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I have been reading and asking a couple of questions over on the casting forum, but I think this relates more specifically to BP. I have read that some folks are adding tin to their wheel weight lead. My only casting experience is limited to pure lead for round balls or pre-mixed alloys for BPCR. To me ,more tin would seem to make a harder bullet. I thought wheel weight bullets were already pretty hard. I know with BPCR you want a softer alloy, but I am probably confusing apples and oranges here. One post over on the casting forum stated that the tin allowed the metal to flow into the mold better. If this is the case,and you do add the tin, where do you get it??Also I was planning on using the same homemade lube recipe I have been using for BPCR that I got out of the Paul Mathews book. 2 parts beeswax,1 part pure neatsfoot oil,and 1 part Murphy's oil soap(I still have 5 or 6 pounds all made up!) . Has anyone else used this recipe in the cowby guns??Thanks for your patience with all of these questions.
Dennis
 

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Dennis, this will be the blind leading the blind, but here goes: Wheel weights, in the scheme of bullet hardness is a bit below middle of the road, supposedly more than addequate for black powder bullets, and considerably harder than pure lead. I think there is some difference in wheel weights these days but they're pretty close. The tin is most easily gotten from the hardware store in the form of solder (sp) the 1 pound roll of 50/50 would be 1/2 lb of pure tin. I think most of the old folks think us newbies are gonna skim off too much of the tin when we're cleaning up the wheel weights.
If there's something specific you want to know, I'll have to go look it up in my new Lyman casting manual, I've read it a couple of times, but there's too much information for me to remember off the top of my head. Could be why I was such a poor student! :oops:
 

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Dennis; are ye ready for the straight and narrow? Well, maybe close, anyway? Pure lead is softer than WW alloy anyway ya take it; but one of the great things about WW alloy is that you can pretty much have it your way. It can be very hard or quite soft depending upon how you allow the metal to cool. It has arsenic trace in it and that allows for varialbe hardness. Chilled in ice water from a near slump temperature can exceed lino. Slowly cooled from near slump and its nearly as soft as pure lead. Allowed to drop from a mold onto thick toweling and cool at room temp, its still fairly soft and even easily scratched with fingernail.

I use an additional 1% tin when I make WW ingots with the notion that I am improving "castibility" -- ie the tin is a wetting agent for the lead. I bet I am spending good money on tin that I don't need. I bet my careful method of rendering wheel weights does not lose significant tin. Its a SiN to waste tin, so maybe I will change my evil ways.

I buy 1# rolls of 95:5 solid wire solder for use as tin. My smelting pot has a mark I put on it at the level representing 100# and I get it fluxed and clean and then alloy in one roll of solder with more flux before pouring my muffin ingots. Yep, I bet I am wasting that solder. But it works so well I hate to tinker with my alloy!

I have used this alloy in muzzelloaders and .45Colt cartrige and it shoots very well in plain base as well as hollow bse designs.

prs
 

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Let me add my :money: here.

The addition of tin to pure lead will make the mix a wee bit harder but the main reason for addition of tin to a mix is to cause it to better fill out the mould. When added to wheel weights it will not cause additional hardening as it can do that ONLY if added to pure lead. The amount needed is small. Most folks who add tin to wheel weights add about 2%.

Now where to get stuff for casting? Well I just got off the phone with Bill Ferguson (the Antimony Man). He will be added to the growing list of folks who are sponsoring this site later this month. His web site is: http://www.theantimonyman.com/contact.htm

Bill sells about everything a bullet caster might need and then some. He can sell you lead, tin, antimony or any alloy of lead you'd like. He has pots and ladkes and well just everything for bullet casting. He is a good man to get to know. I'm really pleased to have such a nice gentleman to add is company to the growing list of GBO advertisers.

I highly recommend Bill as a source of anything you might need for bullet casting.

GB
 
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