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Best places to get lead scrap for bullet casting

This is a discussion on Best places to get lead scrap for bullet casting within the The Ammo Can forums, part of the Armory Talk category; Hi, I want to cast some bullets but am having a hard time finding lead scrap. A few people told me that you can often ...

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Old 11-23-2009, 10:54 AM   #1
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Best places to get lead scrap for bullet casting

Hi,

I want to cast some bullets but am having a hard time finding lead scrap. A few people told me that you can often get the old tire weights from tire places but I went to two of them in my area and both said they couldnt because they were Hazmat.

Does anyone have suggestions where to find used lead stuff to "recycle" and make into bullets>?

Thanks!
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Old 11-23-2009, 10:57 AM   #2
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i see people on craigslist selling buckets of wheel weights all the time in my area.
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Old 11-23-2009, 11:04 AM   #3
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I've seen one person selling lead for $0.65 per lb but that seems a little high and is 3 hours away. Only listing like it I have seen.
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Old 11-23-2009, 11:04 AM   #4
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You must live in CA.
I have no problem picking up wheel weights from our local tire shops.
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Old 11-23-2009, 11:05 AM   #5
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Nope, live in Michigan
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Old 11-23-2009, 12:21 PM   #6
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Nope, live in Michigan
Almost as bad as Kalif. Tire shps are the way to go for now anyway. Try the smaller private places or even gas stations. The large chain stores often have policy that require they sell to a recycler. Scrap yards or auto wrecking yards are good too. You may have to get a pair of ww pliers to remove them, but sometimes the salvage yard owners do it & have them in buckets. Other good sources are plumbing outfits, roofing & roof construction outfits, ask for roofing lead. Stainglass window shops or classes are another good source. All the lead wire they use is 98% pure lead & very clean. Tell them yo uwant it for casting lead figures or fishing sinkers.
The national ban on lead ww is coming sooner than later. Kalif bans lead ww starting next month. Oregon & Wasington state the following year, so get what you can & stack it deep, it's going to become more costly going forward. IMO, if I have to pay much more than $1/# for finished alloy, I'm not casting. Also, carefull w/ lead bought on Craigslist or other sources. It may contain zinz. Any zinc in an alloy makes a very poor bullet alloy & casting w/ it is almost impossible. It makes fine looking ingots, but not so good for small, precise casting like a bullet. Zinc will be the new ww mat'l. of choice going forward.
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Last edited by fredj338; 11-23-2009 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 11-23-2009, 01:00 PM   #7
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I just called every tire place in my town and FINALLY found one that would sell me the wheel weights. Most others said they used to just give them away but it got to be a pain when people would say "well you give them to this guy but not me?" so they just quit.

But I got the name of the guy at one place who said he generally takes them to the scrap yard for $.16/lb. I told him I'd be more than happy to pay him for them .
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Old 11-23-2009, 02:27 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by wingnut1983 View Post
I just called every tire place in my town and FINALLY found one that would sell me the wheel weights. Most others said they used to just give them away but it got to be a pain when people would say "well you give them to this guy but not me?" so they just quit.

But I got the name of the guy at one place who said he generally takes them to the scrap yard for $.16/lb. I told him I'd be more than happy to pay him for them .
Offering to pay always works better than asking for them for free. Offer him 20c/# & run with that. That way you keep him as a good supplier. Expect about 20% waste /#. Still, that is 16c/# for clean alloy. that is $5/1000 200gr 45acp bullets.
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Last edited by fredj338; 11-23-2009 at 02:40 PM.
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Old 12-04-2009, 09:50 AM   #9
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What I found out

Many of the large chains follow procedure for the company -- like Walmart for example.
I go to independent tire stores give the working guy $10.00 and get several 5 gallon cans full of wheel weights. Some wheel weights are now made of zinc, which is not bullet friendly. Lead should be melted by about 650 degrees the zinc weights will float to the top, as the zinc has a higher melting point. Just throw the zinc weights away.
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Old 12-05-2009, 07:57 PM   #10
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I run a junior air rifle program at our gun club. I get all the lead I want cleaning out the pellet traps.

It's pure lead and very soft. Works good in the muzzle loaders. Quenching the bullets in water seems to help too.
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