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View Full Version : Shotgun Shot? School me on its uses for casting.



blasternank
10-15-2011, 09:03 AM
I have several 25 lb. bags of shotgun shot that I will never use. #2 and #4 shot, etc. Can this be melted down and used in casting? Does anyone know of its make up? Can it be used as a hardener? Do I need add anything if I make low velocity 45 acp and 38 spl. under 1,000 fps.?

Thanks for your help and input.

Bomberman
10-15-2011, 09:31 AM
You might consider selling it and using the $$ to buy your lead for casting. Last I checked a 25 lb bag of shot was selling for around $40. I bought a bucket of wheel weights for $25. You might have enough $$ left over for a new mold.

To answer your original question, it can be melted down for casting but it is usually too hard just as is...you would need to add some plain lead to your mix to soften it up. You can use it to harden up a pot if it's too soft for your use. For low velocity .45 and .38 rounds, you don't need anything special... as long as the boolit fits properly you shouldn't have any leading problems.

I hope this helps you out. Good luck.

Rocky Raab
10-15-2011, 10:12 AM
My highly technical bullet alloy consists of ingots bought online, wheelweights, range bullets, scuba weights, solder, and shot. Precise percentages are based on what's within reach. I do try to limit the last two items in any given pot-full, but otherwise that's the extent of my scientific controls.

Bullets shoot just fine.

gnoahhh
10-15-2011, 10:32 AM
Lead is where you find it. The thing is, there is very little demand for those sizes of shot anymore since the non-tox regulations went in effect for waterfowling decades ago. I would melt it probably, and I'm a big reloader of shot shells. If it were in smaller sizes I would suggest following Bomberman's advice.

If the bag is marked "chilled" shot, it is softer than if it were marked "magnum" shot. Difference is in the antimony content. There are/were no hard-and-fast industry regs as far as I know that say how hard the different shot has to be. One company's chilled shot may be a different hardness than another's. Magnum shot is intended for target cartridges as its hardness promotes more consistent patterns, as a rule (not necessarily for "magnum" shells). If in doubt as to its chemical content, melt it and check its Brinnel hardness and use it accordingly- either as-is or as a mixer for another alloy.

Sonnypie
10-15-2011, 10:36 AM
Where I live it is hard to come by WW, or any lead.
But I found a source of shot at a local trap and skeet range.
I buy their Magnum Shot in 25's for $35.00 a bag. Magnum shot is higher in Antimony to make it harder so more of it is round and flies straighter. Usually somewhere around 4-6%. ;-)
I melt it down and add about 24" of Lead-Free solder for a smidgen of tin. (.31% Bumpo told me. LOL) It just made me feel better about it. :-?
I use that for my 230g 45ACP boolits. So far I like it!
I got into the zone last time I was casting 45's and cast up 28.6 pounds of them. Turned a bag of 7 1/2 shot (plus some) into a full bag of boolits.
(The Lee 6-cav was drinkin lead and shi... spittin out boolits that day!)

And it let's me save my Lyman #2 formula for my 30 cal rifle boolits.
In fact, I had most of a 20 pound furnace of 45's I had cast from Lyman #2 that I melted back down and made ingots of for a rainy day.
I buy my L2 from Rotometals.

If you shot is what they call chilled, or hardened, it might have 2-3% Antimony in it.
If it is pretty old, it might be just good old lead.
In my opinion, it should make fine 45 Auto and 38 Spl boolits.

Unless of course you decide to trade it off...

To me, having shot as my melting stock is a win-win. It is ready to load in shotgun shells (try that with an ingot), or "convert" to boolits. :coffee:

EDIT IN:
Oh, and my boolits tested at 11.8 Air cooled, and 12.1 water dropped. A smidgen hard by many others standards.
But a **** sight softer than a jacketed bullet by mine.
YMMV

whisler
10-15-2011, 09:34 PM
I have read that #4 shot makes an excellent home defense load in 12 gauge.

mpmarty
10-15-2011, 09:40 PM
#4 Buck for home defense is much preferred to straight #4 shot

btroj
10-15-2011, 09:43 PM
My highly technical bullet alloy consists of ingots bought online, wheelweights, range bullets, scuba weights, solder, and shot. Precise percentages are based on what's within reach. I do try to limit the last two items in any given pot-full, but otherwise that's the extent of my scientific controls.

Bullets shoot just fine.

Sounds like my method. I have two types of ingots right now, Harriet and range scrap. I add some of each to the pot and vary how much of each based upon how "hard" I want the bullets to be. If I need harder I can add some of my monotype.

Scientific it ain't but it sure works well enough. Deer, bears, and targets seem to not care.

I am just glad to know I am not the only one using a "by gosh and by golly" method.

Sonnypie
10-15-2011, 11:42 PM
If you use WW, or blend anything together, it's a by gosh and by golly. ;)
(Like me adding 24" of lead free solder to "tin-up" shot)

But bird shot to buckshot, and balls to bullets, I sure wouldn't want to get shot by any of them. :-o :target_smiley: