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Old April 28, 2010, 05:47 PM   #1
Lavid2002
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How do you guys get free lead?

I just called up every auto store around here... Everyone told me it was "Against policy" to give me the lead... another told me "The owner is a cop so he wont be giving away any lead for BULLETS!" To which I replied... That's odd most of the people I shoot with are law enforcement officers ma'am. . . anyways... the one guy who did offer me lead offered it at 25 bucks for a 5 gallon bucket full of lead weights. I offered him 10 but he said no....


Anyways. Got any ideas? Im out : /


Thanks

-Dave
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Old April 28, 2010, 06:06 PM   #2
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I have helped a friend of mine, mine it out of the ground at a private range. I don't use it because it is not pure lead but Last year, we smelted in excess of 250LBS. We smelt it all, even jacketed bullets.

I'm still working on a bunch of pure lead that I got from a retired plumber. If you have access to a foundry, talk to one of those folks as there are times they get in scrap pipe and sheets of pure lead.


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Old April 28, 2010, 06:13 PM   #3
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Sorry...but what is a foundry?

I was talking to a guy in the store he said he helped take down an X-ray room and he has more than he will ever use....o0o0o

Im jealous...

How about scrap yards? Would they have lead?

It seems like mining lead from a burm would be highly labor intensive.... no?


oh! Another question...Say I were to obtain sheets of lead or lead pipe. How could it be broken down into small segments to be smelted?
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Old April 28, 2010, 06:27 PM   #4
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At small shops a case of beer is worth more than the lead, to them. Most recycle at larger shops but if you find guys that shoot and work at such a place you can swap.
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Old April 28, 2010, 07:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Sorry...but what is a foundry?
WOW!! I must be showing my age, so the Liberal in me will have to "recalibrate" my words, again. A foundry melts metals and casts products you could also call it a steel mills but a foundry can work with all kinds of metals. In order to get a proper recipe, they have to add different metalls to the pot. These metals normally come from scrap yards. These scrap yards have lead. Just for instance, if you chop up a car and melt it down, you will always get a percentage of lead along with other stuff. Steel mills hate lead and it goes back to the salvage yard.

I have gotten some of the sheets that you speak of and it is pretty pure. Why not try a plumbing shop as they might have some lying about.


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Old April 28, 2010, 07:24 PM   #6
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Try a Tire shop. Not one of the big franchises but a smaller private owned one. I use to work in one. We had five gallon buckets of old wheel weights which are lead. I had one guy who would come in every so often and I would give them to him. Said he made sinkers for fishing out of them.
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Old April 28, 2010, 07:27 PM   #7
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dont make calls...go in there and shoot the breeze with them. they will be more likely to part their lead this way. Beer usually works too. Hit up the mom and pop tire shops. They dont have "policies". $25 for a full 5 gal bucket isnt bad if you cant find it anywhere else.
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Old April 28, 2010, 08:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
dont make calls...go in there and shoot the breeze with them. they will be more likely to part their lead this way. Beer usually works too. Hit up the mom and pop tire shops. They dont have "policies". $25 for a full 5 gal bucket isnt bad if you cant find it anywhere else.
Exactly, phone calls will do no good.
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Old April 28, 2010, 08:09 PM   #9
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What dies a 5 gallon bucket weigh? Lead is running over $1.00/pound. Lead shot is running $40 /25 lbs. try the stores, but those buckets might be a good deal
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Old April 28, 2010, 08:17 PM   #10
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One generally can't lift a 5 gallon bucket of lead.

Beware of obtaining wheel weights that are heavy but are not lead. A good many of them nowadays are a zinc compound.

I have not heard of 'free' lead for many moons. But an independent tire shop will certainly be willing to part with used weights for a fair price.
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Old April 28, 2010, 08:21 PM   #11
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25 bucks isnt bad for a bucket tho... a full bucket weighs around 225lbs... i have gotten three full buckets this spring for notta... but I would have paid 20 or 25 for them if I would have had to.
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Old April 28, 2010, 08:35 PM   #12
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Apparently the phone calls did nothing


I would love to try the in-person thing...but they already know who I am. :|


I guess I could give it a little bit and then try again?

I'll keep an eye out for plumbers and things like that.

Next time I hear someone talk about lead ill spark a conversation and try to swipe some


P.S. every lead ingot I found online was over 1 buck a lb....might as well buy factory made cast bullets

I know I can find some somewhere...



Also...are you sure a 5 lb bucket full of wheel weights is worth 25 clams? How many bullets do you think I could make with one?
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Old April 28, 2010, 08:39 PM   #13
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How do you get free lead?

Why bother. I go to a local scrap metals dealer junk yard and buy it for almost free, I think 60 cents a pound or so. Last time I was there I bought 50lbs and it was pure lead. The type used in lead downspouts, eaves troughs and such. I need pure lead in my charcoal burners. (50cal flintlock) I shoot 400gr minni balls and I go through lots of lead.
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Old April 28, 2010, 08:41 PM   #14
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I dont think I have any of those around me though... I live in southern NJ...

I know of automotive junk yards....
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Old April 28, 2010, 08:43 PM   #15
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wow if a full bucket weighs 225 lbs that would be a lot of bullets for not much money.

225 lbs X 7000grains/lb=1575000grains
1575000 grains divided 158 grain bullet= 9968 bullets
$25 divided by 9968=$.002/bullet

I don't know anything about casting bullets but I would guess there are some impurities that have to be removed but still that is a lot of bullets. If my math is wrong let me know.
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Old April 28, 2010, 08:47 PM   #16
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It is a lot...but I doubt a 5 gal bucket weighs 225 lb..... That would mean I couldnt bench press a 5 gallon bucket loosely packed with wheel weights....
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Old April 28, 2010, 08:50 PM   #17
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Yeah, 25 bucks for a 5-gallon bucket is pretty good. I know that one reason places don't give away lead very often is that, a couple of years ago, metal prices jumped up like crazy. In my area, lead in particular went from 10 cents at a pound to almost 2 bucks per pound. It was a supply and demand thing.

Given the economy, too, businesses across the board---including tire shops and recycling centers---are trying to cut costs and make up for lost revenue, and that includes charging for what they used to give away for free. Just the nature of the beast, I suppose, and if you think about it, those of us who reload and cast our own are WAY ahead of everyone else who only buys factory ammo.

Quote:
P.S. every lead ingot I found online was over 1 buck a lb....might as well buy factory made cast bullets
Respectfully, I'm not so sure about that. Let's go with 2 bucks a pound for the sake of argument, and talk about 158-grain bullets.

$2.00 per pound, 7000 grains in a pound = 44 bullets per pound, or 4.5 cents per bullet. Then you need to figure in the cost of your time for alloying, casting, sizing/lubing. Does 2 cents per bullet sound fair? That makes it 6.5 cents per bullet.

1000 158-grain lead round-nose from Missouri Bullet Co. costs $56.00, or 5.6 cents per bullet, add flat-rate shipping of 13 bucks and you're up to 6.9 cents per bullet. What I'm getting at is that sometimes casting your own saves money, sometime it doesn't especially when you look at the cost of your own time. If you pay 25 bucks, or even 50 bucks, for a 5-gal bucket of wheel weights and it's lead or lead-based alloy, even discounting the weight of the clips on the weights, you're still coming out WAY ahead.

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Old April 28, 2010, 08:55 PM   #18
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last time i kept some what of track... i cast around 5,000 bullets in various calibers... from one bucket of wheel weights.
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Old April 28, 2010, 08:57 PM   #19
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Quote:
225 lbs X 7000grains/lb=1575000grains
1575000 grains divided 158 grain bullet= 9968 bullets
$25 divided by 9968=$.002/bullet
which is pretty close I would guess...
i figure it costs me 50cents per hundred...
but once again... i make alot of 45 and 44 caliber bullets also...which are 230 and 240 grain per... which takes alot more lead than 158grains
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Old April 28, 2010, 08:58 PM   #20
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I guess ill go scoop these things up then. I bet I can find free lead though. Ill keep looking while this 40-100 lb's keeps me occupied

25 clams isn't a lot anyways. I did the math...as long as its over 41 lb of lead i'll be happy with the price
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Old April 28, 2010, 09:02 PM   #21
DiscoRacing
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i will gurantee you that a full five gallon bucket of wheel weights is much more than 40lbs of lead
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Old April 28, 2010, 09:04 PM   #22
Lavid2002
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I also doubt this thing is full... lol

We will see...I'll stop by on my way to school tomorrow and check er' out...
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Old April 28, 2010, 09:07 PM   #23
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well after the stems , zinc , bolts, nails , chaws & whateverelse is in a bucket of WW I look for 125-150 lbs of cleaned ingotized lead.

But it`s been so long since I`ve seen a FULL bucket I forget

I rounded up 37lbs & got 31lbs of ingots , so 80% or so ain`t bad !

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Old April 28, 2010, 09:11 PM   #24
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Also...are you sure a 5 lb bucket full of wheel weights is worth 25 clams?
Yes it is worth it. I could be wrong but I think a 5 gal bucket full is closer to 150 pounds. Figure 15% loss do to clips and garbage. That will net you around 127 pounds. That's around 19.6 cents per pound.
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Old April 28, 2010, 09:13 PM   #25
Lavid2002
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Sweet! I also like the idea of making muffin tin ingots... i'm going to do that with the lead when I geeet some :P

Ill swing by tomorrow at noon or so.

As per melting it down into ingots heres the plan....

Get a cheap cast iron pan, a cheap propane burner, a cheap ladle, and some leather gloves.

Melt the lead on the pan outside with some fluxing material skimming the top. After all the lead is clean and the steel clip of the wheel weights have been taken out I will ladle it into my muffin tins. Give it a minute to set up and pop em out...

Is there another type of material I can use to flux with or is fluxing material a special thing?
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