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Thread: Where do you buy lead wire?

  1. #1

    Where do you buy lead wire?

    Where do you buy lead wire for swaging? The cheapest I can find is RCECO for $78 per 25LB spool. I thought I saw someone in the vendor section selling lead spools at a good price. Now I don't see anyone selling lead spools.

    Also, what is the "hardest" lead that is feasible to swage. I have Richard's Walnut Hill press and his dies. Currently I only have lead bullet dies for .44 and .45 diameters. I am interested in trying to cast cores for these and would like to know if I need to stick to pure lead or can I use something a little harder. Something like 50% pure lead mixed with 50% wheel weights? Or any other mixture.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    Zbench sells lead wire.
    I have never bought any from him, but hear he is good to deal with.

    Have no idea of the hardest lead you can swage, but gentile application of pressure will allow harder lead to be swaged than a ram and jam technique.
    To lazy to chase arrows.
    Clodhopper

  3. #3
    Boolit Master



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    Definitely Zbench, I bought some and it seems to be ok.
    Bill

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    If you have dies built to handle a harder alloy you can do it, but it is not recommended for any of the hand presses; you would quickly tire on a hand press even if the dies were built to handle it. Pure lead or pure with 0.5%, 1%, 1.5% antimony are suitable, but other alloys are not recommended.
    Ron Reed
    Oklahoma City, OK
    info@reedsammo.com

  5. #5
    78$ for 25lbs and that is the reason i cast my cores...

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Sasquatch-1's Avatar
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    I have no idea where to get lead wire from. But I have reshaped cast bullets made of range lead. As mentioned, Take a couple of swings with the handle to slowly form the lead. DO NOT TRY TO BLEED LEAD WITH HARDER ALLOYS. I cracked a die earlier this year and it cost me $120.00 just to get a replacement die body made. The bad part is I felt it coming as the press went into cam over.

    If you are swaging just for the 44/45 slugs cast your cores. I use a 31 cal rifle bullet mold to cast cores for my 44's and can get up to 260 grain jacketed bullets without a problem.
    A vote for anyone other then the conservative candidates is a vote for the liberal candidates.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    Rotometals also carries it...
    (They're where I picked up my last spools)

    https://www.rotometals.com/lead-wire-25-lb-spool/
    Bob

  8. #8
    Super Moderator

    Preacher Jim's Avatar
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    I have used Zbench and rotometals both great product. What I bought from Zbench that I am using now is pure lead.

  9. #9
    Boolit Bub D-RIG's Avatar
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    Zbench has very soft lead it's very pure and I use all the time .

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Zbench supplies all my lead.

    The advantage of his wire is that he sells it in stick form, if you want it that way.

    This saves me the time of straightening wire.

    I don't think you will beat his price or quality.

  11. #11
    Looks like Zbench would be a little cheaper than RCECO because shipping is included. I also noticed he sells range scrap that has about 2% antimony. Do you all think 2% antimony is too high? He states a BHN of 7.

  12. #12
    Vendor Sponsor uncle dino's Avatar
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    You didn't mention what dies you are using. As reed said, you will definitely see a difference on the handle, but I think you'll be ok with 2% antimony..if leading is a concern swage a gas check or base guard on as you form the bullet.. D

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    I am currently using 2% antimony from Vulcan Manufacturing. They supply lead wire to most major projectile manufacturers. I once tried to put together a group buy from them. You can also look for Charlie Hood who will provide premade cores accurate to about a tenth of a grain that are excellent as well.
    "Consequently we move away from other shooters to remain focused on our passion, as our ideas are quickly dismissed or misunderstood by others. Sharing does not come easily for swagers, not because they are necessarily selfish, but because they have been whittling away in their only little world for so long, that being able to relate to others what they understand is no simple task."

    ​Mentor



  14. #14
    Vendor Sponsor


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    Appreciate the mention guys. As an aside, I only extrude pure lead into wire.
    Zbench
    99.99% pure lead wire for swaging here

  15. #15
    Boolit Master tiger762's Avatar
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    Just to add to what the others have said, if you are making cores for 224 (0.1875" wire ---> 0.191" core) you can go with harder alloy. I have used straight wheel weight for that small a diameter. At the other end of the spectrum, for 45cal and above, you will hate trying to swage cores out of wheel weight or even any of the so-called "range scrap" that gets sold a lot here. It is a mix of soft lead and wheel weight. I would not use anything but pure lead at 45cal and up.

    Now I have used a 0.371" diameter core swage that came with my 458 die set. I have made cores out of harder alloy cast bullets that were 0.363" 210gr Makarovs. The weights had the usual spread for cast bullets, in this case 206 to 211 grains. I needed 200.0 grain cores. I swaged them down in two steps. First was to get a uniform 205 grains. I then ran them through the core swage a second time to get them to 200 grains. I did this rather than doing it in one step, because I didn't want to blow out the die :O

    Always think in terms of "pressure equals force divided by area" where area is proportional to the square of the diameter. This is why you can get away with harder alloy at smaller diameters. To get the same pressure, one has to exert 4.8 times as much force in the 0.418" diameter core swage my 452 (pistol) set came with as compared to the 0.191" diameter core swage the 224 set came with. Also note that the RCECO dies are all 1" outside diameter so the pressure is more strongly contained in a die with a smaller inside diameter. The die wall is thicker.

    Good luck with it.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Utah Shooter View Post
    I am currently using 2% antimony from Vulcan Manufacturing. They supply lead wire to most major projectile manufacturers. I once tried to put together a group buy from them. You can also look for Charlie Hood who will provide premade cores accurate to about a tenth of a grain that are excellent as well.
    Sent you a PM

  17. #17
    Boolit Man Alex_4x4's Avatar
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    Viam supervadet vadens.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master tiger762's Avatar
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    Those are good prices. 250 to 320 руб / кг @ 0.017 $/руб works out to $1.93 to $2.47 per pound. Corbin's price of $5/lbs is nuts. Does pushing the lead through a tiny hole make it worth almost five times as much?

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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