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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Is gonna get spent on components, scrap lead and .22 ammo. Doubt that that commie muslim pos can make executive orders stick, but aint risking it.
 

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Fwiw, I've had surprisingly good luck getting scrap lead in wheelweight form, as recently as this year. A lot of wheelweights are steel and zinc now (and zinc will ruin a batch of lead) so they have to be individually checked with a pair of cutters or such. But it goes pretty quick once you get a rhythm going. In January, I got a total of four buckets of wheelweights; three free and one for $20.

After probably 3-4 hours sorting lead from other, and another 6-7 hours with a kettle on a turkey fryer and using dollar-store muffin pans for molds, I netted 417 pounds of lead ingots out of that four buckets.



Kind of a pain and labor intensive but I enjoy it so I don't really mind the time invested, and that 9-10 hours (and less than a tank of propane) gets me set material-wise for nearly 20k handgun bullets, split 2/3 9mm/.38, and 1/3 .45acp.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
plus the time to go get it. 12 hours, at how much for your overtime pay, john? $50 an hour? With a $100 plumber's furnace, you could do the entire batch in an hour. Think I'd pay some kids to do the testing for zinc or aluminum. a magnet should suffice for the steel ones, real quick. Still melt small batches at a time., and setting some out to harden, to look for the telltale "wrinkled AND frosted" look that says it was both too hot and too cold, which means it's contaminated. I just pour 10 lbs out on the concrete floor of the storage, then chop it with the axe. The cast iron pot is a foot across at the top, no need of small chunks. Leaving some liquid lead at the bottom of the pot speeds up each melt.

When I smelted down the 3000 lbs of wheelweights back in 1978, it took me an entire weekend, about 30 hours. I made some of the muffin pan ingots, but mostly the 20 lb pot-ingots. I did some of the casting in Joe's garage, when I paid our bills with it for a month or so, the second time Kay left Bob to be with me. I was getting $30 per 1000 for the 230 gr H&G swc's. about 13c each in today's money. :)

That was a good bullet design, if I do say so myself. I shot quite a few sub-3" groups at 50 yds with that bullet and 4.5 grs of Bullseye, even tho loaded in old brass on a Star Progressive machine. The practice MkIV that I had had a broken a collet bushing in it. Wilson let me take my pick from a big boxful of collet bushings that he had in his shop. :) He told me what to beware of. What breaks them is having them expand to too tight a fit in the slide. wedging them around the dog-knot in the barrel's OD.

That's all it took. No fitting of the slide to frame, or barrel hood/bottom lugs to frame. Some had 3 holes touching, firing prone at Harry Claflin's place near Bronaugh, MO. Bill came up to shoot one of the World shoot's assault courses there. I had it set up and was practicing it a lot. Bill had his range tied-up with other courses.

My match gun at the time, Bomar's, a fitted NM barrel and bushing set, fitted slide, etc, would deliver sub 2" at 50 yds, 5 shots, on my Lee Machine rest, with match grade reloads with that bullet (new brass, loaded in an RCBS rockchucker, weighed charges, weighed bullets, etc. It would do 1.5" with Remington 185 gr jswc match ammo. I owed both of them to a guy in S Africa, who bought my plane ticket. He got them for well under half of the going price in that country at the time. I was ignorant of that fact. The practice gun had had about 30k rds thru it. Had a tiny crack near the slide stop hole. I'd had to replace a couple of old GI mags, that bushing, the firing pin stop, and the extractor (both broken by wax-loads/dryfire.) LOTS of dryfire, 1000's of clicks per week, hundreds of magswaps. So, yeah, i do NOT want to mess with DA or Glock trigger pulls. No real benefit and "undo" all that training? no way in hell.

If I'd known to get another school loan, 1k or so at the time and take two suitcases full of primers with me (5c each at the time, in SA, cost me 1/2 c cause I'd bought 100k of them) I could have hunted private ranches there for months on end. :) But I was nuts about Kay and when she said she'd leave Bob if I came back to the US, I went. Biggest mistake I ever made. If i'd known at the time how to make silencers, I'd have stayed there and been rich, long ago. I could have wholesaled them to gunshops for $150 each in today's money, by the 1000's per year, paying others to do most of the work of making them.
 

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I was just offering an idea on an old-school source for lead (wheelweights), as there's a lot of rumor on the net that collecting scrap wheelweights as a source for lead is a thing of the past now; and it's just not true in a lot of areas. Simply trying to help, offering an idea that many people will wrongly tell you isn't viable anymore.

plus the time to go get it. 12 hours, at how much for your overtime pay, john? $50 an hour?
I don't get overtime; I'm on salary. I had less than 90 minutes invested in getting it, probably more like an hour; three tire shops, all of which I drive by on a regular basis.


With a $100 plumber's furnace
A $100 plumber's furnace (most of them are much higher) that I'll use once a year or less, versus a paid-for (ie, $0) turkey fryer burner and an $8 kettle from Dollar General bought specifically for lead use. I'm okay with that.


you could do the entire batch in an hour. Think I'd pay some kids to do the testing for zinc or aluminum.
As I said, I enjoy it much like cutting the grass, reloading, etc. I'm at our shop a lot of hours that I'm not doing work-related things. It's where I have my reloading setup, and do other things as well. Frankly I don't have as good a shop at home as we have there.

a magnet should suffice for the steel ones, real quick.
I've tried that, and for me the dikes are actually quicker. Using a magnet on the body of the weight will tell steel, but not zinc. Using the magnet on the clip of the weight will give a 'positive' on all three types.

Using dikes/cutters really does go pretty smooth. I put on the radio or a podcast and it's diverting and enjoyable. No cost, no stress, no pressure; just relaxing.

Still melt small batches at a time., and setting some out to harden, to look for the telltale "wrinkled AND frosted" look that says it was both too hot and too cold, which means it's contaminated.
Wrinkled with an 'oatmeal' appearance often means zinc contamination. Being too hot or too cold doesn't contaminate it.

When I'm actually casting bullets I use a thermometer in the casting pot. I've cast from around 725 degrees to nearly 900. Main difference is in the hardening - since I water-quench when dropping from the mold, a higher temperature difference gives a slightly harder final bullet since it cools more and faster when it hits the water.


I just pour 10 lbs out on the concrete floor of the storage, then chop it with the axe. The cast iron pot is a foot across at the top, no need of small chunks.
I just go from the kettle into muffin pans with a ladle. Each cupcake/muffin cavity creates a roughly 1.7 pound ingot; so a 12-muffin pan is right at 20 lbs, with no mess and no axe-chopping on a concrete floor.

Pouring into two pans (I use one six-cavity pan and one 12-cavity) from a 35-lb or so melt, takes maybe a minute or so and leaves 5-7 lbs of liquid in the pan to accelerate the next melt. In the minute or two it takes to load the kettle with more wheelweights, the ingots are ready to dump out of the pans. (You don't want to wait too long to dump them or they can stick.)

A lot of guys use purpose-built molds from rcbs or such, but I've had fine results using $2 muffin pans from the consignment store.

Leaving some liquid lead at the bottom of the pot speeds up each melt.
I do that; most people who've ever done it, do that.

It would be nice to have a conversation without you voicing assumptions that everyone other than you is ignorant of everything. That one batch of lead pictured means I've averaged more than a hundred pounds per month of lead ingoted so far this year. I've also cast more than 1600 bullets this year; taking roughly 4 hours to do so.

You really might consider the idea that some of us simply do what we say and enjoy life. It's not all about contention and conflict.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
jeez, John, you can't move the lead to the yard to chop it? pouring it on the floor dont mean you have to cut it there! I just do everything I can to save time. I want that gear used once or twice per year, then oiled or waxed and put up in the ammo cans, with dessicant ASAP. My idea of relaxation is .177 or airsoft practice, or when she gets here, teaching stuff to our daughter. Everything is a gee whiz to her. she's never had anyone give her much in the way of time, care, space or stuff to do anything with. She's saving HARD for that puppy! :)

the casting thermometer is a huge help.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
that's the way you see it, perhaps, but I'm actually a real sweetheart of a guy. Like my dad, I never saw any point in praising the doing of what's right. you're SUPPOSED to do it right and on the net, you can find any number of people who will advocate that you waste time and money. all of it you have, and then some, in fact. I"m about the only voice in the gun community saying the reverse, actually.
 

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...or when she gets here, teaching stuff to our daughter. Everything is a gee whiz to her. she's never had anyone give her much in the way of time, care, space or stuff to do anything with. She's saving HARD for that puppy!...
Fwiw, make the most of your time with her. We still have our boys, but we lost our daughter more than 20 years ago. I still think about her almost every day, and it still hurts sometimes when I see a dad with his daughter. Not an anger thing, just a hole in my gut sometimes and a sadness for what I'll never have.

There's no substitute and no do-over for time you can't get back with someone you love, so make the most of whatever time you have with her. Take it from someone who can only see it in the rearview; it's priceless.
 

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John in AR, I'm very sorry for your loss and you are correct spend as much time with them as possible. I'm loading 13 calibers in lead and with the amount of matches my wife and I shoot together and the travel time, etc, I just can't see to fit casting into the equation.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
i knew that the first time I ever picked her up, John. And she knew she'd never be safer, too.
 

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i knew that the first time I ever picked her up, John. And she knew she'd never be safer, too.
I'd feel for you somewhat, if only I could get over that "suspicious of everything a convict say's" feeling. Your not exactly the most truthful guy. Your prone to making up stories that are pure fiction. This Wife and Daughter suddenly appear. The Wife's a Nurse but when your questioned you know nothing of Nursing, you then say she's going to be a Nurse Anesthetist, but know nothing of the training program, it's costs, or length. To be a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist cost's a young fortune and takes about 5 to six years. You made it sound like it took about a year. The background investigation on an immigrant to the U.S. is thorough and very time consuming not to mention expensive. You gloss over it like it's a trip to the store. Call it suspicion from dealing with convicts for 23 years. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong.
 

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Not to wallow in stuff too much, but these have become 'our girls' now; fifteen 11th-graders and three college-student chaperones. Every year our church hosts a large youth-weekend event where groups of same-grade kids from several different churches in the area and their chaperone-leaders stay in someone's host home for a long weekend. (segregated, guys from girls) Hundreds involved in all.

We feed them, house them, get them back & forth to where they need to be (church, various locations for different team & group events, local armory for whole-group sessions), and deal with everything that comes with teenagers in group settings. We started volunteering several years ago, hosting the 8th grade girls. The next year we got the 9th grade girls, next year 10th, etc. This last year, it was the 11th grade girls; same girls for the most part every year, except the number grows. IIRC, there were 10 of them the first year. This is from the 10th-grade year:


When you're nearly old enough to be their grandfather and they're comfortable enough around you to get past any trepidation that naturally occurs with teenage girls and grown men, it's awesome how much you can come to love them; even some of them who aren't from our church and who we only see those three days a year. Those weekends are the happiest in my wife's year; she and those girls are just something else when they're together. For that matter, those T-shirts are ones that they and my wife did on that weekend. (Can't blame my wife at all for getting 'into' the girl time; her husband and sons are kind of horrible yetis. :eek: )

There's not one of those girls that I wouldn't kill for or go to prison for. I've told a number of their dads that if they ever have typical teenage-boy issues, feel free to call us since we have forty acres and a backhoe; and every year, a "life sentence" gets just a little less scary.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
all you'd get is 5 years tops and maybe just probation Just see to it that all on the jury have daughters, cause those are your "peers" and that half of them are men, cause that's the gender mix of the nation. If they wont give you that, you'll automatically win on appeal and get another trial, at which the prosecutor will be a lot more lenient with the deal. appeal can take a year or more, tho
 
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