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Thread: Is the LEE bottom pour worth it?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy am44mag's Avatar
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    Is the LEE bottom pour worth it?

    For years I have used a 10 lb Lyman pot and a dipper to cast with. The only complaints I have is that they're a bit slow and the dipper occasionally gets clogged up. The $200+ RCBS and Lyman bottom pours are outside of what I can afford right now, but the LEE is much cheaper. Is it worth getting though, or should I stay with my current set up? I don't want something that's going to frustrate me or make casting a hassle. I just want to be able to turn it on and go.
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  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    pworley1's Avatar
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    I have 4 lee pots, the first one that I still use the most is from the early 80's. They will all drip occasionally, but once adjusted, not enough to bother me. For me they are much faster than using the dipper.
    NRA Benefactor Member

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    kungfustyle's Avatar
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    You have the option of ladle or bottom and I keep going back and forth. I ladle pore for some of my more finicky molds they seem to fill out better and bottom pore for my 357 and 45 stuff to crank out the boolits. So, for me it has been worth it. I have the 20lb pot it takes about 20 minutes to get the lead melted and off you go. Get a thermometer for it or a PID the temp goes from 650 to 800 on the same setting as the pot drains out. Either keep it full or monitor the temp. It does drip but not that much and you can stop it for a bit.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

    rancher1913's Avatar
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    the lee pots do drip, but they can be made to work really good. I have cast thousands and thousands of boolits with mine and have never regretted purchasing it. much cleaner to use than a dipper.
    if you are ever being chased by a taxidermist, don't play dead

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    I use Lee bottom pour pots and have cast untold thousands of boolits with them. I even have a couple of old ten pound pots from back in the 70s that still work fine. They got wet when my basement flooded twice and I lost track of them for several months. One of them still had water in it when I found them.
    I just took them apart and got them dried out, plugged them in, and turned them on expecting anything from a loud crack to nothing at all. They both worked just fine. One has the temp control knob stuck in one position but it is set where it needs to be so I didn't bother to replace it.
    The ones I use the most are a couple of newer 4-20 pots. It is nice to have the extra volume when you start casting 45 cal boolits. They will drain a pot fast.
    I have range scrap in one of them that I use for my handgun boolits and linotype in the other that I use for the rifle.
    Yes, they do drip some, but it is easily remedied as you work. Just give the top of the adjustment screw a light tap and the drip will stop. Or just keep a screwdriver handy and give the valve rod a little turn back and forth while you are waiting for the lead to cool in the mold.
    I set my pots on a medium/large cookie pan so that if it gets carried away dripping while it is heating up and I am in the other room, I don't have a mess on the table or floor. It happened once.
    For the price, they work well. I don't know if a different pot would work any better for me.
    It takes about 25-30 minutes for the big 20lb pots to get up to casting temperature if the pot is full. I usually fill mine back up when done for the day so it will be ready to go the next time.
    earlier this week, I had a great run going with a Lyman 356402 mold and cast 650 boolits, all keepers, in an hour. I hated to quit, things were going so well, but I was tired.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    I have a 10 lb and the 20 lb and I like them the dripping is a little annoying but you can work with it and adjust or tinker to stop or slow down , my advice is yes get one you will cast more and for most casting it is going to go faster , I have thought about getting a more expensive pot and as much as already have cast and stored with my lee pots there is no need . I find as time goes on that I am still loading some of the stuff I cast years ago and had stored .

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
    Tom W.'s Avatar
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    I have two, a ten pounder that I used for pure lead , maxi and round balls, and my 20 pounder that I use for everything else. When I was casting for the .480 that I had those 400 gr boolits would drain it very fast. They are called "drip-o-matics" for a reason, but it's really not too bad unless you either get some crud stuck in the spout or it just wears after 15 years or more. I did drain my 20 pound pot and reseated the valve w/ some valve grinding compound, and it is almost as good as it was when new. I have a Lodge miniature ashtray/ spoon holder to catch any drips now....
    Last edited by Tom W.; 08-12-2018 at 10:59 PM.
    Tom
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  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    Mal Paso's Avatar
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    I had 2 Lee 4-20s, good value and you can add PID later. I wouldn't get less than a 20 pounder if you're feeding a 44. LOL
    Mal

    Mal Paso means Bad Pass, just so you know.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    I have 2 10lbers and 3 20lbers I keep different alloys in each so I dont have to empty the pot to change alloy.

    1 10lber contains unknown lead for fishing sinkers.

    The 20lbers are WW, 50/50 pb/ww, and third is range scrap. I cant remember what the second 10lber has.

    I run one PID and remove the thermocouple before turning off the pot. Hear up second pot, insert thermocouple, and start warming up molds on a hot plate.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master RogerDat's Avatar
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    Nooooo! Don't go to the dark side.

    I use a 20# Lee pot and a Lyman little dipper. I think a 10# pot would be more prone to temp variation of getting hotter as lead is used and colder when material is added. I would guess they would heat up faster from a cold pot having less lead in them

    Was a little tempted when I have seen used Lee 10# bottom pours for 1/2 price at gun shows every once in awhile.
    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.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    A Lee 10lb bottom pour is the only thing Ive ever used. Once we buy a house, Ill buy a 20lb pot. Sure they drip. Small adjustment and no more. I doubt you'll be disappointed for the money.

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy am44mag's Avatar
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    I think you guys have convinced me. I'll probably order one in the next week or two, and it will be the 20lb version.

    Thanks fellas.
    ______________________________________________
    Aaron

  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    Good choice.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master Hannibal's Avatar
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    Just remember not to leave a bottom pour pot unattended and don't put recovered lead/scrap in the pot and I think you'll be fine. I have found over time that not submerging fluxing material in the melt helps a whole bunch with spout clogging, but that's beat to death in the 'fluxing' threads.
    Missing the target is not the worst thing you can do.
    Not taking the shot is.

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy

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    I have cast thousands of bullets with a Lee 20 pounder and it got better with a digital controller. I see nothing wrong with those pots.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
    DerekP Houston's Avatar
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    Lee pot worked fine for me until I saved my pennies to upgrade, next guy I passed it on to is still using it to cast as well. Keep something handy to catch the drips but no big deal other than that. Adding some weight to the handle will help.
    My feedback page if you feel inclined to add:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...raight-Shooter

    Thanks Yall!

  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master
    mdi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rancher1913 View Post
    the lee pots do drip, but they can be made to work really good. I have cast thousands and thousands of boolits with mine and have never regretted purchasing it. much cleaner to use than a dipper.
    I'm in the same boat. I can get my Lee Pro 4-20 to stop leaking, but it will only stop for 10-20 pounds of lead. One thing, the Lee pot needs clean (very clean) alloy to keep from leaking. I got my Lee pot in 1995 and have had no major problems with thousands of casts...
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  18. #18
    Boolit Bub
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    I have a 10lb pot and have cast for years, it drips alittle but its good.

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy Gtrubicon's Avatar
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    The drips make interesting looking creations if left to build up

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
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    The dripping is a minor nuisance. I used a used 10lb pot for the first few months when I started casting. It was used but serviceable. If since upgraded to a better pot. I've thought about getting one of new 20s just for a spare but haven't seen one on sale when I've had the money

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