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Author Topic: What to do with these bullets?  (Read 11214 times)

cpaspr

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What to do with these bullets?
« on: April 19, 2012, 02:53:17 pm »
I have about 700 .45 ACP bullets I acquired a few years ago.  Cheap.  Cheap because they were pulled bullets.

The problem is, they were pulled plated bullets, not pulled jacketed bullets. 

After loading a bunch of them I noticed one that was pushed back in the shell.  Checked it out, and I could push it even further.

Uh Oh!

I checked the rest of the loaded rounds and a few were okay on neck tension, but otherwise I had a couple of hundred to tear apart.   :banghead  I then mic'ed the rest, and found that out of 1000, 300 were usable.  I loaded and shot those.

However, what can I do with the remaining 700? 

Since they're fully plated, I can't really melt them down to re-use the lead, can I?  Or is there a fairly easy way to get past the plating?  It has to be fairly easy - we're talking 700 here.

I thought they might be usable by someone with a black powder gun, but I don't really know anything about that, and even if it is possible, I don't know of anyone that shoots BP.

« Last Edit: April 19, 2012, 04:39:48 pm by cpaspr »
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    JesseL

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    Re: What to do with these bullets?
    « Reply #1 on: April 19, 2012, 03:03:24 pm »
    Quote
    Since they're fully plated, I can't really melt them down to re-use the lead, can I?  Or is there a fairly way to get past the plating?

    You could use some heavy snips or dikes to clip them in half before tossing them in your lead pot. The lead will melt and the copper will float. As long as you're not running the temp too high I don't think you'll get any copper contamination in your alloy.
    Arizona

    cpaspr

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    Re: What to do with these bullets?
    « Reply #2 on: April 19, 2012, 03:09:50 pm »
    Define "too high".  The pot I have I got from my father.  I'm not sure it's even been plugged in since I last used it.  In 1976.  I intend to dust it off and plug it in tomorrow.
    Oregon

    JesseL

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    Re: What to do with these bullets?
    « Reply #3 on: April 19, 2012, 03:18:44 pm »
    Your lead pot probably can't get hot enough to cause problems. I'm thinking that it wouldn't become a serious issue until you're over 1000F - and casting that hot would be silly.
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    freeman1685

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    Re: What to do with these bullets?
    « Reply #4 on: April 19, 2012, 03:58:56 pm »
    The melting point of Lead is 621.5 deg. F, the melting point of Copper is 1981.4 deg F.  Melt them down, the Copper will float to the top, skim off the copper.

    If your lead pot can even hit 1000 Deg. I'd be surprised.  You'd vaporize the Lead, before you have to worry about the Copper melting.
    ArizonaStupidity cannot be cured with money, or through education or by legislation.  Stupidity is not a sin, the victim can't help being stupid.  But stupidity is the only universal capital crime; the sentence is death, there is no appeal, and execution is carried out automatically and without pity.  RAH

    Panhead Bill

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    Re: What to do with these bullets?
    « Reply #5 on: April 19, 2012, 06:27:46 pm »
    What they said. I've melted down quite a few plated bullets - you'll just end up with a pot of melted lead with copper bullet-shaped shells floating on top. You shouldn't even need to cut them first.

    Bill
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    cpaspr

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    Re: What to do with these bullets?
    « Reply #6 on: April 19, 2012, 09:07:57 pm »
    Bill -

    Why wouldn't I need to cut them?  We're talking fully plated.  If the copper doesn't get opened somehow, then how does the let get out?
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    cpaspr

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    Re: What to do with these bullets?
    « Reply #7 on: April 19, 2012, 09:25:28 pm »
    Define "too high".  The pot I have I got from my father.  I'm not sure it's even been plugged in since I last used it.  In 1976.  I intend to dust it off and plug it in tomorrow.

    It works.  Sorta.  It still had lead in it from way back when.  And the thermostat seems to be working nicely.  But . . . It's dripping.  Badly.  I got a few bullets made in various shapes and sizes, so I can determine what my molds actually make, weight and diameter wise.  (He gave me all of those as well, about an year and a half ago.)  I had to keep an ingot mold underneath it and move it often.  I've now drained the pot, and will see if I can determine what the problem is once it finishes cooling down.  I hope it just has a piece of crud down in the drain hole that is too big to pass that was keeping the plunger from sealing.  Once I get it apart and hopefully fixed, I'll fill it back up with the lead I drained out.  If it doesn't leak, I'll drain it again and see about starting in on these pulled bullets.
    Oregon

    freeman1685

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    Re: What to do with these bullets?
    « Reply #8 on: April 19, 2012, 09:53:25 pm »
    Bill -

    Why wouldn't I need to cut them?  We're talking fully plated.  If the copper doesn't get opened somehow, then how does the let get out?

    I think, he's thinking HP rounds, but if they're ball ammo, then yeah, you're going to have to cut the jacket.  A set of heavy duty side cutters should do the trick, nicely.

    Also, once you get the pot cleaned up and working, without pouring lead all over the floor, leave some of it in the pot, that'll melt the bullets faster.
    ArizonaStupidity cannot be cured with money, or through education or by legislation.  Stupidity is not a sin, the victim can't help being stupid.  But stupidity is the only universal capital crime; the sentence is death, there is no appeal, and execution is carried out automatically and without pity.  RAH

    cpaspr

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    Re: What to do with these bullets?
    « Reply #9 on: April 20, 2012, 01:27:41 am »
    It's fixed.  Drained it into a quad-ingot mold, then let it cool.  Disassembled the shut-off rod from the pot.  Cleaned the drain hole and re-assembled.  The shut-off rod didn't go down as much as I felt it should, so I took it back apart.  Found a drill bit the right size and put it in an extension rod.  Turned it by hand and got all the hardened gunk loosened up and knocked out.  Re-assembled again.  Tossed some of the previously drained lead back in and fired it up again.  BINGO! 

    Now I'm ready to start cutting bullets and tossing them in the pot.

    But first, I think I'm gonna make some .30 Carbine bullets.  And some .45 ACP.  And some .40 S&W.  Then I'll cut the old ones and get the lead out of them.
    Oregon

    Panhead Bill

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    Re: What to do with these bullets?
    « Reply #10 on: April 20, 2012, 04:27:00 am »
    Bill -

    Why wouldn't I need to cut them?  We're talking fully plated.  If the copper doesn't get opened somehow, then how does the let get out?

    I think, he's thinking HP rounds, but if they're ball ammo, then yeah, you're going to have to cut the jacket. 

    Actually, I've done it with fully plated bullets, and the lead still leaked out, leaving a copper shell - I was putting the bullets in already-heated and melted lead. I'm assuming the hot lead found the thinnest part of the copper plate and leaked through - in the residual shells, there would be little holes that reminded me of rusted-out car body panels. My point is ... Heck I don't know. I'm not saying not to cut them, in fact, I would defer to Freeman's experience, of which he has much more than I.

    And CPASPR, congrats on getting your Dad's pot serviceable, I always enjoy reviving something my Dad may have used years ago and putting it back to use like he did - there's just something about using older stuff that can realistically be used for and by multiple generations!

    Bill
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    freeman1685

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    Re: What to do with these bullets?
    « Reply #11 on: April 20, 2012, 09:43:16 am »
    Bill, I have no particular experience with melting down plated bullets, or any bullets for that matter.  Just the most basic knowlecge of metallurgy.  And a job at an electronics firm when I was a kid, using a lead pot for tinning wire leads, in preparation for assembly.

    Thinking about it, I can see where fully plated bullets would leak out, without cutting them.  Heat expands, path of least resistance, etc., etc.  Like making hard boiled eggs.  Leave them on the heat for too long, they crack and, leak out.  Different metals expand at different rates.  Ever torn apart an old style thermostat?  The coil is made from two different metals, expanding and contracting at different rates, causing the coil to move the mercury bubble.

    cpaspr, have fun with it.  Glad to hear you got that old pot working again.  I love old machines and such like, you almost need a stick of dynamite to kill them.  Even then, they sometimes laugh in your face and ask, "PFFT! Is that all you got?"
    ArizonaStupidity cannot be cured with money, or through education or by legislation.  Stupidity is not a sin, the victim can't help being stupid.  But stupidity is the only universal capital crime; the sentence is death, there is no appeal, and execution is carried out automatically and without pity.  RAH

    cpaspr

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    Re: What to do with these bullets?
    « Reply #12 on: April 24, 2012, 03:08:09 pm »
    Actually, I think I'm going to give Bill's method a try.  Why use bolt cutters 700 times if I don't have to?  (Because 700 times is an awful lot when you work a desk for a living.)
    Oregon

    freeman1685

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    Re: What to do with these bullets?
    « Reply #13 on: April 24, 2012, 06:18:29 pm »
    Actually, I think I'm going to give Bill's method a try.  Why use bolt cutters 700 times if I don't have to?  (Because 700 times is an awful lot when you work a desk for a living.)

    It builds character. And you'd have a hell of a grip when you're done.  :neener
    ArizonaStupidity cannot be cured with money, or through education or by legislation.  Stupidity is not a sin, the victim can't help being stupid.  But stupidity is the only universal capital crime; the sentence is death, there is no appeal, and execution is carried out automatically and without pity.  RAH

    THE NORSEMAN

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    Re: What to do with these bullets?
    « Reply #14 on: April 24, 2012, 11:18:08 pm »
    Put them on an anvil or heavy metal plate and smack them with a 2 pound hammer.  Easy swing, split jacket guaranteed.   Two pound hammer is perfect for this.  Lighter and you'll fatigue from having to swing hard, heavier and the hammer weight will fatigue you.  My great uncle was an honest to God blacksmith raised in the trade, the last one I know of alive.  I learned a thing or 2 from him before he passed.......

    The trick is having a very solid surface to set the bullets on when you hit them.
    This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty. . . . The right of self defence is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction- St. George Tucker, Blackstone's Commentaries

    cpaspr

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    Re: What to do with these bullets?
    « Reply #15 on: April 25, 2012, 01:11:42 am »
    Just mic'ed a couple of dozen again.  With one exception, they all measured exactly .450".

    My brain says that should be enough to hold them, especially if I run them all through the Lee FCD.

    What say you?
    Oregon

    THE NORSEMAN

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    Re: What to do with these bullets?
    « Reply #16 on: April 25, 2012, 11:39:42 pm »
    Maybe.  IF you're shooting a regularly rifled barrel(not a glock for instance with it's polygonal variant). 

    What brass?  I bet Remington won't hold.  And, as for other brands, they may work, but you'll be working the brass pretty good, reducing case life by roughly 3 or 4 firings in the process.
    This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty. . . . The right of self defence is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction- St. George Tucker, Blackstone's Commentaries

    cpaspr

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    Re: What to do with these bullets?
    « Reply #17 on: April 26, 2012, 02:13:24 am »
    I'm going to plead idiothood now.   :banghead   :bash   On the plus side, I didn't cut them all up before giving it one more try. 

    When I first loaded some of these up, I guessing now that I didn't get enough crimp on them.  I just now loaded 27, and not a one of them will slip back in the case when I push them up against the edge of the desk.

    I don't think I had the FCD last time, so I was relying on the RCBS seating die to apply crimp.  This time, I set up the Dillon press (which I didn't have last time) and put the FCD in the fourth hole.  They're coming out perfect!   :thumbup1 :clap

    Norseman - I've got so much .45 ACP brass if I shorten the life on 700 I won't even notice.  Range brass, but 11 of the 27 are Remington, and not one moved when I leaned on them against the desk.  Again.  And I won't be shooting them in a polygonal barrelled gun.  But thanks for the warning.



    Oregon

    THE NORSEMAN

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    Re: What to do with these bullets?
    « Reply #18 on: April 26, 2012, 09:20:52 am »
    Quote
    I don't think I had the FCD last time, so I was relying on the RCBS seating die to apply crimp.
      Properly adjusted, the RCBS die should crimp the round correctly, unless you bought a special competition die set with separate seat and crimp dies.
    This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty. . . . The right of self defence is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction- St. George Tucker, Blackstone's Commentaries

    cpaspr

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    Re: What to do with these bullets?
    « Reply #19 on: April 26, 2012, 01:43:40 pm »
      Properly adjusted, the RCBS die should crimp the round correctly, unless you bought a special competition die set with separate seat and crimp dies.

    Emphasis on "properly adjusted".  I agree.  That's why I pled idiothood.  And no, it was just a normal die set.  Though the bullets are .001" to .002" undersize, so that might have been a factor.  Still, I've got the FCD installed on the Dillon, and it's turning out good ammo, so I'll leave it alone and get cranking.
    Oregon

    cpaspr

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    Re: What to do with these bullets?
    « Reply #20 on: April 29, 2012, 11:45:23 pm »
    This is very, very frustrating.

    I got 250 perfect rounds loaded up through last night.  Start back up today, and some of the bullets are pushing back into the cases just like they did a couple of years ago.  I just pulled one apart, checked the shell, checked the bullet, everything.

    The case was .467" after running through the sizing die.  The wall thickness is .009"-.010".  The bullet was .450". 

    Re-sized, re-powdered, re-seated the bullet, re-crimped in the FCD using the procedure in the instructions, and used a heavy crimp.  Stupid bullet still pushed back!   :banghead  And the case still measured .467" OD with the bullet jammed down inside.
    Oregon

    THE NORSEMAN

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    Re: What to do with these bullets?
    « Reply #21 on: April 29, 2012, 11:52:00 pm »
    Remington headstamp by chance?
    This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty. . . . The right of self defence is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction- St. George Tucker, Blackstone's Commentaries

    cpaspr

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    Re: What to do with these bullets?
    « Reply #22 on: April 30, 2012, 12:13:10 am »
    42 so far, and all but 8 are R-P.  11 of the first 27 were R-P, so I'm sure I have a majority of R-P, but 34 of 42?  That seems out of proportion.  And I don't know what changed, which is the frustrating part.
    Oregon

    THE NORSEMAN

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    Re: What to do with these bullets?
    « Reply #23 on: April 30, 2012, 01:23:13 am »
    Thought so. 

    I've had horrible results with R-P pistol brass made post 1980, regardless of caliber.  So much so that I am having an original 357 maximum blackhawk rechambered to 475 Linebaugh.  The entire reason?  R-P is the only one making brass for the 357 maximum.  Bought a batch of 500.  Loaded 200.  Fifty of them split on the first firing.  And that's just one of MANY tales.

    Rifle brass is a different matter.  But as far as pistol brass goes, my opinion is that Remington sucks.  I've had trouble with it in everything from 38 special to 454 Casull.  Odd thing is though-  I have some 357 R-P from the 60's and 70's that made it over a dozen loads in 357 mag.  Yet everything I've tried post 1980ish has been crap.
    This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty. . . . The right of self defence is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction- St. George Tucker, Blackstone's Commentaries

    cpaspr

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    Re: What to do with these bullets?
    « Reply #24 on: April 30, 2012, 03:02:47 pm »
    The first 250 rounds were all cases I primed in August of 2010.  No idea when I sized and deprimed them.  The current 250 (I have them all in plastic jam jars that hold a nice round number) were primed in April of 2009.  Again, unknown size/deprime date.  They might have all been done at the same time for all I can determine.

    I think my seating die backed out a little, and I noticed it and tightened it back up before I started the second 250 on Sunday afternoon (first 250 was completed Saturday evening).  Of course, once I tightened it, I then had to readjust it as well.  That's the only thing I can think of that I changed.  Since I'm using the FCD in station 4, I'm thinking I probably ought to back the seater die out a ways so it isn't doing any crimping at all, and just adjust the seater plug down to get my desired depth.  Then use the FCD to do all of the crimping.  I think that's how I had it earlier in the week, and I wasn't having any problems at all.  And I was only using a light taper crimp at that.  Now I have it set for heavy, and it isn't making any difference. 
    Oregon

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