What Melting Pot Should I Buy?

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John Alexander posted this 18 August 2019

The old Lee 20 pound has served me long and faithfully but the screws that hold the valve mechanism in alignment have gotten loose in their holes and the holes that they go through in the lever to open the valve is a bit oblong requiring maintenance and adjustments more often than I have patience for and I have decided to at least look at what is available.

I haven't cast with a dipper in thirty or forty years and don't intend to go back to one so would like something with a hole in the bottom.

I don't want to overlook Lee if they have made improvements since I bought mine twenty years ago but am ready for a change if that makes the most sense.

Any advice will be appreciated.

John

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RicinYakima posted this 18 August 2019

John, IMHO they are no better nor worse than they were 20 years ago. If you liked the old one, just buy a new one. Ric

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 18 August 2019

Buy the Lee 20 lb.. For the money you can't beat it. In my opinion, four Lee pots are better than one RCBS or Lyman.

At Midway it ships free.

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1262645810?pid=645810

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
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OU812 posted this 5 weeks ago

The RCBS is much easier to monitor temperature and temps stay VERY close to where you set them. Less temperature swing and no casting thermometer to dip in and out of pot is the biggest advantage. Pot is very nice, but more expensive as you know. And less of that annoying drip.

Maybe someone will give you one laughing

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gpidaho posted this 5 weeks ago

John:  I was lucky to have purchased a RCBS ProMelt just before they introduced the new models.  I own a Lee, a Lyman Mag 20 and now the ProMelt. They are all set up to use a PID that Pat the pigslayer built for me. I highly recommend the ProMelt, far and away my favorite of the three. If you can find someone in the large group of friends you have in the cast bullet world that will part with one of the older RCBS pots, they are worth the extra money. The flow rate is so much easier to control and mine doesn't drip. Gp

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BudHyett posted this 5 weeks ago

I like the RCBS Pro-Melt. Ed Doonan bought one of the first and I used it. My Uncle Laverne also bought one of the first and sold his SAECO. On their recommendation, I bought the RCBS and never looked at any other. All have given good service, the oldest surviving two earthquakes in Southern California where it fell from the bench to the floor. 

Due to fortuitous trading, I have three RCBS Pro-Melts. 

  • Linotype alloy (35 years old)
  • Schuetzen alloy (25 years old)
  • Pistol alloy (45 years old)  

I am currently negotiating with RCBS for the cost of a rebuild on the oldest.

Country boy from Illinois, living in the Magical Pacific Northwest

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Chickenthief posted this 4 weeks ago

I've had umpteen Lee drip-o-matics and after 25 years got a deal on an used RCBS Pro Melt.

Man oh man thats another and way finer beast :-)

I updated it with a PID and is as happy as a pig in mud every time i switch it on to cast some slugs.

 

The Lees are fine but the RCBS is really nice, way better in every aspect. SS pot and pin, need i say more?

Oh so much easier to clean and keep running, and here after just shy of a ton of lead through i have yet to catch a drip!

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BigMan54 posted this 4 weeks ago

I've had an RCBS Pro-Melt for 40+yrs, RCBS has rebuilt it twice. I wish I could find another.

I also have a Lyman Mag-20 too. Works just about as well.  Can't beat it's Mold Guide for Lyman 4cavity molds.

I have a Lee 10lb pot somewhere in my garage. A drip-O-matic. I bought it to cast pure lead round ball and Maxi's. Fought it hard to cast enough RB's and Maxi's to last the rest of my life.

I think if I had to buy another Pot, I'd go with the new china made RCBS. I think it gives better access and better light. Both very important to me. Fit it with N.O.E. mold guide.

 

 

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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shastaboat posted this 4 weeks ago

You could just tap it for a larger screw or order parts from LEE.

Because I said so!

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shastaboat posted this 4 weeks ago

I really like my Lyman 25# Digital I bought 3 years ago when my SAECO temporarily gave up the ghost.

Because I said so!

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Tom Acheson posted this 4 weeks ago

John,

I used a Lyman 20-pound bottom pour for maybe 30-years. Along the way I connverted it to ladle only and shortened the legs. 

In 2013 I bought a Magma Engineering 40-pound pot. That was made for ladle only use. So for a while I had two pots....one with alloy for my BPC rifle (the Magma) and one for other alloys. The Magma unit has worked great for me and I especially like the 40-pound capacity, which lets me have a uniform ally for those  400-grain .40-70 Sharps Straight bullets. Eventually the old Lyman died.

Right now if I had to buy another it would be another Magma. It does cost more than the pots many of us are familiar with but its worth the higher capacity.

Tom

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Ross Smith posted this 4 weeks ago

John: If you haven't bought a new bottom pour yet, I will sell or trade my sorta new Lyman. pm me if interested. I simply can't get as good a bullet as ladle pour. Comes with lead splatters.

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BigMan54 posted this 4 weeks ago

Even though I started my casting "life" with a dipper and a 1cav RB mold and then on to #358477 or #357446 2cav molds.  Cast that way until I was 12yrs old and got to use the Lyman or Saeco bottom pour pots. 

I really Hate dipper casting.

After I got out of the Service, I had to start my own reloading/casting set up. Got lots of Lyman stuff from a trip to their factory while I was on the east coast.

Went back to dipper casting from a cast iron pot on a Coleman stove until I could afford a Good Bottom pour pot.

Made real good bullets too. But I have never been able to dipper cast decent bullets from a 2+ cavity mold. Finally bought an RCBS Pot and never looked back. Dipper cast a bunch of Muzzle Loading projectiles from 1& 2cav molds. From that old cast iron pot. 

 

Get the RCBS "china" if you can't get an old Pro-Melt.   

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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John Alexander posted this 4 weeks ago

Has anybody, in addition to BigMan54 owned both the Lyman and RCBS pots.  He said that the Lyman "was almost as good."

 

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45 2.1 posted this 4 weeks ago

^^^^^ He is correct. I've tried both extensively. Neither IMO put enough flow out for molds above 30 caliber. I only bottom pour pot I consider worthy is the 40 LB. Magma they put on the Master Caster.

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BigMan54 posted this 4 weeks ago

Why I opened up the spouts on both. I like the longer legs on the RCBS, and I hafta turn the mold guide over to use larger mold blocks on the Lyman. 

That doesn't matter as much anymore,  since I don't empty one pot and move to the other.  Can't cast that much anymore. 

Besides Summer's finally here with a Vengeance, brought the Humidity with it. No casting for a month, 6 weeks. 

 

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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gpidaho posted this 4 weeks ago

I have no large complaints with the Lyman mag 20 bottom pour pot but I do like the RCBS ProMelt much better.  Gp

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M3 Mitch posted this 4 weeks ago

So the consensus seems to be if you can find a used Pro Melt, that's the best you can get, and if you can't, Lyman's Mag 20 is the best thing in current production? 

I have been thinking about a nicer bottom pour pot myself.  I will look at the Lyman at least. 

I don't want to "reward" RCBS for going to Chinese manufacture on their new model pot.  Although it may be an OK pot, it's not like making a copy of a Stradivarius. 

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M3 Mitch posted this 4 weeks ago

I have no large complaints with the Lyman mag 20 bottom pour pot but I do like the RCBS ProMelt much better.  Gp

 

Why do you like the Pro Melt better? 

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gpidaho posted this 3 weeks ago

M3 Mitch:  The ProMelt  has more clearance under the spout, it has a stainless steel pot and most importantly the flow rate is easier to control. Gp

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John Alexander posted this 3 weeks ago

Thanks to all who offered advice and comments. The consensus seems to be that the pro melt is best if you can find one.

As inanimate objects sometimes seem to do.  As soon as I started thinking about getting rid of the old Lee, it started working perfectly -- no drips or other torments.  That got me enough bullets for the nationals.  When I get back I need to get serious about a new pot. I suspect the Lee's good behavior  won't last forever.

Thanks again for taking the time to post.

John

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