Saturday, September 03, 2016


My younger son showed up with some salvaged lead, so we spent the cool morning hours smelting lead to make into bullets.  Out in the backyard, with plenty of ventilation, we started melting about a hundred pounds of dead-soft lead and about 40 pounds of old wheelweights that I had laid back.

That's the set-up.  A tripod set up over the burner, the lead pot on the burner, and the big chunk of salvage lead suspended in the pot.  The salvage lead was bigger than any smelting pot I had on hand.

A picture from a little farther out, of the same set up.

As we melted the lead, we cast it into ingots.  I've got hree ingot molds, one small Lee mold, and an old cast-iron muffin tin that we use for dead-soft lead.  And, an old cornbread-stick mold that we use for harder metal, like magnum pistol and rifle bullets.  The alloy is different, and by simply looking at the cast ingot, we know what alloy we're dealing with.

Some smelted lead cooling in the grass.  You can see the small Lee molds, the round muffin molds and the long cornstick molds cooling.  The cornsticks are wheelweight metal, the other two are dead-soft lead.

All in all, I figure that we smelted a hundred pounds of lead this morning.  At an average of 150 grains per bullet, that's better than 4600 bullets that we prepped today.  Not bad for a couple of hours work on a Saturday morning.

Thanks, son.


Old NFO said...

I really need to get back into reloading... sigh

zdogk9 said...

I wish I could still get wheelweights.

The Displaced Louisiana Guy said...

I had fun, Pop.