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I know this has been talked about before but I have alot of reclaimed shot and buckshot that is totally useless. Why can't I melt these down and make cast bullets from them? I can do this outside where it is well ventilated so any dangerous fumes won't be a problem!
Thanks alot guys for the answers to my question!
It will certainly make cast bullets. The only concern is that the bullets might come out too soft. If it's magnum shot, you'll get a nice hard bullet, but std shot is quite soft. What application are you planning on using them, handgun, rifle, velocities?
The biggest hazard from casting lead bullets is getting burned. Lead poisining is a much overblown hazard, the temps we work at aren't high enough to vaporize lead. Just make sure you wash your hands thoroughly when you've finished a casting session, and don't eat or smoke while casting.
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I have cast thousands of bullets from wheelweights and straight linotype so I know about the hazzards of casting and lead poisoning, but I seem to remember a thread on this forum that advised not to cast from lead shot because of an additive the manufactures use (I want to say it was arsenic) to make shot that may be dangerous. I was wondering what that was and if it is truly dangerous or just someone's opinion.
As to the velocities I will shoot the bullets at, they will be used in a 50 cal. muzzleloader (pure lead is recomended for this). I have a supply of 50/50 bar solder I can use to blend and make a harder bullet for my 45 auto and 44 mag.
Talk to you later,
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I'd be the one posting about Arsenic in shot. Depends on the manufacturer and type of shot-- hard magnum shot usually has up to 1% which is way to much for casting.
It's said if you smell a garlic like odor your actually smelling arsenic when casting. That's way over a reasonable limit.
Alof of us now cover our melts with generic kitty litter-- prevents oxidation, and one would think vapors released from a molten alloy. But in the end it's the same drill-- cast with plenty of ventilation.
ADDENDUM [is that how ya spell it...] With the newer methods of manufacturing shot possibly the arsenic content is NOT the percentages of the tower drop process?? Be interesting to contact a shot maker and ask... ..
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I do use magnum shot for casting, but only in small amounts to add antimony and any arsenic to my melt. Aladin is right when he says 1% is way too much, although I dought it is enough to create dangerous fumes. My usually alloy for casting is 10 pounds of cleaned wheel weights, one pound of linotype and from one thrd to one half cup of magnum shot. That gives just enough arsenic to really make the bullets hard when heat treating. I'm not much for dropping from the mold into water, much preferring the oven method with the bullets in a basket and rapidly quenching them all at once. I feel that most molds will not always drop the bullet at the same rate, some taking longer to fall from the mold than other, thus having bullets of different temperature hitting the water. I would think that this wiuld affect the final hardness to some degree.
Paco Kelly, over on Sixgunner.com says his favorite alloy is 18 pounds of magnum shot and one pound of lead free solder when he wants the hardest of bullets. Seems kind of the expensive way to go, as my alloy quenches out to around 30 BHN, give or take a point.
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