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I went out a couple weeks back looking to see what could be done about the price of shot. I contacted Mayco in Ill. Nice people and no qualms about that. What I found was even if I was to purchase 125 tons of shot the best price they'd give me was close to 31 bucks a bag. That didn't cover shipping of course. That would be another 18 plus thousand. To Ca. Now some of you posted you paid 33 bucks a bag. If true I would have to say that's a steal. Shot must be a loss leader product. I must conclude or else you need to order a thousand tons before you get a price break. Who knows? But when you run the numbers you'd think you could get it down to 27 a bag which would at least make it worth your while to go ahead. Except for the shoots I'd just use reclaimed and be happy with it.
 

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No real breaks on price for new shot. Best I could get for 3000 lb was a tad bit over $2/lb. I can do the better buying it retail at a local shop
 

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With spot lead prices close to $1 a pound and Antimony more than twice that, the amazing thing is how cheap shot is. There has to be manufacturing, distribution and profit margins for the business to survive.
 

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With spot lead prices close to $1 a pound and Antimony more than twice that, the amazing thing is how cheap shot is. There has to be manufacturing, distribution and profit margins for the business to survive.
Remember that saying, “Who pays spot price”.

Many businesses have their anticipated usage bought out years in advance on the futures market. It’s a tool they use to smoothe out the spikes in spot prices. Works most of the time.
 

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Somewhere around 12 years ago I saw this ridiculous trend, regarding the cost of lead shot. At the time, I was shooting a hell of a lot. Of targets. Both ATA, practice and all kinds of games. Couple of flats a week at the minimum. That's when I decided to start making my own shot.
The problem was a lot of people were making shot, but not what I considered high quality, really hard, super round and highly polished shot. After quite a large investment in equipment and a full year building my setup. I accomplish the task. Over the next 10 years, we processed and dropped a lot of lead.
Well over 20 tons! I had two other shooter assisting me. 1 did nothing but sort wheel weights and the other smelted the wheel weights into ingots. I run the shot makers and wash, rinse, polish, dry and bottle all the shot. My setup can run up to (4) ladles at one time if running at max.
You can also run fewer ladles if you so wish. Max capacity is 400 lbs an hour. This endeavour has saved myself, my assistants and customers, thousands and thousands of dollars.
There was a huge learning curve when I started making shot.
All of the basic equipment need to be modified or redesigned. Cooling tanks, drop tanks, dryers all had to be built from scratch. There are also commercial vibrators that we use today and basically everything is turn key. Was it worth the time and money? Yes if your shooting a lot like we were, plus sales. If your shooting a flat a week, HELL NO!
If your shooting 4 flats a week, then you'll be saving yourself over $3,500.00 per year. If your up around 2,000 rounds per week, your savings will be over $8,000.00 per year. My whole point is that if you are seriously looking to lower your cost on lead shot, make your own.
Saving $2.00 a bag, when your only using 20 bags a year is going to save you a wopping $40.00! Even if you were buying 80 bags a year and you cut your cost by $5.00 per bag.
You'll save a total of $400.00
Now, 80 x $35.00 = $2,800.00
Make your own 80 bags = $160.00
That's a savings of $2,640.00 per ton.

MG
 

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I congratulate you on your energy for this project.
I hate handling lead more than I have to. It will always be commercial shot for me.
I like Black Powder cartridge shooting too, but always hate the bullet casting part of the game.
 

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If you bought Antimony in advance, you'd be crying now. Buying futures can go both ways.
Hence, my disclaimer in the last sentence. But we are talking apples and oranges here. Antimony price could triple, and it would not affect the bag price of shot too much in the ratio it is used.
 

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I congratulate you on your energy for this project.
I hate handling lead more than I have to. It will always be commercial shot for me.
I like Black Powder cartridge shooting too, but always hate the bullet casting part of the game.
That's a very logical point, but here is some interesting information.
Because I handle a lot of lead, I have been having monthly blood rests to make sure that my lead levels have not risen. My lead levels are substantially lower than ave.
As long as the lead is handled properly, I no longer have any concerns.
Never smoke, which I don't anyway, while handling lead.
Always where gloves when working with gloves.
No contact with your month, nose,
Face area when handling lead.
Only operate smelter below the vaporizing point of lead. I only smelt at 675, so we're no where near vapporizing temperatures.
Allways wear a respirator when working with lead.
Wash your hands as soon as you leave a lead working area.
Change clothes when finished working with lead.
I follow these rules and I've never had any issues.
MG
 

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That's a very logical point, but here is some interesting information.
Because I handle a lot of lead, I have been having monthly blood rests to make sure that my lead levels have not risen. My lead levels are substantially lower than ave.
As long as the lead is handled properly, I no longer have any concerns.
Never smoke, which I don't anyway, while handling lead.
Always where gloves when working with gloves.
No contact with your month, nose,
Face area when handling lead.
Only operate smelter below the vaporizing point of lead. I only smelt at 675, so we're no where near vapporizing temperatures.
Allways wear a respirator when working with lead.
Wash your hands as soon as you leave a lead working area.
Change clothes when finished working with lead.
I follow these rules and I've never had any issues.
MG
I followed most of your rules when I was making a shot, and I also made tons of it, after making my own setup. I've had my system checked for lead and it's always been fine. My problem and the reason I got out of making shot was the availability of lead. I just couldn't find it anymore a resomnable price. If one has access to a source it's a great way to save cash. The fishing weight people are paying $1. plus a pound and they don't care where it came from, at least where I live.
 

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I followed most of your rules when I was making a shot, and I also made tons of it, after making my own setup. I've had my system checked for lead and it's always been fine. My problem and the reason I got out of making shot was the availability of lead. I just couldn't find it anymore a resomnable price. If one has access to a source it's a great way to save cash. The fishing weight people are paying $1. plus a pound and they don't care where it came from, at least where I live.
I understand exactly what your saying.
I'm lucky! I have an unlimited supply of wheel weights.
I also take 5,000 lbs at a time, that's possibly the reason that they so eagerly sell to me.
MG
 

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Hence, my disclaimer in the last sentence. But we are talking apples and oranges here. Antimony price could triple, and it would not affect the bag price of shot too much in the ratio it is used.
Not so good for those that are buying at current cost. Lead is at a fifteen year low right now.
MG
 

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Hence, my disclaimer in the last sentence. But we are talking apples and oranges here. Antimony price could triple, and it would not affect the bag price of shot too much in the ratio it is used.
Dirt Stirrer,
Antimony 99% pure costs over $5.00 per pound when buying in tonage quantities. Lead right around $1.00.
Raw material cost at 5% antimony would be in the $30.00 range.
Chilled shot right around $25.00.
That's a HUGE difference in raw material cost. Like 16% Huge.
Just saying,
MG
 

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Dirt Stirrer,
Antimony 99% pure costs over $5.00 per pound when buying in tonage quantities. Lead right around $1.00.
Raw material cost at 5% antimony would be in the $30.00 range.
Chilled shot right around $25.00.
That's a HUGE difference in raw material cost. Like 16% Huge.
Just saying,
MG
Just pointing out your liberal maffs there. At 5% antimony in a 25# bag, this only adds about $6 a bag for hard shot.

just sayin'.

The futures market are used for more than just day trader and speculators trying to get rich. Many end users of a particular product hedge their anticipated usage out 5 years or more. If prices at the time of manufacture are up, they lose on the board, and vice versa if prices are lower. But they have secured a stable price for manufacturing a product for the public. A lot of the price spikes we have seen in the past had little to do with input costs, but more to do with rumors and then retail greed.

At $1/pound spot price for lead at the moment, I don't know how we buy it for the price we do. Chilled shot here is about $34/bag. For all the shipping to the shot towers, the actual dropping of the shot (that's a lot of fuel used to melt it), bagging it, then handling (shipping that heavy stuff ain't cheap) several times before the retailer sells it, iI'm just amazed it's as cheap as it is.
 

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Just pointing out your liberal maffs there. At 5% antimony in a 25# bag, this only adds about $6 a bag for hard shot.

just sayin'.

The futures market are used for more than just day trader and speculators trying to get rich. Many end users of a particular product hedge their anticipated usage out 5 years or more. If prices at the time of manufacture are up, they lose on the board, and vice versa if prices are lower. But they have secured a stable price for manufacturing a product for the public. A lot of the price spikes we have seen in the past had little to do with input costs, but more to do with rumors and then retail greed.

At $1/pound spot price for lead at the moment, I don't know how we buy it for the price we do. Chilled shot here is about $34/bag. For all the shipping to the shot towers, the actual dropping of the shot (that's a lot of fuel used to melt it), bagging it, then handling (shipping that heavy stuff ain't cheap) several times before the retailer sells it, iI'm just amazed it's as cheap as it is.
That's exactly what I said,
$30.00, 5% Antimony - Pre Production Cost of Material
$25,00, Chilled Shot --- Pre Production Cost of Material
That equates to a 16% higher Pre Production Cost of Material.
That is a hell of a lot!!!!!!
I would never operate my business on the type of R.O.I.
Just Saying,
MG
 

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That's exactly what I said,
$30.00, 5% Antimony - Pre Production Cost of Material
$25,00, Chilled Shot --- Pre Production Cost of Material
That equates to a 16% higher Pre Production Cost of Material.
That is a hell of a lot!!!!!!
I would never operate my business on the type of R.O.I.
Just Saying,
MG
My bad. I took this sentence "Raw material cost at 5% antimony would be in the $30.00 range." to mean you claimed the antimony added $30 cost to each bag. My Evelyn Woodkie's speed reading skills are slipping.

Places like this link Current Scrap Metal Pricing, CMC Recycling Springfield are paying #.45/# for reclaim/scrap lead. I would surmise the shot makers have a similar scrap program where they purchase used lead to mix with virgin lead (if it makes any difference). I'm still amazed it's as cheap as it is for as heavy a product as it is to handle.

I would love to set up a shot maker, I have cast all my pistol/rifle/BP projos for the last 45 years. Shot making is a whole nuther game.
 

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My bad. I took this sentence "Raw material cost at 5% antimony would be in the $30.00 range." to mean you claimed the antimony added $30 cost to each bag. My Evelyn Woodkie's speed reading skills are slipping.
No problem, just wanted to clarify! I still do not for the life of me know where the profit in shot is?
What in the hell is Mayco selling to their distributors at?
How much $$$ are the distributors marking it up?
Sure doesn't look like anyone is making jackshit.
Can't figure it out,
MG
 

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I'm thinking Mayco has 2 prices for its shot: a wholesale price and a retail price. The OP was quoted the retail price. The wholesale price likely is considerably less, there has to be some profit margin for the retailer. I doubt Mayco wants to be in competition with its customers, the retailers.
 
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