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Anybody need lead for casting?

Discussion in 'Ammo & Reloading' started by thor447, Nov 18, 2020.

  1. thor447

    thor447 Sharpshooter

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    I'm reloading now, but one step I haven't taken is to cast my own bullets. Today I was presented with an opportunity to buy just about as much lead as I could ever want. On my way home from work today I stopped by my local shop to shoot the bull with a few regulars before they closed. My buddy (the owner) told me that soon they'll be taking the lead they've gathered from the range and taking it to the recycler for scrap prices. He told me that they'll have two 1/2 to 3/4 full 55 gallon drums full of lead. He said they can't fill them all the way up because they cannot be moved by their dolly! It's about 1900lbs! He told me that if I, or anyone I knew, needed some of this lead for bullet casting, he'd let me buy as much as I want for scrap prices. I looked up scrap prices for lead and it appears to be around 0.40 per pound.

    I broke out the calculator, and just doing the math on 0.40 cents per pound. 1lb = 7000 grains. Casting 147gr 9mm, that'd be a total of 47.6 rounds per 1 pound of lead, or 0.008 cents per round. That doesn't seem bad at all if you're already set up to cast bullets.

    If anyone would like some lead, I can definitely get it for you, but I'll need to know quickly. Feel free to reply to this thread or send me a PM. If there is any interest, I'll call him tomorrow and find out exactly when they are planning on taking everything to the recycler, then we'll know how much time we have to get orders in.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2020
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  2. O4L

    O4L Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't need any lead but I have a question. Won't that "range lead" have a lot of dirt and copper from FMJ bullets in it?
     
  3. thor447

    thor447 Sharpshooter

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    That's a great point. It would, which would lower the round count from my previous figures. A quick check on Midway USA showed 5 pound ingots of lead for about $13. You could get about 238 rounds of 147gr 9mm from one of those 5 pound ingots if you had zero lead loss, at a cost of 0.054 cents per round. Even if this lead is dirty, and would require further refinement (which I have no clue how to do it, but know that there are several YouTube videos explaining the process), you'd be casting that at about a cost of about 0.01 cent per round, or 1/5 the cost of buying ingots from Midway.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2020
  4. rickm

    rickm Sharpshooter

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    Also you would have to consider the brass jackets but once you had the lead melted down and the brass seperated you could then take that to the recyclers and sell it to recoup some back. If i was closer i would be all over this and take however much i could get. Dont know how much it has went up but you could buy lead ingots from guys for $1 per pound it dont seem like that long ago but knows its been a few years ago.
     
  5. Cat City Slim

    Cat City Slim Marksman

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    Where are you located?
     
  6. TeamTomlyn

    TeamTomlyn Sharpshooter

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    The dirt, copper and any FMJs will all float to the top of your pot when you melt it down. Flux with some saw dust or wax. Then poor some ingots.
    Now most of your range scrap will be pure lead; which may be suitable for making buckshot or shotgun slugs or some pistol reloads. You would need some tin and/or antimony to add to your mix for rifle bullets.
    You might check flea bay and see what the going price for range scrap is by the pound. There is also a few excellent forums out there in regards to processing lead and casting boolits.
     
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  7. Cat City Slim

    Cat City Slim Marksman

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    I've processed a lot of range scrap over the years. The process isn't difficult, just time consuming. Many who process this lead have said that they can sell the copper jackets, but I've never found a scrap yard that will offer enough for it to make it worth the time. The lead isn't pure, but it is soft, probably around an 8. I powder coat my bullets, and have never had problems with leading running range scrap without adding any additional alloy.
     
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  8. Okie4570

    Okie4570 Sharpshooter

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    A lead reclamation outfit came and skimmed the local shotgun ranges a few years ago. Pretty amazing process. I can't remember how many 55gal drums of lead shot they gathered, incredible amount for as little as that range is used. I think they do that about every 10 years.
     
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  9. dlbleak

    dlbleak Super Moderator Staff Member

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    OKCGC had the skeet and trap ranges done last year. never heard the final weight but the range has been there since 1958.
     
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  10. skyhawk1

    skyhawk1 Sharpshooter

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    I would like 150 lbs., but right now I am somewhat "incapacitated". Had total knee replacement last week and am not supposed to drive (or pick up more that 10 lbs.) for 5 more weeks. If we could work it out I could get you paid and pick up at a later date if not too inconvenient for you
     

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