Casting question?


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Dustinthewind
May 1, 2008, 12:23 PM
I picked up a handful of bullets at the range and got to wondering about recasting them. A lot of the bullets have sand, dirt embedded in them. Will this separate from the lead when melting? Also, will the copper jackets come to the top when the lead is melted? Is it even worth messing with?

Thanks

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cracked butt
May 1, 2008, 12:34 PM
All the junk will float to the top.

scrat
May 1, 2008, 01:13 PM
try to wash out what you can first though. But what cracked butt said. it will all float to the top. pick up as much as you can. Leave some for no one. you have to make it worth it. so it can float to the top.

JesseL
May 1, 2008, 04:11 PM
try to wash out what you can first though. But what cracked butt said. it will all float to the top. pick up as much as you can. Leave some for no one. you have to make it worth it. so it can float to the top.

If you wash it, be careful how you add it to you lead pot! Don't dump them in with already molten lead. Any residual water will instantly turn into steam and likely splatter hot lead everywhere.

jon123
May 1, 2008, 04:46 PM
Range scrap. You will get a pop from a fully jacketed bullet every now and then but keep a lid on the dutch oven(or whatever you use for smelting) to keep lead from flying out of the pot.

kingpin008
May 1, 2008, 04:56 PM
be careful how you add it to you lead pot! Don't dump them in with already molten lead. Any residual water will instantly turn into steam and likely splatter hot lead everywhere

Big +1 to that! I'm not a reloader or caster, but even I know that water + molten metal = bad juju. If you do wash 'em, make sure to dry 'em really well - maybe even set them out in the sun for a day or two to let all the water evaporate.

rcmodel
May 1, 2008, 05:41 PM
If you are picking up cast bullets, all is probably well & good.
They will be the proper alloy for re-casting the lead from them.

If you are picking up jacketed bullets, or swaged lead bullets, they will likely be pure or nearly pure lead, and will need tin added to get them to cast properly and fill out the mold.

rcmodel

Walkalong
May 1, 2008, 07:12 PM
Some 95/5 solder would work as well, as long as it's lead/antimony and not one of the ne fangled solders.

zxcvbob
May 1, 2008, 07:20 PM
Every once in a while you get a FMJ bullet that is not damaged enough for the lead to melt out. I cut their noses off with a small bolt cutters.

I don't wash any scrap lead before I melt it. I just picked up 20 pounds last night at the outdoor pistol range. Melted half of it when I got home. (most of it must be from last year, cuz it was badly oxidized) It usually cast OK for pistol bullets without adding any tin.

Actually, I've never added tin to the melt, but I was getting some wrinkled bullets even though the mold was hot last time I cast. (Scrap lead of unknown pedigree) If degreasing the mold doesn't help, I'll throw in a ounce or two of solder. Usually it just means I got sloppy when lubing the alignment pins.

Dustinthewind
May 1, 2008, 10:37 PM
Thanks for the info! Went to the range and scavenged a 5 gallon bucket of lead in about an hour.

theotherwaldo
May 1, 2008, 10:53 PM
It's a good idea to separate the jacketed from the cast bullets, and to toss away the .22s.
Jacketed stuff is filled with pretty much pure lead, which your muzzle-loading friends will appreciate.
Cast stuff makes good cast stuff, but some .22s have some metals which swage good but ruin the mix for casting. It'll make your bullets rippley and round-cornered. Okay for sinkers, I guess, but otherwise it's useless.

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