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Ellis' Birdshot Making

Discussion in 'Reloading/Ammunition' started by SubGunFan, Jun 17, 2017.

  1. SubGunFan

    SubGunFan Distinguished Poster MSGO Supporter

    Today I received about 8.5# of Ellis' homemade birdshot.

    As From Ellis.jpg
    This is what the shot looked like. Not round, but a good size.

    After Tumble.jpg
    After 6 hours in the rotary tumbler. I was hoping for more roundness.

    After being hosed down with WD-40 and shaken on a towel. The first picture and this picture look almost the same, except for a slight color change.

    I think Ellis said this shot was dripped with a WW alloy. Maybe pure lead shot would round out better.....

    Although not as pretty as shot from the pros, this shot should do the job. I have a neighbor's cat I would like to "test" on.........

    Ellis, I think you are headed in the correct direction.

    CajunBP, HotRod61, Leadburner and 5 others like this.
  2. Ellis93

    Ellis93 Distinguished Poster MSGO Supporter

    Yes it's all wheel weights and no it's not perfect but it loads. I used some today on a dog messing with my It peppered him good too.

    I'm going to do some more figuring on this shot making. It's a very fickle thing to achieve a roundness in the shot much less a totally round bb. I'm hoping to get it down but at this point that is a round as I've seen come out of it.
    mascott, HotRod61, BasMstr and 2 others like this.

  3. Ellis93

    Ellis93 Distinguished Poster MSGO Supporter

    One thing I've read......arsenic is the key ingredient in making round shot. It increases the surface tension of the liquid ball of lead.....making it withstand the impact of itself against the coolant.
    Seeing as I've no way of knowing what I have in my lead,I've ignored this fact and concentrated on temp of melt,speed of drip,angle of ramp,type of coolant and gap between ramp and coolant. All of those have an effect on the balls form.

    If I could some way add arsenic to my lead (without killing myself) I'd play with that. I know of none.

    I have tried adding Linotype to the last batch but it did no better than the pics above. seems like a real waste as well.
    CajunBP, HotRod61, BasMstr and 2 others like this.
  4. SubGunFan

    SubGunFan Distinguished Poster MSGO Supporter

    Yes................. arsenic is BAD JUJU..... Stay away from that stuff.

    Ellis93, BasMstr and fordpkup like this.
  5. Ellis93

    Ellis93 Distinguished Poster MSGO Supporter

    I've thought about using reclaimed shot from rotometals to mix into my melt to raise the percentage if my new plan of attack doesn't work out for me.
    That also seems counterproductive.....melting make shot lol
  6. Southern Reloading

    Southern Reloading Distinguished Poster MSGO Supporter

    The guys who did the reclaim at Bluerock Gun club in Little Rock bagged and sold their shot. I bought 3 tons of it. And unless the bags had not been marked "reclaimed" you would not have know the difference. To round out the shot after it was cleaned, they put 1000 pounds at a time in a hopper much like an electric cememt mixer. This had a flame type heater that blew directly into the hopper. Propane. Said they heated it to 300 degrees while it was turning around. Shot looked like new. At the end of that process they threw a spoon of graphite in it and bagged it up.

    Also guys here who used to make shot used brake fluid for cooling. Don't remember why.
  7. HotRod61

    HotRod61 Distinguished Poster MSGO Supporter

    Yeah that ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    fordpkup likes this.
  8. Ellis93

    Ellis93 Distinguished Poster MSGO Supporter

    In my reading,it's supposed to be pretty good at having the viscosity to allow the drop to penetrate its surface without distortion......helping out forming the ball. Problem's brake fluid,expensive as hell by the time you buy enough. Also it would be out to catch fire......I set antifreeze on fire so I know how that stuff would be.

    Until I rig a flameless heat source I won't be trying it.

    I am also going to try hydraulic oil (elcheapo stuff) along with the brake fluid.
    fordpkup likes this.
  9. CajunBP

    CajunBP Distinguished Poster MSGO Supporter

    I don't know anything about loading shells or making shot, but I did see on a reloading forum where guys are using spent primers. I guess it would be hard on a barrel? Might make great snake shot...didn't mean to hijack the thread, I just thought it was resourceful.
    BasMstr, fordpkup and Ellis93 like this.
  10. Southern Reloading

    Southern Reloading Distinguished Poster MSGO Supporter

    Cajun that's what the trap shooters use. As primers and add a couple in the load to save on shot!! We may say they cheap!!!
    BasMstr, CajunBP and fordpkup like this.