Isotope core lead, make it COWW?

Brother_Love

Well-Known Member
Anybody know what I would need to add to isotope cores to get close to COWW alloy? I was given 8 of those codes and I would love to be able to use them. Thank you
 

Spindrift

Active Member
I use lead cannisters that have been used for transport of radioactive isotopes, do they look anything like those below?

I have found two main types of alloy in mine. Some are pure lead (that is, they look like pure, and have BHN 5).

The others have some strange characteristics. BHN14, non-reactive to water quenching, very stable hardness over time. 2% antimon raises BHN (air cooled) to 17, and then they water quench to 27 (which seems to be out of proportion to the amount of antimon). The alloy casts very well, but needs high temp.

I would suggest testing hardness with the «pencil test», as this does not require the tested object being bullet shaped, you can test your cores as-is. Then take it from there.C44A9B84-F762-4F1A-A4D5-CBFB9F335A53.jpeg
 

RicinYakima

High Steppes of Eastern Washington
My casting friends and I looked into these about 20 years ago:there are no standards for composition. It simply has to provide shielding for the material inside at X performance level. They used to be plumbers pig lead, 98%+, but the last one before I retired in 2013 was 95% lead and the rest copper, antimony, zinc and calcium. FWIW
 

Pistolero

Well-Known Member
Is there any simple and affordable way to get them tested? I have several very large ones, 3 or 4, about
7 or 8 " in diameter, conical on one end. It would e nice to know what they are, they are pretty big chunks.

Bill
 

RicinYakima

High Steppes of Eastern Washington
Most big city scrap yards have an electronic testing unit. Don't know if you will let you use it for stuff they are not buying.
 

Brad

Administrator
Staff member
Is there any simple and affordable way to get them tested? I have several very large ones, 3 or 4, about
7 or 8 " in diameter, conical on one end. It would e nice to know what they are, they are pretty big chunks.

Bill
I can pick them up, cast with them, shoot the bullets, and report back to you.

I am that kind of guy!
 

Ole_270

Active Member
I've got 3 of the larger ones, about 31 lbs each. By memory, about a 1 3/4"" knob on one end, tapering to around 5" 2/3 of the way through, then back down to 2 1/2" at the other end with a rectangular cavity in that end. 6 3/4" oal. Saw a post somewhere that listed this model as 1% Sn, 3% Sb. I've got a bunch of range lead thats been tested at 0.1%Sn, 1.4% Sb that I'm thinking of mixing to end up around 2-2.5% for a little softer alloy.
 
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Brother_Love

Well-Known Member
THis is the same ones I have. Thanks

QUOTE="Ole_270, post: 102992, member: 567"]
I've got 3 of the larger ones, about 31 lbs each. By memory, about a 1 3/4"" knob on one end, tapering to around 5" 2/3 of the way through, then back down to 2 1/2" at the other end with a rectangular cavity in that end. 6 3/4" oal. Saw a post somewhere that listed this model as 1% Sn, 3% Sb. I've got a bunch of range lead thats been tested at 0.1%Sn, 1.4% Sb that I'm thinking of mixing to end up around 2-2.5% for a little softer alloy.

[/QUOTE]
 

Ian

Well-Known Member
I had some of those, they were about 2.5% tin/2.5% antimony, cast like a dream and made bullets pretty large so I used it 50/50 with ww and shot it all up in my .45 ACPs and .30-30s.
 

fiver

Well-Known Member
1% tin and 3% antimony on those odd shaped ones seems to be most correct. [they have like a brass bar in them]
there are some big cylinders [6" tall by about 3.5" wide] with lids that are about the same.

the smaller ones about 2-2.5" across by 4" or so tall] seem to be either real close to pure lead or 2.5% tin and 2.5% antimony.

AIRC there is a website called 'fell family' that has a ton of different isotope containers on it.
 
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Intel6

Member
I got some of the 31 lb. "football" ones and used the lead alloy calculator to figure out two of those (62 lbs.) and a 5 lb. bar of superhard makes alloy close to WW.
 

fiver

Well-Known Member
that's it Bill.
I couldn't remember the whole thing for sure, and haven't been there in like 10 years.

I don't think they are 100% on that site but they do give a good idea about several different types.
 

Pistolero

Well-Known Member
Yeah, amazing what you can get in those flat rate boxes. I had a postman
bring a pair of them to my door, I had purchased smelted WWt metal
online. He said, kinda sheepishly, "If you don't mind saying, what's in those?"
I grinned and said, "lead bars". He said, with a grin, "Yeah, we pretty well figured that
it had to be that." And off to the truck. Within the rules. :)

You can alsmost hear them down at the Post Office,
"Better be careful with these two",
"Holy crap! What the heck is IN THIS THING?"
"Geez, Harry, that feels like lead."
"Yeah, gotta be lead".
"Hey, maybe it's gold bars"
"Hah, not a chance."

Bill
 
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fiver

Well-Known Member
I got 105 lbs of lead in a doubled up large flat rate box just to see how much I could cram in one with the ingot sizes I had on hand.
about the only way I could get anymore in there would be to make a mold the same size as the box and pour in a solid chunk.
I thought about doing that and trying it down at the PO until they pointed out the then 'new' 70 lb rule.
I'm pretty sure us bullet guy's were directly responsible for that weight limit, and them dropping the 'if it fits it ships' commercials.
 

462

California's Central Coast Amid The Insanity
The petite Filipino lady, who subs on the regular mailman's day off, struggled with the small flat rate box of ingots that I shipped to Ian in exchange for a set of dies. I think her uniform and bag weigh more than she does.
 

Rally

NC Minnesota
Bill,
You should have grabbed that box with one hand and told him it was just popcorn! Just to mess with his mind.