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Does a Lead tip melt?

 
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  #1  
Old 10-14-2006, 11:22 PM
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Does a Lead tip melt?

I was having a discussion the other day with a co-worker and he said that the lead tip melts on a bullet when fired, and I said it didn't. I have seen many pictures of bullets in flight taken with a high speed camera inches from the muzzle that weren't melted. My argument is that since the bullet is at maximum velocity here, if it were going to melt due to friction it would happen when it's at the highest velocity. Since it wasn't melted inches from the muzzle, it wouldn't be melted downrange.

Who is right here? Can someone set me straight?

Thanks in advance!

jk
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Old 10-15-2006, 04:17 AM
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Re: Does a Lead tip melt?

I've seen enough high speed film of bullet flight to conclude there is no evidence of substantial melting.

http://www.unoriginal.co.uk/footage117_3.html
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Old 10-15-2006, 06:34 AM
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Re: Does a Lead tip melt?

If the tip melts, all of the lead melts and the target gets hit with something resembling heavy rain. It's an Old Wives' Tale.
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Old 10-15-2006, 12:14 PM
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Re: Does a Lead tip melt?

I have read that the speed of the bullet passing through the air creats enough friction to make the tip get hot enough to melt but I think that the temp pest were done with pure lead and bullets are meade from a lead alloy thats a good bit harder.
I doubt that the tip would melt away , but I have seen a couple "at the range test" that guys would shoot a group at 500yds with a lead tipped bullet that the tip was in good shape then shoot another group with the exact load but the lead tip was filed away , at 500yds the differance was not enough to worry with out of a factory hunting rifle , as the both groups averaged around 7".
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Old 10-15-2006, 01:22 PM
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Re: Does a Lead tip melt?

I donít think that a fired bullet has enough heat exposure time to actually melt away the lead tip. What might occur is that for instance; a lead tip bullet is loaded into a chamber that is exceptionally hot from previous firing and is allowed to remain there for several moments until it is fired. This situation might allow time enough for the heat transfer and subsequent softening or actual melting of the exposed lead surface. JMHO
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Old 10-15-2006, 06:11 PM
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Re: Does a Lead tip melt?

Years ago my then new (now long gone) 700 BDL in 17Rem when it wasn't going sideways would leave a little lead whisper/whisker on the edge of the hole @ 100yds.

It seemed like the lead core was melting. When those conditions existed a very long shot would result in a wierd sound out towards 200 yds as the bullet tumbled or something at some strange angle across the country.

FWIW
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Old 10-15-2006, 08:19 PM
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Re: Does a Lead tip melt?

Roy what that could be was the bullet comming apart from either excessive RPMs or a booger in the barrel making a bad spot in the jacked.
I once loaded up some 40gr V-maxes out of my 22-250Ai 1-8 twist and none made it to the target once the velocity got above 4200fps due to the rpms spinning them appart.

As for the lead tip melting away in a hot chamber , I think that the round would fire before it got hot enough to melt lead. I've had that happen a few time in my AR's after long shooting sessoions and leaving a round in the chamber , its called "baking off" the first time it happened the gun was on safe and I was walking to another target when the gun went off , just another reason to make sure of proper weapon controle at ALL times
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