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Thread: Do they still use lead wheel weights?

  1. #1

    Default Do they still use lead wheel weights?

    After a long absence I am ready to start bullet casting again. Years ago it was just a matter of going to any garage and getting the lead for free. Is this still the case?

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    There is still a lot around but they are getting harder to find. Most newer cars have zinc or cast iron weights. Lead wheel weights are rarely free anymore and you can expect to pay over $.50 per lb.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbuck351 View Post
    There is still a lot around but they are getting harder to find. Most newer cars have zinc or cast iron weights. Lead wheel weights are rarely free anymore and you can expect to pay over $.50 per lb.
    Any other options?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jim in anchorage View Post
    Any other options?
    You can get lead from a junk yard and mix in smaller amounts of other metals. There are lots of recipes online. The trouble is that all the auto shops know that reloaders love wheel weights so they charge a hefty price. Same goes with buying lead. I didn't really find it as cost effective as buying from that guy in Palmer, or berrys from sportsmans, Oregon trail from cabelas... Etc. I'm sure you could save some money but it wasn't enough for me. Good luck.

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Get free reign of a junkyard and take a screwdriver with you.

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim in anchorage View Post
    Any other options?
    http://www.rotometals.com/Bullet-Casting-Alloys-s/5.htm
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    You can buy from folks online at "cast boolits.com". Most charge about $1 per pound plus a postal flat rate charge which comes out to about $1.25 per lb. for clean smelted ingots. Composition is not a certainty. Roto metals sells certified metals but they are somewhat higher. Still a lot cheaper than buying jacketed bullets.

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    I buy lead from scrapyards and private parties locally here for $1 a pound or so.
    The scrap yard doesnt always have it and you have to get on their call list as they easily sell all they have. Fortunately I am on their call list.
    I only use wheelweights if they are free.
    With all the steel and zinc ones and as dirty as they are they are a hassle for me with jig casting.
    A friend buys Lyman#2 on eBay for a reasonable price with flat rate shipping it isn't too bad,maybe $2.50 a pound after shipping.
    And its good alloy that doesn't require adding tin or antimony.
    Rotometals is a good company to deal with also.
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    Well that was good news. I put over $99 in my cart[free shipping] hit the shipping calculator for Alaska fully expecting no shipping to AK or HI to pop up. Nope still free shipping. I don't need a awful lot just planning on loading .32 H&R mag, 30-06 and some .45 Colt. Wonder if a truck shop would have lead WWs. I can't picture balancing a dump truck tire with zinc weights.

  10. #10
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim in anchorage View Post
    Well that was good news. I put over $99 in my cart[free shipping] hit the shipping calculator for Alaska fully expecting no shipping to AK or HI to pop up.
    Yep. And they ship USPS Flat Rate too.
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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    Yep. And they ship USPS Flat Rate too.
    Yes the joys of shipping by bulk instead of weight. One time I ordered some thing like 500 325 gr LBT bullets from Cabalas. The delivery guy needed a hand cart to bring them in. Cost me like $5 shipping. Anyway might be interesting to cast with a known alloy. I've never had the opportunity.

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    There is alot of competition for wheel weights between boolit casters and fishing weight casters. It takes alot more to cast a 2 or 3 pound halibut weight, than a 158 grain boolit. Fishing weight casters don't care if a few zinc weights are melted in, while boolit casters are well aware and watch out for the ever increasing number of zinc weights showing up. Fishing weight casters seem to want larger quanities, and seem to be willing to pay more for wheel weights it seem to me. Free weights seem to be a fond memory from the past. If you have to pay too much, the sorting, alloying, and added work doesn't make wheel weights worth the effort to me.

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Zinc contamination is something I am well aware of as a jig and sinker maker.
    I always sort wheel weights as zinc will ruin a batch of lead even if they are only used for sinkers.
    I wish wheel weights were free and easy to acquire.
    Adding some Rotometals superhard is an easy way to gain Brinell hardness.
    I have a lead hardness tester to test my ingots for certain applications where harder or softer alloys is preferable.
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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim in anchorage View Post
    Well that was good news. I put over $99 in my cart[free shipping] hit the shipping calculator for Alaska fully expecting no shipping to AK or HI to pop up. Nope still free shipping. I don't need a awful lot just planning on loading .32 H&R mag, 30-06 and some .45 Colt. Wonder if a truck shop would have lead WWs. I can't picture balancing a dump truck tire with zinc weights.
    We balance them with little sacks of pellets we throw inside the tires. Of the 50 or more semi tires I have, none have an external weight. That said, I have two five gallon buckets of lead weights I inherited from my father-in-law that will keep me and the kids in business for a while.
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