Current Wheel Weights

  • 740 Views
  • Last Post 13 February 2021
Eutectic posted this 21 January 2021

There has been some discussion about the outlawing of lead wheel weights in several states. These are "progressive" states bent on running everyone's lives. Unfortunately the insanity affects all states. I have not purchased WW for ten years and wondered if the doom and gloom about the death of wheel weights was true.

.My mechanic said sure take this 5 gallon bucket. Getting it in the car took 2 of us. At home I weighed it,120 pounds..Figure 2 pounds for the plastic bucket, net was 118 pounds. Sorting was easier, the manufacturers are labeling most of the weights with Zn or Fe, the chemical symbols for zinc and iron. A lot more stick-on weights, more cars have aluminum wheels. Some new flexible rubber weight material with powdered metal for mass.The zinc and iron weights came to 75 pounds. There were 3 pounds of assorted nuts, bolts and car parts, The remaining 40 pounds was lead weights.

It is not like 10 years ago when you got 90% of the weight in lead, but 40 pounds will make a lot of bullets.

Steve

Attached Files

  • Liked by
  • RicinYakima
  • JeffinNZ
Order By: Standard | Newest | Votes
John Carlson posted this 22 January 2021

Last WW I did was a couple of years ago, 300 lbs from a body shop.  Processing yielded 60 lbs of alloy.

Holding public office should be viewed as an obligation to serve, not an opportunity to rule.

Attached Files

max503 posted this 22 January 2021

I'm in one of those "progressive" states, Illinois, and my lead has not come from wheel weights for years now.  Mostly backstop lead.  Lead wheel weights are scarce as hens teeth around here.  Luckily, I bought up a lot of lino about 25 years ago.  I bought enough that it made the springs on my little Toyota pick-up sag.

Attached Files

RicinYakima posted this 22 January 2021

At last count 15 states have outlawed lead in wheel weights. Washington since 2012.  FWIW

Attached Files

JeffinNZ posted this 22 January 2021

I won’t buy WW unless I get to sort them first.

Cheers from New Zealand

Attached Files

  • Liked by
  • RicinYakima
cfp4570 posted this 22 January 2021

Lead wheel weights died in illinois in 2012. Last time I sorted through a five gallon bucket at my mechanic friends shop the yield was pitifully low. Last time I bought lead, it was from an indoor range, and by luck, I got it really cheap. About 15 years ago, a friend of mine worked at a Chevrolet dealer across the Ohio river in Paducah, KY and one day he showed up with TEN buckets of wheelweights in his truck. His story was that the manager was happy to get rid of them and I didn't ask any questions. I think we were up until 3 a.m. turning those into ingots! Alas, lead wheel weights are extremely scarce these days.

Attached Files

Eutectic posted this 22 January 2021

Thanks for the input, The results are variable depending on the state or area. Sorting is dirty nasty work, mask and gloves. When the yield is low it becomes unattractive. it looks like the lead WW are headed for extinction. Sad because WW alloy was good for most pistol and revolver shooting as well as light rifle loads.

Recently I scored some range lead. The totally incapsulated (plated) bullets which were not damaged became little copper balloons filled with melted alloy.  No good way to deal with them in the pot, they squirt if you puncture them. I ended up sorting them out and cutting them in half with a shear. This was unwelcome work. Has anyone found a better method?

Steve 

 

Attached Files

OU812 posted this 22 January 2021

I hear you can cast good bullets using zinc?

Attached Files

beltfed posted this 22 January 2021

Zinc bullets are Very Light /low density, therefore Low Sectional Density

beltfed/arnie

Attached Files

Pepe Ray posted this 22 January 2021

Why would you wish to reintroduce a contaminant into your source? (range reclamation) It sounds self destructive to me. -Pepe Ray

Only in His name.

Attached Files

Eutectic posted this 29 January 2021

Yes,  you can cast zinc alloys. The casting temperature is higher than lead alloys but ~750 F is within reach.

BUT:
The density is about 60% of lead, a 200 grain lead bullet weighs ~120 grains in zinc.
There are 5 common zinc alloys (ZAMAK) of different properties, no good way to tell what is used in WW but likely a mix and maybe scrap. You must purchase your alloy. I used zamak 3. 
Zinc alloys do not flow like lead alloys, they act "thick". Getting high quality bullets was a challenge. Industry uses pressure casting techniques, Ladle casting is a must, one at a time. Pour casting does not work. A bottom pour pot will probably not work.  
The mold needs to cast the correct diameter or close to it. An iron mold is needed, the temperature needed is too high for aluminum molds. Sprue cut off takes a lot more force, a multiple cavity mold will be hard to cut the sprues. Sizing is difficult and can break a normal lube sizer. I sized them in a RCBS Rock Chucker press, nose first, get a LEE size die.

You need to clean the pot and ladle if you use them later for lead. Zinc will contaminate lead alloys causing poor casting.  Hydrochloric acid (Pool Supply Store) dissolves zinc alloys. CAUTION Handle with care! Read the label, gloves and eye protection a must!

An advantage: Zinc does not deposit in the barrel, no lube needed. Plain base bullets will work at full 30.06 velocity. 

An interesting project, but limited utility. The light bullets lose velocity quickly and are wind sensitive.

Steve  

 

Attached Files

  • Liked by
  • RicinYakima
Bud Hyett posted this 29 January 2021

I tried shooting zinc bullets over five decades ago and was not impressed. A friend went through the steps to cast some and brought them to the farm to shoot where we could recover. We shot them through a hay bale and stacked soaked cardboard. They went through okay and we could find them. 

They did not "lead" and were reasonably accurate. I shot a S&W Model 10 and he a S&W Model 28. He had both .38 Special and .357 Magnum loads. The bullets looked almost untouched, you could reload them if you could only index them to the rifling. 

Over a cup of coffee afterwards, he decided the savings were not worth the extra effort. 

 

Farm boy from Illinois, living in the magical Pacific Northwest

Attached Files

Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 30 January 2021

in my moa 222, i shot a hunnert of commercial 224 zinc bullets ... shot about 2 -3 moa, and i used them on river turtles ... they didn't expand and were no fun so i shot them up and  have never thought of another use for them.  i guess survivalists might consider them, but lead is about as easy to scavange ....  up close and desperate i would use plastic, metal tipped bullets ...

i shot through a 2 inch sears catalog with a plastic bullet with a sr primer in the nose ...  i stopped using those indoors ( g ) ...

ken

Attached Files

mashburn posted this 11 February 2021

Ken

What kind of plastic were you using to make bullets. It sounds interesting. What weight of a .224 bullet could you make from plastic. Were you casting them or turning them on a lathe?

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

Attached Files

Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 11 February 2021

hi mr. cogburn ...this was about 60 years ago ... i remember i found some plastic rod that fit the 222 brass... it was about the durometer of polyethylene  ...  i cut it to length with side cutters ... i was shooting it at about 20 feet at a target on a carboard box for a stop .. then decided to add the spent primers at the front of the " bullet "  went through the box and through my catalog i was backing up the box with.  very impressive ...

*************

i believe that in times of duress it would be possible to make effective bullets ( short range at least ) from materials found in the junk drawers and garages of most American households.

has anybody played with those wooden bullets you can buy cheap for 6.5 swedes ?  without the muzzle shredder ? .. i bet they are nasty at 30 feet ...

ken

Attached Files

Ross Smith posted this 12 February 2021

All: I'm sure at least some of you have done this but here goes. I went to a truck stop(not a tire shop) and asked my friend that changes tires there if he could save me some lead ww. He said yes. Big trucks are still using old fashioned ww at least for awhile, not so in CA. good luck.

Attached Files

mashburn posted this 12 February 2021

Thanks Ross,

There aren't any truck stops, in my immediate area, but the next time I pass one when traveling I will stop and check .Makes sense.

Mashburn

 

David a. Cogburn

Attached Files

  • Liked by
  • Bud Hyett
Qc Pistolero posted this 12 February 2021

7 or 8 years ago,I picked up a bucket of ww at my local auto repair shop.If I recall correctly,the bucket weighted 145lbs or so and after sorting out lead ones from FE and ZN I got barely over 40lbs including the clips.I decided right there that it wasn't worth the effort.I'm getting too old and lazy for this.

Attached Files

  • Liked by
  • Bud Hyett
  • RicinYakima
OU812 posted this 13 February 2021

Here is a good video about casting with zinc. You can pressure cast with bottom pour or ladle. You need more heat and a iron mold. Aluminum galds more easily when it gets too hot.

Attached Files

OU812 posted this 13 February 2021

Do not contaminate your zinc WW with lead WW. That's funny

Attached Files

Close