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Discussion Starter #1
I want to find out who makes the best lead shotmaker. I have been looking at the Better Shotmaker (made by James Stewart) and the Littleton Shotmaker (made by Allen Burgess). I want to start making shot and a few frieds are going in on this project to save some money. We are looking for the best product on the market and I want inputs from people with both of these machines. Can you give me good inputs and ideas for this buy! We would also appreciate designs for coolant tanks.
Thanks
Gus
 

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Gus, they are pretty much the same IMO i have been using a Littelton for 15 years, I see no difference in either, i shoot with a guy who has the stewert .. our shot looks the same.. good luck!
 

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The James Stewart will out do the Littelton I have one of each, and I run them side by side. The James Stewart will make about 8 pounds of 9 shot more in a hour. My vote is the James Stewart all the way.
 

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The Better Shotmaker is the way to go. 220 volt and double dippers. Get nothing else. You will be glad to have that set up. That is what I'm going to get when I up grade from a Littleton.
 

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i have a single ladel stewart black max,set up with 7.5 drippers,and depending on my lead hardness,i can average 80-90 lbs /hr.as far as a coolant tank,i have a harbor freight parts washer set up with a tranny cooler sitting in ice, pumping my 12 gallons of dot 3 brake fluid(that i get for free)at a rate of 200 gph.i like to keep temp down. i like brake fluid because the shot cleans well after running with plain water.

have run over 5 ton in 4 1/2 yrs,only thing ive had to replace was the burner,not a big deal. considering the $750 i have invested in my complete set up has been paid for quite a few times with the shot ive sold,not to mention the 50K shells ive loaded for myself.

my set up is rather simple,you can see a few setups that shotmakers have made on this site that require a machine shop,and lots of$$$,but you can get by rather inexpensive to start.

as far as comparing the 2 units,i would rather have the 220 unit,the cast ladel holds heat better,and jims personal service cant be beat.mark jones
 

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Birdhunter, I have run Littleton's since 1987 and they have been good machines but I've done a lot of up grades to them.

With that being said, I would buy a Stewart if I was buying today. I don't think you'll like the 110 with the singles drippers. It is very slow and alway short on heat.

I've used about everything for coolant over the years and I have found that now Dot-3 brake fluid work best for me.

My biggest recommendation is have a very good supply of lead and plan on spending some time with it.

Good Luck,

Ajax
 

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Jim Stewarts unit hands down .... he is always there to answer any questions .... Shotmaking is not a turn the thing on and everything runs great .... there is a learning trial and error time .... I have found that Heat is the hardest to deal with .... Jim's unit is 220 volts .... the burner is limited to Watts because you can only get so much heat out of the burner based on the dia. .... I have talked to appl. parts places trying to find a burner that puts out more heat and there aren't any .... if you do not have a source of "good" lead don't start .... with the price of Lead it is very tough to find wheel weights .... and what you do find will have Zinc weights mixed in and it is a pain to sort .... you can't just run any Lead .... different things in the Lead will plug the dippers .... soft Lead will run but the Shot will run oversize .... I have been doing this for a while and it is a lot of work .... think about it before you even start and make the investment .... purchasing the Shotmaker is only the beginning .... you will need a method to make the Lead pucks .... stand to set it on .... tank .... coolant .... tumble in graphite .... way to sort the bad from the good .... I could go on and on .... but as stated if you do it buy from Jim he is a good guy ... hope this helps
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you everyone for your great coments and suggestions. I know this is a big investment that is why I have a few friends going in on this project. They are both engineers so they should be able to design a good cooling tank. We have a good source here in SLC for lead and we are doing this because we down't want to pay $42 for a 25lbs bag of shot. Where is the best place to buy graphite for shot. It looks like the better shotmaker is the better machine from majority of coments on this post. Does anyone have pictures of cooling tanks that they can send me for some ideas.
Thanks Again
Gus
 

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FYI: EPA is banning lead wheel weights so they may become difficult to obtain in short time. I did make shot but found myself limited on time and it was competitive in my area to obtain wheel weights. I sold my Stewart machine. I would suggest before the making investment be sure you have a good lead source and stock pile now. I am thankfull I bought a ton when it was $29 bag. Regards, Len
 

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Single #8 drippers on a 220 Stewart will get you about 60+ lbs per hour. I just timed it last weekend. With my 8.5 double drippers you will get 100 lbs per hr. This has been my experience. It is a system, and there are no blueprints to go from dirty lead to finished shot, as well as a learning curve. Check out u-tube, there are lot of videos showing various shotmaking systems.
 
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