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Thread: The difference between casting and smelting

  1. #41
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    New Market, Iowa
    "Smelting" is the process used for separating the lead from the ore. The only folks who do that are employees of the "Doe Run Company" in southeastern Missouri. The rest of us only melt down the scrap and pour it into ingots.

  2. #42
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    N Florida
    Thank you for the reply. Upon further examination my cast bullets are miking at the .0359 all the way up to .0365 range coming out of a Lee .0356 mold. Guess I will be remelting back down to ingots. Any ideas why my mold would be throwing that large bullets? Also could I use some of the larger (.0365 x 120 g) for a Makarov? Only can find loading info for 95 g bullets. Just wondering. Like I said, newbie here. Lead hardness tester is next on the purchase list for checking ingot hardness. Thank you again for the reply!

  3. #43
    Boolit Master

    pworley1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    I have been melting wheel weights, roof flashing, Linotype, range scrap, solder and any other lead items that I could find to use for casting bullets for over 50 years, but I have never smelted any ore.
    NRA Benefactor Member NRA Golden Eagle

  4. #44
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    I think I'm going to just call it "lead processing": per Wikipedia a process is a set of activities that interact, resulting in a result or product. So my processing pot takes scrap lead in various forms, I apply heat to melt out the lead and separate it from unwanted jackets, clips, and trash, which are removed, I then clean and reduce the alloy with sawdust and wax, then pour storage ingots, which I may later reprocess in the same pot by adding tin and antimony and repour into casting ingots.

    Sorta generic, it's true, but accurate enough for my purposes.

    I'm not touching the word "flux".

  5. #45
    Boolit Grand Master

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Northwest Ohio
    I call what I do alloying since Im mixing different metals to what I want. Smelting doesn't accurately describe our process of cleaning up or blending a mix. I haven't worked with range scrap wheel weights or savaged metals in a long time. I normally buy what I want premixed and melt and cast. I used to though. Wheel weights, lead pipe, range scrap from an indoor range, and other forms were melted cleaned and blended 350lbs at a time.

  6. #46
    Boolit Master

    Walks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    I think lead processing is an excellent term. I used to go through all sorts of **** to alloy into a cast iron pot, fired by propane out front of my garage.
    Sorted everything first.
    It just took too long to sort/process to melt down 50lbs of range scrap to get 34lbs of usable alloy. I just didn't have the time and patience to waste any more 1lb cans of propane.
    The old COWW's were fine. But I haven't seen any around here for almost 20yrs.

    Now I just buy from trusted sources. It's so much simpler that way.

    If ya got access to free or cheap lead, go ahead. As long as you have the patience and time for it.

    I'd rather just spend that time casting bullets.

    As they say, been there, done that. Don't care about the blasted t-shirt.
    I HATE auto-correct

    Happiness is a Warm GUN & more ammo to shoot in it.

    My Experience and My Opinion, are just that, Mine.

  7. #47
    Boolit Master

    skeettx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Amarillo, Texas
    Yes, I smelt alloy into ingots,
    this can be all wheel weights, or all range scrap, or all pure lead.
    I can then have ingots of lead, softer alloy (range scrap) , harder alloy (wheel weights), or HARD alloy (linotype)
    I melt ingots to cast boolits.
    Well said
    NRA Benefactor 2004 USAF RET 1971-95

  8. #48
    Boolit Master

    alamogunr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    This thread was started over 6 years ago and contains several posts trying to explain the correct usage of the term "smelt"(not the little fish). It has had no effect either here or in several other threads over the years. I learned the "correct" meaning of the term in a metallurgy class in engineering in college. Now I just smile and pass on over the common usage on this board. I can live with the usage here as well as reading about lube "groves" on "boolits".

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check