Casting round balls out of wheel weights?

Discussion in 'General Topics' started by James Sparhawk, Jan 26, 2020.

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  1. Jan 26, 2020 #1

    James Sparhawk

    James Sparhawk

    James Sparhawk

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    I am trying to justify purchasing the needed equipment to cast my own round balls. My neighbor has 200 lbs. of wheel weights. I read that wheel weights have zink and something else in them besides lead. According to what I have read, muzzle loader projectiles need to be cast from 99% lead.
    However, does not fluxing the melting lead remove all the impurities?
    If I have to order pure lead igots, I can get 1 lb for $3 which should make 37-.498 balls. So, it will cost me around $8 bucks to cast 100 balls versus $12.50 (not counting shipping) from Track of The Wolf. In the long run, I know I will save money, but if I can use the wheel weights, I will save a whole lot.
     
  2. Jan 26, 2020 #2

    CatamountRob

    CatamountRob

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    Generally people use pure lead, or close to it. I think if the lead is too hard the patch can’t grip it? I also don’t think other metals can easily be removed from the wheel weight alloy. I use scrap lead flashing that I get from my in-laws, they own a masonry contracting business. Roofers might be another good source.
     
  3. Jan 26, 2020 #3

    James Sparhawk

    James Sparhawk

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    Thanks for sharing. I know several builders. Do you weigh your balls after casting them?
     
  4. Jan 26, 2020 #4

    CatamountRob

    CatamountRob

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    No. I shoot to have fun and I’m just not interested in complicating things. I enjoy casting, I find it an enjoyable way to spend a few hours and once you establish a good rhythm you will be very productive.
     
  5. Jan 26, 2020 #5

    James Sparhawk

    James Sparhawk

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    I don't want to have to weigh mine either. Some guys swear by it, but I don't see the purpose of wasting time and money.
     
  6. Jan 26, 2020 #6

    James Sparhawk

    James Sparhawk

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    I'm thinking about getting the $70 Lee pot with the pouring spout, and all Lee molds. I don't see the logic of paying so much more, like 3x, on the Lyman pot and molds. Do you use the Lee products?
     
  7. Jan 26, 2020 #7

    CatamountRob

    CatamountRob

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    I use a Coleman stove, a small cast iron pot and a casting ladle. My roundball molds are all T/C’s that I’ve bought on eBay when I found one reasonably priced. A lot of people use the Lee pots and get great results.
     
  8. Jan 26, 2020 #8

    herschel conyers

    herschel conyers

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  9. Jan 27, 2020 #9

    jsmuddydogs

    jsmuddydogs

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    Weighting cast bullets let you know your casting consistently and if you'r getting consistent bullets between different lead lots. Doesn't mean you have to weight every ball or bullet but it's smart to weight a few so you know if there is a big enough weight difference between lead pots to effect POI. Same with measuring cast bullets, hard to know what size patch to start with if you don't know your ball size. Why spend your time casting and not a little time on quality control, a couple weight and diameter measurements can tell you a lot.

    Are the wheel weights raw or smelted? If there raw just off the tire weights then its a good chance there is some stick on wheel weights (SOWW) in the mix which are about pure and make good balls.

    Wheel weights don't have zinc or something else in them, there are lead wheel weights, zinc wheel weight and steel wheel weights. If the stash is an old stash them most of the wheel weights are probably lead, if the wheel weights are of new vintage then there is probably a mix of all 3 weights present. It takes some time but its easy to sort out the bad zink and steel weights by cutting them with a pair of side cutters. Google sorting wheel weights for more info then you probably want.
     
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  10. Jan 27, 2020 #10

    James Sparhawk

    James Sparhawk

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    Thanks for the info. I decided to weigh my castings because of all the videos I have watched today, and suggestions from people like you.
     

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