Well I did it,ordered my furnace ,sizer,ingot mold,dipper and a few other beginning things. Now I'm full of questions What is a good commercial soft lube? Alox? Saeco gold or green? Do I just walk into junkyards asking for wheelweights? KevinNY
Congratulations! You'll never be the same again! As you walk through parking lots, a wheel weight will become a treasure!
Say, you didn't mention what kind of pills you will be casting! Rifle or handgun... it does make a difference on the lube issue.
Also, if using scrap lead, stay away from scrap automotive batteries! The gasses produced when smelting these can be toxic. Also, if using scrap, such as wheel weights, make sure that you smelt them, fluxing liberally, and then pouring into ingots, don't by any means go directly from scrap wheel weights in the pot to pouring bullets! Also stay away from the lead weights that are zinc coated to prevent them from oxidizing... just a hint of zinc will positively ruin a whole batch of good bullet alloy!
Tire stores are a better source than are junk yards when searching out scrap wheel weights. Scrap lead prices are so low right now, that a tire store may even give you a generous quantity these days! The worst they can say is no!
Aslo, make sure you have plenty of ventilation when using your new toys! Also keep the casting temperature under 900 degrees.... lead oxidizes into the air at 900+ degrees very readily. A casting thermometer is not a bad investment to along with your other essentials.
Finally if using gas checks, they aren't all created equal. The Hornady gas checks are of a crimp on design that work the very best of the ones out there for sale. (RCBS gas checks are still made by Hornady), and Gator checks are good crimp on types as well. Lyman checks are only a friction fit, and come off at varying distances from the muzzle.
Lots of new variables to occupy your time, and make you pull your hair! You'll love it!
CONGRATS KEVIN, AS MARSHALL STATED NO BATTERY LEAD, AND LOTS OF AIR FLOW. I USE A PEDESTAL FAN ABOUT TEN FEET BEHIND MY BACK WHEN CASTING AND PUSHING ANY BAD THINGS OUT THE WINDOW. YES MOST TIRE SHOPS WILL GIVE YOU ALL THE WW YOU WANT. THE KEY IS FLUX,FLUX AND KEEP IT STIRRED. I USALLY MAKE ABOUT 50 1LB INGOTS AT A TIME THAT WAY I AM STARTING OUT WITH GOOD CLEAN ALLOY. WHEN I START A CASTING SESSION, A LITTLE TIN ADDED TO THEM HELPS FILL OUT A LITTLE BUT IS NOT MANDATORY. IF YOU WANT A FAIRLY HARD BULLET JUST DROP BULLETS DIRECTLY FROM MOLD INTO A LARGE BUCKET WITH WATER. (DO NOT ALLOW WATER TO GET INTO THE MOLTEN LEAD) I LEFT THE GARAGE ONE DAY SO FAST YOU WOULD NOT BELIEVE, BECAUSE I DUNKED MY LADLE IN THE POT BEFORE PRE HEATING IT. ANOTHER ALLOY THAT MAKES A HARD BULLET THAT IS NOT TO BRITTLE IS TAKE 10 LBS OF MAGNUM SHOT AND ADD 1/2 LB OF 95-5 SOLDER TO IT. THE WW ALLOY WILL GIVE YOU APPROX 16-17 BHN AND THE MAG SHOT ALLOY (6%) ANTIMONY WILL GIVE AROUND 20 BHN. WATER QUENCHED. AND DONT FORGET THE SAFETY GLASSES. HAVE FUN WITH YOUR NEW HOBBY. AND MOST OF ALL BE SAFE. ANY QUESTIONS JUST ASK, IM SURE THERE MIGHT BE A BULLET CASTER AROUND HERE SOMEWHERE. (WINK TO MARSHALL). JIM.
Another good source for alloy is your local printing shop. Many are willing to dispose of old print blocks made from linotype, a very hard lead alloy. I believe it's something like 21 or 22 BHN, but brittle if used for hunting at high velocities. Usually it's pretty cheap. I get mine for 50 cents per pound. This can be melted into ingots and then alloyed in your furnace with plain lead shot to make softer alloys for lower velocity loads and/or hunting ammo.
As for lubes I've used plain Alox with straight linotype 160 grain RNGC in two .30-06's at ~1600 fps without any leading.
I've got 6-700 cast bullets from National bullet co for guns I don't own anymore and am going to ingot them. It is supposed to be BHN 18 with 7% antimony and 2% tin. I was hoping to use equal parts wheelweights with this to make a little softer alloy about BHN 15 or so, I will still have to add a little tin though? From where,Solder? KevinNY
Stopped by the local Pep Boys auto shop on the way in today and found the MOTHER LOAD! a 55 gallon drum full of wheelweights! The guy said I can keep coming back for as much as I can carry,took about 20 lbs today.
Time to grab up some five gallon plastic buckets and take advantage of this generous offer, before someone else gets the idea! They wont rot, or go bad, so take advantage while you can.
The larger the batch of wheel weights you do at a time (melted together at once in one container), the better the uniformity of your alloy, and the better the blending of the different makers of those weights.
Nice find! 55 gallons should last you..... 'till fall if you're really hooked!
The best bet is, if it has a coating of any kind on it.... either toss it away, or reserve it for making fishing sinkers.... don't risk a good batch of bullet alloy with one of those coated sinkers. It only takes a little bit to ruin a whole batch!
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