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silvercorvette
October 29, 2010, 03:18 PM
When I lived in Ny I bought lead in plumbing supply stores, but in SC they use plastic pipe so I haven't found and lead in plumbing supply stores. I live in Anderson SC any suggestions?

Pahoo
October 29, 2010, 03:38 PM
I'm not going to be much help but perhaps, give you some ideas on where to find/buy some.

1) I just bought another 15lbs. at a garage sale that was also selling lots of tools. You often find lead sinkers at garage sales as well.

2) Our son-in-law works at a mill and he got me some pipe from a salvage yard.

3) An old shooting buddy of mine passed on and he had alloy and pure, about 200lbs. They wound up taking it to a salvage yard and sold it for .50 per pound.

4) Go to area plumbing shops and plumbing supply houses. Even though they have gone mostly to PVC, they still have some laying around.

To date, I have never had to order any and just pick it up a little at a time. I run my own lead and always pick up what I need.

Be Safe!!!

Doc Hoy
October 29, 2010, 03:52 PM
Wheel weights.

They are now between 93 and 99 percent pure. At least that is what the leadning wheel weight manufacturer told me.

mrappe
October 29, 2010, 04:23 PM
I found 200 lbs on craigslist locally. It was going to be used origionally for a sailboat balast.

mrappe
October 29, 2010, 05:36 PM
If you find a roofer you might get to give you some flashing that they take off of old roofs.

Zildjian
October 29, 2010, 06:16 PM
Use to get mine here at the local stations that did a lot of tire repair and tire changes. You might try those locally. Most of those places are already spoken for their lead Wheel weights. Some just give the lead away to local shooters for free. Just ask around your area. I would get the clip on style and not mix it with the stick on style if it were me.

Rifleman1776
October 29, 2010, 06:37 PM
I use only pure soft lead for traditional muzzle loaders. I get my lead by scrounging anywhere I can find it.

Hawg Haggen
October 29, 2010, 06:59 PM
Use to get mine here at the local stations that did a lot of tire repair and tire changes. You might try those locally. Most of those places are already spoken for their lead Wheel weights. Some just give the lead away to local shooters for free. Just ask around your area. I would get the clip on style and not mix it with the stick on style if it were me.

Clip on weights are too hard and don't shrink enough for bp. Stick on weights are 99.5% pure and are plenty soft enough.

Cleet
October 29, 2010, 08:35 PM
www.rotometals.com

Free shipping with over $100 purchase

I'm not friends with a mechanice to get wheel weights

Mr Lucky
October 29, 2010, 09:02 PM
Some scrape yards deal only in lead, brass, copper, nickle shavings and other semi-precious metals other than steel. Find one that does not deal in wrecked cars and they will probably have lead.

Hawg Haggen
October 29, 2010, 09:07 PM
I'm not friends with a mechanice to get wheel weights

Don't have to be. Go to tire shops and don't talk to manager, talk to tire techs. They may give you a bucket or two. Watch out for zinc weights tho.

Mr Lucky
October 29, 2010, 09:13 PM
Actually Doe Run in Missouri is the largest Lead mining and smelting plant in the US. I suppose you could contact them and see who they sell to near you.

Shipping costs would be cost prohibitive.

You might also check with recyclers near you.

robhof
October 29, 2010, 09:13 PM
If there's an outdoor range, or an area that the locals shoot alot; you can make a frame of hardware cloth and sieve the berms. I do it at our local outdoor range and get 50 or more lbs in a short time. I sort the cast and jacketed into separate buckets. The jacketed cores are almost pure lead, soft enough for B/P and the cast are considered hard and are mixed with some Linotype that I scored on Ebay for non-B/p.

Mr Lucky
October 29, 2010, 09:20 PM
If there's an outdoor range, or an area that the locals shoot alot; you can make a frame of hardware cloth and sieve the berms. I do it at our local outdoor range and get 50 or more lbs in a short time. I sort the cast and jacketed into separate buckets. The jacketed cores are almost pure lead, soft enough for B/P and the cast are considered hard and are mixed with some Linotype that I scored on Ebay for non-B/p.

Why not just buy it from an indoor range? What do you do about bonded cores? Is it usable? Does the copper or brass skim off when you melt it or do you re-cast everything?

mrappe
October 29, 2010, 10:02 PM
Copper is lighter than lead so it floats to the top.

robhof
October 30, 2010, 11:54 AM
The jackets melt at a higher temp and as stated above; float on top and can be skimmed off. Even the bonded cores are of soft lead and will leak out when they reach the lead melting temp. I skim with an old slotted spoon to get as much lead as possible from the jacket, a little tapping on the side of the pot renders more lead. The berms at our outdoor range have never been recovered from, they only add fresh dirt over the front about yearly. Now 3 or 4 other patrons work the berms and it actually reduces the need for recovering as often.:D

HisSoldier
October 30, 2010, 02:51 PM
I bought two buckets of wheel weights, and would say that 30% at least were zinc. The problem is that if you get the temperature hot enough it will spoil your alloy. How can you get it hot enough? By doing a stupid trick like I did, I didn't want to skim 50 lbs of crud off the top of my melt so I put it on a plate of 3/16 steel and played the acetylene torch over it.

As time goes on more and more of the wheel weights will be zinc, just as more and more of the handguns will be made of it. :D

Mr Lucky
October 30, 2010, 03:42 PM
mrappe, robhof & HisSoldier,

Thanks for the interesting information. I have never cast bullets. Seems like it would be great fun to try sometime.

Hardcase
October 30, 2010, 04:39 PM
I'm lucky as all get-out sometimes. The brother of one of my good buddies manages a tire store, so we get all the wheel weights that we can stagger out of the garage with for the cost of some pizza or donuts. Then we split 'em between us. I've got four five gallon buckets in the garage waiting to be cleaned up and smelted.

We've run across very few zinc or steel weights. They're in the buckets, but not many, maybe not even 10%. That just may be because here in Idaho the tree huggers are outnumbered by regular folks by a fairly monstrous margin.

Slamfire
October 30, 2010, 04:50 PM
I have gone down to the local scrap yard. People bring in lead and lead things and I filled 5 gallon buckets of lead objects.

As an example, these rings were pure lead, must have sealed pipe joints.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Reloading/ReducedDSCN7698Scraplead.jpg

Melted the pure lead with 50/50 ingots, and wheel weights.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Reloading/ReducedMeltingleadandlynotypeFSCN80.jpg

And made new ingots close in hardness to Lyman #2 alloy.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Reloading/ReducedGoodviewofleadfilledladelpor.jpg

silvercorvette
October 30, 2010, 06:41 PM
Thanks for the interesting information. I have never cast bullets. Seems like it would be great fun to try sometime.

A word of caution, don't be stupid like I was. I melted my lead on a gasoline Coleman stove on my kitchen table.

fortunately I guess I didn't suffer from any ill effects from breathing lead fumes. because I only did it for a short while 35 years ago before I got wise.

IF you melt lead do it in a well ventilated preferably outside on a day with a light breeze to blow away the fumes.

Hawg Haggen
October 30, 2010, 06:57 PM
fortunately I guess I didn't suffer from any ill effects from breathing lead fumes

You'd have to get it to boiling point for dangerous fumes.

MrWesson
October 30, 2010, 08:27 PM
I get my lead from auto repair/tire shops I dont shoot blackpowder/muzzleloader but just recently got a 5gallon bucket of stick on wheelweights for 20 and traded them for clip on WW.

silvercorvette
October 30, 2010, 08:47 PM
You'd have to get it to boiling point for dangerous fumes.

I was young and foolich back then and have no idea if the lead got close to the boiling point but I strongly doubt it did. But cooking up a batch of lead on a gasoline coleman stove without precise control of the heat and doing on the kitchen table with the windows closed was not one of myu smartest moments.

I am a retired cop and our department used an outside range, the officers that worked the range were test and found to have high levels of lead in their blood and they usually stood about 10 feet behind the firing line.

I have heard stories that I can confirm as true about people developing old times (Alzheimer's disease) from working around lead constantly. All I am saying is be careful when casting lead balls or bullets

arcticap
October 31, 2010, 01:13 AM
I am a retired cop and our department used an outside range, the officers that worked the range were test and found to have high levels of lead in their blood and they usually stood about 10 feet behind the firing line.

That happened here too and IIRC the problem was mostly caused by the primers which contained & emitted lead, and then they breathed in the smoke.

silvercorvette
October 31, 2010, 07:39 AM
That happened here too and IIRC the problem was mostly caused by the primers which contained & emitted lead, and then they breathed in the smoke which contained it.

I assumed it was from the lead cast non-jacked bullets, I guess i was wrong.

Hawg Haggen
October 31, 2010, 08:37 AM
You can get slightly raised lead levels by handling lead and eating without washing hands first.

Doc Hoy
October 31, 2010, 09:21 AM
I have cast round balls a lot. I was preparing an article on casting and so had the lead levels in my blood tested for the article. (I am retired Navy and can get test such as this done without paying for them, so I asked for the test and they did it.

I think I have the notations right as I say that, normal levels for an urban male is 3 to 4 mg/dL. This is slightly elevated and comes from the higher than normal use of lead based paint in cities. The lowest level that raises concerns is 10 mg/dL. Lower than 2 mg/dL is hard to measure in the blood.

Even after a long time casting bullets, mine was 3 mg/dL. I think this is because I use the following precautions.

I use only an electric pot which will not heat the lead above about 800 degrees. (Lead vaporizes at 3100 degrees or so. The vapor is very heavy and thus drops to the bottom of your space very quickly even if it does vaporize)

I wash my hands often during the process.

I ventilate the space, opening the door which is about three feet from the bench where I do my casting. I have a pedestal fan which forces the smoke out of the space.

I get a lot of smoke when I flux the pot. I think it is easily believable that the smoke and fumes might contain some particulate lead, although I doubt, that there is much. I don't use a mask but I probably should.

silvercorvette
October 31, 2010, 09:28 AM
When I lived in NY I shot at an indoor range. I would see one guy come by a lot to shoot who wore a heavy duty respirator mask. I thought it was going overboard but I believe in doing whatever make you feel safe.

Model-P
October 31, 2010, 06:09 PM
I think I have the notations right as I say that, normal levels for an urban male is 3 to 4 mg/dL. This is slightly elevated and comes from the higher than normal use of lead based paint in cities. The lowest level that raises concerns is 10 mg/dL. Lower than 2 mg/dL is hard to measure in the blood.



Just a note:

Those would be micrograms per deciliter, not milligrams (I don't know how to make the Greek "mu" symbol on the keyboard for micro either). A microgram is one one-thousandth of a milligram.

I believe ten micrograms/deciliter works out to .0001g/l (one ten-thousandth gram of lead per liter of blood) as maximum acceptable level.

arcticap
October 31, 2010, 08:12 PM
I use only an electric pot which will not heat the lead above about 800 degrees. (Lead vaporizes at 3100 degrees or so. The vapor is very heavy and thus drops to the bottom of your space very quickly even if it does vaporize)

Not exactly since lead vapors are emitted at lower temperatures too.


...Lead melts at 621 degrees (F). When lead is molten, it releases minute amounts of vapors at a progressive rate as temperatures are increased. Harmful levels of lead vaporization are believed to occur at elevated temperatures above 1800 degrees (F). Only lower temperatures between 700-800 degrees are normally needed to cast lead hobby parts. Most melting equipment sold to hobbyists will not raise temperatures much above 900 degrees. Minimize vaporization by operating melters at the lowest temperature that gives good results....

http://www.kansasangler.com/makeit.html

According to the source below, white lead emits fumes at 400C which is 750F, and Red lead at 500C which is 932F:

Lead carbonate (white lead) when heated it decomposes at 400 degrees Celsius
and emits lead monoxide, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide.
Red lead oxide (minium) when heated to more than 500C there is release of
oxygen and toxic lead fumes.
Yellow lead oxide (litharge) when heated to between 3000C and 400C it is
converted to lead tetraoxide.

http://www.potters.org/subject77044.htm/

Model-P
October 31, 2010, 09:54 PM
Every liquid emits vapors. The "warmer" it is the faster vapors are released. Take a shower and look at your mirror. That "steam" is condensed water vapor, and I doubt you took a 212 degree shower.

Doc Hoy
November 1, 2010, 09:59 AM
True on both counts.

It is indeed micrograms (abbrev. mcg when the mu is not available) and rather than using the term "vaporizes" I should have said "boils".

Both liquids and solids emit vapors and according to the CDC, smelting is among the most dangerous of lead associated activities. While CDC was silent on the issue, OSHA mentions copper and brass smelting and alloying (and not simple low temperature lead smelting) which automatically means higher temperatures (1700 or so degrees for Brass and 1940 for Copper) that are easily within the dangerous temperature range mentioned in the "Angler" article.

OSHA does go on to recommend a particulate filter mask for basic protection and other respiratory protection depending upon the concentration of vapors or particles in the atmosphere. I will repeat here that I do not use one but probably should. I would have to shave off my beard to get a good seal and I am not willing to do that.

They also recommend keeping the temperature as low as possible. They also recommend good ventilation.

To the shooter for whom safety is of paramount importance (and that should include all of us.) casting bullets has elevated risks. It should not be engaged lightly.

Hawg Haggen
November 1, 2010, 06:57 PM
To the shooter for whom safety is of paramount importance (and that should include all of us.) casting bullets has elevated risks. It should not be engaged lightly.

I've been engaging it lightly since 1969 melting lead out of a bean can on moms stove but don't follow my example.:D