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Old 09-18-2013, 12:23 AM
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Default Were Do you Get your Scrap Lead? How Much Do You Pay?



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I'm gearing up to try my hand at casting my own bullets. I have the mold on the way and am now assembling the rest. I am already casting my own .50 cal. round balls for black powder, so I have basic knowledge. My main question is were you guys get your lead. I just did a little range mining today and ended up with about 14 lb of clean lead. With the small pot I'm using it was a 1 1/2+ hour task to clean it up.

I called my local scrap yard today and they are asking .60 a lb for lead, some of which is already in ingots. Is this a bad price? I know tire shops are usually suggested, but with so many people after it is it even worth trying?
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Old 09-18-2013, 07:52 AM
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Aside from mining the range for scrap lead scrap yards are a good start,you can also check with local plumbers and construction companies as they run across lead when replacing fixtures or tearing down old buildings.

Sixty cents per lb. isn't a bad price especially if it's already in ingots it will cost you $2 + shipping for pure lead form a company like RotoMetals. Depending on the caliber and velocity your planing on shooting those bullets at you may need something to alloy in with that lead. PB or pure lead is fine for anything at 1K fps. and under but above that load pressure is going to come into play and you will need a little harder alloy.

You can find lots of good info here.

http://www.lasc.us/CastBulletNotes.htm
http://castboolits.gunloads.com/
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Old 09-18-2013, 08:12 AM
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Ahh the good old days being able to buy old Linotype cheap and mix it with wheel weights.
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Old 09-18-2013, 08:17 AM
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The current "market" price of lead is about 93 cents a pound now, so to get it in ingots for 60 cents a pound strikes me as a deal.

Not as good a deal as free wheel weights, for example, but not bad at all. And getting it in ingots means a lot of the cleaning it up is done for you.

At 60 cents a pound, you could cast 56 125-grain bullets (as an example) from that pound. In other words, each bullet is just over a penny each.

For comparison, I get 125-grain bullets from Missouri Bullet and when bought in bulk, they cost me about 6.5 cents each.
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Old 09-18-2013, 09:15 AM
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I've been calling around to a few places and nobody has lead anymore. Living near the coast, most places have been picked clean by fishermen making sinker weights. I'd LOVE to be able to get my hands on about 100 lbs of lead...

My father used to pour his own boolits. Unfortunately, I was too young at the time to learn from him. The good thing about it is I have all of his equipment!!! I'm going to have to educate myself on adding the alloying metals as I'm not sure how to do that just yet. Definitely have some research to do...
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Old 09-18-2013, 09:26 AM
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+1 on making friends with a local plumber.

I'm a plumber, my brother cast his own bullets. I get ammo once and awhile. It's a deal that works for both of us.

Some older houses have leaded stool arms and drain arms, when we get to replace a fixture that uses those we get to haul away a lot of lead. But in my area those replacements don't come very often, but when they do they create a lot of bullets.
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Old 09-18-2013, 09:59 AM
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I guess I'll jump on those ingots. I'm looking into this to save some cash, but even more so just to have the satisfaction of creating my own ammunition. Just casting up my first batch of round balls sowed how obviously addicting the hobby can be.
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Old 09-18-2013, 10:40 AM
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Nice part of clean lead in ingots is, if you are going to hard cast, it's a known start for making your preferred alloy. I used to add 10% tin and 2% antimony. It made for some really nice hard cast Kieth style bullets. On the other hand, I haven't cast for many, many years and have no idea what bullet casters are mixing up for alloys now days.


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Old 09-18-2013, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
On the other hand, I haven't cast for many, many years and have no idea what bullet casters are mixing up for alloys now days.
The two main metals I use are pure lead and Wheel Weights,I also have a small supply around 100 lbs. of Linotype Pigs given to me by some of my older friends in the printing businesses I've worked for over the years but I have no plans to use them anytime soon.

In general I either cast my bullet from pure lead or wheel weight or a combination there of. From these two metals I can cast any bullet I need for any application for subsonic loads up to HV rifle loads. Bullets as cast hardness or BHN is determined by the percentage of each metal I add to the pot.

After that the BHN or hardness of the bullet that contains Antimony and or Arsenic which are both present in WW alloy can be enhances by either water dropping or heat treating the bullets if it's needed. Gas checks as well as paper patching softer alloy bullet can be used as well when either expansion or HV loads are needed but no suitable harder alloy is available.

Other metals that can be used to harden pure lead are Tin,Pewter and Magnum lead shot just to name a few. You can also buy hardening alloys like Hardball and Superhard to alloy with you pure lead from a company like RotoMetals if none are available locally.
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Old 09-18-2013, 02:41 PM
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We got a friend that owns a tire shop.. we get a 5gal bucket around 3/4 full for $20. its about 200-250lbs
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Old 09-18-2013, 04:51 PM
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Sitting on about a ton from working as a wrench for almost a couple decades. Most of it was milted down in Chevy Valve covers and used for either stock car ballast, or on the racing Kart for the same thing in smaller quantities. I never got rid of it.

When I want a buzz I put down the Mercury and go lick the lead........
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Old 09-18-2013, 04:54 PM
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My brother has started making Shaky Heads. He gets his from local tire shops.
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Old 09-18-2013, 05:53 PM
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I get mine from local tire and repair shops that I know, and they give to me for free!

From October of last year to this past April I got almost 400 lbs of lead and after we processed it into ingots we got around 280 lbs of usable lead.
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Old 09-18-2013, 06:13 PM
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Around here, the tire shops are not too quick to hand over any lead wheel weights.
I was talking to one guy the other day and was told due to the EPA saying lead is toxic and must be recycled they are not to quick to hand over any lead.
But once you get to know someone at a tire shop you can strike up a deal once in a while.
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Old 09-19-2013, 01:28 AM
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Try local trap ranges I know the ones around me sell the lead after they clean it out of fields every few years as required.
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Old 09-19-2013, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by res45 View Post
The two main metals I use are pure lead and Wheel Weights,I also have a small supply around 100 lbs. of Linotype Pigs given to me by some of my older friends in the printing businesses I've worked for over the years but I have no plans to use them anytime soon.

In general I either cast my bullet from pure lead or wheel weight or a combination there of. From these two metals I can cast any bullet I need for any application for subsonic loads up to HV rifle loads. Bullets as cast hardness or BHN is determined by the percentage of each metal I add to the pot.

After that the BHN or hardness of the bullet that contains Antimony and or Arsenic which are both present in WW alloy can be enhances by either water dropping or heat treating the bullets if it's needed. Gas checks as well as paper patching softer alloy bullet can be used as well when either expansion or HV loads are needed but no suitable harder alloy is available.

Other metals that can be used to harden pure lead are Tin,Pewter and Magnum lead shot just to name a few. You can also buy hardening alloys like Hardball and Superhard to alloy with you pure lead from a company like RotoMetals if none are available locally.
Thanks.....it would appear, not much has changed.


Best Regards......Eagle Six
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Old 09-19-2013, 09:32 AM
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Its not easy to get anymore unless you know somebody. I have tried local shops for wheel weights, few will part with them, either regulations or somebody already gets them. A friend gave me a big box full of the little slivers of lead used in dental xrays. Sure looked like alot until I melted it down. Better than nothing.

60 cents a pound is a really good price.
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Old 09-19-2013, 09:55 AM
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I got most of my stockpile for free from work.
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Old 09-20-2013, 09:05 PM
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I SCORED THE INGOTS! Drove out to my scrap yard today and brought home 110 lbs. They are not nice little Lyman mold-made ingots I had hoped for, but look to have been made in a bread pan of some sort. Either way, they are super clean. Now I'm halving them with a Saws-All and pouring them out into more convenient sized ingots.

After hearing from you all that this was such a good deal, I asked the owner if it is normal for him to get these. He said no, that it is rather rare for him to get clean lead like this. After leaving, I'm wishing I would have tried to dig a few more hunks out. They were all mixed and half buried in with a bunch of wheel weights and other junk. Oh well, 110 lb should keep me busy for awhile.
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