PDA

View Full Version : Source of arsnic and what proportion?



largecaliberman
04-19-2006, 06:12 AM
I've been casting bullets for almost a year now and I've acquired atleast a ton of lead from an indoor shooting range. I did a BHN test and it tested between 5-6 BHN. I am considering on heat treating the bullets in a gas stove I picked up at a junk yard and rigged up a digital thermometer. My question is in order to heat treat the alloy, it must contain some arsnic.:)

Question:

1. What is the best source of arsnic?:?

2. What is the appropriate proportion/weight to say --10 pounds of lead with a BHN 5-6?:confused:

versifier
04-19-2006, 05:03 PM
Mix your range lead 50/50 with wheel weights, then you can either oven treat, or even easier, water drop them. Wheel weights, linotype, and even pure lead will heat treat and/or harden when dropped from the mould into a bucket of water. None of them contain any arsenic. Tin helps the mould to fill out (especially in smaller calibers) and helps hardening somewhat, antimony just helps to harden the alloy. If you can get ahold of some linotype, it is the best hardener you can add - 4% Tin, 12% Antimony, 84% Lead, but it's getting hard to find and though softer, ww's are a lot easier to find.
You do not want to be handling elemental arsenic, you don't even want it around you, never mind try working with it. It is even more dangerous than handling elemental antimony because it is more easily absorbed into your body. Google "arsenic" and read about what happens when you are exposed to it in its various forms. Once upon a time people did add things like arsenic and mercury to casting metal, before their extremely toxic effects were documented and understood. They also did things like jumping out of tall buildings with umbrellas, and ballooning with bags full of hydrogen... :shock: Today there are plenty of safer alternatives. Every dead shooter and caster is a victory for Hillary and Sarah, so keep breathing, OK?

krag35
04-19-2006, 11:26 PM
Paraphrased from Lyman's cast bullet handbook p. 49

Arsenic is not an impurity. Arsenic is every bit as important to bullet alloys as antimony and tin, especially where hardness is concerned.

It lists sources as wheel weights, shot, and arsenical lead Babbitt.

"in most antimonial alloys, arsenic ranges from 0.05% to0.5%. The typical concentration in wheel weights is about 0.17% At these concentrations, the arsenic is no more a toxic hazard than the antimony and it's presence permits wheel weights and other such alloys to be heat treated to 30BHN or more."

The above is attributed to Col. E.H. Harrison, Cast bullets, National Rifle association of America, Washington D.C.,1979,p. 118

Personally when I'm trying to make hard bullets, I add 1/4 cup of "magnum" shot to my 20# pot of WW and drop them into a bucket of water right from the mold. Don't have a hardness tester, but my highly calibrated thumbnail says these water dropped bullets, are quite a bit harder than the air cooled ones.

All that being said, I agree with versifier, leave the arsenic alone, find some WW and cut your range scrap, or first try heat treating your range scrap bullets by themselves, might surprise you how hard they come out.

krag35

GSPKurt
12-16-2006, 12:06 AM
Every dead shooter and caster is a victory for Hillary and Sarah, so keep breathing, OK?

What he said, +1

C1PNR
12-29-2006, 10:40 PM
Personally when I'm trying to make hard bullets, I add 1/4 cup of "magnum" shot to my 20# pot of WW and drop them into a bucket of water right from the mold. Don't have a hardness tester, but my highly calibrated thumbnail says these water dropped bullets, are quite a bit harder than the air cooled ones.
krag35
This is the safe, reliable source for the "tad bit" of arsenic needed (in some cases) if you want to harden your lead. Water drop or, the way I prefer for continuity between boolits, heat treat in the oven. Bake @ 425 to 450 F for ~ an hour, and then immediately quench in cold water.

And I agree that you should first try heat treating without adding anything. You may find you don't need any additive, and can use that shot for loading for Pheasant hunting.:coffee:

WILDCATT
03-14-2008, 10:05 PM
if your shooting pistol you dont need to harden lead.I have shot range lead since the 60s and in target loads in 45 and 38.

kimber 40
07-11-2008, 05:59 PM
When casting and heat treating by dropping into water it hardens the cast bullet, but what happens when you resize the cast bullet? Does it remain hard or is the hardned part of the bullet removed when you size it..

versifier
07-11-2008, 07:05 PM
Good question. It's one that many who rely on WD hardening never stop to consider. Lead and its alloys do not work harden like copper and its alloys do. When you size a WD or HT cast bullet, you soften the driving bands, making it an exercise in futility to harden them first. You can HT after sizing (and seating of GC), but depending on the lube and lubing method, you may have to relube afterwards. To go that route, I would push-through size (and seat GC) without lube, then HT, then lube, either by dipping in TL or in a conventional lubrisizer with a die that is larger enough that it will not size the bullet.