Tungsten core solid

Pheroze

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Has anyone have experience with these solids by Speer? I wonder why tungsten core bullets don't last? Barnes had one too for a while. This about the solid by Terry Wieland:

"In the early 1990s, Speer developed a completely different type of bullet: the tungsten-core solid. Like the Sledgehammer, the Speer African Grand Slam Tungsten-Core Solid (that’s its formal name) has a rounded nose with a meplat, but the meplat is considerably smaller. Ammunition loaded with the tungsten-core feeds quite easily. It has a naval bronze jacket. Because tungsten is heavier than lead, the TCS is shorter for weight than a comparable copper-and-lead bullet — the opposite of the Monolithic, which is longer. And, because tungsten is enormously hard, there is no tendency for the core to squeeze out. One would think the tungsten-core might present the same (alleged) problems with thin-walled doubles as the Monolithic, but I have never heard any complaints. Alas, this is a requiem for the Tungsten-Core. Speer discontinued the bullet in 2005,"
 

Pheroze

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That's what I presumed. But, with solids being for dangerous game I thought cost would not be as big an issue
 

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Tungsten carbide is pretty brittle stuff, I wonder if there may have been problems with it shattering upon impact with bone.
 

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WAG, The jacket sheds on impact and the core keeps right on trucking, who know which way. Then again, probably a good "pencil holing" bullet.

@BobT, Big difference between straight tungsten and tungsten carbide. I doubt they used the latter.
 

lcq

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Has anyone have experience with these solids by Speer? I wonder why tungsten core bullets don't last? Barnes had one too for a while. This about the solid by Terry Wieland:

"In the early 1990s, Speer developed a completely different type of bullet: the tungsten-core solid. Like the Sledgehammer, the Speer African Grand Slam Tungsten-Core Solid (that’s its formal name) has a rounded nose with a meplat, but the meplat is considerably smaller. Ammunition loaded with the tungsten-core feeds quite easily. It has a naval bronze jacket. Because tungsten is heavier than lead, the TCS is shorter for weight than a comparable copper-and-lead bullet — the opposite of the Monolithic, which is longer. And, because tungsten is enormously hard, there is no tendency for the core to squeeze out. One would think the tungsten-core might present the same (alleged) problems with thin-walled doubles as the Monolithic, but I have never heard any complaints. Alas, this is a requiem for the Tungsten-Core. Speer discontinued the bullet in 2005,"

cost is the major one the other is the BATFE and Donkey Shaggers consider it an AP round
 

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I can definitely see the Bureau as having had an issue with the bullet (Belt Mountain had to put a little hole in the meplat of their Punch Bullet to avoid issues with government regulations).

I’ve also seen an occasion where the tungsten core escaped its jacket and kept plowing along. Is that a failure? Perhaps. Nevertheless, I thought it was a gem of a bullet and was sad to see them leave.
 

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I hadn't thought about the BATF weighing in on the bullet. Wasn't there a dustup a few years back when some idiot decided to make a handgun in .375 H&H and BATF banned a certain bullet in that caliber?
 

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I hadn't thought about the BATF weighing in on the bullet. Wasn't there a dustup a few years back when some idiot decided to make a handgun in .375 H&H and BATF banned a certain bullet in that caliber?

they were making noises about monometals but environmentalists howled
 

ChrisG

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Tungsten is what these bullets had in the base of them. Not tungsten carbide. Tungsten is a metal while it's carbide is actually a ceramic. Both of them are incredibly hard but the tungsten core probably increased pressure a lot more than lead because it is almost incompressible in a gun barrel. The machines used for forming it would need to generate pressures in the hundreds or thousands of tons. It holds up well to high pressure and impact as evidenced by its use in world war II as an anti tank AP round and its modern use as a fragmentary casing in anti-personnel explosives. If it can stand up to the shock of having a 2 pound charge of HMX detonated next to it... it will easily withstand smashing an elephant bone. As was said above, I think the main reason it was discontinued was the BATFE percieving that it was an armor piercing round. Because... you know... all those criminals running around with .375 H&H bolt action rifles looking to knock out armored personnel carriers. :rolleyes:
 
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CTDolan

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Found this little tidbit online:

Apr 13, 2013
The tungsten cored Grand Slams are still here

A couple of retired Blount Execs who made and used these bullets, bought the rights and are again making them on a small scale. 458's and 416's for sure, and I can see about the .375's. If anyone is serious, PM me and I'll pass their contact info along. But without the economies of scale at Speer, these will be quite expensive, per bullet. I don't know just how much, but they did and still do, fill a niche.

When Federal got their hooks into Speer, they didn't want to compete with the Speer African Grand Slams, as they were already putting another premium bullet in their African Ammunition.

The best part, is that as a custom number, you get to specify where you want your crimping cannelure.

I don't have any financial part of this, but I do know who is making them, and can put you in touch. You might also contact ATK (Speer) customer service, and ask them, for the new contact info, as these guys did buy the rights, and are above board in their dealings. At least that's what I've been told.
 

CTDolan

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This bit, too:

022C10D1-9FB9-42C9-9B79-77583FA97E75.png
 

Shawn.54

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EDB0F245-6788-4D8F-8262-D83F2DA5555D.jpeg
Tungsten is what these bullets had in the base of them. Not tungsten carbide. Tungsten is a metal while it's carbide is actually a ceramic. Both of them are incredibly hard but the tungsten core probably increased pressure a lot more than lead because it is almost incompressible in a gun barrel. The machines used for forming it would need to generate pressures in the hundreds or thousands of tons. It holds up well to high pressure and impact as evidenced by its use in world war II as an anti tank AP round and its modern use as a fragmentary casing in anti-personnel explosives. If it can stand up to the shock of having a 2 pound charge of HMX detonated next to it... it will easily withstand smashing an elephant bone. As was said above, I think the main reason it was discontinued was the BATFE percieving that it was an armor piercing round. Because... you know... all those criminals running around with .375 H&H bolt action rifles looking to knock out armored personnel carriers. :rolleyes:
Don’t want to argue about this but carbide used in machining industry is not ceramic it is tungsten carbide which is tungsten and carbon at approximately 50/50 mix. Tungsten is very hard and dense but not as hard as carbide.
Both metals will break if dropped on concrete.
Carbide is much harder and can be used to cut tungsten. In the picture is a carbide endmill and the foot off a tungsten bucking bar used to buck rivets. The bucking bar was dropped on the floor and broke. Both tungsten and carbide will stick to a magnet but only about 1/4 the attraction of iron/steel. Tungsten is more dense than carbide.
Shawn
 

ChrisG

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View attachment 215122
Don’t want to argue about this but carbide used in machining industry is not ceramic it is tungsten carbide which is tungsten and carbon at approximately 50/50 mix. Tungsten is very hard and dense but not as hard as carbide.
Both metals will break if dropped on concrete.
Carbide is much harder and can be used to cut tungsten. In the picture is a carbide endmill and the foot off a tungsten bucking bar used to buck rivets. The bucking bar was dropped on the floor and broke. Both tungsten and carbide will stick to a magnet but only about 1/4 the attraction of iron/steel. Tungsten is more dense than carbide.
Shawn
I know you don't want to argue about this but.... Tungsten Carbide is chemically and technically a ceramic. The stuff used in drill bits is tungsten carbide ceramic usually suspended in a cobalt binder like cement, although it can be used alone as well. The percentage of tungsten carbide is very high which is why it is so brittle. It is a ceramic similar to Silicon Carbide or Boron Carbide. But in order to be usable and not break as easily it must be cemented together. Cobalt works well so in effect, solders the whole mess together.

I found some more details on it here, they summarize its properties nicely: http://www.ortechceramics.com/creamic-materials/tungsten-carbide/

and you are right the pure metal is about 25% denser than the carbide, both, however are substantially more dense than lead.

I guess it is all a moot point because the bullets had tungsten in them, not tungsten carbide.

here is a good video showing that Tungsten is not as brittle as people assume it is because carbide is so brittle:

 
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Shawn.54

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Chris I was comparing carbide endmills with ceramic lathe tools we have which are light and non magnetic.
You are correct in that tungsten is less likely to shatter like carbide.

Tungsten is used as bucking bars because the rivets don’t make a mark in the face like they will in steel and it is so dense that it resists moving under the hammer blows.
If they are dropped they will break and show a grain structure similar to cast iron.

I did notice that it always breaks along a thin spot in the bar.
Shawn
96D19DA9-F77C-4D15-B0C3-AA582F847124.jpeg
 

ChrisG

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Chris I was comparing carbide endmills with ceramic lathe tools we have which are light and non magnetic.
You are correct in that tungsten is less likely to shatter like carbide.

Tungsten is used as bucking bars because the rivets don’t make a mark in the face like they will in steel and it is so dense that it resists moving under the hammer blows.
If they are dropped they will break and show a grain structure similar to cast iron.

I did notice that it always breaks along a thin spot in the bar.
Shawn View attachment 215147
Very strange that it is black inside. It looks more like Silicon Carbide almost. Tungsten usually reacts with Chlorine in the air or water to form that dull gray that we all know and love. They must be cast Tungsten to have grain like that on the inside. I would love to see that 6,000 degree foundry in person!
 

Shawn.54

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That was probably 5-7 years ago that broke the dark color could be from dirt ou oxidation of some sort.
Shawn
 

Pheroze

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Metallurgy discussion, and I'm like...

marilyn-monroe-glasses-colour.jpg
 

Shawn.54

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Not much of a discussion between someone who knows metallurgy and someone who just works with the metals in question.
Shawn
 

Pheroze

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I just had that picture and wanted to use it;)
 

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