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Andy_P
05-19-2007, 06:01 PM
I've seen some good tips here and there, but little in the way of pics, and a number of questions unanswered.

We have an outside berm that has been shot into for years and has never (to the best of my knowledge) had any lead salvaged from it. I dug around in it and came up with a few pounds of scrap, but I'd like to go with real gusto and not re-invent the wheel in refining a method. The berm is made of very sandy soil and at 100 yds. Here's few questions:

- where will I find most of the bullets? What height and depth? Do they migrate downwards from gravity?
- what's the best method to separate soil from scrap? Pics
- any special tips onm the smelting of it?

mooman76
05-19-2007, 06:22 PM
If the range has been shot allot, there should be a pretty good indintation in the backstop. The place where it is deepest should have the most. Get some heavy metal screen like the diamond shaped stuff with small holes. Build a frame to hold it at about a 45 degree angle and throw the dirt on it. the loose dirt should go through and the bullets roll off. You will have some rocks and stuff but thats ok. Pick out the bigger junk and melt it all in a big pot. The non lead stuff will float. MAKE SURE IT IS ABSOLUTLY DRY WHEN YOU DO THIS OR IT WILL EXPLODE!

Freightman
05-19-2007, 08:05 PM
Do not fill the five gal. bucket up or you will need a fork lift, about half is all I can load into my pick-up so I take two buckets.

redneckdan
05-19-2007, 08:18 PM
from my exerpience. it does take a more energy to melt range lead than ingots or wheel weights.

Lloyd Smale
05-19-2007, 08:50 PM
ive tried many ways and just about have given up on it. Its to me more work then its worth. You usually will do alot better for lbs of lead for time invested cruising the tire shops for wws

monadnock#5
05-19-2007, 09:11 PM
With the price of scrap on its way out of sight, it's small wonder you would want to try mining the berm. Do resist the temptation however. Lloyd's advice is sound. And besides, this is the sort of thing you need to get the permission of the Board for before hand, especially if you're a short timer.

Ken

ron brooks
05-19-2007, 09:26 PM
When I'm he only one there I just walk around the berms, especially after a rain, and pick up the slugs laying on the top of the ground, May only get a couple of pounds, but it bets nothing and no one is getting upset.

randyrat
05-19-2007, 10:30 PM
For the first time i picked up some range lead, smelted it with some WWs and learned what to do with FMJs..Lucky i had a cover on the pot. Watch out they explode.

Bent Ramrod
05-19-2007, 11:46 PM
Andy,

Our old berms are out in the desert where the rain falls seldom and the wind blows a lot. The lead seems to get concentrated on top of the soil down to within a few inches of the surface out here. Skimming off the top and sieving the dirt back into the place skimmed, and then moving on to the next outcropping seems to work best for me. A few months or a year later, that place has another outcropping of lead to repeat the process on.

I keep out of the way of the dirt as it goes through the sieve, so as not to breathe the dust. Have had no trouble with water explosions because everything is so dry; however, large jacketed slugs, like .45 hardball, will sometimes squirt lead for several inches as the insides melt and expand.

32 20 Mike
05-20-2007, 12:24 AM
ive tried many ways and just about have given up on it. Its to me more work then its worth. You usually will do alot better for lbs of lead for time invested cruising the tire shops for wws

The use of ww's now is more productive, less the "PC" Zinc wts that seem to becoming the wt of the future. Back in the early 1970's when my dept. still issued M19s and cast SWC 38 Spec. ammo for pract, the lead build up became a safety issue in our berm. One of the Honor Farm maintenance guys built a hand crank sieve out of 1/4 inch expanded metal that had a cylinder 14 inches in dia by 20 inches long that was mounted on a stand. It looked like a mini cement mixer that was turned with the crank. The Dept's blt & fishing wt casters could mine all the lead they wanted. Then we went to 9mm's with jackets and it became a major problem to melt the lead from the copper jackets. I found that if you start with a 1/2 full pot of melted lead then add the jacketed stuff slowly it melts faster. BUTTTTT then you have almost pure lead core metal to deal with.... So after a long story, use WW's if you can get them. Mike

Shiloh
05-20-2007, 11:21 AM
My shooting buddy and I have been mining for range lead as our sources for WW has dried up.:cry: We asked the range caretaker and he said it was okay as it was for our personal consumption, and he knows we both use a LOT of cast boolits

I takes a lot of propane and there is a mountain of scrap jackets, rocks, wads, ect. It is also soft as it is closer to a pure lead. We use it for pistol bullets and save our WW for rifle boolits. Adding about 15%-20% magnum shot and water hardening would give a good product though.

Four 5 gal. buckets 1/2 full will yield about 2/3 bucket of smelted lead "Muffins"

Shiloh :castmine:

hunter64
05-21-2007, 02:07 PM
I was thinking more on the lines of building some kind of bullet trap that I could haul out to the range with me every time I go. Just has to stop handgun speed lead bullets so I would think a 1/2" of steel at 45deg. angle with another one angled at 45 deg back towards the front and both sides covered in would work. Bullet would hit the first plate then bounce (splat) forward and hit the second one and then end up in the bottom of the trap. Have a metal sliding tray that you just take out and dump in a bucket after an hour of shooting and you have it. That way you can just keep recycling the lead you already have.

WHITETAIL
05-27-2007, 10:03 AM
AndyP, I also scroung range lead. I have an old 14x10 wooden box with a screen with 1/4 inch holes on it. I just scoop a shovel full of dirt and shake it. What ever stays goes in a 5 gal. pail. Then when I get home this is dumped on the drive way and fiest picked throu. Then gets washed with a hose. Let dry in the sun, and put away till I smelt some time later in the year.

pipehand
05-27-2007, 01:46 PM
I was on a long term job near Asheville,N.C. a couple of years ago, and was able to shoot IDPA at the local range every Tuesday night. This range had a slanted backstop that was covered with chunks of truck tires. They had just recently brought in a bobcat loader, and scooped out the bullet and tire mix, and piled it all up outside. I asked if I could have a few buckets full and was told to take all I wanted.
To separate out the rubber, I stopped of at the local grocery store that sold non iodized table salt in the 50 pound bag (rediculously cheap compared to the 1 lb. container) and mixed up a saturated brine solution in a 5 gallon bucket. I poured the rubber/bullet mix into the brine and the rubber floated to the top (it will sink in plain water) and skimmed it off. I then poured the brine into another bucket and repeated the procedure etc. The bullets were then rinsed of salt, and the rubber chunks became part of the gravel driveway. There was still some rubber caught in the cavities and jackets of JHP's but for the must part it was clean. After smelting I got 10, 2-1/2 gallon KrispyKreme icing buckets full of ingots cast in a Lodge cornbread pan (round pan divided into 6 pie shapes). The ingots fit the bucket perfectly, but even at half the size of a 5 gal. bucket, they are about all you can lift without pulling the handles off.
Just thought y'all might be interested in another mining/separation technique.

garandsrus
05-27-2007, 02:18 PM
Pipehand,

I found that the rubber sinks in plain water also, which surprised me. I thought that salt water might be able to float the rubber, but hadn't tried it. Thanks for confirmation!

John

randyrat
05-28-2007, 06:58 AM
MMMMMMmmm maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea. Get mining rights to all the ranges now for the future. You could even charge a small enviromental clean up fee. >>>i like the salt water trick and the rubber

TAWILDCATT
05-28-2007, 11:28 AM
sometimes you people come with new great ideas.the salt was fantastic idea.the back stops need redesigning to improve the ability to mine them before the wackos make life miserable.

redbear705
05-28-2007, 07:28 PM
Our range is going to mine the shotgun fields.

I asked a knowledgable person about using the shotgun pellets for making bullets. He told me that it is not a good idea to use shot as there is too much arsenic and antimony in it and it doesnt make good bullets......

Is there any truth to this?

I would like to know before I go talk to the miners about buying a couple of tons of the stuff.

Thanks....JR

Scrounger
05-28-2007, 07:34 PM
Our range is going to mine the shotgun fields.

I asked a knowledgable person about using the shotgun pellets for making bullets. He told me that it is not a good idea to use shot as there is too much arsenic and antimony in it and it doesnt make good bullets......

Is there any truth to this?

I would like to know before I go talk to the miners about buying a couple of tons of the stuff.

Thanks....JR

I thought you said he was knowlegible... Just add 1 or 2 per cent tin and it will work fine. I'd buy a half ton if it was around here.

redbear705
06-02-2007, 10:40 PM
I am going to buy a ton of this lead if The contractor will give me a good price on it!

I figure that even if it is too hard I will cast rifle boolits with it or thin it out with pure lead or wheel weights.

Hmmmmm.....maybe I should buy more.....or ask for a discount because some of the recovered lead is mine!? :)

JR

Anyhow I have to wait till they get there to do the recovery so I can talk to them about the purchasing of the recoved lead......:(

cohutt
07-17-2007, 07:13 PM
I played a little yesterday evening at berm mining. Modest success. made a filter screen out of 1/4" hardware cloth on 2x4s built like a stretcher.

will i do it again? I dunno- perhaps i got it out of my system.

here is some of the report i posted in another reloading forum ealrier, hope it helps anyone who wants to try it. if your soil is sandy vs the georgia clay this might work pretty well-
__________________________________________________ __________
Ok here are the pics i took before my camera died

first, view from truck back to the berm destination. hardware cloth stretcher in bed

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/bermining001.jpg


the contraption- note that I was too cheap to cut off the hardware cloth roll; i figure i'd leave it a 10 foot roll for future use of some sort.
it is 1/4", screwed down to the fram with lathing and sheetrock screws

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/bermining002.jpg

first load- i tried to balance the rack on the recycling bin but it didn't work well. also broke the recycling bin (sorry, City of R, GA)

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/bermining003.jpg

i think i did about 4 shovelfulls, spread out a bit and somewhat filtered. see them thar boolits on the ground too?

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/bermining004.jpg

same lot, filtered more and ready to dump.

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/bermining005.jpg

modest success, same lot in a bucket - pretty heavy, so i didn't quit at this point

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/bermining006.jpg

little more to follow....

cohutt
07-17-2007, 07:18 PM
eventually i couldn't tell rock from dirtclod from bullet as the dust got finer and covered everything. i started thinking i was getting more rocks than anything else, but then the weight of the handfuls tossed into the buckets suggested otherwise.

the rack worked ok, but i maybe would 2-stage it next time. i'd use 1/2" over the 1/4 to pull the bigger stuff out maybe.

found out less is better and to dump the shovel over a larger area of the rack to save sweeping and bouncing.

the bouncing/shaking worked pretty well- basically picked up one end of the stretcher and shook the contents down towards the other side, then i'd go to other end and do same.

after the shots above i backed truck up so i could balance the stretcher level between the tailagte and the berm hill. no bending over = ++

next pics show how i spread and used shovel to mush the dirtclods through

ok, a couple or 3 of these:

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/bermining007.jpg

spaced apart a little

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/bermining008.jpg

shake it out into a pile of rocks bullets and dirtclods. i picked the bigger rocks out here so i could do the final step in filtering

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/bermining009.jpg

at this point i took the shovel and pressed it flatside over the pile with some downward pressure like i was spreading out a pile of sand or cement. this was pretty effective in busting up the clods and having the pieces fall through.

end product, ready for the bucket, complete with fluxing material for the smelt. some of what appears to be rocks are actually bullets- the deformed remains were pretty deceiving so i quit trying to pick the rocks out when i got to this stage. (The blood loss from the horseflies and finger lacerations was taking its toll and i wanted to get done before it rained. )


http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/bermining010.jpg

(camera died here. )

BluesBear
07-17-2007, 07:34 PM
As Arte Johnson, wearing a German helmet, used to say at the end of every episode of Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In...

Veelllllly intelesting.


I hope you get enough useable lead to make the effort worthwhile.
Even though soil isn't the best test medium, it's interesting to see how some of them expanded.

cohutt
07-17-2007, 07:42 PM
As Arte Johnson, wearing a German helmet, used to say at the end of every episode of Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In...

Veelllllly intelesting.


I hope you get enough useable lead to make the effort worthwhile.
Even though soil isn't the best test medium, it's interesting to see how some of them expanded.

funny how the lead pitol boolits stayed pretty much in shape. The jacketed bullets were the same. the HP jackets bullets were in all sorts of contorted shapes.
found a couple of hollow based minis that were huge in comparison and somewhere in between the pistol lead boolits and the HP remains in deformation.

BluesBear
07-17-2007, 08:09 PM
Ahh your update wasn't there when I started my post. Wow, I type slow


Looks like a very good way to do it. I do think your idea of doing it in two stages might work better also.

If it were me when I got the buckets home I'd pour them back out on the rack and hit it with the hose. Seems like an easy way to not only get the dirt jacketing off the boolits but it'd also wash away most of the remaing non-smeltable materials.

Goatlips
07-17-2007, 11:53 PM
Cohutt, your post and pictures ought to be put somewhere that we can find them again.

Now where did I put that roll of hardware cloth....

Goatlips

RSOJim
07-18-2007, 06:18 AM
Hi Guys, here in florida we have sandy berms. So my recovered buckets of bullets have sand all over them. What I decided to do was to drill a bunch of holes in my buckets. When I get home and unload my truck I put the water hose in them, most but no all the sand flushes out the holes. Do not use these recovered bullets until they are completely dry. Oh yes, I have basically the same process for recovering bullets as cohutt. Its a lot of work, but lead is getting harder to get.

georgeld
08-27-2007, 04:29 AM
When I was mining the berms. Welded up a small tray set up with two handles. One on the end, the other 10" or so from that. Just a metal tray 2" deep, 10" wide and 16" long. End opposite from the handle has a 4" 16ga lip for the digging. Bottom is open and covered with 1/4" hardware cloth.

Just dig it in and scoop up a bit, shake, dump in the buckets. Wouldnt' take five minute's on our older much used berms to put 4-6" in a bucket. That's all I want to carry, when I need several hundred pounds. I'll take a bunch of buckets and drive down the range to close to the berm to save carrying very far.

Thing is with all the rocks and crap. For melting. Two ways, dump it all in a kettle and melt. Rocks and dirt clods float, everything else either melts, or burns off.

Then I got into major quantities and welded up that monster copy of Lee's ProPot, seen elsewhere some place on this site.

Didn't take long to discover it was easier to keep things seperated by laying a sand screen over the pot. Fire under the pot with a weed burner, and a second weedburner with a lever valve shut off on the handle so it's not burning full time. When needed, point at the other fire and squeeze the lever and it's going.

Couple handsful, or light scoop of scrap on the screen. Fire it up til it's all burned and melted. Some fines' will fall thru, that's insulation to keep the melt hot. What melts goes thru into the pot, trash burns off, whats left is jackets, rocks or other materials and goes into the recycle pile/bucket. Don't take long to melt 500 lbs.

Didn't take long to discover I needed both a helper, and a BUNCH of ingot molds. Once the pot is half or more full, on mine, just trip the lever and the lead flies out the drain pipe into a 10lb ladle as it bounces right out of a mold. I can cast ingots fast enough to over work a helper that's dumping solidified ingots from ten molds til he's crying for a slower pace.

Level full five gallon bucket will generally produce 110-125lbs of ingots and half a bucket of jackets from the indoor pistol range. From the dirt/rocky outside berm there's rocks to sort, haven't come up with an easy way to do that.

Far as the FMJs, IF you want to mess with them and get the lead out. any kind of small bolt cutter to cut thru the jacket and toss it in the melt, or fire and the lead flows out easy once it's hot. There's enough hard stuff in the scrap I get those softer filled FMJ's are not noticed.

Recyclers have tied up ALL the WW's in this area. They even buy it from the scrap yards. Our range don't care long as we don't leave big holes in the berms. I try to put the dirt into the blown out areas. Heavy rains wash the berm down and exposes all the bullets you'd care to pick, dig, or rake up from the surface. It's heavy all over the area of the berms. On top, on the back side even. They are 20' high and the surface looks much like a gravel driveway for all the bullets showing on it.

blysmelter
09-26-2007, 01:09 PM
HAd szom spare time this afternoon and decided to check out the mining posibilities on some old/shutdown ranges nearby. One is an old rifle range, it was used for close to 100 years, the other is/was a trap field.
The trapfield is promissing, around 200meters from the stand you can see lots and lots of no 7 leadshot lying on the ground, scooped up some in a bucket I had in the truck. Guess I collected like 5kgs in 15minutes. I will go back there bringing a small shovel (I guess I have to steal some kids toy:-)). Anyone got an idea on how to separate the lead shot from gravel and sand?? Will the brine-trix do it?

The riflerange migth also provide a good source of lead, the soil is quite dry even after a couple of days of rain. Guess I have to make some screen and do a test. Most of it will be 6,5mm FMJ bullets, migth make some trouble when melting down?

WW is a dead source over here, checked out all tirestores and garages, only a couple of pounds to be found-the rest is zinc:-(, so the shots will be a good source for antimony and arsen for my bullets.

montana_charlie
09-26-2007, 01:26 PM
Having no ranges to mine, and no mind to mine ranges, I have ignored this thread from the outset. I dropped in by accident, but had to stay long enough to look at the pictures.

Having looked...and read some...I see that bullet-sized rocks are the main problem.

If I were to get into a project of this type (which I won't) I would immediately build a rocker box, hook up a water source, and 'float' the rock off of the lead just like the gold miners did.
They even sell hi-tech 'rocker boxes' if you don't feel like building one...
CM

blysmelter
09-26-2007, 01:58 PM
Maybee a big aluminium pot and a 3mm drill could be the trick to sort out the shot? Just dump the mix into the pot and leave the garden hose running over it?

armoredman
09-27-2007, 10:56 PM
I cheat. I have a buddy who is an employee of a local indoor range, and he just brought over some range scrap. Not nearly what you guys get, that's for sure, but cool. Looks good until i get a smelter setp, and he'll bring more then.

georgeld
09-28-2007, 12:22 AM
Bly/others:
Go to a gravel outfit and ask for a piece of fine sand screen. IF you don't have a torch, ask them to cut off a section a couple feet across. Then weld the edge's some so it'll stay together. OTherwise before long you'll end up with just a bunch of loose wires.

THEN: lay it over a pot of some kind to catch the melt, get a propane weed burner torch or two. Set one up under it to keep it liquid. Use the second one to melt the lead on top the screen in small quantities.

Trash will burn off,
lead and such will melt and flow thru the screen into your pot,
rocks, jackets, and crap will just lay there. Once it's all melted that you can, dump the leftovers in a pile to the side. and reload the screen. Works slick.

IF there's a lot of jackets like from that range berm, or the indoor range, try to keep it seperated from the rocks and crap so it can be sold for scrap brass/copper. A bucket full around here will bring $40-80. Way more than enough to pay for the materials to build a system and the gas it uses.

Shot will melt quickly, so get a bunch of it. What fine dirt falls thru into the melt will just float and help insulate the melt from cooling as fast. Once you're done, just dip it off to clear surface melt and pour your ingots from that. Throw some flux, or wax on it and stir it in to clear more crap out of the lead and you'll have some good boolet making lead. should be a real good hardness too.

Hope this helps. Look in the months old thread here somewhere for 'George's melting pot'. should be on the smelting equipment if I recall right.

Good luck, have fun, mine to your desire you're helping clean up the environment if anyone asks what you're doing.

testhop
10-12-2007, 03:44 PM
I've seen some good tips here and there, but little in the way of pics, and a number of questions unanswered.

We have an outside berm that has been shot into for years and has never (to the best of my knowledge) had any lead salvaged from it. I dug around in it and came up with a few pounds of scrap, but I'd like to go with real gusto and not re-invent the wheel in refining a method. The berm is made of very sandy soil and at 100 yds. Here's few questions:

- where will I find most of the bullets? What height and depth? Do they migrate downwards from gravity?
- what's the best method to separate soil from scrap? Pics
- any special tips onm the smelting of it?

the way i do it is wait for a good heavy rain this washes the loose dirt away
i take with me a leaf rake this cuts down on stooping down os much
and a shouel to pick them up and i bring 4 5 gal buckets and a 2 gal bucket
i use the small bucket carry it to the truck put the slugs in aone 5 gal till its 1/2 full
then move on to the next bucket
i take them home slift thedurt out pour them out on the concretslab to dry
and make darn sure its dry or you will find out in a hurry
as alwaysmake sure to warelong sleevesshirt and long leg paints and most
importantware glasses i use a full face sheild

Old Ironsights
10-12-2007, 03:54 PM
We are absolutely forbidden to mine our club berm... which is too bad because it's been in constant use since 1934 or so.

mag44uk
10-12-2007, 04:10 PM
COHUTT et al,
This device you made is almost identical to a couple we made at my club.Here in the UK last year we had torrential rain which washed the back stop onto the range floor.We had to fix it quickly due to competitions coming up.About 25 of us got together one weekend and made up the sieves but we used a roller for the sieve to run backwards and forwards on. The roller we used is like you would have under a conveyor belt. The roller that you use with a bench saw for supporting long boards might also work. Man at each end,wheel barrow to put the lead in and a barrow to put the sand in. Over the weekend we recovered about 15 ton of lead.
If you had an old barrow you could drill a load of holes in it and wash the lead down with a hose.
God alone knows how much sand we moved!
Regards,
Tony

UweJ
10-12-2007, 04:53 PM
I also shoot BP and a friend from another Club asked if I needed any lead for Nitro , naturally I said yes and I followed him to their Clubhouse to collect the lead. There were 3 5gallon buckets full of wonderfull clean lead boolits and a few copper plated HP`s. When I asked how come they were so clean he showed me their bullet trap.
It was filled with small rubber scrap pieces. There was no dirt whatever. We had a few beers and now I get all of their "scrap" lead. I call myself lucky having friends like that.Just an idea I introduced in my club. By the way .did I mention that I´ve just gotten 1530 KG of lead that we cleaned out of our range?lol
Uwe

Stevejet
12-16-2007, 12:38 AM
You could just "mine" mall and shopping center parking lots with a pair of pliers and very good running shoes!

blysmelter
12-16-2007, 11:34 AM
Its cold and winter here now, so outside mining is not ab option. So what to do? Offcourse-vounteer for cleaning of the indoor pistolrange. Things has been out of style there for some time so lots of empty brass floating around in the gravel.
2 evenings picking leaves me with close to 40kgs (thats nore than 80pounds) of brass and some 20kgs of projectiles. The local scrapdealer is willing to trade me 2kg lead for 1kg brass. Win-win-situation, I get free lead and goodwill in the club and the club ends up with a clean range.
And still there are severeal 100s of kilos of projectiles to pick. Most of it is copper-plated so i wil try melting some first to see if it is worth it. I do not know how they will react when melted.

standles
12-16-2007, 11:42 AM
The copper plated/semi-jacketed will do fine. The issue I have had is with the FMJ rounds. They will pop in the melt if your not careful. Reccomended to me was to take a pair of dyke pliers and nip each one so the lead could ooze out.

That is ok for a small lot but smelting 3-6 hundred pounds it is a pain. I am contemplating putting a heavy lid on top and pour the hear to it till the popcorn sound starts or come up with some kind of mangler to run them through

Steven

Baron von Trollwhack
12-16-2007, 12:33 PM
I now use a 60 pound capacity pot running on a propane turkey cooker. Whatever I have for scrap goes into the empty pot on melt day, filling it to the brim. Wet, dry, indifferent, except what I believe to be zinc. The water cooks off before the lead melts and eventually I can skim most of the floating, bits glowing, smoking crud off the top, leaving 1 inch floating with grease smoking for "flux" and then dipper off the liquid alloy at the bottom. As long as it's not dripping water, more of the same goes into the pot in top of the sargasso floating lead crud and the same process occurs. This allows steam to escape as the scrap heats. The crud insulates steam burps when heavy bits fall below. I borrow little ingot moulds from several bullet buddies and they do the same to make ingotting easier. I keep pot melts separate after they cook so I can roughly keep "melts" equal in quality by selecting equivalent weights when actually casting bullits and adding "secret" ingredients. I'm just a piker, only use a hundred pounds or so of the magic material a year, besides a little in stock, aside from pure lead for round ball or minies. P.S. do not store large drywall mud buckets full of scrap for excessive periods, even out of the sun and undercover. They get brittle and break very easily. BvT

blysmelter
12-16-2007, 12:52 PM
Reccomended to me was to take a pair of dyke pliers and nip each one so the lead could ooze out.



There no way I will sit for days with pliers cutting bullets so I think I will cut myself a lid out of some steel-plate.

exblaster
12-16-2007, 10:05 PM
To remove jackets and other "stuff" from range lead easily use a long piece of large diameter black iron pipe. Make a long burner out of automotive brake tube drill proper size holes for propane or N.G. about every 1/2 inch along the brake tube and crimp one end. Insert tube burner into iron pipe and secure it .you will need an adapter to hook to a regulator and enough flexible hose to connect the regulator to the tube burner. Attach 12 inches of screening to the end of the iron pipe support the pipe on metal stands with about 2 inches of drop per foot to let the lead and jacket material flow down the pipe to the screened end. the melted lead will pass through the screening and the trash will drop off the end of the screen.
I hope this makes scence to you all it will work . I have seen it in operation and it was handling several tons of material an 8 hour day.

Exblaster

mroliver77
12-22-2007, 01:28 AM
As the Baromn stated if you put the scrap in a cold cruciable the water steams off before the lead gets melted. I have never had any problems this way. I get my scrap from an indoor range that has a slanted steel backstop and a water trap to collect scrap. I quit at around 5 ton as I figured that should last me my lifetime. I get around 1/3 jackets by weight. Paying $.03 per lb for the scrap and getting 1/3 lb of scrap copper back I think is a good deal. I figured on just melting it as I need it but with the price of copper way up IA need to build a large melter. Gosh that means I have like 3 tons of scrap copper! I need to get a price on it. My shooting pal sugge3sted that since jackets are some pretty neat alloy mebbe the right place would give a premium for it? J

truckjohn
01-14-2008, 11:49 PM
Hey all,

For what it's worth, I did my own testing on a small batch of "Range Ore." I made up a sifter box -- about 18" x 8" x 4". 1/4" mesh hardware cloth.

This was a sample taken from a "Medium volume" range.

1. Raw ore = red clay backstop sifted back through 1/4" mesh. Ore = everything bigger than the mesh that I couldn't quickly pick out...... so it contained pea gravel, dirt, wood, plastic bits, etc.

2. 30 lbs starting weight after sifting out most of the dirt and little stuff.

3. 18.5 lbs actual lead into ingots. The remaining 11.5 lbs was a mix of pea gravel, mostly-burnt charcoal wood, bullet jackets, misc metal trash, sand/dirt, ash, and smoke. It was 3x a pain to dross this mess off -- as it was about 80% of the volume.... like 1/2" of liquid lead in the bottom of my pot, 3" of dusty, sandy, trashy swarf above the liquid.

4. Energy used -- Most of a BBQ propane tank full. Not energy efficient at this rate.

5. Analysis on the smelted lead batch -- almost exactly pure lead (I had it analyzed.) This will change quite a bit for others depending on the composition of your "Ore."

Thanks

John

Andy_P
01-15-2008, 07:57 AM
I no longer salvage range lead, except for what I shot into it myself. Our berms are sand, and it's easy to see where my shots have gone by the disturbed sand. Just shoot, and then dig them out. I find about 60% of them, so just doing that more than doubles my alloy life. You know what you're getting and it's interesting to see how the bullets behave on impact.

robertbank
01-15-2008, 12:20 PM
Noticed you are from Ottawa. Do you shoot at the Connaught Range? Was down for the CFSAC matchs last September as a RO.

Take Care

Bob

Andy_P
01-15-2008, 03:01 PM
Noticed you are from Ottawa. Do you shoot at the Connaught Range? Was down for the CFSAC matchs last September as a RO.

Take Care

Bob

Hi Bob. No, You can find me at the Eastern Ontario Handgun Club (EOHC) east of Ottawa, mostly at its Rifle Range. Connaught is a beauty, but only go there on rare occassions.

joejr
01-15-2008, 07:31 PM
i shoot into a snowbank and pick up my boolits in the spring,almost 100% recovery

Old Ironsights
01-15-2008, 08:18 PM
i shoot into a snowbank and pick up my boolits in the spring,almost 100% recovery

I shot into a bank once...

You won't believe how hard it is to get the FBI off your tuchis...[smilie=1::mrgreen:

mold maker
01-16-2008, 04:30 PM
I reciently acquired some really old indoor range lead from a steel back stop and water trap. All the lead is splattered and seriously oxidized. The melted yield is not worth the energy. Is there a way to re-claim the oxides? There are several hundred lbs. involved, and I hate to scrap it.

mold maker
01-20-2008, 09:56 PM
Lead, like gold moves down hill. It will be most concentrated at the original foot of the berm. As rain washes the disturbed earth away the lead is left behind. Thats why you find it on the surface of the hill. At the range where I mine, a shovel full at the right place, will be 14 -16 lbs. Of that 11-13 lbs are boolets. When cleaned I get 9-11 lbs of soft lead. Until reciently I didn't save the jacket material. That would be about 2.25 lbs of copper/bronze per shovel, with the rest being dry soil. I have thrown away a fortune over the last 25 years, in jackets.

Bob in Revelstoke
01-21-2008, 02:07 AM
With regards to range lead. I am a great believer in recycling. Here, winter comes early and stays late and we have lots of snow. We get a big F.E. Loader to clear a pathway which makes a nice berm. Bullets and boolits shot into snow are usually not damaged. In the spring as the snow melts I pick up everything I can. Lead boolits usually just need cleaning and re-lubing. Jacketed bullets just need cleaning. I usually roll them down a glass plate and by watching carefully can tell if they are damaged i.e. bent. The rifling marks don't seem to make any difference. I fired a box of 45 acp reclaimed today with excellent results. Some of them had so many rifling marks it was hard to tell one from the other. Any damaged lead boolits go into the pot. I make sure gas checked boolits go in when the pot is cold. Otherwise it may get you a visit from the the tinsel fairy and even then I don't stand too close. I know it takes a few months but it saves money and helps the environment. Besides, I dont have much else to do anyway.

miestro_jerry
01-21-2008, 10:22 PM
I just bought 50 pounds of recycled range lead for $59 (shipping included) I will add some tin and some reclaimed antimony to made an alloy for hard casting.

Right now lead is going to about $3.00 a pound on the open market. At Cabala's today, they had a sign up about the increase in price of ammo because of the increase in cost of metals.

The area I live in, copper is stolen by the pickup truck load. People climb telephone poles at night and cut drown the phone trunk line for whole communities. We had some fool who cut a live 3 phase line, he didn't make it to the hospital and some body stole a big spool off of the back of an AT&T truck that was in a secured area with chain link and concertina wire. That generated an instant reward offer and a new more secure area for the trucks.

Jerry

azcoyhunter
01-22-2008, 12:37 AM
I get a christmas popcorn tin


Fill it full of sand

shoot it

sift the sand

I have to replace the lid but it works.

sometime I get a flyer and have to replace the whole thing, but i love popcorn


Clint

JIMinPHX
01-23-2008, 01:38 AM
I was thinking more on the lines of building some kind of bullet trap that I could haul out to the range with me every time I go. Just has to stop handgun speed lead bullets so I would think a 1/2" of steel at 45deg. angle with another one angled at 45 deg back towards the front and both sides covered in would work. Bullet would hit the first plate then bounce (splat) forward and hit the second one and then end up in the bottom of the trap. Have a metal sliding tray that you just take out and dump in a bucket after an hour of shooting and you have it. That way you can just keep recycling the lead you already have.

More on that here -
http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?t=23551

I've been having real good luck recovering whole boolits from a crumb rubber box trap. There's also good info on steel plate traps.

About FMJs...
You can dump them out on a cement floor, then whack them with a big lump hammer (baby sledge) to split the jackets. A crack is all you need, then they melt just fine. You can split about 10-20 in a single whack if you have them rolled out flat & tight on the floor.

blysmelter
02-09-2008, 05:02 PM
Having a small problem here with copper-plated bullets, they just do not melt. Do I need more heat or am I better of selling/trading this to the local scrappy?

blysmelter
02-09-2008, 05:03 PM
Also need good ideas for separating leadshot from soil. Have plenty shot and a small stream-need some hillbillyengineering!

GSM
02-11-2008, 01:33 AM
blysmelter:

Do a web search for "sluice box" and "placer mining". Originally used for gold mining.

blysmelter
02-11-2008, 03:06 AM
Will do!

blysmelter
02-20-2008, 12:18 PM
I give up on the copper-plated bullets, will take them (around 60pounds) to the scrapyard and try to get a deal. Even heating the copper red-hot doesnt release the lead.

Andy_P
02-20-2008, 01:31 PM
I give up on the copper-plated bullets, will take them (around 60pounds) to the scrapyard and try to get a deal. Even heating the copper red-hot doesnt release the lead.


Did you try smashing them with a big hammer to open the copper "skin" first? Works for me.

blysmelter
02-20-2008, 02:13 PM
No, didnt try that. I dont see that as an option, time is valuable and spending hours handling and smacking bullets is hours better spent on an extra shift.

yeahbub
02-20-2008, 04:26 PM
blysmelter, if you're getting them red hot and no lead is leaking out, they may not be lead-core bullets. My experience with copper plated bullets is that they'll leak lead when brought to normal casting temperatures. It's possible you have sintered copper or copper-plated sintered iron "frangible" projectiles. I'm not certain, but I believe the expansion per F degree for lead is a good bit more than copper, hence the leakage even in new plated bullets.

blysmelter
02-21-2008, 06:37 AM
This bullets, mostly Frontier, does deform on impact, but do not "open up", size and weigth looks about rigth compared to lead or FMJ. Anyway-off they go:-)

HABCAN
02-21-2008, 11:34 AM
Blysmelter: Years ago a gang of us used to regularly 'mine' the local trap range of shot, preferably just after a rain. The shot was 99% #7-1/2 size, and an appropriate shaker screen was used, about 12" square. Lawn rakes gathered the shot from the surface of the ground, and it was poured though the shaker screen a shovelfull at a time into a bucket. At home, we ran the garden hose into the bucket for a while, which flushed out the vegetable matter and most of the sand. We made up a tilt-board about 4' long from a 1x6 with wood strips angled on the face from the outside edges at one end to about 3" apart at the other. We poured the wet mix from the bucket on the 'wide' end of the board a little at a time and tilted it up until the round shot ran off into a 1 qt. glass jar, leaving flattened shot, stones, and junk behind on the board's surface. When the jar was about 1/2 full, we gave it a few good shots of light oil, and shook it all up as you would a cocktail shaker. What came out of the jar was clean polished shot ready to be reloaded back into 12ga. trap loads. Maybe this method has some application for you?

blysmelter
02-21-2008, 01:30 PM
Good info! If just spring could come so I can get on collecting!

mold maker
04-05-2008, 06:26 PM
Just be aware that trapped moisture is what explodes. FMJs can squirt lead about 4-6"in a fine stream, but this is usually when they are in contact with the liquid melt. As such they will be under the floating dirt and jacket material, so it isn't a problem.
Adding fresh range lead to a cleaned melt is when you get the dangerous explosions from trapped water. First adding sawdust treated with oil or wax (flux), is a way to keep the fresh lead from plunging below the existing melt, and making super heated steam of any trapped moisture. Allways add lead slowly, as in a garden trowel full at a time, on top of the sawdust at the edge of the pot. This allows it to heat slow enough to expand without exploding. It's also safer to heat fresh lead with a lid in place. This method retains heat, speeds the melt, fluxes, and protects you at the same time.
An even safer and faster method is to preheat the fresh addition before adding to the melt. This assures a dry, and explosion free, addition.
I've been smelting all Winter and haven't had a problem out of over 700# of range lead. If its dry and above 55*, I mine the berms. If it's dry and cooler, I smelt. When its wet and cold I cast boolets in the basement.
Man it's nice to be retired. I worked 44 years for this privilege.

WickedGoodOutdoors
04-16-2008, 09:51 AM
Our range is going to mine the shotgun fields.
Thanks....JR


How would you go about doing that?

Some kind of Gizmo that you pull behind a tractor?

kamikaze1a
08-16-2008, 08:40 PM
After the screening, you could weed out a lot of the rocks/litter by way of a "sluice". It's used in small scale mining and could be built with wood. Basically looks like a washboard with water flowing over it. The heavies (lead) stay behind and the lighter rocks go with the water flow... A boat bilge pump or a motorized trash pump could be used to supply the water flow. If you design the riffles right, it should leave you will mostly bullets. And if you're lucky, maybe a gold nugget!

floodgate
08-16-2008, 11:53 PM
kamikaze1a:

Actually, you can, I believe, still buy a "dry washer" from one of the outfits that peddles gold pans and other tools to prospectors and "gold bugs".

Fg

EDIT: Yep, here's the first in a long string of citations from Goggle:

" Small Mining - Dry Washer for Desert Areas
All stones over about 1 inch in diameter generally are discarded in mining. A dry washer usually is run by a small gasoline engine which saves the labour of ...
www.minelinks.com/alluvial/dry_washer.html "

Fg

jhalcott
08-17-2008, 02:45 PM
If the shot is OLD and oxidized it may NOT melt very quickly. I found out that a HEAVY roller could break the oxide layer so the lead will melt a LOT easier. I was using a turkey fryer and large iron pot as a melter. As always ,BE CERTAIN the lead is DRY when it goes into the pot!

Lloyd Smale
09-04-2008, 05:46 AM
I believe its chilled shot that has arsnic in it. I would bet that most shot that used for trap loads is near pure lead.

Owens
09-21-2008, 08:54 PM
I've been reclaiming bullets from an indoor range that my employer is so considerate to supply. Mostly jacketed stuff, but it does have a steel plate backstop system. You do have to pick out the shotgun wads, but thats easy. I can have all I can carry. I don't get too far too fast because of my equipment, but I have so far accumulated around 120# of ingots. Currently I'm using a Lyman 8# pot for reclaiming and a Lee bottom pour for casting. I'm somewhat new to casting, but in that short time I have found it very addicting.

I start by screening the scrap through an old carburetor cleaner basket. It has holes that are just under 1/8". I end up with a pan full of led 'sand'. I find this melts out really quick and fills the pot quickly. There is a fair amount of heavy scud on top to be skimmed off. Not sure what it is, but it's heavy and yet floats on the melt. I think it may be from a few non lead rounds, but not sure.

This weekend I sifted through 2 five gallon buckets of scrap and came up with enough of this 'sand' to cast thirty 1# ingots. Still haven't melted the larger scrap yet. The stuff I have reclaimed hardness tests around 10.4 with a Lee tester.

Just thought I'd throw my bit in here.
Owens

Reddot
02-09-2009, 11:25 AM
One final note on range lead. I have found live rounds that someone tossed into the berm. Make sure to watch for them or you might have one cook off in the pot.

redbear705
02-09-2009, 06:21 PM
Wow time flys !!!

Here is an update on the lead harvesters at our club.

There sprayed the vegetation and waited three weeks for it to die and disintegate.

Then they came in with tractors with big rototillers on them and tilled up the earth till it was very fine soil. They ended up doing this twice because it rained pretty hard for a couple of days.

They then used a front end loader to scrape up the soil and put it into a sifter. The heany stuff of course went into a slide and then into a front loader and then into a dump truck.

They then did the proceedure again because they found alot more shot down deeper so they harvested some more.

When done they replaced the soil and re seeded.

Ends up 160 tons! of lead! Good payback for the club.....but the harvesters would not sell any to me...they claim they had a contract and could not sell any to anyone else....:(

Bummer for me!

rayyb43
03-07-2009, 09:58 PM
I saw a machine once that was harvesting shot from the impact area of a skeet range. It was mounted on a flat bed trailer pulled with a regular truck-tractor. It had had operation levers for operatiing the machinery and for steering the tractor-trailer arrangement mounted on the side of the trailer. It had some hoses that went along the ground and sucked up the loose shot, some dirt & grass of couse, then ran everything through a shaker like a farm combine. The loose stuff was blown off by air pressure, the grass and dirt went one way, the lead shot fell by gravity to a conveyer belt that took the shot to a 55 gallon drum on the back of the trailer. Noisy, due to air compressors and vacuum pumps. The operator walked along beside it and guided it back and forth across the filed.

Very ingenious device, fascinating to watch it in action. Someone really put a lot of thought to it. They were out of Arkansas, if I remember correctly.

rayyb43

Hardcast416taylor
03-07-2009, 11:47 PM
Hello Redbear705. For that amount of lead to be harvested it has to be a old and well used club. Is it Oakland County Sportsman`s Club?:coffee:Robert

Ithaca1911
03-23-2009, 10:41 PM
cohutt- thank you for the suggestions and pics on this thread, I stole your design and spent about 20 minutes moving the berms UP, came out with over 400 lbs of scrap. thank you.

Russel Nash
03-24-2009, 12:54 AM
I have a ramp like what cohutt posted pictures of back on page 2.

I am a member of a range with a bowling pin "pit", as they like to call it.

It is almost an indoor range.

It has a steel angled backstop, and most of the bullets do end up in layer of sand at the bottom.

since some of the bullets shatter and then fling little lead slivers all over the place, I tracked down some 1/8" by 1/8" hardware cloth.

Then I built a ramp/chute like cohutt.

But in my case, I added legs to the back end of it to make it incline just so.

I would dump in a shovel full of sand, bullets, and the wooden splinters from the bowling pins at the top of this ramp.

It would gradually slide down the screen and most of the wood splinters and all of the sand would drop through.

But it was kinda slow... so I used tie wire to cinch my porter cable "sawzall" to the side of the ramp. Then I used a zip tie around its trigger.

I plugged it in and the vibration from the sawzall would shake the stuff to the bottom, making it lose the sand and wooden debris before it hit the bottom.

Yeah, I would still get wood splinters in with the lead. So that kinda still sucks.

I picked up one of those blue plastic drums. I think I am going to take a hole saw to the sides of it. Then I am going to cover the holes with that same 1/8" by 1/8" hardware cloth.

My plan is to put a few shovel fulls of sand, wooden splinters, and boolits into the drum and spin it horizontally.

hopefully, they will work better and/or quicker than the ramp.

Now, if I could just figure out a way to get the wood splinters out of there.

Yeah, I tried water already.

I might try adding a bunch of salt to see it that makes them float to the top.

briang
03-24-2009, 12:59 AM
I would just think of it as "self fluxing scrap" and let it burn off in the smelt.

Russel Nash
03-24-2009, 01:02 AM
^^^Yeah, I thought of that too. There is a bunch of ash to sift through. And I was thinking about trying to keep all the jackets that float to the top, but it is kinda of a pain to seperate the copper or brass jackets from the ash. I was thinking about taking them to the scrap yard.

geargnasher
03-28-2009, 12:41 AM
I salvage some range scrap at a local shooting center when I'm the only one around just by picking it up off the surface, fill the lee 20# pot with a small cast-iron lid on top for the TMJs and cook it down. Skim of the jackets for recycle (good way to dispose of lead dross too) and pour 1/2 lb. muffins. I know this is small-time by some standards, but when I bring home more than I shoot it kinda pays off. Only problem I've had with range scrap is it averages 6.0 to 8.5 bhn with my Lee tester, first time I did this a few months ago I was surprised (happens a lot to a noob) to find how soft the cores on jacketed bullets are. I just buy antimony and tin and mix as needed.

Mr. Nash-- GREAT IDEA! Thanks for letting us see the action. I shot in a couple of IDPA matches a few years ago, forgot how fun it was until I watched some of your vids. Just a shame they wouldn't let me shoot reloads or Boolits...maybe the rules have changed since then.

sargenv
03-28-2009, 12:14 PM
That's kind of strange that they don't let you shoot reloads. It might be a range requirement since all the action games at my club allow reloads. If they didn't, participation would be way down as factory ammo is just too expensive.

geargnasher
03-30-2009, 10:38 PM
That's kind of strange that they don't let you shoot reloads. It might be a range requirement since all the action games at my club allow reloads. If they didn't, participation would be way down as factory ammo is just too expensive.

Competitors were not allowed to use reloads of any kind and all pistol ammo had to be fmj, tmj, jhp, or some type of "defensive" load. I was told this was IDPA rules (I remember downloading and reading a pdf before competing) because they could not trust handloaders to not load light "target" loads to obtain competitive advantage and that the whole point of "DEFENSIVE" shooting was to practice/compete with full-house ammo. I have no idea why plain lead was forbidden, maybe it was the facility's policy, nor do I have any idea how they felt about stuff like the popular "safety" ammo, seems like it would be "defensive" enough but who knows. :roll: I also remember buying a special "legal" holster which had no practical concealed carry use whatever, thought that was strange at the time, too. Oh well, guess I'll check out their "new and improved" rules and see about the reloads, I can't afford to compete unless I can use my Devastator HP boolits or some classic keith swc... that's why I dumpster-dive for lead anywhere I can (except parking lots, of course!):mrgreen:
BTW on the topic, I have constructed a boolit trap for my short home range which is just 4 pallets nailed together, lined with osb panels, covered with scrap roofing metal, filled from top of back to bottom of front (45 degrees) with play sand from lumber yard. Cost about 50 bucks total and can sift boolits by hand easily and totally safe if you keep shots in middle or below.

redbear705
03-30-2009, 11:15 PM
Hello Redbear705. For that amount of lead to be harvested it has to be a old and well used club. Is it Oakland County Sportsman`s Club?:coffee:Robert


It was about 30 years worth at Linden Sportsman club in Linden, MI

JR

azmike
03-31-2009, 09:08 AM
We salvage lead shot for fun and profit. We would be happy to answer any questions that we can. http://mcneeleyenterprises.com azmike

New Lead Man
04-01-2009, 10:05 AM
Our club allows salvaging lead in our indoor range. It is a mix of bullets, sand, cardboard, paper, staples, ect.

Not many do any “mining”, I got two five gallon buckets, I’ve got the first one smelted, and got over 150 lbs of ingots. I got a little over a gallon of jackets and other trash and about a half gallon of sand.

That is probably why I thought they were a little heavy, I could barely pick them up to get them in the car!! [smilie=1:

R.Clem
04-13-2009, 03:33 PM
Just recently joined the local range, first question before joining, "Do you allow mining the berms?" Yes they do, but to date I have not seen anyone doing any mining or collecting of lead, and very few picking up brass, all the better for me.
The one thing I were told not to do was dig down the berms, so off to they grocery store for a course sieve, found on with a handle on it, some what small, but has 1/4" holes in it. I take a gallon milk jug and cut the top, leaving the handle. 5 gallon bucket stays in the truck, go out to the berm and skim the surface with hand strainer, shake it a couple times to get the dirt and some of the other debris to fall through then dump it into the milk jug. When the jug is full it weighs about 40# and gets dumped into the bucket in the truck. about an hour will yield 150# or so, takes about an hour to smelt and pour into ingots, or if I separate the known jacketed boolits for my 45-70, it will take a while longer.
With the cost of materials going through the roof, I think range mining is going to become one of those things of the past, unless you can find an old one or one that is non-membership.
The last bucket from the range yielded 70# of lead from jacketed boolits for my 45-70 and 44 c&b, 74# for my other cast boolits (.357, .401, .429, .451).
The bucket weighed (including the bucket) 183#, the jackets weighed 24# after smelting and I will sell them when I get a 100# or so.
This may not be the yield that you get from a bucket of WW, and may take a little longer to get the end product, but the pure lead is more than worth the trouble for me.
As far as bullet core being pure lead, I don't know if this is true or not, my findings go as follows: one of my molds is designed to throw 545gr boolits with 1:20, it does so with great consistency, it throws 563gr boolits with 99.9 lead, it throws 551gr boolits with jacketed core lead. Doing a little math, that comes out to about a 1:16. Any speculation on this? Or maybe someone knows for sure what the core composition really is.
For those who don't believe range lead is worth the bother, PLEASE STAY OFF THE BERMS.

sheepdog
04-13-2009, 11:36 PM
Ok I need some advice guys. :hijack: I'm fairly new to the casting so my lead stock is low and I love the way range lead casts.

Don't laugh but right now I'm averaging about a lousy 8lbs of scrap a trip at the range with a high of 15 yesterday after a rain. This is purely standing on the berms and eyeballing boolits one at a time.

Our range is horseshoe shaped berms with a wooden retainer at the bottom. Berms are in a dry area and roughly a 80/20 dirt sand mix. Berm pickup is allowed but berm mining is frowned apon. I'd like to make sure it doesn't get on unfriendly terms.

So I need a small setup that I can do some scrap salvage with that's small enough I can stick it all in a 5 gallon bucket 9so I can be stealthy with it) and yet get a least a few times better results. Heck 20 pounds a week sounds like a dream. I thought about taking a gallon bleach or milk container, maybe putting some mesh on the bottom or something but I'm at a loss. I humbly ask the good people of CB to help me dream up an effective but simple solution for a small timer like meself. :D

Lloyd Smale
04-14-2009, 06:46 AM
got to agree. I they banned reloads around here there would probably be about 4 shooters left at a match. especially now when a guy cant even find factory ammo at any price.
That's kind of strange that they don't let you shoot reloads. It might be a range requirement since all the action games at my club allow reloads. If they didn't, participation would be way down as factory ammo is just too expensive.

R.Clem
04-14-2009, 02:45 PM
The picture shows the little thing I use, with the aid of a gallon jug to put the scrap bullets in.
I also, have found it to work very well when removing the bullet jackets from the lead when smelting.
Found this at a grocery store in the utensil aisle, if some one can find a similar with larger holes it will probably work better, as it will allow more of the small stuff to fall threw. I don't dig with this, just skim the surface down 2" or so deep and use a gentle swishing motion from side to side to get the smaller stuff to fall threw, them dump whats left in the jug. Once you have a jug full take it to your bucket (which you have left in your vehicle, the first full jug will be self explanatory as to why you don't take the bucket down range.) and dump it. Be aware that the jug will weigh about 40#, so four full jugs is going to give you 150# or more, you need to be able to get that bucket out of the vehicle when you get home.12914
If your range be similar to the one I go to, filling a gallon jug will only take about 10 - 15 minutes, or a bucket in an hour or so.
The end product will vary from each session at the berm, so I do a little sorting, then smelting then casting and weighing. As I stated earlier in this thread,
jacketed bullet cores are much closer to soft lead then the cast ones you will find on the berm, so mixing them in a random fashion will give you different weights of the same bullet from each batch taken from the berm. I assume that more cast and less jacketed will give a harder boolits, but if you are going to try to push these at magnum pressures, you will need to watch the barrel for leading. Range lead is a real good resource for casting lead, but you will have to do some experimenting to get the ratio that gives you the bullet weight and hardness you want.
Some say range lead is a waste of time and energy, (LPG, natural gas) compared to WW, but I haven't found any zinc boolits yet and they all seem to melt about the same rate. I have a few hundred pounds of WW that I use to alloy to get the boolit weight I desire from a certain mold, as WW seem to cast lighter than what most molds say they will with a given alloy.
Good scrounging at the range and enjoy the fruits of your labors there, when you go redeposit what you took earlier.

mold maker
04-14-2009, 04:52 PM
That same tool works wonders to get the jacket material out of the melt for scrap brass. It also removes the clips and zinc from a WW smelt, before you flux.
Just be cautious with the rubber handle.

azmike
04-15-2009, 09:03 AM
I have recovered shotgun lead for sale. Please scroll to the bottom of this page at the banners. This is good stuff!

TAWILDCATT
04-17-2009, 11:54 AM
my clubs indoor range was ccleaned a few yrs ago it yealded 26,000 lb of lead yes thats 13 tons.I used to get lead from the backstop and ended up with a 30 gallon barrel must have weighed 900 lbs.or more.lead in bullet jackets is pure lead
so are commercial loaded ammo.in target loads range lead is fine.after all bought lead ammo is pure lead soooo.:coffee:[smilie=1:

Jon
04-20-2009, 01:56 PM
Someone suggested doing this and it works pretty well. I can get about 100lbs in an hour or so.

cohutt
04-20-2009, 10:33 PM
Wow it has been a while since i checked in on this thread. Glad to see there are others who are sick enough to want to go bermining.

Some time back I went back to the berm a did another run but things were too soggy. I ended up scooping up some buckets of heavy lead infested red clay mud.

It wouldn't separate wet, it was lead adobe dry, so i thought i was stuck.

I ended up building a sluice box in my backyard that recirculated the water back through with a portable sump pump and eventually i claimed 130 lbs of ingots out of those buckets. Pics below

"sluicebox" - corrugated drain pipe cut longways in half, in an upside down mitre saw jig on top of a multi folding ladder (you work with what you have handy if you are cheap enough to try and dig lead

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/bermining%202/misc009.jpg

A pot of gold er i mean lead:

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/bermining%202/misc004.jpg


http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/bermining%202/misc015.jpg

almost maybe worthwhile stack of 6-7 lb ingots from the exercise

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/bermining%202/misc020.jpg

Jon
04-21-2009, 07:02 AM
That looks like a nice setup. I need to get a bigger pot since mine is only 15-20lbs or so. It's almost too small for the fish fryer burner that I bought.

cohutt
04-23-2009, 06:49 AM
That looks like a nice setup. I need to get a bigger pot since mine is only 15-20lbs or so. It's almost too small for the fish fryer burner that I bought.

Yeah I am spoiled, that is a mega dutch oven I was given for chistmas a couple yesrs ago- 22qt iirc.

GrizzLeeBear
04-23-2009, 08:30 AM
I have recovered shotgun lead for sale. Please scroll to the bottom of this page at the banners. This is good stuff!

Nice operation you got going there! Do you sell reclaimed shot as well as smelted lead? I'm planning on shooting some trap this summer and it would be nice to have a cheaper source of #8 shot than what the local shops want for it ($40 per 25# yikes). I would think you could sell it even cheaper than the 60# for $50 delivered since you don't have to smelt it into ingots.

sheepdog
04-23-2009, 04:14 PM
Nice operation you got going there! Do you sell reclaimed shot as well as smelted lead? I'm planning on shooting some trap this summer and it would be nice to have a cheaper source of #8 shot than what the local shops want for it ($40 per 25# yikes). I would think you could sell it even cheaper than the 60# for $50 delivered since you don't have to smelt it into ingots.

GrizzLee might try accurateleadrecovery.com. They don't sell to individuals I don't think but basically sell to ranges either straight up or give bags for letting them run the machines on your range. They told me they sold to my range yesterday 25# bags of 8 shot for $14. Sure they will resell it to use with a little markup but thats pretty cheap.

Brick85
05-06-2009, 10:07 PM
I'm loving the idea of reclaiming the birdshot from the range. We have a trap range and I'll have to see if I can find piles of the stuff just lying around. That'd make my life a lot easier and cheaper, as I was wondering how I could possibly get birdshot except for buying it. Buckshot you can cast, but birdshot is just too much work.

One thing I'm wondering in all of this (and in casting in general) is about contamination of one's surroundings with lead. I know that lead doesn't migrate, but when it oxidizes, could it contaminate soil? Or when you sluice it out, would the water contaminate your groundwater or soil? I'd hate to decide to put in a vegetable garden a few decades down the line and then find myself getting dumber than I already am. . .

Russel Nash
05-07-2009, 10:21 AM
^^^ I think it has to do with the pH of the soil what happens to the lead long term.

I think if you have an alkaline soil, your lead in the ground will be okay.

shickf3
05-08-2009, 08:26 PM
I got a bucket of range scrape. I need to know how others get the lead out of total metal jackets.

Brick85
05-08-2009, 08:42 PM
Went to the range today and scraped the surface where all the birdshot had landed. There were a couple beautiful patches of shot-colored ground on the hillside, and now I left a big brown line up the side. [smilie=1: A 1-gallon paint can seemed to weigh about 50 lbs carrying it out (it was heavy enough that it hurt my back to carry it in one hand, and I'm used to carrying 50 lb sheets of sheetrock on one side). Must have been mostly shot. Can't wait to separate it from the dirt--I'm thinking to try a screen on my vibratory case cleaner and see if I can shake out the dirt without resorting to water.


I got a bucket of range scrape. I need to know how others get the lead out of total metal jackets.

Someone suggested hitting them with a hammer on a concrete floor to breach the jacket, so the lead will leak out when it melts. Folks have mentioned putting a heavy cover on the pot because lead might squirt, although it seems like the hammer trick would solve that problem.

Brick85
05-08-2009, 08:49 PM
schickf3,

There's more info in this thread (I was asking the same question):

http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?p=563323#post563323

Brick85
05-29-2009, 05:35 PM
Well, I finally got around to building a sluice and trying to separate the birdshot from the dirt and the clay target pieces. Didn't have much success, but that's because I didn't have much of a sluice, so it turns out.

I built it out of some scrap cedar planking that was rough on one side; I figured if I kept it at a low angle, used water slowly, and kept the rough side up maybe it'd catch the shot. It did, but not well enough that I could wash away the clay. I had good results with washing the dirt out as it sat on a screen, however, and then putting the target/lead mixture in a big pan and shaking it. The clay bits rose to the top and I could scoop many of them off. Still nowhere near good enough to re-use, even if I rolled them down a board to sift out the round ones. And I only did about half a gallon.

On a "lighter" note I found that a gallon of this very lead rich "dirt" only weighs about 30 lbs. Talk about disappointed, and now I feel weak to boot! I should be able to carry 4 gallons if I balance it out, not just two!

I'll try making a real sluice with riffles next; I'm thinking I might just get a 3' or 4' section of 1x8 scrap and run it across the table saw at regular intervals to put 1/8" kerfs in, to hold the shot and allow me to use greater water velocity.

My goal is to have a portable setup I can drag to the range and use without power or running water, because I expect to have access to neither when the range is closed, which is when I'd collect the shot. There's a stream running through that I could use as a water source if I slugged a few buckets at a time, but I don't want to let any of the off-wash get into the stream for fear of contaminating it. I know the EPA tests the stream every few months for lead contamination and I don't want to be the one who got the range shut down. But I figure dumping a small amount of water on the ground when I'm done can't hurt, since the soil and shot and junk all get rained on anyway. I'll just do it away from the stream. If I bring a small bucket I can just scoop up water from the bottom of the sluice box and pour it out into the top again, and it'll get it clean enough, especially if I dump the water every so often.

The sluice boxes I've seen for gold have angle iron "riffles" that catch the heavy stuff as water rushes over it. I see pictures of these sluices basically sitting in a stream. I know I won't have anything like that kind of water flow even if I were to use a sump pump instead of a bucket to recycle the water. I'm hoping kerfs will do.

Does anyone else have good ideas about this? I've read plenty about reclaiming boolits, but not much on reclaiming shot. If this gets too frustrating, maybe I'll just make ingots out of the stuff and offer it to one of our shot makers for a 50/50 split or something.

shotman
05-29-2009, 11:59 PM
On your shot deal Use a shop vac. You will need 2 hoses to make a round loop about 6ft in diameter. Suck shot up slowly and it will drop in the low part of the loop rest of the lighter trash will suck into the vac. You need to do small amounts as the hose will fill up with about 2 qts of shot

Russel Nash
05-30-2009, 01:00 AM
^^^^ Hmmn... interesting idea about the shop vac.

Hmmn...[smilie=1: Now you gots me thinking.

Maybe I mentioned this already, maybe I didn't I can't remember....

what I do with the lead, sand and wood chips that I collect from my one range's bowling pin pit, is I built a 2 X 4 ramp. The tubbafours are 8 feet long. I built a frame about a foot apart. Then I stapled 1/8" by 1/8" wire mesh to the underside.

Then I put two 40 inch or so long legs on one end. These legs sit on a really low deck/porch.

Then I tie wired my Porter-Cable Sawzall/Tigersaw (without a blade) to one side of the frame.

Then I put a piece of tie wire around the trigger of the tool. Then I plug it in. Then I twist the wire around the trigger just so to get the whole thing vibrating.

Then I put a 5 gallon bucket of bowling pin pit lead and sand and wood chips on the deck. Climb on top of the deck and slowly pour the concoction onto the very top of the ramp.

The vibration from the sawzall gets things moving downhill at just the correct speed. Too fast and everything just skips right across the screen with nothing falling through. If it is too slow, then everything just stops.

I probably do need to set the bottom end up so that that the good stuff falls into a big tub of water. I get lots and lots of wooden splinters in with my melt. Yeah, it does kinda act like a self-flux, but MAN! does it produce a ton of ash in my little cast iron dutch oven. It would be nice if I could get all the wooden splinters to float to the top. And the water might just wash off the bullets enough so there is less dross I have to skim off the top.

It probably took me longer to type all this in and explain than to actually build this mesh ramp.

The Mark II version, I think, is going to be one of those big blue plastic drums. I am thinking about chucking a big hole saw into a drill and cutting some holes in the side of the drum. Then using the same 1/8" by 1/8" mesh to cover the holes.

Then building a frame out of some more tubbafours. Then putting non-swiveling casters on this frame. Then spinning the drum on top of these casters. Throw in the sand and the bullets, spin it, and hopefully the sand and the majority of wooden splinters will drop through the mesh.

WILCO
05-30-2009, 12:05 PM
At our club, we're not allowed to mine for lead, so I just pick it up when I'm putting down clay targets on the plinking range. :-D

This is a great thread by the way!

smaj100
06-07-2009, 12:00 AM
I'm new to this forum and have recently been talking with my local indoor range. I was told if I was willing to clean the range backstop I could have the lead. There is probably 10k lbs of lead/jackets on the floor in the backstop room.

I've been using ww in the past and got a few buckets of lead today to melt out and check it out. It does appear to be much softer.

Is anyone interested in this kind of lead with ww and other components getting harder to find? I'm considering increasing the size of my melting pot on the deep fryer burner. I'm going to call the local salvage yard and inquire about scrap copper.

Would the final melted fluxed ingots be worth more than just a box of range scrap?

SciFiJim
06-07-2009, 12:27 AM
It would be worth more because of the effort used to clean it. However it is still range scrap lead of unknown composition. While all shootable lead is desirable, I would rank range scrap near the bottom of the list. The most desirable of course would be from foundries with predetermined, known alloys. Metal that comes from other sources, plumbers, WWs, roof flashing, generally has know properties.

RP
06-07-2009, 01:22 PM
I have mined alot of range lead unknow true but it was all shot out of a gun of somesort. Which mine had alot of shotgun slugs in it which are softer alloy most of the time. The copper jackets which most are red brass not copper I sold at the scrap yard made good money off of it. The lead I made shot out of worked great now i dont make shot and use it in my boolits which i add lino to for hardness. Free is good selling the jackets is better.

briang
06-07-2009, 02:58 PM
...snip...

Would the final melted fluxed ingots be worth more than just a box of range scrap?

To some people it would, to others it wouldn't. Some people like to melt and flux it themselves so they know what it's in the ingots.

mold maker
06-16-2009, 04:58 PM
It's all according to how much known alloy they have left in their stash. With the WW resource in question and more folks taking an interest in casting, it will always be in demand.
Free lead is free lead no matter the source. Get it while you can. If you don't, you'll kick your self as soon as it's gone.
If it's in your stash, you can always trade or sell what you can't use. All you'll have in it is your labor.

clodhopper
07-28-2009, 10:24 AM
Had nice evening mining BP bullets Sat.
Thunder storms hit late afternoon the people from our 1500+ member club were elsewhere. Went out to 300 yards with 1/2" screen in wood frame, shovel and bucket.
Was windy with lighting strikes in the distance and feeling kinda like a grave robber in a grade B horror movie. I shoveled and sifted.
I came home with two gallons of nice nuggets. Mostly cast BP rifle bullets.
Have been mining the pistol bays for quite a while. The clay birds some use for targets there are a real problem in the smelting pot but the shop vac trick sounds like it will work. already have two hoses so it will not cost anything to try.
Some folks do not like to use range scrap but my 1911 never complains about it.

Brick85
07-28-2009, 07:25 PM
Clay targets are a problem in the melting pot? How so? I guess I better make sure to clear them out real good when I melt down recovered birdshot.

sheepdog
07-29-2009, 02:29 PM
Clay targets are a problem in the melting pot? How so? I guess I better make sure to clear them out real good when I melt down recovered birdshot.

They dont melt, leave paint in your pot, and can retain moisture.

Acronn
07-29-2009, 03:11 PM
As far as the shopvac idea, the gold miners today use a converted leaf blower to mine in dry areas. Uses a 5 gallon bucket to catch the dirt with the gold -or lead= in it. Gold's a lot harder to find. If you have a leaf blower already, you are halfway there. Here is a link to how it is done. Has really good suction, but is loud and dusty as the light stuff blows out. http://www.nuggetshooter.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=13011

clodhopper
07-29-2009, 08:03 PM
Those Clay birds turn black, bubble, and stick to the pot. Doesn't seen to affect the lead but scraping the pot while fluxing is a bumpy affair.

briang
07-30-2009, 12:45 AM
On your shot deal Use a shop vac. You will need 2 hoses to make a round loop about 6ft in diameter. Suck shot up slowly and it will drop in the low part of the loop rest of the lighter trash will suck into the vac. You need to do small amounts as the hose will fill up with about 2 qts of shot

What if you run the vac W/O a filter, the light stuff might go right out the back and the shot stay in the vac.

jhalcott
07-30-2009, 08:24 PM
The range I shoot at FORBIDS any metal down range. They also frown on mining the berms. Picking bullets off the surface is okay.The day after a good rain is best. Take the grandkids and offer them an ice cream treat for each coffe can full they get!

Brick85
07-30-2009, 10:01 PM
What if you run the vac W/O a filter, the light stuff might go right out the back and the shot stay in the vac.

Not if it's bigger chunks like parts of targets and such. Dust, maybe (and probably wear the vacuum more than it likes), but the bigger stuff both wouldn't be light enough and probably couldn't get through the vacuum. Remember, the vacuum is designed to stop stuff from going through, not permit it.

nascarkent
08-05-2009, 08:55 PM
I think I may give this a whirl , After a good rain storm,Do a little mineing at the range.:)

sheepdog
08-06-2009, 06:52 AM
Take the grandkids and offer them an ice cream treat for each coffe can full they get!

I'd be careful there. Theres quite a bit of particulated lead in the air, sand, etc downrange as well as exposure to handling. I really wouldnt want my kid anywhere near lead, but if youre going to let them make sure they wash thier hands at the range then shower before eating or drinking. A little lead is fine for big folks but little ones it doesnt take much to screw them up for life.

Three-Fifty-Seven
09-21-2009, 11:00 PM
My wife & I have done a little surface picking, we got about a pound a min, just using our fingers to pick them up individually . . . used a 2lb yogurt container, ends up at about 12 pounds, haven't smelted it yet . . . got 45 pounds waiting . . . Also built a trap out of a 5 gal bucket, filled with sand . . . just sifeted it, and got 4.5 pounds out of it, gonna build a box for shredded rubber . . . ww are hard to come by . . .fleabay is about $1 a pound for ww . . .

[smilie=s:

Brick85
04-27-2010, 07:56 PM
I finally got to trying shotman's shop-vac separation method. It worked great! My shop vac is a big one that comes with a 15' hose, and I upgraded to a higher-quality 16' hose, so I had more than enough length to get the job done. So far what I found is I could use a very short hose, coupled with some plastic pipe, to the 15' hose, which I coiled several times before it hit the vacuum input. It still clogged after a couple cups of shot, but I found that, at least with mine, I was able to actually suck a bunch of shot up in the nozzle and tilt the hose up so it stayed in the nozzle. The finer dirt got sucked out and I could just drop the shot back into the tray. The bigger pieces of stuff came to the top pretty fast and I sucked them right up. I got a 5 gallon paint bucket with the hole in the top and put the hose in that when I wanted to empty it so I didn't drop any shot on the driveway when the end of the hose flopped around.

I didn't have much luck with elevating the vacuum a few feet to see if I could get more shot to stay; in the end I wasn't sucking up much anyway. I also tried rigging up a pipe with a hole in it that ran through a can, so the shot would drop out into the can and I didn't have to empty the hose much, but that didn't work. Maybe I'll get a more elaborate set-up and go spend a morning doing some serious mining at the range!

jmsj
05-02-2010, 09:55 PM
Brick85,
I have access to a shotgun range for lead, but the problem id the shot falls into rocky, steep and treelined backstop. the terain is too rocky(boulders) to use a shovel and grass grows everywhere. I tried sifting using an old window screen. After 20-30 minutes of sifting and seperating I only came up w/ 1/4-1/2 cup of shot. I'll have to see if I can make this shop vac idea work.jmsj

Brick85
05-03-2010, 08:18 PM
Yeah, jmsj, that's pretty much what I have, but without the trees. Maybe you could sweep/rake it all into one place, and then use the window screen idea. I'm going to make a box maybe 2' by 3', put some 1/4" hardware cloth on one side and window screen over more hardware cloth on the other so the screen doesn't break, and find a way to either shake or pivot it, or maybe throw the dirt right at the box. I'll leave a corner open so I can pour out the shot-sized stuff.

The key, for me, seems to be that you don't want to try and sort it too much at the range, because it's a huge waste of time, as you saw. Don't be afraid to take a bunch of junk home with you in the mix, because the vacuum works really well. I'm working on an even better idea than just a hose, based on a separator for wood shops that makes the wood chips drop out. Basically a half a hose going in a circle with a dip at one point.

With the small haul I got, I found that a gallon of unsorted stuff weighed about 30 lbs, and the sorted birdshot was about 45 lbs per gallon. Haven't figured the weight once I melted and skimmed the crud yet, but it sure does feel like lead at that point.

Norseman
05-05-2010, 04:12 PM
I've just discovered the berm of our range hasn't been mined - ever!

It is probably several tons of lead there and 45 minutes produced some 200 lbs of lead.

I've bought a bicycle basket made of mesh and scoops some dirt in it. After some shaking, the lead goes into a bucket.

I have probably 500 kg of lead now and use about 100 kg a year, but I still feel the urge to collect more range scrap :castmine:

Philngruvy
05-05-2010, 05:19 PM
If I were you, I'd get all I could while the gittin is good!

Brick85
05-05-2010, 07:59 PM
Philngruvy, my sentiments exactly!

Philngruvy
05-05-2010, 08:17 PM
Just an FYI,
Friend went to his dentist and while getting his teeth drilled he asked for lead! Never thought much of it, but the Dentist apparently goes thru those lead vests they rest on ya and what not, he said it didn't amount to much but was pretty pure lead! just an fyi
Don't forget to ask for the lead foil plates in the xray film that they stick in your mouth to take pics of your teeth. Here is a 35 lb. bucket of them. Pure lead or nearly so.

mold maker
05-05-2010, 09:04 PM
Free lead is a treasure you can't pass up. If you don't reclaim it, someone else will.
I have well over a 3 tons of it, and won't pass up any source for more.
There will be a time in our near future when it will sell like gold to those who have none. (Remember $60/1000 primers if ya could find any? How about $40./lb powder that was all ya could get?)
Note the new WW alloy that is useless to us.
Note the number of tire dealers that won't sell WW, or want to rob ya.
Sooner or later the Fed. or State Gov. will force the lead removal as an ecology thing. The lead will be gone, the range bankrupt, and bought boolits will be a buck a piece.
Ya better get all ya can while it's there,,, or just tell me where it's at.

Brick85
05-05-2010, 09:33 PM
Well there's a big new thing about getting "certified" to deal with lead paint when you're doing remodeling/carpentry work. I'm sure other regulation on lead is sure to follow!

jmsj
05-05-2010, 09:44 PM
Brick85
Thanks for the advise on trying to salvage the lead shot. Now just need time yo get over there and try it out. jmsj

Jim_Fleming
05-05-2010, 10:51 PM
This is one of the most direct, and eloquent statements that say why it's important to build a bullet trap (if possible,) to capture and recycle the lead, that I have seen yet! GOOD JOB, Sir!



Free lead is a treasure you can't pass up. If you don't reclaim it, someone else will.
I have well over a 3 tons of it, and won't pass up any source for more.
There will be a time in our near future when it will sell like gold to those who have none. (Remember $60/1000 primers if ya could find any? How about $40./lb powder that was all ya could get?)
Note the new WW alloy that is useless to us.
Note the number of tire dealers that won't sell WW, or want to rob ya.
Sooner or later the Fed. or State Gov. will force the lead removal as an ecology thing. The lead will be gone, the range bankrupt, and bought boolits will be a buck a piece.
Ya better get all ya can while it's there,,, or just tell me where it's at.

Norseman
05-07-2010, 02:36 AM
Picket up another 200 lb of range scrap yesterday. Took me about an hour to collect it.

SciFiJim
05-07-2010, 03:36 AM
Norseman, looks like you hit the mother lode. Smelt it down and pile it deep!

Brick85
05-07-2010, 11:13 AM
If you figure $0.40 a pound for the lead, then 200 lbs in an hour is a pretty good pay rate! Salvaging lead saves serious dough.

Harter66
05-07-2010, 07:01 PM
At the moment I too seem to be the only backstop miner out here .

I cheat a little my employer sends me to replace the target backer boards ,I've built some trap boxes that amount to 8" of scrap wood and a piece of 1/8 or 3/16 steel . It stops all of the pistol stuff at the 30 yd line except that guy with the 460 and 500 S&W and the copper slugs. Nets me about 30-40 lbs per month. I sort into cast,jacketed,and 22s. Best part ? I'm paid to do it.

Brick85
05-07-2010, 08:19 PM
Harter, that's a great idea. If there's a range nearby which has actual backer boards rather than the moveable targets, I'll have to see if I can try that.

mozeppa
12-06-2014, 10:51 AM
You could just "mine" mall and shopping center parking lots with a pair of WHEEL WEIGHT pliers and very good running shoes!

fixed for ya steve!....yer welcome.:bigsmyl2:

Talon300
01-30-2016, 09:42 PM
Years ago when I was stationed in HI, a shipmate whom I was introducing to reloading came home with a very large chunk of lead. He said that he cut off part of the keel weight (with an axe) from a sail boat before they removed the hull carcass. Just listing another source.

RP
01-31-2016, 06:35 PM
For the guys using the shop vacs you may want to run your hose into a 5 gal bucket then back out to the shop vac. This will work a lot like having the hose looped the heavy will settle in the bucket and the light will keep going. When I mine the range I smelt it all trash rocks grass twits wads and flux it with used motor oil it cleans up nice. With the used motor oil the extra heat from the burning oil will clean the jackets off real good.

NC Brass
04-22-2016, 01:56 PM
Do ranges let you do mine for free?

SciFiJim
04-22-2016, 02:02 PM
Do ranges let you do mine for free?

Some don't allow it at all. Most are OK with you picking up a few chunks by hand as long as you don't interfere with operations. A few will allow mining as long as you repair any damage you do. Doesn't hurt to ask.

taco650
04-24-2016, 12:45 PM
My local, state run, range allows me to pick up what I can during target changing but that's it. However, I've developed a good report with the lead Range Officer and he will actually help me pick up exposed slugs if nobody else is there. He's a caster himself so he understands the value of range pick ups. I find that if you're polite, friendly and follow the rules, you can usually garner the favor of folks which gets you more opportunities.

The range scrap I collect is smelted dirt and all, then fluxed with sawdust or candle wax (whichever I have handy) and then poured into a dollar store muffin tin. When I cast with it, I water drop which hardens the boolits a little. They work fine for my needs, even in my 44mag revolver. YMMV.

Walks
08-17-2016, 11:01 PM
I envy u guys that can still find WW. Here in LaLa land I haven't found anybody willing to part with any in over 20yrs.

The last time I was allowed to buy range lead from LAPD Harbor Div Range, I bought 50lb and it netted me 32 1lb ingots.
Plus a whole 16.4 oz bottle of propane. It woulda been cheaper to buy from the midway thieves.

Old Ironsights
08-17-2016, 11:12 PM
At least in LaLa land you have harbors near (enough) by to maybe get some old keel lead or old dive belts... (emphasis on "old")

Jmac90yj
08-29-2016, 10:24 PM
I'm new here and this is my first post. This past weekend I took an old Grill and smoker to a junk yard , got 13.50 and got 50lbs of wheel weights. it only hand1.5 lbs of zinc and stick on. He only charges me .25/lb

Pee Wee
08-30-2016, 07:52 PM
I'm new here and this is my first post. This past weekend I took an old Grill and smoker to a junk yard , got 13.50 and got 50lbs of wheel weights. it only hand1.5 lbs of zinc and stick on. He only charges me .25/lb

good score,JMac .

skeettx
09-05-2016, 11:53 AM
Jmac90yj welcome on your first post and congrats on the score!!!!
Mike

Jmac90yj
09-21-2016, 07:48 PM
I received permission from my local game officer to collect range scrap. I made a screen thing with a milk crate and 1\4" wire screen to shake out the dirt.

Grizzly055
10-02-2016, 10:22 PM
Whitetail, this is exactly how I do it and I have more lead than I'll ever use.

RP
10-03-2016, 10:03 PM
Another tip is if your in sandy dry soil a leaf blower and a rake is a good trick. Blow the dirt but up the berm the lead will roll to the base then just rake it up. Bonus is the dirt is back where its needed and it removes wads from slugs and other things like sticks grass or paper from targets.
I have found you have to modify your mining to the dirt type or wetness of the soil. I have used modified cement mixers dry to washing the dirt out with water leaf blowers and hand shift screens what ever it takes to give the biggest yields.
Not many ranges let you mine only way I get to mine is to repair the berms and that takes a backhoe every couple of years.