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  #1  
Old 08-31-2019, 2:06 PM
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Default Pennies?!

This thread idea might be more appropriately posted in “prepping,” but I figure that folks who have experience making bullets and projectiles would be the people to ask, so-

As you may know, the composition of pennies minted before 1982 is 95% copper and 5% zinc.

Does anyone have experience making projectiles with such an alloy? I may be wrong, but I believe the hardness of a 95/5% alloy is greater than pure copper. Any ideas on how this would change ballistics?

In a “drought” or shtf scenario, would it be possible to cast projectiles out melted (pre ‘82) pennies?

Hypothetically, of course- under no circumstances should anyone melt, destroy, or otherwise deface our holy shekels.

Thanks!
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Old 08-31-2019, 2:25 PM
sealocan sealocan is offline
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Very interesting question


... that I don't have the answer to.



But it give me odd thought about in a long shtf situation and how with just 6 cuts with some metal snips would make a "mini-broadhead copper penny arrow head".

(and I wouldn't have to worry about using the better old pennies either.)

Two cuts to make the /\ shaped point at the top of the penny and then to u/v-shaped cuts into and at the bottom of the penny, to allow you to tie some cordage to whatever type of arrow shaft you're using.

Obviously not for big game but for rabbits, birds and squirrels and such.


Just my two cents worth.

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Old 08-31-2019, 2:28 PM
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Are copper bullets pure copper?
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Old 08-31-2019, 3:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sealocan View Post
Very interesting question


... that I don't have the answer to.



But it give me odd thought about in a long shtf situation and how with just 6 cuts with some metal snips would make a "mini-broadhead copper penny arrow head".

(and I wouldn't have to worry about using the better old pennies either.)

Two cuts to make the /\ shaped point at the top of the penny and then to u/v-shaped cuts into and at the bottom of the penny, to allow you to tie some cordage to whatever type of arrow shaft you're using.

Obviously not for big game but for rabbits, birds and squirrels and such.


Just my two cents worth.

Appreciate your *two cents worth!* (bu dum chh!)

Seriously, though, clever idea. Wonder if that’d do the trick.


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Originally Posted by sonofeugene View Post
Are copper bullets pure copper?
I have no idea! Would like to know. Maybe someone can chime in.
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Old 08-31-2019, 3:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grouchy Bear View Post
This thread idea might be more appropriately posted in “prepping,” but I figure that folks who have experience making bullets and projectiles would be the people to ask, so-

As you may know, the composition of pennies minted before 1982 is 95% copper and 5% zinc.

Does anyone have experience making projectiles with such an alloy? I may be wrong, but I believe the hardness of a 95/5% alloy is greater than pure copper. Any ideas on how this would change ballistics?

In a “drought” or shtf scenario, would it be possible to cast projectiles out melted (pre ‘82) pennies?

Hypothetically, of course- under no circumstances should anyone melt, destroy, or otherwise deface our holy shekels.

Thanks!
Interesting question, I did a bit of looking. https://www.livescience.com/32401-wh...y-made-of.html

1962 to 1982 pennies are alloyed as you said. Prior mintings also contained "tin and or nickle". IMHO, that alloy would be much too hard for bullets or jackets as the case may be.

Interestingly 95/5.... copper/zinc. Is actually a "brass" alloy. And has a rather prohibitively high melting temp of approx 2,000* F.

https://www.google.com/search?q=melt...hrome&ie=UTF-8


So YES, IMO limited opinion, 95/5 % pennies could be cast into bullets. But would require a lot of heat.
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Old 08-31-2019, 7:28 PM
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pacrat said: "So YES, IMO limited opinion, 95/5 % pennies could be cast into bullets. But would require a lot of heat."


Maybe a decent plan if you're really set on observing the 'lead free' Calif. regulations during SHF scenario.
Sure easier ways to make your own boolits the traditional way though.
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Old 09-01-2019, 7:41 AM
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Kinda off topic, but something I’ve always thought might be a good idea is to have a couple of bullet molds and a small melting pot. And around 20 pounds of lead alloy. Just a basic casting setup, nothing fancy. Would be a good SHTF prep.

It’s not going to yield more than a few hundred bullets, but that’s still a good amount. And some copper pennies might be useful to copper plate or something. Or melt into sheets and make a gas checks.


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Old 09-01-2019, 7:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grouchy Bear View Post
This thread idea might be more appropriately posted in “prepping,” but I figure that folks who have experience making bullets and projectiles would be the people to ask, so-

As you may know, the composition of pennies minted before 1982 is 95% copper and 5% zinc.

Does anyone have experience making projectiles with such an alloy? I may be wrong, but I believe the hardness of a 95/5% alloy is greater than pure copper. Any ideas on how this would change ballistics?

In a “drought” or shtf scenario, would it be possible to cast projectiles out melted (pre ‘82) pennies?

Hypothetically, of course- under no circumstances should anyone melt, destroy, or otherwise deface our holy shekels.

Thanks!
It is almost impossible to find pre-1982 pennies since the copper content is worth more than one cent.
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Old 09-01-2019, 9:24 AM
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I'd stash something other than pennies if I was trying to prepare for bullets being unobtanium.
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Old 09-01-2019, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobinGoodfellow View Post
It is almost impossible to find pre-1982 pennies since the copper content is worth more than one cent.
They aren’t as rare as you’d think. I pull them from my pocket change a couple times a week. I also coin roll hunt when I have the time. A box of 2,500 pennies usually yields a 200+ pre ‘82 pennies.

You’re right that their melt value is higher than one cent. But it isn’t like trying to hunt silver quarters, though- those are goners.
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Old 09-01-2019, 1:59 PM
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The problem I see is it would be easier to stash some lead. Most molds are designed to cast a bullet several thousands larger that the diameter of the barrel. You than size them to fit or fire them as is. Lead will size down without much trouble, copper wont. You might get some interesting pressure increases.
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Old 09-02-2019, 7:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koehn,jim View Post
The problem I see is it would be easier to stash some lead. Most molds are designed to cast a bullet several thousands larger that the diameter of the barrel. You than size them to fit or fire them as is. Lead will size down without much trouble, copper wont. You might get some interesting pressure increases.
Super helpful insight.

I wonder about the challenges faced by California hunters who hand load non-lead.
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Old 09-02-2019, 7:26 PM
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Corbin used to have a jacket maker of 30 cal bullets from copper penny's.

Last edited by rcslotcar; 09-02-2019 at 10:55 PM..
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Old 09-02-2019, 9:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonofeugene View Post
Are copper bullets pure copper?
Barnes copper bullets are pure copper. Other copper bullets may also be pure copper. Some 'copper' bullets are actually gilding metal (GMX, E-Tip, etc.), the same thing 'copper' jackets are made from for most ammo (Swift notwithstanding).

Surprisingly enough, gilding metal is (drumroll please), 95% copper and 5% zinc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grouchy Bear View Post
Does anyone have experience making projectiles with such an alloy? I may be wrong, but I believe the hardness of a 95/5% alloy is greater than pure copper. Any ideas on how this would change ballistics?
I have no experience making projectiles from this, but it's obvious that many people (Hornady, Nosler, etc.) do. In fact Winchester marketed (maybe still does) a .30-30 round called the Super X 95/5 (https://winchester.com/Products/Ammu...per-X/X3030WLF). I'll bet you can guess the composition.
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