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Thread: Bismuth/tin for round ball.

  1. #1
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    Bismuth/tin for round ball.

    Hi
    Like most everyone else I have been following the debate about banning lead for Ďprojectilesí (shot or bullets). So far Iíve seen no mention of lead round ball but I have no doubt it will eventually happen, if only as a politically correct way of curbing our sport. I have toyed with the idea of trying bismuth/tin as a substitute ala Rotometals in the US. Has anybody tried it yet and if so is it viable? From research itís similar in hardness but scarily expensive, surprise surprise.

  2. #2
    keith66 is offline Optimisic Pessimist Fella
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    Bismuth is not viable because it is a rare metal with very limited production from very few mines. It was used as a neutron absorber in the nuclear industry so one would expect most production to go that way.
    It is also very brittle & frangible & liable to fragment going down the barrel. This was quite common with early non toxic shotgun loads where you fire 3's & dust comes out the end after its been through too tight a choke.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by keith66 View Post
    Bismuth is not viable because it is a rare metal with very limited production from very few mines. It was used as a neutron absorber in the nuclear industry so one would expect most production to go that way.
    It is also very brittle & frangible & liable to fragment going down the barrel. This was quite common with early non toxic shotgun loads where you fire 3's & dust comes out the end after its been through too tight a choke.
    I wouldn't try Bismuth on it's own for the very reason you state but I am pretty sure that Rotometal uses Bismuth, Tin and Antimony by percentages. Some of the reviews on their site are from muzzle-loaders using patched round ball.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by keith66 View Post
    Bismuth is not viable because it is a rare metal with very limited production from very few mines. It was used as a neutron absorber in the nuclear industry so one would expect most production to go that way.
    It is also very brittle & frangible & liable to fragment going down the barrel. This was quite common with early non toxic shotgun loads where you fire 3's & dust comes out the end after its been through too tight a choke.
    Depleted Bismuth? Now there's a thought! Far safer than nasty old lead.
    DesG
    "Si vis pacem, para bellum !"

  5. #5
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    Pure tin is BHN 9, which is almost as hard as typical range scrap. It won't work as well as pure lead for muzzle loaders.

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