Do you buy your alloy ?

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2frogs posted this 04 February 2023

I've pretty much decided that for my rifle bullets I am going to buy premixed alloy. The reason why. I have a few wheel weights and I get several different hardness reading's. This gives me different size bullets as well. Some will chamber with ease after sizing,some fail to chamber at all. Any thoughts on this.plus I'll get several bullets out of 5 lbs...

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gnoahhh posted this 04 February 2023

Have you looked into Rotometals?

 

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2frogs posted this 04 February 2023

Yep. I have bought pure lead from them.

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Bud Hyett posted this 04 February 2023

Rotometal - I've bought Schuetzen alloy from them for years. Their product is clean and reasonably priced.

When I lived in Illinois, I bought from a scrap yard in Genoa, Illinois who mixed 1400 pounds at a time to get consistent alloy. I do not know if he is still in business, he may have retired. 

Farm boy from Illinois, living in the magical Pacific Northwest

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2frogs posted this 04 February 2023

So,how's everything down on the farm???

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Bud Hyett posted this 05 February 2023

So, how's everything down on the farm??? - I have little information on farming today, only 3% of the population is engaged in farming today versus 30% when I was in high school (1963). First went to John Deere after high school as a machinist and then as a layout inspector. This was to work nights and go to college days. Then into aerospace with General Dynamics, McDonnell-Douglas, and Boeing (Seattle) after my son graduated from high school.

The Hugo Awards in the mid-1060's had a short story about a man who was being replaced by a "black box" and he then got a job making black boxes. When Boeing went to offloading work, I went to Information Technology Global Collaboration  for a long-term career here in the Pacific Northwest.

The added benefit was the CBA and ASSRA matches here in the Pacific Northwest. From March to October, there is a match almost every weekend somewhere in Washington, Oregon and Montana. 

Farm boy from Illinois, living in the magical Pacific Northwest

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2frogs posted this 05 February 2023

Interesting.. thanks

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Pigslayer posted this 19 February 2024

I've bought many, many pounds of lead from ebay at very good prices. I am finding though that the prices on ebay now are higher or at least equal to Rotometals. So . . . I'm buying from Rotometals now. With rotometals I know for sure that the lead is pure. I always buy my tin from them. The tin I buy comes in flake form and in 1 pound bags. I like it that way as it is easier to weigh out what I need. Tin is expensive but a pound goes a long way when my pistol alloy that I make is 99% Lead/1% Tin. I find that alloy works well in all of my handguns. Ed Harris turned me on to that alloy quite a few years ago. Thanks Ed!!!

If someone else had of done to me what I did to myself . . . I'd have killed him. Humility is an asset. Heh - heh.

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2frogs posted this 19 February 2024

Interesting. I get from rotometals as well. I need to stick with one or two alloys. Always changing. Not good. Causes me grief..thanks..

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Wilderness posted this 19 February 2024

2Frogs - I am sure a hardness tester would be a useful piece of gear, but I don't own one and have not yet been sufficiently tempted.

I take a more direct approach to determining alloy, which is to go on density. Bullet weight is a proxy for density. Compare bullet weight of the unknown metal with the same bullet made of a known alloy (e.g. lino), or of whatever you've been using. This method is not subject to changing numbers as the metal ages.

Antimony and tin are of similar density, and both are less dense (lighter) than lead, so comparative bullet weights will tell you about the "non-lead" part of your alloy. Antimony:tin ratio will remain unknown, though most of the time it will be nearly all antimony. If the unknown is derived from hardball or lino scrap you will have a better idea of antimony:tin.

In practice, I have a supply of lino, some range pickups (mostly hardball) and some softer sundries. Occasionally someone gives me a block of "lead" that had originally been destined for fishing sinkers. I have my supplies, and my leftover ingots, labelled with bullet weight. I blend to get the weight I want, determined by performance on target and game. With the mould that I mostly use, my lino (supposedly 16% non-lead) casts 164.5 gns, hardball about 173, and soft lead about 180. My target weight is 170 gns, which corresponds to about 11% non-lead.

Works for me.

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ten-mile posted this 20 February 2024

Missouri Bullet Co sells 92Pb-6Sb-2Sn for $2.48/lb in 66 lb lots. Plus MFRB postage.  They give a 5% discount to gun clubs.

https://missouribullet.com/results.php?category=12

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delmarskid posted this 21 February 2024

Roto has free shipping on on orders over 140 bucks

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max503 posted this 4 weeks ago

Recent heavy rains have exposed an almost solid layer of spent bullets on my club's 50 yard berm.  Saw them today.  I'm seriously thinking mining it on the next work day.  

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Boschloper posted this 4 weeks ago

I mine the berm all the time. Great source of lead. 

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sluggo posted this 4 weeks ago

I still mix my own alloy. I use a Lee hardness tester and it works pretty good for my uses. Lead mostly comes from building demolition. roofing, sash weights, etc. Usually a couple twelve packs gets all i can use. Estate and garage sales supply the tin in the form of rolls of solder. The last day of the sale they are still there for cheap. Linotype still shows up at the same venues, although not as often as it used to. I am well stocked. I just hope i do not have to move anytime soon.

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Pentz posted this 4 weeks ago

Mixmaster lead is OK for handgun and plinking bullets.  For competition Rotometals for me.

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gnoahhh posted this 4 weeks ago

I've heard of a newfangled innovation for making bullets. Something called "copper jackets" or somesuch.Supposed to allow for increased velocity and zero leading. I'll lump putting copper jackets on bullets right up there with that other newfangled stuff called "smokeless powder" whatever that is.

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Ed Harris posted this 4 weeks ago

Best thing about copper jackets is that when you save them up after melting down your backstop scrap you can sell them to a scrapper!

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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max503 posted this 4 weeks ago

I mine the berm all the time. Great source of lead. 


Any special equipment you use?  I'm thinking of making a 2x4 frame with 1/4" hardware cloth floor for sifting.  

How do you pick up the spent slugs from the ground?  

Maybe easiest would be to just get buckets and pluck them up by hand.

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Eutectic posted this 4 weeks ago

The county was going to close one of our ranges because of residential encroachment. A friend and I decided there was lead in them there hills.

I made a wood frame for a sieve of 1/4 inch hardware cloth. We dug the centers behind the targets. The first shovel full about gave me a hernia. The afternoon haul was about 600 pounds each. We went back the next weekend but the bulldozers had made a wreck of it. We probably got less than 5% of what was there.

Yes, the copper jackets went to the scrap yard. Currently scrap copper and brass get 2$ a pound.

The same scrap yard will sell lead sheathing. Currently they want 90 cents a pound. It is pure lead and perfect for alloys. They had a 100 pounds of set type and I bought it all for 50 cents a pound. That is twice what they paid for it and a bargain. It is harder than linotype, a great source of antimony. If you know what you are doing the scrap yard is a good place to find metal for casting. 

 

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GBertolet posted this 3 weeks ago

I like RMR. Very reasonable price, with free shipping. They have only one alloy available. It is bullet core material waste, which they sell at a good price, Last I checked it was $192 for 120 lbs. Rather than return the waste to the smelter, they offer it to their customers. It is approx WW equivalent. It comes as a mix of stringy noodles, and 32 caliber cores, probably from 9mms.. Very easy to handle, when filling your pot.

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