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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Source of lead alloy?

Howdy,

I just lucked into a couple of bullet molds and a Lee Production Pot. I loaded a couple of .358 projectile from wheel weights I had laying around. Talk about fun, and easier than I thought it would be. (Of course, I did this only after reading a couple of manuals last night.)

My question is: where do most of you that cast your own projectiles get your lead to melt down? I know wheel weights are a good source, so do you just call around until you find a tire repair center that is willing to sell you some old weights cheap that they have running around? Do you go to a salvage yard and buy bulk lead? (If the last option, what is your source of tin to add to harden up the alloy?)

Some other easy/good source I'm missing?

Thanks for any suggestions!
KJ
 

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I don't cast yet, but I've got a few 5 gal buckets of wheel weights I got for little to nothing from salvage yards. When I get setup for casting I'll probably just bite the bullet and order the tin and antimony from The Antimony Man .
 

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Magnum,

Be aware that tin and antimony from the Antimony Man are extremely expensive. 6 lbs of antimony and 5 lbs of tin cost over
$100. No joke and I'm not criticizing him because the materials are costly.

Am currently experimenting on how little of the metals I can mix with pure lead to get good bullets. Will post as soon as I have some definite info.

RIKA
 

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I boo-boo'ed

Magnum,

I just realized this morning that what I posted last night was not entirely correct. Please accept my apologies. Along with the metals, I ordered a couple of books at $35.00. The antimony and tin will run you about $6.00 - $7.00 per lb roughly (assuming no further price increases) and the shipping is VERY expensive (can't remember the $ amt). So it is worthwhile to make the alloys go as far as possible.

Sorry for the misleading post.

RIKA :(
 

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Discussion Starter #6
steel clips

For those of you using wheel weights, what do you do about the steel clips? Do you just throw the whole thing into the pot and then scoop the steel clip as soon as the lead melts or what?

Thanks,
KJ
 

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You know,I've often wondered if the acid in a car battery changes the lead in such a way as to render it un-usable for bullet making.
If it doesn't then,well,a car battery is 40-60 lbs.And about 90% of that is lead....
 

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KJUN, when you melt the wheelweights the steel clips float to the top and you just skim them off. Easy.

41Mag, Everyone I've talked to and all the books say ABSOLUTELY DO NOT USE THE LEAD IN CAR BATTERIES. Apparently the acid changes the metal composition some way and makes it unusable for bullet casting.

RIKA
 

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Not only that, but lead fumes are bad for you and no matter how well you clean battery plates, you're going to be adding sulfuric acid fumes to the mix, very bad ju-ju.



RIKA, WHEW! Thanks for the correction, I think I about had a stroke over those prices. I'll bet the shipping is bad on metal, but I'll have to work out the $$ at the time I get ready to cast. Problem is, most of the loads I want to use need hardcast bullets.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
41mag said:
You know,I've often wondered if the acid in a car battery changes the lead in such a way as to render it un-usable for bullet making.
If it doesn't then,well,a car battery is 40-60 lbs.And about 90% of that is lead....
The main reasons I've heard to NOT use car battieries is that an additive (Calcium, I think) makes it NOT cast well AND they have a LOT of oxidized lead. Fumes from oxidized lead, I've read, is MUCH, MUCH more dangerous that the elemental lead we want to use in casting AND it can't be used for casting even if you wanted to use it.

Too bad, huh? I'd love such an readily available source of lead!
KJ
 

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Alright,if not car batteries then what about boat anchors?
The little mushroom shaped anchors are made of lead & coated with a thick,rubbery skin.New,they are $20-30 ea.Used(as in found by kids & sold out of the front yard) $5.
I think that some of the newer ones are made of steel.It might be worth a check though....
 

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I don't think it's complicated chemistry to purify the lead from a car battery. I'll look into it (ie, ask mom and dad because they're both PhD's in organic chemistry, and we have at least three books on metallurgy).
 

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only need about 5% of alloy, by weight

to be tin-antimony. In other words, 100lbs of wheelweights, melted down, 80 lbs lbs or so of clean casting alloy. So you need maybe 4 lbs of tin-antimony, to have 85 lbs of casting alloy. That will make 2500 or so .45 cast bullet, maybe double that in 9mm. dont bother, in 9mm, cause the milsurp and Winchester bulk ammo is so cheap, it's not worth loading practice ammo in 9x19.

U can SAVE the shipping costs, just call your closest plumbing supply store. They have "non lead" solder, for $8 a lb, and it's 95% tin, 5% antimony.
 

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Depends on how hard you want to cast it.

Wheelweights are about .5% tin, 4% antimony. BHN about 9

Linotype is about 4% tin, 12% antimony, BHN about 22

Monotype is about 9% tin, 19% antimony, BHN 28
 
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