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Where to get lead ?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by David Clark, Feb 23, 2013.

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  1. David Clark

    David Clark Member

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    You guys that cast bullets, where do you find deals on lead?
    Dave
     
  2. stubbicatt

    stubbicatt Member

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    In Denver there are a couple places which sell metal. I bought 100# of sheet lead a few years ago, and 3# of tin in ingots from them. They also have various types of alloy you can buy as well.
     
  3. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    There is no good and easy answer. Just gotta scrounge around. And, lead is bringing fifty cents a pound scrap, so it usually isn't cheap if someone knows what they have.

    If you have a tire shop that you frequent, that's the cheapest. I have two shops that get $20 for a five gallon bucket of wheel weights. That's maybe 150#. It's dirty and got the clips so it's gotta be sorted, then smelted into ingots. Gotta pick out the zinc ones or it ruins the entire batch.

    Sometimes plumbers or sewer construction companies have lead pipe they have salvaged. Just gotta keep asking.
     
  4. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    A plumber friend also saves the lead seal used to join cast iron pipes. I don't know if it's good for bullets, but the scrap yard buys it.
     
  5. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    Scrap yards are becoming increasingly reluctant to sell to the public, so small tire shops selling scrap wheel weights are the best option these days.

    An online friend told me about a foundry and I 'bit the bullet' and bought 1000 pounds of alloy in ingots. I figure I'm set for the next 20 years or so.
     
  6. ID-shooting

    ID-shooting Member

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    Tires of your neighbor's cars?
     
  7. kerreckt

    kerreckt Member

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  8. 303tom

    303tom member

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    I have a buddy who owns a junk yard, every so often I go help him take tires off wheels, he gives me the lead wheel wights..............
     
  9. flatlander937

    flatlander937 Member

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    Keep in mind lead automotive wheel weights are going away quickly... the dealer I work at and many more are going to a 3M wheel weight system that has flexible stick on weights in 2-3 styles that cover every application. The normal clip on weights are made of steel now too for those few applications. Its due to potential future OSHA rules(or so I've heard).

    Not sure how feasible it is... but there are lead plates on automotive batteries... might be worth getting a biohazard suit to break open and remove them. :p
     
  10. barnbwt

    barnbwt Member

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    ^
    H2SO4, yummy! Be careful out there guys, both in harvesting and casting the lead. And add acid to water if you need to dilute it; if water is added to the acid (i.e. hosing down a battery) it can flash-boil and even ignite Hydrogen vapors being given off :eek:

    Barred from banning lead (bullets) directly, the EPA has made it their mission to purge the stuff from every other place in existence. It will only get harder to obtain going forward. For now, it can be collected by heat-gunning electronics boards, as well (just like those poor kids in Chinese villages :( )

    TCB
     
  11. tech30528

    tech30528 Member

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    I own an auto repair shop and collect my used weights. 9mm will yield about 3 bullets per ounce, or 48 per pound. Keep unit price in mind when you are collecting. The molds I have looked at rate finished weight according to wheel weight lead.
     
  12. wgaynor

    wgaynor Member

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    I go to the range and get it from the berm. Just pick it up and fill up a coffee can. I also go to the local tire shop and will purchase it when I get new tires, brakes, and any other time that I'm paying them a bunch of money. They rarely hesitate to put a 5 gallon bucket of it in the truck bed.

    I now barter with my friends for lead. Some of the trade me bullets and projectiles for ingots. So if you know a caster, see if he will trade any.
     
  13. mtrmn

    mtrmn Member

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    I bought my supply long long ago (20 yrs) at La Iron and Supply in Alexandria La. 200 lbs. Hardly used any so far since I bought it for hard times-like those dead ahead from what I can see.
     
  14. lightman

    lightman Member

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    You have to ask people that work around it with their job. Plumbers, roofers, congstruction workers, telephone linemen/ cable splicers are all good choices. Tire stores have wheelweights, my favorite. You can buy "new" lead from foundrys. Google Rotometals, they have several blends and free shipping. Also try scrap dealers, even though many will not sell to the public. The smaller ones would be my first choice. Also google "castboolit, a really good forum about bullet casting. Also hit old newspaper offices,and print shops. Most don't use lead anymore, but may have some.Your range may allow you to mine the bullet traps/ backstops. This can be a dirty,hard job, but can yield lots of return.Look for an old sailboat, many contain lead. Just a few places that I have scored lead from. Lightman
     
  15. lightman

    lightman Member

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    I thought this warning was worthy of another post! Be very cautious with battery lead. There are enough health issues and danger with batteries that I will not bother with it. Lightman
     
  16. avs11054

    avs11054 Member

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    Oh...when I first read the title of this post, I thought it said something that wasn't one of the things we talk about on THR:neener:
     
  17. mcdonl

    mcdonl Member

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    Look for auto shops that have closed down. I have gotten no less that 3 five gallon buckets from auto shops that are going out of business.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  18. tech30528

    tech30528 Member

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    Just talked to a prepper friend of mine about this today, he told me to just get a melting pot and cast ingots instead of casting bullets. He seems to think it's good barter item.
     
  19. mcdonl

    mcdonl Member

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    Ingots are key anyway. Get the impurities out of the lead before casting.

    This is especially true if using wheel weights. And, you can get really neat molds!

    I use Lyman ingot molds but mini muffin tins work great.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  20. catinthebat

    catinthebat Member

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    Try your local car repair shop. I know someone who went to one and bought an entire bucket of wheel weights.
     
  21. paintballdude902

    paintballdude902 Member

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    i know a guy that buys 1000lbs a month from a scrap yard. but he knows the guys. tire shops are good.
     
  22. Reefinmike

    Reefinmike Member

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    I have a hookup at a local tire store and I feel lucky for that one as ive been to over twenty others and they all say someone else gets em, some say their franchise scraps them and others say its illegal and I need a EPA cert to transport lead weights. They usually get me about 2/3 a bucket each month, last month they only got me enough for 500 230gr 45's. hopefully they'll have their business upped this month when I go back tomorrow! 15 pounds only keeps up with half my monthly shooting...
     
  23. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    I hit a local recycling shop with a friend a couple years ago and went halvsies on a 600 pound drum full of wheel weights. (Well, technically the FORK TRUCK picked it up and put it in my truck). If I recall correctly it cost us about $250.
     
  24. hueyville

    hueyville Member

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    Redneck2, where is it bringing 50 cents a pound? My local scrap yard is paying 20 to 30 cents per pound according to type and selling wheel weights for 35 cents per pound. I can buy from local tire shops if I pick up and save them a trip to the scrap yard for 25 cents per pound. If I could sell for 50 I would do some calculations on fuel and mule a couple of tons.
     
  25. GaryL

    GaryL Member

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    Missouri Bullet sells ingots. They are not cheap compared to nearly free wheel weights, but you would know what you are getting.
     
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