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Tool for separating bird shot sizes?


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I bought some old Lawrence Brand chilled shot in what I thought was all #6 shot. When we met, the bags were old and torn and there was a mixture of #6 & #7 shot in the bucket holding the shot bags. Not wanting to sit for hours, separating the #6 from the #7 size shot, does anyone know of a screen separator available on the market? If so, who might carry such an item for sale. I'm looking for something inexpensive, or suggestions on how such a device could be made inexpensively. I'm in the Murfreesboro area, and any direction/help would be appreciated. I can envision even a crack in two boards wide enough for the #7 shot to fall through, but not the #6 shot.

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Make what you need, 2 rods, wooden dowels, put them on an angle, held close, touching at the top, and spread apart at the lower end. Roll the shot down the rods, as the opening gets bigger the smaller shot will drop first.

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Load it all together. How much difference would it make? Sounds like picking fly chit out of pepper to me.

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Thanks for all of the comments. Has anyone loaded mixed squirrel shot and bird shot before and patterned to load? If so, what was the effect of mixing the shot sizes if any? I know there are reclaimed/repurposed shot sold. How do they separate the different sizes, or do they just sell them mixed?

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6 hours ago, RED333 said:

Make what you need, 2 rods, wooden dowels, put them on an angle, held close, touching at the top, and spread apart at the lower end. Roll the shot down the rods, as the opening gets bigger the smaller shot will drop first.

Red333, thank you for your suggestion and I can see the logic behind it. What I'm dealing with, apparently was 2 bags of Lawrence Brand chilled shot, that sat so long the bags rotted to the extent that when attempting to lift the 25 pounds, each bag tore and ripped at the point where they were grabbed. Fortunately, for the bag of #6 shot, this is almost 2/3rds of the way to the top.  The #7 shot bag ruptured about half way down. I'm not sure if the bags were full, but they were sitting in a plastic bucket, so they spilled out together.  Looks like there may be 7 or 8 pounds of mixed shot to separate. I was hoping that there was some screen of a size that would let the #7 shot fall through and hold the #6 shot. If there's only .001 of an inch difference in size, the screen openings would have to be pretty precise. 

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8 hours ago, Sidewinder said:

Looks like there may be 7 or 8 pounds of mixed shot to separate.

WOW that is gona take some time with rods.

10 hours ago, gregintenn said:

Load it all together. How much difference would it make? Sounds like picking fly chit out of pepper to me.

I am leaning to this.

Do some home work and pick up some of these, and a thread from trapshooters

https://www.trapshooters.com/threads/shot-size-separater.116589/

https://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-FISHER-SCIENTIFIC-CO-US-STANDARD-SIEVE-SERIES-NO-30-/254157761020?var=0&mkevt=1&mkcid=1&mkrid=711-53200-19255-0&campid=5338590836&toolid=10044&customid=168a318177c21f408a8951e8c3276624

 

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6 hours ago, RED333 said:

Thanks, sounds like these guys are separating a lot of shot on a continous basis.  Hopefully, these are the only ones I'll have to separate. I did enjoy reading the posts and the sieve pics. I can see where these sieves would pay for themselves if a person had hundreds of pounds of reclaimed shot.

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18 hours ago, Garufa said:

This sounds like a really good way to drive one’s self insane.  😀

Yep! You are probably right. It may not make that much difference in the pattern if they are mixed. I was just hoping that someone had used a simple/inexpensive device, like a flower sifter or the like, and had found that it worked.

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22 hours ago, xsubsailor said:

That's going to be a tough one. #7 shot is  .10" and #6 is  .11"  icon-confused.gif

I have been on various shotgun web sites and some of the people are reclaiming hundreds of pounds of reclaimed shot...presumably shot at a skeet range. I only have a few pounds and was hoping for a simple and inexpensive way of separating them. I may wind up just loading them mixed, as the rabbits or birds may not know the difference!

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17 hours ago, gregintenn said:

Load it all together. How much difference would it make? Sounds like picking fly chit out of pepper to me.

Greg, you're probably right. It may not make any difference in the way the load patterns. I was planning on loading the #6 for squirrels, as they have tough skin and need the higher pellet energy. I may just load it mixed and use the shells for the bunnies.

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, peejman said:

If the above is true, get a few #37 or #38 drill bits and make yourself a sieve. 

I thought about that, and wasn't sure if it was worth it, for a small amount of shot separation. I have researched some of the other shotgun sites for reloaders that may have already solved the problem. Most of them were separating larger quantities of shot. I may try taking an awl or ice pick and punching some holes in some hard cardboard.

Edited by Sidewinder
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I've loaded reclaimed lead and this is kind of the norm.  The biggest thing I look for in reclaimed/ repurposed lead is really irregular lead clumps, it happens.  #6 and #7 are so close in size I wold dump in the hopper and go with it.  Not sure what bushing you are using or shot weight you're trying to achieve but just for confidence booster to see how  consistent the shot weights are I would throw 10 or so charges and weigh each to see if they are real close to 1 oz. or 1 1/8 oz. or whatever shot charge you are loading for.

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Like suggested, just load it as is, sell it to someone cheap to reclaim a bit of cash, or melt it to ingots. Any of those is less insanity inducing than seperating it. 

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27 minutes ago, MacGyver said:

Bunnies and squirrels won’t be able to tell the difference. 

Give em some of each just to make sure they get the right one.

Seriously, shotgunning isn’t the precision sport that is benchrest rifle. .01” difference in diameter really isn’t much.

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  • 1 month later...

Look at archeological supplies. They have dirt sifters for every size imaginable. No doubt you could make one work. It’ll take 30 seconds once u get the mesh size you need. 

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On 4/4/2021 at 2:05 PM, Sidewinder said:

I was just hoping that someone had used a simple/inexpensive device

I have a pair of tweezers I will donate to the cause. Cause I would like to pull up a chair and watch you for about an hour, then leave you to the rest!! LOL

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