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Discussion Starter #1
I haven't cast any projectiles for a couple years but since the weather cooled off a little I figured I would knock out a bunch of 9MM,I filled the pot and cooked up a load of lead,went smooth no problem,second pot same thing,but when I got to the third pot things went down hill fast,the nozzle plugged up and the top of the pot got purple!
I thought my thermostat got stuck so I unplugged it and let it cool off,this morning I fired it up again and got the same thing,purple lead and crappy flow,I dumped the whole thing into molds and scrapped it out,I pulled the valve and this is what it looked like,very ugly.
Some shooting friends think I got some bad lead,maybe some zinc.
Anybody seen this before? What did you find?
100096
 

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Yep, sure looks like zinc contamination.
Throw away the contaminated lead.
Yes, you can flux out the zinc, but it is really not worth the effort.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I took the valve out and cleaned it,then used a torch to burn out all the crap on the inside of the liner,put it all back together,I filled it with old discarded projectiles and as soon as it was liquid I fluxed and scraped,several time,it got so clean that the valve actually stopped leaking!
Last night before I quit I had poured a couple dozen rounds before I decided it just wasn't going to work,this night I pulled them from my water bucket and these are what I found! I have cast thousands of rounds over the years and I have never seen this!
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Discussion Starter #4
I poured two pots worth of 9MM last night after I got it all cleaned out,it worked better then it has for some time,it even stopped dripping,I'll have to pay closer attention to the lead I put in it.
Last winter I drug home a bucket of wheel weights from my friends shop,it has been a long time since I have done any and I didn't realize they had gone to so much zinc,I'm pretty sure that is where I got it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It's probably been 15 years since I have cooked wheel weights,so when I did the first batch I had no idea they were making them out of zinc,in the last couple of days I have caught up,so yesterday I picked up some muratic acid and some sulphur,a couple of drops of acid tells you if your lead is contaminated and the sulphur added to a pan of questionable lead pulls it out,it's very messy and stinky,but it did seem to work.
From a 17 pound batch I wound up with 10 pounds of clean lead,problem is trying to figure out if there is enough tin and other good stuff left to cast bullets.
I'm not sure what all the nasty stuff was that was burning off in this picture but it sure looks evil,luckily I had a good 10 mph wind blowing from my back,the one time the wind died I thought I would too!.
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