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Old 12-07-2017, 09:55 AM
eb07 eb07 is offline
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Default Repurposing Old World War 2 Lead

Considering the date today and I really think this is cool so I thought I would share...

So my friends family owns a ranch up here. It used to be the old B17 ground to ground gunnery range:

Kingman Ground-to-Ground Gunnery Range

Over the years they have pulled boatloads of lead out of the ground and hills. The family or hands have melted it into rough ingots and it has been sitting.

My friend heard me talking about reloading so he told me I can have it. I have used it for many things from .490 musket balls to everything and anything for my wheelguns.

Even some 147grainers for my competition glock.

It usually comes to me like this:



Then I melt it down, clean it and use my lyman mold to make clean blocks








After that it becomes what I need. In this case 148gr wadcutters








So I am using lead originally used by our greatest generation to prepare for the war in Europe and the Pacific.

I thought that was pretty cool, and appropriate to post today. When I go out to shoot these, I always remember the brave men and women that fought in the big war and all the sacrifices they made to ensure our way of life that sometimes is taken for granted.

Last edited by eb07; 12-07-2017 at 09:59 AM.
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  #2  
Old 12-07-2017, 10:11 AM
italiansport italiansport is offline
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Great and appropriate post and a great salvage job!
Jim
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:20 AM
Mike, SC Hunter Mike, SC Hunter is offline
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Fantastic!
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:49 AM
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Great that you are reusing the lead in the same manner as its original purpose!
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:24 AM
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Great post!

Thanks!
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:28 AM
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Great that you are reusing the lead in the same manner as its original purpose!
Yeah thread title should have been recycling
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:29 AM
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Wow!! Great post, and a great use for this material. I repurpose lead too, but mine doesn't have a cool pedigree like yours does!!

Best regards, Les
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Old 12-07-2017, 12:54 PM
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Wow! What a great post.
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Old 12-07-2017, 01:27 PM
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Headed out right now to shoot it on this hallowed day of remembrance
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Old 12-07-2017, 05:58 PM
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Well it was a beautiful day at my "private range"




In addition to some other reloads of different calibers and bullets, all 50 of my ww2 recycled wadcutters went off without a hitch averaging around 750FPS (lee #90312 button 148gr LWC over 3.2gr unique around 1800ft above sea level and 60 and sunny out of a 442)






5 shots one handed fast fire at ten yards:



It was a good day for some remembrance. For my Grandfather who served in the Solomons and Luzon in the Army, and for my Uncle who was in the Navy in the pacific. Pictured below somewhere over there:





It was a good day to reflect on the past and enjoy the present.

Never forget.
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Old 12-07-2017, 07:33 PM
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Good post and preferable to the plumbers lead pipe I've recycled!
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Old 12-07-2017, 07:51 PM
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If my father-in-law was still living he would get a kick out of this post. His chuckle would come from the fact you are shooting bullets he deposited there in 1944. He was a ball turret gunner on a B-17 and trained in Kingman.
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Old 12-07-2017, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 30-30remchester View Post
If my father-in-law was still living he would get a kick out of this post. His chuckle would come from the fact you are shooting bullets he deposited there in 1944. He was a ball turret gunner on a B-17 and trained in Kingman.
That is great!
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Old 12-07-2017, 08:35 PM
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Default B-17 Tailgunner

My father-in-law was also a gunner on a B-17 and his B-17 lies in that desert somewhere. They (the crew) were on a training flight qualifying for gunnery when something went really wrong. He was in the tail gunner position when the mishap occurred. The top gunner swung around and fired a burst that sawed off the vertical stabilizer (not suppose to happen). He told me the plane had seen a lot of combat in Europe and was pieced together and was religated as a trainer! He related that the buzz saw was just above his head and he recalled catching a flash of it as it tumbled passed him. The pilot ordered everybody out while he kept the plane level and fought the controls. Everybody made it out, only casulaity was a broken leg for a bad landing. That ended his career in the Army Air Corps, he shipped out for Europe with the 4thID in late 1944 and saw combat in eastern Germany around Nurinberg as a BAR gunner. He volunteered at age 38 to join the Army, old by any standards. It was what the Greatest Generation did. I miss him.
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Old 12-07-2017, 09:18 PM
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My F-I-L flew 32 mission over Germany and Yugoslavia in 1944. He told of his crew getting tired of all that shooting during training. A plane would pull a target behind attached by a long cable. After landing bullet holes were counted in the pulled target. The gunners would shoot for the cable that attached the pulled target. Though they could not see the cable the knew it was there and with enough 50 caliber bullets in the air one was bound to hit the cable. When this happened training was over for the day and everyone got off early.
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Old 12-08-2017, 01:03 AM
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How do you figure that using salvaged lead from bullets to make new bullets is "re-purposing"??? Sure sounds like the original purpose to me. As others pointed out re-cycling is the correct word.
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Old 12-08-2017, 07:52 AM
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Is it pure lead?
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Old 12-08-2017, 08:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alk8944 View Post
How do you figure that using salvaged lead from bullets to make new bullets is "re-purposing"??? Sure sounds like the original purpose to me. As others pointed out re-cycling is the correct word.
Actually, I am the one who pointed it out if you read up. Technically a different purpose. Once it was used to train to fight a great evil, with possible risk to life and limb, now it is used for fun. Have a great day

Last edited by eb07; 12-08-2017 at 08:57 AM.
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Old 12-08-2017, 09:06 AM
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Is it pure lead?
It seems to be
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Old 12-08-2017, 10:36 AM
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Recovered, reprocessed, remgf'd to current needed specs and on to a target once again at the same training range 75+ years later.

Great post and hats off to all the Vets past and present.. Thank You.
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Old 12-08-2017, 10:42 AM
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I find melted scrap from Civil War sites with my metal detector . I have been saving them intending to melt them down and use them to make .58 cal Minnies for my musket . I probably got 75 lbs or so . Since there is no longer an open season on Yank's I guess I'll use them on deer during muzzle loading season .

Eddie
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Old 12-08-2017, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eb07 View Post

5 shots one handed fast fire at ten yards:


.
Excederin isn't going to help this...
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Old 12-08-2017, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddie Southgate View Post
Since there is no longer an open season on Yank's...
Mind yer manners, don't make us come down thar agin.

Oh, you mean the Yankees (MLB) nevermind.
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Old 12-08-2017, 12:14 PM
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Good shootin’ , and a great post.
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Old 12-08-2017, 01:20 PM
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I'd call it recycling rather than repurposing.
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Old 12-08-2017, 01:24 PM
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Mind yer manners, don't make us come down thar agin.

Oh, you mean the Yankees (MLB) nevermind.

Only difference in a Yank and a Yankee (MLB) is one runs faster than the other . Were better setup now than we were then , I suspect the second trip would be a lot tougher than the first !

Eddie
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Old 12-08-2017, 02:34 PM
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i have a double barrel savage/stevens 12guage, has the doggies/birdies engraved on the side of the reciever. But it also has "U.S." stamped on it, and the flaming bomb. A department of war purchase at the time when they were short on firearms. These were used for ariel gunner training, shooting skeet out of the back of the truck. Probably was used up by Kingman at or during that period of time.
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Old 12-08-2017, 02:36 PM
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there is another place south of kingman, that was one of pattons desert training centers. It is a hoot to visit, although entry might be more difficult today. I have found live ammunition there. it is something to see a small pile of spent .45acp casings that have been there in the desert since the 40's.

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Old 12-08-2017, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoninPhx View Post
there is another place south of kingman, that was one of pattons desert training centers. It is a hoot to visit, although entry might be more difficult today. I have found live ammunition there. it is something to see a small pile of spent .45acp casings that have been there in the desert since the 40's.
That would be Bouse. Next time you are through there stop in the ocotillo lodge for a beer
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Old 12-08-2017, 05:34 PM
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really excellent posting

how much does a box weigh like that, must be heavy as hell?

And I am amazed that 2 or 3 folks are flustered about the word of repurpose rather than recycle. who cares... but I actually think repurpose is more correct, as repurpose in my work world is where you take an existing item and make it into something else, so 20 MM or 50 cal and make into smaller bullets. But like I said, who cares about the wording
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Old 12-09-2017, 12:33 AM
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I was in AIT at Ft.Bliss. Elpaso, but we did all our shooting up
at White Sands, NM ranges. 40mm and 20mm are mostly
steel. I got stuck out there on guard duty a couple weekends.
For something to do between guard shifts we walked the ranges
plinking with M16s. We were on a 30MG range in the target
area. I would swear the sand was 50% 30cal bullets. Bright as
new from wind blown sand. It was same on 50BMG ranges. You
could make a mint in lead and copper if those 30 & 50cal slugs
would be smelted down. The jackets would come to the top
and you would have tons of lead. If I lived out there I would
turn them into the EPA, get govt contract to clean it up and
make a killing on the scrap. What you don't want to do is fool
around on ranges for 40mm, 20mm or anything that fires HE
ammo. There are a lot of duds in that sand ,in 69 we were using
40mm ammo made during WW2.
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Old 12-09-2017, 02:00 AM
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Default That IS pretty cool......

What a great source of lead that nobody can argue isn't environmentally friendly. And that little zing of pride at using 'hallowed' historical materials remade for use today. Especially that which directly or indirectly had Hitler's, Mussolini's and Tojo's name on it.
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Old 12-09-2017, 01:06 PM
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Wow this really hits me close to home. When I was a kid we went on a family vacation to the Grand Canyon, and as we passed through Kingman my Dad mentioned he was at gunnery school there. He was in the USAAC from '43 to '46.

It's funny how things circle back like this. I live in Arizona now too, just to add another coincidence.

I'll miss him especially bad today.
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Old 12-09-2017, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddie Southgate View Post
Only difference in a Yank and a Yankee (MLB) is one runs faster than the other . Were better setup now than we were then , I suspect the second trip would be a lot tougher than the first !

Eddie
Would not have had half as much the first time were it not for a Pennsylvanian, Josiah Gorgas.
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Old 12-09-2017, 07:38 PM
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Default I don't know, but...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakebfr480 View Post
Is it pure lead?
I don't know. But I do know that it is useful as ammunition.

I once found some projectiles from an A-10 and they were made out of something really heavy, but they shot great: It was kinda hard to melt, though.D
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Old 12-09-2017, 11:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwsmith View Post
I don't know. But I do know that it is useful as ammunition.

I once found some projectiles from an A-10 and they were made out of something really heavy, but they shot great: It was kinda hard to melt, though.D
Depleted Uranium, just give it a nice lead jacket
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Old 12-10-2017, 08:00 PM
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There were also some AP DU bullets loaded in sabots made for the 7.62mm NATO. But they are fairly unusual and seldom seen. The one on the right is a 7.62mm DU round.

Last edited by DWalt; 12-10-2017 at 08:07 PM.
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Old 12-10-2017, 10:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomkinsSP View Post
Would not have had half as much the first time were it not for a Pennsylvanian, Josiah Gorgas.
I 100% agree with that .

Eddie
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Old 12-11-2017, 11:23 AM
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A lot of experimental ammo was made for military but a lot of
it was small lots that were never put into production. Examples
of these are collectors items.
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Old 12-13-2017, 01:51 PM
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Great story!

What's the best kind of lead? The free kind!
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Old 03-13-2018, 03:22 PM
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Update on this one, my friend just found another 150 Lbs ( about half a five gallon bucket) worth of lead in a bucket behind some equipment.... I think I will have enough lead for many years to come. That's around 7000 148 grain wadcutters give or take.
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Old 03-13-2018, 04:29 PM
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You'll get better mold fill out if you mix some tin in there.
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Old 03-13-2018, 05:19 PM
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I'm an excavation plumber, and some old water services in my area, are over 100 year old pure lead. Some of the finest lead I've seen, my father in law loves it, he is a round ball toothpick fanatic. I bring him roll a of it, when we do a water sevice
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Old 03-15-2018, 10:52 AM
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At one time, lead sheeting was used as a roofing material. Over 20 years ago I was involved in the demolition of a fueling equipment shelter at Randolph AFB. It was basically a structural steel roofed frame over equipment used to pump and filter jet fuel, and was probably about 50' x 25'. It was probably installed when the base was built back in the 1930s. That thing had roofing of about 1/8" lead sheeting, probably pure lead. I managed to get a little of it before the demolition contractor hauled it away. I am sure that the contractor made quite a bit from sale of all that structural steel and lead.
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Old 03-26-2018, 04:32 PM
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You can never have to much lead. It's getting harder and harder
to come by. It has been phased out of a lot of uses by plastics.
The nice thing about lead it doesn't take a lot of space to store
even a ton. I put scape lead in coffee cans and set in a fire. When it melts you can pour it out from under the dirt & dross
that come to the top. Pour into ingots and store. Never melt junk
lead in you electric pot. The dirt will make a scale in the pot that
is hard to clean out and that is hard on your pot.
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Old 03-26-2018, 04:58 PM
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Great post. Thank you. Sorry I missed it the first time around.
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Old 03-29-2018, 08:40 AM
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My Dad was a B17 crew chief based in Honnington England. I wonder whether he may have serviced the planes of the crews who trained with your lead! I'd ask him but he just passed away in January at the ripe old age of 101. Greatest generation, indeed!

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Old 05-16-2018, 02:20 PM
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Got me a new mold for the model 29..... making some 200gr LRNFP. Oven heating and water quenching. They go from 11-12 BHN to 18 BHN.

The recycling continues with a whole new platform now as I venture off from years of 38/357 into the 44 realm.




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Old 05-22-2018, 06:35 PM
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I ran these through my model 29 today. Results:

Temp: 87 Degrees
Elev: 2159 Ft

44 Magnum 200 Grain RNFP Cast loads
9.0 gr Unique
(3 sets of 6)
Avg: 1036 FPS 476 FtLbs

Observations: Great load, easy to shoot, good target and fun load. Gonna kick it up to 10.0gr unique to match the defense ammo and check accuracy.

The accuracy was decent for cast from 70+ old lead pulled out of dirt berms with a metal combination of unknown.






Shot the 10mm also but not much because I hate chasing brass and that is a different story
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