How much from wheel weights?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by frosty, Jan 20, 2004.

  1. frosty

    frosty New Member

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    I have about 140lbs of wheel weights that I got from the tire shop. I paid $32.00 for all of it. They have plenty more and wanted me to take it but I did not have enough cash on hand.

    Any way, I tried to get this stuff for free but for the most part nobody was willing to just GIVE it away. They all wanted to make a buck. I tried at least 8 different tire shops before I made the decision to pay for it.

    My question is this,

    How much can I expect to get out of this amount of lead if I cast 158 grn for .38spl and .357 magnum.
    230 grn for .45 acp
    250 grn for .45 colt
    300 grn for .45 colt

    How many bullets can I get out of 10 lbs on average for each of these calibers?
  2. inplanotx

    inplanotx New Member

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    Well, seeing as how you just paid 22 cents per pound, I think you are way ahead of the game. No one gives the wheel weights away, they sell them to recyclers who gives them money. Since you have not commented on any of the data I have given you so far, I refuse to do the math. You figure out what you can make.

    1 pound = 7,000 grains. The rest is up to you and your calculator.


    :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
  3. bompa

    bompa New Member

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    Don't forget that you will lose a few pounds when you melt the stuff and remove the metal clips and dirt and crap..Stinky work that is..
  4. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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    A lot depends on the size of the wheelweights. With smaller weights, a larger proportion of the weight is in the clips, which are a throwaway.

    Per 10 lbs....allowing for clips, dirt & skimming, roughly:

    .38 & .357 @ 158 gr.....425 give or take

    .45ACP @ 230 gr........275 give or take

    .45 Colt @ 250 gr.......260 give or take

    .45 Colt @ 300 gr.......215 give or take

    My former wife used to work in the office for a trucking company, and I could go to their garage and get all of the used truck wheelweights I wanted......FOR FREE!
  5. Tony Mig

    Tony Mig New Member

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    My dad worked for a municipal vehicle maintance garage, and they had tons of old wheel wieghs sitting around, so he started melting them down, and casting fishing sinkers with them.
    I retrieved a couple hundred pounds of these fishing sinkers from his attic, and I'm re-casting them into .38/.357 158 gr. SWC's.

    I first melt them down, flux the melt, and add Aqua Pure solder to the mix. Aqua Pure has no lead in it, it's made of silver and tin, and helps to give my cast bullets some extra hardness.
  6. inplanotx

    inplanotx New Member

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    Silver huh? Don't know as I would want to use that. Getting it out of the bore will be the hard part. You may have trouble down the road with the silver collecting in the bore.
  7. bompa

    bompa New Member

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    There is a commercial bullet on the market that claims to have a silver content.. Can't remember the company name right this minute but it is one of the larger ones..
    I used high speed babbit to harden my bullets and that had a bit of silver in it..Never had a leading problem with my own bullets..Can't say that about the cast bullets that I have bought though.. Mostly I blame the lube,to me the best stuff I used was an alox mixture..Guess it is just too messy for the commercial caster,the hard lubes hold up better in the bulk packing..
  8. tuckerd1

    tuckerd1 Well-Known Member

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    Silver buddits... Good fer dem werewolfs!!:D :D
  9. Tony Mig

    Tony Mig New Member

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    The silver content isn't that high compared to the amount of tin in Aqua Pure solder, and the amount I actually mix in will offer some hardness, but not enough to worry about it collecting in the barrel.
    You have to remember, this was originally wheel wieght material, and it already has a good tin content to begin with, I'm just edging my bets for better hardness by adding some Aqua Pure to the mix.
    Hey, it works...I've cast around 600 bullets with this system, and I've fired a few hundred without any problems....yet...!
  10. bompa

    bompa New Member

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    I think that you will find that there is no tin in wheel weights,it is too expensive.. What is used to harden them is antimony.. I believe that most solders are also mostly antimony also with maybe a bit of tin to make it work better because it has a high melting point..Plumbing codes have eliminated all lead tin solder mixes ..
    Tin does not harden lead much but it does help make it flow better so your molds fill out right..
  11. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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    Minn-eeee-sota, ya, sure, you bet!
    Pure wheelweights are plenty hard enough for casting bullets.......and I've cast many, many thousands of them.

    The only reason to add 50/50 solder to the wheelweight metal is to make it cast better over a wider temperature range.

    Pure wheelweights are a bit tougher to cast.....the temp. has to be just right and the mould has to be just the right temperature to get good bullets. However, once everything is just right, you get beautiful, hard bullets.

    The trick is.....once you get them casting just right....keep casting until your friggin' arms drop off! :D
  12. inplanotx

    inplanotx New Member

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    Now ain't that correct. I usually have three or 4 four cavity moulds going at one time. I use a hot plate to sit them on. Once ya start, you just can't quit! :D :D :D :D :D :D
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2004
  13. Tony Mig

    Tony Mig New Member

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    I noticed that very same thing, and with my present set up, that can be difficult, because once I really get going, I have to feed my little lead pot more lead, and my mold cools down while the fresh lead gets up to temp.

    I plan on getting a 20 pound size electric pot, and when I do, I'll also get a 6 cavity mold.

    Even with the jury rig system I have now, I was still able to chuck out 468 great looking 158 gr. LSWC's yesturday afternoon using a 2 cavity mold.
  14. frosty

    frosty New Member

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    Cut it out guys..........:D

    The more you talk about it the more I want to order my stuff so I can start.

    Need to get paid first. Frustrating as hell. Oh well I will read some more to fill the questions I have.

    Before I get to far, Thanks for all the input from you guys. If were not for all of you and your help I would still be helping churn the butter.:D :D :D :D :D :D
  15. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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    Minn-eeee-sota, ya, sure, you bet!
    Frosty......butter makes lousy bullets! :D

    Tony......I leave my mould on the lip of the furnace to stay hot while the lead comes back up to temperature.
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