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Thread: Why is Lead so CHEAP?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Why is Lead so CHEAP?

    i think l understand basic economics of supply and demand. When demand is greater than supply the price will naturally be HIGHER. Thats what puzzles me about the price of Lead... Demand and price for ammo is through the ROOF.. Yet the price of lead is ridiculously LOW... l have never seen it this low @ app 80cents a pound, give or take a few pennies. Since 2010 it was always around a dollar. Now its 20% less. The last USA lead mine closed about 10 yrs ago.. The demand for ammo seems to be highest in my lifetime NOW. Anyone have an opinion or answer for the low prices of lead??

    Thanks-282

  2. #2
    Boolit Master


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    Huh ?!?
    I HATE auto-correct


    Happiness is a Warm GUN & more ammo to shoot in it.

    My Experience and My Opinion, are just that, Mine.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator & Official Cast Boolits Sketch Artist


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    Less is being used in other areas such as WWs batteries fishing weights I think have gone to zinc is my thinking.
    Reloading to save money I am sure the saving is going to start soon

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    You think its cheap now?
    It wasn't too long ago the scrap yards paid 10 cents a pound, and sold it for 25.
    Its a commodity, the price floats up & down constantly, just like oil, gold, etc.


    For Lead being such an influence on ammo prices-
    If a 230gr ball loaded is really only about 200 gr. of pure Lead, and lead is $1. a pound--
    you'll get about 28 or so that can be made with a pound of Lead.

    That's barely over 4 cents per bullet for a big fat .45.
    9mm is around half of that for a 120 gr hardball.

    Cheap, junkie .45ACP loaded ammo is right at $1. each.
    The really good stuff is almost $3.

    Lead being $1 a pound isn't that big of a deal in the scheme of things.
    Production rates are the big issue, not the scrap price of what ammo is made from.
    Last edited by Winger Ed.; 10-24-2020 at 11:32 PM.
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    Price of ammo is high due to taxes and additional fees (blame goverment). Not from the price of base components.

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  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    A few years back China was buying lots of lead, now not so much

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by sw282 View Post
    Demand and price for ammo is through the ROOF.. Yet the price of lead is ridiculously LOW...
    From the US Geological Society's summary page on lead:
    By the early 2000s, the total demand for lead in all types of lead-acid storage batteries represented 88% of apparent U.S. lead consumption. Other significant uses included ammunition (3%), oxides in glass and ceramics (3%), casting metals (2%), and sheet lead (1%).
    The demand for ammunition is irrelevant. If people aren't driving cars or running electric forklifts, consumption of lead goes way, way down.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
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  8. #8
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    Lead is a significant byproduct of many mining operations.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


  9. #9
    AKA: GRMPS Conditor22's Avatar
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    Lead's bought for .10 and sold for $1.50 at my local scrap yard.

    occasionally they will have linotype pigs and rolls of solder for the same price that finds it's way home with me.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master gpidaho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waksupi View Post
    Lead is a significant byproduct of many mining operations.
    As in Laser Cast Bullets a subsidiary co. of a silver mining corp. Gp

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpidaho View Post
    As in Laser Cast Bullets a subsidiary co. of a silver mining corp. Gp
    According to this Wikipedia article, the silver in lead ore can be worth more than the lead itself.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gale...d_ore_deposits

  12. #12
    Boolit Master



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    I collect all I need for free from my club’s range. For everyone who buys it, I hope the price stays low. Most of all, I hope the government, doesn’t decide to put an environmental tax on all sales of it. The way things are going, that could happen.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by waksupi View Post
    Lead is a significant byproduct of many mining operations.
    Lead and silver are often found in the same deposits. The more silver being mined, the more lead will be found.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Doe Run mining company is still lining lead ore in the Missouri mine. They had to shut down the primary smelter in Herculaneum. They ship out lead concentrate only to out of country smelters.
    QUIS CUSTODIET IPSOS CUSTODES?

  15. #15
    Boolit Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by jdfoxinc View Post
    Doe Run mining company is still lining lead ore in the Missouri mine. They had to shut down the primary smelter in Herculaneum. They ship out lead concentrate only to out of country smelters.
    I hate when our natural ressources leave the country, for someone else to profit from.

  16. #16
    Boolit Mold
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    We can probably thank the last president we had for lead being phased out of a lot of things, like wheel weights.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by kreuzlover View Post
    We can probably thank the last president we had for lead being phased out of a lot of things, like wheel weights.
    Someone probably got a kickback from the zinc producers.

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy

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    Like Winger Ed said, it flows up and down like every other metal. My yard is selling for $.60 a lb. Was $.50 a year or so ago. Like anothers mentioned also, lead is a common by product of other mining operations. And to my understanding it isn't very difficult to extract like many others.

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy Doughty's Avatar
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    I believe also that the ability to recycle lead is improving. Relatively little lead is actually lost, just changes it's form.
    AKA "Old Vic"
    "I am a great believer in powder-burning".
    --Theodore Roosevelt, Hunting Trips of a Ranchman

  20. #20
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Conditor22 View Post
    Lead's bought for .10 and sold for $1.50 at my local scrap yard.

    occasionally they will have linotype pigs and rolls of solder for the same price that finds it's way home with me.
    You sir are a lucky man. Why kind of life as thou lived to gain such holy karma?? Teach us master! Side note i am in the market for some tin rich copper doped babbit.

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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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