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Thread: Separate Range scrap?

  1. #21
    Boolit Master
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    I just shoot paper now, so IF I get to do some berm mining, I try to make it in the middle of the week when no one will probably be coming. When I was young my buddy and I would get a lot in short order, melt it at a low temp and use a sieve looking spoon like thing to get the dross out. As long as I lubed the boolits properly I never had any trouble with leading....
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  2. #22
    Boolit Master 243winxb's Avatar
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    Sierras lead cores, in jacketed bullets, use 4 different alloys. Not all are pure lead. Info off Sierras website.

    Lead wire for forming cores has up to 2% antimony.

    Put it all in the pot. Add linotype later if larger , harder bullets are needed.

  3. #23
    Boolit Master
    Dragonheart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by higgins View Post
    Since I'm retired and have too much time on my hands I sort range scrap into cast, jacketed, and other (including unidentifiable). I cast some .45 Colt bullets from jacketed bullet core metal and I believe they were too soft because they leaded with loads that didn't lead with COWW metal bullets. I then tried 50/50 jacketed bullet core metal/cast bullet metal and they were fine.

    I've always cast rifle bullets from either COWW or cast bullet metal with good results.

    I don't have a hardness tester, but years ago someone else tested some plated bullets for me, and they ranged from bnh 7-14. I haven't tried casting bullets from plated bullet metal, and may not as long as I've got plenty of "known" metal.

    I suppose if you needed a larger volume of bullets you could just smelt it all together and come out OK as long as they bullets are not overwhelmingly jacketed bullets. Someone will probably be along later to tell me that they use jacketed bullet core metal and it works just fine for them; I don't doubt them, but the metal I had didn't work for me unless it was hardened a bit.
    Of course you could just powder coat your bullets and not worry about the hardness of the alloy and leading. When I make HP bullets I look for soft lead.

  4. #24
    I separate it. I only have two types of lead: 1)Hard (cast bullets and COWW) and 2) soft (jacketed bullets, dental lead, plumbing and roofing lead). I never add tin or sb. I just mix from the two types to achieve my desired hardness.

  5. #25
    Boolit Master dbosman's Avatar
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    I don't worry about jackets. Lead expands and manages to find some crack or makes one in the jacket or plating.

  6. #26
    Boolit Mold
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    Just found an indoor range that is advertising on Craigslist.
    You can take whatever lead you can haul.
    I'm thinking there is gonna be a lot of jackets in there.
    I will just melt them in the pot and scoop them out with the dross.
    Free is free.

  7. #27
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by tecdac View Post
    Just found an indoor range that is advertising on Craigslist.
    You can take whatever lead you can haul.
    I'm thinking there is gonna be a lot of jackets in there.
    I will just melt them in the pot and scoop them out with the dross.
    Free is free.
    Just some advice from a retired Lead Risk Assessor. You can end up with lead poisoning unless you have and use the proper protection for such a a task. Lead dust is easily carried into clean environments contaminating them with lead.

  8. #28
    Boolit Mold
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonheart View Post
    Just some advice from a retired Lead Risk Assessor. You can end up with lead poisoning unless you have and use the proper protection for such a a task. Lead dust is easily carried into clean environments contaminating them with lead.
    We should talk.
    My BLL is 24.
    Been trying to get it back down.
    Ventilation in the shop is good.
    I meticulously wash my hands with D-lead soap after a day in the shop.
    Change clothes before I go home.
    Dirty clothes go in a plastic bag.
    They get washed on the Sanitize setting.

    I have been cutting lead with a torch and now I have added a big fan in back of me that blows the vapors away.

  9. #29
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by tecdac View Post
    We should talk.
    My BLL is 24.
    Been trying to get it back down.
    Ventilation in the shop is good.
    I meticulously wash my hands with D-lead soap after a day in the shop.
    Change clothes before I go home.
    Dirty clothes go in a plastic bag.
    They get washed on the Sanitize setting.

    I have been cutting lead with a torch and now I have added a big fan in back of me that blows the vapors away.
    From what you tell me I would suggest the torch is the most likely problem. Some mistakenly think lead has to boil to become airborne, but lead molecules get attached to contaminates that are cooking off; this is true with a torch and even the lead casting pots. The fumes/lead dust can go everywhere, even blown by the fan. Friction, anything rubbing against the lead or paint that contains lead, can create lead dust so fine it is not detectable by eye.

    Handling lead can be a problem, but the most common cause of lead poisoning is ingesting or inhaling it, but don't forget the eyes. The handling makes it easier for an individual to ingest. Water coolers & open paper cups or bottles is a way to pick up and ingest lead dust.

    It doesn't take a lot lead dust to poison, especially children, who are much much more susceptible and unfortunately damage to their system is often permanent because their bodies and brains are still developing. For example, most are familiar with the pink packets of artificial sweetener (Sweet & Low). If that very small quantity of sweetener was lead dust and it was spread inside an average home that could be enough lead to poison a small child. Lead dust is easily transferred from a contaminated area by foot traffic, off clothing, from hair, hands, tools, etc. etc. Lead dust can easily be transferred to family members.

    Even though you are not at an action level you might want to consider complete avoidance until your blood levels return to normal. If that is not possible limit your exposure, as mentioned the lead dust is likely on every surface in the cutting area.

    When I personally work with lead I wear clothing to cover as much skin as possible (I wear a long-sleeved jump suit) boors, cap and a (North brand) full face respirator with HEPA/Vapor cartridges. I shower as soon as possible and my clothing is bagged and not brought home or cleaned in the family washer.

    So many of the lead poisoning symptoms get ignored as they are attributed to something else like; high blood pressure, gastric problems, nerve problems, memory problems, eye problems, etc. etc.

  10. #30
    Boolit Mold
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    Thank you for your response.
    I have just recently started using a high power fan while cutting with a torch.
    I do the cutting outside.

  11. #31
    Boolit Master


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    I collect from an indoor range at 25 and 50 yards. You are not allowed to shoot jacked bullets except at 50 yds where there are a couple of heavy duty bullet traps.

    Most of the 25 yard shooters are hand gunners shooting hard alloys. At 50 yds itís 22lf and a lot muzzle loaders shooting round balls, with a few others shooting jacketed. The lead I collect at 25 yds averages 14 BHN and the lead from 50 yds is off the scale of my Lee hardness tester on the soft side.

    I used to mix both, but now I separate the two. I have a good thing. Iím the only one collecting it. Itís a cement floor and I just have to sweep and shovel it into buckets. Itís full of paper bits and small wood chips. No problem. I melt it all together and I donít have to add sawdust to flux, when pouring ingots. I do a much more thorough fluxing before casting boolits. Each six months I get over 500lbs of ingots. Iím building a nice stock pile.

    If anyone has a copy of a table for the Lee hardness tester that shows data for softer lead than what comes in the Lee kit, I would appreciate it if you would post it.

  12. #32
    Boolit Grand Master fredj338's Avatar
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    I don't separate. Just throw it all in the pot & melt it. Then it gets poured into ingots. The avg bhn is 9-10, perfect for most of my handgun needs & can be adjusted by adding ingots of clip ww or lino.
    EVERY GOOD SHOOTER NEEDS TO BE A HANDLOADER.
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  13. #33
    Boolit Master
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    I made up a 2'x2' square then nailed on one side some 1/4" hardware cloth. Think screening with 1/4" squares. Rake,shovel and a bunch of 5 gallon buckets. having a pool made that part easy. Once a month they shut down the pistol range and I'd drive over and begin my mining operations. If you had a good rain you'd find hundreds of spent bullets on the ground. rake them up, shovel into my screen shake them and into one of the buckets. Otherwise rake the berm and they'd come out of the berm. My buddy who shot there would easily go through a 1000 a week. Used to joke with him I'm shooting his bullets.Frank

  14. #34
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonheart View Post
    From what you tell me I would suggest the torch is the most likely problem. Some mistakenly think lead has to boil to become airborne, but lead molecules get attached to contaminates that are cooking off; this is true with a torch and even the lead casting pots. The fumes/lead dust can go everywhere, even blown by the fan. Friction, anything rubbing against the lead or paint that contains lead, can create lead dust so fine it is not detectable by eye.

    Handling lead can be a problem, but the most common cause of lead poisoning is ingesting or inhaling it, but don't forget the eyes. The handling makes it easier for an individual to ingest. Water coolers & open paper cups or bottles is a way to pick up and ingest lead dust.

    It doesn't take a lot lead dust to poison, especially children, who are much much more susceptible and unfortunately damage to their system is often permanent because their bodies and brains are still developing. For example, most are familiar with the pink packets of artificial sweetener (Sweet & Low). If that very small quantity of sweetener was lead dust and it was spread inside an average home that could be enough lead to poison a small child. Lead dust is easily transferred from a contaminated area by foot traffic, off clothing, from hair, hands, tools, etc. etc. Lead dust can easily be transferred to family members.

    Even though you are not at an action level you might want to consider complete avoidance until your blood levels return to normal. If that is not possible limit your exposure, as mentioned the lead dust is likely on every surface in the cutting area.

    When I personally work with lead I wear clothing to cover as much skin as possible (I wear a long-sleeved jump suit) boors, cap and a (North brand) full face respirator with HEPA/Vapor cartridges. I shower as soon as possible and my clothing is bagged and not brought home or cleaned in the family washer.

    So many of the lead poisoning symptoms get ignored as they are attributed to something else like; high blood pressure, gastric problems, nerve problems, memory problems, eye problems, etc. etc.
    You paint a scary picture sir, and I have no doubt you are right. I must be doing something right as my last test was clear. I once read that lead can be absorbed through the skin especially if one is sweating as the acid in sweat helps the process, I have been told this is rubbish but I take no chances. Regards Stephen

  15. #35
    Boolit Buddy RoGrrr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samari46 View Post
    I made up a 2'x2' square then nailed on one side some 1/4" hardware cloth. Think screening with 1/4" squares. Rake,shovel and a bunch of 5 gallon buckets. having a pool made that part easy. Once a month they shut down the pistol range and I'd drive over and begin my mining operations. If you had a good rain you'd find hundreds of spent bullets on the ground. rake them up, shovel into my screen shake them and into one of the buckets. Otherwise rake the berm and they'd come out of the berm. My buddy who shot there would easily go through a 1000 a week. Used to joke with him I'm shooting his bullets.Frank
    Your experience verifies exactly what I learned/do (post 13).
    Takes time ? YES.
    That's what hobbies are for...

    And IF the rain ever stops, perhaps ALL the boolits will be on top of the soil. JK
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  16. #36
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Cohen View Post
    You paint a scary picture sir, and I have no doubt you are right. I must be doing something right as my last test was clear. I once read that lead can be absorbed through the skin especially if one is sweating as the acid in sweat helps the process, I have been told this is rubbish but I take no chances. Regards Stephen
    I am not suggesting any or all give up their hobby or using lead. I just would like to think more have thought the process through and realize the dangers not only to themselves, but for other individuals they may come into contact with, especially children. Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it is not there and can do no harm.

    When you salvage lead all that stuff you are sifting & sweeping is highly contaminated and much worse than handling a block of pure lead, because it is in a powder form we call lead dust. This dust is easily picked up, inhaled, enters through your eyes and mouth and digested. Studies indicate lead can be adsorbed through the skin, but inhaling or ingesting are the most likely way to get lead poisoning and it doesn't take a lot. What is worse is how easily the dust is transporter to a clean environment like your home or after an outing savaging range scrap the kids run out and give daddy a hug while he is still covered with lead dust.

    I salvage lead, that is just about all I shoot. But I wear a long-sleeved jump suit, gloves, cap and a full face respirator with a minimum of HEPA cartridge filters. Actually I uses HEPA/Vapor filters. The scrap goes into buckets with tight sealing lids. The sealed buckets are tightly covered with plastic tarps and are transported where they cannot spill or transfer dust. I do not eat or drink when I am doing this. I shower and change clothes before entering my home, my clothing is bagged to be cleaned elsewhere. I wear the same and clean up the same when I smelt and I don't depend on the wind or a fan to blow the fumes from my direction. Just a few basic precautions can keep you safe even if you are handling a hazardous product.

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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