Smelting PC coated bullets

JWFilips

Well-Known Member
Starting to do some smelting now that it is getting cooler.....
Since I sort my range scrap ( I know I'm crazy) I smelt all the jacketed stuff first Then I move on to the Commercial Hard cast stuff ( on our range there are a lot of commercial cast pistol shooters)
This gives me two type of ingots Jacketed alloy Ingots which are softer then the Hard cast Ingots. This way once I have super clean smelted ingots I can blend them as I need in the casting pot.
This past year of collecting the range scrap, I seen more and more of the Commercial Cast bullets that are PC coated. My Commercial Cast scrap buckets are approximately 75% PC coated bullets! Never smelted that much PC before!
I know the fumes are dangerous.....Any pointers on how long the fumes last? Does it burn off before "liquidous" or Does it burn off after the alloy reaches melting point? Really hoping it is gone before working my sawdust into the alloy
Thanks
 

CWLONGSHOT

Residing in New England
I remelt some from time to time. I am also planning on some shortly. I melt and skim it off "early" to reduce the smoke. I have done a full
Pot with the Fan on hi. It stinks!
 
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popper

Well-Known Member
Soon as alloy get liquid I scrape the PC off top before it 'burns'. When it 'burns' it really just turns to dust. never worried about any fumes but the garage door is open.
 

Brad

Administrator
Staff member
I remove it after fluxing. It is just another impurity to me. Once bullets are all melted I drop in a handful of sawdust, let it smoke a bit, then ignite it. The PC will be gone after that.

Don't over think it Jim.
 

JonB

Halcyon member
I use to sort range scrap before smelting.
Then after I did one big batch, that wasn't sorted, I said to myself, "why have I been sorting this stuff?"
In fact, now I tend to throw in metal rich dross from the casting furnace in the same batches, as well as any other bit of lead I have lying around.
 

JWFilips

Well-Known Member
I'm with @JonB here.
Just throw it all in the pot and let it work. Jacketed, PC,plated, Hard cast. I just make one big happy Range stew. Do it outside, throw in a handful of sawdust. Skim the dross off the top when it all burns up.
When I sort The Jacket'ed stuff gives me BHN 10 ingots after 1 month rest. The Commercial cast Ingots give me BHN 12-13 after 1 month rest!
If I want softer alloy ( wad cutters etc) for a casting I use jacketed ingots
If I want harder bullet alloy for rifles I use the Commercial cast ingots
If I want something in between I blend the 2....Sometimes 2 to 1 sometimes 1 to one...So that is why I do it.
Been smeting longer then I have been casting! I like clean smelted alloy so I do at least 2 to 3 Sawdust to Carbon filtrations per each batch
I find it easier to clean alloy in 80 lbs batches then one massive batch. Quality control is higher!
( and always something to keep in mind....I am Crazy!)
 

Mitty38

Well-Known Member
@JWFilips .. I see what you're are doing and why.
I kind of operate under a reverse philosophy. But same outcome. What I do is melt all my range scrap into small batches as I get it, then big batches. I pour them into a 1 and 1/2 lb ingots and mark the batch date and # with a sharpie.
As I am pouring the big batches I make 6 ladle pour bullets,3 air cooled, 3water dropped. Then set them aside. I wait a month the cut and test the bullets.
Write the average of the 3 air cooled and the 3 water cooled down.
I am also an advocate of getting the lead as clean as possible, I sawdust and wax small batches as they come in. Then do it again when I re-melt them to do my 60ish pound tested ones.
 
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JWFilips

Well-Known Member
OK I found this easy! Got the smelt up to 640 deg and The pc was just floating ! Not smoking
So I scooped it off very easily! With out it fuming!
Wasn't sure what to expect since 95% were pc coated! Wasn't difficult at all!
Thanks Guys!
 

Mitty38

Well-Known Member
OK I found this easy! Got the smelt up to 640 deg and The pc was just floating ! Not smoking
So I scooped it off very easily! With out it fuming!
Wasn't sure what to expect since 95% were pc coated! Wasn't difficult at all!
Thanks Guys!
GREAT TO HERE THAT WORKED OUT FOR YOU!