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Discussion Starter #1
For some time I have meant to post this question. I buy buckshot that has 3% to 5% antimony in the mix. Why couldn't buckshot be heat treated to harden it up? If so, what procedure. I like the toaster oven deal and have a few.
Best Regards, James
 

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James

The only thing wrong with buckshot is that it doesn't have any Tin in it.  Without the Tin it will not cast very well.  It is also the tertiary (three part) alloy which is needed to produce a useful bullet as a binary Lead/Antimony alloy, while seeming hard, will actually be a Lead bullet containing free crystals of Antimony.  This isn't an actual alloy, but rather a mixture of two free metals.  In addition, my understanding of heat treating lead alloys is that this requires a small amount of Arsenic in addition to the Antimony.

I am not sure if buckshot has any Arsenic in it.  I suppose it depends on whether the particular shot is dropped or rolled from chopped wire.  The chopped and rolled variety does not require any Arsenic.  Dropped shot of any size contains about 1% Arsenic.  The purpose is to increase the surface tension of the alloy which aids greatly in the shot rounding out rather than forming into a teardrop shape.

Regarding references to Lead alloys, without re-reading the book, I believe Verle Smith mentioned the need for Arsenic for a Lead alloy to be heat-treatable.  Another source for information about this is a man in Arizona who sells metals.  I don't recall his name offhand, but he advertises in many of the gun magazines.  He can be found on the Web at www.antimonyman.com.  

For reference, the amount of Arsenic needed is .1%, drop shot contains 10 times this amount.  The very reason that the Arsenic is used in shot is the same reason it complicates casting bullets, the surface tension is too high and corners of the cavity don't fill well.

Hope this is helpful
 

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Thaks to all of you that have answered this post on the open forum and private message. The buckshot I buy is from Ballistic Products...3% antimony and is very hard. I thought that it could even be treated harder. The lead balls I buy are from Speer and are pure lead (swaged). I have to be very careful on buckshot and hunting dogs. Last year a couple of fellows from up North, not understanding our hunting conditions and traditions, jumped my case big time......saying I knew nothing about deer/bear hunting if I was using buckshot and deer dogs. Oh well........!!!!
I extended an invite to come down and go gator hunting....it still stands!
Best Regards, James
 

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If adding mag shot to other alloys (WW) only 10% is needed. as mentioned were dealing with 1% + arsenic in the shot. Pure mag shot for a bullet casting alloy is not Ideal!!  for one the amount of arsenic is very High if not in a well ventilated building. Two is the crystal structure of the alloy will make the bullet very brittle. I cast some 300gr WFN a couple years back just to see what they were like. first hit with a 5lb hammer on a anvil the bullet flew like glass. second after loading a couple in non-charged cases and applying a very heavy roll crimp the bullets broke at the crimp groove!! So if you have an alloy that has no arsenic mag shot is a great source but other than that its useless to a caster. if you want an alloy that responds well to heat treat nothin is better than plain ole wheel weights. Have fun James,
Jim.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks again.....As I mentioned, I am buying my buckshot and balls. I don't plan on doing any molding myself. However, all this info has been filed aways for any future use. Best Regards, James
 
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