I'll second what LeadPot said... that's what I use too. I use 141 grains of lead free solder per one pound of wheel weight metal, or double that to 282 grains lead free solder per one pound for slightly harder results. I use a Seiko, (I think that spelling is wrong) hardness tester which comes with a chart to translate it's reading into the more familiar Brinel (spelling???) reading... It comes out to 8 or 9, or 10 to 12 respectively... I use Lee Alox lube on all my cast bullets, which are 7 X 57 MM, .308, .41 Magnum, .45 ACP, a variety of .38 special and two different .458 bullets for my .45-70. As long as velocities are kept within reason, I never have ANY lead fouling... However, on all my .50 cal. muzzleloader bullets and balls, 44 cal. black powder bullets I use just plain wheel weight metal, twice melted and skimmed with nary a problem... Point being... I get my lead free (tin) solder at Wal*Mart and have great luck with it... Dave BTW, taking the 500 grain cast (Lee mold) gas check bullet boar hunting this spring...
Leadpot and IronKnees, Just wondering what you guys are paying for the leadless solder.
I been purchasing 50/50 solder (50% tin/50% lead). I found if I bought at least 20 to 25 1-lb rolls from a plumbing supply house I could get up to a 45% discount from the single roll price. I don't remember the exact price but due to the discounted price I paid less for the tin content then buying pure tin bars through the mail, and the lead came as a bonus.
TexasMac, I'm dogged if I know... it's been a couple of years since I picked up a batch. I got 8 or 10 rolls out at Wal*Mart in their hardware section, and still have not used it all... but it wasn't much or I would remember. :grin:
Hi Texas. I'm a Plumber so I get it at a discount.I found some at Farm and Fleet on sale for a little over $5 a roll.I like to use Oatey22017 that stuff is 95%tin 5% antimony, which I add 35 lbs lead that workes best for my .40-65 and It castes a good bullet.
You want to remember when you use 50-50 solder you almost double the cost to get the same amount of tin.I know if you buy 50-50 lead tin solder it is a little cheaper but you dont get the antimoney which helps prevent the solder from smearing,I know that happens from gas blow by but a lead tin mixture will smear also with out gas blow by,that is why the antimoney is important in bullet alloy.A good source for the antimony is your wheal weight.I always add a 1lb ingot of that if I dont use the Oatey to get the antimoney.It also filles the mould out betterwith good sharp edges but you tend to get that frosty look.Lp.
Leadpot, thanks for your comments. I've been casting for some time and don't believe I came across similar comments as to the benefits of antimony. I've always understood antimony was the main ingredient used to increase hardening, which I suppose indirectly also decreased smearing. I'll have to think about that some more.
By the way, I found my receipts for the 50/50 solder. I purchased 25 rolls (lbs) in the last batch at $3.36/lb (including sales tax). I also purchased 100 lbs of pure lead at the same time for right at $100 (also including sales tax). So valuing the lead in the 50/50 solder at $1/lb the tin cost me $5.72/lb. I'll have to check the prices of lead free solder at WallyWorld to if I can get a better deal.
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