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Thread: Walmart/Homedepot Shot maker

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Walmart/Homedepot Shot maker

    OK I had a crazy idea driving home from work today, and figured I'd run it by the folks here.

    Place I work has a really nice trap and skeet range and although I've never been good at it I've always enjoyed it.
    Problem is shot gets real expensive real quick and with a baby coming this summer an already tight budget is about to get a lot tighter.
    I acquired a Mec loader in a deal, and started mulling over a shotmaker, until I saw the cost. I have seen similar homemade setups but they all involved more materials, tool, skill and time than I have

    My thought is to make a complete functional shotmaker using off the shelf items that most any area would have.
    Cheap cast iron pan (10" round $8 at wally world)
    Cheap single hotplate $(10 at wally world)
    Wire welding tips ~$1 apiece (WM, HD, HF, ATW, etc) with .024 orifice should drop about #7 shot x5
    flashing or thin sheetmetal panel $1-3 for drip ramp.
    pop rivets
    Total cost around $25 assuming you buy everything but the rivets and tooling that most folks have or can get cheaply

    Was thinking drill and tap the side of the pan for the nozzles (1/4-28) to easily change size or tips if they wear out.
    Screw the tips in.
    Drill holes of the appropriate size for the rivets in the pan.
    Bend the flashing to where it is at a 45degree angle to the drippers (easily bend to better angle if this isn't correct angle)
    rivet them together
    set the hot plate at enough of an angle to let the lead flow to the drippers
    Put the pan on the hot plate
    put bucket or catch vessel under the output
    add lead
    turn on and let it go.

    I haven't done it yet, but seems (in my head at least) to be a sound theory and quickly/easily/cheaply assembled and looks to duplicate the high dollar store bought rigs. Anybody tried this or see where this wouldn't give comparable results to a store bought unit?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    Your drip ramp will need to be made a bit sturdier. You will need to "coat" it with something to prevent the lead droplets from sticking. Many of use rub the ramps with soapstone to leave a powdery coating that lets the droplets roll off. If your ramp is too thin, it will bend when you try to coat it.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy


    thegatman's Avatar
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    Your at the range so pick up the shot and reprocess it.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by thegatman View Post
    Your at the range so pick up the shot and reprocess it.
    Thought about that but not feasible. There is a very clear drop zone where the clays land but not so for the shot. The range butts up to woods so vast majority of shot is in the woods. Now the rifle/postol range is a different story, I have picked up from the berms many times

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimb16 View Post
    Your drip ramp will need to be made a bit sturdier. You will need to "coat" it with something to prevent the lead droplets from sticking. Many of use rub the ramps with soapstone to leave a powdery coating that lets the droplets roll off. If your ramp is too thin, it will bend when you try to coat it.
    I had read that graphite spray works better than soapstone and I was planning on using that, so bending while coating wouldn't be a problem.

    Any other problems that you can foresee?

  6. #6
    Boolit Master copdills's Avatar
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    I hope you can make it work pardner, keep us informed

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Shotgun world. Search shot Maker, it's the only way you can reach the archived thread something like "can you make your own shot?". A couple of people describe doing what you are suggesting. Recently there was an eBay seller with the pan and grippers. About $90.00. All you needed was A heat source.
    QUIS CUSTODIET IPSOS CUSTODES?

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

    rancher1913's Avatar
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    look up ghosthawks thread on the one he built.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy Gtrubicon's Avatar
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    Don’t jump over a doller to save a dime

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy Gtrubicon's Avatar
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    Mow or weed whack the neighbors lawn, it will pay for a bag of shot that will last you a while

  11. #11
    I disagree Gtrubicon. Where I live a 25# bag of Magnum shot is $80 CAD. I load quite a bit of shotgun shells lately and if I can do it for $.22 vs $.42 I'm certainly going to do it. Plus, I like making my own stuff. I get enjoyment shooting ammo I have made componnents for.

    I have been planning to do this same thing. I found a great cast iron pan with flat angled walls ( not curved like most) at Bed, Bath & Beyond for $25 CAD. I still need to make or purchase drippers. I picked up an electric hot plate at Canadian Tire thinking i can use it to heat up other mold as well but it is only 1000w and doesn't get hot enough so I will likely use the burner from a fish frier. Keep updating us on your progress. Several of us are interested!

    Kraken Fan #69

  12. #12
    Boolit Master

    kungfustyle's Avatar
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    I just bought a set up from ebay $50 for the "pan" and $35 or 40 for the screws, I figured I just bought a mold for my shotgun, its about the same price. Keep an eye out on ebay for "lead shot maker" and the pan will pop up from time to time. I'm with you on the shot costing too much even on Brownells you can get a free shipping and a bag of shot for about $45 bucks. If you shoot trap you'll run through that in no time.

  13. #13
    That's part of my problem. That's a $200 CAD purchase to get that pan and dripper set shiped up here, IF the seller is even willing to do it.


    Kraken Fan #69

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by rancher1913 View Post
    look up ghosthawks thread on the one he built.
    His thread is actually what gave me the idea. Got the hole drilled and tapped and the mig nozzles installed, but I haven't got around to doing the ramp.
    Working 100+ hours a week between my job and trying to finish my house doesn't leave me much time for "Leisure activities"

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gtrubicon View Post
    Don’t jump over a doller to save a dime
    Quote Originally Posted by Gtrubicon View Post
    Mow or weed whack the neighbors lawn, it will pay for a bag of shot that will last you a while
    Have you seen the price of a bag of shot lately?
    building this and paying $1 per pound for wheel weights (which I get free from a friend) I still come out cheaper than a buying a bag of shot
    After the first bag it's essentially free shot.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by lksmith View Post
    His thread is actually what gave me the idea. Got the hole drilled and tapped and the mig nozzles installed, but I haven't got around to doing the ramp.
    Working 100+ hours a week between my job and trying to finish my house doesn't leave me much time for "Leisure activities"
    You will save money making shot. But not nearly as much as you believe. Most people stop making it for two reasons. Wheel weights are getting tougher to find for “free” and they are worth $25 before you start dropping shot. For example, I buy hard shot for $35 so my savings are $10...not worth it to me.

    The second reason is the time required.

    An acquaintance had a Littleton shot maker and produced a few hundred lbs. He could never produce a quality product. But for most people, shot quality is not important if they are saving money.

    If you do not have the time to make one, you may not have the time to produce shot....just think about it. I believe when my buddy factored in all the time spent, he produced about 25 lbs per hour.

    Good luck!
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  17. #17
    Boolit Master rsrocket1's Avatar
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    Hopefully, you can do some research around you to see if any ranges/clubs sell reclaimed shot to you. I can get 25 pound bags for $25 and I've seen a few places around (even in Kommiefornia) that sell it close to that price. It's tough to find scrap lead at that price.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    I have not seen a bag of shot for $25 in a long time. 8 years, 10 years? My gun club sells reclaimed for $35, and it has a little dirt and steel shot mixed in. I've shopped around a bunch, and the lowest place within 100 miles of me is $45 a bag. Most places are $50-55 a bag. I've kind of given up, and have been buying from gamaliels, $48.50 shipped to my door. You can find junk Eagle brand shot for less, but why would you even reload target shells at that point, when you can buy junk factory ammo for under $6 a box? I'm going to try making my own shot soon, and it wont be as good as Lawrence, it will at least be as hard.

  19. #19
    One day about 20 years ago I thought I would build my own unit- then I figured out what my time was worth and how I would rather shoot than build up some thing from scratch that may or may not work and still have no shot to shoot , out cash for a 'machine' that did not work…

    Had I not Purchased the Co. from Jerry Littleton I would still be trying to build that machine.

    Don;t thread the PAN, no way to line up drippers that way. Lock nut the back side.
    What are you planning to use for dripper metal?? Bolts? Mild steel? Aluminum is terrible save time there.
    Heat?? 900-1000 watt hot plate element will run 4- maybe 5 drippers (NO MORE) .
    Head pressure is important, the distance from the dripper head to the ramp is critical…length of ramp is important.
    the volume the pan holds vs how deep you make it will dictate some of the issues with head pressure.

    I would be happy to go over some of this with you if you email me or shoot me a call one day when you have some time to go over your project. I won't try to sell you some thing I will just tell you how to get it done if you want to build it from ground up….you will spend more than you think PLEASE BELIEVE me on that part!

    I do sell just parts too> just in case you where interested, I charge for those ….but the advice is free

    It looks easy to make but ….I would rather be shooting than trying to build one from scratch and you say you don't have much time. Please buy parts from some one that has built at least the hard parts for you.

  20. #20
    Another question : how much shot do you need? How fast do you need it? if it's not perfectly round are you going to be happy??

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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