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Thread: Where do you find lead?

  1. #41
    Boolit Master
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    Dang...

    HE calls YOU to sell you sorted bagged WW at bargain prices? Dude, go buy a lottery ticket.
    Last edited by kevin c; 01-15-2019 at 04:11 PM.

  2. #42
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghh3rd View Post
    By the way my first trip to Goodwill searching for pewter I found a couple of items that were stamped Sterling... no good for alloying.

    Sell the silver and use the money to buy more lead!

  3. #43
    Boolit Mold
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miller85 View Post
    Reading this thread makes me feel fortunate. My lead guy calls me once or twice a year. He sorts the weights for me and sells them to me for 35 cents a pound. He is a hell of a guy even bags them up in feed sacks 50lbs each.
    ****. Treat that guy good!

    Well, I suppose I can give y'all an update on my search so far:

    1) WRideout was kind enough to send me a flat rate box of WW ingots, and for that I will be forever grateful.

    2) I went ahead and bought a bucket each from the two garages here local that were willing to part with their lead ww's. By hand sorting about 10# worth, it looks to be about 80% lead (conservatively). I've only weighed one bucket and it came out to 133 lbs. That leaves me with just over 100 lbs of lead ww's, and of that I expect to get between 65-80 lbs of alloy (another 65-80%). So, buying the lead from this garage and smelting it myself will save me between $15 and $30... meh. I don't know if that's going to be worth it in the long run. I think I'll heed everyone's advice and buy off of here, unless a local shop decides to sell for $30 or so.

    3) I managed to make friends with a local roofer who promised to call me if he ever came across any lead jackstraps, etc., if he ever comes across them on a jobsite. He's redoing my neighborhood's old log cabin clubhouse, and is going to scrounge through what was pulled off to see if he has any from there.

    So yeah, I think I'll be able to start a decent collection with what I have so far.
    WTB:
    452423 mould/mold

  4. #44
    Boolit Grand Master

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    It sounds like you are off to a good start. Networking works. It just takes a while sometimes. Your roofer may or may not call. He may also tell you about another source. The way these things work, you just never know. Kinda like fishing! I'm still getting a pretty decent yield on weights myself. Its good to see that its holding up well. Its not that good in lots of other places.

    Hang onto your weights and roofing lead until you get a batch and I'll help you melt it. Me and another member just about have enough for a smelt and you're welcome to come down and hang out with us. Looking at the next month or so right now.

  5. #45
    Boolit Mold
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    Lightman, let me know and as long as I'm in town I'll make it a point to meet up!
    WTB:
    452423 mould/mold

  6. #46
    Boolit Master
    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    Not a huge source, but you might get a few pounds from the Home Depot or Lowe's dept. manager.
    They sell Lead roof flashings to go over the vents that stick up on a house roof.
    When they have a clean up, the ones that are too smashed up to sell get thrown away.
    I've gotten a few just for asking, and buy the guy a Coke.
    Everyone can learn from their mistakes.
    However; it's less painful, and cheaper to learn from the mistakes of others.

    Never ask an old person, "how are you doing"?
    They eagerly look forward to telling you,,,,,,,, and ya really don't want to know.

  7. #47
    Boolit Bub
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    A bucket of WW that’s 65-80% lead? You lucked out! Most buckets I sort might hit 50%.

  8. #48
    Boolit Mold
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    Yeah, I was surprised after everything I've read. But after sorting about 10# I only had, like... 14 steel weights and 5 or so zinc weights. That's when I called it good enough haha.
    WTB:
    452423 mould/mold

  9. #49
    Boolit Mold CScott's Avatar
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    I gave up on wheel weights. I sell wheel weights and can get all the used ones I want but what a pain it is to sort them!
    I've accumulated well over a ton of ingots by buying indoor range scrap for $50 per 5 gal bucket which weigh about 120 lbs each. The range has to pay someone to haul it away otherwise, hazmat and all. I pick it up myself so no freight charge. Indoor range scrap is dry and relatively clean, easy to melt. (Watch carefully for live rounds, rare but possibly present!) I use a propane burner to melt it in a cut off Freon tank. Skim off the jackets, flux it a couple of times with sawdust and wax and ladle it into one lb. molds. I get about 85 ingots per 5 gal bucket and it consistently tests out to be about 98.5% lead and 1.5% antimony, and maybe a trace of tin. I sell the jackets for $.65/ lb to the recycler.
    All in all, the net cost works out to about $.50 per one lb ingot of alloy usable as is for modest revolver and loads and easily hardened up for magnum or rifle boolets. I scrounge Linotype, pewter, and solder wherever I can find it . . . garage sales, Thrift stores, flea market, used tool bin at pawn shops, etc. I haven't needed to buy from Rotometals yet but I'm glad they are there.
    Buy what you need to get started and have fun scrounging!
    Scott

  10. #50
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
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    One place I didn't see mentioned was talking to phone company linepersons.

    I've gotten a couple of hundred pounds of premium lead from friends who work for the phone company.

    A lot of underground lines are sheathed in lead and when they get damaged there is old sheathing to be cut off before repairing the line. Just picked up 40-50 lbs. last week from a friend.

    50/50 mix phone lead range lead plus a little pewter makes a nice plinking alloy.

  11. #51
    Boolit Master RogerDat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jehicks87 View Post
    Wow guys, thanks for all of the tips and advise! I will heed your suggestions and purchase a known alloy for now.

    Additional information to select the correct type of alloy to purchase I'll be casting:
    .45 colt (I've got my eye on a 454276 mold from MOE) for hunting from a Ruger Redhawk
    .45 ACP (I already have 230 gr 45 mold for this)
    9mm Makarov (either Ruger or Lyman)
    .30-06 (I quite like a lyman PB 150gr mold I found at midwayusa)

    What alloys should I be looking to buy for these?



    Wow, thanks Wayne! You have a PM.
    Since no one else seems to have answered...
    Both the 45's can most times tolerate fairly soft lead since they are at lower velocities. 50/50 WW's and Plain + enough tin to get 1 or 2 percent tin.
    Some load revolvers with lead/tin alloy having 5% tin or so. 20:1 alloy or similar. The original 45 bullets would have been along those lines. The 45 colt was a black powder cartridge before it was smokeless. For hunting the softer Pb/Sn bullet might offer better expansion.

    9mm I can't say for sure since I don't cast for them but I would guess WW's with the same 1 - 2 percent tin should work well. Might even be able to cut the WW's with 25% soft lead. I think for 9mm you need a bit harder than I do for .38 special so something in this range should work.

    30-06 can be made from WW's + between 1 and 2 percent tin. If you are going to push those bullets you might want to use 2 parts WW's to 1 part Linotype. Also look into gas checks and PC (powder coating) to extend the velocities you can shoot them at. However I know a few old hunters that have been casting and using WW's plus a bit of tin for decades as a hunting round. Can't say they are wrong if it works eh?
    Je suis Charlie
    Scrap.... because all the really pithy and emphatic four letter words were taken and we had to describe this way of getting casting material somehow.
    Feedback page http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...light=RogerDat I do trade a bit from time to time.

  12. #52
    Boolit Grand Master fredj338's Avatar
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    Lead is kinda where you find it but tire shops are getting pretty thin since the biggest market, Kalif, banned lead about 6-7y ago. So for many it is range scrap & that can be anyplace that allows shooting. If a private club, most do not care about berm mining as long as you put the dirt back where it was. If close to the coast, check local fishing operations, the will often sell their old wts. Stain glass window shops & classes for scrap. Roofing & plumbing contractors for old roof sheet lead & old plumbing. Estate & garage sales are good place to visit too. A buddy called me the other day with 1500# of ingots he picked up cheap & I bought 500#. Mostly though I berm mine at two private clubs I belong to.
    All my pistol stuff runs pretty much range scrap up to 1200fps or so. I do coat now instead of lube, but it worked for lubed too. I do not do much rifle but water dropping range scrap gives a useful bump for magnums or low end rifle vel.
    EVERY GOOD SHOOTER NEEDS TO BE A HANDLOADER.
    NRA Cert. Inst. Met. Reloading & Basic Pistol

  13. #53
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ID:	235208I believe someone suggested truck repair shops. X2 on that. Compared to passenger cars, everything about truck repair is bigger, older, dirtier, heavier and sits around longer until tossed out. Just today I nabbed 143 lb. of vintage Whittier California manufactured Snugl weights, still in their paper boxes, that they said had been in their way for many years. Drove 100 miles for it, but at $.05/lb, well worth the trip.
    Last edited by DK'dUranium; 02-03-2019 at 05:19 PM.

  14. #54
    Boolit Buddy curioushooter's Avatar
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    Scrapyards.

  15. #55
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by jehicks87 View Post
    Hello all, I'm new-ish here (I joined years ago but got stationed in Germany for a while, then life, and blah blah blah) but have been interested in reloading and casting for a very long time.

    Now that I'm out of the Army and own a home, I think I'm ready to start. The problem is, I can't find any lead!

    I've called all of the local tire shops and only two would even sell their used WW, one wanted $40 for a 5-gallon bucket, while the other wanted $50. Man, when I was a 20-something looking to get into this hobby, you could still find places that would give them to you for free. That's clearly not the case anymore.

    I've read of "range lead" but haven't seen any explanation as to how you get permission to dig up a shooting range's berm, and I don't think it makes a ton of sense in my case anyway as the nearest outdoor range is more than 40 minutes away.

    This is a serious bummer, and I was hoping some of y'all could give me some tips on how to get started.

    Thanks in advance,

    Jake
    Wheel weight lead is by far the cheapest and most convenient. Even with zinc, steel, and aluminum mixed in - it's not too bad so long as you smelt on the cold side and skim EVERYTHING that doesnt melt readily. The down side is there's always a lot of trash in it like tire stems, cigarette butts, and chew/snuff...

    Next is miscellaneous scrap lead - pipe, plumbers lead, X-ray shield, sailboat keel, etc. The hard part here is that it's always different. Generally though it's mostly lead.

    Last is range lead. It's my least favorite source. It's a TON of work. It's nasty, it contains a GIANT amount of trash and stuff that burns like wood chips and plastic on top of the trash like sand, dirt, roots, can bits, steel, plastic... Then it's a huge amount of work to separate out the jackets from the lead. It sucks down fuel like crazy... The last couple batches of range lead yielded me 40% lead by weight from start. That means you gotta figure out what to do with the giant bucket of trash that skims out from rocks, jackets, steel core bullets, and all the rest.

    If range lead is your only choice - then do it. Come up with an efficient way to sift the bulk of the junk at the range so most of the rocks, sand, plastic, wood, and steel stays there. Just do the numbers and make sure you aren't spending more to scavange it than you would on just buying lead. For example - you are doing absolutely fantastic to get 75% of pre-sorted range lead into ingots...

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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