View Full Version : buying lead, where is it?

max it
December 1, 2009, 01:12 PM

I am going to run out of lead ingots one of these days. I started with 150# of approx #2 alloy.
Now I see it for sale on eBay. Only most offer pure lead; I guess that means no tin, no antimony.
Should I buy this stuff? where will I find tin and antimony? I tried the hardware store and no bars of tin/lead anymore.

Any clues?

Much obliged,


December 1, 2009, 01:36 PM
Hear in the east mainly tire shops. Wheel weights have a BHN of about 10. They work great for mid-range loads. I get Lino-type and add to the wheel weights if I need harder bullets. And Rifle its straight Lino-type. You may be able to get both at a scrap yard. Not many printers using print type .but there is still some around.

December 1, 2009, 02:03 PM
I was given a 75lb block of pure lead. I bought "superhard alloy" (30% antimony, 70% lead), pure lead, and tin in the appropriate ratios to turn give me a mix of roughly 1.8% tin, 5.5% antimony, and the balance lead. I ended up with 105lbs of bullet alloy.

I purchased my metals from www.rotometals.com


December 2, 2009, 07:14 AM
I'm still having great success collecting wheel weights. I got two 5 gal buckets last week. Each was just over half full. Melted down the first one yesterday and got 30 full size muffin ingots. Should get the same from the other one today. My dad delivers car parts to local shops and he has made a deal with several of them to save the weights for him. They were just throwing them away! They are still out there to be found, just gotta keep asking.

December 2, 2009, 07:26 AM
I live in WV but go to WI every spring to fish at my parents....I pick up two full five gallon buckets each time Im up there... they weigh aprox 200 to 220 pounds each.. cost is 20 bucks per bucket... but there are none here in wv so I dont think that cost is outta line... I have nearly 500 pounds now...and two full buckets awaiting me for this spring there.

December 8, 2009, 11:27 AM
dont pay for lead... unless its dirt cheap like >50cents a lb. and even then with a little grunt work you can find them for free at a tire shop. in my expieriance the newer the tire shop the better because they are less likely to have a source to take away thier lead yet. ive probably gotten about 500lbs from the local tire shop in the past 3 months for almost free, an ocasional free pizza and booze helps to keep the lead flowing!

chris in va
December 8, 2009, 10:57 PM
Tire shops or recyclers. I scored a 5 gallon bucket for $20, weighed 100#. They also have those pure lead roof flashing pipes but I really have no use for them.

EDIT: I see the OP lives in California where lead WW are now banned. Good luck to you! Maybe hop the border to Nevada?

December 9, 2009, 03:37 PM
With just a little drive around and calling I got about 300lbs of clip on wheel weights for $70.00 and 60lbs of stick ons for free.

I don't know what hornady considers a midrange load, but I push wheel weights to about 1200fps in my revolvers and a gascheck number out of my 32/20 rifle at around 1900fps. I have used lino in a .223 I use to own at around 2300fps, but I'm thinking it was a waste of expensive linotype. Wheel weights are primo for almost all bullets, a little tin makes them even better. I still have around 40lbs of linotype that I may never use. The only thing I cast not using wheel weights are hollow points meant for my revolvers and a HP 454190 I use in my replica .45 colt '73. I try for mainly lead and tin 20 to 1.

December 9, 2009, 03:41 PM
I wish they'd give away lead so freely around here. I've hit a bunch of tire shops and most won't share. A friend found one who will, but we're getting 10-20lbs at a time.


December 9, 2009, 07:54 PM
If you know anyone in the auto biz, parts guys, repair, sales etc. you should ask if they know anyone who sells WWs. Better casters get them than the recyclers.

December 19, 2009, 08:28 PM
Tire shops not so good any more. Wheel weights for mag wheels contain zinc. 1 part zinc to 10,000 parts lead is no good.

December 19, 2009, 08:31 PM
Get to know some of the (dirt racers) in your area or post on some the racing forums that you are looking for lead, especially this time of year there are a few that will part with lead weights for go-fast money.

December 19, 2009, 09:24 PM
Tire shops not so good any more. Wheel weights for mag wheels contain zinc. 1 part zinc to 10,000 parts lead is no good.

Zinc is easy to cull. It's harder than lead, so a simple test with pliers will tell you immediately. Or, you can tap it on concrete, it sounds different. Even if it goes in the pot, as long as you're not running way too hot, it'll float long after the lead has melted.


max it
December 20, 2009, 11:43 PM
The range is cleaning out their berm (some kind of synthetic stuff). How much of that stuff is going to be lead, and how much copper?
Can I melt it down and seperate?

any ideas much appreciated.


December 21, 2009, 09:07 AM
The range is cleaning out their berm (some kind of synthetic stuff). How much of that stuff is going to be lead, and how much copper?
Can I melt it down and seperate?Just melt it and the jacket material (copper) will float on the top to be skimmed off. It is not likely you have a heat source hot enough to actually melt the jackets. The bullet material in the berm should be a good alloy for pistol bullets.

December 22, 2009, 07:17 AM
I try to seperate berm material by placing some in a five gallon bucket & agitate a little , berm material is skimmed off the topp .

Just start with a empty pot when smeltin !! wat ain`t lead will float , flux & skim!!

December 22, 2009, 10:33 AM
There are a couple other forums that I frequent where I see lead and alloys offered up for sale. One site even has a sponsor that is offering custom alloys and group buys on it.

I have been able to pick up an average of 1 or 2 5-gallon buckets full of wheelweights each week locally, averaging about 150 lbs each. Sometimes, I luck out and score 3 buckets in one week, but usually it is only one.

Good luck

December 25, 2009, 11:23 AM
More than just CA is banning lead WW's. Get them while you can.

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
January 5, 2010, 07:08 PM
Yep, WW are going to be harder to get.

I have made arrangement to pick up the small amount availabe at my local gas station/tire shop, but even there I am seeing ZINC in the box.

My son runs a tire shop for one of the big tire retailers in Califunnyia and as of the first of the year it is a no no to use the lead alloy for WW.

They had to box up everything and it was picked up and shipped to out of state stores in the chain.

However, for alloy at what seems to be a reasonable price, check out Buffalo Arms here in Ideeeeeeeeeeho.

They also make high quality molds and sell a lot of shooting/casting/loading stuff.

A friend who is into the Black Powder "silly-wet" game tipped me off to this source yesterday.

Keep em coming!

Crusty Deary Ol Coot

January 7, 2010, 10:02 AM
Tire shops,car dealerships check with the service managers,scrap yards and recycle centers all these are good sources. I get a 5 gal. bucket full every month form a car dealership,get about 75% usable WW out of that close to 100 lbs. of usable alloy.

As others have said keep you temps down,Zinc melts at a little over 700 degrees they will float if you miss one and you can just skim it off the top.