Thread: Re-claimed shot
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Old September 30, 2012, 05:40 PM   #5
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Join Date: August 25, 2008
Location: 1B ID
Posts: 10,198
Current price through the guy I buy reclaimed shot from is $1 / lb.
....washed, cleaned, screened, and re-graphited.

I get about 15 steel pellets, one or two shot-sized pebbles, and a couple pieces of other metals (bismuth, tungsten, etc) in each 15 lb jug.

But... it's cheap and effective.

I have cast a few bullets with a couple lbs of it, and I occasionally use it for slight tweaking of other alloys; but I prefer to keep the shot in its original form, for shot shell loads.

When considering smelting reclaimed shot for bullet alloy, keep one thing in mind about quality:
Many shotgun ranges see 90% bottom-shelf, super-cheap, disposable economy loads (a la Walmart Bulk Pack). That means the shot is going to be the cheapest thing the company could get their hands on. So, the tin and antimony content is extremely low.
Magnum shot isn't too bad for tweaking bullet alloys, since it's near WW alloy and about BHN 12. But, most reclaimed shot that I've dealt with and spoken to people about has come in around BHN 9-10.
Unless you're getting shot from a range that primarily sees quality loads fired, don't count on getting good shot; and don't count on seeing more than about 1% antimony or 0.5% tin.

It can also be a bit of a pain to get all of the pellets to melt down for a smelt. Sometimes, the graphite coating hardens (possibly around some factory coating) and creates a protective "shell" around the lead. I have had a few of them pop and splatter, and I usually have to 'crush' the shell on about a couple dozen per pound.

I think it requires more effort than it's worth.
If I was in a position where reclaimed shot was my best source of lead.... I'd find some one else that wanted to trade other alloys (raw or ingots) for the shot.
"Such is the strange way that man works -- first he virtually destroys a species and then does everything in his power to restore it."

Last edited by FrankenMauser; September 30, 2012 at 05:47 PM.
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