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Lead wheel weights?


Willie Shootum

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I cast my own bullets. In the past I used lead wheel weights. I have to admit that it has been a while since I went to a tire shop and bought some. Today I went to a tire shop and asked for used wheel weights and the nice man gave me a large bucket of them. When I got home,to my suprise, about 1/2 of them were not lead. The non-lead ones are much harder. Does anyone know what material they are using for these new wheel weights? Can it be melted and mixed in with the lead like tin to make the bullets harder? If so,would they be too hard for SASS matches? I have not tried to melt one yet. I am very interested in your comments on this. Willie

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They are zinc and you don't want them in your alloy. You can get a lot of info on all types of lead and alloys on the Castboolit forum (and it is spelled as I typed it). Further a lot of the new wheelweights have more antimony and other stuff than the older ones.

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I cast my own bullets. In the past I used lead wheel weights. I have to admit that it has been a while since I went to a tire shop and bought some. Today I went to a tire shop and asked for used wheel weights and the nice man gave me a large bucket of them. When I got home,to my suprise, about 1/2 of them were not lead. The non-lead ones are much harder. Does anyone know what material they are using for these new wheel weights? Can it be melted and mixed in with the lead like tin to make the bullets harder? If so,would they be too hard for SASS matches? I have not tried to melt one yet. I am very interested in your comments on this. Willie

 

NO, the harder wheelweights are not useful AT ALL. There are two "new" metals that new wheel weights are being made from now, Zinc and Steel. The Zinc weights usually have a "ZN" logo on the surface of the weight. The Steel have "FE".

 

Steel ones you can pick out with a magnet - the body and the clip are both steel. The steel weights will not melt down when you smelt a batch of mixed weights, unless you get the metal about white hot.

 

The Zinc weights are the nasty ones. They will melt at about 100 degrees F higher temperature than the standard lead-antimony metal weights melt. If you are REAL careful to skim off the zinc and steel weights as soon as the lead weights melt, you are good. If you start letting the zinc melt, it alloys with the lead and causes you no end of casting problems. So, I hand pick mine to catch most of the zinc weights, then I watch carefully as I start to smelt down the lead and perhaps I can spot one or two ringers that made it past my hand picking. It's a PITA!

 

Good luck, GJ

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What they said. I have pics of the zinc and steel weights if you want an assist in picking them out. California went lead free January 2009 so I don't even bother going by my free source anymore as the only lead weights are take-offs, maybe 25% or less.

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Luckily I can still get mostly lead wheel wieghts. I fall into the "shovel and scrape" theroy mentioned by Garrison Joe. If it floats and don't melt I scoop it out.

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With the price of lead wheelweights($1.00/pound) in my part of Idaho Territory i am reverting to making my bullet alloy from the soft lead i have mixed with the linotype i have.

 

elfego :FlagAm:

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if you see an older build ing being re-roofed or torn down it is worth while stopping and asking if they have any lead flashing or in the latter case lead pipe

I got about 45 lbs that way from a burned house tha was being torn down even if some of it was in rather melted lumps and it was free

 

Strike up a friendship with a plumber that does renovation work on old houses is another way as is someone that works on old power cables that used lead ore other metal conduit with wiped lead joints

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Willie, I am in the auto repair business and the talk from the parts reps is the lead in wheel weights will be phased out in the next few years. They will be coming out with a composite plastic wheel weight that is 4 times the size as comparable lead ones. I just gave away 2 plastic buckets of used lead weights to a Pard at our Club who casts his own bullets and other are on the waiting list. FYI.

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