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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have some ingots which I think are about 10 pounds. Some have the words "Five Fold" molded into them, and some say "Bunker Hill". Can anyone tell me what alloy this is from that much info? I suspect it is pure lead.
 

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If they're dark grey and you can indent the surface with a thumbnail, it's probably pure lead. If it's a lighter color and harder, it's another alloy.
 

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Drop an ingot on to a concrete suface. A "thunk" tells you you're pretty close to pure lead. A "ting" tells you you're up to wheelweight hardness, at least.

If you're lucky, you've got plumber's lead -- dead soft, and easy to alloy up to something harder, if desired.
 

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The imprints are just the ingot mould maker. Mine say RCBS, others say LEE or Lyman. It is meaningless.

Melt them, toss in a few wheelweights or range scrap bullets or a piece of 50/50 solder. Then make bullets.
 

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Generally if I have an unknown type of lead I'll melt up a batch in a 10# pot or small pan. That way I can ladle pour some bullets just to be sure there isn't any zinc in it. Otherwise I might contaminate my other lead when I mix it in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Generally if I have an unknown type of lead I'll melt up a batch in a 10# pot or small pan. That way I can ladle pour some bullets just to be sure there isn't any zinc in it. Otherwise I might contaminate my other lead when I mix it in.
What does zinc do?
 

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If you have any zinc contamination in your lead your bullets wont fill out properly. Even if the mold and lead are both at the correct temperature. And you wont get the sharp edges on the base. Zinc in your lead is definitely something you want to avoid. Casting a few bullets from lead you pick up before you add it to your casting pot is really worth the trouble unless you are sure the lead is good.
 
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