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dudel
04-10-2010, 15:01
This morning, I thought I stop by the local tire shop and get some WW. He's dropped his price to $.30/lb. This might sound high, but he fills my bucket by hand, sorting out most of the zinc, iron and non lead weights. 55# for $20, and no razor blades, valve stems, cigrarette butts, chaws, etc in the bucket. I finished going through the bucket an hour ago with the nippers. Only about 5 weights non lead weights slipped through (which is why I try to cut each strip with the nipper). Culled out one Zn and 4 Fe weights. Not too bad.

I heard of people buying the bucket of WW from the shop; then finding all sorts of non castable material included. Free would be nice; but for 30 cents, getting good material, I can live with it. I did get mostly stickon, with some clipon included. Turns out if the clipon is in good shape, it gets reused. We might be seeing fewer and fewer clipons in the future. Going to have to start looking for a good source of Tin and Antimony to get the alloy a bit harder.

Strangely, he said he's selling a fair amount of new WW as well. Turns our people are using the new stickon weights to tune/balance their hunting rifles. I didn't get the price of the new stuff (stickon or clipon); but it would sure make the smelting process cleaner.

WiskyT
04-10-2010, 15:08
That is a good deal. One thing you can consider is see how soft a bullet you can "get away with". I use range scrap which is pretty soft and I have no problem running them full tilt for pistols like 357Mag and 40SW with tumble lubing with liquid alox as long as I use Unique. I have other slower and medium powders and ASSume they would work just as well, but I haven't bothered to try them yet.

Hornady swaged bullets are softer than my range scrap and I run them at 1200fps with Unique in 357Mag and little or slight leading. I've run the 158LSWCHP at a full load with 2400 and got no leading. I think hardness is over rated for pistols.

Rifles I know nothing about. I did test fire 5 shots of 11 grains of Unique with a 95 grain RN out of range scrap in 30-06 and got no leading. I can't speak to the accuracy as there were just too many holes in the target at that point for me to tell what was what.

dudel
04-10-2010, 15:18
Good point. I need to work up loads to see how best to use straight stickon WW. Sure would make the alloy easier to maintain. The thought was to mix stickon with new clipon (to increase the hardness); but that's going to be a pain.

I think you're right. Workup plinking loads with straight stickon. I've also found that Unique works quite well with lead. Bullseye as well if I keep the speed down (mouse fart loads).

vafish
04-10-2010, 18:54
I get all the lead I want for free. :)

Jut have to clean out the pellet traps on our air rifle range.

But it is pure soft lead. I cast using a Lee Tumble Lube bullet mold and lube it with their liquid Alox. As long as I keep them around 800 FPS they shoot great.

I just cast 50 lbs of ingots this evening.

WiskyT
04-10-2010, 21:27
Vafish, have you tried to run pure lead faster? I'm just curious as to what the limits of it is. I have run hotter loads with lead that is only slightly harder than yours, but maybe that little bit of hardness matters.

vafish
04-11-2010, 08:12
Vafish, have you tried to run pure lead faster? I'm just curious as to what the limits of it is. I have run hotter loads with lead that is only slightly harder than yours, but maybe that little bit of hardness matters.

I've only tried running it faster with the Lee 148 gr WC tumble lube bullet. I got terrible accuracy with it, about half the bullets hit the target sideways at 25 yards.

The Lee Tumble Lube bullets have very small grooves for the lube, not the thicker bands most cast bullets have.

Here is a pic of a SWC from Lee's web site:

http://www.leeprecision.com/graphics/shoppingcart/mcroband.jpg

I think it's a combination of the small grooves and the soft lead. There just isn't that much to grab the rifling and when you push the velocities higher they just strip out. I think a different bullet design or harder alloy would allow me to push them faster.

WiskyT
04-11-2010, 09:23
I've only tried running it faster with the Lee 148 gr WC tumble lube bullet. I got terrible accuracy with it, about half the bullets hit the target sideways at 25 yards.

The Lee Tumble Lube bullets have very small grooves for the lube, not the thicker bands most cast bullets have.

Here is a pic of a SWC from Lee's web site:

http://www.leeprecision.com/graphics/shoppingcart/mcroband.jpg

I think it's a combination of the small grooves and the soft lead. There just isn't that much to grab the rifling and when you push the velocities higher they just strip out. I think a different bullet design or harder alloy would allow me to push them faster.

I had good luck with magnum doeses of Unique and the TL SWC in 357. Were you using a fast powder like Bullseye etc? I think it has to do with powder speed and alloy hardness more than anything, not the bullet design. That is based purely on my observations though, not any kind of scientific method.

In the old days before I casted, it seems linotype was being given away. I remember big bars of tin and type metal in the basement when i was a kid and I know my father didn't buy them. He did filed work for GE at many different manufacturing plants and all kinds of scrap this and that came his way. Nowadays, we have to take what we can get. I can get lots of free soft lead like many others and decided to see what I could do with it, rather than trying to hunt down better metal. I found I can do everything I want with it so I'm stockpiling away. I'd rather give up a few fps, or use a different powder, than hunt down the Holy Grail and strike out trying to get good alloy.

I also don't know this for a fact, but I basically get away with murder concerning velocity and cheap alloy using liquid alox, and I specualte that it works better than traditional lubes. The only traditional lubes I've used have been on commercial bullets, so it's not a fair comparioson, But I've gotten bad results with many of those bullets and I almost can't go wrong with LA. You're using it too and you should be able to get the same results as me, if that is what you want.

chris in va
04-11-2010, 10:01
I go to my local truck tire shop. The WW are *massive*. He lets me sift through everything and get all the zinc/Fe out, charges .44/lb.

The car tire store was doing the $20/bucket thing but I had a lot of junk in it.

fredj338
04-11-2010, 14:03
Strangely, he said he's selling a fair amount of new WW as well. Turns our people are using the new stickon weights to tune/balance their hunting rifles. I didn't get the price of the new stuff (stickon or clipon); but it would sure make the smelting process cleaner.

Yeah, not buying that one, but good story. For sure, 30c/# for useable ww is a great price. After semlting, you are going to have 85% useable alloy, so for a 100# bucket, you get 85# of alloy for 42c/#, pretty cheap shooting.:dunno: BTW, even new stickon ww are messing smelting. The glue is pretty foul smelling & the stickons are near pure lead, the clippons are an alloy. You'll have to blend the stickons w/ tin or the clipons for a useable bullet alloy.

dudel
04-11-2010, 17:10
Yeah, not buying that one, but good story. For sure, 30c/# for useable ww is a great price. After semlting, you are going to have 85% useable alloy, so for a 100# bucket, you get 85# of alloy for 42c/#, pretty cheap shooting.:dunno: BTW, even new stickon ww are messing smelting. The glue is pretty foul smelling & the stickons are near pure lead, the clippons are an alloy. You'll have to blend the stickons w/ tin or the clipons for a useable bullet alloy.


The new stickons will of course stink from the glue; but there should be as much dross from the grease, oil, dirt, etc that you get with used stickons.

I'm going to try the straight stickon with some water quenching. Not planning on driving them very quick. Mostly for light 38Spl loads in a DEWC projectile. LLA seems to do a pretty good job of protecting the lead. I'll case 50-100 of them and see if I can work up a keeper load.

dudel
04-11-2010, 17:12
I go to my local truck tire shop. The WW are *massive*. He lets me sift through everything and get all the zinc/Fe out, charges .44/lb.

+1. The truck clipons are HUGE. There were several in the bucket. Almost look like ballpark franks with a clip! :shocked:

fredj338
04-11-2010, 17:46
The new stickons will of course stink from the glue; but there should be as much dross from the grease, oil, dirt, etc that you get with used stickons.

I'm going to try the straight stickon with some water quenching. Not planning on driving them very quick. Mostly for light 38Spl loads in a DEWC projectile. LLA seems to do a pretty good job of protecting the lead. I'll case 50-100 of them and see if I can work up a keeper load.
Water quenching pure lead will do little for hardness. You need antimony &/or arsnic for water hardening. If you blend the stickons & clips & water drop, you'll get a bullet close to clipon alloy.
With a good lube & right size, you can push a pure lead bulet to 900fps or so & not get much leading. I never have liked the sticky mess of Alox, but some don't mind. WhiteLable lubes makes a complete array of bullet lubes for heated or non heated sizers & you can melt & pan lube w/ any of them.

dudel
04-12-2010, 17:33
Water quenching pure lead will do little for hardness. You need antimony &/or arsnic for water hardening. If you blend the stickons & clips & water drop, you'll get a bullet close to clipon alloy.
With a good lube & right size, you can push a pure lead bulet to 900fps or so & not get much leading. I never have liked the sticky mess of Alox, but some don't mind. WhiteLable lubes makes a complete array of bullet lubes for heated or non heated sizers & you can melt & pan lube w/ any of them.

Well, the Lee hardness guage shows a difference between air dropped stickons and water dropped stickons. Could be that the stickons are not pure lead, or there is other contamination. It's not too hard to throw in some clipon WW to harden the melt (even if I have to buy the clipons new - or harvest them from a parking lot with pliers :whistling:).

I don't mind the alox at all. I don't use the stuff straight. I do a 50/50 mix of Alox and odorless mineral spirits. Less smell, dries much quicker. Nowadays, I tend to cast TL projectiles exclusively. The LLA works well with the TL projectiles. The Lee 6 holer throws accurate projectiles for me. Not finding much reason to change. These are basically my plinking rounds.

fredj338
04-12-2010, 21:16
Well, the Lee hardness guage shows a difference between air dropped stickons and water dropped stickons. Could be that the stickons are not pure lead, or there is other contamination. It's not too hard to throw in some clipon WW to harden the melt (even if I have to buy the clipons new - or harvest them from a parking lot with pliers :whistling:).

I don't mind the alox at all. I don't use the stuff straight. I do a 50/50 mix of Alox and odorless mineral spirits. Less smell, dries much quicker. Nowadays, I tend to cast TL projectiles exclusively. The LLA works well with the TL projectiles. The Lee 6 holer throws accurate projectiles for me. Not finding much reason to change. These are basically my plinking rounds.
It' spossible. SOme of the old timers say the newer tape wts have some antimony in them, but my own exp, is they harden very little if at all & I treat them as near pure lead. It doesn't take much antimony/arsenic to give some hardening. As little as 3-1 mix lead & clip wts can get you water quneched to near clip ww aircooled.

dudel
04-13-2010, 02:01
It' spossible. SOme of the old timers say the newer tape wts have some antimony in them, but my own exp, is they harden very little if at all & I treat them as near pure lead. It doesn't take much antimony/arsenic to give some hardening. As little as 3-1 mix lead & clip wts can get you water quneched to near clip ww aircooled.

I suspected as much. As I cull through the bucket, I give each weight a pinch with the nippers. My unscientific grip test noticed that some were harder to squeeze than others. I set a couple aside and ran them through the Lee Hardness tester. They were all softer than the Lee scale would read; but there were some that were definitely harder than others (the ball left a much smalller dent - in some cases, half the size).

fredj338
04-13-2010, 09:46
I suspected as much. As I cull through the bucket, I give each weight a pinch with the nippers. My unscientific grip test noticed that some were harder to squeeze than others. I set a couple aside and ran them through the Lee Hardness tester. They were all softer than the Lee scale would read; but there were some that were definitely harder than others (the ball left a much smalller dent - in some cases, half the size).

AS of late, I have seen more & more zinc stickons, Easy to find, usually hard as a the steel ones. Obviously those get tossed. I still find the stickns very soft, pure to nearly pure. Blended all together they will read about like pure lead on a hardness tester. Water dropping may or may not produce much add'l. hardness w/o adding some shot or clip ww.