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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have any of You Manufactured Your Own Shot? Or even attempted it? I've got a stockpile of Lead that's laying around, some in ingots,some in pipe,some in wheel weights,and some in plates. (I would estimate I have over 900 pounds.) I've been looking at James Stewarts set up, and Littleton's. Just wondering if any of you folks have either one or any at all. Thanks
Brent
 

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Go with the Stewart - you will not regret the choice. (cast iron ladle, 220 V)

In terms of coolants - well the sky is the limit. I have settled on laundry soap - not because it is a better coolant, but because clean-up is so much easier...
 

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Have any of You Manufactured Your Own Shot? Or even attempted it? I've got a stockpile of Lead that's laying around, some in ingots,some in pipe,some in wheel weights,and some in plates. (I would estimate I have over 900 pounds.) I've been looking at James Stewarts set up, and Littleton's. Just wondering if any of you folks have either one or any at all. Thanks
Brent
Ask yourself if it's worth the time, effort, investment, hassle, and risk, or if you'd be better off taking the lead you have to a scrapyard and just buying new or reclaimed...

Granted, you already have a decent stockpile to start, but the availability of scrap lead to make your own shot FROM is drying up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks and Good point skeet man, I thought about that. Just kinda lookin down the road bit. Just in case the shot prices go Sky High or Shot gets as hard to get as Powder. My son in law can supply me with a few hundred pounds a month, and I'm starting to get some from a few dentists in the area. As far as the time, I'm retired and an extra hobby I can handle right now. As for the Hazard that is another issue not yet resolved. But I'm just pondering the idea right now. As far as the cost, well I can't take it with me. This is my way of Brainstorming. Heck I might end up on a Superfund list.....
 

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These are not plug and play units. A lot of other things go into making shot.
I started in 1987 with a Littleton and expanded to three batch set ups and a continuous maker. It's a lot of hard work .
At the time I started. Lead was given to me, just to haul away. Now it's really hard to find.
900 pounds sounds like a lot, but it's not. It was only a three day run.
Also the shotmakers don't like Tin, Zinc or Babbitt. They will plug the drippers up and you can't tell if any of it is in your lead, unless you know where the lead came from and what it was used for.

I would suggest to see if you can find someone that has a set up and trade the lead for some shot. Some will and some won't due to reason I outlined above.

Good luck,
Ajax
 

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Don't over heat the lead and wash your hands every time you walk away from the lead. Don't smoke, eat or drink while working with lead, when I say wash your hand, I mean use soap, water and a scrub brush and take at least 2 minutes. I have worked around lead for 40 years and taught safety classes on lead to scientists and my blood lead level are at the low end of normal. Good luck.
 

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trappermike, your post is right on I worked in a lead refinery, ran the maintenence crew. We drank a pint of milk
every 2 to 3 hours and I did all the stainless welding and had a hood set up for mask. Lead dust from smelting
is as you said hard to get off we showered before we left the plant my blood levels hardly ever got off the low end but not so for my partner his went off the scale and we had to furlough him for a couple of months. But as you said he smoked.

Mac
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I do realize there are some Hazards associated with Lead. I have in the past smelted lead for some various hobbies. Fishing weights and Spinner Baits. Bullets, and Molded Soap Box Derby weights. It was during the early days when I was melting lead to make my derby weights. The lead I had was very dirty so I had the Bright Idea to wash the dirt off of the lead. Well I'm sure you can visualize a young boy melting lead for the first time in his young life. Well after I managed to start a puddle I proceeded to drop in that Freshly washed chunk of lead to that puddle of molten lead and Blam. I was lucky I had on my dads leather welding apron and gloves. I guess my reflexes were also fairly good. No burns just a mess to clean up. And a Major Safety Lesson learned.(water + heat in Molten Lead = Steam = Explosive Reaction) I never did tell my dad about that.. Correct me if Im wrong here, but isn't Cyanid also a by product of lead? I have a habit of washing my hands with cold water after I'm done at the range, reloading, and when I'm melting lead. I do appreciate All of Your input be it Good, or Not So Good.. Thanks Guys
Brent
 

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Arsenic is added to lead to help the shot form on its fall from the drop tower. If you melt old shot, it would have Arsenic in it.
 

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I've had both the Littleton and Stewart
Mr. Stewart will answer the phone personally and will help you ever step of the way. I ve literally made ton & tons of shot to use and to sell. One has to be very vigilant of its danger. One drop of water, in a bent lead pipe or sweat from your brow will explode your lead all over your ceiling. BE CAREFUL!
Lead from tire weights has to much zinc now days. I alway used antifreeze as my coolant (extra rinse cycle )
It is a lot of work, so I sold it all and went to Reclaimed. I get it by the tons, sell most of it and allows me to shoot free. Not to mention pays for a lot around the house.
Lot of luck with your adventure.
 

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I've had both the Littleton and Stewart
Mr. Stewart will answer the phone personally and will help you ever step of the way. I ve literally made ton & tons of shot to use and to sell. One has to be very vigilant of its danger. One drop of water, in a bent lead pipe or sweat from your brow will explode your lead all over your ceiling. BE CAREFUL!
Lead from tire weights has to much zinc now days. I alway used antifreeze as my coolant (extra rinse cycle )
It is a lot of work, so I sold it all and went to Reclaimed. I get it by the tons, sell most of it and allows me to shoot free. Not to mention pays for a lot around the house.
Lot of luck with your adventure.
Do you redrop the reclaimed shot?
 

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We offer 1/2 credit for trade on good lead towards new magnum shot.

I realize that's not very helpful to a shooter in Ohio,.....

....but if you are ever in South East Iowa.....

Mike Johnson
McAlister Shot, 562-318-8096
 

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One of the top posters hit the nail on the head. If you don't have a source of free or darn near free lead it really does not make sense to get into it. With the initial start up cost and work involved you are better off buying large quantities of reclaim even with shipping costs. I bought the Stewart maker because I have plenty of sources of free or cheap lead of the right hardness. It does take time, effort, and no matter how clean you are it is a messy deal especially if you are smelting the lead down from wheel weights and other scrap. You do have to use the right mixture of lead to a degree but you don't need to be as on point as the cast bullet guys. Once I figured out the tricks behind the Stewart you can make a bunch of shot quickly. I also use detergent and I also use a concrete mixer to graphite and polish up the shot. Looks pretty nice and I break 'em just as good with my shot as I do factory.
 

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I also make my own shot, I have the Stewart unit but would not shy away from the Littleton. I too have a reasonable source of lead but like the previous poster said if you don't then it is not worth the investment and the work. You will have to build some of your own processing equipment even though it is not that hard it does take time and equipment. I am a tinkerer and enjoy working on things and figuring out how to do things. Shotmaking is hard for some folks and not so hard for others. You will not make perfectly round shot with these lower cost ($550 range) units but I do not think that the targets can tell it. I try to only use clip on wheel weights as they have about 2 -3% antimony in them so that makes about "Chilled" level of shot. For harder long range shot 24 - 27 yd. range I add 2% more antimony to the alloy and it shoots well at these ranges. I figure my "all in" costs for a 25 lb. bag of chilled shot to be about $12.50 and the harder shot to be about $18.50, but I don't count my time. I have about $1000.00 total in my equipment but I have made and shot enough shot to pay that off and now I load a box of 1145 fps, 1 1/8 oz. shot for about $2.75. I could save more with cheaper powder, wads, and primers but I like the WW209, RD powder, Blue Duster wads. Making your own shot is a rewarding adventure that is not for everyone.
 

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I've been making much of my shot for 4 yrs. now. Made my own shot maker but use bottle gas. Unless you are going to make a few thousand pounds the expense of a purchased shot maker is not worth it. Unless you make it a hoby and have fun doing it fine. But it's time consuming to learn the ins and outs. Bill
 

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I went with the James Stewart Black Max 220 volt. Had a tank welded and a pump to keep the tank overflowing. 7/16 hole in the bottom of the tank and shot goes into a drywall pan. Fills the pan in 10 min. Slide over and put in a empty pan. No muss no fuss. Clock on the wall on the 10 20 30 40 50 60. Making 9s is 34 pounds per hour. making a 7.5 is 80 pounds a hour. I use crop oil pure mineral oil. Pre heat the oil to 90 and it will top off at 120. I kick in the fan on a trance cooler. Splliter on the pump to recycle extra oil Keeping a nice over flow into the tray. down the yellow hose back into the wash tub. If you can drop it 1/4inch that's good but if you can get it as low as poss. I get the best shot when the oil is almost touching the ladle. With everything in a large wash tub holding 18 gall. Spillage is never a problem. I will run about 10 bags a day 250 pounds wash and dry then tummbel in a cement mixer with no paddles light graphite. There is a lot to it hardness tester a must. I like aprox 2 pound ingots wall mart muffin no stick pan. All the smelting is all part of it big turkey burner and a case iron pot that will hold 90 + pounds Flux with sawdust and final flux with wax. Regards Horton
 

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Started with Littleton...then on to Stewart..as said above..he will talk to you personally. If you decide to go ahead...go with Stewart. Three of us got together so we could swap around the shotmaker in between making the ingots. No problems and keeps the cost down. One has now quit shooting and we bought him out and with two its even easier. Good Luck.
 

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I just made my first shot using a Shotmaster Shotmaker made in New Zealand. They were available in the 80's-90's. It is a 2 dripper unit and you just plug it in and it regulates its own temperature. Just keep adding ww ingots. I use hot water in a dog food tin to catch the shot with the water level being 1/4" under the ramp. It is so easy. No cleaning up mess with the water either.
The shot is round but not perfect and has a small dimple on one end. It is good enough for me and I won't be changing the way I do it. It makes nice 7-8 shot.
 
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