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Thread: Making your own shotmaker?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Bad Ass Wallace's Avatar
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    Making your own shotmaker?

    Anyone have experience with making your own shot? My LGE quoted $AU117/10kg which is a bit much when I have over two ton of lead in the shed!
    Hold Still Varmint; while I plugs Yer!

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    Easier to buy it off evilbay with the drippers, ramp set right angle.

    Then all you have to do is figure out how to mount it to your turkey fryer so that the ramp is clear to drop into a coolant tank.

    I know guys who swear by the oil type coolants. I had good luck with dollar store fabric softener mixed with aprox 1/3 water.

    Tis an art, not a science. Loads of variables. But kind of fun
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    Back to those 3 and the other big 3. The Declaration of Independence,
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    Get GOD back in our lives and our country, find the courage of our convictions, or guts, and a willingness to stand up and fight for what we believe in. Guns.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    there is a large thread on doing this very thing, including how to make recirculating coolant systems for it.
    if you are ever being chased by a taxidermist, don't play dead

  4. #4
    Boolit Master


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    Be wary....IIRC the commercial units work best with wheel weights and those are getting tougher to find. Others who have done it can correct me.

    I was set to purchase 100 lbs of shot from a guy who was making shot with a commercial unit (Littleton?). It was so bad, I decided not to buy it. At the time, I was looking at getting "free" shot by supplying WW and taking a percentage of the shot produced. But it made more sense to buy good shot and keep the alloy for cast bullets.

    The machine will work if you do your part but it is a challenge to get it right.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    it does not make as great as shot as you buy, but if you like to tinker you can make really good shot. using a pane of glass set at an angle you can roll the homemade shot down it, the round shot will roll to the bottom and can be collected, the shot with a tail will not roll right and can be discarded. yes, the shotmakers need at least coww lead to work, soft lead just does not flow correctly.
    if you are ever being chased by a taxidermist, don't play dead

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    COWW contain arsenic, an important ingredient in making ROUND shot pellets. Without it the pellets are oddly shaped.
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    Here is my last run at making shot.

    https://imgur.com/ToyEvxb

    https://imgur.com/cVZmsMO

    This set up was my 4th try running pure Pb through a .014 dripper, I ended up with shot somewhere between #9 & #10.

    I was pretty pleased with how it turned out, especially for being pure lead. It wasn't perfect but I doubt it will have any adverse affect on my shooting.

    Scott
    Last edited by dsh1106; 09-07-2020 at 02:53 PM.
    Scott

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  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    I wish I could remember where I read or saw this, but a guy made a single dripper attachment for use with a Lee 10 lb bottom pour. I do remember the materials:

    Copper pipe end cap. drilled and tapped to fit a welding tip. Tip was .023 for approximately 7.5 shot. A piece of aluminum angle was fitted to an attachment that held the angle at an angle and also pressed the copper cap/dripper firmly against the bottom of the Lee pot to create a seal. The guy said 'it's a Lee drip-o-matic already, why not?' Anyway, the shot ran into a 5 gallon bucket with the fabric softener/water mix. He also said that 10 pounds of hot lead did not heat up the liquid enough to cause issues. Oh, graphite was used on the aluminum.

    I intend to try this when I can get to a drill press for the angle aluminum, the dripper I can drill and tap by hand. Sure, it's only 10 ish pounds per run, but I have a steady supply of lead and I don't shoot birdshot that much. Can't hunt with lead shot but shooting clay is still okay. Growing up we used 6s for pigeon and pheasant, 8s for dove and quail. 7.5 should be fine for just shooting.

    There is a guy I know of who has an in for reclaimed shot, and runs it through a commercial dripper and sells it reasonably. Heck, I still have a bag of 9s from 30+ years ago, but I only load that in 357, 41, and 45 Colt snake rounds. Changing welding tips might give me options for different sizes.

    Again, I don't shoot that much bird shot, more buck shot and 69 cal RB instead of slugs. I just want to do it to say I did. Maybe even take pictures/video for proof of this concept. It beats building a shot tower! The guy I got the idea from tried that from the barn loft but started a small fire. Hence, he tried something less dangerous to his health from his father!
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  9. #9
    Boolit Bub mic's Avatar
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  10. #10
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by dverna View Post
    Be wary....IIRC the commercial units work best with wheel weights and those are getting tougher to find. Others who have done it can correct me.

    I was set to purchase 100 lbs of shot from a guy who was making shot with a commercial unit (Littleton?). It was so bad, I decided not to buy it. At the time, I was looking at getting "free" shot by supplying WW and taking a percentage of the shot produced. But it made more sense to buy good shot and keep the alloy for cast bullets.

    The machine will work if you do your part but it is a challenge to get it right.
    dverna is right 100%. I have been making my shot for 30 years and it is NOT as easy as one would think. The unit has to be hot enough but the coolant not hot and the right kind, then the ramp close to the coolant and the tank large enough. Then there is cleaning, drying, sizing and bottling the shot. You got to love making it the way you do casting.
    May all your bullets find the Bullseye.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by fcvan View Post
    I wish I could remember where I read or saw this, but a guy made a single dripper attachment for use with a Lee 10 lb bottom pour. I do remember the materials:

    Copper pipe end cap. drilled and tapped to fit a welding tip. Tip was .023 for approximately 7.5 shot. A piece of aluminum angle was fitted to an attachment that held the angle at an angle and also pressed the copper cap/dripper firmly against the bottom of the Lee pot to create a seal. The guy said 'it's a Lee drip-o-matic already, why not?' Anyway, the shot ran into a 5 gallon bucket with the fabric softener/water mix. He also said that 10 pounds of hot lead did not heat up the liquid enough to cause issues. Oh, graphite was used on the aluminum.

    I intend to try this when I can get to a drill press for the angle aluminum, the dripper I can drill and tap by hand. Sure, it's only 10 ish pounds per run, but I have a steady supply of lead and I don't shoot birdshot that much. Can't hunt with lead shot but shooting clay is still okay. Growing up we used 6s for pigeon and pheasant, 8s for dove and quail. 7.5 should be fine for just shooting.

    There is a guy I know of who has an in for reclaimed shot, and runs it through a commercial dripper and sells it reasonably. Heck, I still have a bag of 9s from 30+ years ago, but I only load that in 357, 41, and 45 Colt snake rounds. Changing welding tips might give me options for different sizes.

    Again, I don't shoot that much bird shot, more buck shot and 69 cal RB instead of slugs. I just want to do it to say I did. Maybe even take pictures/video for proof of this concept. It beats building a shot tower! The guy I got the idea from tried that from the barn loft but started a small fire. Hence, he tried something less dangerous to his health from his father!
    He died not long ago with just under a bag of shot near the body.

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by centershot View Post
    COWW contain arsenic, an important ingredient in making ROUND shot pellets. Without it the pellets are oddly shaped.
    can you elaborate on this as I have never head this before . Makes sense as all lead shot seems to have arsenic in 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