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Metal at local scrap yard

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by tink77, Apr 13, 2017.

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  1. tink77

    tink77 Member

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    The guy at the local scrap yard, said he had a 30 gal barrel of small pieces of lead mixed with tin and a small amount of tungsten. Can this be cast in to bullets or used to harden pure lead. He said it came from a bullet making place, and wants $3.00 a pound does this sound right?
     
  2. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    That is expensive.
    Call the scrap yard and ask what they are paying for lead.
     
  3. dgod

    dgod Contributing Member

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    $3.00 a pound is retail for processed lead, seems a little high to me. The addition of Tin & Tungsten is a plus, just don't know how much of a plus..
     
  4. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    It's been 20 years since I cast a bullet, but isn't the melting temperature of tungsten about 10 time higher than the melting temperature of lead? If it is, how would you ever melt it at home?
    Besides, $3.00 a pound for bullet casting metal sounds high to me too, but like I said, it's been 20 years since I cast a bullet. I use to gripe about linotype costing 50 cents a pound.:)
     
  5. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    MBC sells cast bullets for less than $3.00 per pound.
     
    .308 Norma likes this.
  6. tink77

    tink77 Member

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    Yea not sure about that, but he does have WW for .75 a pound, with me pick out the lead ones.
     
  7. dgod

    dgod Contributing Member

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    My local Tire Store gives me all the WW I can carry off about twice a month. I have prolly 150# of lead ingots, and prolly 100# of unprocessed lead on hand. If you have no other source, $0.75 a pound is not bad, you will have some loss due to the steel brackets, but it is a source.

    Good Luck
     
  8. tink77

    tink77 Member

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    I have try to find free WW, I have 1500lbs of pure lead, so I got to find some to mix with it.
     
  9. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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  10. tink77

    tink77 Member

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    I have some super hard, but the amount I need that's high. WW would be cheaper plus they're close to the house.
     
  11. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    That $3.00 a pound price is way too high. I buy casting alloy and scrap lead all the time, and for that price, you can get certified alloy delivered to your door.

    For your pure lead, depending on the caliber and velocity you're casting for, you need about 2% tin, which will do for lower velocities in .38 and .45. If casting for something a little hotter, you'll need about 4% antimony, in addition to the tin.

    Too bad you live on the other side of the country, or I'd work out a trade with you for all 1,500 pounds........

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  12. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Adding linotype 50/50 would make hard ball alloy , i think.
     
  13. tink77

    tink77 Member

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    Yea I'm not going to buy that stuff at 3 a pound, but his WW is .75 pound.
     
  14. mjsdwash

    mjsdwash Member

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    just checked missouri bullets, and it looks like you can get lead for 3.15$/lb shipped in the form of bullets. Not a good price. Tungsten melts at over 6000 degrees, so its not helpful. Its is extremely heavy, and as a result will significantly increase the price of you lead. Its 1.8X the weight of lead, so assuming its 10% by volume, its 18% by weight.
     
  15. dbmjr1

    dbmjr1 Member

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    Tungsten is not used in the alloy of cast bullets that I am aware of.
    Pure lead sells for about a buck a pound.

    Tin is a semi precious metal, and is much more expensive. It's necessary to make the lead flow, and fill out the mold without voids. It also adds a bit of hardness. I go to thrift stores and buy pewter trinkets. Pewter is almost all tin, and the trinkets can be had cheap. Many an Eiffel tower has gone down range.

    Antimony is used to add hardness. The higher the pressure, the more antimony you'll want. Too hard of a bullet, and it won't arbitrate to the bore, causing leading. Too soft, and it will smear lead down the bore, causing leading.

    Since I sell roofs, I have an abundant supply of pure lead. Probably a couple thousand pounds. I get it from roof jacks. I've become pretty good at alloying the lead, using Roto metals hard cast, and pewter trinkets. I also have used 50/50 solder bars to alloy.
     
  16. muleman11

    muleman11 Member

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    Why would a bullet making place sell scrap that could be used to make bullets???
     
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  17. Cannibul

    Cannibul Member

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    I pay no more than $.0.30 a lb for wheel weights. MAYBE if they were already sorted I'd go to $0.50 a lb.
     
  18. Hondo 60

    Hondo 60 Member

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    If they can't say what the % the alloy is, it's worthless.
    Tungsten is horrible for bullet casting - Just checked - the melting point is over 6,000 degrees.
    The melting point is higher than the melting point of the mold :eek:

    What you want is Lead, Tin & Antimony.
    The % of each would depend on use.

    Faster velocity need higher BHN.
     
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  19. kcofohio

    kcofohio Contributing Member

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    Right! Tungsten is used as welding electrodes and in machining cutters. I'm sure it wouldn't be good on the barrel of a gun.

    Edit: Tungsten is nearly twice the weight per mass than lead. So it isn't like you could skim it off in the melting process. Whether the tungsten bonds to lead, I don't know. Silver solder it what's used to bond/braze carbide (tungsten based) to metals.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2017
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  20. PegLegPeat

    PegLegPeat Member

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    I have never cast a single bullet, but this was my first thought too. If it was usefull for bullet making why would a bullet maker sell it for scrap?
     
  21. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    They wouldn't. The question would be whether it was actually tungsten mixed in there, or antimony, or something else? There's a big difference. If it actually came from a bullet casting outfit, then it's slag that wouldn't mix when fluxed, so they got rid of it. It more than likely has zinc mixed with it, which is difficult to get out of the alloy and requires the use of sulfur.....

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  22. MRH

    MRH Member

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    Be careful sorting WW these days. There is a lot of steel and zinc being used. Zinc will ruin your batch. Out of a recent 50+ lb bucket, I ended up with about 5 lbs of lead.
     
  23. Catpop

    Catpop Member

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    I collect alot of used zinc anodes for the boats I work on. At one time I was going to melt it down to make dive weights, but when I tried it I could not get the temp high enough in my cast iron pot over a LPG flame to melt it. So I gave up on that idea. I now sell it to the local scrap yard.
    Point is, I do know it melts at a higher temp (787) than lead (621), so it was not a bullet alloy issue to me. Another reason to use a thermometer when casting lead boolits- to not alloy zinc into your bootlits!!!!
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2017
  24. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    20170226_161533.jpg My scrap guy saves soft plumbers lead for me. I use soft stuff for my BP habits.
    $1/lb
     
  25. KansasSasquatch

    KansasSasquatch Member

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    Tungsten isn't going to be useful for casting bullets. But if there's enough tungsten then you can easily make your money back. Tungsten scrap is high dollar scrap. It's the most rare "base" metal. If there's just enough Tungsten to make sorting the scrap a pain in the butt, it ain't worth it. But if there's quite a bit it comes down to what value you put on your time and effort.
     
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