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Bullet coating

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by jmorris, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. jmorris

    jmorris Well-Known Member

    I have been looking into setting up a bullet plating operation but ran across a thread on coating over at castboolits and thought I would give it a try as it is pretty simple and fast.

    My coating chamber was built by making a few cuts in a used beer box. HF powder coater and a bottle of powder was $64 and $20 for a toaster oven off of Craigslist.

    Put some 8-32 nuts on the pan kind of spread out and laid foil over them. This raises the base so it's not sitting in the liquid that forms from the powder.

    Heat the bullets so they are warm then connect the PC lead to the pan and spray the powder on.

    Heat at 400 for 15 min and open the door and let them cool slowly.

    Then load up and shoot. At least that's what I did this afternoon. They grew about .001" but I didn't waist any time resizing the one I shot to see how the coating held up, didn't want to be looking for a bullet at the bottom of my pool after dark.








    BBQJOE Well-Known Member

    Please excuse my ignorance. Why would one do this?
  3. jmorris

    jmorris Well-Known Member

    So you don't have to use wax or plating to prevent from leading the bore.
  4. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    Bayou Bullets been doing it for a while. They allow low/no smoke shooting compared to smokey loads from lubed lead bullets - http://www.bayoubullets.net/

  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    He wants Red powder coated bullets??

    Seriously, there is nothing to suggest powder coat paint would make a good, or even mediocre bullet lubricant.

    And there is nothing to suggest it wouldn't harm a barrel if you shot enough of them through a good barrel.

    So cool looking if you like red bullets.
    But no prize from me tonight for bullet lubricant.

    See, thats why they do it in the first place with bullet lube grease, or copper plating, or gliding metal jackets, or moly coating, or something besides baked on spray paint.

    They are not using Harbor Freight powder coat paint though I betcha!

  6. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    I shot various Moly coated bullets and found if/once the coating is cut through by the rifling, the exposed lead will cause leading in the barrel like a naked/unlubed bullet.

    Precision Bullets is another coated bullet with thicker/baked on coating (pictures shows thickness/integrity of coating even when lead core reached melting point) - http://www.precisionbullets.com/

  7. jmorris

    jmorris Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I have shot precision bullets for over a decade as well as many hundreds of thousands of plated bullets. Also have cast and traditional lubed with different recipes and tumble lubed. Barrel plating is the next step and already have most of that planned out, just came across this idea this morning and decided to give it a try. Don't have the MSDS for the material nor have I pressed one through a bore and measured how many ft/lb it takes but would bet a dollar its less than an FMJ.

    I am also all ears when it comes to different ways of having "no smoke" bullets that I can make at home.
  8. mdi

    mdi Well-Known Member

  9. jmorris

    jmorris Well-Known Member

    Correct, the color was what they had in stock but these were just a test to see if cast bullets would work without lube, plating, or jacketing and don't lead or smoke using this method.

    I have been looking for a simple solution to this problem since before my first post here in 2005. If it turns out to be this simple a few jigs would make it possible to do hundreds at a time. Also disregarding the rising costs we have seen over the years, of you cast your own.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013
  10. popper

    popper Well-Known Member

    PC works fine in my 30-30 and 40SW, many have used it for other cals and higher velocity. I figured the amortized cost over 5K CBs is ~ $0.004 each. Bayou method needs several coats baked, is like a 2 part epoxy, shelf time for the mixed coating is short. Appears to be more suited to large batches, but works fine. PC should work for smaller lots and indoor ranges.
  11. jmorris

    jmorris Well-Known Member

    Donnie sent me the instructions for the Bayou coating yesterday and the multiple coat/bake time didn't seem like an efficient method.

    I have a quart of product from http://www.sandstromproducts.com/ that I will try out once I finish my bullet holding fixture.
  12. jmorris

    jmorris Well-Known Member

    Gave plating a try a few minutes ago, sort of.

    Well trying to hurry a project during nap time was a bust today but here is what I know so far.

    The Zep root kill is copper sulfate and mix 1.5 cups of it with 1 gallon (-1.5 cups) of distilled water so it can dissolve while you are setting every thing up.

    Strip some romex and place one strip in the bottom of a pan. I used the already stripped ground wire to make a loop around the top of the tub. Hang your bullets and pour in the solution.

    Now the problem with rushing things. Check to make sure your container will hold water or you will plate the clean parts of your bench with copper.

    The positive voltage from the power supply needs to connect with the wire in the bottom of the tub. If you reverse the voltage the bullets try to disintegrate and foam like the photo. The tiny wires I used also sacrificed them selves and the bullets dropped.

    Connect some more wires and get head out of butt and connect voltage correctly and 10 min later you have a copper plated bullet that looks like it has been sand blasted, likely because of the etching that took place because of the initial reverse voltage.






    Bench top

  13. kingmt

    kingmt Well-Known Member

    Wonder what they would look like after you tumbled them? Not that they have to be shinny but I just wonder how they would clean up.
  14. Nick93

    Nick93 Well-Known Member

    I also searched a lot about copper plating lead, you need to clean you bullets REALLY well to get the copper with enough adhesion to stay hold after firing(to make this easier just simply cast them an plate them at that moment), you need to wash them in fluoboric acid and the copper plate them in a solution with copper sulfate and sulfuric acid ,I dont really remember the exact %...

    Keep in mind that common rifled barrels have a groove height of about 0.004"... it is really difficult to get a copper plating of that thickness without a cathalist that also acts as a hardener, anyway if you get a copper deposit of 0.0015" you shoud probably be fine and have the leading of a well made lube cast bullet

    The best way to get info about this is going to the library and read the ASM-Metals-surface engineering (nº5) and then Standard Guide for
    Preparation of Lead and Lead Alloys for Electroplating B 319 – 91 also from ASM

    Hope this helps!
    PD: if you can´t get to the library send me a PM ;)
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2013

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