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Thread: What happens when no lead????

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    What happens when no lead????

    Lead is getting harder to find here these days.
    Wheel weights no longer lead.
    Dentist do use xray anymore.
    Plumbers don't use lead anymore.
    Roofers don't use lead anymore.
    When you buy a battery, you have to turn in a battery.
    State says lead is a hazardous material, so have to have a record of disposal.
    People hording lead to make fishing weights.
    We can still sell lead, don't know why, but the lead I've seen is all contaminated.
    Purple, silver, yellow.
    So what do we do when we cannot find lead??????

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy Cast_outlaw's Avatar
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    We roofers still use lead I got about ten pounds at works today maybe more

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    should always be able to buy from actual metal places like rotometals.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy Scrounge's Avatar
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    It's bloody awful expensive, but you can still buy lead at Ace hardware. It's still used in plumbing repairs. Thought the time for that is probably limited. Oklahoma law requires bullets to be at least 60% lead, last I looked. California is probably different, but I left there decades ago.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    There's been discussions up & down here about switching over to Zinc.
    Which some folks already have done, especially for rifles.

    It's a little more involved than using lead, but it seems like it will be a viable alternative.

    With your situation being what it is over there-
    You might want to start gathering Zinc wheel weights sooner rather than later.
    Last edited by Winger Ed.; 04-21-2020 at 09:38 PM.
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  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master fredj338's Avatar
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    I'm 64, wont happen in my lifetime. Maybe bizmuth?
    EVERY GOOD SHOOTER NEEDS TO BE A HANDLOADER.
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  7. #7
    Boolit Mold Pontiacthrasher's Avatar
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    Sailboat Keels...

    Lotsa junk sailboats out there, many have 2600 lbs or so of lead in the keels, and they can't hardly give the boats away.

    You get a nice Flag pole in the deal too.
    Provide for more power than you need, and then use it wisely, because it usually takes a lot more throttle to get you out of trouble, than it took to get you into trouble in the first place...

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Buying lead at ace , wow I am lucky I have not had to go to that extreme ,still have older wheel weights stashed away , still able to mine berms . hopefully you will always have a source , buying from a store that has roofing jacks or a toilet seal in lead is a expensive way to go , the wheel weight ban in cali and then in wa following there lead has made them harder to find and I gave up

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
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    One other possibility, is to buy from the guys selling in Swappin and Sellin.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master daloper's Avatar
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    I retired out of a plating shop. They use lead anodes in their chrome plating tanks. The anodes are mostly lead with some antamonity in them. After smelting to get the chrome oxcide off them show a bhn of 10. I use it as is with a little tin to help the fill out. I guess if I run low I can go get a couple more. I just have to make sure I smelt them outdoors with a good breeze and down wind. If needed a good respirator works.

  11. #11
    Boolit Mold
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    What happens when no lead????

    As I understand it, the main reason why lead is used, relates to its ability to conform with barrel rifling without damaging the rifling ( malleability). Other dense metals are either too expensive or not sufficiently malleable.
    Maybe one option Is the development of sabot-like designs where an outer casing is made from plastic -type material but which separates from a inner dense metal bullet (such as steel) upon being ejected from the barrel.
    The rifling would induce spin to the sabot and itís enclosed steel bulett without damaging the barrel rifling!

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by abunaitoo View Post
    Lead is getting harder to find here these days.
    Wheel weights no longer lead.
    Dentist do use xray anymore.
    Plumbers don't use lead anymore.
    Roofers don't use lead anymore.
    When you buy a battery, you have to turn in a battery.
    State says lead is a hazardous material, so have to have a record of disposal.
    People hording lead to make fishing weights.
    We can still sell lead, don't know why, but the lead I've seen is all contaminated.
    Purple, silver, yellow.
    So what do we do when we cannot find lead??????
    Plenty of lead out there for those of us not living in paradise.

  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by abunaitoo View Post
    Lead is getting harder to find here these days.
    Wheel weights no longer lead.
    Dentist do use xray anymore.
    Plumbers don't use lead anymore.
    Roofers don't use lead anymore.
    When you buy a battery, you have to turn in a battery.
    State says lead is a hazardous material, so have to have a record of disposal.
    People hording lead to make fishing weights.
    We can still sell lead, don't know why, but the lead I've seen is all contaminated.
    Purple, silver, yellow.
    So what do we do when we cannot find lead??????
    Your situation does not sound good. You may need to start buying lead to get stocked up. There are different types of alloy for sale here in the swapping and selling section every week. Rotometals has sales or discounted shipping occasionally.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master Shawlerbrook's Avatar
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    My concern is that when the wacko left gets control lead bullets will be banned everywhere.

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy Ateam's Avatar
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    Might have to think outside the box and put in some work, that or buy it. TANSTAFL. I am a diver and I metal detect, I can guarantee you all those fishing areas that are popular have literally tons of lead weights just sitting on the bottom to be picked up.

  16. #16
    Boolit Bub

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    I made a genuine effort a few years back when we could not even find 22 ammo to try to stockpile lead. I decided to placed an add in a local publication for a month stating that i was looking to buy lead and I added that large quantities were also wanted and I would pick it up. I placed the add thinking maybe I might get one or two calls in the 30 day period that the add was to run. Wow, was I wrong. I received no less than one call per day and sometimes two or three calls a day for 30 days. Some of them being scrapyards. Best 3 dollars I ever spent for that add.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by schpier View Post
    As I understand it, the main reason why lead is used, relates to its ability to conform with barrel rifling without damaging the rifling ( malleability). Other dense metals are either too expensive or not sufficiently malleable.
    Maybe one option Is the development of sabot-like designs where an outer casing is made from plastic -type material but which separates from a inner dense metal bullet (such as steel) upon being ejected from the barrel.
    The rifling would induce spin to the sabot and it’s enclosed steel bulett without damaging the barrel rifling!
    problem there is the overall density becomes low. the sabot barely weighs anything then the smaller inner projectile is either also lighter than lead, more exensive or has no potential for expansion.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
    Mytmousemalibu's Avatar
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    Still a necessity. They still use it in medical facilities to shield around x-ray sources and shielding for plenty of other reasons. Not to say it couldn't get difficult for a caster.
    ~ Chris


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  19. #19
    Boolit Mold
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    The original question addresses the hypothetical what if there is no lead.? The answers should stick to that hypothesis. That means there is no recourse to scavenging other sources.
    Because there is no lead, that implies that alloys containing lead cannot be possible answers.

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
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    Since the EPA shut down the last smelting company in the U.S., the major ammo makers are getting their lead from old car batteries. Sounds like a difficult process for the individual caster, though.

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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