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Thread: Old wheel weights?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master brewer12345's Avatar
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    Sep 2017
    Denver Metro Area

    Old wheel weights?

    I made a score today, picking up 340 pounds of wheelweights that had been smelted into ingots for $70 and a pound of honey from my hives. I used to think the "golden amber fluid that makes friends and influences people" was whiskey, but now I know for sure it is honey. Anyway, this stuff is from the estate of a competitive target shooter. I found some reject cast boolits in one of the buckets of various shapes and sizes including a very large hollow based wadcutter that had to be at least .40 caliber. I know these things were not smelted yesterday judging by the accumulated dust and stuff in the buckets and by comparing the ingots from this lot with recently smelted stuff. How old they are is anybody's guess and of course the weights they were made from could have been older still.

    Any idea when clip on wheel weights became common? I am guessing that these ingots probably have a fair bit more tin and antimony than more recent stuff, but who knows. Is there an easy way to get a sample ingot tested?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Grmps's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Contact BNE on this forum, He will XRF (test the alloy) for the price of 1 # of pure lead.

    I know there are others that do this and they may jump in and bargain/barter their services.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    MUSTANG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Moapa, Nevada or Kalispell, Montana

    Congratulations on your good luck in finding the wheel weights/ingots.

    1. Can't tell you when they started using "Clip on Wheel Weights"; but I can assure you it was long before the late 1950's when my Dad owned one of these antiquated items "A Service Station".

    2. You can determine the "Hardness" of the ingots by using a Brinnell Hardness Tester such as Lee and others make. You might ask some of the people you know who cast if they have one. You can buy the Lee Hardness Testers at a variety of locations; here is a Link to an Amazon listing for one.


    or a Listing for same from Midway:


    3. You could always send myself or another member who has a tester a sample and we could test it for you.

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  4. #4
    Boolit Master brewer12345's Avatar
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    Sep 2017
    Denver Metro Area
    Raspberries! What I really meant to ask is when stick-ons became common. As I understand it, they are a lot closer to pure lead/

  5. #5
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Beware of zinc in later weights. Zinc will give you BIG problems.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Atlanta, NY 14808
    I can't give a date, but stick on weights were used with alloy rims, because clips would mar the rim and the rim of alloy wheels was fatter as well.
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  7. #7
    Moderator Emeritus

    MaryB's Avatar
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    Jun 2013
    SW Minnesota
    My 2001 f-150 has alloy wheels and stick ons... so at least 16 years...

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Upstate, SC
    I worked in service stations in the late eighty's, early ninety's...and we were seeing some stick on weights then. Not many.....I'd say less than 10%, but they were around then...
    "Do not follow where the path might lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail" Ralph Waldo Emerson

  9. #9
    Boolit Bub
    Greg G.'s Avatar
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    Feb 2017
    Hugo, MN
    Had a 71 charger with after market alloy rims and they where balanced with stick on WW in 1972.
    Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    St.Germain, WI
    My 69 Roadrunner had alloy wheels that used stick on. Sold it for $600 when they were going to quit making premium gas. Should have put it up on blocks for 40 years, then sold it.
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master robertbank's Avatar
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    Apr 2005
    Terrace, B.C. Canada
    Just one thing on stick on wheel weights. I have run into some that are alloyed just like the clip on ones. I wish I could describe the symbol on the WW but but it is the same as found on the clip on ones from the same manufacturer. It is kinda like a raised circle with a squiggly line on either side of the circle. Most are pure lead though. I mention this as good WW alloy is getting harder to find with the enviro push for Zinc WW.

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  12. #12

    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Land of 10,000 Lakes
    Quote Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
    Old wheel weights?


    I am guessing that these ingots probably have a fair bit more tin and antimony than more recent stuff, but who knows. Is there an easy way to get a sample ingot tested?
    Your Wheel weights would need to be older than from 1980 to have more tin and antimony than current production.

    Here is a couple sources that may help you understand the timeline of COWW content.

    BNE did some testing on current COWW for us in this "Stickied" thread.
    The short answer to surmise from it, is the average Antimony (the main hardening ingredient) content of today's COWW is about 3%

    Here is a Cut&Paste about old Wheel weights from LASC
    Pre 1970’s wheel weights averaged 9% antimony and during the 70’s this average was reduced, since the early 1980’s there appears to be little fluctuation in the percentage of antimony in wheel weight alloy and currently seems to be about 3%, maybe, maybe ... 4%.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    I'm not sure when they became common but they have been around ever sense mag wheels have. I worked in a service station in the early 70's that sold used tires. We got used weights from the same stores that we bought used tires from and there would be a few stick on weights in some of the buckets. Not very many but a few.

    I've used BNE for analyzing samples before and he is a good guy to deal with, and is pretty fast. He also did some testing on stick on weights that is a sticky.

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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