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Options for lead

This is a discussion on Options for lead within the Reloading forums, part of the HandGuns, Pistols and Revolvers, Long Rifles, Shotguns, SKS, AK, AR category; I have a concern lately about the cost and abailability of lead. I imagine most places are seeing what ive been seeing. The lead is ...

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Thread: Options for lead

  1. #1
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    Options for lead

    I have a concern lately about the cost and abailability of lead. I imagine most places are seeing what ive been seeing. The lead is becoming scarce and the cost is going up like gold. I like to get a lot of shooting prcatice in and I reload to keep up with that demand. Still its near unafordable. So im trying to come up with ideas for non lead bullets For practice. Ive heard of critters like wood or wax bullets. Im also playing with the idea of melting aluminum cans or perhaps turning copper rod on my industrial lathe. I need something that can be made into decent prctice bullets. Fairly accurate, dirt cheap and fairly simple to produce. It also has to offset the cost of powder and primers a little. So... Very cheap lol im thinking hard wood lathed bullets or cast tin from old cans. Any thoughts on materials or processes I might look into ?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Blackcat; 03-30-2015 at 01:42 PM.

  2. #2
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    If the SHTF, I'm looking at car batteries, wheel weights. I thought about but haven't done any research into the lead/tin mix they used on old cast iron plumbing.
    Blackcat and Camel923 like this.
    I really want one of these!Hidden Content

  3. #3
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    It would need to be a material that can withstand the immense pressure and heat generated from the ignition and expansion of gases.
    Is wood really a viable option?
    Aluminum could work, and I know copper bullets exist. I just don't think I'd risk the explosion of splinters from a wood bullet being forced down a rifled tube with such high pressures. Has this been done before?
    Blackcat likes this.
    "Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats." - H. L. Mencken

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  5. #4
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    Gold is very close to lead on the periodic table and would make a fine bullet. Pricey, but good.
    Blackcat likes this.
    "There is a destiny that shapes our ends, Rough, hew them as we will."

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackcat View Post
    I have a concern lately about the cost and abailability of lead. I imagine most places are seeing what ive been seeing. The lead is becoming scarce and the cost is going up like gold. I like to get a lot of shooting prcatice in and I reload to keep up with that demand. Still its near unafordable. So im trying to come up with ideas for non lead bullets For practice. Ive heard of critters like wood or wax bullets. Im also playing with the idea of melting aluminum cans or perhaps turning copper rod on my industrial lathe. I need something that can be made into decent prctice bullets. Fairly accurate, dirt cheap and fairly simple to produce. It also has to offset the cost of powder and primers a little. So... Very cheap lol im thinking hard wood lathed bullets or cast tin from old cans. Any thoughts on materials or processes I might look into ?

    Thanks!
    Try a roofer for scrap lead flashing, it will be pure lead.

    An old junkyard for wheel weights, newer weights are alloys that may not be suitable.

    Scrap yards.

    Linotype from printers.

    Fishing weights, many places have banned the lead ones.

    I would be skeptical of making your own copper bullets and would not want to be around when you test them.

    Aluminum is too light and same concerns as copper.

    Unfluxed solder that has also been banned in many places.

    Rifle ranges, you will have to pick through the backstop materials, melt the lead and debris down, and pour off the purified lead.You will need a setup and a flux for this.
    Blackcat and Camel923 like this.

  7. #6
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    Haha gold... Nice :D I was thinking about mixing the lead as well cutting it with more tin or some such thing. Yes there are wooden bullets. At first glance most seem to be used as a form of non lethal crowd control. Apparently they are fairly common. My thought is the accuracy and expansion due to moisture or lack of. Perhaps some sort of coated or stabilised wood that isnt so greatly effected by moisture. So long as the coating wont foul the barrel ? Hmmmm I wonder what would happen if I were to turn hardwood or laminate on the lathe then spray a light water repellant coating. Then use a thin walled copper tube or recycled brass to wrap the bullet... Hmmmm I could certainly make a jig that would press and form all of that with much accuracy. It would probably be much like a copper/brass clad hollow tip.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Trapper View Post
    Try a roofer for scrap lead flashing, it will be pure lead.

    An old junkyard for wheel weights, newer weights are alloys that may not be suitable.

    Scrap yards.

    Linotype from printers.

    Fishing weights, many places have banned the lead ones.

    I would be skeptical of making your own copper bullets and would not want to be around when you test them.

    Aluminum is too light and same concerns as copper.

    Unfluxed solder that has also been banned in many places.

    Rifle ranges, you will have to pick through the backstop materials, melt the lead and debris down, and pour off the purified lead.You will need a setup and a flux for this.
    Most of those sources ive tried. All are becomming quite scarce as lead in general is considered to be environmentally unfriendly. As you mentioned lead seems to be getting banned everywhere. Im not sure what you mean by copper being too light ? Theres many full copper rounds out there. Or do you mean too light for being of any use ? If thats the case im just using this as a cheap way to target practice. I keep at leadt 1000 lead rounds for each firearm. I translate the data from practice rounds to the real hitters then practice with a few of the hitters to get the feel for them. Ive seen various composite bullets but that seems a bit technical. I love your idea of lead mining at the range. That had not occured to me. Our local range is just an un manned strip range in the mountians with a gate. The local shooting club is always goong on about how they dont know what they will do with all the lead in the berms. I could deal with that pretty easily if they let me.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by csi-tech View Post
    Gold is very close to lead on the periodic table and would make a fine bullet. Pricey, but good.
    Hey Kemo Sabe, don't forget silver.
    Blackcat likes this.
    I really want one of these!Hidden Content

  10. #9
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    Lead is a common naturally occurring element. Know any local geologists, mineralogists, rock hounds?
    Blackcat likes this.
    Blessed be God, my rock who trains my hands for battle, my fingers for war. Psalms 144:1

    Victory can depend on a dog or a goose---Napoleon

  11. #10
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    In your case I'd get real friendly with someone who works ay a tire shop. I work for Goodyear and the store manager is cool with it
    Blackcat and Camel923 like this.
    We have a four box system,the soap box,the ballet box,the jury box and the cartridge box!

 

 
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