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Thread: Battery terminal lead make-up

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    May 2009
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    Battery terminal lead make-up

    May have an opportunity to buy 3120 lbs of battery terminal connector scrap lead for $150. Weight includes the pallets and 55 gal drums it comes in. Figure it should be roughly 3K lbs of actual lead.

    I am assuming that the terminals are basic near pure soft lead, softer than WWs. And figure I would loose about 5% weight for the bolt/nut.

    Has anyone ever used the battery terminal connectors for bullets? Any idea what their alloy mix is? Thanx

  2. #2
    Anti-Socialist Texan


    geargnasher's Avatar
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    I've used the CABLE END of the terminals for years, the stuff inside, as many here will tell you, is super-dangerous as the lead is alloyed with calcium and other things and that makes a seriously deadly gas when smelted. I don't know if this includes the posts and and internal bus-bars, but I would assume so.

    Most terminals have steel cores and the bolts/copper strands etc make up more like 20-50% of the weight. On the plus side, however, the alloy contains a lot of something to make it pretty darn good boolit metal imo. Just needs a little tin and is often harder than wheelweights, some smelted ingots I have from pure battery terminals tested at 16 bhn after a couple of months.

    Others here will know more, especially about content, but I ususally don't care much beyond safety, castability and and hardness for my plinking rounds.

    My good stuff gets cast from known good alloy.

    Gear
    You can't fix Stupid, but you can occasionally head it off before it hurts something. --Stephen Adams

    To universalize one's experience and state it as the norm is always thin ice on which to stand.--CharGar

    Being able to separate the wheat from the chaff has always been a valuable skill in all of life's activities. --Bwana


  3. #3
    Vendor Sponsor evan price's Avatar
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    I get a bucket or two of them from my junkyard buddy every few months. Pure lead, nothing special.
    Due to market fluctuations I am no longer buying range scrap jackets.

    Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc

  4. #4
    Boolit Mold
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    Early in my bullet casting work (circa 1982) I had access to several tons of large lead acid battery connectors (mining equipment batteries) please note these were not current period Automotive batteries. My research (at that time) with the battery suppliers revealed their expectation that this metal was approximately 95% Pb (lead), 5% Sb (Antimony) with traces of Sn (tin), As (Arsenic), Cu (Copper). This metal behaved similar to wheel weights and I made good cast bullets with it.

    Today, I ocassionally run across the battery connector bars and post from heavy industrial batteries. I melt them in bulk for a homgeneous mixture, add up to 2.5% Sn. This metal has worked well for me in most cast handgun bullet applications.

    I do not know what current battery post / connector alloy content may be. It was also my understanding at that time that the plates internal to the battery were possibly alloyed with cadmium & Strontium which are nasties which one does not want to deal with when melting metals, casting etc. I understand that modern automotive batter plates contain cadmium & Strontium.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    GLL's Avatar
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    Buy it all ! It is essentially free alloy.

    Mix it into large homogeneous lots and spend a few dollars to determine the % composition.

    Sell a few pounds to pay for the analysis costs !

    Jerry
    S&W .38/44 Outdoorsman Accumulator

  6. #6
    Cast Hunter




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    I currently have about 80 lbs of battery terminal connectors sitting in my garage. I've seen the pure lead ones in the past, but these are definitely NOT pure lead. Hardness is much closer to wheel weights.
    Pope & Young Club member

    NRA write your reps link: http://www.nraila.org/get-involved-l...your-reps.aspx

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    If they are close to WW alloy - so much the better!

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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