Lead vs Steel ball, again!

Discussion in 'General Slingshot Discussions' started by river88, Aug 23, 2013.

  1. river88

    river88 New Member

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    I'm going to pass from steel to lead ball, the reasons is more density of lead (so less air resistance in fly) and easy to home mad with a mould.

    But after some search in web i found that:

    - lead get more penetration because as less recoil
    - lead give more energy on target

    is that real?

    However, lead is more toxic than steel, but which precaution to don't get a cancer touching them? Thank you.
     
  2. mvd

    mvd Builds with scrap

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    you do not get cancer from touching lead, just do not lick your fingers after that,swallow the lead balls or wear them as a necklace and you should be fine. If you want to be extra cautious wear some gloves.

    For the ballistics wait until one of the pros show up :D
     

  3. CEZ

    CEZ New Member

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    Hi, lead is toxic but not cancerogenous. That being said, you should avoid the fumes when melting and try not to cut it with anything that may cause it to turn into fine dust ie. sawing or sanding. Use a chisel or scissors to do the cutting.
    I love shooting lead, it doesn't bounce back at you like steel and you can harden it in a kitchen oven to make it really hard.

    - lead get more penetration because as less recoil
    - lead give more energy on target

    I don't know about the statements above although it makes sense to me.
     
  4. river88

    river88 New Member

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    ok, just to be sure.
    i've ever thought that the steel (being indistructible) could charge all of its energy on the target, instead the lead (more deformable) could loose energy in the deformation.... con u confirm me that is not true?
     
  5. WPurcell

    WPurcell New Member

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    Lead balls get more penetration because their sectional density is higher. Lead balls get more energy on target because they lose less speed to air resistance, also because their sectional density is higher than steel.


    True, if two balls, one steel and the other lead, have the same mass and impact velocity, the lead ball's deformation will convert some of its energy to heat. Also, if the target is hard or spring, the target will gain more energy from the steel ball if the steel ball can bounce elastically off the target. If the collision is inelastic, as in hunting, both will transfer close to the same energy to the target.

    All in all, lead is much more lethal.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2013
  6. Withak

    Withak aka Whitehawk!

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    Seems to me it really depends on the target being hit. On a solid target like a steel plate, you're obviously going to get far more ricochet from the steel ball than the lead (particularly if it's soft lead). But as for the energy hitting the plate, if the balls are the same mass, traveling at the same velocity (F=MxA), they should hit with the exact same force. Hitting a softer target, I don't know that a steel vs. lead ball will disperse that energy in a very different fashion, particularly at the lower velocities of a slingshot (versus say, a handgun). Once you penetrate a soft target, then the area of the ball will have a factor in the dispersion of the energy into the target. Looking at ballistics tests of JHP bullets, you can see the difference in penetration of 2 bullets of the same weight, same velocity, when one expands on impact and the other doesn't. All very interesting stuff.
     
  7. river88

    river88 New Member

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    Yeah, nice one... i thing to get lead.
    easy to home make
     
  8. WPurcell

    WPurcell New Member

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    The lead will penetrate deeper in soft targets. If lead over-penetrates in a particular game animal then steel might be preferable on that target, otherwise lead is preferable. If you are knocking over steel targets, steel balls will work better. If you are doing target practice, steel balls are more durable, since you don't need to melt and re-cast them after recovering them from the catch box.

    Despite all that, I'd rather use steel for most purposes, since it has no toxicity issues. If a child digs some steel balls out of my yard years from now, he won't get poisoned if he swallows any of them.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2013
  9. Brazilviking

    Brazilviking Thread Hijacker

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    Ok... Lead is poisonous, not carcinogen. Therefore, if you are going to use for hunting, make sure that you find the ammo before eating the meat or giving to a pet. Saw dogs die for that.
    Penetration depends on the taget resistance. Hard surfaces will laugh at the powerfull dense lead ball. Energy will dissipate through deformation. Steel penetrates.
    If you are talking about soft targets, foam, isolation plastics, isopor.... The density cam make some little difference. I started on lead and went to steel. Muuuuuch better!
     
  10. river88

    river88 New Member

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    ok, i started from stell and now go to lead ;)

    if i put on the lead ball some vinavil maybe it become more safe....