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Thread: Ladle vs Bottom Pour

  1. #41
    Boolit Grand Master


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    I have the Old Pro Melt and the Waage pot. Both are excellent .
    "Had his shooting been as good as his running, he might have given a better account of himself."
    James. C. Henderson

  2. #42
    Boolit Mold

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    I like to use the RCBS ladle. Putting it in contact with the sprue plate when pouring adds the content of the ladle to the sprue until it sets up. I think it gives me more pressure as I fill the mold.
    If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck.

  3. #43
    Boolit Master

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    I don't have enough hands to ladle cast. I'm not sure what the idea number would be, but experience tells me that it's probably north of 4.
    WWJMBD?

    "I'M MELLLLLLLLLLTING!" - Elphaba

  4. #44
    Boolit Master RED BEAR's Avatar
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    i ladle pour because i started that way and if it ain't broke don't fix it. i really can't say if it is better or not as i have never used a bottom pour. i may try bottom pouring one day but what i do works for me and don't see the extra expense.

  5. #45
    Boolit Master
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    I’m primarily a bottom pour guy and when I do my part, I get good slugs.
    I have no doubt that a skilled ladle pourer will get similar or better results.
    Last edited by Boolseye; 01-03-2019 at 12:12 AM.

  6. #46
    Boolit Buddy
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    I use both. I prefer bottom pour for harder alloys such as Lyman #2, and for most handgun/ levergun bullets where speed trumps ultra precision bullets. But when casting with 20-1 or 30-1 alloy for large - big BP target bullets where precision trumps speed ladle casting is the only way I can get target grade bullets consistently.

  7. #47
    Boolit Buddy largecaliberman's Avatar
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    I first started ladle pouring it was ok however was rather slow caused by overpouring, spills, etc. I then graduated to a Lee bottom pour and after a while my Lee bottom pour pot became a Lee Drip-o-Matic. Decided an RCBS and have been using it ever since. Bottom pour is the best way to go for me because its less mess and I can cast more boolits. In addition to the speed of casting, its easier to control the temperature. Still use my propane burner though to smelt my raw lead to smelt in my 120 lb capacity cast iron pot.
    Last edited by largecaliberman; 12-28-2018 at 07:09 PM. Reason: Added more comments
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  8. #48
    Boolit Master
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    This thread got me thinking more about ladle casting. My only experience is with the tiny Lee dipper and their small melter. Will a Lyman ladle function with Lee's baby melter (4#)? I don't wish to upgrade the furnace. Well, maybe.
    Last edited by Boolseye; 01-07-2019 at 03:05 PM.

  9. #49
    Boolit Buddy

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    Yes it will. I use that combo for casting round balls for muzzleloader.
    God Bless, Whisler

  10. #50
    Boolit Master bedbugbilly's Avatar
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    I've been dipping for 55 years - I bought a Lee bottom feeder and that lasted about one session. I just didn't like it - but a lot of folks do and seem to work 'em just fine. After years of using a propane hotplate, I bought two of he Lee large size electric dipper pots - keep one for pure lead and the other for range lead. I've used just about every make of mold there is over the years and it wasn't until a few years ago that I had anything larger than a 2 cavity. Now, I have several 4 and 5 cavity NOE aluminum molds. I don't have any problem keeping them up to heat and all chambers dropping with a ladle - but they are all 158 gr or less 358 - 360 did. I bought a used 5 cavity 454-190 style RNFP NOE from a member here but I haven't tried it yet as I have plenty of that boo lit already cast. A larger size boolit in a 5 cavity may be a challenge with the dipper - we'll see.

  11. #51
    Boolit Buddy
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    I like to ladle heavier bullets like .44 mag and .45 Colt.

    .38 and .357, .40 and such usually get bottom poured.
    Life is a series of bullseyes and backstraps - Ted Nugent

  12. #52
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    Tried casting with a ladle, Once. Went back to my bottom pour and never looked back. That was 45+ years ago.

  13. #53
    Boolit Master RogerDat's Avatar
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    I use the Lyman little dipper, similar to the RCBS ladle. I started with a ladle and it worked. I feel comfortable working above the pot and find that the ability to pour excess and to control the way the pour is delivered. Pressure pour, swirl in, down the hatch all have their place with different molds. I also allow/use overflow to help add heat to a mold when required and the excess from that just flows back into the pot.

    I have been known to cast out of a really big pot as some others have mentioned. Now I mostly use a 20# Lee. If I did or in the future do more 6 cavity molds especially for pistol having a straight forward profile and not having a huge volume to the cavity then I may give a bottom pour a shot. So far no compelling reason to buy a bottom pour pot. I can see where people do find them to their preference.

    As to how many hands one needs, mold goes in left hand, ladle goes in right.... I keep the mold whacker tucked in my left armpit, handle forward. Like a riding crop in an old movie. When needed I set the ladle in the pot, reach up and grab the whacker handle to pull it out, tap the mold with the whacker then tuck back under armpit when done. Less of a reach and always in the same position. Not sure how using a bottom pour would be much different. Handle on spout rather than ladle to grab. Doesn't seem like it would be all that different.

    I too use nothing in the pot but a bit of wax and stir & skim the melt with a paint stir stick cut short every once in awhile. Have a bent table spoon that I can use to scoop up any of the skimmings I don't want in my way.

    Maybe I will get together with one of the area casters that uses a bottom pour, give it a try and fall in love. Or at least enough lust to part with some cash to buy a bottom pour. Until then ladle sure works well enough for me. I would be inclined to spend the money on a bottom pour ladle for making ingots before a bottom pour pot. Cleaner ingots from bottom pour ladle would be a nice thing.
    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. #54
    Boolit Master
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    I just have to say...the Lee 4-20 is a lot of pot for not much money. If you're ever interested in going to the other side, that's where you start.

  15. #55
    Boolit Master RogerDat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boolseye View Post
    I just have to say...the Lee 4-20 is a lot of pot for not much money. If you're ever interested in going to the other side, that's where you start.
    That is the model I sort of had my eye on. People have added weight to the front handle so that it gets a more positive seal. Something as simple as slipping a large nut on the handle can make a difference from what has been said.

    Assuming you mean this one...
    https://www.titanreloading.com/lee-p...elter-110-volt

    While this is what I use with a ladle.
    https://www.titanreloading.com/lee-p...elter-110-volt

    At $59 vs $69 not a huge difference in price. At gun shows I have seen the small 10# pots as bottom pour. Use a pin that looks like a hinge pin drops into the bottom spout lifted by a mechanism much like the pro melter bottom pour pot.

    Problem is if I even think about spending $70 on a second melter I immediately think of a mold or tool of some sort that I don't have even one of and the money goes there. Last time I considered looking for a bottom pour pot I ended up with gas check making dies.
    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.

  16. #56
    I only have the two hands but they seem to be able to operate the mould, ladle and wacker pretty good. Mold stays in left, ladle/wacker in right, rest mold on edge of pot, fill ladle pour lead into mold, put ladle back in pot, pick up wacker, cut off sprue so that it falls back into the pot, open mold so bullet/s falls into bucket of water on the floor, maybe have to tap the hinge, use wacker to turn sprue cutter, lay down wacker, pick up ladle, repeat. I do this standing with the pot and wacker on a waist high workbench. At 68 it does get tedious so I tend to do a small lee pots worth of bullets and then take a break. While I’m resting I’ve refilled my pot with ww and range pick ups and it’s heating back up. When I start back I stir, flux, clean out the floating junk and cast another pots worth.
    Last edited by Baltimoreed; 01-11-2019 at 10:10 AM.

  17. #57
    Boolit Mold
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    I **** caned the ladles 30 year ago I got my first bottom pot. A lot faster with better quality. Not all the crud from the top of the pot.

  18. #58
    Boolit Master
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    The 4-20 responds well to lapping the spout from the inside with the rod that lives there, then adding some weight to the handle through the use of a few heavy washers. Turns it from a drip-o-matic to a smooth running unit. a lot smoother than it had been anyway.




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    Last edited by Boolseye; 01-13-2019 at 09:50 AM.

  19. #59
    Boolit Master
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    I started casting with a bottom pour Lee,, got tired of the drip and finally switched to a 10# Lee pot and now a 20#. Have not used a bottom pour in 30+ years, and I am still happy. Years ago NRA articles on casting; dipping verses bottom pour, was bottom pour fill out better and weigh more, just a little. Still I am fine.

  20. #60
    I weighed some of my ladle poured Lyman postel bullets a few days ago.
    I finally got a nice digital scale so it makes it easier.
    Once the mold was up to temp and my cadence right every bullet was looking perfect.
    I measured 5 randomly and the extreme spread was about 1.3 grains. I have to weight a larger batch but I can tell just looking at my bottom pour attempts on this mould that they were no where near as consistent.

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BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
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