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Old August 30, 2012, 09:06 PM   #1
ronz
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Best place to buy lead cheap

I have a really bad back so even if I could find a place to get them don’t want to use wheel weights
Would be too much of a hassle to get someone to move them for me but even with buying ingots it still seems like a big cost savings over buying cast bullets also something I have wanted to do for years
I can get about 50lb from eBay for $75 made from wheel weights should be around brinell 14 this looks to be a good price to me from the searching I have done http://www.ebay.com/itm/50-LBS-LEAD-...item4abb6b7981
This a good deal or is there somewhere else that would be better?
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Old August 30, 2012, 09:12 PM   #2
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That's not bad, as long as it doesn't have any zinc in it.

Check around at castboolits.gunloads.com and see if anybody is selling lead. About $1 a pound delivered seems to be the usual price.
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Old August 31, 2012, 06:28 AM   #3
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Something I will advise you of, over the years I have been burnt on shipping a few times. The problem is with the post Office, most of the private sellers use Flat rate boxes, As you may know they can put up too 90 pounds in a FRB. However if they use too much packing tape according too an over zealous postmaster, or the box breaks open in shipping you will be charged a much higher shipping rate. I some times buy Linotype from private sellers. You can refuse the package, but you then need too deal with an un happy seller. And the whole who’s fault the package was damaged.
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Old August 31, 2012, 03:55 PM   #4
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Check with any local scrap yards, to see if they'll sell to you.
Several in my area refuse to sell to non-commercial entities. But... there are a few that will sell anything to anyone. As long as you match the spot price they would get by shipping the materials to a foundry, it's yours.

At my preferred scrap yard, that means mixed WWs (zinc, steel, lead, etc) run about $0.36 / lb, sorted WWs (lead alloys only) run $0.68-0.76 / lb, pure lead runs about $0.75 / lb, and most other alloys just get cheaper from there. And... I don't have to run all over the place, trying to track it down. I take a walk through the yard, have one of the employees "shoot" interesting chunks of lead with their XRF analyzer to see what the actual alloy is, load anything I'm buying, and head home. (Very few scrap yards are willing to use an analyzer to test alloys, though. It's pretty rare for them to be as helpful as this one.)

Other than that...
There are gun forums that have a fair amount of alloy listed (castboolits, g2bgo {greybeard}, marlin owners, and ar15). Just be sure to buy from some one with a known track record for selling good alloy. Sometimes, people try to dump contaminated alloys on those forums.

Ebay and gun auction sites are another option. Again, it's best to buy from some one with a history of selling good alloy. There's nothing worse than thinking you got a good deal on 70 lbs of alloy, only to find out the seller was a d-bag selling an alloy full of zinc (ruins the alloy for bullet casting).


Personally, I won't touch auctions. - too many people trying to get rid of bad alloys, or selling alloys that are not as advertised.
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Old August 31, 2012, 06:50 PM   #5
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Made my first bullet today wish I had something to shoot it out of
Someone was selling a mold so I emailed him that I wanted to start casting was real nice of him we made some ingots from ww then cast a few bullets
Quote:
That's not bad, as long as it doesn't have any zinc in it
Check around at castboolits.gunloads.com and see if anybody is selling lead. About $1 a pound delivered seems to be the usual price.
Checked castboolits found someone selling some 95/2.5/2,5http://www.castboolits.gunloads.com/...d.php?t=160287
I think the higher tin content should be better for making rounds for tokarev than what I found on ebay and its cheaper
from what I have read its supposed to be better to start with a larger caliber but I like doing things the hard way
Quote:
Something I will advise you of, over the years I have been burnt on shipping a few times. The problem is with the post Office, most of the private sellers use Flat rate boxes, As you may know they can put up too 90 pounds in a FRB. However if they use too much packing tape according too an over zealous postmaster, or the box breaks open in shipping you will be charged a much higher shipping rate. I some times buy Linotype from private sellers. You can refuse the package, but you then need too deal with an un happy seller. And the whole who’s fault the package was damaged.
That might be common problem one add I saw said they gorilla taped the box then put it in another box
But good advice ill mention it beforehand to prevent any possible problems
Quote:
There are gun forums that have a fair amount of alloy listed (castboolits, g2bgo {greybeard}, marlin owners, and ar15). Just be sure to buy from some one with a known track record for selling good alloy. Sometimes, people try to dump contaminated alloys on those forums.

Ebay and gun auction sites are another option. Again, it's best to buy from some one with a history of selling good alloy. There's nothing worse than thinking you got a good deal on 70 lbs of alloy, only to find out the seller was a d-bag selling an alloy full of zinc (ruins the alloy for bullet casting).

Personally, I won't touch auctions. - too many people trying to get rid of bad alloys, or selling alloys that are not as advertised.
Today 06:28 AM
That’s one of the reasons I picked the one I did from ebay he had a lot of sales and only good feedback the guy on castboolits has been on the site for a long time and selling them for over a month so should be pretty safe but that is one thing I’m afraid of is getting bad lead not knowing if the problems are from me not knowing how to do it properly or the lead. It seemed pretty easy today so hopefully it will go smoothly when I try it on my own I did run across a post complaining about some contaminated corn cob ingots that look like the ones that are being sold on ebay but didn’t say if they might have come from ebay
Might hit the scrap yards in the future hope there is one up here like by you but for now not a good option
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Old August 31, 2012, 08:55 PM   #6
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Old August 31, 2012, 09:17 PM   #7
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You could always look at buying reclaimed shot that sells for $1/lb instead of your price of $1.50/lb and add whatever hardener you want
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Old August 31, 2012, 10:40 PM   #8
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I get most of my lead for free from the indoor shooting range, but it's a *lot* of work reclaiming it. (besides the work shoveling it and hauling it up the stairs and home, it has bits of tire rubber mixed all through it so it's nasty to melt)

I just store it in buckets and ingotize a little at a time. Probably got about 1000 pounds of ingots, and 300 pounds of raw scrap left to be processed.
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Old September 1, 2012, 01:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
I get most of my lead for free from the indoor shooting range, but it's a *lot* of work reclaiming it. (besides the work shoveling it and hauling it up the stairs and home, it has bits of tire rubber mixed all through it so it's nasty to melt)
Obviously, anything stuck to or in the bullets would be a bit more difficult to remove... but, have you considered submerging everything in water?

I imagine filling a container (I'm thinking plastic tote) with 40-80 lbs of the stuff, topping it off with water, then agitating (gloved hand) while using flowing water (garden hose). It might just float a bunch of that crap out of the lead.

I know many people don't like getting their reclaimed scrap anywhere near water, but I use the "empty pot only" method for scrap. So, I don't have a problem with it. (Plus, it's usually weeks to months, before anything that got wet has a chance to be smelted, anyway.)

*-"Empty pot only" meaning I ONLY add scrap or reclaimed materials to an empty smelting pot with the heat turned off. I never add it to a molten pot. That way, everything comes up to temperature before the alloy can melt, and any water has plenty of time and heat to evaporate before getting submerged (and any other contaminant has a chance to burn off).*
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Old September 1, 2012, 01:47 AM   #10
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I get several buckets from an indoor also,what little sluff is in there will float. But to dry sintered and smashed bullets(mine gets shot into a steel backstop,no rubber) would be almost imposible,though heating from a cold pot works,I can continue without letting the pot cool down. Most is clean enough that it actually helps to flux. I just take a little time to pick as much out as I slowly dump from one bucket to the next,but wear a resperator.
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Old September 1, 2012, 02:33 AM   #11
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I’m used to doing things for myself it sucks being dependent on other people for help
That’s the reason I decided to go with ingots that way all I need is someone to move them when they come in the mail and I can store them close to where in going to cast and just move what is needed and make a few trips if necessary
The guy selling on castboolits is aprox 65lb for $70 so pretty close to a buck a pound it’s a lot better than on eBay and from what I have read so far I think I will need a hard bullet 16+ with a decent amount of tin to get proper fill for the small bullets .311 - 93 grain so I would need to add some tin with ww but the 95/2.5/2.5 I’m thinking should work as is or would I still need more tin than 2.5?
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Old September 1, 2012, 09:20 AM   #12
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Quote:
Obviously, anything stuck to or in the bullets would be a bit more difficult to remove... but, have you considered submerging everything in water?

I imagine filling a container (I'm thinking plastic tote) with 40-80 lbs of the stuff, topping it off with water, then agitating (gloved hand) while using flowing water (garden hose). It might just float a bunch of that crap out of the lead.
That's exactly what I do. It probably gets 2/3 of the crap out of the lead. (The rubber is heavier than water) The rest acts as flux, but I try not to burn too much of it because of the smoke and the smell
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Old September 1, 2012, 11:16 PM   #13
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ronz, 2.5% tin will get you great mold fillout. That alloy sounds like isotope container alloy which is very good for casting boolits with. It should have a bhn of around 12-14 and would water drop to around 18. That should work well for anything up to around 2100 fps (with a gas check) and all handgun loads.
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Old September 2, 2012, 02:19 AM   #14
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Would I be able to get by without the gas checks at around 1400 fps for a tokarev
I was going to order the equipment from grafs and there out of stock for 30 cal gas checks

Last edited by ronz; September 2, 2012 at 02:29 AM. Reason: added more
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Old September 2, 2012, 08:27 AM   #15
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I shoot plain-based cast bullets in a Ruger .30 revolver at 1700 fps without leading. (really surprised me that it worked)
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Old September 2, 2012, 02:38 PM   #16
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Cool I’m going to try it without them
Didn’t seem too bright buying everything but one necessary component but that is what I was going to do
Wife would go completely nuts if I tried to heat treat them in the oven and just wasn’t sure if it was worth it to try it without them
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Old September 2, 2012, 03:53 PM   #17
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Quote:
I shoot plain-based cast bullets in a Ruger .30 revolver at 1700 fps without leading. (really surprised me that it worked)
Yep.
I push a few different commercial bullets to 1,500-1,700 fps in .327 Federal (5.5")... none of them gas checked.

The GC bullet I have for 30/32 caliber only gets 'checked for handguns because I don't want the lube on the GC shank contaminating powder. But... I haven't shot any of them yet.
My next 32 caliber mold will be a PB design, to replace the commercial bullets I mentioned above, when they run out.
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Old September 2, 2012, 10:18 PM   #18
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Thanks for the help have some more questions though
From what I have read it should be easier to use a ladle verses a bottom pour pot especially for smaller moulds so should I go with a dip pot or am I going to regret not getting the bottom pour right away?
From the pictures it looks like the lyman lead dipper may have a spout on the back side that would make it a lot easier to use than the lee ladle does it have one and is it worth the $17 compared to lee’s for $4
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Old September 2, 2012, 10:31 PM   #19
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I have the Lee ladle. I wouldn't bother with it. Just a round spoon with a very small divot that is supposed to be where you pour from. The Lyman does look better, but haven't had one.

If your serious about ladling, get a bottom pour rowel ladle. 8 different sizes to choose from and easier to use.
http://www.rotometals.com/Ladles-for-Casting-s/8.htm
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Old September 3, 2012, 03:10 AM   #20
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Ladle-casting is a perfectly acceptable method. You'd be surprised at how many casters try bottom pour pots and go straight back to an "old fashioned" 'dipper' casting pot.

Look at it this way:
You can always ladle-cast, but not all molds (possible future buys) will work with bottom-pour pots. And, bottom pour pots require more attention.
If you want to get started without being thrown into the deep end, stick with the classic ladle-casting method.

If you decide you want to try a bottom-pour pot in the future, you can. But, you'll still have the ability to ladle-cast small batches, or molds that don't work well with bottom-pouring.

-----

My experience with a few ladles:

The Rowell ladles (even the #1) are too big for nearly any casting pot under 20#. Even then, I wouldn't use it. It's too big, too heavy, and ... just awkward.

The Lee ladle is worthless at a casting bench. I know a lot of people on these forums think I'm an "elitist" Lee-hater, but I won't rag on a Lee tool unless I've tried it.
I wanted to try it... So, I bought one when I was searching for something a little different than the Lyman ladle I've got.
I laughed when I pulled it out of the package.
I was frustrated by the incredibly short handle.
I was frustrated further by the low capacity.
I laughed (begrudgingly) when the handle caught fire under what I consider normal use. (Leave the ladle in the alloy between pours, keeping the handle clear of the pot.)
Now, I use the Lee ladle (sans handle) to plant sunflower seeds in the Spring. I punch a hole with the shaft, push the seeds into the soil with the shaft, and then scoop dirt into the hole with the 'spoon' end. It's a great gardening tool.

The Lyman ladle is love/hate for me. I like the 'feel' of it. I like the rate at which it pours. I like the capacity. The handle length is just about perfect. But, it constantly oxidizes lead on the surface. If I don't clean it regularly (every 6-10 pours), I get inclusions.

The RCBS ladle is like a scaled-down version of the Lyman ladle. The pour rate is slower. It's lighter. Its capacity is lower. The handle is shorter. But... it doesn't cause oxidation like the Lyman ladle.

I use a Lyman ladle for large bullets (41 caliber or larger, and/or 200 gr or heavier), and an RCBS ladle for smaller bullets (30/32 caliber to 40 caliber).

I tried a couple Rowell ladles, but just couldn't find a way to make them usable with a casting pot. Now, I only have one (#1), and it is used only for pouring ingots when I smelt alloys in a dutch oven.

-Just my $0.16
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Old September 3, 2012, 07:41 AM   #21
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I went with a bottom pour after first trying a lattle(Lyman) and I just couldn't get confortable with that process.As frankenmauser said,I was constantly fighting oxidation and getting good pours. I didn't spend a whole lot of time with it,I just ordered a cheap Lee drip-o-matic 20# 220v(better than the 110v).I am quite happy with the bottom pour(an RCBS would be ideal).I haven't found any molds that I couldn't get good bullet with from it.It mostly requires holding the molds at an angle so the lead swirls and pushes the air out better.Every mold has its likes and dislikes(some want hot temps, some work well colder,others a big sprue puddle,another a small puddle,ect...), you have to try different things till the bullets come out good.
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Old September 3, 2012, 09:27 AM   #22
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There's a bunch of different methods to casting boolits. Or three main methods with variations.
1. Ladle casting.
2. Bottom pouring.
3. Pressure casting.

Ladle casting is simply pouring molten alloy on top of the sprue plate, attempting to hit the hole in the sprue plate.

Bottom pouring is similar to flooding the sprue plate with alloy, BUT the thin narrow stream can be aimed to enter the sprue hole directly in the center. This is done by the use of mold guides that position the sprue hole under the spout.

Pressure casting is accomplished by several related methods. A ladle like the rowel, or Lyman has a teet or spout on the bottom of the bowl. It's shaped like the chamfer of the sprue hole, to mate with it to create a seal. The teet is seated in that chamfered hole, then the ladle and mold is rotated to the verticle to let the lead flow into the mold. The ladle is held in contact with the sprue plat for a few seconds, which allows the cooling boolit to draw lead alloy from the bowl of the ladle. That the ladle is separated from the sprue plate to form a sprue puddle.

Bottom pouring is much faster than ladle casting. Some will argue it just as fast, but I disagree. Especially when casting with more than a 2 cavity mold.

Another thing is where the lead alloy is coming from. Ladles have to be dipped into the surface of the lead, DUH! That agitates the hot lead causing it to oxidize more rapidly. ANY disturbance of the surface of the alloy introduces it to the atmospheric oxygen, causing oxides to form. Oxides that get included,(inclusions), will cause lighter boolits and surface defects.

Bottom pour pots, and ladles that pour from under the surface of the molten lead alloy, prevent those inclusions.

Lead alloy needs to be fluxed to re-combine the oxides with the alloy. Any carbon bearing substance can be used. The best is sawdust, put it in until it it chars then stir the alloy to remove the dirt and return the oxides to the melt.

I use a combination of the Lyman ladle and the lee 20# bottom pour pot. I also have a lee 20# melter that I use when I'm making a bunch of big boolits. I have at least 10 lee six cavity molds that all get bottom poured. They're mainly handgun boolits. The others are 2 and 4 cavities, some are bottom poured, the rest are pressure cast. I do NOT flood pour from a ladle, too big of a mess! Some of my Mihec molds cannot be flood cast. The rods that support the HP pins would be impossible to use if lead got dumped on them.



The guide rods are on the back side of this mold. They consist of thin steel pins with "E" clips on them, they would be held from sliding if lead got dumped on them. This is a fine example of a cramer type HP mold.
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Old September 4, 2012, 02:05 PM   #23
ronz
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Thanks for all the help so far
For the pot I’m planning on going with a bottom pour now the LEE PRO 4-20 LEAD MELTER 110 VOLT (20lb CAPACITY) the Lyman ladle and cheapest pot would cost about the same as the cheaper lee bottom pour and for $7 figure it’s better to go to the bigger lee pot
For moulds .311 93gr or 100gr anyone have any experience with the 93gr in a tokarev?
Would either one work in a 308 with gas checks?
I was going to order some 110 grain bullets to try for working up a reduced recoil 308 target round but that just seems silly now that I’m going to be casting
I seriously think I was planning on getting the 93gr just because they are out of the 2 cavity so would have to order the 6 cavity. The tokarev quickly became my favorite gun and I shoot a lot out of it is there any reason I should get the 2 cavity to start with?
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Old September 5, 2012, 12:06 AM   #24
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Good choice. I have a used 10# Lee and despite the drips, it has worked quite well. BTW if the spout freezes just hit it with a propane torch or jet lighter for a few seconds.

As for those Tokarev bullets, be sure they are a dedicated gas check design. You can't just clamp one on to a regular bullet.
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Old September 5, 2012, 04:46 AM   #25
Mike / Tx
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2.5 / 2.5 / 95

You will not be disappointed in that alloy. I have used some, and my friend prefers it over anything else he has used so far.

Most who sell on CB's ship in Med Flat Rate and keep the weight pretty darned close to the max they can get in the boxes. Most package and secure the ingots VERY well and have little issues. There are however always exceptions.

If your looking for WW ingots look up "TheCaptain" in the Vendor Sponsor section. She usually has clean WW ingots for sale on a regular basis. LOTS of satisfied customers, myself included.

After almost posting htis in the wrong thread, I finished reading this one. LOL

The Lee drip-o-matic isn't a bad place to start at all. Worst case you can drill out and plug the hole if you ever get REALLY tired of it. Best case you will find that with a bit of care and attention it isn't nearly as bad as it sounds. One thing I found that has helped more than anything, I took some 200'ish grit lapping compound when mine was new and lapped the seat and stem to about as perfect a fit as I could get. It took a while to do so but I only get a drip every once in a great while, and that usually is due to where I have it adjusted to. I clean mine about every 6 or so sessions as well to get out the crud that simply doesn't get to the top when fluxing. I only use paraffin flux in mine, but my ingots have been fluxed several times with sawdust ahead of going in, and are VERY clean. Never use the Lee to smelt down raw wheel weights and you will be WAY better off.

One other thing you might pick up to go with your 4-20, is a lead thermometer. If you look in the above mentioned Vendor section on CB's there is a fellow who goes by Swede Nelson who sells a VERY nice and affordable thermometer. It will help you keep your alloy temps close as you empty your pot. The dial on the Lee is simply more or less a rheostat, and as the alloy level drops the temp will climb. Once you get the hang of it it is pretty easy to know when you get to a certain level you need to start backing off the temp a bit.

Hope this helps.
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