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Lead.........what to get?

gatorgator Senior MemberPosts: 1,746 Senior Member
Ok I've got a pot for melting, a burner for the heat, a dipper and a mold on the way, now I need some lead.....looking at the Rotometals site and they have a bakers dozen of lead and alloys to chose from.

To start with I will be casting Lee Real bullets and round balls for muzzleloaders.

Should I just get pure lead?
USMC 80-84
-96 lbs

Replies

  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,244 Senior Member
    Yes.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    gator wrote: »
    Ok I've got a pot for melting, a burner for the heat, a dipper and a mold on the way, now I need some lead.....looking at the Rotometals site and they have a bakers dozen of lead and alloys to chose from.

    To start with I will be casting Lee Real bullets and round balls for muzzleloaders.

    Should I just get pure lead?

    Yes. Pure lead for muzzleloaders. Any alloyed lead with much hardness at all will shrink and cast undersized bullets. And the hardness can make them a major pain to get started in the bore. And they won't 'bump up' when pressure from the powder charge hits them to completely seal the bore.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
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  • gatorgator Senior Member Posts: 1,746 Senior Member
    Thanks,

    I understand wheel weights are alloy so not to be used for ML then?
    USMC 80-84
    -96 lbs
  • HAWKENHAWKEN Senior Member Posts: 1,720 Senior Member
    Wheel weights are way too hard for muzzleloaders. Look for cable sheathing or roof flashing. If you can make a dent in it, with your thumb nail, it will be fine. Keep yer powder dry..........Robin
    I don't often talk to people that voted for Obama, but when I do I order large fries!
    Life member of the American Legion, the VFW, the NRA and the Masonic Lodge, retired LEO
  • Ranch13Ranch13 Senior Member Posts: 820 Senior Member
    Buffalo Arms is another place to check on for certified alloys. They are often less expensive than Rotometals.
  • olesniperolesniper Senior Member Posts: 3,767 Senior Member
    If you have a local fair come through, try making a deal with whoever runs the booth that has the full-auto air rifles. They shoot a lead BB. They usually have buckets full of deformed BBs, with little bits of paper target mixed in.
    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I will fear no evil: For I carry a .308 and not a .270
  • Ranch13Ranch13 Senior Member Posts: 820 Senior Member
    Also check on Ebay from time to time there's a good buy on soft/pure lead.
    If you have an indoor range close by where they shoot a lot of 22's that's another good source for soft lead when they clean the bullet traps out.
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Senior Member Posts: 2,725 Senior Member
    No need for me to say another word about this, but. Take it from those of us who live and breathe muzzleloaders.....pure lead ONLY! And see Hawkin's comment, and mine on another recent question on "pure lead".....if you can put a visible scratch in the metal with your thumbnail, then it's pure enough for patched round balls. You CAN use wheel weight alloys in smoothbores, however, but rifled bores, NO!
  • gatorgator Senior Member Posts: 1,746 Senior Member
    Thanks for all the info guys.
    USMC 80-84
    -96 lbs
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    Hey you guys, keep these Muzzle Loader threads coming. As a newby to the Muzzle Loader game I'm learning volumes here.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 9,324 Senior Member
    Plumber's lead is a possible source - if you know any in the trade. Battery cable clamps are another.

    Jacketed pistol slugs will tend to have soft cores that can be melted out. Shotgun slugs - unless you're talking about exotics like Brenneke's - are also very soft if you find any laying on the berms. Neither of these is likely to be 100% pure, but that's where the hardness testers come in handy - to help you figure out the "close enough" threshold.

    Scrounged cast pistol bullets will be an amalgam of tin and antimony. They're worth picking up if you are going to cast other things, but best kept separate from the other types. This allows you to mix as needed.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    If, IF you live along a coast with a boatyard that also junks out derelict sailboats, the keel in those things has a HUGE amount of lead in them. If you get a 1000 lb. lead keel weight, good luck getting it into manageable pieces to smelt! Lead is also used in the keels of ships for ballast. You might just luck up on some lead bricks from a ship being broken up that are manageable to handle to get in a pickup.

    Rule of thumb; if it will fit in a 55 gallon drum, then you can smelt it at home with the use of some bricks to set the drum on, and leave room for a wood fire underneath. Hole in side of drum to let melted lead run out on piece of roofing metal. Thin lead up to an inch responds to an ax for cutting out chunks.

    Scrap metal yards sometimes have lead sheathing from roofs of old buildings, and lead from industrial use. Lead is used, or was, to level heavy machinery. The machine was jacked up level and a form built around the mounting leg. Molten lead was poured in and when cooled, the machine was bolted down. I've seen machines weighing at least a thousand tons leveled this way in paper mills.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    Too bad all y'all don't live closer to Oak Ridge National Laboratories. I got a flat of lead bricks up there for an obscenely low price at an auction years ago. I had to make 3 trips with a 1 1/2 ton flatbed truck to get it all, and it had to be removed that day. All three loads were the same weight and squatted the truck down on the overloads, but it was worth it!
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,615 Senior Member
    Check out your local scrap yard. I buy mine there. They let me pick out whatever I want. Last time I bought a big pile of pure lead sheet from an x Ray room for 75¢ a pound.
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