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Littleton shot maker

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Firekiller, May 28, 2009.

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  1. Firekiller

    Firekiller TS Member

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    Has anyone had any luck with the littleton shot maker. With the price of shot I am looking at buying one. I also read that you can tumble the shot out of the shot maker in graphite to make it more uniform.
     
  2. rick979

    rick979 Active Member

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    I had a Littleton back in the late 80's. Worked very well once I got accustomed to the procedures. I must warn you tho'.....you will EARN every bit of shot you make. By the time you collect lead with the right antimony...melt it into clean ingots....drop the shot into the fluid (not water but a fairly expensive hydraulic fluid)...rinse off the shot....dry the shot...then put it in a roller to graphite it. Also be careful about inhaling the toxins that are produced during this process and handling lead with protection on your hands is not a good thing. So ... give it a whirl but I am going to keep buying shot. In Texas right now it is about $26.00 a BAG. Good luck and be careful. Rick .... Texas
     
  3. Firekiller

    Firekiller TS Member

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    Thanks for the info. I would buy shot if I could get it for $26 a bag. In michigan where I live it is $56 for a 25lb bag.

    Thanks Luke
     
  4. Jim101

    Jim101 Active Member

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    The search feature is your friend. There's a ton of info on shot making on the forum. Just put shot making or shot maker in the search block and have at it.






    Jim
     
  5. nipper

    nipper TS Member

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    i recommend jim stewarts--better shotmaker-- i have been to his shop several times and watched him making shot and have seen first hand his quality components.

    bill
     
  6. rick979

    rick979 Active Member

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    Is shot really $56.00 a bag up North?? Maybe I should buy some more here while it is $26.00????
     
  7. Jollytrapshooter

    Jollytrapshooter Member

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    I would also suggest Jim Stewarts "Better Shotmaker". The Littleton's can have problems with staying hot enough. I have one of the "Better Shotmakers" and couldn't be happier. The regular single bowl with double drippers will make about 60 pounds of shot an hour with little or no problems. I bought it last year, made about a ton of shot with it and sold a lot of it. It has now paid itself off, so any shot that comes out of it is free to me, and I can still sell it to previous customers. Oh, and with my homemade shot my reloads cost me about $20 a case. My 2 cents. Josh
     
  8. dverna

    dverna Active Member

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    Shot in MI. Under $24 a bag delivered to the club. I recently purchased 120 bags. Call Ken's Reloading to see if he has a delivery close to you. 616-822-4769

    You do not buy stuff like this at Bass Pro or Gander Mountain.

    Ken has decent prices on wads, primers and powder too.

    Don Verna
     
  9. Rick Barker

    Rick Barker Well-Known Member

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    I have been using my Littleton Shotmaker for some 10 years now and am quite happy with it. I paid about 1/2 what they are selling now and feel I have gotten my moneies worth. A couple of point worth mentioning are as follows:

    Take great care whenever working with lead. Make sure you do it outdoors in or a garage with all the doors open. I wear long sleeves, full pants and shoes, along with protective eyewear and a resperator. You cannot be too safe when working with this stuff.

    It seens that outside temp should be no less than 60 degrees to keep the ladle hot enough. Keeping it fed with a steady feed of ingots or wheel weights is best, instead of loading it up where the melt gets cooled down with too much new lead added. I have used a hand torch on top of the melt to speed things along sometimes, heating it for 20-30 seconds will keep the lead moving freely. Rapping on the edge of the ladle will help keep the shot falling free. Remove the crud often by pulling it back away from the outlets. This is a full time job when making shot. You cannot expect to just load it up and walk away.

    The high priced cutting coolant can be switched with ordinary liquid laundry soap. It works just as well not better with soap, but you have to take the extra step of rinsing the soap from the lead. I would see no harm in leaving some of the soap in as a lubricant, but that could lead to rust problems with your gun or metal storage continers later. Sometimes I just put the shot in a strainer and leave it outside while it is raining. Then on the next sunny warm day, the moisture is cooked right out of it.

    One thing I have notice about a lot of people who make their own show is they use a container of a gallon or two with a shallow drop. I have found the best results to be having a long drop, of say two to 3 feet ideal. The longer the shot has to fall while cooling, the better round it is. Also the greater volumne of liquid allows me to run the shotmaker for 3 or 4 hours and turn out a lot of shot. I can get buy with running my shotmaker a couple times a year and turn out a lot of shot.

    While the source of lead can be a problem when trying find wheel weights, the problem can be lessened by buying reclaimed shot. I have found reclaimed shot to cointain odd sizes of shot, like 4's and 6's or bigger, plated shot,a lot of deformed pellets and of course more dirt and grit that you can possibly get out, no matter how much you wash it. Recasting reclaimed shot is an easy way to eliminate the dirt and grit and while it might seem like a lot of extra work, the end quailty will be a lot better.

    Other sources of lead are ingots found at swap meets, and lead sheeting the telephone company used to use to cover underground phone lines. A phone company employee used to keep me supplied with sheeting quite often, but later quit his job and went of to something else. Do not use battery terminal ends or attempt to salvage the lead in old batteries, it is just too risky. A couple of friends gave me some auto body lead sticks which is a 50% lead/tin mix and it is no good for shot making. You would be better to sell this stuff to a auto shop that still uses lead in repairs or custom car making.
     
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