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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Until recently, I had a source for cheap lead SWC's... that source has dried up, and current prices are outrageous.

I'm considering casting my own... I've done sinkers before, but hardness isn't an issue there.

I have access to a fair supply of lead recycled from bullets. While I realize that the exact composition will vary a little from batch to batch, would I be naive to assume that since it was good enough for bullets the first time around, it will be good the second go-round, in spite of the slight differences in alloy compostion?

What about casting with reclaimed shot? Again, I have access to a fair supply of this... it's cleaner than the bullet lead, so I would prefer to use this if it's good enough. I don't want to get into adding tin or trying to change the composition of the alloy... if it's not good enough as-is, I just won't use it.

Thanks in advance!
 

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Recycled bullets ought to be just fine.... especially for target work, as they will probably have been target bullets to begin with. An occasional hard-cast bullet in the mix won't appreciably affect the final alloy. Soft, target-type bullets are best kept below 1,000 ft/sec, or the barrel leading will be ferocious.

Reclaimed shot.... if you could be assured that it's all 5% or 6% antimony, it would make good hard-cast bullets. It will almost certainly be a mix, though, so use it for target work.

I gave up casting some time ago; although enjoyable as a hobby, it was pretty time-consuming, and cut into my shooting time. My favorite (this was before lead prices went through the roof) was wheelweights - they make a good, hard bullet that you can push to 1400 ft/sec if well lubed. The local tire shop was glad to be rid of them, as they were "toxic waste"... got 'em for free. This, I understand, is no longer the case, even though lead prices are back down.

Cast 'em, swage 'em, lube 'em, and shoot 'em. Just remember.... don't eat 'em.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks!

These would be strictly for target work, and would all be in the 800-850 fps range, so based on reading your response is it safe to assume that hardness doesn't matter at such low speeds?
 

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At 800-850 fps, hardness doesn't matter. Only when you get over 1000 fps or thereabouts do you need to use a harder alloy to prevent severe leading. The use of a gas check is also a good idea at higher velocities, but not necessary for your purpose.
 
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