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Posted: 2/14/2013 9:35:40 PM EDT
Can someone give me ballpark idea how much usable lead is in 5 gal bucket of wheel weights? I no its hard gauge just curious if theirs formula out there. So I finally found reliable source of wheel weights locally. So we struck trade. 125 pds are in bucket no stick on weights just the long kind. He has 5k pds so going to pick up a bucket or two a month in order to build a stash.

I also found a casting kit for 25$
lee melter bottom pour dosnt apear ever used the 700 watt one
lee 6 cav handles perfect shape , laddle , Lyman iggot mold , Lyman thermometer ,5 bottles lee alox , and lee .356,358,452 and 307 size missing collector plastic box all for 25$ at local black powder only shop burried in the back not sure value or if its an ok setup but I'm just getting into the casting game so hopefully it will get me started

Are lee molds ok I did notice .356 Are hard to find in stock right now. I noticed lee dosn't make a 147 ish gr mold and Lyman are allot more

Thanks for the help in advance
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 3:20:32 AM EDT
If it is all lead and full to the brim, a 5 gallon bucket of WW will net ~120 pounds. If your buckets weigh 120 pounds than figure about 20% waste for the clips and trash.

But it has been a long time since I've seen a bucket that's all lead. Around here, the buckets are running about 50% zinc and steel.
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 3:21:54 AM EDT
Oh yeah... the Lee equipment and molds make fine bullets. Have fun.
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 5:30:03 AM EDT
Good deal. Your yield will vary by amount of steel and zinc weights. If they are mainly lead figure about 70% to 80%. Good luck.
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 5:38:20 AM EDT
Out of a full bucket of Wheel weights....after smelting them down into ingots, I'll end up with a bucket 20-25% full of metal clips, steel and zinc weights, garbage- like used valve stems, cigarette butts, tire stickers,etc...also a ton of dross from fluxing and cleaning the lead.

It's all good from that point on

I also separate out the softer stick-on weights before hand. I like to keep them for other uses requiring a softer lead.....like swaging.
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 7:26:03 AM EDT
Thanks that gives me idea, looks like its all lead wheel weights but I guess ill see when I smelt it down. Just picked up the Lyman casting book

got my molds on order. Sure wish I could find a 145-147gr mold

Link Posted: 2/15/2013 7:49:44 AM EDT

got my molds on order. Sure wish I could find a 145-147gr mold


A good machine shop could fix that right up for you
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 7:56:56 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 8:33:01 AM EDT
Originally Posted By dryflash3:
Before you smelt, BE SURE you can sort out the zinc weights.

If you mix lead with zinc, your alloy is ruined for casting bullets.

Will still be good for fishing sinkers.


Good point!

This can very easily happen in unregulated temperature conditions...not so much if you keep the temp hot enough to melt lead, but not hot enough to melt zinc. The zinc weights will float to the top just like any other contaminate.
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 8:43:32 AM EDT
Originally Posted By dryflash3:
Before you smelt, BE SURE you can sort out the zinc weights.

If you mix lead with zinc, your alloy is ruined for casting bullets.

Will still be good for fishing sinkers.


I will have sort them out but from dumping it into another container looks like standard lead weights. the zink are of diferant shape? I will have do a search see if their is pics of the two.

thanks for once again straitening me out. I did find the lyman casting book loads of cast data wich is nice
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 8:52:54 AM EDT
has anyone used "MP" brand molds just ran across them just curious
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 8:58:25 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/15/2013 10:02:31 AM EDT by pdg45acp]
Originally Posted By dryflash3:
Before you smelt, BE SURE you can sort out the zinc weights.

If you mix lead with zinc, your alloy is ruined for casting bullets.

Will still be good for fishing sinkers.


The last time I went to the scrap yard to get lead they pointed me to a 55 gallon drum about half full of wheel weights.

More than 75% of those wheel weights had Zn on them.

The scrap yard people where getting ripped off by someone selling them zinc wheel weights at lead scrap prices.

Link Posted: 2/15/2013 9:03:36 AM EDT

Zink weight are usually labeled Zn...a good sign that it not lead is to drop them on a concrete floor, if it goes "ting" instead of "thud" ,it's not lead.
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 11:09:16 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 4:34:35 PM EDT
Originally Posted By dryflash3:

Originally Posted By usmcscout:
Originally Posted By dryflash3:
Before you smelt, BE SURE you can sort out the zinc weights.

If you mix lead with zinc, your alloy is ruined for casting bullets.

Will still be good for fishing sinkers.


I will have sort them out but from dumping it into another container looks like standard lead weights. the zink are of diferant shape? I will have do a search see if their is pics of the two.

thanks for once again straitening me out. I did find the lyman casting book loads of cast data wich is nice

There is another casting thread running on page 1 today.

I posted some of my older casting thread links in that thread.

One of those threads has pics of lead/zinc weights.


Thanks ill check them out tonight appreciate that

Link Posted: 2/15/2013 5:26:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/16/2013 1:38:00 AM EDT by angus6]
Save your Zinc weights , they can be traded pound for pound for lead
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 8:34:35 PM EDT
I quit messing with wheel weights almost 2 years ago due to increasing amounts of steel and zinc. Add to the problem of all the trash and crap in with the weights, I went with a new source that is reliable in composition and clean. Look around for "isotope" lead. That is all.
Link Posted: 2/16/2013 7:54:13 AM EDT
My brother is a mechanic and has friends at several tire stores where he refers customers.

We have a deal. I reload his ammo for free and he gets me free wheel weights. Even before that, I could always get a manager at a tire store to slip me a 5 gallon bucketfull for $20.

I know it's not the case for everyone, but for me, the time involved with sorting, melting and cleaning the weights is part of the hobby and satisfation of "rolling my own".
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