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Wheel weights? For bullets

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Eric F, Feb 4, 2008.

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  1. Eric F

    Eric F Member

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    Are Wheel weights reliable and good for reloading? Would they be qualified as "hard cast"? what are they made of generaly?
     
  2. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    Most of them are made of antimonous lead alloy. (not sure if I spelled that right.) A few are made of iron, and a few are made of zinc. The lead ones make very good bullets as long as you don't contaminate them with zinc when you melt them down in to ingots.

    I drop my bullets from the mold into a pan of water to harden them somewhat. If you heat wheelweight alloy to just below the slump point and quench in water, the bullets can achieve a hardness of over 30 BNH. (I'm not heat treating mine to anywhere near that hardness)
     
  3. bamacisa

    bamacisa Member

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    Wheel weights make good bullets for pistols . Drop them from the mould into a bucket of water... makes them harder Be careful not to let water splash in the lead pot. I make all my pistol bullets out of wheel weights. I keep my loads below 1000fps. Most of my loads are for target pratice or plinking. I get little or no leading at these velocities.
     
  4. Eric F

    Eric F Member

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    will they be ok for a 50-90 sharps bp load? And how do you seperate the zinc from them?
     
  5. GP100man

    GP100man Member

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    lead melts at app. 650f &zinc at app 1000f.
    hold the smelting temp down & skim it out with the other dross!!!
    go visit castboolits.com & search ,very much reading on the subject of zinc!!!!
    oh almost forgot: WW are probably too hard for BP shooting ,youll need to seperate the (stick ons) from the (clip ons) generally softer.
    most clipons will give you an alloy of 14- 19 bhn,BP needs 5-8 bhn to arbitrate in the barrel under pressure.

    GP100man
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2008
  6. <SLV>

    <SLV> Member

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    What is the difference between the lead tape weights and the clip on weights? It's all lead, right?
     
  7. winchester243

    winchester243 Member

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    Clip on wheel weights - 1/2% tin, 4% antimony, 95.25% lead, 1/4% arsenic.

    Stick on wheel weights are nearly 100% pure lead.

    This is a good website if you want to learn about bullet casting/alloys.

    http://www.lasc.us/CastBulletNotes.htm
     
  8. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    IIRC, zinc melts at 777°. That's close enough to lead to get you in trouble if you're not really careful.

    The lead tape weights are pure lead. Pure lead is much sought-after by black powder shooters. Clip on weights are alloyed with antimony and usually a little tin and arsenic, to make the metal harder. It is a favorite of smokeless powder pistol shooters.

    Then there is type-metal, which is very hard eutectic alloys that contains significant amounts of tin and a huge amount of antimony. Type-metal, especially linotype, is much sought after by rifle shooters.
     
  9. fireflyfather

    fireflyfather Member

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    Unless you are smelting over a turkey burner, the zinc weights will float to the top long before they melt. Just don't leave the pot unattended when smelting. You're going to have to skim off the clips and dross anyway, so it's not a big deal. Just skim as soon as the stuff melts, and you have no worries re zinc weights. Iron weights and steel clips also float to the top.
     
  10. dmftoy1

    dmftoy1 Member

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    The other trick that'll help you is to leave a couple of inches of lead in your smelting pot after you're done the first time. The next time it will melt faster and give the "new" clips something to float on and make your skimming easier.

    Just my .02

    Regards,
    Dave
     
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