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How can you determine what content of lead you have. I have some lead bars that I got from a plumber. Is this suitable for loading for a 45/70 using modern powder. I was told it was too hard for muzzle loading by a friend, but I really don't know. I was just wondering if it would be suitable for breach loading modern guns.

Oh and i will be shooting it in a Uberti Sharps 45/70

Thanks
Steve
 

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Plimber's lead is usually close to pure. If anything, too soft for most smokeless loads, although it can perform very well in BP loads. It's impossible to determine the exact alloy with home methods, but you can make a guess by trying to scratch it with a fingernail -- if you can make a mark easily, it's soft. Or, drop an ingot on to a concrete flooor. A dull "thud" means soft, a ringing sound means you're looking at something of at least wheelweight hardness. Or, you can spend some bucks and get a hardness tester which, accuracy-wise, will give you a result somewhere between these methods and a labaratory analysis.
 

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The fellow who told you plumber's lead is too hard probably confused it with plumber's solder. The lead is, as Pisgah said, usually pretty pure and will work just fine for muzzle loading projectiles. The solder would not be.
 
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