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Discussion Starter #1
Back when I was looking into reloading bismuth, it was way cheaper to make your own bismuth shot. I researched it and learned a little about making shot. Now that I am reloading lead and possibly some day bismuth I have looked into it again. Bismuth doesn't look like a good option for me to make, as you can get the shot pre-dropped near as cheap as you can purchase the bismuth and tin to make it. Lead however it looks like it is worth it if you have a free or nearly free supply of lead. Does anyone here have experience with dropping their own lead shot? I have about 1200 pounds of lead in one block. It's a counter balance from a fork lift. Would it be worth dropping into shot or would it need to be alloyed to make the shot a little harder. I know nothing other than it is lead, and I am assuming that means it's non-alloyed. Any opinions? I am a tinkerer, so making a shot dropper would actually be quite easy to figure out.

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I just made 80#'s worth yesterday. That lead from the forklift would have to be tested with a hardness tester to determine if you could use it or not. I only use clip on wheel weights for my shot. In ingot form it tests around 12.5 BHN. If you need a hardness tester Lee Precision sells a rather inexpensive one.
 

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Many people on here have made their own shot and some still do. Lot's of threads to search. I made ton's of shot for maybe 10 years but ran out of easy to find tire weights, then tried used bullets, but ran out of that source as well. The fishing weight guys started buying that source up. So, I sold my setup to a guy in Oklahoma. Making shot is an art. Do a lot of research before starting. 1200 lbs. of your lead is not worth building a system in my opinion. Have someone already making shot do a deal with you.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Many people on here have made their own shot and some still do. Lot's of threads to search. I made ton's of shot for maybe 10 years but ran out of easy to find tire weights, then tried used bullets, but ran out of that source as well. The fishing weight guys started buying that source up. So, I sold my setup to a guy in Oklahoma. Making shot is an art. Do a lot of research before starting. 1200 lbs. of your lead is not worth building a system in my opinion. Have someone already making shot do a deal with you.
Good advice. I have too many hobbies the way it is right now! Still have a home yet to finish as well!

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Back when I was looking into reloading bismuth, it was way cheaper to make your own bismuth shot. I researched it and learned a little about making shot. Now that I am reloading lead and possibly some day bismuth I have looked into it again. Bismuth doesn't look like a good option for me to make, as you can get the shot pre-dropped near as cheap as you can purchase the bismuth and tin to make it. Lead however it looks like it is worth it if you have a free or nearly free supply of lead. Does anyone here have experience with dropping their own lead shot? I have about 1200 pounds of lead in one block. It's a counter balance from a fork lift. Would it be worth dropping into shot or would it need to be alloyed to make the shot a little harder. I know nothing other than it is lead, and I am assuming that means it's non-alloyed. Any opinions? I am a tinkerer, so making a shot dropper would actually be quite easy to figure out.

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Sell the 1200# of lead to a scrap dealer and buy shot or better yet, buy factory shot shells. Unless you have a huge supply, you’ll be wasting your time.
 

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your profile shows you are 9 years old?
I run my own shot and have another gent that does also.
Where are you located ?
We do a split with some of the guys that bring us lead.

We are in Lower West Michigan about 90 miles East of Chicago, IL

Wadcrusher
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Western Wisconsin. Yea I saw the profile says 9. Didn't enter that, just haven't looked at where I need to change it! Looks like I might have to get on the computer instead of my phone to change it.

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I make shot. Over the years about 5 tons. Advise above is solid BUT if you are a "tinkerer" why not? Go all the way. Make you own shot maker. I have 4 Stewart machines. Most came from people who gave up. I helped a friend make his setup. I run on electricity. He set up gas...his works as well as mine and I think better because he has total heat control. Get dimensions from someone who has a maker and build a square pan. Pay attention to drip angles and lip dimensions. Buy the drippers on e-bay. Get a thermometer and a gas burner and go to it. Why Not?
As to your lead. I suspect it is soft, definately of value. I mix soft with wheel weights (after sorting out zink and steel) 50/50%. It runs very well and breaks targets from 50 yards (If I should occasionally point the gun in the right direction). For what it's worth, I usually give $40 for a five gallon bucket of weights. They usually weigh around 130# and you will get about 80# of usable material. Mix that with 50% soft and you have servicable shot at $.20 a pound.
Your 1200# just became 2400#. After that, it's a matter of supply. Do your research for sources. One other thing. MOST of the people on here who give you all the advise have never melted an ounce of lead.
It's very labor intensive and everything is HEAVY! I'm OLD! The next hobby I get will be something with feathers!!!
My Best
Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I make shot. Over the years about 5 tons. Advise above is solid BUT if you are a "tinkerer" why not? Go all the way. Make you own shot maker. I have 4 Stewart machines. Most came from people who gave up. I helped a friend make his setup. I run on electricity. He set up gas...his works as well as mine and I think better because he has total heat control. Get dimensions from someone who has a maker and build a square pan. Pay attention to drip angles and lip dimensions. Buy the drippers on e-bay. Get a thermometer and a gas burner and go to it. Why Not?
As to your lead. I suspect it is soft, definately of value. I mix soft with wheel weights (after sorting out zink and steel) 50/50%. It runs very well and breaks targets from 50 yards (If I should occasionally point the gun in the right direction). For what it's worth, I usually give $40 for a five gallon bucket of weights. They usually weigh around 130# and you will get about 80# of usable material. Mix that with 50% soft and you have servicable shot at $.20 a pound.
Your 1200# just became 2400#. After that, it's a matter of supply. Do your research for sources. One other thing. MOST of the people on here who give you all the advise have never melted an ounce of lead.
It's very labor intensive and everything is HEAVY! I'm OLD! The next hobby I get will be something with feathers!!!
My Best
Jim
You know I love to tinker! Hence the number of projects I have! I will likely put this on the backburner for a while and revisit it later this summer. I have loaded just a drop of shot in the bucket at this point, roughly 500 shells. By the time I get those blasted off I'll have a few more of my projects completed and can focus on it better. Thank you again guys!

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You know I love to tinker! Hence the number of projects I have! I will likely put this on the backburner for a while and revisit it later this summer. I have loaded just a drop of shot in the bucket at this point, roughly 500 shells. By the time I get those blasted off I'll have a few more of my projects completed and can focus on it better. Thank you again guys!

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A whole 500? Seriously, you are no where near drop your own shot time. There are shooters here who shoot that much in one or two days and don’t drop their own shot. You’ll waste more money trying than you’ll gain.
 

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You know I love to tinker! Hence the number of projects I have! I will likely put this on the backburner for a while and revisit it later this summer. I have loaded just a drop of shot in the bucket at this point, roughly 500 shells. By the time I get those blasted off I'll have a few more of my projects completed and can focus on it better. Thank you again guys!

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Douglas,
Unless your seriously going to drop at least a ton a year, it will not be worth your time or investment to build a shot making set up. Unless your doing it strictly for fun, don't bother. The learning curve is far to long, to make an investment for even 5,000 shells per year.
MG
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I agree with both of you that I am no where near the point of needing or making it pay off. I can honestly say I doubt I'll have time to shoot 5000 shells in a given year. But as I said, I am a tinkerer and I likely will try it sometime. I have no expectation of doing it for anything other than the fun of it. I do not think it will cost me much since I have access to pretty much everything I need to build the shot dropper plus a meager supply of lead to start. All it will cost me is a bit of antimony to try. I know that's not cheap. Throw in some tin and propane. Good cheap fun. Much cheaper than many of my other hobbies. Plus I get to use something I made. I know I'm probably crazy.

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