The other day, I needed to get new tires on my wood trailer. I went to my local tire store and they were able to hook me up. While the tires were being mounted and replaced, I walked around the parking lot, so I could socially distance.
When I went to the car repair stores as a kid with my dad, I did the same. My pockets would end up full of nuts, bolts, washers, air stem caps, and lead tire weights.
Since we were avid hunters and fishermen, the lead came in handy. We used a hot pot to melt and repurpose the lead. If it was waterfowl season, the lead became decoy anchors. We once made a 20-pound lead flat anchor in a Sara Lee Sweet roll pan.
For fishing, we used molds to make split shots, shad darts, and jig heads. All we needed was the Hot Pot, hooks, and lead.
For shooting, the lead was made into Black Powder balls and bullets. You can also make great target loads from this recycled lead.
The lead in tire weights is not pure. Do not expect it to be soft. When you melt it, slag or impurities will float to the surface. Simply skim that off. This impure lead is also better for the environment since it also contains tin.
As I waited for my tires, I managed to fill my hat and pockets with a few pounds of tire weights. Once home, I melted them down into ingots. The slag and metal clips were removed as well. The ingots are cooled and stored to eventually make recycled lures, weights, and ammo.
Oh, I also had a pocket full of other hardware. Old habits are hard to break.
For more Montana Grant, find him melting lead at www.montangrantfishing.com.