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Roll your own shotgun slugs.....

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by chelloveck, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

  2. Illini Warrior

    Illini Warrior Monkey+

    I'd personally save the chill shot and use instead a mix of scrap lead/solder/virgin lead for the slug pour .....
  3. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    I was thinking Old Battery Plates, as a source of scrap Lead....
  4. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    agreed....I wouldn't even bother cutting factory loads at all.....I'd be reloading fired cases with the slugs and keeping the shot for hunting if they were the smaller sizes.

    Agreed, and if I wasn't bullet casting for centrefire rounds, I'd be using wheel weights. Window lead lighting, lead window flashing and damp course lead and fishing sinkers are other good sources of lead for shot and slugs for shot shell realoading.

    Interestingly, I scavenged some of those aerobic fitness ankle and wrist bands from someone's council cleanup refuse pile ....one of them was slightly damaged and spilling the weight material....I thought the weight material was just sand, but it proved to be granulated lead about the size of bird shot or ratshot. The granulated lead wasn't particularly uniform in shape, and it would probably pattern irregularly, but what the heck, when the chips are down and you have to make do with what you can improvise: that kind of source of shot shell reloading material is well worth keeping at the back of one's mind.
    oldawg likes this.
  5. remjax

    remjax Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Careful of Battery plates. Most of them are not pure lead and what they are mixed with is not good for firearm use.

    Also the plates can have small amounts of acid in them, NOT good when added to the pot!!
  6. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    I am well aware of the composition of Battery Plates, and with just a bit of basic chemistry, can reclaim the Lead from them.
    The acid will be reduced in the original melting process, as will all the SO4, SO3, that is in the mix. ..... Been there, done that.... YMMV....
    VisuTrac likes this.
  7. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Just don't breathe it. The sulphur ions that make it out will combine with moisture in your lungs, form suphuric acid and make breathing a problem. Permanently.
  8. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    It's probably not a good idea to be breathing any kind of lead smelting.....best done with a fan air extraction system or out in the open.

    The other thing that impresses me with the roll your own method of shotgun slug manufacture is that it doesn't require any specialised store bought equipment. In an emergency you can still keep your shotgun fed if you have access to some scrap steel, some hardware ironmongery and a drill press. Some care will need to be taken in getting the slug dimesions right, but most fair average quality reloaders should be able to manage that ok.

    Thankyou for the cautionary, it must be remembered that not everyone who reads these posts has an encyclopaedic knowledge of metalurgy, chemistry and smelting. Newbies without such knowledge and experience may attempt the process without being aware of the hazards. It is worth doing one's own independant research on the actual practicalities of anything suggested in forums like this, especially with things that could go bang...or which have some inherent OH&S hazards.....it is beholden upon everyone to do their own risk assessment on anything one is not familiar with.

  9. remjax

    remjax Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Sorry folks, didn't mean to cause irritation in the ranks.

    But as chelloveck said, everyone doesn't have years of experience or practice.

    What is common practice for one is a science experiment waiting to go wrong for others.

    Again pardon my intrusion.

  10. oldawg

    oldawg Monkey+++

    Wait........you mean when I'm melting lead for my............uh...sinkers it could cause um brain dama...........OSCAR SIERRA ! Oh well at least I now have an excuse for it.
  11. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    No worries remjax, there is no irritation whatsoever. We have to bear in mind that there are gross newbs coming to the site for advice, and the experienced old timers feel justly obligated to point out problems before someone hurts themselves. Messing with lead in any form can be problematic ===
    oldawg likes this.
  12. remjax

    remjax Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Thanks ghrit. I once had a kamikaze bug dive into my melting pot!
    Saw the little thing halfway down and took off running, ruined a good camper
    awning that little sucker did. Always got to beware of the little things.[ROFL]
  13. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    No probs.....your comment was valid. No foul no harm.....the forums benefit from discourse rather than compliant agreement.
  14. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Don't for get sash weights. They come in two styles, cast iron, and more commonly in lead. Lots of automatic door control systems also have lead counterweights. The lead is always soft, either in cylinders or form fitting shapes, and never mixed with anything else but the hanger hardware. I have installed, adjusted, and repaired thousands of them.
    chelloveck likes this.
  15. Hazmat54

    Hazmat54 Monkey+

    I was knowledgable enough in my youth to know melting battery plates would be bad. First danger is splitting the battery case open to get the plates. Think splattering acid. We dug a hole in the ground. Battery plates in old cast iron pot. Charcoal and an air compressor to get some heat. Choking, nasty smoke and more spattering acid. Lead pipe and wheel weights are a better choice. Or just stock up on precast bullets ahead of time
  16. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Out where I live Battery Plate Lead is fairly easy to reduce. Acid gets saved for conversion into Nitric Acid for other uses. Once the acid is removed the cells are washed out with lots of water, and the left in a tub of cold water for a few days. There are Test strips that can be used to check for presents of lingering acid, in the tub water. Once the washing is complete, then I use a saws-all to separate the top of the battery from the case, and then the plates, from the top plastic. The next step is to have a Big melting Crusible, that will easily hold the plates, and I use a propane burner to fire the Crusible, and this is setup in the middle of a Large field. light it off and comeback in a couple of hours, to a Crusible of molten Lead. Turn off the propane and let the whole thing cool for a couple more hours, and then come collect the stock lead, to begin refining, to useable Metal....
    gunbunny likes this.
  17. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    wink wink, nudge nudge

    Anyway, I always wondered about the method of extracting lead from batteries that you mentioned; if it would work or not. I guess you answered my question.
  18. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    It is not for the un-initiated, but it surely can be done. I perfected the method I use back when I was in college, and I couldn't afford to buy my Lead, and had access to a complete ChemLab. The local Battery Recycler Guy showed me how to get the plates out of the junk Batteries. I then used small samples to design the melting, and refining process, until I had 99% Pure Lead. Most of those Lead Samples were used, in casting my projectiles, for reloading, but some were used in my Primary Explosive Research, into Lead Azide, Lead Styphanate, and related Lead Compounds. This is all basic InOrganic Chemistry, that any High School Chemistry Graduate should be able to do. Nothing fancy about it. I use the BIG Outdoors to mitigate the offensive Fumes, during the first Melting Process, because I don't have a Chemical Safety Chamber/Fume Hood out here in the bush. I do have access to a good source of Virgin Lead, here, but this process is part of my Prep'er Knowledge Base, that can be used, after the "Revolution" Starts..... ..... YMMV...
    chelloveck likes this.
  19. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    BTPost, check out the videos for greenpower with your host Dan Rohaus (I think) They use in some of their solar stuff, a large flat Fernell Lens, that gets hot enough to boil away concrete. mounted like the classroom mobile blackboards. One or two of these could boil your lead, with no fuel costs. Just a thought. Lenses and parabolic mirrors, can put out a heck of a lot of heat.

    Edit: here, check them out. They have Fernell lens and Sterling engines for sale even.
    chelloveck likes this.
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