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Thread: Walmart/Homedepot Shot maker

  1. #21
    Boolit Master RogerDat's Avatar
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    I'm thinking a turkey or fish fryer burner is a must to get the volume of heat required. Every drip of shot is pulling heat out of the pot.

    I think about making shot but then in the end decide to put it off so the cost can go into other things. I wish there were plans for making a small shot maker. I would enjoy being able to do it, just don't need the volume of shot that warrants buying one. And don't really have the free time to make a good one.
    Je suis Charlie
    Scrap.... because all the really pithy and emphatic four letter words were taken and we had to describe this way of getting casting material somehow.
    Feedback page http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...light=RogerDat I do trade a bit from time to time.

  2. #22
    I tell guys all the time-
    IF you are just using the machine for a few boxes off dove or quail ammo then you never get your return,
    but if you shoot 300# each year alone and you have a brother and 3 kids that all shoot, then you can do it and make some savings
    BUT the lead has to be CHEAP or Free.
    At $1.00 per pound ( cost of my alloy right now) to make it is still cheaper to make than buy from LGS…and no tax on the home made shot.
    BUT TIME and location too …if you don;t have the time or a place to do it then . yeah no go…

    I have been planning on selling parts kits for a while to folks that want to build the boxes …or source out certain parts them selves..
    My kits would be - pan, drippers and maybe element if you can't find one and then let YOU ALL do the rest….??

    Even maybe sell PDF prints of our production boxes , if a guy wanted to build the box the same way we do….

    but to build one ( lead shot maker) with "OFF THE SHELF" store bought items is a stretch...

  3. #23
    Boolit Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    There is a third reason, at least for me there was.

    I started with the shot making because I wanted to be able to reload my shotgun without being dependent on any one or any thing else. And if I am honest, in some respects I have fulfilled that goal. In others I have fallen short.

    You need a continuing source for Clip on Wheel Weights for (IMO) best production.
    You need propane or similar heat source. If the SHTF where you going to refill your propane tanks??

    I suspect the average person would be better served by investing in a couple of buckshot molds. Cast buckshot with your existing lead melter. Stack up a good supply of 00, #1, #4. That would serve you well.

    For me, for what I have involved in my setup. I'd say I am close enough to the break even point that I am happy. I did not expect to save gobs of money going into this.

    I did expect to learn more about what is required. And that I have locked away upstairs.

    One more set of equipment and skills that "could" come in handy someday.
    Juggle the odds in my favor every chance I get.

    Your mileage may vary. For me this has been an interesting road to walk. Worth what I spent.

  4. #24
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by RogerDat View Post
    I'm thinking a turkey or fish fryer burner is a must to get the volume of heat required. Every drip of shot is pulling heat out of the pot.

    I think about making shot but then in the end decide to put it off so the cost can go into other things. I wish there were plans for making a small shot maker. I would enjoy being able to do it, just don't need the volume of shot that warrants buying one. And don't really have the free time to make a good one.
    Roger,

    Go to Mason. Check the Michigan Trap Association for shoot dates. I deal with Roger Brenner at AJ's shooting supplies. Hard shot is $35/bag and he has great prices on powders (not just shotgun powders), primers, and wads. I plan to be there for the Spring Team shoot May 3-6 if you want to get together.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  5. #25
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by GhostHawk View Post
    There is a third reason, at least for me there was.

    I started with the shot making because I wanted to be able to reload my shotgun without being dependent on any one or any thing else. And if I am honest, in some respects I have fulfilled that goal. In others I have fallen short.

    You need a continuing source for Clip on Wheel Weights for (IMO) best production.
    You need propane or similar heat source. If the SHTF where you going to refill your propane tanks??

    I suspect the average person would be better served by investing in a couple of buckshot molds. Cast buckshot with your existing lead melter. Stack up a good supply of 00, #1, #4. That would serve you well.

    For me, for what I have involved in my setup. I'd say I am close enough to the break even point that I am happy. I did not expect to save gobs of money going into this.

    I did expect to learn more about what is required. And that I have locked away upstairs.

    One more set of equipment and skills that "could" come in handy someday.
    Juggle the odds in my favor every chance I get.

    Your mileage may vary. For me this has been an interesting road to walk. Worth what I spent.
    100% agreement on this. I used to reload 20,000 12 ga shells a year and looked into making shot. No way it made sense for that degree of consumption. Like GH, I decided if the SHTF, I wanted the ability to make buckshot and slugs so I invested in the molds to do that. I keep over 50bags of shot on hand as I still compete a bit and it is there if the SHTF.

    When I was looking into making shot, the Littleton was a good unit and there was another unit being sold as well but I cannot recall the name. Both made useable shot but not great shot. It would not have been suitable for Trap shooting IMHO.

    I understand the economic driver if shot is $50 a bag or more. When I was going through over 50 bags a year and the price went to $43 a bag (LGS prices were about $55-60 then) it hurt a bit. My advice is to find a major trap or skeet shoot in your area as components are normally sold there at much better prices than your LGS. The vendor I frequent gives a discount if you buy more than 10 bags. And if you do not shoot enough to buy 10 bags, making shot is not worth doing anyway. Like I said earlier, sell your "free" wheel weights for $1/lb and the cost of 10 bags of shot is only $100 . With no frustration and no investment of time and money. And you can buy whatever size shot you wish.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  6. #26
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Littleton Shot Maker View Post
    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??
    I figured that for the trap loads out of round wouldn't cause much, if any issue since it's short range. I have a friend that has a garage and I trade him a few boxes of loaded ammo for a full 5gal bucket or two of wheel weights, usually they are clip on.
    Another reason, is that I would like to make some 3" crow loads with 1-5/8oz 6 shot.
    Using copper mig nozzles as the drippers. With rain on and off, I haven't had a chance to break out the lead since lead and rain isn't fun.

  7. #27
    Copper> when it gets hot- enough to let lead flow it will also start to leach out - not like it contaminates the lead, but as in it's soft. -
    you 'may' have a hole for #9 shot and several pounds later you will end up with a hole for #4,
    as 'it' ( The molten lead) erodes the drippers hole out….like water falling down on the ground- with time it makes a hole, pit, what ever…there is a reason I don't use copper , brass, or aluminum drippers

    lksmith pm me or email me, let me steer you in the right direction- you are going to do allot of work and you are going to be unhappy , I think , in the end.

    RAIN?? why would you have to wait for it to stop raining?? Are you NOT doing this out side are you???

    EVEN with a Factory build machine like mine, if you try to do it out side you will fail-
    ANY breeze at all, any will shut down those drippers, any drippers. and you won't make any shot. Please if you have not by now down load and print off the instructions on my website…to include if your exhaust fan PULLS too much. if you have a box fan on the other side of the room and it blows towards the machine. Near an open door that gets any wind, Window etc…

    130- 135 F in the shop with a large open shop door and we had trouble every time the wind blew even a tiny amount. We closed the door and POW problem gone. BUT then we then had to turn on cooler to keep from cooking the operators ….and run coolant through a small VW oil cooler we had sitting around from the 80's. for us it is better to run in the winters HERE any way.
    Last edited by Littleton Shot Maker; 03-05-2018 at 03:04 AM.

  8. #28
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Littleton Shot Maker View Post
    Copper> when it gets hot- enough to let lead flow it will also start to leach out - not like it contaminates the lead, but as in it's soft. -
    you 'may' have a hole for #9 shot and several pounds later you will end up with a hole for #4,
    as 'it' ( The molten lead) erodes the drippers hole out….like water falling down on the ground- with time it makes a hole, pit, what ever…there is a reason I don't use copper , brass, or aluminum drippers

    lksmith pm me or email me, let me steer you in the right direction- you are going to do allot of work and you are going to be unhappy , I think , in the end.

    RAIN?? why would you have to wait for it to stop raining?? Are you NOT doing this out side are you???

    EVEN with a Factory build machine like mine, if you try to do it out side you will fail-
    ANY breeze at all, any will shut down those drippers, any drippers. and you won't make any shot. Please if you have not by now down load and print off the instructions on my website…to include if your exhaust fan PULLS too much. if you have a box fan on the other side of the room and it blows towards the machine. Near an open door that gets any wind, Window etc…

    130- 135 F in the shop with a large open shop door and we had trouble every time the wind blew even a tiny amount. We closed the door and POW problem gone. BUT then we then had to turn on cooler to keep from cooking the operators ….and run coolant through a small VW oil cooler we had sitting around from the 80's. for us it is better to run in the winters HERE any way.
    I almost always do lead/hot work outside since I don't have a shop to work in.

  9. #29
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    I didn't see anyone mention cooling the shot.
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  10. #30
    Boolit Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    I did all mine in the garage with the door 2/3rds open but the shot maker well back from the door.
    No other source of air so no cross flow.

    I don't know all the ins and outs, but I figure if people were making drippers out of steel bolts there was likely a reason for that. No point in my trying to reinvent the wheel.

    I would not think copper with hot lead flowing through it would be a good combo.

    That is why I spent the money and bought my pan/drippers. Money well spent IMO.

  11. #31
    Cooling the shot happens when it hits the Coolant tank filled with Liquid Coolant-
    I was more worried about the air temps and wind.
    the drippers need to be hot, any breeze will cool them and the whole thing shuts down, then it will get super hot then take off again, but it may 'RUN' instead of 'dribble' .
    and the entire time not making shot or making the wrong size shot…

    making shot is not smelting or casting bullets….those things have way more mass and are not air temp sensitive as the tiny pellets and the dripper heads.

  12. #32
    Boolit Master
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    At one time I was looking into make my own shot but for what Littleton Shot Maker stated if you do not use alot it will not be worth it. What i did do is that is got a mold for T shot some time ago from one place i forgot who and If things go bad and can not get any shot I will have enough from that one mold to do what I want. Also like stated get some buck shot molds. I did and if one works it right can get more use from some of the buckshot then just shot gun.For me in the end I am better off to just by the bag of shot. I do not use alot. I have some that I have on hand and if the price for a bag drops some from what it is now I will get more to keep on hand.I also look into reclaim shot and for what it was being ask for ,I was better off with the new shot.
    Life Member of NRA,NTA,DAV ,ITA. Also member of FTA,CBA

  13. #33
    Boolit Master KrakenFan69's Avatar
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    You forget that some of us just want to do it because we can. Not because we expect to save tons of $$$. Where I live it's a 2+ hour drive to anywhere that has shot and sometimes they are out. Even if they have it in stock, its $79 CAD for 25 lbs. I would like to be able to make it when I wanted and stockpile as much as I want, contingent on lead availability, which at this point I can source locally. Hell, I'm not saving any money reloading shotgun shells anyway but I enjoy it. Will I save enough to pay for the unit and the effort? Probably not but its something I will enjoy tinkering with.

    Kraken Fan #69

  14. #34
    Boolit Bub
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    Krackenfan I feel your pain. I've been on the fence for about 2 years now. I have to load one of those black powder guys. Cartridge and muzzle loader. I shoot about 3/4 of a bag a year tops if we all get out and have a good year. I'd be in for a PDF and some drippers from Littletonshot maker
    I got room and lead. One more thing to think about...

  15. #35
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by KrakenFan69 View Post
    You forget that some of us just want to do it because we can. Not because we expect to save tons of $$$. Where I live it's a 2+ hour drive to anywhere that has shot and sometimes they are out. Even if they have it in stock, its $79 CAD for 25 lbs. I would like to be able to make it when I wanted and stockpile as much as I want, contingent on lead availability, which at this point I can source locally. Hell, I'm not saving any money reloading shotgun shells anyway but I enjoy it. Will I save enough to pay for the unit and the effort? Probably not but its something I will enjoy tinkering with.

    Kraken Fan #69
    The point of the OP was to save money. So it is appropriate to discuss the economics. And for most, it makes little sense to make shot to save money.

    Nothing wrong with doing it for fun....if that turns your crank. Or for the satisfaction of getting it done. And in your case, living ln Canada, it may may be a worthwhile endeavor.

    BTW, I am a dual citizen, born and raised in Canada, so I empathize with you folks.
    Don Verna

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  16. #36
    Boolit Master KrakenFan69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dverna View Post
    The point of the OP was to save money. So it is appropriate to discuss the economics. And for most, it makes little sense to make shot to save money.

    Nothing wrong with doing it for fun....if that turns your crank. Or for the satisfaction of getting it done. And in your case, living ln Canada, it may may be a worthwhile endeavor.

    BTW, I am a dual citizen, born and raised in Canada, so I empathize with you folks.
    I'm actually American with permanent residence in Canada. lol


    Kraken Fan #69

  17. #37
    Hi, few years ago I built a shot dropper, it was an easy build and did work sometimes, when onsong it would drip #6 shot all day and it was perfect shot, however, most of the time I could only get 1 out of 3 drippers to work, gave up in the end.... Now a few tips that might help,,, 1, you will only get good shot from W/Ws I tried different alloys and pure lead,,, W/W are best. Now your idea of MIG wire tips,, you may find the lead content will try to alloy with the copper of the tip, so blocking it , steel dripper work well and stainless work very well. Now the hard part, you have to balance temp of the melt with alloy used, angle of drip skid rate of drip and weight of melt pushing through. I did this with simple screw valves in the drippers and keeping the melt temp as low as poss (just over sludge temp), the drip skid, I used 1/8 aluminium, no need for the soapstone or graphite then,,, your chiller needs to hold its level at approx. 7/16 below the drip skid, do this with run off holes, the coolant needs to be BLUE anti freeze, not water, water to cold and will produce lead snow. Lastly the hole size in your dripper needs to be a lot smaller than the shot size you want to make, if I remember correctly I use 0.60mm for #6 shot , but this will alter with alloy and temp. Its a lot of work to get it running right but when it comes on stream it works really well,, what you need to ask your self is " Is it worth it" I only got into it cos we faced a lead shot ban here in the UK but it never happened so all my efforts were for nowt. Have fun and if I can find my notes ill post them here for you.
    Tom

  18. #38
    PS, If you do make your own shot, be careful when you load it, it can CLUMP, to stop this use your graphite spray in a simple tumbler and tumble the shot in a good dose of graphite, its messy but worth it, when the shot has an even blackish colour its ready.
    Tom

  19. #39
    Boolit Master

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    Ok, tell me what I'm doing wrong....I use a Littleton. I make my shot in an unheated garage in the winter (temps between 42° and 28° F) with the back door open and a small gap under the front door for flow thru venting. Running #9 drippers I get 18 pounds per hour and with #6 drippers I get 28 pounds per hour. I use COWWs with a small amount of tin added. I always have at least 5 of 7 drippers running at all times with the #9s and all 7 running with the #6s. I used cheap dollar store fabric softener for coolant and get nearly perfectly round shot. I'm constantly feeding ingots into the pan to keep the level at optimum level. A 200# day is typical for me. I use the fabric softener because it works well and cleans off easily with plain old water. Then I graphite my shot in a Lyman vibrator/case polisher. BTW, a tiny bit of graphite goes a very long way! Just make sure the shot is completely dry before you tumble it. I don't know why guys seem to have problems making shot. I borrowed a friends Littleton to make my own til he threatened me with mayhem if I didn't return it, so I bought my own and have never looked back. So what am I doing wrong? And yes, I do occasionally make shot in the summer too with even better results.

  20. #40
    I cant see anything wrong, if its making good shot that's all that matters. But to be fair the Littleton droppers work well and are well sorted the same cant be said for home made droppers, lots of tinkering to get them right

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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