Author Topic: Lead or lead alloy?  (Read 3817 times)

Bruce

  • Guest
Lead or lead alloy?
« on: June 27, 2010, 10:40:09 PM »
        Received today two jars of fishing-net sinkers.  Query: are they pure lead or an alloy?  They seem to be on the "hard" side.  How does one tell the difference?  Is there a method in ascertaining its composition?   Thanks in advance.


                                                                         Nestoroon Whackfroggel, overseer of idletrie.

Ole Doc

  • Guest
Re: Lead or lead alloy?
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2010, 11:25:14 PM »
I use my thumbnail to tell ...
soft lead tells ya .
Most likely since they be fishun weights they be mixed n hard.

Daryl

  • Guest
Re: Lead or lead alloy?
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2010, 02:09:04 AM »
A lead hardenss tester will show you instantly what the alloy is. The better ones read out on the Brinel scale, by which soft alloys are measured.
if yo've got soft thumbnails, that test won't show much, however it can be useful IF you have known alloys like pure lead to show comparrisons.  Alloys with some WW's mixed in might be too hard for .010" to .005" undersized balls, but can work well with a slightly smaller ball yet - both pure and 1/2 and 1/2  (pure and WW) mark similarly with the thumb nail.

Ole Doc

  • Guest
Re: Lead or lead alloy?
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2010, 02:24:17 AM »
got me a well calibrated thumbnail ...

msw

  • Guest
Re: Lead or lead alloy?
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2010, 02:50:10 PM »
if they're fish weights, depending on the age, they're most probably hard.  this isn't necessarily a bad thing- you can shoot harder than 'pure lead' but you'll have to tinker with the ball / patch relationship and you may or may not get results that are as accurate as shooting with pure lead.

what's important is that you go through the dance of working up a load which gets you the best result.  to this end, i would recommend that you get a gadget (one can never have too many gadgets) as a bullet stop which will allow you to recover the lead.  this way, you won't find yourself in the position of being almost out of lead as soon as you get a load which make your gun a tack- driving machine.

if you haven't already done so, i recommend that you get Dutch Schoultz' monograph.   it's money very well spent. 

good luck
go forth
make good smoke!

northmn

  • Guest
Re: Lead or lead alloy?
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2010, 05:17:54 PM »
Tried a few lead sinkers and they were at least as hard as WW. 

DP

Daryl

  • Guest
Re: Lead or lead alloy?
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2010, 07:20:34 PM »
Lead sinkers made 'at home' by anyone will be scrap - conglomeration of anything available - even battery lead - which is hard and toxic, normally.  The heaveir the sinkers, the more likely they will be very hard.
Very hard bullets can be shot just fine - BUT - they must be smaller than a normal pure lead ball that shoots and loads great.  They must be small enough, that a thick enough patch can be used to go to the bottom of the grooves - or - a wad of some sort is required.
Those who don't mind wiping the bore often and don't care about accuracy can get by with thin patches - that's where the .010" and .012' patches come in.