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Thread: How Much Is Too Much For Wheel Weights

  1. #1

    How Much Is Too Much For Wheel Weights

    I was into casting about 5 years back. After calling around to a ton of tire shops I only found one willing to sell me wheel weights. He didnt know a price so I offered 30$ a bucket. He was happy, and I was happy to have a source. I was melting down around 120lbs of lead in a 5 gallon bucket. Fast forward to now, im back into casting, I bought some buckets from the same source, gave him 30$ a bucket, only now, there is a lot less lead in these buckets. Im only yeilding around 72lbs of lead, I even see theres some sort of new annoying plastic wheel weight. My question is, am I overpaying at 30$ for 72lbs of lead yield? Or should I just be happy to have a source and continue to pay the same price?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master MyFlatline's Avatar
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    Shops around here want $150 per bucket, that includes the cigarette but and zinc. If you can come out under a buck a pound you are doing well in my book. I will gladly pay $1 per pound for COWW..

  3. #3
    Wow, 150$ per bucket!? Yes, this stuff has the cigarette butts, the valve stems, zinc, steel, and those annoying new plastic ones that melt. Surprising to see in just a few years how much less a bucket of wheel weights is yielding in lead. The stuff is disappearing fast.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    dragon813gt's Avatar
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    Any amount is to much for me. I was willing to deal w/ the sorting, fluxing(a lot) and casting into ingots when I could get them for free. I will gladly pay for clean alloy. My time is worth more than anything else at the moment. I won’t exchange any amount of money for raw wheel weights.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    I would not pay for any WW for the reasons that is stated. Too much zinc now and not worth it to get now.I rather get soft lead at the junk yard with less waste. That is me.If there was some WW to be given I would take it. But will not pay for it.
    Life Member of NRA,NTA,DAV ,ITA. Also member of FTA,CBA

  6. #6
    I am willing to do the work. The cost savings over buying lead at over 1$ a pound out weighs anything else. The smelting process fills one of my off days and I still enjoy it. As far as sorting, the most I do is take out the valve stems that burn forever. The rest i just don't overheat and skim off the top anything that doesn't melt. Cost is a huge factor for me, as the primary reason I cast is for the huge savings. I shoot a lot.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Grmps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldbrowngun View Post
    I am willing to do the work. The cost savings over buying lead at over 1$ a pound out weighs anything else. The smelting process fills one of my off days and I still enjoy it. As far as sorting, the most I do is take out the valve stems that burn forever. The rest i just don't overheat and skim off the top anything that doesn't melt. Cost is a huge factor for me, as the primary reason I cast is for the huge savings. I shoot a lot.

    One thing to be careful of, you need to have 3 or 4 inches of lead in the bottom of the casting pot so you don't overheat the zinc trying to get the bottom up too melting temperature.

    It depends on where you live as to how much useable lead you will get out of a 5-gallon bucket of wheel weights.

    $30 is a good price for a bucket, depending on the yield from that store $50 for 70 # is reasonable.



    You can buy Recycled Melted Bullet Alloy ~ 55 lbs (4 pcs) Ingots with Freight Included $99.00 $1.71 per LBS from ROTOMETALS

  8. #8
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    cajun shooter's Avatar
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    I gave up on finding ww lead over 6 years ago as most all of the tire shops in the Baton Rouge area had their companies join a recycle agreement. The animal protectors had a hand in the deal as too many animals were dying from eating all those lead ww's that fell off vehicles. I still can't recall the last time I saw a critter munching down on a big old juicey truck ww.
    Shooter of the "HOLY BLACK" SASS 81802 AKA FAIRSHAKE; NRA ; BOLD; WARTHOG;Deadwood Marshal;Bayou Bounty Hunter; So That his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat; 44 WCF filled to the top, 210 gr. bullet

  9. #9
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldbrowngun View Post
    How Much Is Too Much For Wheel Weights
    SNIP...

    My question is, am I overpaying at 30$ for 72lbs of lead yield? Or should I just be happy to have a source and continue to pay the same price?
    You are getting close to my limit...
    60˘ per lb (usable alloy content) of COWW in the raw is my limit.
    I will pay the extra 40˘ per lb to get clean alloy and NOT have to smelt them dirty things.

  10. #10
    Boolit Mold
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    I, too, am tiring of the buckets that I am getting from tire shops. I pay $20 per 5 gallon bucket, but half or more of the bucket is zinc and steel. I think it is getting to the tipping point of just buying the clean lead, paying the shipping cost and not having to separate the zinc/steel from the lead wheel weights.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master redhawk0's Avatar
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    Anything under $1.00 a pound is pretty good...consider yourself lucky you have a source. As for the "new" wheelweights...read up on the various new WWs that are now being used in the Lead and Lead Alloy forum. You have to watch out for Zinc in the mix. That will ruin your entire batch if you mix some of that in.

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/foru...nd-Lead-Alloys

    redhawk

    The only stupid question...is the unasked one.


    Not all who wander....are lost.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master

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    It depends on several things. Mostly how bad do you need lead and how available lead is in your area. Lead is extremely hard to find in some states while its more available in others. Your prices are not too bad as long as you are willing to do the work and enjoy it. Just keep in mind that you can buy ingots here on the swapping and selling section for a dollar a pound + shipping, ready to cast with. Also watch for isotope containers. They are made from a good alloy to cast with and have nearly zero waste. Use that as a benchmark to compare your prices and labor with. I recently bought a bunch of sorted wheel weights for .40 cents a pound. I sorted them again and found a few zinc and iron weights but not many. No doubt someone else could sort them again and find a few more.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    In the last 2 years I have bought 150 lbs of COWW smelted, in muffin ingots, in 5 gal bucket, delivered to my door. Paid a dollar a pound and felt like a real winner.

    For wheel weights in a bucket my max would probably be 45 or 50 cents per pound of available lead.
    Rest goes for the fuel and time. I do thin my COWW with equal amounts of soft lead or range scrap. Also at or near a dollar a pound. Still it is cheaper than buying big chunks of #2 I think.

    I think it will come to each of us just what we are willing to do, go through to keep casting.
    I don't see me smelting wheel weights anymore. Not when I can buy them reasonable.
    Or unless I came across a big stash of them I was able to aquire pretty reasonable.

    Each of us will have our own set of variables that determines what we will or won't do.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
    bangerjim's Avatar
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    I quit messing with dirty of WW’s over 3 years ago. Way too much Zn, Fe, and carp in there to bother with. I can get clean pure and alloys from my local scrap yards for $1/#, so why would I waste hours standing over a stinking re-melting pot of smoldering rubber, garbage and non-Pb weights.

    If you can get you WW’s for around 60 cents/#, that may be you sweet spot. Anything more is getting pretty expensive, looking at the hauling, gasoine, vnecile cost, re-melting fuel, time involved and total mess and stink.

    My time is worth more, so I pay $1/# gladly for what I get.

    And I know of no one on here that “saves” money casting & loading thier own!!!!!! It’s a hobby. I could buy FMJ’s a lot cheaper. By the time I price in all the bits & bobbles needed to cast, I are NOT saving any money!

    Good luck with you future with WW’s.

    Bangerjim

  15. #15
    Boolit Master


    mold maker's Avatar
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    Jim, I've saved a small fortune on exercise equipment I didn't have to buy to satisfy my Dr. All he ever advised me to do was loose weight and take these pills. I figure I lost about 20# a ton working up all that lead. Now my major concern is a bad back.
    Information not shared. is wasted.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by cajun shooter View Post
    I gave up on finding ww lead over 6 years ago as most all of the tire shops in the Baton Rouge area had their companies join a recycle agreement. The animal protectors had a hand in the deal as too many animals were dying from eating all those lead ww's that fell off vehicles. I still can't recall the last time I saw a critter munching down on a big old juicey truck ww.
    If it was nutria, let em have all they want.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    If it's Nutria, let them have 230 grain or 145 grain or whatever chunks of lead at 800FPS or so, if they won't chow down voluntarily.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master






    Lloyd Smale's Avatar
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    never bought it. But if I did id be willing to go a buck a lb for smelted ingots. MAYBE 50cents a lb for raw ww in buckets.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  19. #19
    PAPERPATCH MASTER


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    For over 40 years all my WW`s have been free to get. Firstly it was from a Marathon service station/garage that a friend was manager of. Then came my good friend that owned a Chevy car dealership that free weights came from. I finally stopped taking the free weights from the dealer as they were going more and more to non lead weights in the pails. I at present have 5 over flowing 5 gal. pails of hand sorted all lead weights that need smelting, also 3 other partial pails that need sorting. Since my health has been going South I really doubt I`ll need to look for any more weights. I probably have a total of a ton or more of various type leads that are both smelted into ingots or are waiting to be done. Seeing as how long lead weights were used on vechicles and the `forgotten` stores of them I really doubt there will be a total absense of them to come for quite some time.Robert

  20. #20
    I just paid 12 donuts for three buckets of WW. Have gotten many other buckets previously, without the donuts. If I come early in the day, the donuts are a hit with everyone in the shop.

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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