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Thread: removing alloy from lead

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Jul 2018

    removing alloy from lead

    Does anybody know if you can refine lead from ingots that are a variety of mixtures? I do not have burnell tester but do have a bunch of questionable lead bars and would like to return them to pure lead and start over.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Grmps's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    charly - welcome to CB. If you decided to start casting to save money, forget it. You won't, you'll just shoot more.
    You can remove some alloys by fluxing with sulfur (but that's nasty stuff). I personally haven't heard of a way to return an alloy to pure outside of a foundry.
    Below you'll see the pencil hardness test that can economically help you determine BHN (hardness)
    Casting boolits (lead bullets) properly is a science, once you know the basics, not a hard science.
    There is a lot of good information on CB. The Google search (top right of every forum page) is a gateway to all the knowledge on this forum. IF you can’t find your answer there ask the question (Please be as detailed as possible, pictures help http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...g-screen-shots I would be very surprised if there wasn’t someone on this forum that could answer ANY (firearm related) question you might have)
    1. Boolits need to be cast .0005 to .003 (normally .002) over the slugged diameter of your barrel for accuracy and to avoid leading. If the fit is wrong nothing else will work right.
    a. slugging a barrel (it is safer to use a brass rod or a steel rod with a couple of coats of tape to avoid damaging your barrel http://7.62x54r.net/MosinID/MosinSlug.htm
    b. chamber casting https://www.brownells.com/guntech/ce....htm?lid=10614
    or pound casting http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...rifle-chamber)
    2. the right alloy needs to be used for the velocity and purpose of the boolit (don’t fall into the trap of going with too hard an alloy
    Economical way to easily test lead hardness

    Some alloys harden over time
    different alloy’s different end sizes

    Lead alloy calculator
    3. velocity the bullet needs to be pushed hard/fast enough to get the proper spin, have the proper velocity to accurately reach the target but not so hard as to be dangerous or strip the lead off in the grooves instead of spinning the boolit..
    The boolit needs to be the right weight for the riffling/twist rate of your barrel
    Powders range from fast to slow, you need to choose the right powder for your barrel length & application.
    Loading manuals list the best powders for certain calibers and boolit weights.
    NEVER use any posted noncommercial load data without first checking commercial load data to see if falls in the safe parameter for your firearm!! There are several firearms out there that can handle much higher pressures than others!!
    Link to free online load data

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    NE Kansas
    Not within the means of the home bullet caster. This is a foundry process. Unless you have a total mess of unknown alloys, you might consider melting a drop off an ingot from each batch of unknown alloy and send it along with a pound of lead per sample to BNE so it can be XRF scanned and the resulting alloy determined.

    An alternative would be to melt into one large batch and have that to add other material to in order to obtain a working batch of alloy.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

    Rcmaveric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Jacksonville, FL
    I would test the bhn of each questionable bar. Mark the BHN on the bar. Save it for mixing other alloys. You can also just trade it for pure.

    Sent from my SM-G925T using Tapatalk
    "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far."
    ~Theodore Roosevelt~

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    sqlbullet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Holladay, UT
    Wildly complex chemistry job. WAY cheaper to sell what you have to local casters and buy pure or known lead alloy.

    But, I would cast and shoot.
    My isotope lead page: http://fellingfamily.net/isolead/

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
    bangerjim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    out of here, wandering somewhere in the SW.
    You will need a chemiist, a lab, and a foundry to accomplish that!!!!!!! Forget it.

    Figure out what you have with x-ray testing and if it not what you want, sell it on here, but you MUST know what it is or nobody will pay muich for it. Then buy pure PB on here.

    Art pencils will get you sorta in the ballpark of hardness but no where close enough to sell it as an alloy!

    OR.........”forget-about-it”! Just use it up.

    Just mix your boolit metal for an air cooled range you want. I use 10-12 for 90% of what I cast. That is all most people really need. Then I PC them for perfect, smoke-less, no-leading shooting in many long and short guns.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    As a rule, once its alloyed you can't separate it. You can melt it and get it hotter than necessary and a little will oxidize out. Personally I would test each ingot with a drop of acid, for zinc, then melt them all together and cast with it. Thats just me. There is a member on here that will test it for you, for a very reasonable charge, and you will know what you have. It would be hard to sell it as an unknown alloy unless you give it away at the scrap yard.

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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
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