Alloy Certification

    There has been a lot of questions being raised as of late about   “Certified Alloys”. Its time to put these questions to rest once and for all.
    A lot of this stems from one bullet caster who claims his alloy is “certified” from the Mayco foundry.
    In phone calls and in e-mails from Mayco, they have confirmed that in fact that they DO NOT certify their alloys that they sell to bullet casters.
    They do provide a spectral analysis of the material they sell to the consumer which shows the alloys composition. This is fine but in no way is it a “certification”.
    Since a certification would mean meeting a set standard each time they alloy is made; that would be far too costly to try to control such variables with recycled materials, which is what the foundries use to make these alloys.
    As I said previously the foundries make alloy that comes close to what you want. Sometimes one batch is better than others but there is a degree of variability involved. How much variance is up to the foundry and the buyer.
    Further in looking at the spectral analysis of the alloy as provided by Mayco to this caster it is easy to see that the alloy is substandard to the original Taracorp Magnum Alloy that was originally developed for casting machines. The original formula, as I remember it, called for 2.25% tin, 6% antimony, and 1/4% arsenic (which aids in the dispersing of the antimony in the alloy and aids in hardening) and the balance lead. This became known as the standard 2/6 mix within the industry.
    The alloy, as provided by Mayco, falls short of these numbers due to costs. Thus by “trimming the mix a bit” they simply give you an alloy that is close to what the buyer wanted and they pocket the monetary difference.
    It was for this reason that I built my own foundry to mix my own alloys to MY specifications. That gave me the superior results which my customers enjoy.
    Now the next part of this equation gets even more interesting and the reason I don’t like BHN numbers as a comparison factor between different bullet casters.
    This same caster now takes pure lead to cut this “below standard” alloy to get BHN numbers of 15, 12, and 10 for different BHN numbers.
    The problem with this is that now the proper ratios of tin and antimony are not properly maintained and results in a severely degraded alloy that performs poorly for many people.
    I get numerous complaints from former customers of this caster seeking answers to why the bullets are performing poorly.
    In addition this “Hamburger Helper” method of cutting the mix results in bullets with high weight deviations and poor performance.
    While such bullets may measure a lower BHN number that is similar to other bullet casters the fact is that are not equal as the ratios are no longer correct. This is why those customers have ongoing problems with lead fouling issues and poor accuracy problems.
    As I have said before and will keep saying it; there are no great secrets in this business. No “magic formulas of alloys” just simply using the right materials in the proper proportions will yield a quality product. That is what I have done for 30 years and will continue to do in my operation.


Thank you for letting me be of service to you,
Bob Palermo / President.

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