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Thread: Is There A Consensus On Wheelweights?

  1. #21
    Boolit Master
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    I don’t seek out lead sources anymore because truth to tell, I’ve got more lead than I’m ever likely to use at my age. If I were starting out today looking for a supply of lead alloy to work with, wheel weights would be low on my search list for the reasons mentioned above. I do have about 100-150 lb of ingots of old wheel weights gathered and rendered at least 25-30 years ago by my late father, so I trust them to be good old fashioned COWWs and am confident to use them accordingly.
    My advice if you want wheel weights, look for an old fart who has been casting for decades and has decided to get rid of his supply because he won’t use it now.

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  2. #22
    Boolit Master



    atr's Avatar
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    I have lots of wheel weights left over from the 60's when I first got into casting. I don't have any problem with them. If I want to soften the mix I add some pure lead. sometimes I add some pewter.
    atr
    Death to every foe and traitor and hurrah, my boys, for freedom !

  3. #23
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by atr View Post
    I have lots of wheel weights left over from the 60's when I first got into casting. I don't have any problem with them. If I want to soften the mix I add some pure lead. sometimes I add some pewter.
    atr
    On this line of thought IF you have what you know is old type COWWs, the mix still varies somewhat from year to year and batch to batch, but if I want to cast a bunch of revolver or pistol bullets for range and practice, I throw in a couple % tin and call it good. This has never failed to work well for that purpose. OTOH, when I want the best bullets possible for schuetzen, I avoid all WWs completely and mix my own alloy of pure lead and pure tin at 25:1 by weight. Of course for muzzle loaders and C&B revolvers it’s pure lead, period!

    Bottom line, if you’re serious about it, and if you want to do more than one kind of shooting, you need a lead pantry with a variety of ingredients for the “dish” you are preparing... I even have some Monotype and Linotype on the shelf just in case I want some HARD bullets.

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  4. #24
    Boolit Buddy
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    Most of my lead comes from berm scrap now. But I have a shop near me that deals mostly with heavy equipment and trucks. Trucks tend to need larger weights than cars. Because of that, a good percentage of the weights he has in the bucket are lead alloy. If they need a 4oz weight, there's a good chance it'll be lead. I stop by from time to time and he's never charged me a dime for used weights. I sort them and test the stick-on types for hardness and most appear to be pure lead. While the alloy runs through my pistols just fine, the pure lead gets saved for the muzzleloader.

    Check with some truck stops and see what they have. Local tire shops are probably a waste of time as they're all zinc and steel nowadays.

  5. #25
    Boolit Buddy
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    If you want to sort the zinc out of COWW, simple method,
    though time consuming
    Use a razor type Utility knife.
    take a WW,and try to shave a slice out of it. Kind of like a small scale whittling.
    The lead weights will cut smoothly,
    The Zinc ones, the knife will chatter, cut poorly.
    most Zinc ones will be marked, but I do not trust that there are some that are not marked. so I use the knife on all the WW that are not
    Of course, the Fe will not cut at all
    beltfed/arnie

  6. #26
    Boolit Buddy Cast10's Avatar
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    I have come to depend upon WW’s. Local tire shop lets me get them for a modest price per 5gal bucket; Beer money for workers.

    See lots of SOWW’s and my main mix is SOWW+Hardball. I came up with a mix for 11.3 BHN and fire it out of my 9’s and 10mm’s. No leading and they even expand a bit.

    Sorting takes a bit, but for my needs, it’s time well spent. My last batch of scrap included lots of COWW’s, so that’s a plus. If you can find a BIG TRUCK shop, they’ll have some BIG WW’s!

  7. #27
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    I've used a bunch of COWW over the years but the supply is drying up. I mostly use berm scrap but I've fallen back on this wheelweight a few times.....it is close to WW.
    They came from Granddads big old garden tiller. It was a monster.
    My brothers and I used up the other weight when we were shooting bowling pins in the 80s.
    This one just lays there, I'm not moving it unless I need a piece of it!

    Sent from my SM-A716U using Tapatalk

  8. #28
    Boolit Master
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    Tell me I'm right or wrong here, but I fire up the pot and throw all the WW's in. those that float get tossed and the remaing liquid metal gets cast.

  9. #29
    Boolit Master

    alamogunr's Avatar
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    As long as the temp of the melt is below 788F(melt point of zinc) you should be good to go. In my experience, it is not easy to get that hot anyway. I cast at 725 because I like a little frost.

    It would really be better if you did not do that in your casting pot. Too much trash in WW.

    With your post count, why are you asking this question?
    John
    W.TN

  10. #30
    Boolit Master BigEyeBob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 725 View Post
    Tell me I'm right or wrong here, but I fire up the pot and throw all the WW's in. those that float get tossed and the remaing liquid metal gets cast.
    Yep that's what I do ,smelter pot made out of a 9kg gas bottle ,bottom pour, Throw it all in, fire her her up and rake all the floaties off the top ,flux a few times stir and pour.

  11. #31
    Boolit Master
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    As regards hardness, they have changed over the years due to antimony content . Up until the 80s WW was harder than range scrap (.22s and .38 WC soft lead) then antimony got more expensive and range scrap started being harder bullets from 9mms etc. Our indoor range never permitted jacketed bullets lest the steel plates get damaged.
    "You will wantonly strike a hornet's nest which extends from mountains to ocean, and legions, now quiet, will swarm out and sting us to death. It is unnecessary; it puts us in the wrong; it is fatal." Robert Toombs, Democrat of Georgia, warning of the results of the imminent attack of the Confederacy upon Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, 1861

  12. #32
    Boolit Master HARRYMPOPE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 725 View Post
    Tell me I'm right or wrong here, but I fire up the pot and throw all the WW's in. those that float get tossed and the remaing liquid metal gets cast.
    yup same here.simple and it works .if it casts a decent bullet I'll melt it.i use lots of backstop bullets from outdoor ranges.
    just not in my bottom pour pots.it seems to gunk up the spout.
    Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries

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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