Noob Q on buying lead...

Discussions of bullet casting, sizing, etc.

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Noob Q on buying lead...

Postby Beaver » Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:45 pm

Is there lead that is too soft or too hard to use for reloading?
Could I make it harder or softer by blending?

I found a large supply of lead close by and I don't want to spend $ if I can't use it. I am mostly shooting .40 at cardboard.

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Re: Noob Q on buying lead...

Postby daboone » Thu Mar 08, 2012 8:31 am

Beaver wrote:Is there lead that is too soft or too hard to use for reloading?
Could I make it harder or softer by blending? I

Pure lead is as soft as it gets and xray shielding is a common source. It great for muzzle loaders but will need a little tin to get it to fill out the mold properly. Getting it harder requires adding antimony or antimony/lead alloys.
Linotype is as about as hard as lead gets and is frangible, not exactly what you want for your handgun. It can be "thinned out" by adding a pure lead.

I'd recommend you review articles like Joe Brennion's

or one of several several others like

Also Lyman's Cast Bullet Hand Book should be on your list of rquired reading.

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Postby motopic » Thu Mar 08, 2012 9:32 am

Yes, and yes.

Another good source of soft lead is a local motorcycle shop that changes tires. The stick on weights are soft lead.(or zinc)

You can get metals from a place online, I forget the name(rotometals?). The CastBoolits guys will know for sure.

A friend tells me we can get any mix from a foundry in Birmingham ala, but we have to buy it by the ton.!

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Postby prs » Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:53 pm

40 S&W is a high pressure loading and dead soft lead would be a poor choice. Once common clip on wheel weights (WW alloy) was and excellent alloy and if you have a tire shop buddy you may still be able to get some and cull-out the zinc and steel new type weights. Pure lead mixed 50'50 with WW alloy is good enough too. Roto Metals is the foundry that is so helpful to us casters. They try to provide very useful alloys and additive alloys that we can use and have decent prices and shipping. I shoot an alloy that is 95% berm mined lead (pretty soft) 3% antimony, and 2% tin. Information at will let you know how to figure your blends. Have fun!


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