[SOLVED] lead arsenic alloy - where a person might get a single ingot or a few pounds?

I'm trying to find a source for some lead-arsenic alloy.
I want to use a lead-arsenic or tin-arsenic to increase the arsenic
content of the lead I want to cast into bullets.
Yes, I am already aware of the health and environmental issues
involved with arsenic.
I know some shot shell lead shot contains arsenic, but it is at the
arsenic level I am trying to achieve. So it would do no good to add
that to what I have.
There are manufacturers producing up to 30% arsenic lead alloys,
but they are all in Russia and China from what I can tell.
And I don't need several metric tons.
Does anyone have any idea where a person might get a single ingot
or a few pounds?
Thanks,
Dave
Reply to
David A. Webb
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Perhaps you mean lead and antimony?
Reply to
Richard J Kinch
Nope.
Antimony is the main contributor of harden ability, but arsenic helps it retain the hardness once it has been heat treated. (at least according to what I have been reading from the cast lead bullet experts)
As I said, many people will add lead shot (of the type used for shotgun shells) to their pot, because certain types of this has up to 1% arsenic. A guy I work with tried it, and happened to use shot that had zero arsenic, and all of his bullets ended up too soft.
Dave
Reply to
David A. Webb
If he did he would not say.
Yes, I am already aware of the health and environmental issues involved with arsenic.
I wanted some arsenic to alloy with copper, but it cost more than I wanted to pay. All I found was high purity, small amounts for lab work.
Les
Reply to
PIW
Not sure if my post didn't make it, but no, I did mean arsenic and lead.
How do you get the pure arsenic to melt into the metal without all of it vaporizing or oxidizing? I know, I know... use a flux.
I have a source for arsenic metal lumps, although it isn't cheap. About $88 per pound. But I didn't think I'd be able to get it to mix in with the lead.
Dave
Reply to
David A. Webb
I suppose you know already that arsenic has all but dropped out of sight as an alloying ingredient for hardening lead. That's why most bullet casters have taken to using tin (in the form of lead-tin solder; is lead-tin still available in bars for wiping or for automobile bodywork? I don't know.). Another thing that I've read about, although I've never tried it, is finding a source of car wheel weights that run hard (some are quite hard), and then running some tests with a bullet hardness tester to get a standard ratio to use with pure lead.
When I used to cast bullets for muzzleloading I used any junk I could get my hands on, so I'm not much of an authority on the subject.
Good luck.
Ed Huntress
Reply to
Ed Huntress
Wheelweight alloy used to be mostly lead (93%+) with the rest antimony (5-6%) and traces other junk thrown in.
When I was doing a lot of bullet casting using wheelweights (20+ years ago), it was very easy to "heat treat" a cast bullet by dropping the bullets directly into water and quenching them. This "hardened" the bullet to a significant extent, and reduced leading in most loadings. The antimony matrix in suspension in the lead was responsible for the hardness increase.
The hardness was temporary, and was reduced then finally disappeared after several months at room temperature due to lead alloy re-crystallization.
I'm seriously out of date on wheelweight alloys now. I did cart around a lot of wheelweight ingots for many years, tho. When I moved from Ohio to Tennessee in 1998, and paid for the move myself, I gave away about 800 lbs. of wheel weight ingots to the local gun club in Ohio. Easy decision, the average freight rate was $0.60/lb for the move.
Mike Eberlein
Ed Huntress wrote:
Reply to
mikee
That sounds like a good price to me, I am only putting in 1 percent. Want to split a pound maybe??
Les
Reply to
PIW
Well, it sounds like you've made a good study of it, and that you know what you're after. Let us know how it works out.
BTW, those muzzleloader bullets I was making included lead balls for my pea rifle and for my .45-cal "compromise twist" commercially made rifle, but also patched conical bullets for use in an antique, 30-lb. bench rifle. The harder ones were the conicals.
If anyone is interested, I'll describe a process for making aluminum bullet molds that will make a machinist cry, but which turned out some of the best bullets I ever made. All you need is a big-mutha hammer and a file.
Ed Huntress
Reply to
Ed Huntress
Whoa... 1% ???
Again, I've not even started this adventure yet, but everything I've read says not to exceed 0.25%. Doing so will negate the effects of the tin, and will cause the lead to not fill out in the mold properly.
Are you having good luck with arsenic that high?
... how do you know you are getting 1% in your final alloy?
As far as splitting an order, I'm not sure if I really want any pure arsenic laying around. The local government would freak out and charge us with terrorism if we had that stuff in our garages.
I doubt they would feel so strongly about a lead-arsenic alloy.
Dave
Reply to
David A. Webb
I am, I am !!! (interested in having you describe the process)
Do you need very soft aluminum so it doesn't break when you beat on it with the hammer?
Dave
Reply to
David A. Webb
I suppose it would be better, but all I had was some cutoffs of 6061, which I kept annealing in the oven to keep them workable.
Anyway, I took two, 2" x 2" x 1" blocks of aluminum and a ball bearing of the correct size. I dimpled the two blocks of aluminum to hold the bearing in place to get started. Then I put a piece of 1/2" steel plate on top of one block and set the whole mess on another piece of steel plate, and began whacking it with the hammer (a short-handled maul, actually).
This takes a fair number of whacks, and I kept rotating the top block around as I went. When the two blocks started to touch I took them apart and filed them flat, several times, until the parting plane came out fairly flat. I clamped the two pieces together and drilled holes for guide pins, another for a sprue, and I was done.
It cast very nice balls. I also tried turning a conical bullet pattern from steel and hardened it, but it all needed some more experimentation. The aluminum wasn't filling properly around the pattern. I'm sure it would work if you fooled around with it.
Ed Huntress
Reply to
Ed Huntress
Its still easily done (heat treating) and while it does drop some in the brinell scale over time..its a very long time. Casting directly into a 5 gallon bucket will get wheel weights up to the 22-30 Brinell scale, and over the next several years..they will drop down to around 18 or so. There are several phase changes in the first day or two both up and down, then full hardness is reached in about 4 days.
This of course precludes sizing them after heat treating, and to be shot unsized. To get them hard if sized..you must size first, then put them in the oven, then lubed.
Gunner
"Gun Control, the theory that a 110lb grandmother should fist fight a 250lb 19yr old criminal"
Reply to
Gunner
Dave, I cast about 200lbs of wheel weights a year, down from 1000 lbs 15 yrs ago. I believe that the arsenic in the wheel weights is of sufficent quantity to carry over into your batchs. Always remember to rough cast as large a batch as possible for consistancy. I made a large bottom pour batch/rough melter out of a 18" bull plug, and a homemade gas ring burner under it, and it would rough cast at least 100 lbs or more of wheel weights at a time, allowing you to remove the clips, dross, etc etc and allow good fluxing and getting a good homogenious mix of a large quantity. I didnt use it often, but at least once a year, we would melt down at least 1000 lbs of wheel weights in a single day, and pour batches all pretty close to each other into ingots made from angle iron moulds.
Casting parties are a big help, if you can con a couple buddies into giving you a hand for a half a day. You can turn out a shitload of bullets by using multiple moulds and even more if using large gang molds.
I think I have around 53 or so moulds, and am always looking for more of the old ones. A lot of the better old Lyman styles simply are no longer available from Lyman, or anyone else.
I have need for a .410 200-220 gr SWC mould if you run across one (.41 Mag) and have several brand new or near new 7mm moulds, surplus.
Also need a .406-409 300-400 gr mould (40-65 Win). Doesnt need to be gas check base.
Gunner
"Gun Control, the theory that a 110lb grandmother should fist fight a 250lb 19yr old criminal"
Reply to
Gunner
YES!! Please do!
I suspect Im gonna cringe when I hear the discription however...
Gunner
"Gun Control, the theory that a 110lb grandmother should fist fight a 250lb 19yr old criminal"
Reply to
Gunner
Hi Dave I think you assume I am making bulets, I am not. I want to make Kuromido for jewerly.
Les
Reply to
PIW
I guess you saw the description I posted by now. As my aging memory clanks into gear, I remember two other points: After I made this thing I bandsawed about a half-inch from one side of the joined mold, so that the sprue opening to the outside was about 1/8" from the cavity. And the mold joined so tightly that it wouldn't vent at all. So I cut four shallow vents (a criss-cross, actually) in one side of the mold with a triangular file. I also recall that the ball bearing was sticking in one half of the mold as I got close to finishing it so I had to focus my filing on that side of the mold. I'd file, then put it back together and whack it a few times, etc. Start to finish, it took maybe ten minutes of work with about three interruptions for annealing. I was being cautious. If you started with 1100 or 3003 aluminum, you probably wouldn't have to stop at all.
The thing looks pretty ugly when it's done but the cavity is a near mirror-polish, and it casts beautiful lead balls. I smoked the cavity before pouring lead. It needs some kind of release agent, and all I've ever used for that, with any bullet- or sinker molds, is smoke from an old kerosene lamp.
Ed Huntress
Reply to
Ed Huntress
Humm the Ed's BFH Method of mould production. Most interesting. Actually its not a bad idea. Ive been wanting to make some moulds of my own bullet designs and can see that this would be very doable with cherries turned on a lathe, and then pressed together in a big assed hydraulic press. I could turn the "bullets" on the lathe, include the sprue hole, make the blocks oversize but include dowel pins for alignment, predrill the cavities to minimum dimensions, lay in the patterns, then press...hummmmmmm
THANKS!!!!!!!! I know exactly where there is a 150 ton hydraulic press that I can get some time on for nothing (Id have to make multiple moulds though and give the shooter/operator some )
Do all the finish work after pressing, including the handle slots, and use the shaper to put in the vent lines.
Way way cool! Is there any particular caliber/weight you want? Ill crank you out some as well.
Thanks again!!
Gunner
"Gun Control, the theory that a 110lb grandmother should fist fight a 250lb 19yr old criminal"
Reply to
Gunner
Thanks, but I don't have...well, if it works, and if it's easy with the hydraulic press to make one, I could use a wadcutter for my .32 H&R Mag. They're too darned expensive.
A couple of things: although use of the maul may be my innovation , the general method is a traditional moldmaking technique with a long history. It's called "hubbing" (originally called "hobbing" but too many processes were getting that label at the time). In the first half of the last century it was a common way to make multiple mold cavities. By the '50s, moldmakers were using annealed P6 as the mold material and squeezing it into cavity shapes with big-ass presses. Aluminum, relatively speaking, is a piece of cake.
Like any metalworking skill it requires some practice to get all of the ins and outs right. I hadn't worked out how to get a flat bottom on a conical bullet, but I'm sure there's a way, because I've seen some hubbed cavities that had nearly straight sides. The smart thing would have been to forget about the flat bottom, put the sprue in the middle of the butt end, and just trim it square when you cut off the sprue.
Good luck. It's a therapeutic relief from fussy metalworking. At least, it is when you do it with the hammer.
Ed Huntress
Reply to
Ed Huntress
Oh, I should point out why I started this. Although it can be useful in making conical bullet molds, my real motivation was to find an easy way to make near-perfect round balls. Using the bearing ball for a pattern was the whole idea. And it really worked well.
Ed Huntress
Reply to
Ed Huntress

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