Does anybody know if there is any kind of easy way to refine lead, take wheel weights and get them to nearly pure lead. Curiosity has bitten, and many blackpowder forums seem to agree there is no way to do it. My GoogleFu is weak right now and I can't seem to come up with much in the way of answers.
The other thing would be, what does getting zinc in a batch of lead for casting bullets do. sure I have seen the answer some place, been cruising through so many forums on other searchs brains turning to mush.
Mike, Contaminated lead is generally a non-problem at speeds at or below 1000 fps or with paper patched bullets. Anything over that, you should not use pure lead, as barrel leading will occur without a jacket. The higher the zinc content, the greater the chance of barrel leading. Antimony is good, zinc is bad. Wheelweights have lots of antimony. In revolvers, forcing cone leading is always an issue and is aggravated by the distance the bullet travels before contact with the forcing cone, IE 38SP in 357 frames (length of slam). Never use lead bullets in gas controlled pistols. Never use lead in handguns with barrel twists faster than 1 in 16" (standard 9mm is 1 in 10"). I have had great success using linotype in all my pistols with no ill effects up to 1500 fps, even my 9mm pistols,although they have been rebarrelled to 1 in 16". Be advised that the percentage of alloys other than lead is readily observed by casting a bullet and observing the weight difference from the mold specs in lead. Linotype will be about 10% lighter than pure lead and 50% harder and they have very effective penetrating ability. A small amount of tin is very effective in attaining good flow in the bullet mold, don't over do it. If you must use pure lead, don't cast it, use lead wire and swage to size, as in the 455 Webley. For higher velocities than 1500 fps, gas checks are highly recommended, as bullet base melting becomes an issue. Another tip, always size large never small. Slug the barrel and measure. Steve
"Michael S" wrote in message news:EKBDl.22334$PH1.9364@edtnps82...
I guess I should have said it would be for a .50 flintlock and generally patched round ball. and the Lee REAL's for my .54. So if I understand right Zinc will help the bullet stick to barrel better in a bad way. I've heard of a lot of people having good luck w/ wheel weights just a matter of adjusting patch size. With Minies and REAL's the consensus seems to be pure lead for ease of loading and obduration.
At some point I read though a forum post that speculated that melting lead and aluminum together would leave lead in the bottom with the Al drawing off the tin and antimony. Just cool enough so the Al forms a cake on top of the molten lead and lift off. Any thought on this?
Huh? Maybe for a mini ball with the lead skirt, but for round ball shooting the grease soaked linen patch does that job for you. I found at distance I got a lot more accuracy out of my smoke sticks with round ball, but alas they are not the most destructive bullet for hunting.
Wheelweights are an alloy, there's no simple and easy mechanical means of separation. Also, see Leadville, CO for what extended refining will do to an area... As the old plumbing and flashing gets cleaned out, scrap pure lead is getting harder to find. I don't get many balls to the pound with a .720 bore, either.
Zinc in lead is Bad News for casting. Just a small fraction of a percent will stop the free flow of the molten metal, NOT what you want for casting bullets. One commercial caster of my acquaintance ended up with about 100 lbs of scrap contaminated with zinc. He ended up casting it into deep-sea fishing sinkers, "cannonballs", since good- looking castings weren't part of the requirements. He said he dropped one off the bench and it spalled the concrete floor. Didn't dent the sinker, though. These run from 4 oz up to a couple of pounds. Knowing him, he probably cast the biggest ones he had the mold for.
A half-percent of tin added to the pure lead will give you a lot better looking castings and will still be malleble enough to obturate properly. An old-timer mentioned that once to me and it does work well. Don't have to cast nearly as many times to get enough good bullets.
It is amazing how just a bit of tin makes pure lead easier to deal with.
I found this earlier.
I wish they had put a value on 200:1 lead/tin. Have you checked the BHN of
200:1 out of curiosity? I have some pure lead from midway I bought for my muzzleloaders, when it warms up I'll make a 200:1 ingot and check it at work and compare it to an unalloyed ingot. I'm still a couple weeks from playing out in the garage. Go away, snow.
I'll post results in this thread when I do it. I'm curious.
I do not know of a really easy way to refine lead. If one was really determined you could probably do it by zone refining. Make a long extrusion of the lead, put it in a trough made of something that will not contaminate the lead. Start at one end and get a puddle of lead, slowly move the puddle to the other end with the lead solidifying behind the puddle.
The idea is that the alloy has a lower melting point than the pure lead. So the pure lead solidifies and the puddle keeps the contaminate in it.
I do not know if zone refining has ever been used for lead or if it would work. But you can read about zone refining on the web.