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Lead sewer pipe for cast bullets?

taperloctaperloc Member Posts: 420 ✭✭✭
edited March 2007 in Ask the Experts
Lead sewer pipe for cast bullets?
I just acquired two pieces of 2" sewer drainpipe about 2 ? feet long. Is this pure lead or an alloy?
The house that they came out of was built in 1969. I realize that I will have to blend with tin and antimony to use it for my .38-55, but if it is pure lead I will use some of it for my black powder weapons.
Taperloc

Comments

  • IconoclastIconoclast Member Posts: 10,912
    edited November -1
    I don't know "for sure" but always treated lead pipe, sink traps, etc., as pure lead.

    Test hardness against a known alloy. If you don't have one of the SAECO hardness testers, cast a few projectiles from the unknown while making up some for your ML firearms from known pure lead and shoot both into gell, water, whatever such that you can compare depth of rifling marks, deformation, etc.
  • scubabobfscubabobf Member Posts: 392 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Hi;
    Generally the pipes are pure lead. However you are dealing with quality control from a hundred years ago. The Romans used lead pipes and I recall see lead pipes at a Roman Bath house in Bath England. Your pipe may be a water pipe rather than a sewer pipe. There are still some in service but are being phased out.
    You did not state your intended use. If you are causal target shooting and keeping the velocity low, a lead with some alloying metal may be ok. If you are serious target shooting or hunting, a known lead should be used.
    Sewage typically has hydrogen sulfide which readily reacts lead to form lead sulfide. Look inside the pipe to see if there is a black layer. If there is the pipe could be a sewer pipe.
    You could check the hardness as the other replier suggested. If the pipe is softer than the hardest lead bullet you want to use, it should be fine. You may encounter problems with the casting if there are too many impurities. Regards.
  • JIM STARKJIM STARK Member Posts: 1,089 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    The poor mans method of hardness comparison is really easy....Take a piece of lead with a known (or desired) hardness... Get a ball bearing.... Place the ball bearing between the known and unknown pieces....Squeeze them together...The deepest depression is the softer of the two...Hope this helps you out..Hardness testers are rather pricey..
    JIM............
  • richbugrichbug Member Posts: 3,650
    edited November -1
    The even poorer mans(those too poor to own a ball bearing) test is check it with your finger nail. If you can mark it with your nail, it is soft enough for a muzzle loader. 99% of the time pipe without fittings is soft. The soldered on fittings are usually harder.
  • bobskibobski Member Posts: 17,868 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    i knew guys that smelted off the crap and dropped a nickel in the lead pot to make it right. is that still done?
    Retired Naval Aviation
    Former Member U.S. Navy Shooting Team
    Former NSSA All American
    Navy Distinguished Pistol Shot
    MO, CT, VA.
  • Chief ShawayChief Shaway Member, Moderator Posts: 5,940 ******
    edited November -1
    I have used some before. Like stated before, If it clear lead all the way thru, it is good to go for a muzzleloader. All that I have run across is pure lead. A tip during melting, drop a sliver of candle wax in the lead when it is melted, then stir it up and scrape the sides and scoop out what floats to the top.
  • joeaf1911a1joeaf1911a1 Member Posts: 3,340
    edited November -1
    Never heard of a nickel being used to harden lead. But Brownells
    Marvelflux works great when mixing lead/tin/antimony instead of wax or bees wax. One can last forever. Proper heat for casting is important
    and a thermometer is handy in the pot. I use Lymans #2 alloy for all
    my casting. So far so good. This mix I make up myself into 1 lb. ingots then cast. NO, not for muzzle loaders though. This should be
    fairly pure lead.
  • bobskibobski Member Posts: 17,868 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    try it. about 10 cents worth will do a pot. youll see the color change.
    Retired Naval Aviation
    Former Member U.S. Navy Shooting Team
    Former NSSA All American
    Navy Distinguished Pistol Shot
    MO, CT, VA.
  • tobefreetobefree Member Posts: 7,401
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by taperloc
    Lead sewer pipe for cast bullets?
    I just acquired two pieces of 2" sewer drainpipe about 2 ? feet long. Is this pure lead or an alloy?
    The house that they came out of was built in 1969. I realize that I will have to blend with tin and antimony to use it for my .38-55, but if it is pure lead I will use some of it for my black powder weapons.
    Taperloc



    I'd pass on the idea and use it for sinkers... or for hiding things from Superman....
  • v35v35 Member Posts: 13,200
    edited November -1
    Pure lead will cast undersize bullets that wont fill out the mould. You'll have to add some tin or antimony. You can use 50/50 solder or buy tin or antimony.
    I used to use 1:16 mix for cast bullets.
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