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9mm Zinc Bullet! Low Recoil – Accuracy & Velocity Test




Sub sonic and Supersonic from the same mold?

Yup! As I continue my endeavors in casting with zinc I wanted to show casters that the dreaded Zn label on wheel weights actually makes some good bullets!

Cost effective?

Like the majority of us here who have a few years of reloading, I will admit that my reloading adventure hasn’t saved me ANY money. The rabbit hole just gets deeper. But hey, a man has to obsess over a hobby to stay healthy…why not this one?

Where I can see savings in casting with zinc is on big bore pistol and rifle cartridges.  Zinc bullets can duplicate what copper bullets can do such as a Lehigh Penetrator. If one can make a mold similar the weight and performance will be similar. I actually managed to cast a 75gr HP zinc bullet in 9mm that travels at 1800+ FPS. The gel test showed devastating results and ballistics similar to a G2 RIP round in 9mm. Plus, being capable of self-sufficiency is a priceless trait to have and not wait for those manufacturers to ship you those reloading bullets.

Pros and Cons…

Well here’s my honest take so far on Pros

Fills the mold similar to pure TinDon’t have to lube or powder coat, just size/load/shootFragment on steel; good for close range steel shootingAnother viable casting metal, often thrown awayVelocities well above anything listed. An example of where this could be a benefit would be timed shooting events where milliseconds matterSuper light recoilHard enough to load like a FMJ, soft enough that it won’t cause erosion or barrel wear (explanation below)Steel molds handle zinc like leadNatural lubrication and removes fouling in barrels

Ok and the Cons

Zinc reacts with aluminum, so not good for aluminium moldsRequires high heat (over 800* F), again not good for aluminium moldsWill eat through a Lee 4-20 Pot… Just ask Elvis AmmoCast bullets that are 60% of the lead weight, so if shot in a rifle with a fast twist you may not see accuracyYou may be shunned or cast out of the Cast Boolits Forum if you even mention experimenting with zinc. Oh well, TRN is better any how

Zinc won’t wear your barrel

This is probably the most oft repeated statement I have heard. Let’s look at some facts. Pure zinc itself is roughly around 30BHN according to http://www.engineershandbook.com/Materials/zinc.htm

I had a sample of my ingots tested by LTI and results of my Zinc Wheel Weights came back to being close to Zamak but with a lot lower aluminum resulting in an average BHN of 45-50. So with these results stated…

Copper runs about a 114BHN; that is significantly higher than Zinc Wheel Weights. Manufacturers that produce full copper bullets actually undersize a majority of their bearing surfaces or engineer in a band, sometimes advertised as a “sealing” feature. The truth is obturation on a very hard material such as copper, if the copper bullet were sized at traditional size, will cause major pressure issues and barrel wear/damage.

Well zinc does the exact opposite.  Zinc has a natural lubricity attribute to it, hence why it’s used in many bearings. It’s also soft enough to obturate and squeeze down our barrels without pressure issues or wear in rifling. So far I have shot over 3,000 rounds of 9mm made of zinc. I compared a recently slugged bullet with one done when I first started casting. Measurements are exactly the same. I also made a dummy FMJ bullet that acts like a Go/No go gauge.  The depth micrometer showed no throat erosion.

Well what are your thoughts? Comment below!

As always, much appreciation for watching. Hope this sparks some ideas!

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6 Comments


Todd Rook
Todd Rook
Jan 13, 2022

I own a zinc die casting company and I am considering having a multiple cavity die made to cast bullets, particularly the 9 mm because it would likely be the most common to start with. If I can produce them at the 115 grain weight do you think they would sell for reloaders if they are in the 14-16 cents a piece range? I'm continuing more research but would like another opinion if it is worth it, I have equipment that would produce around 15,000 in a single shift day.

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Not sure how you would make a 115 gn bullet in zinc. 147gr lead bullet cast in zinc comes in at 90+ grns so to cast zinc and get 115 gns you would need a much larger bullet to start with like 1290gn in lead - which would make the bullet physically to large for 9mm


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I am about to load the same bullet in 9mm. I have to check my bullet sizing. I find that quenching Zinc bullets shrinks them a little which makes them easier to size. Any way will be loading with Winchester WSH powder. I bought this powder at a reall low low price per pound - So I bought all of what they had will not mention how many pounds. I have had good results with this powder in bunny gas loads in 223 - 30/06 and 9mm so far. I load it with green dot data just a little lower. Having great groups in all the above calibers. Will be a while before I test fire the zinc. Hope to…


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Hot Pots makes a small electric cast iron pot.


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I do not think that pot gets hot enough. It is only 500 watts. Your zinc needs to be around 870 degrees.

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