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Old 09-10-2010, 02:15 PM
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Default Bullet lead from car batteries ?



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I was talking to a person last night and the subject of the EPA's recent attempt to ban lead for bullets came up. He said that he knows someone who is stockpiling old used car batteries with the intention of taking the lead from the batteries to melt down and mold bullets with should that ever happen.

I dont know anything about the type of lead used in car batteries so I dont know if this would work or not. Also, you have the environmental and safety issues of dealing with the acid once you cracked the battery open so it is not something that I would recomend, but in a TEOFWAWKI situation might useful.

Anyway, I thought it was "out of the box" thinking so I thought I would share.
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Old 09-10-2010, 02:23 PM
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This is an old idea, but as you noted the acid makes it really a desperate operation, there are also toxins in the acid that make melting the lead even more hazardous than other lead. Your friend would be far better off stockpiling lead from shooting range slavage or even car wheel weights.
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Old 09-10-2010, 03:02 PM
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^ What he said. Not worth the hassle, find an alternative. I think they are getting away from lead as wheel weights too.
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Old 09-10-2010, 03:04 PM
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Don't do it, the hazards outweigh the gain severely.

The lead is the same but the chemicals that are on the lead is severely hazardous.

http://www.lasc.us/CastBulletNotes.htm

Bullet alloy contaminants, chemical symbol and sources
Chemical

Possible
Element Symbol

Sources
Antimony* > Sb > Wheel weights, batteries, cable sheathing, Type Metals
Tin* > Sn > Batteries, Wheel Weights, Type metals, Solder
Arsenic* > As > Wheel weights, Lead shot
Iron > Fe > Used type metals
Bismuth > Bi > Cable sheathing
Calcium > Ca > Batteries
Cadmium > Cd > Batteries
Copper > Cu > Batteries
Strontium > Sr > Batteries
*Antimony, tin and arsenic are not contaminants but listed to show their source. Battery lead should be avoided because of the extremely high toxicity of elements such as Strontium. All of the other elements listed in addition to being toxic, cast very poorly, ruin a pot of alloy they are blended with and should be avoided.
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Old 09-10-2010, 03:06 PM
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battery lead is really soft use wheel weights they have enough antimony there good for bullets as is as ther a harder lead and you dont have to worry bout chemical burns

go to your firestones or other mechanic places alot of times they have to pay to dispose of the stuff and are happy to give em away for free you can make your rounds once a month to several and come out with a five gallon bucket per month just melt em down and pour into a bar mold for later use i got 600lbs that way and ddnt cost me anything
Old 09-10-2010, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whirlibird View Post
*Antimony, tin and arsenic are not contaminants but listed to show their source. Battery lead should be avoided because of the extremely high toxicity of elements such as Strontium. All of the other elements listed in addition to being toxic, cast very poorly, ruin a pot of alloy they are blended with and should be avoided.[/I]
antimony is commonly added to lead for cast bullets to allow it to be used at higher fps pure lead is not very good for a cast bullet as its too soft
Old 09-10-2010, 03:48 PM
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what about lead alternatives- lik ralidium? would that be feasible to use?
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Old 09-10-2010, 04:04 PM
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Lead acid batteries are made of two different types of lead which is what drives the chemical process

Pb = lead
PbO2 = lead oxide

the type of plates alternate inside the battery with the odd numbered from either direction (outside plates) being the ones made of lead. There is one more lead plate than lead oxide plate because the lead oxide is more reactive and tends to warp. Keeping a lead plate on either side ensures the plate is not warped in either direction.
Old 09-10-2010, 06:45 PM
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Tell your friend if he want to live through a TEOFWAWKI situation he better take the car batteries down to the local scrap metal/recycle center and sell or swap them for wheel weights,Linotype or at lease pure lead that he can alloy with other lead alloys. Sell or trade the batteries for what he need and live to cast and shoot another day.

http://www.levergunscommunity.com/vi...92e5c31c0ec535
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Old 09-10-2010, 06:52 PM
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Once you have 1000 lbs of wheel weights, you will forget all about car batteries.

While it is possible to remove all the sulfur combined onto the lead plates of a discharged battery, the amount of sulfur dioxide produced is a big hazard. Only problem I have with wheel weights is finding enough of them.
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Old 09-10-2010, 10:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FarmerJohn View Post
antimony is commonly added to lead for cast bullets to allow it to be used at higher fps pure lead is not very good for a cast bullet as its too soft
Yes it is.
But the amount is small.
But a brinnell of 12 is better than most people think.
Most want hard-hard cast 18+ hardness and get throat and streak leading from the bullet not bumping up to bore diameter.

Keith shot the 12 brinnell for years (so have I) and it will expand without shattering unlike the harder bullets.
Old 09-10-2010, 10:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whirlibird View Post
Yes it is.
But the amount is small.
But a brinnell of 12 is better than most people think.
Most want hard-hard cast 18+ hardness and get throat and streak leading from the bullet not bumping up to bore diameter.

Keith shot the 12 brinnell for years (so have I) and it will expand without shattering unlike the harder bullets.
I have never had a problem using straight wheelweights i was responding to the post saying antimony is an impurity bad for bullets
Old 09-10-2010, 11:31 PM
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Fishing weights?? cheap and you can get them at any hardware store.. how about old tires they are blanced with lead...
Old 09-11-2010, 02:13 PM
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Fishing weights?? cheap and you can get them at any hardware store.. how about old tires they are balanced with lead...
Fishing weights are pure lead they work great for black powder loads but are a bit soft for anything other than standard 38 special loads or smaller calibers with a similar MV range. The reason you can't use plain base pure lead for higher velocity pistol and rifle rds. is because the pure lead isn't strong enough to withstand the pressure the higher velocity rds. generate without melting the bullet base,unless you use a gas check to protect the base of the bullet,gas check bullets generally don't come into play until you reach MV of 1400 fps. with harder cast bullets or you using a softer alloy that can't withstand the PSI your load is generating but you still want the bullet to expand.

A couple thing you have to take into consideration with cast bullets. First the bullet has to fit the bore of your firearm,you can get by with .001" over the groove to groove dia. but .002" is better some firearms can even handle .003" if they have large or warn throats like some military surplus rifles. The lead alloy bullet will compress/squeeze down easily to fit the bore,over sized copper jacket bullets on the other hand generate more pressure when there over sized because there about 15 times harder than hard cast lead bullets.

Once you know what size bullet you need the second thing you need to know is what alloy your using and what it's hardness/BHN is,this will tell you the Min. PSI required to swell/obturate the base of the bullet so that it seals the bore,without sealing the bore properly you get several things gas cutting around the bullet which causes leading and lower MV because the burning gases escapes around the bullet instead of pushing it forward.

Lyman reloading and Lyman cast bullet manuals tell you what PSI there Min. & Max. loads generate so it's just a matter of taking your bullets BHN multiplying it by 1422 and that will give you the Min. PSI required to obturate the bullets base and seal the bore. Cast bullets with a hardness or BHN of from 10 to 12 rang work perfectly fine for loads around 1200 to 1300 fps no matter what you shoot them in after that point you either need to used a higher BHN bullet or us a gas check.

For my full house 357 Mag. load I shoot a Lee tumble lube flat base cast bullet made from wheel weights and water dropped which doubles the bullets hardness to around 18 BHN MV is around 1400 fps. for my rifle bullets most of which I shoot between 1500 and 2000 fps. I use the same alloy but apply a gas check because the rifle bullet simply get driven faster plus I like to leave my cast hunting bullets relatively soft so the expand to a degree although the flat nose designs I use do a good bit of damage on there own.


Some good sources of lead are tire shops,car dealerships,scrap yards,ebay,Cast Boolits Swapping & Selling section,Plumber,people that work in construction,sailboat keels,shooting ranges just to name a few.

Commercial cast bullet alloys.
http://www.rotometals.com/Bullet-Casting-Alloys-s/5.htm

For all you guys working with pure lead Rotometals has an alloy called Super Hard http://www.rotometals.com/product-p/...ny_70_lead.htm using 15 lbs. of pure lead or stick on WW and 2 lbs of Super Hard will get you an air cooled BHN of around 12 after two days setting water quenching or oven heat treating will harden it even more.

Good articles for bullet casters.
http://www.lasc.us/CastBulletNotes.htm
http://www.lasc.us/IndexBrennan.htm
http://www.lasc.us/SuperHard.htm
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Old 09-11-2010, 03:55 PM
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You guys are also missing a great resource...water and sewer pipe...A whole sewer stack will yield 500+ lbs--just a Y connection is around 100 lbs...We dismantled an old 2 story (3 bath) house and between the stack and water pipes came out with just over 2,300 lbs (1 tonne) of lead...Yes you have to play around a little bit to get the proper hardness but I can make lots of mistakes and not worry about it much...Then again, you can recover your lead from the backstop/berm and reuse it again.

Shooting targets, then wheel weights are fine but they are far too hard for hunting or for personal defence...Don't expand worth shyte.

Battery lead is usable--if every caution is taken in the recovery and smelting but unless you are on you own farm where do you dispose of the toxic liquids, legally...They are just too damn inconvenient and labour intensive.

Then of course you can always go an buy some from the salvage yards.
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Old 09-11-2010, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeekHer View Post
You guys are also missing a great resource...water and sewer pipe...A whole sewer stack will yield 500+ lbs--just a Y connection is around 100 lbs...We dismantled an old 2 story (3 bath) house and between the stack and water pipes came out with just over 2,300 lbs (1 tonne) of lead...Yes you have to play around a little bit to get the proper hardness but I can make lots of mistakes and not worry about it much...Then again, you can recover your lead from the backstop/berm and reuse it again.

Shooting targets, then wheel weights are fine but they are far too hard for hunting or for personal defence...Don't expand worth shyte.

Battery lead is usable--if every caution is taken in the recovery and smelting but unless you are on you own farm where do you dispose of the toxic liquids, legally...They are just too damn inconvenient and labour intensive.

Then of course you can always go an buy some from the salvage yards.
who cares if your shot placement id good expansion is just a pluss
Old 09-11-2010, 04:31 PM
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One man's toxin is another man's ingredient. That said, my brother and I have made up some large (55 gallons per cell) lead-lead oxide batteries for long discharge applications, and we use all the recycled battery lead we can get when we start building another one of those.
Old 09-11-2010, 05:04 PM
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Stock wheel weights~!
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Old 09-11-2010, 07:12 PM
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Actually wheel weight make excellent bullet for target shooting,hunting or SD purposes you just have to choose the right bullet. The traditional SWC design with a nice size meplat will leave a wound channel twice the size of the bullet dia. as well as create a nice shock wave as it passes through tissue this is how cast bullet kill.

There are also quiet few options on HP mold designs now days,one of my favorites is MP Molds http://www.mp-molds.com/ You can also have certain existing mold converted http://www.hollowpointmold.com/ I prefer the standard FN design for rifle hunting bullets and the HP for semi auto pistol and certain revolvers,otherwise I use the SWC.

45 ACP cast from 2:1 WW/Lead BHN around 9


327 Magnum WW BHN 11


45 Cal. Lyman Devastator HP BHN 11
Old 09-11-2010, 07:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palma View Post
^ What he said. Not worth the hassle, find an alternative. I think they are getting away from lead as wheel weights too.
They are using an increasing ammout wheel weights made from Zinc (Zn) and Iron (Fe) these days. The last batch of wheel weights I sorted was approximately a third Zinc and Iron (unuseable) weights.
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