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Discussion Starter #1
I have a couple of questions for all you 'seasoned' shot makers out there.

1. The first question is how round is the shot you make? Does it matter if the shot is somewhat misshapen? I assume it will be fine from the 16 but what about the 22? Opinions please.

2. The last time I made shot the drippers were slower than usual so I ended up using the cleaning tool to 'squirt' lead out of them and that seemed to fix the issue. How often do you guys 'clean' the nozzles and how long will they last?

I just got my James Stewart machine about two weeks ago and have been having a ball making my own shot but now I am trying to make it 'more round'. I am only using clip on WW thus far but plan on trying some stick on WW with some Antimony added in the future. For coolant I am using All laundry detergent full strength and the lip of the shot maker is just above the coolant. If I measure from the top of the drip edge to the coolant it is 1/4" or less, I cannot get it any closer or the coolant with 'wick' up on the lip and cause issues.

I have attached some pictures and want opinions. Does this look like the shot you are making or is it sub-standard?

Thanks for looking,

Todd


Good shot (with Graphite)


<br>Questionable (no Graphite, still deciding if I should just remelt)

</br>
 

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Looks like very good homemade shot, I shoot it in singles and second shot doubles, but if you are a long yardage caps shooter, I would suggest you refrain from using it. Short range work though it works fine, nice job. Scott
 

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I have been making shot for about 3 years and what you are showing is about as good a you will get. You might try what I finly did make sure that your liquid is about 90 degrees when you start and do not go over 145 or your shot will deform.Also do not use the stick on wheel weights if you want to ruin your drippers that is the way to do it. Also I shoot it from all yardages and break as many birds as anyone else. If you hit them they will turn to dust. Bill
 

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Nice looking shot, Take it out and pattern it from your yardage.

I use reclaimed shot for the first shot of doubles and sometimes singles, A shooter at our club tried it on the 27yd line broke a 97. (If you are on them they will break)
 

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Talbers your homemade looks good to me. Listen to Idahobill he has it covered from what I have found over the years of making shot myself. If your shot stream slows down you need more heat or some form of vibration to make them run again. You don't need to add antimony if you are using good clean wheel weights. Splash should not occur unless you are dropping to far or your solution is to thin. Antifreeze and some forms of cutting oil also work well, just alittle harder to clean. Forgot to add, my homemade crushes targets at the 27 if I do my part. Pattern it you will be shocked.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the input and good to hear that what I have looks typical.

Like normal since I have started making my own shot I have been unable to get to the range much. I have managed to shoot 4 boxes from the first run and it broke the target every time I did my part. I was worried about the longer yardage shots but heck I am just starting out and currently sitting on the 20 so it should be fine from there.

How are you 'warming' your coolant? I will give that a go just to see what happens. Currently the coolant starts around 60 and I usually finish up/change coolant when I have either run 40 lbs or it hits about 110.

This process has and is alot of work but it is also alot of fun. Without counting my labor it will definitely cut my costs for the near future. Heck I might even be able to save enough this year to break even on all the costs involved!

Todd
 

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Todd, next time the drippers slow down, use a table spoon and rap the top of the ladle lip and see if that makes them speed back up.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the tip. In this instance tapping with a spoon seemed to help for a little while but the only thing that seemed to fix it was using the tool that comes with the BetterShotmaker to 'push' the liquid through the nozzle. I should also note that they only slowed down after I had run about 400lbs through the machine over a two week period.
 

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Todd you don't want to warm your coolant. On the contrary you want to keep it as cool as you can for as long as you can. Once once it reaches 145 or more you will start having more deformation problems. A lot of guys make a second coolant tank that surrounds your inner tank and they cool it with running tap water with an overflow. Just wanted to add as I left it out in my first post is that my coolant/drip edge is 1/8 inch maybe less. Works for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
How are you getting your drip edge that close to the coolant? If I measure plumb from the top of the ramp to the coolant I am at 3/16 - 1/4", any closer and the coolant touches the bottom edge of the ramp.

Todd


talbers_2012_24097.jpg

 

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I find I shoot better with my own shot, and it looks a lot like yours...some times worse,and my feeling is if it goes through sort screen, it goes down range after a target...ill say I do sort w.w.'s,and I never mix soft in, and my shot is harder..makes nice smoke balls,, thanks james stewart,,mark
 

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Todd the drip edge on my old Littleton is much thinner than yours letting me get a little closer. After seeing the thickness of your drip edge in the picture I see why you can't get any closer to the coolant.
 

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If you think your shot is only good from the 16 you have not tried it at distance. 27, 30 and sometimes 35 yards is not out of the question. Have someone load your gun and hand it to you so you won't be prejudiced and see the true results. I have only used my shot for three years. I use a .15 choke up close and a .30 as far back as I want to shoot. Miss and outs are no problem.
I think the wheel weights, already hard, are quenched in the making process and become even harder.
 

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Many of the regular weights are made of zink also. Just becareful. That said I made some of my own drippers from brass. It takes less heat and flow much faster. Also rearly have a slow down. My machine works on propane. I had 11 drippers on mine. After using brass drippers I went to 5 drippers cause the flow was faster and I couldn't keep up with machine. What took me 4 hrs only takes about 1-1/2 hs ow.
I sorted and tumbled all my shot then graphite.
For the heck of it I loaded up some of the trash shot I usually remelt. Works great for the 16-20 yd. I don't push it beyond that. But saves me time not having to remelt as much. Bill
 

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ive even loaded some of my big blobs,,and they are better than buckshot at close range,good for 4 or 2 legged coyote fodder..as far as the zink weights go if they say zn on them,send them to the scrap yard,,most of the strip weights make great black powder bullets, they do contain alloy's that you don't want to use for shotmaking,,,but 700 gr.69 cal. maxi bullets are free and fun to shoot look for the zn on them.mark
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Didn't notice anything different. No discolored film on the top or anything out of the ordinary. Once I pushed the tool into the nozzle to 'squirt' out what was in them they sped back up and worked fine. I always use a thermometer when I melt lead to make sure I am staying under 700 so I am pretty sure there were no Zinc weights in the mix. Truck weights are another story. The big ones are easy to separate out but some of the smaller ones could have gotten mixed in and caused the slow down. That batch of ingots is now gone and I am about to begin with a different run so we will see what happens.

Todd
 

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It actually sounds like you had some wheel weights with a little more Tin in them. Or just happen to get some Tin in the mix. Bullet makers like Tin. Shotmakers do not like Tin, but it's hard to find any lead now days with out some amount of Tin in it.

When you are making your ingots watch for a Blue/Purple tint on the surface. It's a sign of Tin. If you have a Orange or Yellow tint it's normally Babbitt. Babbitt will plug the drippers up immediately and you normally have to take them out and clean them.

Yes, you can make better shot than you have.

Ajax
 
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