View Full Version : mining my lead

October 26, 2009, 04:52 PM
I have been giving some thought to mining my lead from the range. I have over thousands and thousands of lead bullets shot into the bunker.

I'm not ready to get into bullet casting but I thought I would at least melt the lead down into bricks or something like that.

Do I need to wash the lead first? What are some tricks of the trade for melting down used bullets like these? Would this lead be ok to use for bullets without adding anything to the it?

Old Grump
October 26, 2009, 05:48 PM
Melt it, flux it, skim the impurities off the top of it. Pour into muffin tins to make small easily handled and handy to remelt ingots in case you do get into casting your own. I use mine for making fishing weights for cat fishing and jigs for crappie fishing. I also poured some in a aluminum bread pan propped up at an angle with a length of chain and a bolt in it to hold the chain in the casting. The triangle shaped ingot with a rope attached to the chain makes a handy light weight boat anchor that never gets stuck on debris in the water. Oh yeah, I have made lots of 38, 45 and 348 caliber bullets with it. I'm going to be doing bullets for my 32 Win spcl next.

October 27, 2009, 11:43 AM
Farm, all that's needed is to get as much dirt off the recovered bullets as you can. The rest will float out when you melt them. Just be darn sure they're dry. Best way to do it is to start a pot of them cold, then throw the heat to it. That will dry any hidden moisture out of the cracks and crannies as the pot heats up. BUT throwing a bullet with a hidden amount of water in already melted lead, will get you a visit from the tinsel fairy! The water is instantly converted to steam, if it's under the surface of the lead, it will explode coating everything in the vicinity with hot lead!

When everything is melted, toss some wax, old oil, or any other carbon based stuff in the pot and stir well. That's the flux. It'll wet the dirt to re-claim as much lead as possible. Then skim all the junk off the top. Then flux again.

As for whether the lead will be alright for casting bullets, it depends on what they were to start with. If they were good alloy when fired, they still will be. If you have some jacketed bullets in the mix, they're more like pure lead. You may have to put some harder lead in with it.

October 27, 2009, 07:39 PM
What you're about to do is exactly how I started. I made a video of what I did. Maybe this will give you some ideas.

Part one

part two

October 28, 2009, 11:09 AM
Have to ask; You are using bullet alloy to run your round balls? Is this for C&B revolvers or for PRB use? How has that worked for you?

Be Safe !!!

October 28, 2009, 06:11 PM
They cast very nice. That range lead I recycled into ingots is pretty hard I'll admit (I don't have one of those testers to say exactly how hard) I made about 100 .490 round balls so far. I was just playing with my mold, learning the ropes. I haven't fired one yet. Now that I have some pure lead, I may go ahead and remelt those round balls and cast new ones using the softer lead.

I'm shopping now for a .454 round ball mold for my C&B revolver. When I finally get that I'll be using the soft lead for sure.

October 28, 2009, 06:51 PM
Just asking because I thought you might teach this old dog, some new trick. Thanks and enjoyed your videos.

Be Safe !!!

October 28, 2009, 10:13 PM
Thank you for the video it made things really look easy. I plan on using the high-lift and then screen the soil. Even I think I can do this part, who knows maybe casting will be in the future next year.

October 29, 2009, 07:37 AM
How about using lead from old car batteries??

October 29, 2009, 08:53 AM
NO never use car Batteries, there is some nasty stuff in them. Just not worth it.

October 29, 2009, 03:01 PM
How about using lead from old car batteries??

NO never use car Batteries, there is some nasty stuff in them. Just not worth it.

Not just nasty stuff, deadly, as in it'll kill you!:mad:


October 30, 2009, 02:37 PM
Thanks for the info and link.

November 28, 2009, 12:46 AM
Check this out:


Three 44s

November 28, 2009, 03:22 PM
Here is another good thread.