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Hypo5.0
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Dispense vs ladle lead
Apr 20th, 2024 at 3:49pm
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Your thoughts on pouring direct from Lee style pot or dipping with ladle? Pro's / Con's ? I've been pouring direct from my Lee pot but noticed a post about favorite style ladle and thought I'd ask.
  
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silver
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Re: Dispense vs ladle lead
Reply #1 - Apr 20th, 2024 at 4:13pm
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I assume u mean bottom pour. If so problem with bottom pour 
Is , as the lead gets lower in pot the pressure in the mold drops
And weight of bull is going to get lighter. Ladle pouring keeps pressure the same throughout the casting session , as long as level of lead in ladle stays about the same from pour to pour.
  
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Re: Dispense vs ladle lead
Reply #2 - Apr 20th, 2024 at 7:05pm
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I'm a ladle man. I think that's both a pro and a con. Grin
  

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Re: Dispense vs ladle lead
Reply #3 - Apr 20th, 2024 at 7:43pm
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I tried ladle casting years ago, couldn’t keep the lead out of my shoes. Ledball
  
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Hypo5.0
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Re: Dispense vs ladle lead
Reply #4 - Apr 20th, 2024 at 8:14pm
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yes- bottom pour Lee pot. I keep the level pretty close and let molten lead get back up to temp after adding before resuming, just curious about pot-ladle-mold temps cooling down ? Probably over thinking it but looking for opinions.
  
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frnkeore
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Re: Dispense vs ladle lead
Reply #5 - Apr 21st, 2024 at 2:16am
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I've always been a bottom pour guy but, I did make a pretty good test, 2 years in a row, at the Spokane matches. 100 shot matches of both bottom pour and ladle one year a 50 of each another year. There was very little difference but, the bottom pour had a edge, in my case.

The thing I like about bottom pour, is that there are no rounded edges, especially on the base. I also found that I always had the best results with the sprew plate a little loose, holding it directly against the spout.
  

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Re: Dispense vs ladle lead
Reply #6 - Apr 21st, 2024 at 9:33am
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If you’re pouring bullets 250 grain or lighter so long as you can keep the temperature even as you empty the bottom pour it works fine. 
When you get to making match grade bullet 400 grains andd heavier ladle will result in much more uniform bullets
  
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Re: Dispense vs ladle lead
Reply #7 - Apr 21st, 2024 at 10:53am
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Adding a PID temp. controller and switching to ladle pour narrowed the weight spread in my bullets considerably. (4-5 gr. spread down to +- 1 grain). Can't say for sure which one affected it more but I "feel" it was the ladle pouring. (325 gr. .376 bullet)
  
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marlinguy
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Re: Dispense vs ladle lead
Reply #8 - Apr 21st, 2024 at 11:34am
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I've used a bottom pour 20 lb. Lee for decades, and had very little deviation in weighed bullets. I do have a PID controller, and stop every so often to sort bullets and sprues and add lead to keep my pot above half full all the time. 
Since I weigh all my bullets used in shooting long range that are heavier, if there was a problem any out of tolerance go back in the pot. And bottom pour is so much handier.
  

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bpjack
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Re: Dispense vs ladle lead
Reply #9 - Apr 21st, 2024 at 1:30pm
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Ladle dipper here and a dipper banger.  I drive a Ford!

Jack
  

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Re: Dispense vs ladle lead
Reply #10 - Apr 21st, 2024 at 1:53pm
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My bullets are cast from a bottom pour ladle.
  

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4570mike
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Re: Dispense vs ladle lead
Reply #11 - Apr 21st, 2024 at 3:58pm
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For several years now I have been using the Lyman bottom pour that will hold 25 lbs.
It has a very good temp controller.  I have found the most consistent slugs are obtained when the pot is only half or less full.   
The lead flow into the mold can get exciting when the pot is full; too much velocity Tongue
All my castings are weighed.  The first several always seem to be on the light side likely due to the mold not being hot enough and a bad fill.  Afterwards, very few if any are discarded due to inconsistent weight.
I hear some have difficulties casting 400 gr+ with a bottom pour, but that has not been my experience.

  
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Re: Dispense vs ladle lead
Reply #12 - Apr 22nd, 2024 at 9:44am
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I follow a couple protocols with bottom pouring and my results are very satisfactorily consistent:

1. Uniform temperature. 
2. Uniform level in pot. I make up my alloys in fairly big batches in advance and add ingots to the pot to keep it well over half full. When the level goes below that and I've run out of ingots I segregate those bullets from the rest of the prison population and reckon on getting more than a few culls weight-wise. Speed of operation outweighs the higher reject rate - the culls go back into the pot the next time anyway.
3. I too like a relatively loose sprue plate (and am re-thinking sprue plates in general due to a recent article in the Journal).
4. I hold the mold tight to the spout before starting the flow and keep it there for a one-two count then drop the mold away without stopping the flow until a large puddle piles up. Admittedly a bit tricky with multi-cavity molds, but practice makes perfect.
5. Cadence is critical, and not uniform with me depending on alloy, temp, cavity size, mold block material and physical size, etc. Since I employ a wide variety of all of the above and I'm kinda forgetful, more often than not I have to re-invent the wheel in that regard as I switch around. But, the bit about holding of the mold against the spout for a one-two count is the key to success universally with all my molds.

Using a 20+ pound furnace versus a 10 pound capacity furnace is a big help too in my experience. I had issues with my 20# RCBS and had fallen back on my tried-and-true ancient 10# Lyman and bullet consistency slipped a bit. Rejuvenated the RCBS and all is right with the world again. (Note: build up of "schmeck" in the nozzle effects flow rate/consistency and is a bugger to keep clean but a bigger bugger to clean out if ignored - a lesson I learned the hard way. That alone may represent the biggest gremlin in the process.)

I can't imagine going back to ladle pouring even though it was my SOP for decades.
  
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Re: Dispense vs ladle lead
Reply #13 - Apr 24th, 2024 at 1:58pm
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At this point, most of my experience is with large 45cal bullets, and I noticed a huge reduction in weight variance when I switched from an RCBS bottom pour to a lee pot with a ladle. That may be because I essentially stir the pot each time I ladle, or the ladle puts the same amount of head pressure on the mould each time.

When I move away from 530gr bullets, that may change though
  
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Re: Dispense vs ladle lead
Reply #14 - Apr 24th, 2024 at 4:57pm
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My experience is both become almost an art form, the secret is how you use the pot. The rhythm of casting is very important for even bullet weight. The bottom pour pot uses a steady stream just beyond dribbling. The ladle is filled with a three second count carefully lifting the ladle  to assure an uniform sprue covering.   

The common attribute is uniform pot temperature using a PID controller. I am now using three pots, two for ladle and one bottom pour. The bottom-pour pot contains semi-hard alloy for pistol bullets and the ladle pots contain hard alloy for gas check bullets (CBA competition) and 20:1 alloy for Schuetzen.
  

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