% antimony for modest velocities like 38 Spl and 45 ACP, and 6% for 9mmP, 357 Mag.  

2 to 1 ratio will give you 4%.   I suggest 50/50 which will give you 6%.   If you think that's more than you need, 2 to 3 will give you about 5%.

But that is true only if the linotype is a true 4/12 and the lead is pure.   You don't need to worry too much about the content of scrap.    I have found the average antimony content accross the board to be about 1%.   That can safely be ignored and in any case if ignored it will simply increase bullet hardness slightly which can only be good.   You can ignore tin in your calcs.  It does nothing useful for bullets and is not needed.  

What you need to watch is that your linotype is not something else.   I see that one reply mentions monotype.   Offhand I forget the antimony content but it is a lot more than linotype.   Of course the only result is that you'll get damn hard bullets which is OK.   But just be aware of it.     

 

 

 

 

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billwnr posted this 23 November 2009

I would think this is a waste of good linotype and pure lead. Both have higher resale values than wheel weights.

I'd go down to the local salvage yard and buy wheelweights if it was me.

I use linotype in my match bullets and pay over $1 per pound.

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shastaboat posted this 23 November 2009

I use 7 ingots of WW and 3 ingots of LT.. Works well for me.

Because I said so!

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Dicko posted this 25 November 2009

billwnr wrote: I would think this is a waste of good linotype and pure lead. Both have higher resale values than wheel weights.

I'd go down to the local salvage yard and buy wheelweights if it was me.

I use linotype in my match bullets and pay over $1 per pound. That is not helpful, unless we're talking money not bullets.   In any case the diff can't be significant unless the quantity is quite high.   I think I answered it accurately but let me comment further on wheelweights and linotype.   Unless your wheelweights are different from ours, they are not hard enough for decent handgun bullets and certainly too soft for rifle.   They are nice material because they are easier to handle than sheet lead for example, but they do need extra antimony.   

4/12 Linotype is good material for rifle bullets, but if we are talking cost, you could probably get the same alloy cheaper by adding antimony to wheelweights.   That would have the benefit of consistent supply because, as far as I can gather, wheelweights are generally available in the US but linotype is scarce everywhere because of the demise of traditional typesetting.

 

 

 

 

 

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Dicko posted this 25 November 2009

shastaboat wrote: I use 7 ingots of WW and 3 ingots of LT.. Works well for me.

That works out at about 6% antimony which is a good mix for handgun but soft for rifle above 1600FPS.   But it depends on the availability of both materials and leads me to wonder yet again why there is so much reluctance to take control over accurate alloy blending so that any and all available sources can be used as and when available.   Yesterday I blended assorted scrap sheet, pipe and wheelweights into a uniform 200 pounds of ingots of known antimony content and hardness.   I can do that anytime.   I can't guarantee exact uniformity batch to batch but I get very close, within half a grain bullet weight, and I can get closer with some extra work.  

Wheelweights are a good and convenient material but it is not a good idea to rely on them or their content.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

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Duane Mellenbruch posted this 25 November 2009

Dicko wrote: Wheelweights are a good and convenient material but it is not a good idea to rely on them or their content.

  I am fortunate to have collected various lead and alloys over the years.  And for a long time blended one part linotype with 3 parts WW which was fine for my revolver shooting, and light to moderate loads in center fire rifles like the 30-06.  I am not a competition shooter, and I am not a hunter, but I do like to hit the mark I am shooting at.  As long as the bullet is sufficiently hard to handle the pressures, I care little about the excessive hardness of the alloy.  During the last several years, the available linotype seems to be getting harder to find.  This has required that many of us hobby shooters work a little harder at alternative lead sources.  I have been working with antimony ingots and find that they will disolve into soft lead alloy given enough time and the proper conditions.  But the problem with that is, weak solutions form easily (up to about 4%)  As you work toward stronger solutions, it takes a lot longer for this to occur.  I prefer not to work with the temperatures required to melt Antimony (1149 F) because of the toxic exposure to antimony and lead fumes.  I am perfectly happy to keep using WW type alloys and then when a harder alloy is required, I can heat treat to reach max hardness and anneal to bring that hardness back down to whatever is needed.  All that is required is a known temperature in the oven, a consistant temperature in that oven and attention to the time.  I am beginning to think that if a bullet caster does not understand a little about the metallurgy of his materials he is going to be out of the hobby as sources and availability of materials either drys up or becomes restricted.  The appeal of using ww alloy is growing dim but not because of the weak amount of antimony.  It is the presence of the zinc that adversely affects the casting quality of the alloy.  Perhaps I enjoy the use of WW alloy because I can tailor the loads to the alloy and am not depending upon someone else to make a hard bullet that I can not screw up by poor powder or pressure selections.  Duane Mellenbruch  Topeka, KS  

 

 

 

 

  

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billwnr posted this 25 November 2009

Dicko wrote: billwnr wrote: I would think this is a waste of good linotype and pure lead. Both have higher resale values than wheel weights.

I'd go down to the local salvage yard and buy wheelweights if it was me.

I use linotype in my match bullets and pay over $1 per pound. That is not helpful, unless we're talking money not bullets.   In any case the diff can't be significant unless the quantity is quite high.   I think I answered it accurately but let me comment further on wheelweights and linotype.   Unless your wheelweights are different from ours, they are not hard enough for decent handgun bullets and certainly too soft for rifle.   They are nice material because they are easier to handle than sheet lead for example, but they do need extra antimony.   

4/12 Linotype is good material for rifle bullets, but if we are talking cost, you could probably get the same alloy cheaper by adding antimony to wheelweights.   That would have the benefit of consistent supply because, as far as I can gather, wheelweights are generally available in the US but linotype is scarce everywhere because of the demise of traditional typesetting.

 

 

 

 

  Wheelweights are still available locally for free at local gas stations.   One has to hunt for lino and pure lead and when found it's not free.  Us cheapos try to get lino for no more than $1.25 per pound, preferrably $1.

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Dicko posted this 25 November 2009

Duane Mellenbruch wrote: Dicko wrote: Wheelweights are a good and convenient material but it is not a good idea to rely on them or their content.

  I am fortunate to have collected various lead and alloys over the years.  And for a long time blended one part linotype with 3 parts WW which was fine for my revolver shooting, and light to moderate loads in center fire rifles like the 30-06.  I am not a competition shooter, and I am not a hunter, but I do like to hit the mark I am shooting at. Nothing wrong with that, its 5 or 6%.   OK for handgun and light rifle loads.As long as the bullet is sufficiently hard to handle the pressures, I care little about the excessive hardness of the alloy.  During the last several years, the available linotype seems to be getting harder to find.  This has required that many of us hobby shooters work a little harder at alternative lead sources.Sure, as long as its hard enough for the job and consistent lot to lot.   Meeting that standard is exactly my point.   Linotype is harder to find because it is pretty much obsolete in the printing trade.   In South Africa we have not had free wheelweights for years and linotype is rare.   Hence we have gotten used to working with all kinds of lead scrap.  I have been working with antimony ingots and find that they will disolve into soft lead alloy given enough time and the proper conditions.  But the problem with that is, weak solutions form easily (up to about 4%)  As you work toward stronger solutions, it takes a lot longer for this to occur.  I prefer not to work with the temperatures required to melt Antimony (1149 F) because of the toxic exposure to antimony and lead fumes.  The NRA's otherwise excellent book “Cast Bullets” contains a number of falsehoods, one of which is that you need a high temp furnace to melt antimony because of its high melting temp.   As you say, it will dissolve in lead at half its own melting temp.   It is one of those oddities of metallurgy.   But it does take some time.   A three pound block takes about twenty minutes to dissolve in lead at about 750F.   But I dunno why you think it gets more difficult at percentages higher than 4%.   I often blend 12% and it does not take disproportionately longer than weaker mixes.   I agree that it is not advisable to work with lead at more than 800F.   Lead does not give off fumes below 900F, but above 900 it does, and the fumes are odourless and colourless.I am perfectly happy to keep using WW type alloys and then when a harder alloy is required, I can heat treat to reach max hardness and anneal to bring that hardness back down to whatever is needed.  All that is required is a known temperature in the oven, a consistant temperature in that oven and attention to the time.I'd find the extra operation of heat treatment too much bother, but if you can get the required hardness from free wheelweights, it makes sense.  I am beginning to think that if a bullet caster does not understand a little about the metallurgy of his materials he is going to be out of the hobby as sources and availability of materials either drys up or becomes restricted. For sure.  Knowledge is power. The appeal of using ww alloy is growing dim but not because of the weak amount of antimony.  It is the presence of the zinc that adversely affects the casting quality of the alloy.  Perhaps I enjoy the use of WW alloy because I can tailor the loads to the alloy and am not depending upon someone else to make a hard bullet that I can not screw up by poor powder or pressure selections.  Duane Mellenbruch  Topeka, KS  I fully understand the appeal of a material that is readily available and free.  Believe me, I'd be using it if I could get it.    But the best approach is to use it when you can get it but be prepared to use other forms of lead when you need to.   You can blend any mix you want from any type of scrap.   That's real independence and that's really my message.   But generally I don't disagree with anything you've said. 

 

 

 

 

  

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billwnr posted this 25 November 2009

Dicko, when we shoot military rifles the velocity usually doesn't exceed 1600 fps and wheelweights are satisfactory for that. Some of the shooters believe a softer bullet is better for that disciplin than one with lino added.

I personally shoot a 70/30 mix of lino/wheelweights as I use the same alloy I use for the 2000fps benchrest competition.

I am considering going to a softer alloy to test out some of the other shooters ideas.

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Dicko posted this 25 November 2009

billwnr wrote: Wheelweights are still available locally for free at local gas stations.   One has to hunt for lino and pure lead and when found it's not free.  Us cheapos try to get lino for no more than $1.25 per pound, preferrably $1. I had long wondered about the apparent love affair with wheelweights.   I learned on this forum that they are mostly free in the US.   I would also use them if I could get them for nothing but they are not free in South Africa, they cost the same as all scrap lead, about 50 US cents a pound.   And they are not available except in small quantities and sporadically at that.   Twenty years ago their scrap value was 6 US cents a pound, so I could get them from gas stations for that price.   Soon after that they started refitting them to cars and the supply dried up.

Linotype is getting scarce because it is obsolete in the printing trade.   My point about cost was that you can blend it for the same cost or less.   Well, maybe you can't in the US because of the costs of various materials.   But I can.   In South Africa scrap lead costs 50 cents/lb.   Antimony costs $6.25 a lb.   12% Antimonial alloy therefore costs $1.19 a lb, more or less what you expect to pay for linotype.   Linotype is not reliably available but you can blend it any time you like.

It gets cheaper with free wheelweights.   You can safely assume that wheelweights contain 3% antimony.   So the 9% antimony you have to buy, and thus your entire alloy cost is $0.60, only half what you are cheerfully paying for linotype.

But my point about blending your own alloy is not just cost, it is the flexibility of being able to blend any alloy from any scrap lead source, anytime.

 

 

 

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