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View Full Version : Where do you guys get tin for your mix? (in cast boolits)


roc
09-16-2009, 11:55 PM
Short of paying the going rate for pure tin from a supplier, where do you guys find scrap tin or inexpensive tin for your casts?

ar15barrels
09-17-2009, 12:19 AM
It's not inexpensive, but 50/50 bar solder is 50% tin and 50% lead.

rabagley
09-17-2009, 7:30 AM
I buy lead-free solder online. Search for "95/5 solder". 95% tin 5% antimony. Comes in .5-1lb spools.

Here's one for 6lbs of 95/5 for $42 (that's a very nice price -- same as spot price for the tin alone).

http://cgi.ebay.com/Lot-of-12-rolls-Lead-Free-Solder-Marquette-NEW-in-box_W0QQitemZ190334703432QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_Def aultDomain_0?hash=item2c50d51748&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14

Jason762
09-17-2009, 7:43 AM
Sorry, off topic question, but why do you need tin for casting lead bullets?

ar15barrels
09-17-2009, 7:55 AM
Sorry, off topic question, but why do you need tin for casting lead bullets?

Tin helps the alloy fill out the mold better.

sargenv
09-17-2009, 7:57 AM
A blend of 2% tin helps to make the lead fill out the mold better. Many people think that anything more than 2% is a waste though. A lot of guys will go to radiator shops and ask if they have any scrap solder or offer to clean out the tanks and salvage the drippings since they usually use 60/40 solder to repair radiators. It's kind of a dirty job but usually yields a good source of scrap solder for tin recovery. Not sure how easy it is to do in California since the law says you have to have lead handled by hazmat contractors.. Otherwise there are other sources..

rabagley
09-17-2009, 8:04 AM
Casting lead usually isn't pure lead (though it can be). I prefer an alloy of lead, tin, and antimony with fractions like: ~94% Pb, ~3% Sn, ~3% Sb. I get this by adding 1/2 lb of 95/5 solder to 10lbs of wheel weights.

Tin helps reduces surface tension of the alloy, which means you get nice corners (important for lubrication grooves, cannelures, etc.). Tin also makes the resulting bullets harder, which is useful up to a point. There are other ways to make cast bullets harder, like heat treating, but I prefer to have them "just work" without any fiddling in the oven.

Oh, and in case you're curious, the Antimony causes the bullets to shrink less when cooled.

pisarski
09-17-2009, 8:06 AM
i get mine from mcmaster its not to bad on price

ar15barrels
09-17-2009, 8:08 AM
Anyone know if Art Green is still alive?
I bought casting alloy from him years ago out of his little offices in beverly hills.

Jason762
09-17-2009, 8:16 AM
I see, thanks for explaining. So do you guys make your own bullets for blackpowder muzzleloaders, or are you putting lead bullets in modern guns?

rabagley
09-17-2009, 8:20 AM
I see, thanks for explaining. So do you guys make your own bullets for blackpowder muzzleloaders, or are you putting lead bullets in modern guns?

I make lead bullets for my 45/70 lever gun, so it's not really modern and not a muzzleloader either.

:)

gunboat
09-17-2009, 12:07 PM
I use cast in everything -- Hornet to 50/70

vta
09-17-2009, 12:08 PM
Thanks for all the tips. Looks like ebay is a good source as always :)

I see, thanks for explaining. So do you guys make your own bullets for blackpowder muzzleloaders, or are you putting lead bullets in modern guns?

I'm casting 45ACP for my 1911.

Jason762
09-17-2009, 7:23 PM
I make lead bullets for my 45/70 lever gun, so it's not really modern and not a muzzleloader either.

I use cast in everything -- Hornet to 50/70

I'm casting 45ACP for my 1911.

Huh, interesting. Why use pure lead for anything other than revolvers and blackpowder ("modern" and muzzleloader)?

rabagley
09-17-2009, 8:55 PM
Huh, interesting. Why use pure lead for anything other than revolvers and blackpowder ("modern" and muzzleloader)?

Um, none of us use pure lead. This thread is about where to get tin to add into a casting alloy. We still call it "lead casting" and "cast lead bullets", but it's an alloy.

The only place I would use pure lead is for a high power air rifle or as you say, a muzzleloader (don't own either one at the moment).

Jason762
09-17-2009, 9:09 PM
I meant "pure" lead "jacket". You usually see copper coated bullets.

I think 22 rimfires are the only ones you see that's common in having a lead "jacket"

CSACANNONEER
09-17-2009, 9:17 PM
I am too cheap to buy tin. I just use wheel weights and other scrap lead to cast all my non-magnum handgun bullets from .25-.45. I ry to use the purest, softest lead I can find to cast roundballs with.

I meant "pure" lead "jacket". You usually see copper coated bullets.

I think 22 rimfires are the only ones you see that's common in having a lead "jacket"

Lead jacket???????? Please explain.

rabagley
09-17-2009, 9:21 PM
I meant "pure" lead "jacket". You usually see copper coated bullets.

I think 22 rimfires are the only ones you see that's common in having a lead "jacket"

Oh, okay. Now I understand your question. It's fun, it's another gun-related craft that I enjoy learning and perfecting, and I save myself a few pennies along the way.

When I can get the wheelweights for free (sometimes), it just costs me the lead solder. That's $7/10lbs (though I may fall back to $7/20 lbs based on what I learned in this thread) and I can get about 17 bullets/lb., so a little more than 4 cents per bullet.

When I have to buy the lead off eBay, it costs about $1/lb, so the price goes up to $17/10lbs which is about 10 cents per bullet.

The cheapest (and coincidentally one of the best) copper jacketed bullets for 45/70 are the Remington 405gr FP for $31/100 or $244/1000 (with $40+ shipping).

rabagley
09-17-2009, 9:22 PM
Lead jacket???????? Please explain.

He means solid lead instead of a lead core and a copper jacket. He didn't know the terminology so...

CSACANNONEER
09-17-2009, 9:45 PM
He means solid lead instead of a lead core and a copper jacket. He didn't know the terminology so...

OK. I thought it might have been some super expert thing like loading duplex loads.

BTW, I use soft "pure" lead for casting bullets for muzzleloaders but, I never thought about needing it to cast .177 pellets with. I'll have to get my pellet mold out and try it with pure lead. I really have one. I was addicted to ebay when I started casting bullets for cartridge guns.

ar15barrels
09-17-2009, 9:51 PM
Um, none of us use pure lead. This thread is about where to get zinc to add into a casting alloy.

ack, NO ZINC. :eek:
It jacks up your alloy.

I know you means to say TIN!

rabagley
09-17-2009, 9:56 PM
:o :o :o

Um, brain fart. Corrected.

freakshow10mm
09-18-2009, 7:04 AM
Antimony man has tin.

rabagley
09-18-2009, 7:13 AM
Antimony man charges way too much for his tin. Or his antimony, for that matter.

Freakshow: there are people who want to talk to you about refunds and/or delivery... technique is high on the list...

freakshow10mm
09-18-2009, 7:17 AM
I'm trying to stay in contact through my subforum and PMs. I'll be around on the forum on and off today.