Chilled shot for lead ball casting


USBP 1969
July 31, 2006, 03:18 PM
Howdy folks. After years of shooting modern hanguns, rifles and shotguns I am thinking of trying black powder rifles.

Being on a strict budget, I am looking for a low price, readily available source for casting lead balls. The most readily available and cheapest source I have found to date is birshot used for reloading shotgun shells. The problem is that all the sources I can find show a 2% antimony alloy with the lead.

I have read all the threads here concerning antimony and it looks like it can be separated out by running the furnace at a high temperature. However, being new to this, I'd like to keep the process as simple as possible.

Question: Since the ball will be cast .490 for a .50 caliber and will be riding the bore encompassed in a patch, will the extra hardness of the antimony be a problem or will the patch cushion the ball?

Thanks in advance,

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July 31, 2006, 05:18 PM
Hi Kent!

No problem! Jus let er sit fer awhile, lighter stuff goes to ta top. Skim, flux an skim agin.

Be close enough ta pure no one'll ever notice!

confed sailor
July 31, 2006, 05:32 PM
you are kidding right? buying chilled shot is the best in your area? that hurts to think about, granted the local range lets me take any spent lead i want, u might wanna try that and see if that is a better route.

USBP 1969
July 31, 2006, 06:15 PM
Thanks Manyirons. There is hope. :)

corfed - I wish. In this area there are only indoor ranges and they reclaim the lead. Before I retired I watched them dig many thousands of pounds of .40 S&W and .223 out of our ranges, probably tons, but the government gets the revenue.

At $25.00 for 25 pounds of shot it should cost aboout 2.5 cents per .50 cal ball. (Not counting in the cost of the furnace and mould.) Now, if I could just find pure lead shot......


July 31, 2006, 06:40 PM

Ifin theres a trap er skeet range aroun see ifin they has reclaimed shot.

July 31, 2006, 08:16 PM
USBP 1969, Go to the local recycler and see if he has any lead pipe, or sheet lead used for roofing. Pure lead and should be pretty cheap!

Livin in Texas

July 31, 2006, 08:18 PM
Lead roof flashing is CHEAP at home depot, and nearly pure.

August 1, 2006, 05:52 AM
You could always turn religiose and become a 'night repairer of church roofs' :cool:

Check out any plumbers in the area and see if they have any stuff they would give you.

One other thing I have learnt - best done in the winter. I did my first casting recently and boy was it hot. Great shooting your own though.

August 1, 2006, 09:20 AM
It`s getting really hard for me to find good soft lead at a good price here so last month i decided to try casting some round balls out of shot gun pellets .. i was hopeing they would be soft enough .... not happy with the end results the balls are just a little too hard for my likeing , they put a little too much stress on the loading rammer lever , so i won`t use them .. wasn`t a waste though ..the lead did make good 45/70 bullets . With the price of soft plumbers lead going up every year ( ingots ) i`m still looking for another source .. i did try some duck decoy anchors once they work fine ..clean and soft enough . and at 80 cents for 8 oz size at sportsmans warehouse thats not a bad price per lb. it`s a buck 60 a lb vs a buck 80 a lb for the plumbers ingots. I`m working on getting some xray slab lead from a local dentist here , don`t know how thats gonna work out yet though . I`ll post when i get some in hand . ( not sure he can throw it away towards me yet )

USBP 1969
August 1, 2006, 09:35 AM
Thanks much for all the input.

There is one gun club in this area, but from reading their web site I can see that even becoming a member is not easy and the rules are quite restrictive. :(

The Home Depot lead has been mentioned in a number of threads. Time to check it out me thinks. I'll post the results.

Thanks again,

August 1, 2006, 09:46 AM
go to a tire repair shop for the used wheel weights.

August 1, 2006, 11:20 AM
Wheel weights are too hard for good round ball casting too .

August 1, 2006, 02:45 PM
I have a buddy who is a plumber. I get 5 lb. pure lead ingots from him, but you should be able to find it at any plumbers' supply house. That is where he gets it. They also carry 7 lb. ingots of pure lead, and any other kind of casting lead, at The price of the lead isn't too bad, but I'm sure the shipping could be steep, depending on how much you buy.

Pat McCoy
August 1, 2006, 03:13 PM
I get the lead foil bakings from dental xrays from my dentist. About once a year I get a box weighing about 40#.

August 1, 2006, 11:45 PM
Pat i got the word today from my denist he is going to give me his x ray plates .. ( free soft lead ) . how much lead do you get from one plate ? and is it hard to recover from the plate ?

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