Friday, November 16, 2012
A Look at Lead
Redistribution is good, any vice they can make money on that doesn't effect their enjoyment will be taxed to the hilt. Land should belong to everyone. Guns should only be in the hands of the government and lead is a poison that should never be used.
There are more but you get the point.
When I was younger, next to the gases that make up breathable air and the elements that create water, lead was the most easily obtained element in the world. Gas stations and auto places would hand a kid buckets of used lead wheel weights with a smile on their faces just knowing you would get the stuff out of their shops. You could walk into any hardware store and pick up nice shiny bricks of the stuff for a few cents and even afford to buy small ingots of tin here and there.
Well those days are gone.
If you still have a source of free lead you are a lucky person. If you have some ideas for places where it can still be scavenged I would love to hear them because short of finding some old bricks or blocks stashed in workshops here and there I haven't scavenged a bit of lead in years. Half the time shops even in the lead belt won't use them for wheel weights anymore and if they do I believe there are restrictions to how they dispose of used weights now. At least I haven't been able to find a shop willing to give me any in years.
The last little local hardware store I purchased lead cakes from for 20 years finally stopped carrying them last Summer. I have been told there is a machine shop locally I can get it from but I haven't checked out that avenue yet.
Other ways of scavenging lead have also proven so questionable I don't even bother any more. These days you really can't be sure if something is lead or has been cut with other heavy metals to the point of being useless for hobby casting. Zinc is a terrible metal to get into your smelted casting pot it will burn some stuff up but it was a common metal to use to cut the lead content of some items. You should also be very careful to never get zinc into your cast bullets.
Solder stopped using lead many years ago as well. I typically still try and buy some solder that contains tin and antimony to add into my smelting blend. Tin in amounts of around 2% will greatly increase the ability of lead to form a shape. Pure lead on it's own will not cast solid edges at all but tends to round off. Antimony will also increase lead hardness and it's ability to mold into sharp detail but will also increase it's brittleness if too much is used. Tin and antimony actually perform these traits in different ways I won't get into here.
If you can find them wheel weights have just about the perfect blend to create a decent hardness for cast bullets, especially for handguns. Other scavenged lead like Linotype produces an even harder mixture but I don't know if you can even find linotype anymore. I have almost completely resorted to buying pure lead ingots and adding in purchased solder to smelt my mixtures these days and as I mentioned I am now out of suppliers for pure lead as well.
Lead batteries can produce some scavenged lead in a grid down situation. The acid must be washed off before smelting and they are a real pain to take apart but current regulations make it hard to find them as well these days. In a collapse situation my guess is that worn out batteries would be your best bet to find good amounts of lead however.
Window weights were another good scavenge target for lead that is dying off quickly these days.
Anyone else have any good ideas for lead scavenging? Like I said I haven't found enough lead through scavenging in years so any ideas or experience in this area would be appreciated and be good knowledge to have.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!