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I want to start casting slugs for my air rifles. I think I want a bottom pour pot set up. The biggest thing is deciding what molds to try. I guess I should slug my barrel first to decide on a diameter to start with. I have been collecting lead.

Are you sizing those or casting them undersized for the coating?
 

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Today one must be careful not to get any zinc in your lead. Those infernal zinc wheel weights contaminate everything!
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The last bucket was 80% Zn. Clip on lead weights are dying out and tire shops are no longer worthwhile for me. I’ll just buy Lyman no. 2 from here on out.
 

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The last bucket was 80% Zn. Clip on lead weights are dying out and tire shops are no longer worthwhile for me. I’ll just buy Lyman no. 2 from here on out.
I've thought about casting zinc... might be able to cast rifle rounds using zinc. Need to take more precautions with it, but it doesn't seem unmanageable though might be harder on barrels?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I don’t know that it’s hard on barrels but what load data would you use on something that’s much lighter than it’s supposed to be?
 

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Today one must be careful not to get any zinc in your lead. Those infernal zinc wheel weights contaminate everything!
Can you tell the difference by watching it melt? If you tossed in some zinc by accident would you see it as it melted? Could you dip it out?

I have been looking into casting for my .357 air rifle. It seems that air rifles like really soft pure lead, to seal the bore at their lower pressures.
 

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Is there really a melting temperature issue with lead and zinc? I did not know that.

Nemo
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You can tell the difference pretty easily beforehand with side cutters but Zn will float if unless the melt gets too hot. Clip on wheel weights aren’t pure lead and might not be what you want for your air rifle.
 

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Mind the metal fever if you’re cooking zinc. Zinc oxide comes in about 4.5 MOHs vs lead’s 1.5 MOHs on the hardness scale. I’d figure if someone was substituting, bismuth or copper would make better choices or maybe even tin. There’s also the thought that zinc is often a sacrificial anode for anti-corrosion stuff and it’ll be in contact with brass and steel at the same time. I would chase something a little more inert.

My inflation-adjusted $0.02 for internet armchair quarterbacking.
 
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