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Thread: Considering bottom-pour pot - need insight from Forum Members

  1. #21
    Vendor Sponsor

    Smoke4320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Right here least I was a minute ago
    Went thru at least 4 lee 4-20 pots. All leaked no matter what i tryed.
    Got a RCBS pro melt added a PID have been for years now
    I carry a Nuke50 because cleaning up the mess is Silly !!

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  2. #22
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    JackQuest; I have a Magma I stumbled on for a very low price. It is the 90lb version and is overkill for me. As you described your casting, I believe it would be for you as well. Tony

  3. #23
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    State of Denial
    The progression in the family foundry has been:

    Lyman Mag 20 (a real bad dripper. It's now the emergency backup to the emergency backup)

    RCBS Pro Melt (MUCH better, much less-drippy pot)

    RCBS Pro Melt II (for dedicated use with non-lead hunting alloys)

    Use a separate PID to control temp on all three.

    The factory mold racks I've largely dispensed with. Found a large aluminum block to slide the molds across and control height by adding or subtracting thin strips of "box" plywood underneath

    A bottom pour is going to drip to some degree at some time. No big deal - I pick up a small stalagmite from under the mold guide every few minutes and toss it back in the pot, or just use the mold to bump it off the aluminum block and move on. To my mind, it is still far preferable to the slow, three-handed PITA juggling act that is ladle casting, and bottom pour is just more streamlined & productive - especially when you kick up the cavity count. Ladles for me are the final nuclear/biological/chemical option that is to be avoided if at all possible - I'll FIND a way rather than resort to spoon-feeding my molds.

    My suggestion is go RCBS. I suspect you'll find it solves all your problems, but if you still find ladles to be in any way preferable - such as for filling the huge, single-cavity, buffalo rifle molds - get yourself a dedicated ladle pot. The reason for this is that the spigot hardware - especially when combined with any extra temperature control hardware you may add - gets in the way of going in and out with the ladle for every pour.


  4. #24
    Boolit Master

    gwpercle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    I started casting in 1967 with a dipper . Listened to all the great talk about bottom pour and bought a Lee 10# bottom pour. Discovered I could make a lot more second rate boolits with the bottom pour ...trouble is I don't want second rate.... I want perfect boolits , well filled out ,no voids , no imperfections . Pressure casting with a ladle worked better for me . A sale at Midway prompted a new 20# magnum melter and new Lyman ladle .
    Best move I ever made . Considered plugging the 10# bottom holes but realized I needed a larger pot even if ladle casting .
    After buying the 20 # Magnum Melter , Bazoo , see post # 2 , said he could use it , ( had lost his equiptment in a fire) so I sent it to him , now I see he's going back to the open top and ladle like I did .
    My solution to casting is a big 20 # pot and a ladle , pressure casting gives me better boolits .
    Last edited by gwpercle; 06-10-2019 at 11:38 AM.
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  5. #25
    Boolit Master
    DerekP Houston's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Houston, Texas
    RCBS Pro-melt version 1 for me with a PID from a forum builder. I had the standard lee drip-o-matic and while I could fix it for awhile nothing did long term. Rcbs drips very rarely and usually caused by me putting dirty lead and not skimming enough.
    My feedback page if you feel inclined to add:

    Thanks Yall!

  6. #26
    Boolit Master

    Springfield's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    San Jose, California
    I have 2 RCBS Pro-Melts and a Magma 40 lb pot. Noe of them drip. The Magma is for the bulk of my shooting, one RCBS is for pure lead for balls and such, and the other is for harder rifle bullets. I started with LEE 10 and then 20 lb pots, but once I got the RCBS they went away. But I cast a of of bullets every month, as 4 of us in the family shoot Cowboy Action shoots every month, sometimes I go 2-3 times. So volume is important to me. We don't do any precision long range shooting, so the bullets don't have to be within .1 of a grain or anything like that. And I don't have that much spare time so I need to get a lot of bullets cast/sized/lubed and not take all day. All 3 of my pots are connected to a PID.
    I always tell people, if you use a progressive reloader, then you need an RCBS or Magma. If you load on a single stage, then you don't really need the larger pot for the volume. Pretty simple.

  7. #27
    Vendor Sponsor

    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Northeast US
    I had a lee 4-20 and now have the rcbs pro melt, the lee dripped at first then I honed the spout and it didn't drip for a year, then started dripping again, albeit slower. Held temp ok (50 degree fluctuation) until you got within 1/3 of the bottom then would fluctuate too much. RCBS holds more steady (maybe 25 degrees fluctuation until 1/4 full) and actually holds about 25lbs. Nicer sturdier setup all around on the RCBS but the lee is probably the "best value" in that it does work and you can overcome its issues fairly easily. I kind of wish i had kept the lee to leave other, less used, alloy ready to go in. It's not the one you want to use primarily, but if you get one you will probably always have a use for it, and it would get you familiarized with bottom pour at no big risk money wise, so i would say start with that (and hone the spout before you use it).

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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