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Salvaged spent bullet lead for shot making?

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by sshotshell, Jul 25, 2011.

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  1. sshotshell

    sshotshell Member

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    I have a good source of spent bullet lead recovered from rifle and pistol ranges. Some of it is copper jacketed. Is this type of lead suitable for making shot without having anything else added to it?
     
  2. Auctioneer

    Auctioneer Well-Known Member

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    You will have some bulletsthat are not lead but are the so called lead free bullets. I don't know how that lead will work.
     
  3. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    Melt it, clean it, and make ingots. Only question will be hardness of shot made with it. HMB
     
  4. Hoosier Daddy

    Hoosier Daddy TS Member

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    If it is hard enough for pistol bullets it will make good shot. Just melt it all down and the metal jackets will float to the top and easy to scoop off. Go for it! It is perfect for shotmaking.
     
  5. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

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    Expect to loose about 30+ percent of the total weight when its melted down (dirt, copper, steel). I use it, and it seems to work fine.
     
  6. GoldEx

    GoldEx Active Member

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    sshotshell -

    Range scrap is fine for shot making. You wil find that you need to run your shotmaker a little hotter than if you are using just plain wheel weights as the melting temp of the softer alloy is higher. The shot size will likely be a bit different as well. Uaually a bit larger than the dripper is supposed to make. One thing you want to do is smack all of the totally encapsulated bullets with a hammer to split the jackets open if they did not split when hitting the berm or back stop before smelting into ingots.

    Jeff
     
  7. sshotshell

    sshotshell Member

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  8. chipking

    chipking TS Member

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    Heat these slowly and DO NOT drop directly into a pot of molten lead. Any trapped moisture will go instantly to super steam and a lead eruption will occur. The results from even 1 bullet with trapped moisture are spectacular and can ruin your whole life should say a drop of molten lead encounter your eye. If you must add set the bullets on the flange of the pot and allow them to come up to temp slowly before sliding them into the mix.

    I learned the above lesson the hard way and got off way easier than I had any right to. I placed a small ingot given to me by a friend directly in a 20 pound casting pot. A slight hiss was the only warning and I took it I was on my way out rapidly when it erupted. Molten lead splattered every part of the 10 by 12 work shed and left me a few permanent reminders on my back and legs.

    Rule of thumb with molten lead ,long sleeves, long pants, socks, shoes, gloves and safety glasses cotton or leather no synthetics and a hat won't hurt either.

    --- Chip King ---
     
  9. trapshooterjoe7

    trapshooterjoe7 Member

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    Chipking is right on, 1 drop of traped water can be hazzzerdous...
     
  10. Bruce Em

    Bruce Em Member

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    Indoor range lead is mostly 22s and these are almost pure lead.

    There is also considerable detritus in it from wood chips and paper; in addition to the oxide levels, it makes remelt miserable

    We had a few guys making shot try it and gave up

    They had a lot of dripper plugging

    I don't know how well it was prepped but a good fluxing and large batch melts for ingots first will help.

    You still have dead soft shot unless you also have something to alloy it with like Linotype.

    regards
     
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