Casters- Which Powder Coat?

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Nov 7, 2016
For you guys that cast your bullets do you prefer the time-tested method of lube with say a Lubricizer or do you powder coat.

Which powder coating product to you use, Hi-Tek?
I prefer lube. For me it's traditional. If I'm going old school and using cast bullets in 44 special, I like traditional methods.

If I was going 9mm bulk ammo, PC would fit nice there.

PC has some benefits, like if you have a gun that leads. And the bullets store well.

For me it has detractors. Time to do it. I can go over to the reloading room a few hours here and there, but rarely can devote half an afternoon at once. A place to do it, because of the smell. My wife doesn't notice a smell from my lubesizer. And I like to have a non electric way to do all my reloading activities. No way to powder coat without electricity that I've found.

PC adds to the nose of a bullet. For my 30-30, it's enough to jam into the rifling with nose riding bullets like the lee 309-150-F. So that's a consideration. Some folks will nose size... That adds more effort, time, money, just to avoid traditional lube.

I think there is room in the world for both grease lubed and PC.
I powder coat my cast 9mm pistol bullets. It really is quite easy to do.
I use the "airsoft bb shake and bake" method of applying the power to the bullets (google it for more info).
I have an old toaster oven I use in the garage to bake the coating on.

Here are some bullets coated with Eastwood Clear.

Coated and stood on end:

In the toaster oven:
I have Use wax lube, tumble lubes, powder coat and hi-tek, I currently only use hi-tek, it’s not powder coat though.

It is a 3 part liquid mix that I squirt on the bullets in a little pain bucket D shaped tumbler I made out of a gear motor and small pain bucket (I can just throw away the cheap liners vs have to clean up.

I left the old wax behind - no more of that.

For powder coating, I use just one powder coat product: Eastwood Ford Light Blue - applied with the shake and bake method. Used on my own cast projectiles including 38, 45, 30 carbine (with gas checks), 32 Win SPL (with gas checks) and 30-06 (with gas checks).


And a couple of recent sample targets using these powder coated cast projectiles


^^^^ Hi, jmorris:

I don't have a chrony to accurately determine the velocity. My guess would be they are in the 2400 FPS range or so. I'm pleased with the performance and the load.

Thanks -

I'd like to add one tip on the shake and bake powder coating methods that others may find helpful:

I find that the powder coating has a much better/uniform coating when the cast projectiles are warmed up before shaking. Not hot enough to cause the powder coating to start melting but pretty warm to the touch. This seems to cause the powder to attach better to the projectile.

I just get better coverage doing this!

I powder coat using an automotive chrome blackout powder, all black, used for wheel and other chrome coatings on cars. Use the shake and bake method of PC with plain base bullets, sized to grove diameter using case lube after baking. I use the bullets in my ARs without any issue. Oh, the 358 RCBS 200g do 2,600 fps at about .3 inches and no gas check. I use these bullets in the 357 Super Mag, 358 MGP, 35 Whelen, 350 RM. Cast several weights and in several calibers, I use the 230g in my 30 cal sub sonic guns with cans.
For me, six of one, half dozen of the other. I've been casting long enough so my cast bullets with my lube are accurate and do no lead the barrel(s). I have also PCed probably some of every bullet I cast (7 different hand gun calibers, four rifle calibers, and maybe 15 different bullets.). So depending how I feel, how easy to dig out equipment and PC or traditional lube, I have a 50/50 chance of PCing or lubing (haven't done any HI-Tek yet)...
HiTek is not a powder coat, it's a solvent-suspended thermal curing coating of unknown (to me) chemistry. It's pretty cool, but unforgiving of temperature or application variations. I prefer PC.

Powder coat is a fine powder of plastic that is stuck to the target object (shaken or sprayed), and melted into a uniform (more or less) coating. On a properly hard bullet, it gets you more than half way to a jacketed velocity envelope vs lubed. It's also quite forgiving, and you can buy all of supplies and equipment for less than a single lube/size die and top punch set.

I use Hazard Fraught Red, because it's cheap.
I avoided casting in the past because I had to buy an extra press that took up more room on my bench along with the time and mess with the lube. Discovering powder paint, I jumped right in. Additional benefits are a clean bore, not excessive smoke, and a soft jacket that encompasses the whole bullet.
I've had good luck with Eastwood powder coats. Ford Light blue works well as well as MG maroon. White, red, and yellow work but sometimes are a bit blotchy in appearance.

I shake the bullets and powder in one of the one pound powder bottles available from Eastwood then pour them out on a coarse screen to separate the powder from the bullets. I pick the bullets up between a finger and the thumb that have been coated with powder and set them on their base on a cookie sheet with a silicone sheet or coated aluminum foil. With the fingers coated with powder, the bullet can be rolled between the fingers to improve coverage of the light areas.

I have a dedicated toaster oven for baking the powder.

I then run them through a sizer die to get them a uniform diameter.

I only run moderate velocities with my cast bullets regardless if they are lubricated or powder coated.
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I powder coat handgun bullets via shake and bake. Rifle bullets I tend to just tumble lube and call it good. In a bolt action rifle as long as the bullets are sized appropriately I have no issues with leading at all. Accuracy falls off before I get leading. Of course these are gas checked designs.
I started with Lee Liquid Alox. That didn’t last long…. Moved to PC and had very good results right off the bat. It’s cheap to get started but takes a moderate amount of time. I added a lubesizer a few years back. It’s half the time of PC but the up front cost is higher.

I can shoot hundreds of rounds at the range with either of those options and not get any leading.
I powder coat my 9mm now but for 38 & 357 tumble lube them although when I need to cast more I’ll probably coat them too. I have a bunch already lubed and waiting so when they are gone so is the tumble lube.
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