Best Ladle

  • Last Post 20 June 2017
David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 18 June 2017

I have been a diehard "bottom pour" caster for nearly 40 years, but now I want to buy a ladle to try it out with some nose pour molds. 

My question is: What is the best ladle to try, Lyman, Rowell, Lee or other (if Rowell, which one) ?

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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JeffinNZ posted this 18 June 2017

The Lee is a teaspoon not a ladle.  A lot of Lee products are awesome - it is not one of them.

I use a Lyman and like it but have read a lot of good things about the Rowell.  The design concept makes sense.

Cheers from New Zealand

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onondaga posted this 18 June 2017

The volume the ladle holds is the most important thing to me. I am comfortable with a small ladle for 1-2 cavity molds. The reason why is simple, the small ladle that holds twice as muck metal as you need is a good size that holds warmth well and provides enough metal for as large of a puddle on the cutter plate that I can balance.

3 - 6 cavity and my big 18 cavity "0" buckshot molds need a bigger ladle to be that kind of comfortable. I use a big soup ladle pouring ingots.

The Rowel ladles that spout the metal from the bottom and pour past the edge, called bottom pour ladles work very well keeping floating garbo out of your pour. If you need the volume in a size Rowel available,  they are great and available on Amazon:


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BigMan54 posted this 18 June 2017

I have an RCBS,  3 LYMAN, & 2 LEE ladles. I also have  big 1 pound & 4 pound ladles styled like the LEE that I use for pouring alloy into ingot molds from the big dutch oven I use for blending alloys. 

I use the LEE for ladle casting pure lead into 1&2 cavity RB molds. I don't bottom-pour pure lead because I just don't need enough Black Powder projectIles to set up a bottom pour for them. Plus it's just easier to ladle cast when using a big minie ball hollow-base mold.

I think the LYMAN is the BEST DESIGN for dipper casting single or double cavity molds. That said, my Dad used to cast bullets using a one pound ladle; pouring it into the trough on the huge H&G 8 & 10 cavity molds.   

I think the Rowell bottom-pour 1 pounder would be the way to go for 4cav+ big caliber molds, if they have troughs in their sprue plates. 

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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OU812 posted this 18 June 2017

I have two Lyman ladles. One has the spout hole drilled slightly larger for big 500 grain black powder bullets and the other is standard size spout hole for smaller bullets.

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Larry Gibson posted this 19 June 2017

Over many years I've used numerous styles of dippers; RCBS, Lyman, Rowell, Lee and others.  I bottom pour most all cast bullets under 300 gr and dipper pour those larger.   I prefer to use the Lyman dipper casting technique shown in many manuals which brings me pretty much back to Lyman's dippers.  I have two, one with the spout drilled out for larger bullets.



Concealment is not cover.........

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rmrix posted this 20 June 2017

About 20 years ago I would go to Az to shoot matches and Metal dealer Bill Ferguson would show up. Great guy. He since passed but the point was he sold the Rowell ladles. A bunch of us talked our self into thinking these would be better than the egg-Lyman dippers.  I bit and got a #1, one pounder, the smallest, for bullet casting, and a #5 (6lb) for cleaning/rendering and pouring ingots.

They do pour clean metal from the bottom. So does the Lyman, RCBS and Rapine egg type for that mater. The RCBS and Rapine are like the Lyman except for having a square back instead of a completely egg shape chamber. All pour clean metal from the bottom.

I learned how to use and pour good bullets with the #1 Rowell. It was slower going making bullets. The egg type has a cone shaped spout that mostly mates to the sprue plate of your mold and makes a seal. The Rowell does not.

I eventually stopped using the #1 Rowell for casting bullets.  I went back to the Lyman and Rapine dippers.


Unless you are pouring cannon balls, I don't see the advantage. 

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