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A fellow trapper keeps insisting that it's something we should do. I told him I'd consult "the forum" for some info. I tried a search but didn't come up with anything real helpful.

Is anybody out there making their own? If so, any pointers? Is there much of a cost savings?

Alex
 

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We are making our own, but as stated above "good lead " is getting hard to find. My friend is the mechanical guy and I'm the labor end. We save a lot of $, but it's definitely a lot of work.
 

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And did anybody mention you'll need a LOT of lead to feed this new hobby? There are quite a few here making their own shot. I researched it myself for awhile and it kept coming back to the fact that I would do a ton of work and struggle to feed the operation. It simply isn't worth it for a couple hundred pounds of lead. It will take a lot to justify doing it. Wasn't for me.
 

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All great advise above.
Very true that IF,
You have a source for lead now and in the future.
Cost is well below $.30 per pound on raw material.
You will invest the time and $$$$ needed to start making shot.
You will be making more than 1500 lbs of shot a year.
Then I would say go for it.
I've been making shot for quite a while now. Over 5,000 lbs per year.
I have an unlimited source on wheel weights at a very good price.
I will not use anything other than wheel weights in the production of my shot.
I have pretty much perfected the procedure of making very high quality shot.
There is a very big learning curve, hell I learn new things all the time.
The benefits are HUGE. My cost per box of shells is less than $2.00 which is good because I shoot a lot.
My cost per bag of shot is less than $5.00.
If you decide that you wish to get into it, please feel free to PM me with any questions that you might have.
Good Luck,
MG
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you guys! I'm mechanically inclined so the part of building and maintaining an operation doesn't really bother me. It sounds that sourcing a reliable supply of raw lead is the biggest issue. We will have to look into that. Being in health care, my concern is obviously the health risks involved, i.e. lead vapor and such. Any issues you guys have come across with risk to you or those around you by making your own?

Thanks again, Alex
 

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At the temperatures that we are using, there are NO lead vapors.
One must still take normal precautions with any toxic material.
Keep your hands away from your mouth ect.
Always wash your hands upon completion.
I have my blood lead levels checked bi monthly
just to be safe and am really quite amazed at how low my level
actually is, even after handling and melting so much lead.
MG
 

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If i had access to lead cheap and a shot tower I would do it. I'm not afraid of working but i'll just pick up some reclaim and cheap shot from time to time
 

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I make my own. I can't say anything more than anyone has not already said. If you have to pay for lead it really isn't worth it if you are paying yourself $5 an hour. I get all of my lead for free so I still find it worthwhile but once my sources dry up, I'm done. I'll buy quality reclaim in bulk instead.
 

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just started about 4 months ago.
I will tell you buying the machine is The easy part.
sorting the steel and zinc tire weights to just get lead weights is a project.
tank and stand build something that is deep enuff so lead can pile up.
turkey fryer and cast iron pot so can melt and Flux lead into muffin tins.
I bought 16 gallons of canola oil. build a basket to put into bottom with old screen wire mesh. after you run I pin my basket up so most of oil drip.
I did purchase a waste oil pump to pump oil out back into jugs. then go buy a cheap cement mixer at harbor freight, rinse and clean with hot water and soap,then dry out cement mixer through some old rags in with a oil pigmat gets ride of rest of oil and this drys lead pretty quick, with lead back in there ,then go on ebay buy a couple different size standard sieves, sort bad pieces out and your different sizes you want to make, you will get different sizes very hard to get equal temp all the time when adding lead to melt. also I did buy a quart of powder graphite at farm equipment store for 10 bucks, Remember a tiny bit goes a long ways. through back into cleaned cement mixer with some rags coats them perfect.
for the hell of it I bought 6 buckets of tire lead down at tire shop 110 lbs per 5 gallon bucket. I sorted ended up with an average of 42 lbs of true lead weight with metal clip still in them out of 110 lb 5 gallon buckets,
I have over a grand into all stuff to build this.
and I was lucky enuff to have a brother with a salvage yard that I got a 55 gallon drum filled with tire lead.
DO NOT USE ANYTHING BUT TIRE LEAD, I TRIED LEAD SINKERS AND SOME BULLET LEAD CLOGS MACHINE RIGHT UP.
AND I AM SURE I FORGOT TO MENTION ANOTHER COUPLE HUNDRED WORTH OF OTHER MISCELLANEOUS TOOLS.
 

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What about using shot that has been laying on the ground. I realise you would need to melt it down into ingots. Also what flux would you recommend?
 

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I flux with those cheap votive candles from the craft store. The best part is the wife buys them to put around the house and I just lift a few when she isn't looking.

You can make just about any kind of lead work as long as you alloy it properly. You do need to save it up and mix it. For example, I ended up with some soft lead pipe. Way too soft for shot. Then I ended up with some linotype, the stuff they use in printing. Way too hard. Melt them together in the right proportions and boom...you have perfect ingots for shot. Like someone else said-making shot is part science, part art, and part experience.
 

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I found two shot makers when doing a google search. Oasis Lead Shot Maker and Littleton Shot Maker. Anyone have experience with either of these? Would like to get your feelings on these machines. Are there other machines also?
 

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I found two shot makers when doing a google search. Oasis Lead Shot Maker and Littleton Shot Maker. Anyone have experience with either of these? Would like to get your feelings on these machines. Are there other machines also?
Yes, Stewarts Better Shot Maker.
Which ever you buy, make sure that it's 240 volt, NOT 110.
MG
 

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I have been making shot for the past 3 years, probably 5,000 lbs total, but my lead has become very hard to find in my area so I may end up mothballing everything.
 

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Same problem here. The good clip on wheel weights have just about dried up. My Stewart shot maker made some great shot over the years. If you're got a steady source of wheel weights go for it. I guess I would sell my setup due to the shortage of good wheel weights in my area.
 

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If you can get your hands one some lino or monotype, you can smelt it with soft lead and get to the same place. I had a bunch of softer lead, came across some lino, and boom...nice hard ingots about the same hardness of wheel weights.
 
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