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Does a Lead tip melt?

 
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  #8  
Old 10-16-2006, 04:22 AM
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Re: Does a Lead tip melt?

JD, the lead wire I use in making my own 30 cal. bullets is pure lead. I don't know of any bullet makers who are using an alloy.
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  #9  
Old 10-16-2006, 01:15 PM
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Re: Does a Lead tip melt?

All the bullet makers I know that are making a soft point, expanding style bullet use pure lead cores just like DocEd.

I have seen in some cases alloys used on heavy dangerous game bullets to limit bullet deformation but this is generally under a FMJ profile nose and not an exposed lead tip.

Just as an example you can put a propane torch flame directly on the nose of a lead bullet for several seconds before it will melt. Take that into consideration that there is no way the bullet will get as hot as this and over that duration of time the bullet is in the ground from terminal impact.

I personally do not think the bullet lead tip will melt in any way, now deformation from friction is another story but not melting.

Personally I think the lead tip stays pretty much as it is. I read a test a long time ago that measured the effect of accuracy comparing nice sharp tipped SP bullets compared to intentionally deformed lead tipped bullets. AT 100 yards there was not significant accuracy degrade but at longer ranges the effects were more dramatic and included larger groups as well as more bullet drop from a decrease in BC. If the lead tips were gone then there should be no effect in down range accuracy or drop but that was not the case.

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  #10  
Old 10-16-2006, 03:56 PM
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Re: Does a Lead tip melt?

Just to interject somthing that happened to me long ago with my 220 Swift. I was loading rounds for P-Dogs, i was using 45grn horn spitzers, speeds were around 4500fps. You could see the vapor trail to the target, the bullet holes were speckled with looked like a 22 birdshot shell. They didnt get much farther than 100yds before disinergration. We talked to the Hornaday Rep and showed him the targets, he said the excess speed of the Swift was melting the core and flying apart. They had the same thing happen to them in the testing tunnel. The hole in the target was round and they were still accurate. He also said that the air fricton at those speeds is very hot. I dont think that you will see any lead melting in standard loads, just the excessive speeds and thin jacketed bullets. I slowed the same bullet down to 4200fps and the spatter disapeared.

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  #11  
Old 10-16-2006, 07:34 PM
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Re: Does a Lead tip melt?

Went through this discussion on another board a few years ago......when you look at the physics involved, you will quickly understand why it is impossible for the lead to melt......I'm sure the Hornady guys said what you quoted, but they were wrong.......bullets sometimes do disintegrate in flight, but it isn't because the cores are melting.....it is because the rotational force overcomes the integrity of the jacket....this results in a jacket rupture which can cause the bullet to fly apart........

Here is an easy if somewhat crude test for you.......take a steel plate and cut the lead tip off of a conventional bullet and a plastic tip off a ballistic tip bullet......lay them side by side on the steel plate and apply heat from a torch under the plate......the plastic tip will melt long before the lead does.......now, set up a row of water jugs and fire a plastic tipped bullet into the jugs......might take a few tries, but you should be able to recover a plastic tip intact......if the plastic tip melts at a lower temp than lead......and, if the plastic tip you recover is not melted......well, that proves that lead tips don't melt in flight.........I have even recovered a few of the plastic tips from dead animals......they weren't melted either!

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  #12  
Old 10-16-2006, 07:54 PM
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Re: Does a Lead tip melt?

Not what i said, just what hornaday said.

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  #13  
Old 10-16-2006, 08:29 PM
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Re: Does a Lead tip melt?

Yep, that's why I said "they were wrong" instead of "you were wrong"...........
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  #14  
Old 10-18-2006, 09:29 PM
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Re: Does a Lead tip melt?

You were right. One of the oldest old wive's tales in the book. Makes me laugh that it is still around.
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