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Thread: Which Lead Pot?

  1. #1
    Boolit Man


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    Which Lead Pot?

    The lee pro 4 (20 pounds) or the lee production pot (10 pounds), found both brand new at a good price. Both seem pretty much the same based on online description, with the exception of capacity. My question is based on experience which is better and why?

    P.S. Im not looking to spend over $80 to start out, so the lyman, rcbs, and all others are out for now, unless there's a better one for $65 New including shipping...
    Dignified? I signed up for brave and courageous, not dignified!

  2. #2
    Boolit Master daloper's Avatar
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    I have the Lee Pro. My brother started with the smaller one and he said it was to small so that is why I went with the bigger one.

  3. #3
    Boolit Man

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    I have two of the 20# lee pots one for ladle casting and one with bottom pour. I find that the bottom pour works well and if you keep it clean have very few drips. When using 4 cavity molds doesn't take long to empty a 20 # pot casting 38/357 160 gr wadcutters, my ingots weigh between 7 & 8 lbs, so after casting 200 and adding the cut sprues back into the pot can cast another 100 and then add another ingot and will refill the pot to the top, so every thing depends on the rate of production you want to achieve. Most days wish my 20# pot was a 40# pot.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Ditto to what owejia said. Lee pots seem to have acquired a reputation for being drippy, if you keep it clean, it performs very well. I've got a 20# bottom pour, if you shoot a lot and are casting large boolits, you too will wish it was bigger if you're using six-cavity moulds. But then again, that's always the time to take a break and have another cup of coffee while you wait for it to melt the next 20#. Lee makes a good pot.

  5. #5
    Moderator

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    I'd say if you're wanting decent production, get the Lee 20# bottom pour. Mine is a work horse.

  6. #6
    Boolit Man
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    I've read here about custom and/or commercial casting pots in the forty pound range but that seems potentially very expensive.

    I like Ausglock's practical and relatively inexpensive solution: two Lee bottom pours set up one over the other, with the top mounted pot rigged to pour preheated/melted alloy into the bottom pot as it runs low. I've seen a video of him running three six cavity molds in rotation, which would empty his twenty pounder (and my Lee 4-20 actually has a practical maximum of about 18 pounds or I risk spillage) in a hurry if he didn't have another 18 or so pounds of refill waiting.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    If you plan on casting more then 100-200 bullets out of a 2cav mold , 10lbs is fine. But it won't satisfy you for long. You'll buy more molds, more cavities. Put yourself ahead, buy the 20lb.
    Happiness is a Warm GUN & more ammo to shoot in it.

  8. #8
    Boolit Man
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    Get the Lee 4-20. Even 20lbs isnt that much when your casting large boolits.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
    HeavyMetal's Avatar
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    the 4-20 is better built plus extra's are popping after market to make them better!

    see the NOE video in the casting equipment section lower down in the forums section.

    HM
    Last edited by HeavyMetal; 05-29-2018 at 11:55 AM.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
    marlin39a's Avatar
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    The Lee 4-20 is on sale at Midway, $69.99. None in stock, but you can backorder. I doubt they'll be out of stock very long.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master daloper's Avatar
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    You can also check at Titan Reloading. They are in the banner at the top of the page.

  12. #12
    Boolit Man
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    Go with the 20 pound pot . Even laddle pouring you can run it empty quicker than you might think

  13. #13
    Boolit Master RogerDat's Avatar
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    When it comes to lead melter or bullet metaplat size really does matter.

    I have the Lee Magnum Melter which is 20# and I don't think I would want smaller. I ladle cast so that isn't a bottom pour. IF I was to be purchasing a bottom pour the Pro 4 20 has been reported to be less drip prone and one can add a weight in the form of washers to the handle to give it more down pressure to seal.

    About the only time I find the 20# to have a potential disadvantage is if I have 3/4 of a pot left and want to dump it to change alloys. Heavier and thus less easily handled while hot. Bottom pour I would think one would just use ingot molds to drain the lead from the pot to change alloys.
    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.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    I'd get the 20 lbs bottom pour. If you want to laddle cast you can still use it that way. 10 lbs of lead might sound like a lot but you won't even get 200 230 grain bullets out of it once you figure in that you don't fill it up to the very brim and you aren't going to have much luck scraping lead off the bottom of the pot.

  15. #15
    Boolit Man


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    I ordered the 4-20. It has arrived and is waiting for my next day off from work.

    Thanks everyone for the input!

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    Dignified? I signed up for brave and courageous, not dignified!

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

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    I think you made a good choice. You would have wished for the 20# pot if you had bought the 10# one. Ultimately you will spend less time filling the pot and waiting for it to melt and more time casting. You can also put bigger pieces of lead in the 20 pounder.

  17. #17
    Boolit Man
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    i now use a lyman 20# for ladle only. if that ever "dies"; i will buy a Waage (ladle use only). all these people make is melting equiptment.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master redhawk0's Avatar
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    I have the 10# Lee...I wish I would have purchased the 20#. Casting .459" 405s uses a lot of lead real fast. Someday...when this one croaks...I'll get the 20#er.

    redhawk

    The only stupid question...is the unasked one.


    Not all who wander....are lost.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master



    retread's Avatar
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    I have two Lee 20# bottom pours. If kept clean they work really well with few drips. I am, however, building a bottom pour pot that will hold 60#(220 volt) for larger boolits. Hate running out of lead when the rhythm is going well.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
    FISH4BUGS's Avatar
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    I think you will be happy. Other than the dripping issue, the 4-20 is fine. I have had mine for 30+ years and still cast tons with it.
    You can preheat your ingots on the top of the pot to help speed up melting. I have long skinny ingots so that works for me.
    The mould guide has been replaced a few times only because the lock screw stripped. I use a lot of 6-8-10 cavity H&G's so they are a load on the mould guide.
    Collector and shooter of guns with selector switches and threaded barrels. Collector of suppressors, SBR's, AOW's and SBS's. Lead and brass scrounger. Never too much brass, lead or components in inventory! Always looking to win beauty contests with my reloads.

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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