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Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by shawn_c2000, Nov 4, 2012.
Hey everyone just got into casting was wondering where do y'all get y'all's lead from ?
Tire shops, junk yards, indoor shooting ranges. Any where lead maybe used. There is also places on the web like Roto Metal. Depends on what you are going to cast. WW metal with a small amount of tin will work with most handgun bullets. For higher pressure loads Linotype, Strotype or Monotype maybe needed.
The best investment to start with is a BHN Tester. When buying or begging for lead you must know what the BHN of the alloy is. Lee makes an inexpensive tester that works close enough. Most BHN Testers have a problem of BHNs below a #7 so accurate readings on "Dead" lead of a #5 can be a small problem.
Learning to slug bores for cast bullet and using the correct lubes for the pressures you intend to load for very important. Casting is a fun hobby but there is a long learning curve.
Yeah would it be worth it to perch use lead weights for fishing and cast them down or would it be a loss of profit?
If you are reloading for plinkin', who cares where you source your lead.
For the hunting, competition shooting and PD hand rolled ammo, buy your lead from a reputable vendor. Trust me on this!
Casting is like handloading you can design your own alloys for your needs. Shooters who cast for shooting of any kind can mix alloys to meet the pressures they want to shoot at. The interest in casting developes from creating bullets from your own mixes.
For general plinking and informal target shooting in .32, .38/.357, .44,.45 I use straight wheel weights from the junk yard. Lubed with the NRA Alox/beeswax formula. ( 50/50)
Have you ever tried Lee Alox tumble lube? It works great for volume lots of pistol bullets that cast to size. I picked up 1,300 lbs of range lead should last awhile.
No. I use a Lyman lubrisizer on all of my bullets. I dobn't have any of the "tumble-lube" molds.
What do you use for tin?? I had a source of 5 lb ingots of 50-50 bar solder, but that dried up a couple of years ago. Tin is EXPENSIVE!!!
I use an RCBS L&S as well. However, tumble lube works on any bullet you don't need the Lee Tumble molds. I shoot 100s of .452 260 grs bullets. My mold throws a WW and tin .452. I run these thru a Dillion.
the golden age of casting passed you by...time was, tire places would give you wheel weights and thank you for taking them, same with printing outfits for used linotype. those days are gone and folks pay big $$$ for casting materials; range lead is probably your best bet to keep costs down.
softer alloys work for low velocity ammo, maybe up to 1000 fps with proper lube, but hardener and gas checks are needed for stuff up to 1800 and beyond.
ditch the lyman lubrisizer! lee's tumble-lube and push-thru system is faster, cheaper, and works with any bullet...did i mention cheaper? gave away my rcbs sizer-lubricator, top punches and sizer dies in favor of lee's system. check it out with a caliber you use...less than $20 for some liquid alox and sizer die set. you'll never look back!
The majority of my lead is wheel weights. I have one tire shop that gives me their lead. One of the County shops will give me lead and the other is run by a jerk that won't. I think he is selling it on the side. I get pure lead roofing pipe jackets from a roofer buddy (trade him ammo for it). I have made some deals for Linotype in the past. I have used Rotometals for 50/50 bar solder, but yes it is expensive. Tin is very desirable, but not absolutely necessary for many applications. I use pure lead to "stretch" my other materials in lopw velocity applications (.38 and .44-40).
I use a Lyman lubrisizer with heater plate from MidwayUSA and hard lube. It may be a little slower than the Lee TL's, but much cleaner. I just don't like the TL molds. I do not like the designs, they are not "traditional looking". I blend my metals for the application from 20-1 Lead-Tin for muzzle loaders and shotgun slugs to 50/50 wheel weights/Lino for rifles and a few select handgun applications.
I load a lot and save my scrap brass in a bucket. When I have a 5 gallon bucket of brass, I take it to the scrap yard and "trade" it for lead. I take the dross and steel WW clips to the scrap yard and give it to them so it gets disposed of properly.
I got my first batch around 1K lbs. of WW from local shops and car dealerships before most started recycling them or they started using a lot of Zinc and steel weight which are useless except for selling and using the money to by lead back at the scrap yard.
I also picked up lead or lead based alloy for my old printer friends that I've been in 30+ years that still had Lino around. I also picked up lead and lead alloys from friends that work in hospitals,construction/demolition and the plumbing business.
I've traded brass that I don't use or reload for lead and on a rare occasion I bought rolls of lead sheeting used in roofing at the scrap yards for 30 cents per lbs. but that been awhile. The scrap yard is the only lead I've paid for all the rest was free for the asking or just letting people know your wanting it.