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My first Shotmaking day.........

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by shot410ga, Sep 10, 2010.

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  1. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

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    Well, I finally acquired all the necessary equipment to make some shot. You know, like Turkey fryer, 20 MM ammo can, custom made shot basket, wheel weights. cast iron smelting pot, and miscellaneous spoons, ladles, antifreeze, soap, milk cartons, and a dozen other items, including s used Steward Shotmaker. It takes more equipment than you may think.


    After assembling everything together in 90 degree heat and sweat, I cranked up the turkey fryer with about 40 lbs of wheel weights. It does not take long to smelt a pot (15 min.). What takes time and must be an art is keeping the heat at around 650 degrees. I'm glad I purchased a thermometer that goes to 1000 degrees. And it wasn't cheap. Well, the pot smoked and I sweated through about 100 lbs of weights. Remember this is a trial start-up. I used up one of my wife's table candles fluxing the stinky mess, but soon I had very clean silver looking lead. I could still smell the burning wheel dirt after I took a shower later in the day. It does really stink and smoke. You guys were telling the truth about that.



    Without doing anything but pouring the antifreeze in the 20 MM can, I started the shotmaker with my nice shiny ingots that I couldn't get out of the cheap tin muffin pans I bought at Wally World. First lesson; do not use the cheap tin pans for you ingots. They don't work. But, the Stewart Shotmaker didn't care about the muffin tins filled with lead. It just melted the lead right out of them , and in about 15 min. those number 8 drippers were making shot. Amazing, I had perfect round #8 shot. It worked so good I stood in awe. Anyway, all I had was 44 lbs of lead in my tins, and the unit made 41 lbs. of good shot. The machine didn't like it when I would put in a new ingot. I guess it cooled the lead down a little and I would get a few blobs about the size of BB's. But, they will go back into the next batch of smelt. The coolant never got very hot. Version two will have some type of recirculating radiator installed.


    I ran the shot through SS screen sized for #8's then put them in my case tumbler with a little powered graphite. About 10 lbs. of shot at a time. In a few minutes they were coated and poured into one Quart Coke bottles. Next time I'll use my cement mixer, and do it all at once. I just have to clean it out first.


    I spent the morning doing this, about 4 hours. My first run. Some things need to be tweaked, like the air powered vibrator I ordered. Getting the shot to go through the screen was not easy by hand. But, all in all a good experience. So,to all of you OLD TIME Shotmakers that gave me ideas-----Thanks.
     
  2. blkcloud

    blkcloud Active Member

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    Aint it wonderful.. I stand in front of mine watching the drippers drip, cold drink in one hand, feeding ingots with the other and think.. how could one person have so much fun..
     
  3. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    shot410ga:
    Very interesting, but more involved than I thought. How much do you think it actually will cost you to make a 25 lb. of shot? Is this hard magnum type shot?
    Steve Balistreri
     
  4. blkcloud

    blkcloud Active Member

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    I'm not 410 but been making shot for 15 years.. if you count your labor its about $75.00 a bag.hahaha.. if you have to pay for the ww's they are usually 20-25 cents per pound.. I cant figure my electricity usage.. but its really fun to do, I was making shot when you "could" afford to buy new..lol..
     
  5. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    I have a ingot mold i'd be willing to let go for very little. Let me find it first. If i remeber correctly its new in box with minor surface rust. I'll get a pic up when i locate it.
     
  6. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

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    Lesson #2. Buy cast iron muffin pans. I did (3). The apron, face shield, and welders gloves are all good ideas, and I already had them. By the way I bought the used Steward Shotmaker from "doggai" on this forum. It worked perfectly. And I did fill the unit up directly out of the smelting pot, to cover the drippers before I began making shot.

    I don't know what a 25 lb. bag is going to cost. Right now they are about $350 each. How long before the ROI is positive? Depends on the availability and cost of the wheel weights. Even if I pay $1.00 a pound off E-bay, it's still better than $39.95 plus tax, that I'm paying now for new Lawrence shot. Labor is cheap. I've nothing else to do with my time except make shot, reload and shoot. Hell of a life.........
     
  7. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    Found it. Its brand new but old. It has minor surface rusting that easily cleans up with steel wool. They sell for around $20 new i'd let it go for $10 delivered to your door(US 48 only) if interested. Drop me a PM. Here is a pic of it with a sample ingot(not included).-----Matt
    grntitan_2009_250344.jpg
     
  8. Jim Porter

    Jim Porter Well-Known Member

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    I bought 6 ingot mould from Lodge Cast Iron in Bridgeport Al (right on the Tenn line neat Nashville) for $13.00 each. No maintenance and no problems. I have a friend who uses an old cornbread skillet that is segmented into 8 sections that he bought at a yard sale for $5.00. Works just fine.

    I suggest that you go to a Wally World and buy a single eye 110 volt hot plate eye for about $10.00. Buy the smallest skillet they have for about $6.00. Put your ingots on it to pre heat while the maker is running. Put 4 or 5 on at a time and take them off in order that you put them on. Be sure to wear gloves the pre heats will be too hot to handle bare handed. This works great!

    Cost? I saw the rise coming a few years back and started hoarding weights, about 7000# then bought a maker and went to work. My total investment is very near $700 with recirc pump and everything. Cost per bag for the first 200 bags was $5.30 a bag. Next 80 bags, free. Now that weights cost more and it is still about the $6.00 a bag.
     
  9. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    I was just offering, no skin off my back. I didn't think $5 for the mold and $5 for shipping was out of line. I'll put it back where it was. Its all good, good luck.---Matt
     
  10. Shooting Jack

    Shooting Jack Active Member

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    Matt,

    I would like to have the mold. I'm traveling right now but would like the mold if no one has spoken for it. Jackie B.

    Pm me with an address to send payment or email me. Thanks
     
  11. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    The RCBS ingot mold is SOLD pending funds. Thanks for the response.---Matt
     
  12. trapshooterjoe7

    trapshooterjoe7 Member

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    Shot410ga, stay up wind of the wheelweight smoke, that stuff will do strange things to you..I have tumbler if you are close to western MD, we can make a deal. Joe
     
  13. goosecall

    goosecall TS Member

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    "that I couldn't get out of the cheap tin muffin pans I bought at Wally World. First lesson; do not use the cheap tin pans for you ingots." Is all I use, when new spray with graphite, inguts fall out. 10Tenner
     
  14. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

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    10Tenner: I wish you had told me that before I ruined two muffin pans. Spray graphite, you say? Where can I buy some? Another thing to add to my note book.
     
  15. trapshooterjoe7

    trapshooterjoe7 Member

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    A spray called Dropout from Brownells works good. Joe
     
  16. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

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    Joe, do you use it in cast iron, also?
     
  17. Recoil Sissy

    Recoil Sissy Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps the experienced shotmakers would be kind enough to answer a couple of questions.

    1. How much powdered graphite is needed for newly made shot?

    2. Where does one find powdered graphite?

    sissy
     
  18. blkcloud

    blkcloud Active Member

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    Very little graphite is needed.. I got mine from the farmers co-op it has a picture of a lock and key on the tube, also john deere sells really good graphite used in their seed planters to help the seeds drop down the tubes.
     
  19. Recoil Sissy

    Recoil Sissy Well-Known Member

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    blkcloud:

    Please check your private messages.

    sissy
     
  20. goosecall

    goosecall TS Member

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    I got the spray can at a local industrial supply store. Graphite for tumbling I use powder graphite for grain seeders, and as noted can be found at local farmers supply. I use a bras tumbler for graphiting the shot, 15-20 lbs in about 5 to 10 min. Use very little graphite to tumble. 10tenner
     
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