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Making your own lead shot

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by michiganhunter, Sep 11, 2007.

  1. michiganhunter

    michiganhunter G&G Newbie

    Has anyone here tried to make there own lead shot? I have been trying and its way harder then it looks. I have so far gotten every shape but round! Anyone out there make there own shot? and maybe show me a picture or 2 of your setup?
    Right now mine is just a cast iron bowl with hole drilled in it then a plug put in the hole with a very small hole in it maybe .040. With a small steel ramp underneath it for the lead balls to roll on before they hit the coolant (antifreeze). Still experimenting though never know something might all the sudden work.

  2. rfc357

    rfc357 G&G Newbie

    Google "shot tower."
  3. michiganhunter

    michiganhunter G&G Newbie

    I don't have the room to build a shot tower, or a place that is 100 ft+ off the ground. Google the littleton shotmaker and you will see the kind of setup I am trying to make. Its a pretty sweet little machine just wish I could make somehting like it that would work.
  4. just_a_car

    just_a_car G&G Newbie

    The problem is, the lead needs enough time in the air to cool down to at least close to solid; thus the need for height.

    I think if you try to employ a ramp before it's fully cooled, it will just end up rolling out either oblong or cylindrical or, if it's not even close to solid, just a disk.

    I do want to disclaimer the above as my personal opinion from book-knowledge, as I've never reloaded or made my own cast bullets/shot. I have read up quite a bit on reloading, though. Just want to be clear that my thoughts on this aren't in any way an "expert opinion."
  5. Mooseman684

    Mooseman684 G&G Newbie

    The reason a shot tower is used is so the molten lead can form a round ball after dripping or being poured over screen...It takes a long fall for the drop to reform to a ball that is round, then it hits a cooling tank to chill it. Buying shot saves you time and money, and reduces health risks from lead vapors.
  6. toolman

    toolman Resident Sasquatch Forum Contributor

    Although I'm not a big shotgun guy and may not be the most qualified to answer this, Hevi-Shot is very irregular and usually shoots very well in most guns. Unless it's way over\under-sized, I'd try shooting it and see what results you get.
  7. michiganhunter

    michiganhunter G&G Newbie Make Your Own Lead Shot
    LittletonShotMaker | Products

    I've seen this machine in action on several videos which I can't find at the moment, will post them if I can find them. I don't understand the physics of it completely but apparently it actually works. Being a trap shooter I shoot 5000+ rounds per summer and with lead at amost $50 a bag thats quite the expense for all the reloading stuff as thats somewhere in the area of $700 just for ammo not including targets at $3 per 25. Then being a college student and already having no money makes it that much worse.
  8. Richard W Norma

    Richard W Norma G&G Newbie

    I have been using liquid laundry detergent as a coolant and having grate success. The one I use is the cheapest that can be found and it is from the dollar store Liquid Sun but any will do. I currently have a good supply of the old stuff that is not concentrated so it will be a few years before it will be necessary to do the experimentation to find out what amount of water will work in the concentrate. I have written a book All American Anti-disarmament Hand Book with a whole section on shot making with answers to problems and solutions. It would be most helpful if someone knew what the water mix to the new liquid laundry detergent was. This would save me from adding more bottles of detergent to my already full shelves. If anyone has the answer all that would be necessary was for me to duplicate the experiment and put it in the next addition of my book.
    Much thanks Richard W Norman

    FRED KOEGEL G&G Newbie

    Imake my own lead shot without a tower and without pouring any hot lead through a small opening.
    Hot lead turns into a round ball at 30 ft per second. That's why you need a hundred ft. Tower. It takes three seconds to form!

    I sold a booklet on how to make your own shot back in the 1980's
    when lead shot was about $30.00 for a twentyfive pound bag.

    Maybe it's time to publish it again?
  10. TGF

    TGF G&G Newbie

    The basic reason you can't drop it into pure water is because water is actually pretty hard as liquids go, it has a ridiculously high surface tension and will dent the soft shot. Many people will use anti-freeze, detergent, brake fluid basically a thinner of sorts with the water to make the lead stay round at a shorter drop.

    There is another brand of shotmaker that is supposedly better than the littleton but I don't know why it would be they look to be the same design.


    No clue as to why this would be better than littleton.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2009
  11. samuel

    samuel G&G Newbie

    I don't know where you get it but all of the shot used at shoots like the Grand American is harvested and you can buy it much cheaper than mfg,d shot.I bought lots of it years ago and still have some.(I think)I emagine you could contact NRA,ATA, or such and find it.Or maybe someone knows.It isn't good enough to compete but you can get a lot of practice,even with the tiney stones you find in it. ,,,sam.
  12. WLew

    WLew G&G Newbie

    Two guys I know have shotmakers and love em. They use wheelweights. Shot will only be round if dropped from either 1/4" or 99'. The shotmakers drop it 1/4".
  13. jimb2

    jimb2 G&G Enthusiast

    Ramp should be not more than 3/4 inch and the drop 1/4 inch or less. We use brake fluid for coolant, but this requires washing of the shot. We have produced in excess of 400 pounds of shot with "our" Littleton shotmaker. Works great as long as we do our job.
  14. p m fisher

    p m fisher G&G Newbie

    shot making is easy we built a machine that made perfect shot from dust to 1s and 2s, 3s were the best 9s for driven clays were out of this world the drop into water was 3/8 ins through candle grease
  15. res45

    res45 G&G Regular

  16. Link23

    Link23 G&G Newbie

    ive been trying to do this for such a long time, one thing i have tried is droping lead on a COLD greased piece of sheet metal and letting it roll to the sides doesnt make the best but works for me
  17. TGF

    TGF G&G Newbie

    I have heard several people say a 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water at 2ft is the perfect surface tension.
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