Spooled Lead Wire

Coiled Lead Wire

Lead Wire for Ammunition Production

The ammunition market often uses extruded lead wire sometime called bullet wire on pallets that is coiled or spooled onto various spool diameters to make lead bullets or lead bullet cores for jacketed bullets.

Lead wire is often used in ammunition production for both the firearm and airgun markets.  Lead wire can be used in pure lead alloy or mixed with antimony, tin or both depending on the hardness and specifications for the customer's use.

We stock pure lead wire for small production use for the hobbyist but can also make much larger production runs for commercial applications.  25 pound spools in small diameters are stocked for hobbyist and we can use up to 150 pound spools for ammunition production as well.

We make our own billet so we can make a custom alloy for bullet wire.  Custom alloys require a minimum production run which we can discuss on a case by case basis.  Custom alloy can contain lead, antimony and tin in varying percentages.  2% antimony and pure lead are our normal "on hand" lead alloys so using either of those makes the process easier and faster.

Lead wire is often used in high speed presses to pull the wire into the machine, cut it, press into shape and eject the part into a collection bin.  Depending on the end user's application a special alloy may be needed to change hardness to prevent or reduce leading of gun barrels.  

When alloying lead the antimony will increase the hardness much more significantly than tin.  Antimony is also much less expensive than tin so if purely hardness is the goal of the alloy then antimony is the less expensive metal to alloy with.

Machines will use different methods to pull the lead wire into the process.  Some machines will pull the lead off a spool while others will draw the wire off a coiled lead pile like pictured.

The advantage of coiled lead wire is there is much less effort required to pull the wire.  The coil uses a special pattern to prevent tangling when being pulled.  The wire will likely need to be pulled straight up from the middle and the brought to the machine.  This prevents tangling while the wire is uncoiling.  

When extruded lead is spooled the force required to pull the lead off the spool is much greater when the spool is full than as it unspools.  Some machines use an unwind machine that talks to the main production machine.  While the machine pulls lead slack in the line is kept with the unwind machine to overcome the issue of varying forces required depending on spool's fullness.

A cheaper and often easier solution is to use coiled lead and no unwind machine is required.  An overhead pulley or other framework can be built to allow the wire to uncoil with no tangle.  This is the process we use for one of our machines while others we use have the traditional lead wire spools for it's lead source.

Contact us to discuss your extruded lead wire application and how we can assist you in your ammunition production line.