310 grain 44 magnum "Zead" boolits [Archive] - Glock Talk

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country85
08-08-2012, 18:33
Precursor: I got my hands on some wheel weights not too long ago and not wanting to exhaust my supply of pure lead I decide to melt them down, well all was going well until I barely touched them temp(to turn it down) and whooom instant solidification. So I barely bumped it back up and scooped the oatmeal off the top, refluxed about a thousand times and all seemed to be okay. When it cooled in the pot I noticed it had some crystal looking things in it. Not ever dealt with wheel weights I was hoping it was normal.

Now to just a few hours ago.

I smoked and lubed my mold and let my pot heat up. All looked well and I started casting. I thought the boolits looked a little strange but kept dropping them in water. So after casting the whole pot of I got to work double checking the boolits for damage etc. Well then I heard it. I was digging through the bullets and cut offs and the cut offs sounded like pot metal jingling around, sounds just like pewter or silver plated silverware rattling together. Only about a quarter of the boolits are even shaped right cause since I knew they had zinc in them I just started dropping them on top of each other. Now the question of the day, Are they usuable? They are hard as rocks, but look and measure perfect. Any one ever run into this before?

Sorry for the book but felt the need to fully explain

fredj338
08-08-2012, 21:29
Yeah, sounds like you cranked the temp up too high & melted zinc into your alloy. They will not likely hurt naythign, but you may have to adjust your load for a more solid bullet. I would melt them all back down & try fluxing the zinc out. It does soildify sooner than lead/tin alloy, so fluxing then skimming may get you back to a useable alloy. It happend to me once, buddy sent me 60# of "ww alloy" that had quite a bit of zinc in it. So much that it plugged my bottom our pot up even cranked up high. I melted it all down & poured it out of the top of the pot. Melted it again & fluxed it then cast it into 2# ingotes & added 2# per 10# of good alloy. I did manage to use up the entire 40# or so. Moral, know your bullet alloy. Next time you melt ww, keep the temp below 700deg & skim off the weights that do not melt.

country85
08-08-2012, 21:40
I defiantly learned my lesson lol. The more I look at the boolits the more I like em. I loaded a couple rounds up with 9 grains of unique and am going to try to hit the range tomorrow. I've fluxed it at least 20 times seriously lol I"m going to melt it down half and half with pure lead. Can't wait to try some of these bad boys on steel

Zombie Steve
08-08-2012, 23:35
Soon as you said oatmeal, I was thinking zinc.

http://i183.photobucket.com/albums/x214/sbecht/grinser008.gif

Won't hurt your barrel, most jackets are copper and zinc. Sucks once it's in your pot...

country85
08-08-2012, 23:43
Yep, I'm going to triple check my next batch of WW's lol. Kinda off subject but Steve you think 9 grains of Unique is too much for that 310 grain hunk of lead?

Zombie Steve
08-08-2012, 23:57
Yep, I'm going to triple check my next batch of WW's lol. Kinda off subject but Steve you think 9 grains of Unique is too much for that 310 grain hunk of lead?

Now that you mention it... Yes, I do.


I've had issues with 240's and 10 grains of Unique. Depends on the bearing surface (among other things like brass, primer , et cetera). With your harder boolits it might be ok. Start low and work up. The few manuals I have at my fingertips here don't even have data for Unique and 300 grain bullets, jacketed or lead... probably for good reason.

Keep in mind that a "reduced" or "mid-range" load doesn't mean reduced or mid-range pressures. It means reduced or mid-range performance. Unique is pretty quick burning for .44 mag.

Example - Lyman 49 shows the old Keith bullet (#429421) with a max charge of Unique at 13 grains / 1147 fps from a 4" bbl and 36,800 C.U.P.. The max charge of 2400 is 20.6 grains is getting 1248 fps at 37,200.

13 grains of Unique is a pile, and I wouldn't even try it with a 240. :wow:

country85
08-09-2012, 06:42
Thanks steve, yea the manuals I have only show up to 240 grain boolits, And I've got tons of 240 loads already so they aren't really helping lol. But thanks for the heads up, I'll start at around 7 and work up from there

glock_19guy1983
08-09-2012, 06:44
there is a sticky at castboolits.com about how to flux zinc out using sulfur.

country85
08-09-2012, 09:14
I ended up getting it straight now, I completely emptied out my pot, put all the "zead" on the bottom and pure lead on top. I turned the pot on very low, so the pure lead on top melted before the "zead", so the lead hot lead flowed down and melted all the pure lead out off the crap and all the zinc floated to the top, scraped the oat meal off and fluxed now it's good as new, just cast about 50 boolits with the new mix and can hardly tell the difference between it and pure lead.

@ glock_19: I saw that and thought about it, but I live in an apartment and am very limited on what I can do. I use my lee pot under the range hood and never get it hot enough to smoke. I have to go to a friends house and use his burner out doors when I flux my lead. Thanks for the advice ya'll

glock_19guy1983
08-09-2012, 09:59
yeah sulfur fumes and an apartment dont mix. Ive found that if I get my pot just hot enough to melt a soft stick on ww I dont have to worry about melting the zinc weights. the clip on weights seem to melt at a good bit lower temp than the nearly pure lead stick ons.

fredj338
08-09-2012, 13:17
yeah sulfur fumes and an apartment dont mix. Ive found that if I get my pot just hot enough to melt a soft stick on ww I dont have to worry about melting the zinc weights. the clip on weights seem to melt at a good bit lower temp than the nearly pure lead stick ons.

Correct, alloys melt at lower temps than single metals. It's easy to check for zinc, use a wire cutters, if it dnets it's lead based, if not, it's something you shouldn't be trying to melt. Zinc melts around 720deg+, so keep the temp @ 700 & anything that doesn't melt, discard.

country85
08-09-2012, 23:12
After talking with some guys over at cast boolits, seems it's not zinc, I just got some wheel weights with a large amount of antimony in them, So game on for those rock hard Pig punishers!!! lol

Zombie Steve
08-10-2012, 08:06
What makes them think it's antimony?

Never seen linotype, monotype or even Lyman #2 wheel weights, and never seen any of those make oatmeal in the pot. :dunno:

If it is antimony and you shoot pigs with them, keep in mind, they'll be brittle... likely smash up hitting a bone.

country85
08-10-2012, 09:00
Guys over there said it was probably antimony because it melted at a lower temp than zinc. They are hard but not brittle, I put one in my bench vise and can get it to deform(with everything I got) it deformed but didn't flake or crack, here's some pics of the one's I cast today...

http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/aa347/Robert_Harwood/Bullet%20Casting/DSCN0382.jpg

http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/aa347/Robert_Harwood/Bullet%20Casting/DSCN0384.jpg

http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/aa347/Robert_Harwood/Bullet%20Casting/DSCN0386.jpg

http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/aa347/Robert_Harwood/Bullet%20Casting/DSCN0385.jpg

fredj338
08-10-2012, 09:48
After talking with some guys over at cast boolits, seems it's not zinc, I just got some wheel weights with a large amount of antimony in them, So game on for those rock hard Pig punishers!!! lol
It would have to be a huge amount of antimony. A few oz of zinc will screw the alloy up big time. A high % of antimony in the alloy will still cat, just turn the heat up. As Zombie notes, lino is very high in antiomny, casts perfect bullets w/ no dross on the top. Nope, I am betting a small amount of zinc, even 1% can ruin the alloy.