Weekend project
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Old 07-20-2009, 01:45 PM   #1
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Default Weekend project

I spent a number of hours this weekend processing a large (for me) batch of wheel weights. I was given three, 5 gallon buckets full of used wheel weights. I guestemated it to be around 300 pounds. I separated out the stick on weights as I treat them like they are virgin lead (soft). i melted those down and poured into ingots (42#).

I got down to the serious part of melting the clip on weights and fired up both RCBS furnaces I own. After melting, skimming, fluxing and reskimming I poured ingots. I poured and poured and melted and melted until my significant other was tired of the smell and did it some more.

Here is the end product stacked and ready for storage. 264 pounds of wheel weights + the aforementioned stick on weights = 306 pounds of end product. I will be picking up 300# of linotype on Saturday so I will be well stocked again.

lead.jpg  
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Old 07-20-2009, 02:33 PM   #2
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How hard is it to get into that? Do you cast your own or us it mainly for shot? I've thought about it but I just don't shoot enough shotgun at this point in my life to really justify it.

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Old 07-20-2009, 02:53 PM   #3
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I have been casting my own bullets since 1984. Not hard to get started. You will need a furnace, moulds, handles and a lubri-sizer. Kits available from Lee, Lyman and RCBS.

I have 9 different pistol moulds, 5 different rifle moulds and a .312 round ball mould for single ought buckshot. Different bullets need different alloys. Low velocity bullets like .38 spl, .44-40 and .45 ACP like a softer alloy. I use 8 parts wheel weights to 1 part virgin lead. High velocity pistols like 9mm, .357 Mag, .41 mag and .44 mag need harder alloy. I use 4 parts wheel weights to 1 part linotype. Rifles are a totally different animal. Linotype is 84% lead, 12% Antimony and 4% Tin. For bullets that are going to exceed 2000 fps this is the only way to go. With a copper gas check, these can safely go 2300+ fps without leading problems.

Bird shot is made by dribbling shot into water. It must be dropped far enough for the droplets to form into spheres before hitting the water or you get tear drop shaped shot that does not fly well. There are some home shot making machines but I have never ventured into that realm.

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Old 07-20-2009, 03:37 PM   #4
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This is interesting stuff. Thanks for posting this Robo. It's always good for me to learn new things.
When we finally leave CA for Oregon, I hope to be able to start reloading.

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Old 08-03-2009, 02:41 PM   #5
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I finished round two lat weekend, 300 lbs of Linotype. I traded for 200 and bought the third for $130. Going rate for Lino appears to be over $2.60/lb. I did OK, ya think? About 240, 1lb ingots. The rest in 1/2 lb ingots.

I in pretty good shape now with a total of over 700# of lead in a variety of alloys. This will last me a year or so.

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Old 08-03-2009, 04:17 PM   #6
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How much shooting do you do in the average week?

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Old 08-03-2009, 05:22 PM   #7
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Robo now how goofy are you? Suckin in all them lead fumes must have taken a toll on your CPU?

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Old 08-04-2009, 05:01 AM   #8
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I try to put 2-300 rds down range each week. + about 150 for an IPSC match ( I try to get to two/month). I also sell cast bullets to other loaders.

I get my lead level checked each year at my annual physical. Been a 6 for the last 15 yrs. For reference, anythng under 20 and the Doc won't give it a second look. At 30 they start treatment.

Exercise common sense with the lead. Don't stand nearby when it is smoking, wash hands before doing any thing lke eating or smoking (I don't smoke). I may still be a little goofy, but the lead has nothing to do with it.

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Old 08-04-2009, 10:57 PM   #9
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Sweeeeeeeeeet. Really cool post, nice work.

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