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Thread: Recycled Melted Bullet Alloy

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy armednfree's Avatar
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    Recycled Melted Bullet Alloy

    Rotometals has Recycled Melted Bullet Alloy but they make the statement, " Some casters say the copper in the alloy makes it hard to make new bullets out of, but other casters have said they don't mind."

    Fill me in on that.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I assume reclaimed lead is the same in the America as it is here in Australia. I have just gotten to the last of my 400KG of range lead and have had no problems casting 15 different bullets from .357 to .460. I would not worry and just cast up a storm. regards Stephen

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    I haven't had any problem with what I got from them, but I haven't been using it straight. The lot I got from them was about 1.5% Sb, and I alloyed it up to 3% Sb, 2% Sn using SuperHard and pewter. Cast 9mm 147's and 154's (nominal weight, with actual boolit weights of 148 and 158 respectively) at 720 degrees just fine.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master


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    Copper in the alloy tends to toughen it when used for bullet purposes. It also tends to "freeze" quicker, requiring higher temperatures for casting, especially noticeable with bottom pour pots. Thus the warning.
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    while I can't speak for what exactly Rotometals sells.
    I can say that I assume that their "Recycled Melted Bullet Alloy" is what we at castboolits call "Range Scrap".

    A few years ago, a member sold me some alloy, a specific alloy that was blended from various known alloys of solder and type metal...with the base metal being his Range scrap, that he had analyzed. It had 1/4% Cu...so while the final mix was very near 94-3-3, it had 1/4% Cu. It casts a great boolit. I have found that it will age harden (in 6 months) a couple BHN points higher than 94-3-3 without any Cu.

    I assume what is happening, to get a small percentage of Cu in range scrap is...
    When Range scrap is being melted with copper jackets, the molten lead alloy is absorbing a tiny bit of copper. I suspect the longer you have the alloy molten with the copper jackets floating on top and fluxing and stirring are happening (so as to get as much of the lead alloy out of the jackets), the more Cu will be absorbed...up to a certain point.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    I pretty much use range scrap lead exclusively..no problems with it what so ever.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Some of the members on the board add copper to their alloy by adding fine strands of speaker wire. If your range scrap is from an indoor range you can expect a bunch of pulverized bullet jackets in the mix. Range scrap from an outdoor range not so much. A higher casting temp will take care of the copper in your alloy and take care of the nozzle freezing up.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy armednfree's Avatar
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    The analysis is This alloy averages: ~94-96% Lead (remaining), 0.23% Tin (trace), 3-4% Antimony 0.17-0.386%, Copper (Trace). Now, I have hard ball alloy but now that I powder coat I see no need for that. What if I went 3 hardball to 1 of this this in a mix.

  9. #9
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by armednfree View Post
    The analysis is This alloy averages: ~94-96% Lead (remaining), 0.23% Tin (trace), 3-4% Antimony 0.17-0.386%, Copper (Trace). Now, I have hard ball alloy but now that I powder coat I see no need for that. What if I went 3 hardball to 1 of this this in a mix.
    It all depends on the application. Some folks use range scrap straight up.
    In fact, when I cast for 38 spl or 45 colt (book loads), I add soft lead...like 1/3.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy armednfree's Avatar
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    With such low tin how well will it fill out the mold?

  11. #11
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    If you don't get good fillout, run the mold hotter or add Tin.
    I don't have any issue with my range scrap, but to be honest, I don't know how much tin is in my range scrap?

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Me either. Never had it analyzed. Fillout is just fine. I have no issues at all with it.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    I've run straight range scrap, added solder, tin as needed but it never needed much for fill.

    Lately my prefered alloy is 50% range scrap with 50% COWW and 1% pewter for fill and shiny.
    Love the way they come out.

    But I do tend to keep to the slower side of things, below 1800 fps mostly.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    I don't use much range scrap anymore. But type metal has some copper in it and it causes no problems.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    You don't necessarily need to add tin for fillout. You can increase the alloy temp. Adding tin lets you cast at a lower temp.

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy armednfree's Avatar
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    I ordered it, 55 pounds said to be in 4 ingots. I ordered 4 R92 pewter 1 pound blocks. I figure one ingot and one pewter block.

    Theoretically that would give me 4.6% antimony and 6% tin. Wouldn't that be near Lyman #2?
    Last edited by armednfree; 10-07-2018 at 05:31 PM.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    I have been using range lead for a long time never had any problems. I have 2 buckets of .22 I cleaned out of a indoor range.

  18. #18
    Boolit Grand Master popper's Avatar
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    Armed - that is pretty tin rich, not needed. I use 3-4% Sb, 0% Sn, 0.5% and up Cu for pistol, rifle, most everything. To get much above 2k fps (30 cal) you will need to heat treat. I cast 2% Cu in a lee bottom pour, 740F, no problems. I started with #2 for 308W but found it's not needed; Larry G likes the #2 for his HV stuff, seems it's more about keeping the GC on. He shoots better than me.
    Whatever!

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy armednfree's Avatar
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    The ingots run about 13.75 pounds. By what you are saying it would be half what I intended, 1/2 pound per block. Correct?

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
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    Just an observation: Rotometals is selling range scrap, and while it's great that this is a cleaned and fluxed product with the content analyzed and provided, that specific analysis applies to what they have currently. Scrap is inherently variable in content, changing with whatever is shot into and then dug out of the berms or traps.

    Your content description is different from what I got from them, and that in turn was different from what they had described on their website before I bought from them. So whatever recipe you make up and works for you now might need modification for any future purchase, if it turns out that your latest purchase isn't from the same lot that they had before.
    Last edited by kevin c; 10-10-2018 at 03:43 AM.

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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