lead bullet making

I thought about just emailing the RCM premier expert on bullet
casting, but maybe somebody else has something to add.
Ammo prices are climbing outa sight. So i want to get into casting my
own 9mm and .308. My interest peaked when I learned my 1919 and MG42
will eat unplated bullets. I always knew the Uzis and Suomis would eat
anything.
What all equipment will I need? What should i expect to spend to make
10K of each bullet? (If i can't break even at 10K, I'll keep buying
from Berry and Pats)
Karl
Reply to
Karl Townsend
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You've probably already thought about this, but figure out the total weight of your 10K worth of bullets, figure out how much you'll need to spend on the lead, decide on what seems to be a reasonable wastage figure (10%? 5%?), then figure out if you're saving anything right there. If not, then you know why prices are high, and you know the value of proceeding.
Figure out how much you want/don't want the EPA breathing down your neck because you're using Oh So Terrible Toxic Lead while you're at it.
Reply to
Tim Wescott
thaought I'd get way more interest in this topic. guess i should've said I'm doing this because bamma is runing everything and has to be stopped
Seriously, I'm hoping to use an old forklift battery for the lead. from what little i've read looks like (expensive) linotype is the preferred source.
Karl
Reply to
Karl Townsend
The forklift battery will certainly give you a good deal of basic lead, but I think you will need to find a source for the proper alloying metals to get the hardness and whatnot for basic lead bullets. If you perhaps get fancy and make jacketed bullets the lead alloy is probably less important. I hear soft copper tubing works well for jackets.
As for commercial ammo prices, as far as I've seen they have been pretty stable for the past year or two after the shortage ended. Everyone likes to hype up Obummer as the reason for higher ammo prices, but in reality the brass, copper and lead metals markets have much more to do with it.
Reply to
Pete C.
Years ago I was in the market for a couple 'hundred pounds of lead and figured that I could get it from the old batteries that are left at the dump. I took one home, cut it up, and found this weird spongy stuff inside. Undaunted, I put the spongy stuff in a crucible and melted it. The yield was pathetic! Mostly a heap of dross.
A total waste of effort.
YMMV, maybe Bob
Reply to
Bob Engelhardt
DO NOT USE BATTERY LEAD!!!!!!!!!
Here's your shopping list: _____________________________________________________ From midwayusa.com:
Lee 6-Cavity Bullet Mold TL356-124-2R 9mm Luger, 38 Super, 380 ACP (356 Diameter) 124 Grain Tumble Lube 2 Ogive Radius Product #: 476412 $39.49
Lee Commercial Bullet Mold Handles for 6-Cavity Lee Bullet Molds Product #: 117892 $11.49 on sale
Lee Pro 4 20 Lb Furnace 110 Volt Product #: 645810 $58.49
Frankford Arsenal CleanCast Lead Fluxing Compound 1 lb Product #: 593033 $9.99
Lee Alox Bullet Lube 4 oz Liquid Product #: 466811 $5.89 Lee "Modern Reloading 2nd Edition, Revised" Reloading Manual Product #: 639649 $18.29
Lee 4-Cavity Ingot Mold with Handle Product #: 361222 $9.99 on sale
TOTAL:$153.63 plus shipping ____________________________________________________
From eBay:
Lead ingots made from wheel weights will cost about $65.00 delivered for 50 pounds Or, find a friendly tire shop. _________________________________________________________
In addition you will need some bench space, a 5 gallon bucket full of cold water, a tin can to put the dross in, a big spoon or ladle, and a few other things you already have. Great book, read it!
Grand total: $218.63 plus some freight = 2,282 124 gr bullets at about $0.095 each. After the initial investment all bullets will cost $0.028 each
Let me know how I can help.
Reply to
Tom Gardner
thanks Tom,
Don't i need a sizing die?
To run .308, the bullets need to be hard, they reference linotype or alloying the wheel weights. Do you know about this?
Is working in front of a fan enough to keep the lead fumes safely away?
Karl
Reply to
Karl Townsend
1. Good supply of wheel weights and in the case of the MGs...a fair supply of Linotype alloy
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2. a natural gas source or a 20lb bottle of propane
3. Old gas burner..the bigger the better
4. Make it yourself bottom pour pot capable of handling a minimum of 20 lbs of molten lead alloy
5. a double or quad cavity mold for each bullet you intend to cast, (with handles)
6 bullet sizing/lubricator. In the case of many bullets at a time..Id suggest a Star luber. Else Lyman/RCBS etc etc
7.Dies for each caliber for the luber
Lubricant. For the MGs..Id strongly recommend Hard lubes and a heater to mount your luber/sizer on.
8. Lots of time, or a neighbor kid you can pay cheap to sit and cast bullets.
Not much else. Oh..a neck expander die to put a small bell (very small) on the case mouths..but that can be made from a threaded rod on a lathe
Gunner
Liberals - Cosmopolitan critics, men who are the friends of every country save their own. Benjamin Disraeli
Reply to
Gunner
Personally...Id stay away from battery lead. But then..forklift batteries are far bigger than automotive batteries
Wheel weights are much better btw..they come close enough to #2 alloy as is.
Gunner
Liberals - Cosmopolitan critics, men who are the friends of every country save their own. Benjamin Disraeli
Reply to
Gunner
With the Lee molds you usually don't need to size, especially for pistol. Lee makes a good cheap set-up for sizing if needed. I like tumble lube, others don't. Linotype dropped in cold water will be about the hardest you can get. You will have to keep your rifle loads lower than jacketed. Wheel weights are just fine for pistols. If the boolit is too hard it won't obturate and it'll lead the barrel, too soft and it leads the barrel. Same with too fast and too slow. But, once your load is dialed in you are in One-Hole City! WAY better than factory and only $2.50 a box of 50. (if you get free wheel weights)
I have an exhaust fan in my laundry room that I think is sufficient. I get my blood-lead levels checked twice a year, is was high once but is back to normal just by using latex gloves. I cast and shoot 1k/month.
Get the book first, it's a cheap investment and is a great first loading book, you WILL buy a couple more over time.
Look at the forum:
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Absolutely EVERYTHING about casting is here.
Reply to
Tom Gardner
We got us another convert to the silver stream!
(look at my recommendations, I went a slightly different route.)
But for GOD'S sake, don't let him fuck with batteries!
Reply to
Tom Gardner
Indeed. A buddy of mine snagged some 2000 lbs of old batteries, busted them up with sledge hammers, remelted the lead..and got about 25lbs of lead out of the deal....with a couple wheelbarrows of nasty..nasty slag to deal with.
I warned him..but no..he wouldnt listen....shrug.
Gunner
Liberals - Cosmopolitan critics, men who are the friends of every country save their own. Benjamin Disraeli
Reply to
Gunner
Karl Townsend fired this volley in news: snipped-for-privacy@4ax.com:
It's counter-intuitive, but don't have the fan behind you, or even behind at an angle. Have it blow R-L or L-R across your pot.
As far as concerns "lead fumes" -- WHAT lead fumes? At correct casting temperatures, no significant or harmful amount of anything lead-bearing will get into the air that you don't throw into the air with your tools.
The flux fumes may or may not be injurious, depending upon what you use.
Chronic breathing of even simple animal grease smoke ain't all that good for you.
LLoyd
Reply to
Lloyd E. Sponenburgh
While I do most of my major bullet metal preparation outdoors...I do cast indoors. I simply installed a bathroom fart fan in a piece of paneling that I place in a window behind the casting area and turn it on. Sucks any fumes and toxins right outdoors. And helps keep a bit of a breeze blowing around me. Not much of one..but enough to help keep me cool(er)
Gunner
Liberals - Cosmopolitan critics, men who are the friends of every country save their own. Benjamin Disraeli
Reply to
Gunner
I really should have added, and didn't, that it's skin contact and absorption through ingesting lead residues that is your real hazard when casting.
Unless you were to convert lead into a gas or some super-fine aerosol that will float in air (don't know how you'd do that, actually), there are no "lead fumes". But flux fumes? Lotsa!
LLoyd
Reply to
Lloyd E. Sponenburgh
Gunner on Sun, 30 Sep 2012 23:52:55 -0700 typed in rec.crafts.metalworking the following:
Dang - that lead "slag" should be refinable. - I mean there is a several hundred pounds of material there. It can't all be plastic case and the like.
I'm sure there is a way to process the lead in batteries - right. (I suspect that you need to completely neutralize the acid, and clean out the non-lead compounds. Both of which may require a level of chemical processing beyond the back yard salvager.)
tschus pyotr -- pyotr Go not to the Net for answers, for it will tell you Yes and no. And you are a bloody fool, only an ignorant cretin would even ask the question, forty two, 47, the second door, and how many blonde lawyers does it take to change a lightbulb.
Reply to
pyotr filipivich
pyotr filipivich fired this volley in news: snipped-for-privacy@4ax.com:
Problem is, there's so much "unwantium" in batteries that you can't smelt, that it will might make up 75% of the weight or better.
Cadmium compounds (not good!), calcium compounds (not so bad), lead sulfide and oxide which aren't likely to reduce at the temperatures you have available, and other "stuff" like glass insulator mats... About the only meltable lead is the posts, connector straps, and those flimsy "screens" of lead that hold all the other smeared-in pastes of compounds they make the electrodes from.
Lead compounds are heavy, too... so it makes it appear you've got a treasure-trove, when what you have is a recycling mess!
LLoyd
Reply to
Lloyd E. Sponenburgh
"Lloyd E. Sponenburgh" on Mon, 01 Oct 2012 15:33:06 -0500 typed in rec.crafts.metalworking the following:
Oh -boogers.
-- pyotr Go not to the Net for answers, for it will tell you Yes and no. And you are a bloody fool, only an ignorant cretin would even ask the question, forty two, 47, the second door, and how many blonde lawyers does it take to change a lightbulb.
Reply to
pyotr filipivich
It's the lead oxides and the dross that floats to the top that's the nasty. It's water soluble and can be absorbed through the skin. Doc told me to wear gloves.
Reply to
Tom Gardner

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