bulk lead from car batteries?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Striperhound, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. Striperhound

    Striperhound New Member

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    Anybody broken up a car battery & used the lead plates or whatever for RB ammo etc.?

    If so, any danger other than making sure the battery is dead before busting it open and careful with the battery acid?

    Suggestions on methods other than just bustin it up with a sledge hammer?

    I planned to melt down the lead plates with a propane torch into a pot.
     
  2. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    In an industrial setting, battery recycling is one of the worst health hazard industries around- airborne lead. There is a lot of lead based PASTE spread into a mesh of lead metal. You are going to have some very high exposures to lead, possibly contaminating the crap out of the area you work in.

    I would not. Too many other sources of cheap/ free lead.
     

  3. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Aside from the obvious acid hazards there are some issues that make car batteries a very poor source for bullet lead.

    Modern batteries have very little lead in them. The quest to save weight in cars has led the makes to make the lead panels thinner and thinner. It is just not very cost/time effective to extract the lead.

    The electrolytic action that takes place in the battery changes the lead alloy to one that is unsuitable for bullets. Used battery lead contains unacceptable levels of calcium. This will give one very poor results when trying to cast into bullets.

    Take the batteries to a recycling center. Many will pay a few dollars for the batteries. You can turn the money around and buy wheel weights or sheet lead from the same recycler. I essentially swap cartridge brass for lead from one of our many metal recyclers.
     
  4. stick_man

    stick_man New Member

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    DON'T DO IT! IT'S NOT WORTH THE RISK! The contents of the batteries become very toxic. The lead content is so low that it would hardly be worth the effort even if they were not toxic. There are numerous articles out there discussing the dangers of extracting the lead out of car batteries. Here is a link to this very discussion about the dangers of getting the lead out of car batteries. I apologize for the link to a competing website, but I feel the information contained in the following discussion is very important and could even save lives or at the very least save someone from some serious health issues. Why Car Batteries Are Dangerous - Cast Boolits
     
  5. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

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    If robo and c3 say no, then don't do it.
     
  6. Striperhound

    Striperhound New Member

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    O.K. I'm convinced, glad I took the time to ask around before making the attempt.

    Thank you all for the advice.


    Brad


    "...in the multitude of counselors there is safety." Proverbs 11:14, K.J.B.
     
  7. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

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    I wouldn't even try. I know what fresh acid can to do skin, clothing and tools as I've filled many batteries in my time and it only gets worse as the battery ages. Do as the other guys suggested and just recycle that thing.
     
  8. Olympus

    Olympus New Member

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    You can always give wheel weights a try. I know some people who cast their own that way.
     
  9. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJj5iIwF8p4]YouTube - Lead Battery Recycling[/ame]
     
  10. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

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    That's a whole lot of respirators. I tend to avoid things that require that much safety equipment.
     
  11. res45

    res45 New Member

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    Man that warehouse shot is a bullet casters Fort Knox. Seriously though I sell old batteries at the scrap yard and get from $5 to $8 per battery depending on the size.

    In turn I usually buy scrap roofers sheet lead at 30 cents per lb.,they have wheel weights but there a mix of lead,steel and zinc weights and when you bring back the non usable weight you want get what you paid for them in the first place. With the sheet lead I know what I have and can alloy it accordingly.
     
  12. jeepcreep927

    jeepcreep927 New Member

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    Back in his casting days, my dad used to use rolls of lead roof flashing as well. He still has a few hundred pounds of ingots of different mixtures laying around. Used to pour them into old muffin tins and mark the ingot as to the type of alloy. He has all kinds of pure lead solder, wheel weights, tinned solder, etc. to make specific alloys. I am thinking about trying to buy his stuff...
     
  13. Justen.223

    Justen.223 New Member

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    Living on the gulf coast, it's not uncommon to go to boat ramps and often occupied road side fishing holes and find discarded cast nets the have been left because of torn mesh and or cut ropes. Just as older wheel weights, the older nets have lead weights just as similar in regards to composition/alloy mix.

    So if you happen to come across an abandoned net at you favorite fishing hole, I'd snatch it up and cut the lead off. If all else, put them in a cheese cloth sack and use it for a trout line anchor.
     
  14. res45

    res45 New Member

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    Sounds like a bullet caster dream find,since you father was a caster I'm sure he could give you some pointers on the alloy mix's for various uses in casting if you don't already know that. I just picked up a whole 5 gal. bucket of 65/35 Tin/Lead bar solder for a friend who's father was a plumber,he had no need of it and I offered to pay for it but he just gave it to me helping clean out the old building. I've been using it to alloy up my pure lead for some 30:1 gas checked hunting bullets. I like the muffin pans as well they make some nice ingots that fit in the Lee pot very nicely.

    Justin.223 you might want to look into any old trashed sailboats you find around,many of them use lead as ballast in the Keil which can contain as much a 500 lbs. of lead.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2011
  15. Striperhound

    Striperhound New Member

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    Where do you get the scrap roofers sheet lead?
     
  16. res45

    res45 New Member

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    At the local scrap yard near my house,most scrap yards will sell you lead or lead alloy if they have some. I make a trip over there about every couple months and take aluminum cans,old batteries and other scrap metals,appliances,car parts and computers people throw out. Last time I was over there I got a sheet folded up that that weighed about 35 lbs. for $11,that and a few of my Tin bars will make me 1500+ 158 gr. 38 cal. bullets or 1400+ 170 gr. rifle bullets.