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#19299025 03/14/24
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Pretty universal advice is to add a little tin to the pot.

So for those adding a little tin, where are you getting it economically?

It's not cheap, and on another forum everybody hollers just get old pewter. Well, I don't know where they're finding old pewter, cheap or otherwise, but it ain't around here in any form or fashion and we've plenty of antique shops and pawns.


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Tin is where you find it. Anymore I've resorted to "biting the bullet" and buying it straight from online purveyors. In the whole scheme of things the cost isn't prohibitive in terms of cost per bullet, and I know exactly what I'm getting. That helps in creating consistently repeatable alloys from batch to batch. Lo those many decades I spent concocting alloys from wheelweights, range scrap, printer's type, and unknown crap, usually with just a thumb nail test for hardness, that sometimes worked ok and sometimes not - but never with repeatable results. In recent years I've codified my alloys, striving to stick with simple tin/lead stuff whenever I can and life is simpler.

As for yard sale and antique shop pewter it's a crap shoot as to what you're actually getting. No guarantee of the precise percentage of tin there, putting you squarely in the "by guess and by gosh" realm of alloying. Another consideration is the value of the stuff - always check the hallmark on it (which it should have if honest pewter) to make sure you don't melt down something that is worth hundreds (or thousands) of dollars in order to make a hat full of bullets. Note also that ancient pewter had a really high lead content too - imagine that, drinking out of a lead vessel, and then wondering why your hand doesn't stop trembling.


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Gnoahhh said it as good as I can or better. Using anything pewter of unknown alloy is a waste. It is not repeatable. There are various dealers on the internet who sell certified lead alloys and pure tin by the pound for alloying. Google them and getting it in bb form makes it easy to weigh out precise amounts to add to pure lead. At 27 bucks plus a pound tin is expensive so you really don't want bullets any harder than they have to be to get the accuracy you want. Biggest thing you can do to cut your expense is on your own range build a backstop that captures your bullets so you can reclaim them for your lead pot. Mb

Last edited by Magnum_Bob; 03/14/24.

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Rotometals has pure tin ingots on sale for 22.99 a pound. Not sure what shipping costs

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Yeah, I wasn't going to use any pewter even if I could find it (which I can't), because of the reasons y'all have said. Sure is a popular thing though over on that other site.

I've looked all over the internet for tin bars and have several places picked out....they sure are proud of the dang stuff though.

Good thing not a lot is needed to make a difference using it, and so far, the cost of all my metals has been ridiculously low.

I'm fixing to send some samples out to get tested and see exactly how much tin I already have in my base metals. I think having that information would be worth it for "adding a little tin to the pot", if necessary.


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I am..........disturbed.

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Originally Posted by DigitalDan

Yep


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Try John. His tin prices are good and honest as the day is blue. "Walters Wads"

John Walters

[405] 799-0376

500 N. Avery Drive, Moore, Okla. 73160


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Originally Posted by RB1Shooter
Try John. His tin prices are good and honest as the day is blue. "Walters Wads"

John Walters

[405] 799-0376

500 N. Avery Drive, Moore, Okla. 73160

Appreciate the info.

I'll check with him.


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I ordered the tin nuggets from Rotometal and for some reason they included a little smaller than a baseball size chunk of what I believe is tin. I was not sure, so I measured the volume and weight, and it matched tin, so thats what i am going with. Going to have to melt that ball down and divide it into smaller portions.

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Originally Posted by scoony
I ordered the tin nuggets from Rotometal and for some reason they included a little smaller than a baseball size chunk of what I believe is tin. I was not sure, so I measured the volume and weight, and it matched tin, so thats what i am going with. Going to have to melt that ball down and divide it into smaller portions.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Dang, when they sent me my little bag of expensive nuggets I didn't get any big ball of tin. Lucky you.

I know I said I wasn't going to use any pewter, but the sitrep has changed. After some judicious research I've concluded what can be found and what is worth buying. Modern pewter that is stamped by reputable company's in Norway and England can be found online for pennies on the dollar compared to rotometals prices for tin, or even their pewter ingots.

I've melted down 3 very reasonably priced small pieces of modern post WW2 tableware from ebay already and got .70 pounds of good clean metal out of them. I have 3 more similar pieces inbound. Not to mention winning a bid on 13 pounds of scrap pewter (same caliber as the other pieces I've bought) for a quarter of the price of Rotometals tin. I would have gotten it for much less but it became a bidding war and I ended up leaving it alone for 10 or so hours and sniping it with 12 seconds left.

I'm gonna batch everything together and send a sample out with the rest of my bullet metal to find out what composition I have in it. I know I don't have any leaded pewter in all this, and if everything melts at half the melting point of zinc pewter, then I'm good to go. Probably a little more time/effort invested than the average caster would bother with but that's just how I roll with gun stuff.

With around 14 or 15 pounds total plus the pound of rotometal tin, I think I'm good for tin for a long while......


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Found these pewter plates yesterday. They were in a pile outside a overflowing dumpster.

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]


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Originally Posted by Dinny
Found these pewter plates yesterday. They were in a pile outside a overflowing dumpster.

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

Heck of a shine on that stuff.....


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Plumbing supply. I buy 50-/50 bar solder. To get 20-1 mix I add one pound and then fill my 10# pot.

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Originally Posted by WStrayer
Plumbing supply. I buy 50-/50 bar solder. To get 20-1 mix I add one pound and then fill my 10# pot.

If I may ask, what are you paying for the 50/50?


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Mother Load dropped today.....

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]


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Originally Posted by Feral_American
Mother Load dropped today.....

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

I'm assuming that's pewter too? How do you recognize it and find it?

I have lots of monotype and a fair amount of ww ingots but I was casting like crazy last summer. What I'd like to find is some pure lead and some pure tin. I make some ok blends using some rmr bullet scraps I buy and my ww and mono but I always end up with more antimony than I want or need. I'd like some pure lead I can just add.a bit of pure tin to.

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Pewter: what I've learned in a short time. Ebay or local pawns, flea markets, antique shops, etc. I buy only what is stamped on the bottom "pewter" and made in Norway, Holland, Germany, or England, with Norway providing the bulk of it. Anything else is a crap shoot. The pewter we would want is "spun" not cast. Stay wide and clear of anything made by Wilton Armatelle, it's an aluminum alloy made to look like pewter. Keep track of the cost, anything over $10 a pound shipped is too much, you may as well just buy tin. On pewter tableware, remove handles, legs, embellishments, etc, and melt them seperate from the pewter. If they melt higher than 450 degrees don't use them, might contain zinc or other things you don't want. Me and a few others have cleaned out the cheap stuff on eBay recently, as what's listed now is too high for me.

Pure lead: tons on Ebay, most is cleaned/fluxed, and cast into ingots, but buyer beware. Doesn't hurt to contact seller and ask it's source if they don't list it. Beyond that plumbers and roofers may sell you some scrap tear out.

Edit to add: I won't buy pewter figurines or artwork. Too much chance buying unknown crap metal. And candlestick holders are generally a ripoff as well. They feel heavy, look heavy, but are very thin and have something resembling petrified camel shiit poured into the base to make them "weighted". Candle stick holders aren't worth the bother.

Last edited by Feral_American; 04/11/24.

I prefer peace. But if trouble must come, let it come in my time, so that my children may live in peace. ~~ Thomas Paine

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