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Thread: Gonna build a shot maker

  1. #1
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    Gonna build a shot maker

    Gentlemen,

    I just got off the phone with the local lead shot supplier. He's selling 25# bags for $29.00 right now, up from $20 last summer. He also told me that the first week of august he'll have to up the price to $39.99!!!

    That's enough for me, I'm going to have to build a shotmaker. I can't afford to shoot clay targets at $40 a bag for shot. I've read a few threads here and on shotgun world, I think I can make the machine myself. I have an almost limitless supply of soft range lead I can use from an indoor range. Do you think I'll need to add anything to range lead to get good shot?

    Thoughts and input welcome.

    SSB

  2. #2
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    Good Luck. From what I have read soft lead doesn't work too well, wheelweights or something else with some arsenic in it works better. Plan on making some sort of shotmaker myself, soon as I get a round tuit.

  3. #3
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    Springfield,

    Thanks for your input. I have a fairly steady supply of WWs too, I was thinking that if the range lead doesn't work out, I may mix it 50/50 with WWs. This is the alloy I use for handgun boolits. When dropped into water, it is HARD. Not sure if it'll harden if dropped into brake fluid or anti-freeze, which I have read are the best for shotmaking, I guess I'll find out.

    Have to do something, not gonna pay $40 for shot when I have free lead.

    SSB

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    I don't have the time at the moment but I have a set of instructions for a flamer burner model. You can also look on the reloaders guide site for my user name and there is a discussion about shotmakers.

    I think you could build one easy enough, except for the nozzles in a littleton type. But the good news is you can buy the nozzles. you can buy littleton nozzles or best shot maker nozzles.
    Last edited by scrapcan; 09-16-2013 at 11:26 PM.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Lucky Joe's Avatar
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    manleyjt,

    I wonder if I could possibly also get a copy of those prints.
    Lucky Joe
    "There's always a way."

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    Lucky Joe,

    Send me a PM with your email address and I will try to get them off to you.

    Singleshotbuff,

    sent you a pm and an email. let meknow if you got the info.

  7. #7
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    manleyjt,

    Got the PM and the e-mail, thanks so much!!

    Very interesting stuff. I'm fairly sure I can make something that will work.

    SSB

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    AS far as making an electric unit I think you could do that also. you could start with a piece of aluminum plate or a pirce of aluminum channel. if you use a plate cut it to a d shape and put a rim around it. on the flat side put a piece of angle iron with a lip about 1 to 1.5 inches long for the nozzle to drip on. you can then tap a hole to hold it all to an elctric burner element. then fab up some kind of stand. If you use channel then all you need to do is make the angle lip on one end. same scenario.

    Use aluminum for the heat transfer properties. you need the heat and it will not be enough lead to have the worry of using aluminum as a lead pot, which should never be done to the danger of pot failure.

    for the nozzles you could make your own or buy a set form littleton or stewart. if you make your own you can use a brass pipe plug (or steel for that matter). You need a bore and a through hole. The through hole is what gives you the shot size. the nozzle on a 71/2 nozzle from littleton is the same size as the smallest tip cleaner in a standard torch tip cleaner set.

    You just need to make sure that the hole drops close to perpendicular to the lip on your pot. the drop then rolls down the lip and into your coolant. Coolant choice makes a big difference as to the shape of your final shot. I made a couple of nozzles by hand using a hand drill drill and drill bit type torch tip cleaners. It works but is a tedious affair.

    if you make the francis brothers shot pot the flame builds surface tension in the drop. I have not made the francis brothers shot pot so cannot attest to it's abilities. It is made out of mild steel if I remember correctly.

    Anyway that is a few of the thoughts that I had.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    forgot to mention that we used ww and lead mix. have also made straight lead but it is hard to get hot enough to get good shot. As stated in other posts a littlearsenic makes "magnum"shot or Hard shot. WW have some arsenic and makes good shot.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Lucky Joe's Avatar
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    manleyjt ,

    Thank you, PM sent.
    Lucky Joe
    "There's always a way."

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    whoever gets one built, I'd happily trade 50 pounds of lead for 25 pounds of #8 shot.... It's pretty much all I'll need for a year or two...
    Sometimes you have to ignore the "good idea fairy"

    Please stop telling me "That can't be done" while I'm doing it, it's just plain annoying.

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  12. #12
    Boolit Mold
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    for all you guys wondering about making shot, i've been doing this for years, and yes wheel weights are good for this but so are alot of other things, you got to know your metals and that will make alot better shot and any lead so you can use it.

  13. #13
    Boolit Mold
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    and to reply to the add for making shot for people yes i do.............. if it is wheel wgt they bring me i give them half of what i get from thier stuff............. if it is other lead it depends on what i have to add to it to get it hard............. arcenic is not the harder in the shot it is called antimony

  14. #14
    Boolit Master on Heavens Range
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    Yes, arsenic does indeed make the shot harder, but is more toxic for the purpose than it is for antimony. The arsenic is required, however, to make the shot round by making the formed teardrops coagulate into balls on their way down from the drop point in the tower. ... felix
    felix

  15. #15
    Boolit Bub
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    I have a littleton shot maker, wheel weights work fine in it and I drop into sierra anti-freeze. Shot at the Bass Pro Shop was over $60.00 at the first of the year.

    Sam

  16. #16
    Boolit Master Bullshop Junior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by singleshotbuff View Post
    Gentlemen,

    I just got off the phone with the local lead shot supplier. He's selling 25# bags for $29.00 right now, up from $20 last summer. He also told me that the first week of august he'll have to up the price to $39.99!!!

    That's enough for me, I'm going to have to build a shotmaker. I can't afford to shoot clay targets at $40 a bag for shot. I've read a few threads here and on shotgun world, I think I can make the machine myself. I have an almost limitless supply of soft range lead I can use from an indoor range. Do you think I'll need to add anything to range lead to get good shot?

    Thoughts and input welcome.

    SSB
    You are lucky! I was up at sportsmans the other day and the cheapest shot was $47.99 for 25 LB of #8, and it is going UP UP UP! The cheapest shotgun ammo was estate #4 @ $8.99 a box. That stuff is junk. Will never get it again, NEVER!
    At the last gun show there was a guy who had like 250 LB, for $8.00 a BAG! And to make it worse it was #2 and I had NO money! TO BAD, TO BAD!!! I hope he is at the next one!!!
    Daniel/BS Jr.
    "Never argue with someone dumber then you" - Mark Twain

    There is no such thing as a smaller hammer

    Стрелок пули бросания

    BIC/Daniel


  17. #17
    Boolit Master

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    manleyjt: I sent a PM
    NRA Endowment Member

  18. #18
    Boolit Master heathydee's Avatar
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    Here is a picture of mine.Been doing it for years. Stainless steel bolts used to make the drippers as anything else tends to erode after a bit of use. hole size is about.024" and this gives size 8 to 9 depending on the level of molten lead. Lead has to be pre-melted,fluxed and then either cast into ingots or poured into the trough. Gas fired. The burner is made from a piece of 1 inch square hollow section steel tube of which one end can be seen underneath. The trough was TIG welded up out of 6mm aluminium plate. My coolant of choice is a mix of soluble oil and water at about 1 to 20. Go for it and make one!
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  19. #19
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    WOW, Nice Unit ...color me impressed...what is the production rate on that bad boy?

  20. #20
    Boolit Master heathydee's Avatar
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    When I set up I like to devote a day to the process,beginning by removing the drippers and cleaning them.While this is happening I have lead in a large homemade pot melting on top of a large gas ring.This takes about an hour to melt and by then the drippers are cleaned,re-installed and everything is set up with about 115 pounds of molten lead in the pot, which I failed to mention is on a stand about 18 inches high. A tap in the pot is cracked and lead flows into the shotmaker which has been pre-heated by its own burner.The bib of the shotmaker( where the shot bounces down ) is well chalked and also benefits from an occasional sanding with 600 grit wet and dry paper.The bib is placed just clear of the 5 gallon coolant container which is filled to the brim and sits in an overflow tray.Shot starts to flow.Sounds like birds chirping. About 60 to 70 pounds per hour after the initial set up.
    The coolant becomes err ? warmant after a couple of hours and needs changing . I have about 12 gallons which I cycle through .The coolant does not deteriorate.I have been using the same stuff for about ten years.
    The shot is screened and dryed in the sun, or if it is winter I put it in stout bags which I carry around in the car for a few days until it drys.
    In a day I would expect to produce about 250lb of shot.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check