Author Topic: Casting lead  (Read 3920 times)

Offline IKN

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Casting lead
« on: June 04, 2015, 06:52:21 AM »
Anyone have a good source of lead for casting bullets ?

Offline Carl

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Re: Casting lead
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2015, 07:46:19 AM »
Scrap metals buyer ,tire shop,my local shooting range.
Those shops that buy metal,will also sell it to you.....

Offline em ty

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Re: Casting lead
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2015, 08:28:08 AM »
When I replaced the drains in my house built in '45, I kept all the lead drain pipes.  You can call plumbers and ask if they have any they want to get rid of and how often they come across it.  Tire shops are probably your best bet, though, as Carl mentioned.

Offline Mortblanc

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Re: Casting lead
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2015, 09:21:22 AM »
I buy mine 100 pounds at a time at the local recycling center.

In the past I have recovered plumbing scrap, mined lead at the shooting ranges and even offered cleanup services at a local indoor shooting range. 

You get it where you find it.

My best scores have been through friends that snagged big batches for me and delivered them to the door.  One friend had demolished the x-ray department at the local hospital and split over a ton of scrap lead among his friends.  It was all neat plates a foot square and an inch thick.

Problem with that is they expect loaded ammo in return!

Offline IKN

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Re: Casting lead
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2015, 09:21:35 PM »
Not a lot of tire shops in my area. I also heard a while back at an auction, a couple guys saying lead tire weights were being outlawed and replaced with something else. Anyone know if this is true ?
I do have a couple scrapyards nearby, but I do have a concern with the lead not having the proper proportions of tin and antimony for the desired hardness for casting bullets.
Probably not a big concern, but figure soft, pure lead would tend to foul barrels and actions more readily than a harder alloy.

Offline Carl

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Re: Casting lead
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2015, 09:39:23 PM »
Not a lot of tire shops in my area. I also heard a while back at an auction, a couple guys saying lead tire weights were being outlawed and replaced with something else. Anyone know if this is true ?
I do have a couple scrapyards nearby, but I do have a concern with the lead not having the proper proportions of tin and antimony for the desired hardness for casting bullets.
Probably not a big concern, but figure soft, pure lead would tend to foul barrels and actions more readily than a harder alloy.

Wheel weight actually has a recipe and is concistant though I have found a few non-lead weights (brass appearence) ,they float to the top of the melt just as the steel clips do and dirt. Fired bullet often is softer than wheel weight and when I ingot cast ,I add a bit of tin for hardness to the batch ...testing Brinell hardness on the first few ,room temperature bars.( my target hardness is 18 to 20) and I find the lubricant has more effect on leading than lead hardness....use good lube.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Casting lead
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2015, 11:15:51 PM »
I've mentioned on a different thread but if smelting scrap lead isn't your thing, lead ingots still are relatively inexpensive when you factor the price of retail bullets.

All day long you can get ingots less than $2/lbs off ebay.
http://m.ebay.com/itm/191592843195?nav=SEARCH


Offline machinisttx

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Re: Casting lead
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2015, 09:36:47 PM »
I have only bought tin ingots from this company, but wouldn't hesitate to buy lead from them if I needed it. http://www.rotometals.com/Bullet-Casting-Alloys-s/5.htm http://www.rotometals.com/product-p/leadingotpure.htm http://www.rotometals.com/product-p/55_lbs._of_lead.htm

I was told by a babbit bearing shop that we do work for to just come by and they would load me up with all the lead I wanted. ;D I already have several hundred pounds of wheelweights I've melted down and recast as ingots. Smelting wheelweights is pretty nasty work though. Many weights now are either iron or zinc. They will typically be marked Fe(Iron) or Zn(zinc), but sometimes they aren't. Iron isn't a big deal as it won't melt at typical lead smelting temperatures. Zinc can, and it will ruin your batch of bullet metal if you aren't careful. If you sort the weights before throwing them in your smelting pot, it'll keep most of the junk out. Being attentive when everything is starting to melt will pay off too. Also, the stick on weights, if they're actually lead, are almost pure lead. The clip on wheelweights have very little tin, but around 6%(IIRC) antimony.

Old article: http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/09/epa-to-ban-lead-tire-weights/?_r=0 They are certainly banned in several states, but that's about all I can find in a quick google search for the national level....or maybe not. http://www.moderntiredealer.com/channel/retailing/article/story/2014/06/wheel-weight-update.aspx