SHOT. One of the secrets of the manufacture of shot and the part of the process requiring the most skill, is the mixing of the lead with a certain proportion of an alloy called "temper." The temper is melted with the lead and gives it a peculiar quality which causes it to drop from the sieve in globules. Without it, the metal would leave the sieve in strings or little "pencils," instead of the round form desired.
The melted lead is poured into a pan perforated with holes corresponding to the size of the shot to be made. This pan, or sieve, is located at the top of the shot tower and the little pellets come pouring down in a continuous shower, falling into a tank filled with water. In their descent the pellets become cold enough to solidify, and when they strike the water, it bubbles as if boiling furiously. The water tank is a necessity, for if the pellets should strike any solid substance they would be flat tened out of shape. An elevator with small buckets, perforated to allow the water to drain out, carries the shot up as fast as it reaches the bottom of the well and delivers it to cylindrical steam-heated "dryers."
After drying, the next step is the separation of the perfect from the imperfect shot. This is very important, as accurate shooting requires that the pellets be uniform in size and all of them perfectly round. In the more modern towers, the separation is accomplished by the use of inclined glass tables. At the lower end of •the tables, and extending entirely across them, are two iron gutters, one just beyond the other. The shot is spouted onto the tables at the upper end and the perfectly round pellets travel very rapidly down the incline, acquiring sufficient momentum to carry them over the first gutter into the second one. The imperfect pellets, not being perfectly round, travel more slowly and drop off into the first gutter. The device is most efficient, and it is very interesting to watch the little pellets chase one another down the incline.
After the imperfect pellets have been removed, the perfect shot is ready for polish ing, accomplished by revolving with a little plumbago. Nothing then remains but to pack in bags for shipment.