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Thread: Better Shotmaker- 2 Part ?

  1. #1

    Better Shotmaker- 2 Part ?

    I have 2 James Steward Better Shotmakers.

    1 is a Black MAX

    1 is just a standard one.

    First I would like to say that I am using 2.5 pound ingots and it doesn't appear that these machines are powerful enough to keep up with 7 double droppers in the machines. I ended up plugging several holes in the standard and two outside holed in the black max. These are the 220V machines. Is anyone else having this issue? I have been per-heating my ingots in an oven to 450 degrees even before putting them into the shotmaker.

    I ran a couple hundred pounds of shot through these over the weekend. I know my lead is good. But I am, having trouble wit the shot sticking to the bridge. The snuff can of "Jims red stuff" is used up. I am officially done with this stuff as it hasn't worked very well for my applications. Talked to Jim on the phone and he is saying not to polish the bridge but something needs to be done. These things are driving me CRAZY.

    What are guys using for these bridges on these shoemakers?

    Comma Copper Ease Comma Copper grease anti seize compound 85G ? I cant find this but I hear it is great.

    My understanding is that some of you guys are using a spray on graphite. Spraying it on while it is cold then letting it heat up and bake on there. Then only brushing the boogers off the bridge when it happens and not applying fresh while hot.

    Past some links of stuff that works please.


  2. #2
    Spray on graphite dry lube for the ramp. From Grianger

    "ran 4 hours no hangs ups", This is from a customer and he ran another 2 before he added more . YES APPLY WHILE COOL.

    had one guy try while hot. it set the spray on fire , He could have lost his hand if it had reached the can….or worse

    common sense??

    Double drippers are a pain, some folks do well some don;t . some size work , some don't . even with a pre-melt pot….
    I won;t use them unless it's in my 10 hole dripper pan with a 2600/2800 watt element and not when it too cold in the shot - Below 50f is an issue for me unless we want to make #4 or bigger.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master GhostHawk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Fargo ND
    Well I was working on my own, have a small externally fired unit from ebay with 6 double droppers.

    Jet type fish fryer underneath for the heat, no issues there.

    Being an old bullet caster, I had found my own solution for lead sticking to sprue cutters on lee molds. Especially inside the dimple.

    I discovered that a little Lee Alox on a piece of steel wool, polished the rough edges that lead liked to stick to. And baked into a tough surface that lead did not much care for. So when I got my shot maker I tried it on the ramp.

    Seemed to work pretty well. I was using Alox thinned with the Johnson's One step floor wax, ie BLL. But I suspect that the straight would work, maybe better.

    I would polish it as smooth as you can first. Apply a thin coat, let it dry. And as the dropper warms up it should bake on to a tough smooth surface.

    If something does stick a paint stick should be about perfect to scrape it off.

  4. #4
    DO NOT POLISH ramp too smooth - it will not work- I did it so smooth I can see myself in the surface. like a mirror ( BAD BAD)
    YOU need some surface texture there to catch the shot- left to right not up and down….

    Other wise look s like rains drops after hitting a polished car, just smears down the side…..and too rough it will catch and hang up

    Mallard- shoot me a pm or give a call . happy to help where I can, even if not my Machine you are using- Just want to help the 'shot making' guys out there

    Those steel / iron pans are pickier than the Aluminum ones .. too cool they stick- too hot they don't 'grab' the pellet ….
    Last edited by Littleton Shot Maker; 02-13-2018 at 01:42 AM.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Ed_Shot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    North Texas
    I have a Stewart Black Max. My muffins are 2.5# or more and I have no trouble keeping the bowl full and all drippers running. While making shot I keep 4 muffins heating on the machine just behind the bowl and they are so hot I have to use a glove to pick them up. I bought extra Red Stuff when I ordered the machine from Jim but I know what you mean about lead sticking on the ramp. I just watch the ramp like a hawk and dab grease on the occasional build-up as required. Good idea about the graphite spray....will try that next time. I just recently made 450# of #8 shot and that will last me for a while.

  6. #6
    Thanks for the replies guys.

    I had my best results when the lead was right at the top of the bolts. Any higher than that and it seemed like the lead cooled too much to go through the drippers. The standard machine must not have been meant to ever run doubly drippers as it never did run correctly until I had closed everything up except for the two center double drippers. I would like to replace all of the drippers with single drippers on both machines. The cost of the drippers is what is killing me. I would be fine with dripping less if I had a nice constant flow. But it never appears to be getting hot enough.

    I am fairly certain I have things wired up correctly. I am hooked up to 220v 20A double pull breakers.

    Also, I should have posted this earlier:

    I own this machine.

    The guy that built it passed away and I purchased it from his wife. What really has me confused is the fact that it is running peefectly in this video.

    I moved this standard dripper to the left and placed my black max to the right of it so I have two machines dripping at the same time. I thought the theory would be sound but it has been a giant pain in the *** to get things running. I really think I need to make the smaller ingots like he has to make it run correctly as mine are the muffin tin ingots.

    Last edited by ReloaderFred; 02-12-2018 at 05:01 PM. Reason: Word censor violation

  7. #7
    It frustrating because then I see guys running HUGE ingots like this one with no issues at all.


  8. #8
    Boolit Master

    M-Tecs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    I preheat my large ingots on a hotplate.

  9. #9

    We talked about that coolant: it is the only coolant I will use any more , no matter what !!
    They don;t pay me a thing to give out their info, it's just that good and product and Co..

    for and anyone that's interested

    Advantage fr46

    chilling fluid?? or cutting oil can not recall . you will have to call them , it's not on their site under that name…..

  10. #10

  11. #11

    forgot all about that post…

  12. #12
    Boolit Master dbosman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    East Lansing, MI, USA
    Soapstone on the ramp works on mine.

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Quote Originally Posted by Littleton Shot Maker View Post
    Advantage fr46
    How do you go about washing it off? Do you graphite afterwards?
    Swaging. Keeping the 40's running for the price of .22's
    and .223 bullets for a fraction of a cent!

  14. #14
    Water soluble , ( hot water is best ) it almost always hot here ( Az.) main reason I like this stuff is it easy to clean off vs. many other items that MAY be good to make shot with but NOT user friendly for you to wash off-
    and always graphite shot - always . I have to tell you that ( cya and legal ) .

    NOW I have guys that make it the shot, load it and shoot it with in days so they don;t graphite it. they like to 'SEE it UNDER the lights at night shoots' ??

    crazy?? - just a bit

    so you can decide and see what you need but you have been advised to cover the shot. Loaded , under pressure the shot will oxidize and form a clump if it sits too long- sitting bags is not such a big deal
    but in shells under pressure things change.

  15. #15
    I dont think my local skeet club would appreciate slugs flying through the air...

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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