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Thread: The Maagma Master Pot Mods And Issues With It

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    The Magma Master Pot Mods And Issues With It

    I got my Master Pot not too long ago and made a video in another thread about it. This thread is information about what issues and mods I have found and made.

    Once I got the Master Pot set up and began casting I realized at once that the factory mould rest had to go. As it is I feel its completely unsuitable, maybe its made the way it is for the Master Caster.

    I made a rough mould rest from some 1/8" flat steel scrap drilled a 5/8 hole in it for drips and bolted in onto the existing shelve in the existing holes so no mods to the factory shelve. The mould rest has 3/8 square bar stock welded to it to form a channel for my Lyman and Lee 4 and 6 cavity moulds. I made it slightly loose so as not to bind the moulds. I replaced the shelve nuts with wing nuts and adjusted the new shelve for my Lyman moulds which are a bit higher then the Lee. I began casting with a 4 cavity Lyman 225 gr RN classic bullet for the .45 ACP I had most of the bullets coming out shiny and wrinkled at the 700F setting. The Lee 6 cavity 125 gr RN 9mm bullets were the same . I had heated the moulds very well and did not have lead thermometer so I ordered one. While waiting for it to come in I turned the heat up to the max 800F setting, still wrinkled bullets.

    Then I adjusted the thermostat It takes a small flat screwdriver to remove the dial handle as there's a spring behind it then the end of the thermostats hollow shaft has a tiny watchmakers size screw that you turn left counter clockwise to raise the heat hotter. After several test casts letting the pot come to temp for 1 hr 20 minutes I finally started getting good bullets from the .45 mould but still too many wrinkled bullets from the 9mm mould to suit me.

    When my Thermometer came I had 840 F with the temp dial at 800 F . I had plenty of heat, so I decided to raise the 9mm Lee mould rest 1/4 of an inch as I feel there may be some turbulence from the longer distance of the spout to the mould then the Lyman which is a taller mould . No overabundance of air flow over the lead stream or air blowing upon it BTW. I do have a large fan that pulls air outside the open garage window which is about 28 inches from the lead stream. I checked with a candle and smoke and the outside air stream does pull a bit but not much. The results are much better bullets from the Lee mould and the Lyman when I get the pot to 775 F on the thermometer

    The Master Pot holds 40 pounds of lead alloy allowing extended casting without adding lead to the pot and the spout control is very positive and adjustable with only a slight number of small drips now and then .

    I made the Lee insert to slip in and out without any bolts so I can place it when casting with the Lyman then change to the Lee if need be without handling screws on the sides of the pot . I still have to drill a 5/8 lead drip hole in the new Lee insert . the 3/8 bar stock mould guide has about 1/8 of an inch left to help guide the Lee mould which is enough for me. With the Lyman mould its a full 3/8 inch
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    Last edited by Keith 429421; 07-21-2019 at 09:39 PM. Reason: Misspelling Formating

  2. #2
    Boolit Bub
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    I cast about 100 Lee 9mm 120 grain TC bullets today with the Master Pot and they were great coming from the mould. I drilled the hole for the Lee insert for drips that are same and infrequent , the new Lee rest raised the mould 1/4 of an inch off my home made bullet mould rest mounted on the Master Pots shelve set for 4 cavity Lee moulds. , it worked great. I also made a thermometer holder from a piece of flat band metal 1/8 thick 1" wide with two holes in it to hold the thermometer a simple effective idea from member MOA here on Cast Bollits and dialed in the Master Pots thermostat to the thermometer I cast at 800F and the sprues were frosted Ill back it down next casting session to 700 I also cast some excellent 200 gr Lee .45 acp SWC bullets at 700 F so Im now good to go with this new pot and am enjoying it

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  3. #3
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    HATCH's Avatar
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    May I suggest your next mod be a PID controller for it.
    You can disassemble the pot itself.
    On the side that the handle is there are 2 threaded holes near the base (see photo).
    Can't remember the thread size but get a ring type thermocouple and use one of those.
    Then bypass the thermostat completely.
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  4. #4
    Boolit Bub
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    My issue with wrinkled bullets was remedied by adjusting the Master Pots thermostat once I got a lead thermometer to see where I was at and today I dialed in the thermostat to the thermometer readings . I had to turn the tiny watchmakers adjustment screw inside the stem of the thermostat about 1 full turn counter clockwise to get the Master Pots heat up . Its an ez thing to do but you must let it settle an hour or more to see temputure changes as you adjust it.

    What I like about the pot is the positive adjustable lead flow from the "orifice plate" AKA "spout" and the large lead capacity that allows casting 200 plus 230 grain bullets with plenty of lead available so you don't have to resupply a hot pot unless your casting larger quantities It melts lead fast as its 1500 watts in either 110 v or 220 v models. Both setups are US 60 cycle AC BTW and it looks like you can change the voltage by just changing the wires to the thermostat and heating belt check with Magma Engineering for details . The Master Pot is built to last and reminds me of the old Lyman Mould Master pot but much larger and a more rugged stand with the T stat on the outside and its valve control . The Lyman Pot had a 11 pound capacity compared to the Master Pots 40 pounds capacity and was the standard way back in the 60's and 70's with its identical twin the SAECO "Santa Anita Engineering Company's pot

  5. #5
    Boolit Bub
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    As I begin to cast more bullets at a time I will be looking at the PID for sure I did see a temp drop slightly after 100 some 120 gr bullets and 6 cavity sprues that weigh over 500 gr each, however it did not affect my bullets I cast as 100 is a small quantity for the Master Pot when it has a large amount of bullet alloy in it. , also outside temp was hot today in Virginia it was 90 some, yesterday it was 100F . In winter there will be a big difference with the cold however I do have a 220V garage heater right above my casting location

    A PID set up is the way to go for a more constant temputure of the lead alloy. Thanks Hatch for that suggestion Im casting with over 20 pounds alloy in the pot right now and had about 26 lbs when I started by eyeing it with relation to where it was with a known 35 pounds when I started casting after I got it. . The PID does bypass the thermostat and it wires directly to the heat belt or the heat band which Magma calls it. Magma has a schematic for the PID hook up. There's is either 110 V or 220 v and its a dedicated unit as the relays for 110 or 220 are different. The Magma unit costs 250 plus shipping now . Many casters have made their own

  6. #6
    Boolit Bub
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    The Lyman Mould Master 1000 watts and 11 pounds lead capacity 425F to 875F thermostat 43.50 back in the 1960's 54 dollars in the early 70's They had the thermostat and valve control similar to todays Master pot but were much smaller . The SAECO Model 24 Electric Pot was 44.50 and was the same but a different metal temperature label and logo on the thermostat and bottom of the stand . I plate I wish they still made these in a 20 pound size with the PID available separate like the Magma, they probably would be less expensive then a Master Pot and all many casters would need as the original models were the gold standard in their day and they were expensive then too when you could buy a new Winchester 30-30 Model 94 for 100 dollars or less however lead was cheap and widely available as scrap as plumbers did more wiped joints and other lead joints back then plus the printers linotype was fairly cheap and wheel weights were everywhere. The good thing about lead is that it can be reused forever and after being turned into bullets dug out of backstops and used again

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  7. #7
    Boolit Bub
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    More success today casting some Lyman 429421 44 bullets After adjusting the thermostat with a lead thermometer and making the mould guides Im making great bullets and enjoying the function and capacity of the Master Pot

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  8. #8
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    How is the pour spout located. Is it like the RCBS which is more viewable than the 20 lb Lee? I can't seem to ever be able to see the location of the spout in relation to the caster. The Lee ten pounder spout is also very useable. But the Lee 20 pounder requires you to crouch or mount to uncomfortable heights to see spout well.

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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