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  #1  
Old 09-16-2009, 11:55 PM
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Default Where do you guys get tin for your mix? (in cast boolits)

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?
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Old 09-17-2009, 12:19 AM
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It's not inexpensive, but 50/50 bar solder is 50% tin and 50% lead.
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Old 09-17-2009, 7:30 AM
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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-...d=p3286.c0.m14
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Last edited by rabagley; 09-17-2009 at 7:36 AM.. Reason: added search term, changed price comment
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Old 09-17-2009, 7:43 AM
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Sorry, off topic question, but why do you need tin for casting lead bullets?
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Old 09-17-2009, 7:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason762 View Post
Sorry, off topic question, but why do you need tin for casting lead bullets?
Tin helps the alloy fill out the mold better.
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Old 09-17-2009, 7:57 AM
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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..
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Old 09-17-2009, 8:04 AM
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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.
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Last edited by rabagley; 09-17-2009 at 8:06 AM.. Reason: added antimony note.
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Old 09-17-2009, 8:06 AM
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i get mine from mcmaster its not to bad on price
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Old 09-17-2009, 8:08 AM
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Anyone know if Art Green is still alive?
I bought casting alloy from him years ago out of his little offices in beverly hills.
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Old 09-17-2009, 8:16 AM
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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?
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  #11  
Old 09-17-2009, 8:20 AM
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Quote:
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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.

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Old 09-17-2009, 12:07 PM
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I use cast in everything -- Hornet to 50/70
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Old 09-17-2009, 12:08 PM
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Thanks for all the tips. Looks like ebay is a good source as always

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason762 View Post
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.
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  #14  
Old 09-17-2009, 7:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabagley View Post
I make lead bullets for my 45/70 lever gun, so it's not really modern and not a muzzleloader either.
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Originally Posted by gunboat View Post
I use cast in everything -- Hornet to 50/70
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Originally Posted by vta View Post
I'm casting 45ACP for my 1911.
Huh, interesting. Why use pure lead for anything other than revolvers and blackpowder ("modern" and muzzleloader)?
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Old 09-17-2009, 8:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason762 View Post
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).
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Last edited by rabagley; 09-17-2009 at 9:55 PM.. Reason: clarified terminology
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Old 09-17-2009, 9:09 PM
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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"
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Old 09-17-2009, 9:17 PM
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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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason762 View Post
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.
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Old 09-17-2009, 9:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason762 View Post
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).
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Old 09-17-2009, 9:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSACANNONEER View Post
Lead jacket???????? Please explain.
He means solid lead instead of a lead core and a copper jacket. He didn't know the terminology so...
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Old 09-17-2009, 9:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabagley View Post
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.
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Old 09-17-2009, 9:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabagley View Post
Um, none of us use pure lead. This thread is about where to get zinc to add into a casting alloy.
ack, NO ZINC.
It jacks up your alloy.

I know you means to say TIN!
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  #22  
Old 09-17-2009, 9:56 PM
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Um, brain fart. Corrected.
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Old 09-18-2009, 7:04 AM
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Antimony man has tin.
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  #24  
Old 09-18-2009, 7:13 AM
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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...
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Old 09-18-2009, 7:17 AM
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I'm trying to stay in contact through my subforum and PMs. I'll be around on the forum on and off today.
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