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FAQ - Shot making, Tip & Tricks

7795 Views 35 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  DecalDude
Hey all of you fellow shot makers I thought it would be good if we started a trouble shooting guide!

You know if you are getting this do this type of thing ie: dimples, football shape, tear drop.

Also there are several different liquids being used for "coolant" if you have done comparisons between 2 or more tell your findings.

How about ladle setups ie: angle of ramp to drippers, angle of ramp from horizontal, distance from coolant etc.

Lead temps and result of being above and below those temps.

I'm sure this will get to be a great source of info maybe we can compile it and get the Mods to make it a sticky!
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Chipmaker...it's a great idea.

Look up in search and you'll see an information thread was started some time back. Some things need to be refreshed. Since more people seem to be interested, maybe it's time to do it again?


Ajax
 

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Sounds good will mark this thread! Right now got pretty much nice round shot with cold antifreeze kinda look like lil splitshot sinkers but nice round.

I cant wait for nicer weather here in Western NYI am not goint to even attempt any more for myself till its sunny and in the 60s.

I am bout the only guy with shot in the area cept some that still have some reclaimed.

Jerry Lewis
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok did an experiment tonight I have been looking over various coolant that others have been using and I liked the Sierra Antifreeze idea! So i saw it had Propylene Glycol in it rather than ethylene glycol, so i discovered then that's whats in RV antifreeze also! Hey $2.99 a gallon lets give it a shot! Well $50 bucks and 15 gallons to fill my machine DISAPPOINTMENT!!!! Nice frosty spurred up little s*&t balls! My observation is that it actually steams or boils the water instantly so the next droplet that falls in the coolant is not in liquid it's in a steam pocket! So you get that irregular surface on the shot. So we need to to find coolants that wont steam up on contact. I would surmise that brake fluid would be an excellent next best choice.

Lets hear your uses and findings on coolants!
 

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I use a Mel Taylor shotmaker and use liquid LAUNDRY soap with a little water added. Clean up is very easy.
 

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The best coolant I have used and I have used antifreeze, detergent, etc is DOT 3 brake fluid. As said on another thread, it is easy to rinse off and it leaves no dimples. I drop my shot 1/4 in. from the coolant. I take the shot out of the ammo can and dump it into a colander made of screen purchased at Walmart. Then I use the screen I purchased from a gent here on TS.com about 2 years ago. This separates the out of size from the rest. I pour the out of size back into the melting pot. I put the shot back into the colander over a large rectangular container and then rinse the shot in the colander. I then place the shot on baking sheets and dry it in an oven a friend gave me in trade for shot. I bake it at 275 degrees for 45 mins. to dry it. I pour the shot into 1 liter plastic pop bottles, add graphite, roll it around in the plastic pop bottles, then pour it into my PW 2000 and make great reloads. The graphite also keeps my loader lubed up nice too. Just blow it off once in a while.
 

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Chipmaker, RV anti-freeze has LOTS of water in it.That's why it didn't work. Automotive Propylene Glycol is the straight stuff. Big difference. I found that the lead makes the biggest difference in quality of shot and the next is the coolant. You can tinker with angles,drop height,temp etc. but I need a good alloy to start with. With out that I get JUNK! Also to everyone..Brake fluid is Glycol!Expensive Glycol.I never can say that I has a missed target on account of my homemade shot.Been making shot since 1988.
 

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I just buy the straight antifreeze. I did for a while get the 50-50 but found I did't like it. As I needed to add I started just adding the straight stuff. I found as the collant became more dense the better my shot had become.Wild Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
yes Duck you are correct, what are you using for your coolant you didn't really say.

What do you feel causes "football" shaped shot? Is it because of too much ramp angle so it actually slings the droplet off the ramp!
 

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I use crop oil. Others have told me that they have a hard time washing it off, but that has not been my experience. I rince it off very soon after making it. I have some buckets that I drilled a bunch of holes in the bottom, and cut a piece of window screen to fit the bucket. I set them on top of another bucket and let it drip for a while and then rince any remaining oil off with cold water. Water runs milky for a bit and then clears up. No problems. Jim Stewart recomends crop oil. I heat it up to about 90 degrees before I start, and try to keep it below 140 while it is running. I have a pump and a cooler with a fan from some hydraulic equipment that allows me to keep it fairly steady. I have about 15 gallon of water soluble coolant oil that I have been going to try, but I have had such good luck with the crop oil that I hate to change. Allen
 

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Didn't know there was more than one kind. I have bought it from a couple different sources so I may have some of each. I'll check when I get home.It is pretty thin, I would say about like 5W. It thins down a little more when it warms. I have had zero trouble since I started warming it before I start. No dimples or footballs. Get a bugger once in a while but not very much. I will get maybe a cup out of 100# oversize. I have a screen that will take out the smalls, but I have so few I don't even use it. I have another screen that will take out any thing bigger than a 51\2. When I accumulate many of the oversize ones, I run it through that screen and call them 6's. Works for me. I have had quite a few compliments on the quality of my shot. Its hard to tell it from factory by just looking. When I miss its not the shot's fault. Cut open a few of the promotional shells and I guarantee you it will look worse than decent home made.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well the warming makes good sense. My machine coolant has really done a good job, no popcorn, splatters or dimples really and it's only 6% by volume the rest is water! But my roundness seems to be my latest endeavor that I have embarked upon!
if the crop oil is not too far out of line in price I'll give it a shot. It takes 15 gallons to fill my system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I just had a thought my cousins own a aerosol filling plant and they have "scrap" canola oil I wonder what that might do? Used to make bio-diesel from it....
 

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I think the canola might be a little hard to clean up. I think water soluable is the key. I would think that any thing with much water in it might give trouble, although I read some where about some guy who was using water only kept it very hot. I'm going to try the cooling oil, only I think I will use it straight, no water. When I worked in the mine they used fire resistant hydraulic oil. Looked like milk. I think it might work if you had a supply.
 

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Football shaped shot is caused by bad metal. It hits the coolant football shaped so there's nothing anybody can do there.The molten lead has to be round to solidify round. Make sense? Try fluxing the heck out of it or mixing it with tin or both.It probably has some junk metals in it that won't let it flow to a round ball. Footballs work good for 16 yd and short handicap<22yds,skeet,most sporting clays.I use pure polypropylene glycol. Shot410ga, RV antifreeze is USDA accepted,brake fluid isn't. There's a difference but I don't know exactly what it is and I don't think the lead cares. They are both Glycols but I wouldn't winterize my camper with brake fluid.If you can afford it and it works for you Git-r-Done!
 

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BTW, polyethelyene Glycol(the old stuff) will kill you or make you sick from the vapors as you make shot and will hurt you if you happen to splash some on your lips and lick it off.Water soluable machine oil is tricky and could waste a lot of your time and never completley washes off. I used it at first until I got a 55 gal drum of the stuff I use now.(lucky me).
 
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