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Posted: 6/30/2009 4:57:00 PM EST
I understand there is a huge difference in density. I was just curious as far as just some plinking rounds...

There is no problem finding the stuff. It melts at about 2x the temp of lead but not a huge problem for small amounts.

I couldn't find much poking around the internet. I suspect it is a really bad idea or someone would be doing it by now.

why would it not work?
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Link Posted: 6/30/2009 5:03:18 PM EST
if you melt it yourself you'll have trouble controlling the mix/alloy. It would likely be quite soft and smear in the barrel unless you ran at l-o-w velocity.

Also, the bullets would be very long for a given weight. Unlikely to stabilize in a rifle or pistol at "lead" weight - you'd need the shape of a lead bullet but they would have to be much lighter to spin properly.
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Link Posted: 6/30/2009 5:14:30 PM EST
I don't think aluminum is an alloy is it?

It is harder than lead so why would it be a mess in the barrel? And it melts at 2x the heat of lead so i would think it would foul the barrel even less than lead???

Also In my thinking the bullets would be nearly impossible to match the weight of a lead counterpart, so just make it, weigh it, and try to find a proper load to drive it.

??????
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Link Posted: 6/30/2009 5:31:16 PM EST
The Finnish tried making bullets out of nickel in the 40's. They claimed it was similiar in performance but cheaper than solid copper.

But no, nobody makes bullets out of Aluminum or alloy of Aluminum.

One problem would be, over time, the abrasive quality of the thin coating of Aluminim oxide that would form on the outside of the bullet. That is very hard and nasty stuff, second to diamond I believe....
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Link Posted: 6/30/2009 5:32:11 PM EST

Originally Posted By 41Chevy:
I don't think aluminum is an alloy is it?

It is harder than lead so why would it be a mess in the barrel? And it melts at 2x the heat of lead so i would think it would foul the barrel even less than lead???

Also In my thinking the bullets would be nearly impossible to match the weight of a lead counterpart, so just make it, weigh it, and try to find a proper load to drive it.

??? ???

The only aluminum that isn't an alloy is aluminum foil. Even aluminum cans are alloyed. In fact, TWO alloys. The lids are a 5000 series while the body a 3000 series.
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Link Posted: 6/30/2009 5:33:02 PM EST
Aluminum is a pure element, but most aluminum you are likely to lay your hands on is alloyed. 6061, 7075, 356, 2024, etc.

aluminum will gall in a barrel. it gets very sticky when it gets hot.

but if you were going through the trouble to melt, pour, and swage things that arent lead, try copper instead ?
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Link Posted: 6/30/2009 5:48:16 PM EST
Originally Posted By Shizzlemah:
Aluminum is a pure element, but most aluminum you are likely to lay your hands on is alloyed. 6061, 7075, 356, 2024, etc.

aluminum will gall in a barrel. it gets very sticky when it gets hot.

but if you were going through the trouble to melt, pour, and swage things that arent lead, try copper instead ?


This.

I work with aluminum a lot. Aluminum gets hot quickly and I would hate to have to clean out the barrel after putting an aluminum slug down the bore.
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Link Posted: 6/30/2009 5:51:47 PM EST
would the aluminum oxide be a issue with barrel wear?
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Link Posted: 6/30/2009 7:28:04 PM EST
Yeah, how do you clean aluminum fouling??
Anyway, these are the 100gr Aluminum HP's from Lehigh for the .458 Socom.

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Link Posted: 6/30/2009 10:06:54 PM EST
One other thing with aluminum, it doesn't like to be cast in permanent molds. High surface tension (and that skin of oxide) plus low density means top-filling molds never properly fill out.

Aluminum castings from permanent molds are done with injection molding machines, under a blanket of inert gas.
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Link Posted: 6/30/2009 11:02:37 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/1/2009 12:41:07 AM EST by Dave_A]

Originally Posted By 41Chevy:
I don't think aluminum is an alloy is it?

It is harder than lead so why would it be a mess in the barrel? And it melts at 2x the heat of lead so i would think it would foul the barrel even less than lead???


Elemental Aluminum is very, very rare in commercial applications. The most common I can think of is 'alclad', where a thin layer of pure aluminum plating is placed over each side of an aluminum-alloy sheet, to provide the oxide-layer protection against corrosion that you get with 'pure' AL (pure AL develops an oxide coating over the surface of the metal, which inhibits any further oxidation/corrosion beneath said layer), but the strength properties of an alloy...


Most 'Aluminum' products are actually made from aluminum alloys... The numbers - 2024, 6061, 7075, etc - indicate what sort of alloy...

Further, most aluminum is 'tempered' to exhibit specific metalurgical charictaristics - that temper (T1 to T6) is lost when the metal is melted...

So what you would end up with, is 'O' metal - which is very soft & would smear unless saboted.....
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Link Posted: 7/1/2009 12:41:55 AM EST

Originally Posted By Powder_Burns:
Yeah, how do you clean aluminum fouling??
Anyway, these are the 100gr Aluminum HP's from Lehigh for the .458 Socom.

http://lehighbullets.com/prodimages/458-300.jpg

Those have got to be some FAST bullets....
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Link Posted: 7/1/2009 12:51:00 AM EST
Years ago I read about an AP pistol bullet made out of solid aluminum with a nylon coating. I for the life of me cannot recall the name.
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Link Posted: 7/1/2009 2:05:55 AM EST

Originally Posted By Dave_A:

Originally Posted By Powder_Burns:
Yeah, how do you clean aluminum fouling??
Anyway, these are the 100gr Aluminum HP's from Lehigh for the .458 Socom.

http://lehighbullets.com/prodimages/458-300.jpg

Those have got to be some FAST bullets....

About 3000 fps, I hear...
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Link Posted: 7/1/2009 2:12:06 AM EST
Well if you want to try some factory loads here is a link for Aquila .45 ACP’s – 117 Gr @ 1,450 fps… - .45 Auto IQ

Now I could not find anything, other than hearsay, stating they are aluminum but given the size of the bullet and the stated weight, they damn well won’t be tungsten

I seem to recall a French(?) military rifle round that used an aluminum bullet circa WWI… Can’t locate that reference at all. Does that ring a bell with anyone???

Personally I don’t think Aluminum will be the next generation of bullet but I am pretty sure the noisy Eco-Nuts will eventually get lead bullets banned…

So what is the next generation of homemade bullets going to be???

Keep in mind we have come from lead casting with soapstone molds over a campfire to swaging copper jacketed bullets in our garage… The Next Gen could be sophisticated but still within home use range???
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Link Posted: 7/1/2009 7:46:27 AM EST
I thought that Winchster "Silvertip" JHPs had an aluminum (probably alloy) jacket ?

If so, what effect did it have on the bore?
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Link Posted: 7/1/2009 8:27:05 AM EST

Originally Posted By CBR900:
I thought that Winchster "Silvertip" JHPs had an aluminum (probably alloy) jacket ?

If so, what effect did it have on the bore?

Only the tip. None of the bore-riding portion was Al.
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Link Posted: 7/1/2009 9:43:49 AM EST
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Link Posted: 7/1/2009 10:41:35 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/1/2009 10:42:35 AM EST by Keith_J]
Nearly any metal with proper ductility and reasonable cost has been tried. And rejected for some reason or another. Why gilding metal? Because it has a self-limiting jacket fouling charactistic. The heat of combustion causes the zinc to boil off, reducing the jacket fouling to a dust which blows out with each shot.

Shooting pure copper bullets, like some Barnes, Swift and other custom bullets leaves a heavy copper fouling. This is why Barnes came out with coated bullets and why they also have aggressive copper-removing bore cleaners.

Aluminum has a very high boiling point so it won't self-limit. Lead loads in low pressure (and correspondingly, lower temperatures) can also build up. Aluminum fouling can be removed with straight ammonia.
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Link Posted: 7/2/2009 3:20:58 AM EST
Keith: Interesting…

I think that cost of manufacture weighed against performance (both in the barrel and terminal) is what leaves us where were are today.

Here is a thought when looking at the big rifles – 16in/50 cal

Now these only have a 290 ESR (equivalent service round) barrel life, that is based on a 2700 lbs AP projectile pushed with 660 lbs of powder at 2500 fps. muzzle velocity.

A jacket of Titanium dioxide and wax is wrapped around each powder bag (6). It vaporizes on firing and has reduced bore wear to ¼!!!

A polyurethane foam jacket was also tried with initial results being even better… It was expected that the bore life would go from the 290 ESR to 1500 ESR or greater.

Now one cannot draw a direct One-to-One comparison between a Naval Rifle and a Winchester but it does indicate it may be possible to find a supplemental means to compensate for bullet material…

Similar, and I have never tried them, but there were casting molds to add a zinc washer onto the bullet base to reduce lead fowling.
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Link Posted: 7/5/2009 11:34:46 AM EST
The Nazi's experimented with aluminum cored projectiles for awhile.

Never really took off.
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Link Posted: 7/5/2009 12:17:45 PM EST
I used to have some Federal (IIRC) "Ballisticlean" ammo in 9mm. AFAIK it was aluminum. The bullets seemed to be made from several aluminum barbs wrapped together. I fired one at a plastic gallon jug of water with a phonebook behind it, the barbs seperated from each other and shredded the jug. There were a few pieces in what was left of it and a couple stuck in the book.
Waterboard 'em.
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Link Posted: 7/5/2009 3:32:12 PM EST
Originally Posted By Chris_1522:
Aluminum is very prone to smearing and galling. I'd imagine it would leave some nasty shit in your barrel. Hell, I don't know.

I think the Spanish looked at aluminum bullets for the 7.62x51 Cetme loads.


How about plating on a copper jacket, like Speer does on their TMJ line?
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