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Old December 28, 2013, 06:54 PM   #1
Opinated
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Lead shortage?

Several sources say that we are heading for a lead shortage. Old storage batteries are a lead source. Apart from the reported hazards associated with salvaging lead from batteries, the price of old batteries comes to mind. In this area an old battery brings $5.00. The "core charge" for not having an exchange battery when purchasing a new one is often $10.00 or $12.00. Today I was observing when a fellow purchased new battery and he paid the $10.00 core charge. He commented to the clerk that he was in the salvage business and that he could get $20.00 for an old battery. If true, the offered price of $5.00 is too low. I have perhaps 8 old batteries at my place and might as well hang on to them as the price may continue to climb. I have never cast any bullets. Anyone ever actually used old battery plates as a bullet lead source?
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Old December 28, 2013, 06:59 PM   #2
SonOfGun
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Melting battery lead COULD kill. Very toxic.
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Old December 28, 2013, 07:19 PM   #3
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Agree. Recycling those is best left to the experts. If it's actually what you do for a living, all well and good. If not, don't even think about going there.
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Old December 28, 2013, 09:29 PM   #4
5whiskey
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I too thought of using old car batteries as a source of lead. I did a pretty in-depth "google study" on how to do this safely. Long story short? It can be done, even at home, but to do it safely is a big up-front expense in time and money. It's kinda like you might be able to build your transmission at home if you're a decent shade-tree mechanic, but there's a lot of time (to learn how) and money (in special tools) involved. If you get it wrong, your tranny falls out going down the highway and you cuss alot. If you get the lead battery recycling thing wrong, you (or your family if they come in contact) could die years earlier than otherwise.

I decided that making it an economically feasible endeavor would involve starting a half-way business, and that's something I was not looking to do. Too much hassle to get a few hundred pounds of lead on the cheap when it's going for close to a buck a pound on eBay, and that's for wheel weights which are ready for hard cast.
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Old December 28, 2013, 09:43 PM   #5
TimSr
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Find a place that gives you more than core charge. Buy old batteries for core price with craigslit ad, free pickup. Sell the old batteries for scrap. Use the money to buy lead. Problem solved.

I had two old batteries for months to give away. Finally tossed them into an old pickup I was junking. I'd have given them to anybody who would come and get them.
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Old December 29, 2013, 09:55 AM   #6
g.willikers
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How about scuba weights?
It sells for about $3 per pound, new.
Purty sure they are hardened with antimony, too.
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Old December 29, 2013, 10:13 AM   #7
SonOfGun
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Quote:
How about scuba weights?
It sells for about $3 per pound, new.
Purty sure they are hardened with antimony, too.
I am thinking scuba weights would be pure lead. I doubt they would spend extra money to alloy scuba weights. Antimony is a bit pricey.
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Old December 29, 2013, 11:19 AM   #8
g.willikers
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Weights are manufactured with Antimony which is an Alloy, to Increase Lead's Hardness and Mechanical Strength, making them Resistant to Deformation.
That's what they said.
http://www.leisurepro.com/p-aqulwc/s...d-lead-weights
They are also available without the vinyl coating from many online sources.
http://www.amazon.com/Sea-Pearls-Unc...=scuba+weights
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Last edited by g.willikers; December 29, 2013 at 11:26 AM.
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Old December 29, 2013, 04:04 PM   #9
snuffy
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Don't do it! Melt battery lead, that is!

Read this;

http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...-Are-Dangerous

That spells out the chemistry involved, the fumes could kill you!
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Old December 30, 2013, 05:10 PM   #10
oldgunsmith
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At Adventure Sports in Okla. City we had an indoor handgun range and a 16' deep scuba training pool in the same building. We did it the other way around. We melted the lead from the range and made scuba weights out of it. I did it myself (out of doors) because when the other guys did, every now and then a live round wound up in the lead pot.
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Old December 30, 2013, 08:48 PM   #11
FrankenMauser
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Quote:
Anyone ever actually used old battery plates as a bullet lead source?
Modern lead-acid batteries have the lead plated onto steel plates, with traces of several toxic elements used in the process to aid bonding. Melting the lead off the plates is not as easy as it sounds, and, outside of a commercial reclamation operation, the amount of (contaminated) lead recovered is not worth your time.

When you combine the low yield and unwanted contaminants with the huge number of exposure and inhalation hazards, it's an all-around bad idea.

There was a thread on the castboolits forums about a year ago, where several members that were reclaiming battery lead actually sat down and calculated how the process worked out financially. In the end, (ignoring the health and safety risks) they figured you come out ahead by selling the battery for the $5-10 core refund.
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