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shotmaking: would it be worth it for me?

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by skeet_man, Feb 28, 2007.

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  1. skeet_man

    skeet_man Well-Known Member

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    Rochester, NY
    Trying to figure out if I should try my hand at shotmaking. Looks like i can get a machine for about $375 ("The Better Shotmaker", single version), which would pay for itself in about 8.5 hrs at 45 lbs an hour assuming free lead. I go though about a quarter ton of shot a year b/w practice and competition (thank you small gauges, really saves on shot), and would only use the homemade shot for practice, so figure no more than 15 bags a year would be needed (375 lbs). I can't figure that it'd be worth it to make my own, but maybe i'm missing something. I could always make some to sell at the club, but couldn't tell until i got into it if i'd really want to spend that much time working on it, figure it might sell for $15/bag, so i'd be paying myself $30/hr assuming free lead, not bad, but maybe not worth the effort.
     
  2. Big Al 29

    Big Al 29 TS Member

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    lead poisoning?, molten lead spills?, significant learning curve?, the shot maker is only one part of the equation? Getting the lead?, melting it down into ingots? cleaning, drying, inspecting? storing everything?

    I too thought long and hard about it and to me it just seems like to much to start up, the leaning curve, etc... to even bother with it.

    I got kids around too and I fear I would catch them playing with the lead or somehow hurting themselves with the crap let alone me burning myself, spilling shit all over the place or dying of lead poisoning a few years later.

    If you are a a die hard mechanical junkie that is looking for a hobby or in the market of making a few bucks at your gun club, go for it. If you are looking to save a few bucks a year because of the price of shot, save your money by buying cheap primers, cheap powder, and cheap wads and scrounge your hulls. Do all that and you can spend the extra on the shot. You still won't save much as compared to buying factory cheapos but you are safe from the dangers and hassles of making your own toxic shot.

    Good luck if you decide to take on the challenge!!!! Be safe
     
  3. Jim101

    Jim101 Active Member

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    I think Ajax is about right. It takes quite a bit of time to make it. If all I needed was 375 lbs, I wouldn't even consider it. My goal for this year is 3000 lbs.






    Jim
     
  4. scott k

    scott k TS Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    229
    why not use it for competition?

    no you can't make $30 per hour, it takes almost as mutch time to make 100 lbs of good clean ingets as 100 lbs of good round shot.

    if you havent done so already, give james stewart a call at256-587-0107. he will help you in any way he can.

    later scott
     
  5. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    I have some experience making shot. I would recommend it for fun but strongly recommend against making shot to save money. When Ajax stated above "these are not plug and play" things, he made a great understatement. But, again it can be great fun. From a financial position, you would be better off getting a job at Burger King and using the money you made to buy shot rather than making shot.

    Pat Ireland
     
  6. stokinpls

    stokinpls Well-Known Member

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    Where does one find a quarter ton of free lead? Chernobyl?
     
  7. Ellen

    Ellen TS Member

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    271
    Big Al 29:
    We had 3 children, have 5 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren who learned respect at a young age from their parents lessons on what to play with and what not to play with. Obviously there seems to be a parental issue here in your thread. No, shotmaking is not for children to "play with". Yes, it takes a little adult know how to run and you don't walk away from the process because it takes your constant attention. You don't have to be a rocket scientist or need a 220ft tower to make good shot, obviously you are not to mechanical and need to learn how to grease a wheel barrow. After you learn how to grease that wheel barrow maybe you would be experienced enough to make shot.
    Skeet-man:
    If you would like to see pics of the better shotmaker send your email to me.
    It comes with complete instructions that anyone can follow, including Big Al 29, and you don't allow children around the process (its only common sense no kids around the process).
    Ellen O'Connor
     
  8. dverna

    dverna Active Member

    Joined:
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    2,717
    I am with Big Al and Mr. Ireland on this one.

    I went through the economics and even though I plan on loading 30-40,000 shells this year I cannot justify the time to search out enough lead, clean it and make the shot. The process is too slow.

    There is a point where you are not shooting enough to justify the investment; and at the other extreme; you shooting enough (especially if you are not retired) that you do not have enough time to make all the shot you need.

    One other suggestion (if you have the funds to "invest") is to buy a ton (you will normally get a better price) and sell some off (with a small markup) to the guys who buy a few bags at a time. I got 100 bags of STS shot in December for $22.50 ea. and would now be able to get $25.00 (BUT IT IS NOT FOR SALE!!) You don't get rich doing this, but you can reduce your per bag costs considerably from buying at the "big box" stores. Be sure to be reluctant to sell off part of your stash or the onesy/twosey buyers will expect you to sell if at your cost!!

    Don
     
  9. Johnny

    Johnny Well-Known Member

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    2,699
    skeet, see if you can get the lead first. Lead availability is the big consideration. I wouldn't buy a shotmaker unless I already had at least enough lead to pay for it.
     
  10. Bawana

    Bawana TS Member

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    It does take some time. I have lead and had to melt it down to ingets and at the same time clean the trash off the top. Now that shot in my area is $30 to $35 per bag you need to do something to keep shooting. When you find lead BUY IT OR GET IT. I missed some at a auction because I was out bidded. It was already mixed with all that you needed in nice big rod ingets. I was not happy about that but thats an auction.
     
  11. phirel

    phirel TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
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    9,556
    I have some experience making shot. I would recommend it for fun but strongly recommend against making shot to save money. When Ajax stated above "these are not plug and play" things, he made a great understatement. But, again it can be great fun. From a financial position, you would be better off getting a job at Burger King and using the money you made to buy shot rather than making shot.

    Pat Ireland
     
  12. stokinpls

    stokinpls Well-Known Member

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    6,333
    Where does one find a quarter ton of free lead? Chernobyl?
     
  13. Ellen

    Ellen TS Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2006
    Messages:
    271
    Big Al 29:
    We had 3 children, have 5 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren who learned respect at a young age from their parents lessons on what to play with and what not to play with. Obviously there seems to be a parental issue here in your thread. No, shotmaking is not for children to "play with". Yes, it takes a little adult know how to run and you don't walk away from the process because it takes your constant attention. You don't have to be a rocket scientist or need a 220ft tower to make good shot, obviously you are not to mechanical and need to learn how to grease a wheel barrow. After you learn how to grease that wheel barrow maybe you would be experienced enough to make shot.
    Skeet-man:
    If you would like to see pics of the better shotmaker send your email to me.
    It comes with complete instructions that anyone can follow, including Big Al 29, and you don't allow children around the process (its only common sense no kids around the process).
    Ellen O'Connor
     
  14. dverna

    dverna Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    2,717
    I am with Big Al and Mr. Ireland on this one.

    I went through the economics and even though I plan on loading 30-40,000 shells this year I cannot justify the time to search out enough lead, clean it and make the shot. The process is too slow.

    There is a point where you are not shooting enough to justify the investment; and at the other extreme; you shooting enough (especially if you are not retired) that you do not have enough time to make all the shot you need.

    One other suggestion (if you have the funds to "invest") is to buy a ton (you will normally get a better price) and sell some off (with a small markup) to the guys who buy a few bags at a time. I got 100 bags of STS shot in December for $22.50 ea. and would now be able to get $25.00 (BUT IT IS NOT FOR SALE!!) You don't get rich doing this, but you can reduce your per bag costs considerably from buying at the "big box" stores. Be sure to be reluctant to sell off part of your stash or the onesy/twosey buyers will expect you to sell if at your cost!!

    Don
     
  15. Johnny

    Johnny Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    2,699
    skeet, see if you can get the lead first. Lead availability is the big consideration. I wouldn't buy a shotmaker unless I already had at least enough lead to pay for it.
     
  16. Bawana

    Bawana TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    729
    It does take some time. I have lead and had to melt it down to ingets and at the same time clean the trash off the top. Now that shot in my area is $30 to $35 per bag you need to do something to keep shooting. When you find lead BUY IT OR GET IT. I missed some at a auction because I was out bidded. It was already mixed with all that you needed in nice big rod ingets. I was not happy about that but thats an auction.
     
  17. Big Al 29

    Big Al 29 TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
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    1,110
    Mrs. O'Connor,

    They guy was looking for opinions and I gave him my opinion. The guy is talking about making around 15 bags of shot a year not 400 a year or starting his own shot business. There is a lot more that goes into making shot than having a shot maker and a bunch of wheel weights especially when its a hobbie for him. 15 bags is a hobbie in my book and I offered my opinions and my thoughts when I pondered making my own shot.

    You come one here blast away at my poor parenting and mechanical skills in attempt to defend your product when I thought I offered some serious questions to think about.

    I think there are some concerns to think about that have nothing to do with the actual shot making process both in safety and with equipment. My bad for raining on the O'Connor homestead and i am humbled by your ability to raise children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

    There is one concern I have figured out after all of this. I won't be buying or endorsing a "better shotmaker" anytime soon. Mrs. O'Connor has much to learn about when it comes to customer service. She may have wrote the book on raising children but needs to read a book on sales techniques because she needs help.

    I am taking the high road on the whole parenting skills and mechanical skills digs. I know I would start defending myself and I don't have to defend myself to anyone much less someone whom has never met me or my children. It would only get personal and unlike Mrs. O'Connor who took some personal shots at me, I will abstain.

    Good luck Skeet_man, if you decide to give it a try, you know what shotmaker I don't endorse.
     
  18. scott k

    scott k TS Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
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    229
    toxic shot? lol

    lead is all around you, paint, plumbing, gas, your car, fishing lours and sinker, ( ever bite one on the line?) x-ray rooms,and on and on.

    if you take a little care it's as safe as anything else in life.

    any bird hunter has eaten a little shot and it will not hurt you.

    as far as the learing curve goes, about 15 min and you will know what needs to be done. like i said before, i made perfect shot on my first try.

    james stewart has been macking shot for over 40 years and still doing it. thats prof enough to me that it's safe.

    i'm not trying to offend anyone, just trying to help.

    scott
     
  19. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    scott- If you were able to learn how to make good shot in 15 minutes, you are much smarter than I am. I made shot for several years and I continued to learn new things during the entire time.

    It took me two years to figure out how to efficiently melt 15 five gallon buckets of wheel weights into ingots. Keeping the coolant at the correct temperature also took me some time.

    I never did figure out how to make shot without creating a great mess in my shop and saturating the neighborhood with an unusual order. I did finally learn that little splatter burns on my hands were just another required step in making shot.

    I was fun and at times I miss making shot, but I do not miss it enough to start up again. If you would not consider making shot if the price of new shot was $15 a bag, you should not consider making shot now when the price is nearly $30 a bag.

    Pat Ireland
     
  20. scott k

    scott k TS Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
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    hi pat, no i am not that smart. i made good shot from reading what people(like you)who have made shot have used. i looked at ever set up posted and used what i thought would work. and it did. yes i would make shot if new shot was $15 a bag. it is fun.

    i believe that you have alot to offer to this site, and your posts always interest me. god willing i will never stop learning.


    24str8,i might even learn how to spell someday.

    later scott
     
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