Ballistic Products Bismuth

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Ballistic Products Bismuth

Postby fowledlogic » Mon Dec 14, 2020 12:22 pm

Received the Bismuth 1's that I had on order. These aren't the new Sphero pellets. None of those are in stock. The pellets aren't perfectly round, but they much nicer than the Roto stuff I bought three years ago. These typically are 0.158" by 0.162" or slightly larger and they are fairly shiny. Quite smooth! The current catalog said $109.99 on sale for seven pounds, but on-line they cost $129.99.
I checked the density with a 10ml graduated cylinder. It reads 0.01 or 1% low. So, whatever I measure I multiply by 0.01 and add that to the results. I calibrated this cylinder previously with a digital scale and distilled water. For reference, one gram of water occupies one ml. The density of water is...one.
Put in 5ml of liquid in the cylinder then top off to 10ml with the shot material in question. I use 91% rubbing alcohol. Water tends to leave bubbles around the shot. This is not an issue with cylinder calibration.
It took 734.1 grains of bismuth shot to fill the cylinder to the 10ml mark. That equates to 47.57 grams. And yes, I read to the bottom of the meniscus for my readings! Simple math yields a density of 9.514g/ml. With the calibration error factor of 1% added to that, the density is 9.60914 grams/ml. Which is darn close to what bismuth with 6% tin should be!
Initially I weighed out very close to one ounce(437.5 gr.) of bismuth pellets. I got 438.6 gr. and 439.1 gr. for two separate tests. Each sample had 82 pellets. Ideally there would be 84 pellets to an ounce for #1's. So these are quite close.
Oh, according to BP's info, the Sphero Bismuth is tin plated and if I recall correctly no mention of density or how much tin is 'in' the shot.
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Re: Ballistic Products Bismuth

Postby Dave in AZ » Mon Dec 14, 2020 12:36 pm

Nice lab work and reporting ;)
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Re: Ballistic Products Bismuth

Postby fowledlogic » Mon Dec 14, 2020 12:52 pm

Thanks Dave!
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Re: Ballistic Products Bismuth

Postby baltz526 » Mon Dec 14, 2020 2:36 pm

There are about 82 Zink plated airgun B per ounce. I can buy 10lb for $15.20 What can a Bismuth #1 do that justify the cost.
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Re: Ballistic Products Bismuth

Postby fowledlogic » Mon Dec 14, 2020 4:41 pm

baltz', I've got the money and I don't think my 20 would like hard shot that large. My teeth wouldn't either.
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Re: Ballistic Products Bismuth

Postby ohio mike » Mon Dec 14, 2020 6:36 pm

If ya got old guns ya want soft shot. If you have new firearms run anything ya want down the tube. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. My prewar 16's get nothing but lead and Bismuth.
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Re: Ballistic Products Bismuth

Postby Duckwyatt80 » Mon Dec 14, 2020 6:57 pm

Thanks for the update, that sounds like pretty nice shot. Do you have a picture you can post comparing the RotoMetals Bismuth to the BPI Bismuth? I’d like to see the difference before I make my next order.
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Re: Ballistic Products Bismuth

Postby fowledlogic » Tue Dec 15, 2020 8:29 am

Let's see if I remember how to post photos. Been a while. Last photo is left to right: Roto #1's, Roto #2's, BP #1's. Second photo is the Roto's together, and first photo is Roto #2's and Bp #1's. The worst shot is Roto #2's. Least round, rough, and not very shiny. Density of the two Roto bismuth samples were around 9.6 g/ml. Looks like the photos come up in reverse order of how they were entered. Sorry. The Roto shot was sold as #1's and #'2's. They're about 89 and 92 pellets to the ounce. So they're both more like 1 1/2 shot.
This stuff kills big geese. I primarily shoot 12 gauges and take birds as close as they will work. Twenty to twenty five yards out and feet off the water is ideal. I don't like biting into shot and Bismuth is a lot softer than most of the other choices! Root canals and Crowns are expensive!! AND unbuffered Bismuth opens up more quickly at close range than buffered, no surprise there. I shoot both varieties. I like dabbling with different types of shot. I remember the lead days because I was there. Shot it for four seasons before I started hunting State land in 1980 in my home state of Minnesota. Steel shot was already required there and in the National Wildlife Refuges. When Hevi-Shot came out in the 90's I jumped to that for geese and retired the 10 gauge. I used steel shot for ducks and still do with some exceptions. I have ITX10(in 4's), HW15(in 7's), and Hevi in 1's,2's, and 4's. Bought the 1's and 2's when it was $9 a pound!! Both from RSI. The 4's were about $10 a pound from BP. Those were the days! Will steel shot kill big geese? Of course, especially up close. Choices are good. I'll leave it there.
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Re: Ballistic Products Bismuth

Postby 3200 man » Tue Dec 15, 2020 6:48 pm

I sure was impressed to read of all your hard work , Thanks for sharing ! :thumbsup: :clapping: :clapping:

I would be interested in what loads you loaded these #1 Bismuth in for the distance , you were shooting ?

Did you use a book recipe like 800X or Longshot ?
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Re: Ballistic Products Bismuth

Postby fowledlogic » Wed Dec 16, 2020 7:52 am

3200', I use a number of different loads from Lyman's 5th edition, Precision Reloading, and RSI(steel shot vol.8). Hodgdon has a number of loads at their site. I use Alliant Steel powder, SR4756, and Longshot. There are quite a few loads with the finer grained powders, but I worry about powder migration with them. A tighter fitting wad helps there. Lead shot wads in straight walled hulls can have gaps. A load that BT Justice found interesting was in Lyman's. I don't think he tried it however. It uses a Federal Gold Medal hull with a Federal 209A and Federal 12S4 wad. Longshot powder and no buffer. Good speed, spec'ed at 1370 fps. The 12S4 fits a bit tighter than say a Winchester WAA12R or Remington RP12. Lyman's has a number of loads for Remington STS and Winchester compression hulls. The lead shot wads will fit tighter in those tapered hulls of course.
RSI has Bismuth loads using Bluedot and Steel powders. They're listed right after the steel shot loads. There are 17 loads including two for 20 gauge.
I take birds close up so I can't report on what range the pellets run out of steam. Maybe someone here has the software to run the numbers electronically. The furthest shot I've taken is about 40 yards. Body hits. I recovered the bird. Big birds have large breast tissue. Head-on birds require deep penetration to get to the vitals. Head, neck, and wing breaks stop them of course also.
I have Precision Reloading's Bismuth manual 8th edition from 2003. They run some numbers for exterior ballistics with 2's and BB's, but those pellets were oversized. About 0.158" and 0.188" respectively. So those pellets were really 1's and BBB's or almost.
As for work, Dave in AZ and others like Bt have done a lot. I mean a lot. Kudos to all of them. Sadly of course BT is no longer with us. We all benefit from what this bunch of guys has done!
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Re: Ballistic Products Bismuth

Postby azdukhuntr » Fri Dec 18, 2020 11:41 am

Great post fowledlogic! Thanks for all the work and documentation. The BPI bismuth looks a lot better than the two bags I've gotten from RotoMetals. The second bag was better than the first but nowhere as good as what the BPI stuff looks in your photos.
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Re: Ballistic Products Bismuth

Postby Dr Swane » Mon Dec 28, 2020 5:59 pm

fowledlogic wrote:3200', I use a number of different loads from Lyman's 5th edition, Precision Reloading, and RSI(steel shot vol.8). Hodgdon has a number of loads at their site. I use Alliant Steel powder, SR4756, and Longshot. There are quite a few loads with the finer grained powders, but I worry about powder migration with them. A tighter fitting wad helps there. Lead shot wads in straight walled hulls can have gaps. A load that BT Justice found interesting was in Lyman's. I don't think he tried it however. It uses a Federal Gold Medal hull with a Federal 209A and Federal 12S4 wad. Longshot powder and no buffer. Good speed, spec'ed at 1370 fps. The 12S4 fits a bit tighter than say a Winchester WAA12R or Remington RP12. Lyman's has a number of loads for Remington STS and Winchester compression hulls. The lead shot wads will fit tighter in those tapered hulls of course.
RSI has Bismuth loads using Bluedot and Steel powders. They're listed right after the steel shot loads. There are 17 loads including two for 20 gauge.
I take birds close up so I can't report on what range the pellets run out of steam. Maybe someone here has the software to run the numbers electronically. The furthest shot I've taken is about 40 yards. Body hits. I recovered the bird. Big birds have large breast tissue. Head-on birds require deep penetration to get to the vitals. Head, neck, and wing breaks stop them of course also.
I have Precision Reloading's Bismuth manual 8th edition from 2003. They run some numbers for exterior ballistics with 2's and BB's, but those pellets were oversized. About 0.158" and 0.188" respectively. So those pellets were really 1's and BBB's or almost.
As for work, Dave in AZ and others like Bt have done a lot. I mean a lot. Kudos to all of them. Sadly of course BT is no longer with us. We all benefit from what this bunch of guys has done!


I too reload that similar load you’ve indicated. I’ve tried both Alliant Steel powder and longshot. Steel Powder is a bit slower, but patterns well.
Thanks for sharing.
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Re: Ballistic Products Bismuth

Postby 3200 man » Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:15 pm

Wow #1's , I have used 1 1/4 oz of #2's bismuth some Buffered and a few without , they work real well on Snows and Spec's
but I've always liked #1's ! I'll have to give those a try . I agree CB 12 1114 wads would be the answer in a tapered hull but
to bulky of powder would limit it some, the velocity I like is closer to 1300 fps and it patterns good as I shoot a Fixed IM (.025)
choked gun . This is good info for the fellas who wish to have a little extra , other than steel shot !

Thanks again
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