Where does one get linotype metal, is it from scrap sources or new material? What about the mix ratios of alloys with the lead, is it by weight or volume? – Bobby
An internet search will yield sources for just about any alloy you need. Since they closed Doe Run, I’ve been giving serious thought to making a bulk purchase of pure elemental lead. Like, one ton of lead. Many BP guns, muzzle-stuffers and BP cartridge guns, like soft lead better than the hard alloys. Bullet alloys are mixed by weight, not volume.
The others have covered the How-To when it comes to casting and swaging your own projos… I’ve used wheelweights, and they yield pretty good bullets. Any garage or tire place will usually have a 5-gallon bucket full of used wheelweights sitting around… they’re “supposed” to turn it in for recycling, but you can usually break some (or all) loose by waving a Jackson or two under the manager’s nose.
One thing I learned was when you melt your alloy, take a pea-sized lump of pure beeswax and drop it in. It burns off impurities and makes the dross easy to scoop away. If you’re investing in equipment, go for the “good” lead melter – the big 20lb capacity model with the bottom pour and plenty of room underneath for your bullet mould. Yeah, it’s a power hog, but it’s really, really nice… save the “iron pot in the fireplace” for when TSHTF. Oh, if you’re melting down wheelweights or linotype and making smallish ingots (and you will be), you don’t have to use the factory-made expensive ingot moulds… they’re cast iron and they got the name of the manufacturer in them, so all you’re doing is letting them have free advertising. The only important thing is that your ingot mould be cast iron. I bought a cast-iron muffin pan from a junk shop for 50 cents. Makes real nice ingots. Just don’t mix it up with your real muffin pan…
For higher velocities with lead bullets (not jacketed bullets) you can always run gas checks – these are small copper cups that go on the backside of the bullet, preventing gas cutting of the base of the bullet and are pretty useful. Not as great as semi-jacketed or full metal jacketed bullets, but they serve their purpose (driving a bullet faster, no lead stripping, etc). Paper patching bullets serves the same purpose, as well as bringing a bullet up to proper bore diameter…
Never liked base-pour moulds. The base of the bullet is critical. If it’s not perfectly flat and square (in the case of non-skirted bullets), then you will have accuracy issues. Not big issues, but enough. Nose-pour moulds ensure a perfectly flat bullet base, but almost nobody makes them because it’s way less expensive to cut a base-pour bullet mould. I’ll do a bit of lookin and see if I can find someone who makes nose-pour bullet moulds..
The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1