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Casting bismuth for shot?
Unread 06-20-2022, 07:52 PM   #1
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Milton C Starr
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Default Casting bismuth for shot?

So I plan to test some heavy bismuth loads this year in 10 ga 3.5" and I will probably end up buying a T shot mold from Martys. Every 10 ga ive owned both 2 7/8"s and the 3.5" magnums have always patterned T shot well in lead and steel(3.5"). I have seen some guys hand load large bismuth shot by casting their own and looking at the cost you can either buy 99% bismuth and mix it with tin to get the 94/6% ratio for about $12/lb. Or I could buy 10lbs of reject 94/6% bismuth shot to melt down for $12/lb so I dont see a reason to mix the bismuth and tin myself as there doesnt look to be a cost savings just adding more work/time to reloading.

I think a Bismuth T at 1200 fps will pass through a goose or probably any bird hit by one and a Bismuth T fired at that velocity is moving faster and carrying more ft/lbs of energy at 40 yards vs a Steel T fired at 1500 fps so I think the killing power is definitely there. The real question is finding out what grade of felt I will use for punching wads the price varies greatly depending on the tensile strength of the felt.
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Unread 06-20-2022, 08:23 PM   #2
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If my memory serves there was a guy on the castboolits forum dropping his own bismuth shot . You might search there and see what you an find .
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Unread 06-20-2022, 08:27 PM   #3
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go for it milt and keep us up dated on the progress....what mag ten will you shoot this load in....charlie
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Unread 06-20-2022, 08:48 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by charlie cleveland View Post
go for it milt and keep us up dated on the progress....what mag ten will you shoot this load in....charlie
Charlie I plan on picking up a Ithaca mag 10 and a BPS 10, most guys seem to prefer the SP10 over the Ithaca but to me the Ithaca is a better looking gun its pure 70s nostalgia. I want to get another BPS 10 since I miss my old one and it was very left hand friendly I loved how the slide release can be operated with your trigger finger if your left handed on the BPS. As well I have always wanted to get one restocked not to change the dimensions but I just dont care for the looks of the forend and stock on them. I can make 1000 felt wads for between 40-80$ just depends on the grade of the felt. Intereslty the fiber wads I use are .790" and 20mm wad punches are easy to find which 20mm should be .787". Like for the 8 gauge I know in the 8 bore rifles guys are using just a standard 7/8s wad punch.
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Unread 06-20-2022, 10:49 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by CraigThompson View Post
If my memory serves there was a guy on the castboolits forum dropping his own bismuth shot . You might search there and see what you an find .
Wouldnt surprise me if it was this guy ive seen him on quite a few forums talking about how to cast bismuth. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7YV9VtvPjw
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Unread 06-21-2022, 07:12 AM   #6
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Good luck, Milton. I'm a big fan of bismuth for ducks and have loaded it for my 3" chambered, 32" HE Fox for years, loading 1 1/4 oz. of 4s. In the last couple years I've bought bulk lots of BOSS factory bismuth, one in the lower pressure loads without a plastic shot cup, and the other with the shot cup and higher pressures. I'm very impressed with their loadings, though I haven't had a chance to try the higher pressure loads yet on ducks.

Those Ts ought to be big medicine on geese, for sure. How big a payload are you "shooting for"?
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Unread 06-21-2022, 10:07 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Stan Hillis View Post
Good luck, Milton. I'm a big fan of bismuth for ducks and have loaded it for my 3" chambered, 32" HE Fox for years, loading 1 1/4 oz. of 4s. In the last couple years I've bought bulk lots of BOSS factory bismuth, one in the lower pressure loads without a plastic shot cup, and the other with the shot cup and higher pressures. I'm very impressed with their loadings, though I haven't had a chance to try the higher pressure loads yet on ducks.

Those Ts ought to be big medicine on geese, for sure. How big a payload are you "shooting for"?
Well with handloads in the 10 ga magnum you can get 2oz of steel in there so I reckon 2 1/4oz of bismuth should be doable, plus roll crimping doesn't take up as much hull capacity. Tom mentions in his book he seen the best results with buffer in bismuth loads and I have read others experiences with bismuth and buffer and it looks to be a good combination. Ts are going to have alot of air space between the pellets anyhow so they would probably get the most benefit from buffering I would think. I'll have to start with a baseline and get PR to test them and go from there. I know with bismuth 2s they pattern well in the 6 frame and the 8 gauge with minimal fracturing (3-4 pellets per load) I am curious if the larger bismuth holds together better. I know some guys make patched round balls using bismuth and havnt ran into a problem with them fracturing.
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Unread 06-21-2022, 11:34 AM   #8
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I have a old Ithaca mag 10 of my dads it has downed a many of turkeys I still hunt with it some...with lead bb s it is a hammer on any thing with in 70 yards....your load of 2 1/4 ounce bismuth should be what all of us big bore shooters have been looking for...it should be a turkeys nite mare.waiting on the pattern tests results.... charlie
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Unread 06-21-2022, 02:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlie cleveland View Post
I have a old Ithaca mag 10 of my dads it has downed a many of turkeys I still hunt with it some...with lead bb s it is a hammer on any thing with in 70 yards....your load of 2 1/4 ounce bismuth should be what all of us big bore shooters have been looking for...it should be a turkeys nite mare.waiting on the pattern tests results.... charlie
Heres the numbers for a steel and bismuth bb by the time they reach 40 yards. I dont have any data on the weight of a bismuth T yet but I think they most likely will past clean through a goose.

Yards fps ft/lbs
40 706 7(steel #bb 1200 fps mv)
40 780 8(steel #bb 1500 fps mv)
40 796 11(bismuth #bb 1200 fps mv)

From what ive added up I can load 2oz bismuth 10 ga loads for $2.66/rd the cheapest factory bismuth in 10 ga is currently $2.80/rd but im not reloading to try and save, the factory offerings just arent interesting to me.

Charlie we have tons of geese down here year round actually we do have a early goose season that starts the first week of September. Though I dont know anyone who would want to goose hunt in 110F weather lol.
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Unread 06-21-2022, 04:33 PM   #10
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at 110 degrees we can shootem and cook them at the same time ...ha I ve beeb on some teal duck hunts that were in the upper 90 sas you said no fun getting cooked with the goose... I too believe your loads will go clean thru a goose of average size....some of them giant canadas would be the tickit to try them loads on....charlie
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