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#7080838 - 11/16/12 06:01 AM Got a question about wheel weights...
MColeman Online   content
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 07/15/04
Posts: 13213
Loc: Greenville, AL
that you find today. When I cast thousands of bullets for handguns about 40 years ago I used mostly wheel weights with good success. Now I find that wheel weights are vastly different. When I melt them down there is a huge amount of 'sludge' forming on the surface of the molten metal. Is this zinc? What to you guys do with it? It's a real pain and I have 7 five gallon buckets of wheel weights that I will eventually melt down if I live long enough.

It's going to be a real pain to have to sort through them but if that's what it takes to remove the weights that are not lead then I have no choice, I suppose.

I'm beginning to cast bullets for my 30-30 and .300 Savage and I am using a Lee Production pot with a setting of about 6-7. I find the driving bands on the bullets are not fully filled out and I suspect I need the lead to be hotter. Right?

I've read of so many that use Lee equipment but I just can't get the idea out of my head that lower priced equipment will not perform as well as Lyman, Redding-Saeco and RCBS. I am not trying to 'cheap out' and have no aversion to spending if it will give me better results.

Any advice you can give will be most appreciated. Many thanks, Mickey

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CI16728
#7080995 - 11/16/12 06:54 AM Re: Got a question about wheel weights... [Re: MColeman]
RickinTN Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 04/30/10
Posts: 573
Loc: Middle Tennessee
Mickey,
I've seen your recent questions and thought you were a newbe like me and maybe we could learn casting together but now find out you are an "old hat" at it. I think I read somewhere that the melting point of lead and zinc are about 50 degrees different and that zinc is higher....so keeping temp just high enough to melt the lead you can skim the zinc off the top? I'm sure someone who knows much more than me will be along soon to answer for both of us. I hope to cast my first 30-30 bullets soon.

Good Luck to you,
Rick


Edited by RickinTN (11/16/12 06:55 AM)

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#7081265 - 11/16/12 08:25 AM Re: Got a question about wheel weights... [Re: RickinTN]
MColeman Online   content
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 07/15/04
Posts: 13213
Loc: Greenville, AL
Rick,
While I cast lots of bullets a long time ago I am, by no means, up to speed on things. I am going to try a higher temp and see how that works.

I've about grown tired of the constant flow of 'fertilizer' at the Hunter's Campfire and think I'll hang out here for a time. In the meantime if you can imagine any way I might be of help to you don't hesitate to let me know.

Many thanks,
Mickey

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#7083148 - 11/16/12 07:40 PM Re: Got a question about wheel weights... [Re: MColeman]
Alan_R_McDaniel_Jr Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 12/13/08
Posts: 3065
Loc: Goliad, TX
My understanding is that the zinc is corrosive in some manner and is undesirable in the the alloy. I have always heard that it makes for ugly bullets due to not filling the mold properly. I don't really know because I don't allow it to melt in the mix. I get just enough heat to melt the lead and everything else floats. When I do large quantities I just scoop everything off that doesn't melt right away.

Alan
_________________________
Food is at the core of Hunting and Fishing - Rebecca Gray


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#7083361 - 11/16/12 09:07 PM Re: Got a question about wheel weights... [Re: Alan_R_McDaniel_Jr]
tomme boy Offline
Member

Registered: 12/16/05
Posts: 203
Loc: Iowa 52732
The bullets are not filling out because of the zinc. Take what ever lead you have melted to the scrap yard and get rid of it.

Now you are going to have to sort all of the WW. I use a large pair of side cutters. The zinc will not cut. Find a radio station you like and sit down and try to cut each one. You don't have to cut them in half. Just see if the cutter will cut into them. The zinc will feel like trying to cut a 1/2" bolt. It will hardly even scratch it. There is also iron WW. The zinc ones will be marked Zn, the Iron ones will be marked Fe. But not always. There is no way around this. This is all from the tree huggers.

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#7083663 - 11/17/12 04:43 AM Re: Got a question about wheel weights... [Re: tomme boy]
MColeman Online   content
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 07/15/04
Posts: 13213
Loc: Greenville, AL
I guess I'll have to bite the bullet (as soon as I cast one wink ) and sort through them. Thanks, guys.

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#7083668 - 11/17/12 04:45 AM Re: Got a question about wheel weights... [Re: Alan_R_McDaniel_Jr]
MColeman Online   content
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 07/15/04
Posts: 13213
Loc: Greenville, AL
Alan, Can I not melt the lead/zinc mix and skim the zinc off if I keep the temperature below the melting point of zinc and eventually purify the lead? I won't hesitate to throw it out if there's no other way.
Thanks.

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#7083678 - 11/17/12 04:52 AM Re: Got a question about wheel weights... [Re: MColeman]
milespatton Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 08/31/02
Posts: 10988
Loc: Arkansas
My very limited experience with casting wheel weights led me to watch the pot carefully when I put the weights in, and you could tell the slow melters and remove them. Once I had some melted lead in the pot I would add one weight at a time, lead would melt quick and the zinc not, and I would remove it. miles
_________________________
Look out for number 1, don't step in number 2.

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#7083680 - 11/17/12 04:54 AM Re: Got a question about wheel weights... [Re: milespatton]
milespatton Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 08/31/02
Posts: 10988
Loc: Arkansas
I also noticed a rubbery like substance in the skim and thought that maybe some had a thin rubber coating, but it could have been road grime. miles
_________________________
Look out for number 1, don't step in number 2.

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#7083945 - 11/17/12 06:56 AM Re: Got a question about wheel weights... [Re: milespatton]
blammer Offline
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 12/16/00
Posts: 9429
Loc: Asheville, NC
zinc is not corrosive, it just causes wrinkles in the cast bullets and voids. These voids are detrimental to any type of accurate shooting.

If you keep your melt below the melting point of zinc it will float on the top and can be skimmed off easy enough. Once it's melted in, well, time to get new lead. Just keep the melt below 700 F and the zinc won't melt in.

I've done this numerous times, a thermometer helps and heat slowly, you'll be fine.
_________________________
Whatever you are willing to put up with, is exactly what you will have.

When your ship comes in. ... make sure you are willing to unload it.

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