Got some linotype now what

Got some linotype now what

This is a discussion on Got some linotype now what within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; I recently acquired a small bit of what I think is linotype from an old newspaper press business that was going out of business. Is ...

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Thread: Got some linotype now what

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array usmc0811's Avatar
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    Got some linotype now what

    I recently acquired a small bit of what I think is linotype from an old newspaper press business that was going out of business. Is this is linotype how do I use it?
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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array airslot's Avatar
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    From Midway USA:

    MidwayUSA has teamed up with an industry leading Certified Lead Foundry to offer the highest quality casting alloys available. This alloy features 4% Tin, 12% Antimony, and 84% Lead. Linotype is typically known to be too hard for hunting as it will shatter upon bone contact. It is great for high velocity target bullets. Blended 1 to 1 with pure lead, this alloy can produce Hardball alloy. The Brinell Hardness of Linotype alloy is approximately 22.
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    I got some linotype many years ago and cast it into 44Mag bullets. Fantastic material to work with and even loaded to max velocities there was no barrel leading. Extremely hard but superbly accurate, wanted to try them for hunting but never got the chance.
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    VIP Member Array airslot's Avatar
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    At one point, I had 100# of the stuff in 25# bars. Never reloaded with it and it got misplaced during a move. It is a very hard compound, compared to some others. It can be blended with softer alloys for hunting applications and to reduce barrel leading.
    msgt/ret and dangerranger like this.
    MY RIGHTS DON'T END WHERE YOUR FEELINGS BEGIN

    The situation will NEVER BE THE WAY YOU WANT, it WILL BE THE WAY IT IS. You must be FLEXIBLE ENOUGH TO ADAPT and just "DEAL WITH IT".

  6. #5
    Senior Member Array retired badge 1's Avatar
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    I have used foundry new linotype metal for the past 35 years. Prior to finding that source I used salvaged printing type as available. Both are very good sources for bullet casting. The difference between new metal from a foundry and used type metal will be in the actual composition of the alloy. Printers typically used linotype for extended periods of time, with many returning old used metal to a foundry for re-alloying to produce new metal. This replaces some of the metals which tend to diminish over repeated melting, fluxing, etc.

    The beauty of linotype metal is its beautiful fluidity in casting use resulting in easy filling of the mold and clean sharp castings. It is also far less prone to shrinkage as the casting sets up (returning to solidus from liquidus). Bullets cast of straight linotype metal will always be somewhat lighter than bullets from the same mold but cast with other metals (due to the differences in lead content). Examples:

    1. Bullets cast from my Lee C309-170F in pure linotype will measure .3095" diameter and weigh 162 grains. Same mold with wheel weights results in .3088" diameter and 169 grains.

    2. From my Lee 358-150SWC mold linotype produces .359" diameter and 142 grains. Wheel weights .3582" and 148 grains.

    Similar differences noted in all molds (I have a dozen different molds).

    Accuracy with well cast linotype metals in carefully prepared handloads is outstanding. I have repeatedly shot groups from the bench with service rifles (M1, 03/A3, M1A) under 2" at 100 yards, and I have experienced 5-shot groups of 1" center-to-center.

    Performance on game animals is comparable to full metal jacket bullets. I do not recommend such bullets for hunting use.

    Most of my centerfire rifle cast bullets are produced with a 50-50 blend of wheel weights and linotype (BHN about 17). These shoot very well and are quite effective on Colorado mule deer. My sons and I have taken dozens over the years using .30-30, .300 Savage, .308, and .30-06.

    For handgun use linotype exceeds most normal requirements. Most of my handgun loads use straight wheel weights (.38 Spl, 9mm, .40S&W, .45ACP, .44-40, .44 Spl, .357 mag). I have strengthened my casting metal for use in high pressure .357 and .44 magnum loads by adding 10% linotype (one lb. per 10-lb. pot), and this has been entirely satisfactory (including a few deer taken with these).

    Linotype metal, either new or used, is an excellent source for bullet casting. Getting hard to find in recent years (most printing is now done by photo-offset process or other methods). There are several sources offering linotype via website marketing, but shipping expenses have become a considerable obstacle. Perhaps several casters going together for a bulk order would be a good way to go.

    If I came across a supply like the OP found I would definitely add it to my hoard.
    airslot, msgt/ret and Old Man like this.

  7. #6
    VIP Member Array dangerranger's Avatar
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    Comments on cast bullet alloys

    here's a good run down on alloys and what is in them. there are also links at the top of the page for other articles that have been helpful to me. Good Luck.DR
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    Member Array buckshotshorty's Avatar
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    Linotype now days is a rare commodity but 20 to 30 years ago we had access to so much of it; guys from my club were casting straight Linotype bullets which really turn out pristine, but much lighter than lead alone.

    I had several hundred pounds of it at one time which I bought in a scrap yard cheap.But, my brother is a plumber and he supplied me with an enormous amount of old lead pipe he pulled from jobs.

    To answer your question, I used to alloy 1/4 Linotype to 3/4 lead pipe, and that made good hard cast bullets that filled out the mold perfectly. I always cast the mixture into ingots first to assure consistency.
    airslot and msgt/ret like this.

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