Home Built Shot Maker

Home Built Shot Maker

This is a discussion on Home Built Shot Maker within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; The cost of bird shot is ridiculous right now so I wanted to have a go at making my own. The Littleton Shot Maker and ...

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Thread: Home Built Shot Maker

  1. #1
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    Home Built Shot Maker

    The cost of bird shot is ridiculous right now so I wanted to have a go at making my own.

    The Littleton Shot Maker and the Better Shot Maker are stupid expensive though both appear to be well made.

    After digging through my junk pile(garage) and visiting every second hand store and flea market in a 100 mile radius, I came up with this:



    The single aperture is way over sized but it was the best I could do without spending any dinero on this prototype. I'm actually into the entire set up for $5.00 right now and will have to spend another $20.00 or $30.00 on aluminum bolts, #73(.024") mills and suitable containers for the coolant basin. Then what ever the cost for the 2-3 gallons of liquid fabric softener(quenching coolant).

    As it sits in the pic it made a fairly consistent, though pop corned(due to quenching in water) shot about #4 in size. After I get five double aperture nozzles milled to .024" and the quench tank made up This should make close to 100lb/hour of #7-#7.5 shot from wheel weight or battery terminal alloy.

    Next project is a 5 gallon bucket modification to my industrial drain snake to tumble and graphite coat the shot.
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    VIP Member Array StormRhydr's Avatar
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    Man you aint kidding about the cost of lead shot. When I started reloading for shotshell decades ago, one could really save some significant money reloading. Now...shrug.

    I, too, have been laying lead in, and looking at making my own shot. Btw, locally, on craigslist, I often see ads for homemade shotmakers. They look pretty darn good to me, and compared to commercial ones are cheap. I think $75 or so.

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array dangerranger's Avatar
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    I like the idea. You can make anything if you just put your mind to it! One question tho, Why aluminum bolts? Why not more common brass or stainless?

    I remember someone else's shot maker being set to drop about 5 feet into water with a film of oil and graphite floating on top. the longer drop prevented the popcorn effect and the oil/graphite film coated the shot as it cooled.

    Once you get it set up I hope you will post up a video of it running. DR

  4. #4
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    I found aluminum cheaper than brass and it's easier to work with considering the less than stellar machine shop I have available(read drill press and Dremel). I tried to anneal a steel bolt but still burnt up a couple jobber bits milling it out. The aluminum cuts like butter and seems to be the material of choice for those making the shot drippers. I'll be under $30.00 for the dripper it's self and around $50 for the whole project unless I find some unforeseen expense.

    The prevailing wisdom, while untested by yours truly as of yet, is that a more viscous coolant and an extremely short drop is the best way to get good, round shot. Littleton's web site FAQs list a brand of diesel engine antifreeze that supposedly works perfectly right out of the bottle and some threads on cast boolits dot com praise liquid fabric softener. The alloy and temperature of the melt is, apparently the key.
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    VIP Member Array coffeecup's Avatar
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    Be advised ! Littleton will send you a set of bolts far cheaper/easier than you van make them. Their bolts are aluminum with a brass insert-or at least the used to be.
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    Last I checked, the Littleton drippers were $8.00 ea. + shipping.
    I'm paying $3.00 ea delivered + 5-10 minutes work and I will have made this puppy completely by my own hands, and that's worth something to me.

    Thanks for the info though. It's certainly not a bad option.

    For me, this about doing it myself on the cheap.

    I'm a strange bird. As long as I can't make it my self I have no problem buying expensive things, if I have the money. If there is any chance that I can produce the item personally for less cash than it can be purchased for, I'm making it. Regardless of the availability of funds.
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    VIP Member Array coffeecup's Avatar
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    Cool ! But, I don't see how anyone can make/sell those brass lined drippers for 3 bucks each. Hell, I wouldn't bother to drill those tiny holes for that kind of money !

  8. #8
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    I haven't seen any that are bass lined. Some are stainless steel. Mine will just be aluminum. The first one I made is not right, too small diameter screw and too large an orifice but it only took a couple minutes to make(once I went to aluminum).

    The bolts will arrive today and I got the #73 bits yesterday( I bought five just in case). I should be up and running by Monday.
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    I started on the dripper nozzles today. I got all five bored hollow fairly quickly and started drilling the orifices. I got two double drip nozzles completed and then broke all five of my #73 drills in quick order on the third.

    I'll set it up with the two nozzles(four drips) to verify everything is going to work before I buy more drills.
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    VIP Member Array coffeecup's Avatar
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    I think you will find that the all aluminum nozzles will not be acceptable. Aluminum will cool too quickly and stay stopped up a great deal of the time.

    Back in the days when I made shot I was amazed at how small the holes were in those Littleton nozzles making #71/2 shot---no larger than a pin *****. And the bolts had really large holes in them.

  11. #11
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    I ran about 5 lb. through the single nozzle I made up originally and it never clogged once the lead was up to temp. It's possible that the extremely small 7 1/2 (.024") nozzles will be more finicky but I'll find out for sure later today.
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  12. #12
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    I got everything set up and ran a couple pounds of shot through the new nozzles today. The ran just fine, no clogs but I have some things to tweak.

    The shot is not spherical. It's round but flat and dimpled. Not tear dropped or pop corned. I think my ramp angle is to flat and the ramp is too long. I also have to come up with a better drop bucket system, but I don't think that has anything to do with the shot shape.

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