Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Get The Lead Out!

This time we use the "Dutch Oven" with Donnie, not to make dinner, but rather to melt down some lead in order to facilitate part of the "reload and make your own bullets" process. It was fascinating and fun and we were amazed at the process and the color variation of the metal as the melting and skimming and pouring processes take place. Donnie is a treasure trove of information for shooters at all levels and for us pistol packing newbies this was a real eye-opener and learning opportunity. And as it gets harder and harder to get ammunition as our government scarfs it all off the shelves for God knows what reason, this is a skill that will certainly come in handy.

In the first shot here, the bullets of lead and copper covered lead jackets have been crushed so as to "crack" the jacket so the lead can melt out. They are just staring to heat in the pot over a propane burner.

We started out with 52 pounds of "bullets" that Marilyn and I picked up from the back berm at the rifle range. When the process was completed we wound up with 38 pounds of good clean usable lead. Recycling at its finest! Green shooters we are!

 If you look closely, you will see that many of the jackets are now empty, the lead is melting out and "floating" the jackets and other non-lead materials so they can be skimmed off. You might be able to see what looks like melted gold in the pot. Trust me- it isn't. No alchemy here.

As most of the copper was removed from the surface, the lead took on its characteristic blue or purple color for a short while as the impurities burned off.

Donnie demonstrates the safe technique for ladling  molten lead into molds for cooling. From there, they will be re melted in a different machine to be molded into projectiles for the ammunition.

No comments: