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Thread: pure lead for dripping shot

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    pure lead for dripping shot

    Been lurking a while and finally decided to post. I have some questions about alloying lead for shot making. I think i have most of the details worked out but would like some input from those more experienced and knowledgeable than I.

    Stopped by the local scrap yard and they have about 300 pounds of soft roofing lead. I got 50 pounds at 80 cents a pound. It's pretty clean and looks almost new. I picked up about 20 pounds of wheel weights from a tire shop, the majority of which appear to be lead. I am in the process of building a shot dripper. I have all the machines and tools necessary to build the ladle and will use propane to fire it. I build jet burners capable of over a million BTU's so heat source is not a problem! I plan to buy the double dripper bolts. I may try to make my own bolts later.

    Here is where I'm chasing my tail. I would like to drip some #4 or #5 shot for squirrel hunting with .410 and 28 gauge, and some 7-7.5 for trap and skeet. I understand that larger shot can be more difficult to get round. COWW have antimony and tin in them. If i understand correctly, alloyed lead is more difficult to drop round than non allowed because the alloy makes the lead flow better to fill out a mold. Alloyed shot is harder than pure lead shot and will resist deformation in the wad or choke when fired. So, here is where I need some advice..

    A) How hard is it to successfully drip #4 or 5 shot from wheel weights?
    b) how bad will deformation be of the soft lead and will it make a difference through a full choke?
    c) It is my understanding that larger shot needs less alloy. Is this correct?
    d) what would the ideal ratio be for wheel weight to pure lead to drip for #7-7.5 and #4 shot?
    e) would it be better to smelt the pure soft lead into ingots and use it for trading? For shot making, is it worth buying? Is soft lead worth buying to use for trading later?
    Lead, brass, and copper are the real precious metals.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    #4 and #5 shot are practically impossible to drop with a shot maker that is available to the public!
    #7.5 you can make them. In my opinion only, from a lifetime of experience with shotshells, buy your bigger shot and make your 7.5ís. A 25 pound bag of #4 shot will load a LOT of .410 and 28 gauge shot shells!! Making shot is fun, and satisfying to say the least!!! But, there are limitations. Good luck to you however you go!!!

    P.S. post a want to trade for in swapping and selling and I feel sure someone will trade you some shot for that pure lead!! Worth a shot!! ( pun intended)!!!!!
    I firmly believe that you should only get treated by how you act, not by who or what you are!!

  3. #3
    Boolit Mold
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    Budzilla, I would totally be down for swapping the pure ingots to someone that needs them instead of trying to alloy them. Unfortunately I haven't been a member for 30 days or have 30 posts so I can't post a sale yet.
    Lead, brass, and copper are the real precious metals.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

    rancher1913's Avatar
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    i never could get pure to run in my dripper, went with straight ww's and it ran like a dream.
    if you are ever being chased by a taxidermist, don't play dead

  5. #5
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by rancher1913 View Post
    i never could get pure to run in my dripper, went with straight ww's and it ran like a dream.
    Many others have the same experience.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  6. #6
    Boolit Mold
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    Quote Originally Posted by dverna View Post
    Many others have the same experience.
    Clip on weights I presume? I have a good bit of the stick on weights and they seem softer, more ductile. The pure lead is much more ductile than the stick on weights.
    Lead, brass, and copper are the real precious metals.

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    I can say for a fact that I had my shot dripping ladle setup, running smooth with COWW. Did not want to use up all my wheel weights so I started filling with range scrap and pure lead. When it got to where it was mostly full of melted pure the drippers quit. First one, then the next, then all. Tried torch on the drippers, turned the propane burner up, no joy. Added 2 ingots of COWW and when they melted and mixed the drippers went back to dripping good shot.

    50/50 will work, lower than that you will have troubles. Unless you can find a way to add antimony to your pure.
    YMMV but that is what happened to me.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    my old Littleton shot maker would run like crazy on straight ww's!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Making shot was fun!!!!! I still have it (somewhere in the fray). I was fortunate to buy out a couple reloaders who got out of shotshell loading, so im set for factory made shot.

    Plus, while off around the country working, (i'm a traveling pipeline construction inspector),I was fortunate to find some really great deals on shot and powder!!! (it's really dangerous for me to have a pocketful of perdiem money!!!!!). That being said, I don't know where in Texas you are, but Bexar County Shooting Range in Marion, Texas has all the shot and wads and powder a man could want!! Just a heads up.
    Last edited by Budzilla 19; 02-28-2020 at 07:35 PM.
    I firmly believe that you should only get treated by how you act, not by who or what you are!!

  9. #9
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by djohns28 View Post
    Been lurking a while and finally decided to post. I have some questions about alloying lead for shot making. I think i have most of the details worked out but would like some input from those more experienced and knowledgeable than I.

    Stopped by the local scrap yard and they have about 300 pounds of soft roofing lead. I got 50 pounds at 80 cents a pound. It's pretty clean and looks almost new. I picked up about 20 pounds of wheel weights from a tire shop, the majority of which appear to be lead. I am in the process of building a shot dripper. I have all the machines and tools necessary to build the ladle and will use propane to fire it. I build jet burners capable of over a million BTU's so heat source is not a problem! I plan to buy the double dripper bolts. I may try to make my own bolts later.

    Here is where I'm chasing my tail. I would like to drip some #4 or #5 shot for squirrel hunting with .410 and 28 gauge, and some 7-7.5 for trap and skeet. I understand that larger shot can be more difficult to get round. COWW have antimony and tin in them. If i understand correctly, alloyed lead is more difficult to drop round than non allowed because the alloy makes the lead flow better to fill out a mold. Alloyed shot is harder than pure lead shot and will resist deformation in the wad or choke when fired. So, here is where I need some advice..

    A) How hard is it to successfully drip #4 or 5 shot from wheel weights?
    b) how bad will deformation be of the soft lead and will it make a difference through a full choke?
    c) It is my understanding that larger shot needs less alloy. Is this correct?
    d) what would the ideal ratio be for wheel weight to pure lead to drip for #7-7.5 and #4 shot?
    e) would it be better to smelt the pure soft lead into ingots and use it for trading? For shot making, is it worth buying? Is soft lead worth buying to use for trading later?
    I'll have to check on the #4, but I'm purty sure I've got several bags of #6, and maybe a bag of #5 that ain't never gonna get used by this shooter. I haven't been hunting in a coon's age. Where in the great state of Tejas are you? We get down to Ft. Worth to see wife's brother from time to time. I'd make a swingin' deal on this stuff just so someone else could use it.

  10. #10
    Boolit Mold
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    I'm in Pittsburg Texas, about an hour from Longview. I would certainly be interested. If your up for some trading i got some pure soft lead that it doesn't look like will get used except for maybe some fishing sinkers.
    Lead, brass, and copper are the real precious metals.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    djohns28,you get my pm?
    I firmly believe that you should only get treated by how you act, not by who or what you are!!

  12. #12
    Boolit Mold
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    Quote Originally Posted by Budzilla 19 View Post
    djohns28,you get my pm?
    Yes sir!!
    Lead, brass, and copper are the real precious metals.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master northmn's Avatar
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    Shot for trap shooting or magnum shot runs about 6% antimony and .5% tin. Some may be a bit higher. Some have commented on baking shot at over 400* and letting it drop in water to harden it further. Wheel weights would run close to what is called chilled shot. For a 28 ga Buying a bag of good shot makes sense as it will last a very long time.

    DEP

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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