wheel weights for bullets

Discussion in 'Guns - Blackpowder' started by Poppa, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. Poppa

    Poppa New Member

    Messages:
    1,233
    State:
    Pinson, Al
    I have been pouring sinkers from wheel weights. I have a pretty
    good source for the wheel weight lead. I read that wheel weight
    lead is not pure, they are about 67% lead. Would it be safe and
    not harmful to the guns to pour .54 cal. round balls with this lead?
    For modern guns?
     
  2. kat in the hat

    kat in the hat New Member

    Messages:
    4,875
    State:
    Missouri
    I'm no expert, but wheel weights have been used to make bullets for a long time. I think that when you melt the lead, most impurities would either sink, or float, so I think it's fine to use.
     

  3. 223reload

    223reload New Member

    Messages:
    10,798
    State:
    Oklahoma
    Actually I think wheel weights are a harder lead alloy. They should make great bullets.
     
  4. Netmanjack

    Netmanjack New Member

    Messages:
    3,734
    State:
    Ohio
    FYI, wheel weights are generally 11 percent antimony. As mentioned it makes lead much harder. It also makes it lighter. So I would experiment with your loads to insure accuracy. :wink:
     
  5. canebreaker

    canebreaker Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,311
    State:
    Southaven,MS
    I've poured .38 spl 120 gr. and 158 gr. bullets from wheel weights for some time. Use your bullet sizer to get true size. If about to get pure lead, mix 10 to 20% with wheel weights.
     
  6. olefin

    olefin New Member

    Messages:
    3,908
    State:
    Texas
    I've poured and shot several 1000's of .38/357 wadcutters from wheel weights. I tempered the bullets as I dropped them from the mold into cold water... This is dangerous, if not done with great care! On hot loads I used copper caps under the bullet to reduce barrel leading.

    At the 2006 BOC gathering I gave away over 120 lbs of wheel weight lead I had casted into 1lb ingots.
     
  7. Snagged2

    Snagged2 New Member

    Messages:
    6,252
    State:
    Verde Valley AZ
    I wouldn't recommend using any type of harder lead alloy for Muzzle loader projectiles.
    The nature of these guns, is such that you want the bullet to be easily started to load it, then upon firing, the bullet needs to change shape in the barrel enough to ensure a good seal against the burning propellant gasses from coming around,, especially , mini type balls, not using a patch..
    Some of the early African hunters using the large muzzleloaders, would harden there bullets, to ensure adequate penetration into the vitals of the heavy skinned creatures, and pachyderms.
    But, for the thinskinned animals on this continent, a nice, soft , expanding lead bullet has worked very well. In the traditional muzzle loader firearm. The new stuff, can use the sabots,, which facilitates loading, and sealing..
     
  8. swampratt

    swampratt Member

    Messages:
    217
    State:
    oklahoma
    I have shot many 125 at 1 sitting ,but they will not expand..the .50 cal i shoot a .490 ball made in a Lee mold and a .012 patch and a leather wad that seperates the ball and patch from the powder,,
    All homemade stuff ..I have best groups with pyrodex rs at 90 grains

    When i say they will not expand i mean i pulled 2 from an oak tree 100yrds and i could have shot them again...a .308 bullet at 150 gr mushroomed is about the same as my .50 ball..so you do not need expansion

    The .490" hornady measured 180 gr and the ww lead came in at 174

    I even shot some lead wheel weight bullets Homemade mold that come in at 314 gr , no wear at all
    CVA bobcat sidelock

    The bullets have no lube grooves and i have no leading problems..
    The patched round ball will not touch the barrel if sized and patched right
     
  9. xringer3

    xringer3 New Member

    Messages:
    950
    State:
    Oklahoma
    One problem with the wheel weights for muzzle loader bullets (trust me, I found out the hard way). If it's a conical bullet, then the bullet is oversize so that when you push it down the barrel, it cuts grooves into the bullet to seal it up and to give it a good grip on the bullet when it's fired. It's generally common to use as pure of lead as possible so you can get the bullet pushed down the barrel as easily as possible. I tried wheel weights once, and had to use a hammer to drive them down the barrel! By the time I even got them started down the bore enough to use the ramrod, the tip of the bullet was so distorted and bent out of shape that accuracy was not as good as the ones with pure lead.

    You might have better luck than me, but it didn't work out too good for me, I even had to carry a hammer with me in the field for reloads, LOL.
     
  10. swampratt

    swampratt Member

    Messages:
    217
    State:
    oklahoma
    Xringer3 is right on that.
    The wheel weight (ww) bullets are hard to load . i got ok groups with them but i sized my bullets to .501"

    i got 2" groups at 100 yrds. and all shots were within 1.5" on height with a fouled barrel...
    I have scored 103lbs of soft lead and just cast up a little over 50 bullets

    These should be easier to load than ww lead...
    I will continue to use ww lead for the patched round balls , but not the hard to start bullets..

    You meantioned that these will be shot out of newer guns,,
    Can you explain or tell us what guns?
     
  11. badkarma

    badkarma New Member

    Messages:
    772
    State:
    Oxford,Miss
    Poppa for maybe 20 years I burned up 6 to 10 lbs of black powder a year pushing patched round balls cast from wheelweights and I never had any problems.