Monday, October 24, 2005

Rita gifts

A week or so ago, I talked about my son going to Lake Charles, to help with the recovery effort, and try to make a living in the construction trades. He is living at a trailer park by the interstate, living in a tent and putting roofs on houses. He came by tonite on his way back to work. The boss gives them one day off a week, to do laundry and take care of business, but he staggers the days off so that the crew can keep working. Monday was my son's day.

Anyway, when my son came through tonight, he dropped off some things he had borrowed, and he left me some lead. Lead roof vents that were destroyed in the hurricane. The boss said he could take all he could use, and he brought me a box full of them. Soft, pure, lead. Just right for making bullets. All three of my sons know that I crave lead to support my habits.

The above photo is a collapsed roof vent. It is pure lead, although dirty and in need of processing, which I accomplished my cutting it up in small pieces and putting in my Lee lead pot. The vents weigh about seven pounds each.

The above photo is the product from two melted roof vents. Fourteen pounds of lead, ready for processing into bullets. This is pure, soft lead that I can use as it is, or alloy for harder bullets. Making bullets is all about metallurgy, and although it is simple science, we still have to pay attention to what we are doing.

The above photo shows one pound of lead in ingot form, and two of the soft lead bullets that I make for my Sharps rifle. These bullets weigh 500 grains, which is 14 to the pound. If I alloy them with wheelweights and cast bullets for the .45 ACP, I get about 30 of the 230 grain slugs to the pound of lead.

It is easy to go through four or five pounds of lead bullets in an afternoon shooting with my sons, especially if we are shooting the .45s. As such, I am always on the lookout for free sources of lead.

This lead won't be in a landfill. It will be shot into a dirt berm so that it can be mined and used again. Very little of this lead will get into the environment, unless a big ole buck walks by while I am holding the Sharps.

Recycling at its best.


Anonymous said...

have him pick up any car batteries from flooded cars that he comes across too, they are chock full of the good stuff as well.

Pawpaw said...

No sir. I don't use batteries, and most bullet makers shy away from them. Battery lead goes through a change in the chemical process that makes electricity. The lead in a battery is actually much more hazardous to the environment than lead that had just been exposed to the weather. Lead that has been exposed to hydrocloric acid is an environmental hazard and should be treated as such. It is extremely toxic and should be disposed of properly.

Anonymous said...

Battery acid is sulfuric acid diluted with water. I think lead sulfate is made in the process. Lead, sulfuric acid and lead sulfate all aren't very good for your health.