Storing led round balls

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Griz44Mag

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Just from the jest of the thoughts that seem to permeate a lot of the younger folks minds these days, I would guess that the gloom and doom - the Earth is being killed by humans and the evil homo sapiens have destroyed the whole of nature crowd - the mind control socialists and brain washing re-education efforts in our universities is taking it's toll on free thinking.
Folks, it's just lead. It is found in almost every creek, stream and river in every watershed West of the Mississippi. It has co-existed with the bears, deer, coons, cougars, fish, trees, moss and every living thing that drinks from those sources - AND IT HAS NOT KILLED A SINGLE ONE OF THEM!
I know a half dozen folks and have heard of dozens more that are carrying lead pellets and bullet fragments around inside them - for DECADES - and guess what - it has not poisoned them. Wake up.... All this talk about lead poisoning is a GUN CONTROL ploy - not a lead contamination issue.
 

Oldbear63

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An article I just read was about high levels of mercury coming from Greenland run-off. This mercury is completly natural and has nothing to do with mankind and it is making its way into the oceans and food supply... naturally!

The air you breathe is radioactive! You are radioactive (and it is complely natural)!
 

Notchy Bob

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There are certainly naturally occurring toxins in the environment. We are exposed to all sorts of nasty stuff every day. Here in north Florida, even if you close yourself up in your house and never go out, you risk radon poisoning. Health departments advise us to open windows and get some air circulation when the weather permits it, as radon builds up in enclosed places. So they say...

I grew up in a hunting family. There were very few deer here 60 or so years ago, so it was small game and birds we hunted, mostly with shotguns. I well remember, in my formative years, family dinners of rabbit, squirrel, duck, doves, or quail, and hearing the faint tink when one of us would drop a lead pellet onto the edge of the plate. Each of us would have a little heap of pellets by the end of the meal, and those were the pellets we didn't ingest! We all survived.

However, points made in the posts above about the toxicity of lead oxide are accurate. It won't make you keel over dead if you get it on your hands, but it is unhealthy and it can accumulate in your system. There's nothing unmanly about washing your hands after handling corroded lead, or even wearing exam gloves when handling quantities of oxidized bullets. I think reducing the amount and duration of exposure as much as is feasible is a reasonable approach.

For what it's worth, I've been reading about Jesse Chisholm, after whom the Chisholm Trail was named. A lot of people hear his name and assume he was a cowboy, but he was actually an old-time plainsman and Indian trader, and his famous trail was initially a wagon road between his supply center and his native customers. Jesse himself was Cherokee, and was loved, respected, and honored by all of the tribes. His cause of death was poisoning from eating bear grease that had been stored in a brass kettle. The grease had become contaminated by oxides from the metal.

I guess that doesn't really have much to do with corroded bullets, though. I apologize for vectoring off topic...

Notchy Bob
 
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His cause of death was poisoning from eating bear grease that had been stored in a brass kettle. The grease had become contaminated by oxides from the metal.

The brass kettle was probably soldered with lead.

Early canned good were sealed with lead solder and were sometimes dangerous to eat. Lead acetate was once used to sweeten food and killed people.

Ingesting lead oxides and salts is a serious and cumulative poison, there is no debate. There are no good medical treatments.

Handling clean lead objects and eating game shot with clean lead projectiles is not hazardous.

Absolutism and false comparisons are not helpful. Any poison is dosage dependant. Keep your exposure low and there is not a problem.

Washing your hands when you have been incontact with lead objects is important. Don't put lead objects, particularly old nasty ones, in our mouth. (old split shot fishing weights for instance) Eating after shooting without washing up is foolish. Remember spent primers and their soot have lots of lead, fired brass polishing media is loaded with it. Shooting on an indoor range is a prime source of inhaled lead, use the exhaust fan.

Using some common sense precautions all that is needed for all of this.
 
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Sidney Smith

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As long you dont ingest food using unwashed hands from handling lead, or rub your eyes, or pick your nose using those same unwashed hands, then there is really nothing to be concerned about with regards to lead poisoning. Just remember to thoroughly wash your hands after handling lead and you will be fine.
 

Oldbear63

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After reading this thread I looked over my collectin of bullets and found quite a few were dusted. I washed off as much corrosion as I could, dried them and packed them all into glass jars with a few drops of 30 weight.
We will see how many IQ points I lose.
 

old iron

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OK, so what would be the perfect material to coat our lead balls with? Anything better than WD40? 30 weight? Pure mineral oil? Wax?

The subject of lead oxides has come up before (was it on this forum?) and the definitive research was done at a Naval museum where cast lead parts to old naval models were corroding away. It was found that the wood of the model enclosures was releasing acetic acid that was starting and promoting the corrosion. Therefore we should avoid keeping our balls in wood boxes or near anything acidic. I wonder if this means that we need to sprinkle baking soda on them.
The balls I had were Speer probley 30years old in plastic box
 

cositrike

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I found some rbs that are old with lots of corrosion and I know the health risks,I was wondering how to store without them getting the corrosion?
I don’t worry about corrosion or oxidisation. Doesn’t seem to affect accuracy much. I’ve been casting and shooting lead ball now for 49 years. I just keep them in plastic or glass jars. As long as you don’t keep eating them you’ll be fine!
 

OhioHawkeye

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I found some rbs that are old with lots of corrosion and I know the health risks,I was wondering how to store without them getting the corrosion?
Interesting fear of lead these days.

I'm a retired firefighter and avid shooter as well as a reloader and cast all my bullets and round ball with rare exception of roundball when I don't have time or are working a load for a new gun and need various diameters for it.

Anyway, as a firefighter of 28 years in a Capital city, I was checked yearly for heavy metals. That included all the metals I may have been exposed to during fires and at the firehouse as we were constantly exposed to diesel fumes and such. Despite the constant exposure, even to some of the 'old' white coated rounds. I never had a lead level higher than my friend who did not have any additional exposure. Everything remained in normal limits.

The two keys are.... ventelation while casting.... and Wash your hands.

Dont worry about it. Wash the corrosion off if you want but rub them with a bit of mineral oil, ballistol, or other light oil and put them in a jar or leather pouch. Shoot them and enjoy....

Oh, and WASH YOUR HANDS
 

Rató:rats

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How long does it take for RB’s exposed to the air to oxidize? I’ve never had this occur. most of my rounds go from cast to backstop ballast in about 90 days max
 

FishDFly

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How long does it take for RB’s exposed to the air to oxidize? I’ve never had this occur. most of my rounds go from cast to backstop ballast in about 90 days max

Depends on temperature and humidity.

Worrying about lead oxide makes as much sense as worrying about the sun coming up each morning.
 

Eddie Southgate

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Ok. So I have like 20 or so 54 cal maxi balls from like 40 years ago when I had an Italian replica 1863 Sharps. Whats the best thing to do with them? I am thinking toss them? I currently have an 1863 in 45 and 50 calibers. Even if I had plans to get a 54 cal it wouldn't be soon. I would have to find one and am not presently looking. So should I just keep them?
Throw them in the pot and turn them into new balls in a size you will shoot . I have minies sitting in a cigar box right now that I poured in the 80's that have not corroded , balls in coffee cans with snap on lids the same . They sit on a shelf in the shop with no ac and usually not much heat during the cold and as far as I can remember I have not had any turn white . Wonder if humidity has anything to do with it ?
 

Oldbear63

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This is probably a real issue for shooters who leave the sport for a few years and then pick it - and their corroded balls - up again (is it only me that can't write "corroded balls" without laughing?).
It is also a big issue for those of us who are scavenging lead from other sources. I get badly corroded lead as key weights in pianos - which by-the-way is a good place to get 88 bullet-sized weights from your local dump site.
 

FishDFly

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Add one of the silica packages to your closed containers used to store your lead balls in. Packages can be rejuvenated in the oven for a bit on low.
 
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