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  #1  
Old 08-27-2004, 08:50 AM
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Purifying lead


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Question on removing tin from lead...

I am a muzzle loader who generally molds round balls for smoothbore and rifle. For the most part I use soft lead that I acquire from melting old lead water pipes. Recently, a guy gave me 60-70 Lbs. of wheel weight lead rather than just throwing it into a land fill. As I started to work with it, I notice the lead behaves differently and is more brittle. I am told it is because the lead more tin mixed it that what I am use to using. As a “harder” lead it should be ok for smoothbore .69 cal but I still have an issue when molding with it. It seams to need a few seconds to set up before I cut the sprew and when I do cut it, the cut is not clean. It’s more like it started to cut but then just ripped out and looks very granular.

My question is can I (safely) remove the tin from the lead? Do you think the tinny lead is ok to shoot in a smoothbore? Or, if I shouldn’t use it, what should I do with it?
Thanks for your wisdom.
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  #2  
Old 08-27-2004, 09:35 AM
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MM ! It's not the tin you have to remove but the antimony that is in the ww's that has to go or you won't get your RB's or minies to shoot ! I don't think you can remove most of these alloys not for muzzleloading anyway ! You could try taking the lead pot outside and over heating the lead to let the alloy metals dross out and then check with a hardness gauge to see if you have come close to pure lead in softness ! Save the WW's for smokeless loads or trade it off that is the cheaper way to go ! JAGG
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  #3  
Old 08-27-2004, 09:36 AM
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My learning curve was the reverse of your's, as I started with wheelweights for pistol bullets, and cast my first round balls with pure lead just a couple of weeks ago. I had to chuckle when I read your post, as your confusion mirrored mine . OK, what makes wheelweights different is antimony, not tin, and you can't get it out by any method that reasonable for the home caster. You're not waiting long enough if your sprue cut-off is brittle. Yes, I waited and waited for the sprue to harden on my first round ball casts, before I realized it was already as hard as it was going to get. You don't need as much heat for wheelweights, as lead solidifies as 621°F and wheelweights about 580°F, varying on the antimony content.

I've shot wheelweight round balls in my flintlock, as well as the Hornady and Speer swaged lead balls. Wheelweight balls are much harder to load with a too tight patch. Otherwise, no real problems.

If you don't want to cast with the wheelweight metal, find a pistol bullet caster and work a deal.

Here's a post on wheelweight analysis. http://www.shootersforum.com/showthread.htm?t=14155

Bye
Jack
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  #4  
Old 08-29-2004, 12:38 PM
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I have heard that if you keep lead "cooking" at a high temp and keep skimming it off, eventually you will have nearly pure soft lead. I've always wanted to try it , but I've not needed the lead badly enough yet.

PS...It's an outside activity!!!!

Last edited by kentucky bucky; 08-29-2004 at 12:45 PM.
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  #5  
Old 09-04-2004, 04:33 PM
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Recently I had a long (two hours) talk with the manager of a metals wholesaler company that sells lead (Pb) to industry and the government (nuclear use) about obtaining pure Pb, cost, availablity etc. This individual was a third generation metals dealer and had been in it for over twenty five years himself.

I asked the same question about wheel weights and he indicated it was impossible for the average person to re-refine Pb one it was alloyed. It takes a very very small amount of the other metal in the first place to make the alloy part of the problem. He indicated that for even metals companys it is cheaper to start with rare materials than to refine used lead.

He did give tips on where to locate pure lead in our surroundings and what to avoid as it would be alloys. There are some good sources but they are drying up with the help of government good intentions. Metals scrapers can buy lead but cannot resell it thanks to uncle. (Underhanded Handgun Control measures?)
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  #6  
Old 09-10-2004, 08:44 AM
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Hey Hailstone!

Quote:
Originally Posted by hailstone
Recently I had a long (two hours) talk with the manager of a metals wholesaler company that sells lead (Pb) to industry and the government (nuclear use) about obtaining pure Pb, cost, availablity etc. This individual was a third generation metals dealer and had been in it for over twenty five years himself.

I asked the same question about wheel weights and he indicated it was impossible for the average person to re-refine Pb one it was alloyed. It takes a very very small amount of the other metal in the first place to make the alloy part of the problem. He indicated that for even metals companys it is cheaper to start with rare materials than to refine used lead.

He did give tips on where to locate pure lead in our surroundings and what to avoid as it would be alloys. There are some good sources but they are drying up with the help of government good intentions. Metals scrapers can buy lead but cannot resell it thanks to uncle. (Underhanded Handgun Control measures?)

I know that "cooking" it will not get out all the impurities, but it will render it soft enough to shoot in a muzzleloader that requires soft lead. I didn't make that clear earlier.
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  #7  
Old 09-14-2004, 11:46 PM
Nim Nim is offline
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Cool Tire weight balls

correct me if I am wrong but the RB doesnt touch the rifleing in a muzzel loader if you load it correctly the patch does. so the only disadvantage would be a touch lighter ball that wont mushroom as much right? Would like to know if this is true
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  #8  
Old 09-15-2004, 07:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nim
correct me if I am wrong but the RB doesnt touch the rifleing in a muzzel loader if you load it correctly the patch does. so the only disadvantage would be a touch lighter ball that wont mushroom as much right? Would like to know if this is true
Ture...the lead doesn't touch the bore but the ball is supose to be large enough so that the rifling markes are impressed into it when loading through the patch. A loaded patched round ball that is then pulled rather than shot, will show the little "dents" of the lands.

If you cna manage to load a harder than pure lead ball without ripping the patch and get it seated, it will usually shoot pretty well....usually not quite as well as a soft ball.

Is a danger. Muzzle loading barrels tend to get more eroded/rough the closer to the breech..is more likely to hang up a hard bullet/hard ball before being fully setaed than when using a softer one. If you seat it with a good bit of air space between the ball and the powder, things can get nasty.

Last edited by ribbonstone; 09-15-2004 at 07:04 AM.
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