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Old 01-27-2010, 16:40   #1
Colorado4Wheel
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Score, 210 lbs of Wheel Weights.

I hit up two local shops today. Only one had any WW's but it was a load. I know the owner so that helped. Adding what I got today to the 1/4 bucket from before I am at 210lbs of WW and the other shop said "come back in a month, we just took the stuff away today". Missed the boat on that one but I can wait another month and they will give me some then. Getting lead has been one of my many "obsticals" I have thrown up to keep me from casting. The other is time. I am going to pull the trigger and order the stuff this weekend more then likely. Just need to decide on a couple things.

Anyone care to guess how many 124 gr bullets that would make? I know it's 7000 grs to a pound. Just wondering about how much waste might be in the bucket. I picked out all the steel and other crap. So it's just WW's at this time.
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Old 01-27-2010, 16:42   #2
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Originally Posted by Colorado4Wheel View Post
I hit up two local shops today. Only one had any WW's but it was a load. I know the owner so that helped. Adding what I got today to the 1/4 bucket from before I am at 210lbs of WW and the other shop said "come back in a month, we just took the stuff away today". Missed the boat on that one but I can wait another month and they will give me some then. Getting lead has been one of my many "obsticals" I have thrown up to keep me from casting. The other is time. I am going to pull the trigger and order the stuff this weekend more then likely. Just need to decide on a couple things.

Anyone care to guess how many 124 gr bullets that would make? I know it's 7000 grs to a pound. Just wondering about how much waste might be in the bucket. I picked out all the steel and other crap. So it's just WW's at this time.
After you render off the clips & glue/crud, expect about 85% good alloy. The bucket could have a lot of steel & zinc too, that could bring you down to as little as 65% return. SO I'll guess 7640-9965. What do I get if I win?
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Old 01-27-2010, 16:48   #3
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After you render off the clips & glue/crud, expect about 85% good alloy. The bucket could have a lot of steel & zinc too, that could bring you down to as little as 65% return. SO I'll guess 7640-9965. What do I get if I win?
This batch had been sitting there for over a year easy. To me it looks like all WW that are lead. I cut into the suspects and they all cut easy and shinny. I am sure I have some zinc hidding inside but I think I got a good batch. Either way, it's not a bad haul. I can get range lead for .40 a pound. I thought about cutting this with some of that but it seems I have a supply of lead easy enough so that might be a real waste of money.
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Old 01-27-2010, 16:57   #4
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Cool, that will make you 8-9000 124 grainers and the savings on bullets will be a big chunk of the cost of the casting equip. The good thing is you have a supply for now, but still get all you can !

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Old 01-27-2010, 17:00   #5
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This batch had been sitting there for over a year easy. To me it looks like all WW that are lead. I cut into the suspects and they all cut easy and shinny. I am sure I have some zinc hidding inside but I think I got a good batch. Either way, it's not a bad haul. I can get range lead for .40 a pound. I thought about cutting this with some of that but it seems I have a supply of lead easy enough so that might be a real waste of money.
You'll probably find that 9mm like to be a bit harder than say 45acp. Pressures on the base of the bullet play a big part in accuracy. For 9mm, straight ww will work fine. Range lead @ 40c/# is pretty good, you just have no idea what it is. It tends to be on the soft side & you may want to add some of the WW alloy to it 50/50 to get a better shooting bullet fro higher pressure rounds like 9mm or 40. Smelt into diff ingots so you knwo what you are mixing. Same w/ the tape wts, they tend to be softer, near pure lead. You can add 95/5 bar solder to help w/ mold fill-out, about 25-1 ratio ww to solder works pretty well, or 20-1 lead/solder.
Now to buying equip. Most will go Lee, it's cheap. Their 20#P4 bottom pour is a decent pot for casting. Don't let it empty once you start casting & it will not drip much (chief complaint). The Lee molds can be very hit or miss for quality. I prefer the 6cav to the 2cav, better made, easier to get good bullets with, even if you only use 3-4 of the cavs. Iron molds seem easier to get better bullets from, but cost quite a bit more. Then you have to decide on lubing & sizing.
Many start with the Lee kits. It's a push thru die & you tumble or can pan lube the bullets before sizing. Some will tumble lube (Alox) & shoot as cast, but I like my bullets to all be the same size going in. To me, it makes sense they will likely be more accurate that way. If you go lube/sizer, buy the Magma/Star. Yes it is twice the cost of the RCBS, Lyman or Redding, but well worth the money. If you hate casting, it is easily sold for almost what you paid for it. The other sizers work fine, the Magma/Star is just the best/fastest of them all.
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Old 01-27-2010, 17:02   #6
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If you get 75% you get about 8800.

Good haul.

Go for it.
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Old 01-27-2010, 17:07   #7
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I HATE BEGINNER'S LUCK!!!

Assuming you don't have any zinc in there, (you probably have some, it's becoming more and more prevalent), you can figure you're going to have around 20-30% waste.

Figure clips, some of the weights are the same size as the clips, miscellaneous debris and just plain dirt and grease sticking to everything keeps you from having 100% usable lead. It's normal, don't lose sleep over it.

Don't want you to have second thoughts about casting but don't forget about the clouds of toxic fumes that will cause you to grow appendages in places that weren't designed for them.

Or the fact that the fumes are the world's leading cause of erectile disfunction in men and loss of libido in women. Neither one of those side effect should have the slightest effect on your lifestyle since you'll be spending so much time in the loading room having the time of your life.

Don't give the extreme fire danger a second thought... it's only five or six times more dangerous than throwing a wet, frozen turkey into 20 gallons of boiling oil. It's really not that big of a deal though since the burns are so severe that the nerve ending are instantly destroyed beyond regeneration so you really don't feel anything... for long.

You're going to have a great time casting... put any potential downsides out of your mind... they're not that big of a deal. Oh, did I mention that a molten lead fire is very, very similar to a magnesium fire... there is no know substance that will extinguish it. Again, not a problem... you don't live any where near me so I'm not too concerned.

I know you are shaking with anticipation of the arrival of your new furnace, as well you should be and the giant increase in your home owner's insurance premiums when they find out that you're melting lead on your property, (and they will find out, trust me, ) shouldn't dampen your excitement one iota.

I wish you the very, very best in your casting endeavors but if you should, for any reason, and I don't know what it could possibly be, decide not to cast bullets please know that I can be at your house early in the morning... you'll have to load the lead in my truck but I will pay for breakfast. Yes, I know, I'm a hell of a guy but hey, that's the way I was raised.

Oh, did I say, congratulations?

Jack
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Old 01-27-2010, 17:35   #8
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I agree with Fred on the sizer, you can size and lube in one pull of the handle on the star as fast as you can drop the bullets in the die. I tried pan lubing and I will just say the Star is definitely worth the money if you plan on doing many boolets. The Star is like getting a nice press it's an expense but will last for years and will hold it's value.
The Lee 6 cavity moulds are not that bad and you can run off a pile pretty quick 6 at a time, they just take a little more care and maintenance.


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Old 01-27-2010, 17:38   #9
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get it while you can. Before long most states will likely be banning lead weights. California was the first I believe. Everyone will be using steel shortly. My employer uses steel exclusively now.
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Old 01-27-2010, 17:46   #10
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Originally Posted by fredj338 View Post
Now to buying equip. Most will go Lee, it's cheap. Their 20#P4 bottom pour is a decent pot for casting. Don't let it empty once you start casting & it will not drip much (chief complaint). The Lee molds can be very hit or miss for quality. I prefer the 6cav to the 2cav, better made, easier to get good bullets with, even if you only use 3-4 of the cavs. Iron molds seem easier to get better bullets from, but cost quite a bit more. Then you have to decide on lubing & sizing.
Since you brought it up. In my cart at Midway right now.

Lee 20 lb Bottom pour furnace
Lee 6 Cavity 124 gr TC tumble lube mold.
Lee Allox Tumble Lube

All of those have outstanding comments/ratings. Both on sale right now. I worry a little about the furnace not having a thermostat. But, I think I can make that work with a switch and a temp gauge. I still worry about the smoke when I shoot, but I shoot outside and it's a little windy here ussually. In a match I would probably shoot my 124gr MG's. Supposedly, with these bullet molds you don't have to size. I will try it like that first and then see how that works.

Also in the cart.

Lyman Temp Gauge
Lee Handle.

I also cut the bad part off one of my shovels today. So I have a wood mallet now. I need some ingot molds. I have not decided on that yet. The steel muffin pan is sounding real good to me right now. Not sure if that is a good idea or not.

Anything else I need? I have goggles and gloves. I will probably buy a gas heating element from Notheren and hook it up to the gas I have outside the house. Then I can smelt outside, cast later.
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Old 01-27-2010, 17:54   #11
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Just re read the thread about muffin pans for making ingots. I will have to think about that. Probably just get a Lyman/RCBS Mold and be done with it. I like cheap but not too cheap.
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Old 01-27-2010, 17:58   #12
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Just re read the thread about muffin pans for making ingots. I will have to think about that. Probably just get a Lyman/RCBS Mold and be done with it. I like cheap but not too cheap.
If you have the mallet for opening the sprue plate you don't need one for the 6 cav Lee, it has a handle on the plate and is easy to use.
I use cheap muffin pans and just smear olive oil or Pam in them let em cool and be careful dumping them. I use a piece of plywood over the pan and turn the pan and the plywood over at the same time.
It will weigh 24-25 lbs full and grabbing it on the ends will bend it trying to turn it over! I have made quite a few with my "2nd pan" after I started doing it this way.

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Old 01-28-2010, 08:30   #13
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I recommend the Lee 6 banger to new casters. They are inexpensive, in most cases you can load as cast, Alox is a cheap and easy way to lube, you can make a huge pile o bullets in no time. There are better moulds, but new casters are more encouraged with quick results. Once they get the bug they start looking at better Iron, brass molds.
Thats when I know I did my job.
IMO the 9mm can be finicy to cast for because of the variable in firearm platforms. Be patient and safe.
Congrats on your haul.

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Old 01-28-2010, 10:49   #14
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Just re read the thread about muffin pans for making ingots. I will have to think about that. Probably just get a Lyman/RCBS Mold and be done with it. I like cheap but not too cheap.
Sounds like you are on your way. If you know someone that welds, a 4" length of 3" wide channel iron w/ a plate wleded on each en makes great ingot molds. Muffin tins can be finicky regardless of metal. Cheap cast iron muffin tins work great as well as the inexpensive manuf ones by Lee.
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Old 01-28-2010, 11:24   #15
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My wife just got laid off today.
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Old 01-28-2010, 11:41   #16
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My wife just got laid off today.

I hope I didn't start this trend... our club seems to be getting bigger and bigger. Keep your head up, things WILL get better.

I'm seeing a glimmer of hope with my kid's construction company... starting to do more bids... starts a six week project Monday and another project after that.

Not get down, we'll all figure out a way to pull through these times. Good luck.

Jack
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Old 01-28-2010, 11:51   #17
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Thats getting pretty common around here.
Hope things turn around quick for ya.
Good luck, and hang in there.


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Old 01-28-2010, 12:49   #18
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get it while you can. Before long most states will likely be banning lead weights. California was the first I believe. Everyone will be using steel shortly. My employer uses steel exclusively now.
Your employer wouldn't be Les Schwab, would it? The reason I ask is that I was about to go down to our local LS store and ask if they had any used tire weights.
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Old 01-28-2010, 12:51   #19
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My wife just got laid off today.
Just read this. Sorry to hear that.
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Old 01-28-2010, 13:42   #20
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C, Sorry to hear the news. I've been in that position and know the stress it can bring. Continue to think positive and do your part to keep her in high spirits. Wishing you all the best, Jim
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