My first try at powder coating cast boolits

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Palehorseman, Feb 7, 2014.

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  1. Swampman

    Swampman Old Fart

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    @ mugsie
    In my experience, GC rifle bullets fired without checks are not near as accurate as the same bullets with checks.

    It's difficult enough to get a perfect base on a long, skinny plain base bullet. When you add in the groove meant to take the check, it at least doubles the odds against a perfectly flat and concentric base.

    As the bullet exits the bore any imperfections will cause the bullet base to be pushed in directions other than straight forward by the high velocity gasses rushing past the bullet.

    I've had better luck with subs than I have with more powerful loads, but they're still not as accurate.

    If you want to move away from using gaschecks you might want to consider a plain base mold.

    I should say that I have no experience with these new high tech coatings. I'm speaking purely from my experience with traditionally lubed bullets. For all I know, the coating process may change ALL the old "rules".
     
  2. silicosys4

    silicosys4 Member

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    Has anyone tried remelting powder coated bullets? I just ordered some powder and am curious how coated bullets will remelt if I decided to repurpose the lead. I imagine reclaiming bullets from my bullet trap won't be an issue as they will smash up and any coating will either burn off or be skimmed, but I'm wondering if remelting a bunch of unused coated bullets would be a pita if they just stay a bunch of little plastic balls full of molten lead
     
  3. Rushthezeppelin

    Rushthezeppelin Member

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    Yup just toss em in the furnace next casting session and skim off the burnt lump of pc.
     
  4. kimbernut
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    kimbernut Member

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    PC

    Next purchase planned for Bayou Bullets. Reports I have heard have been excellent. If I like them I'll try my hand at buying some of their powder coat, however their price already coated is very reasonable.
     
  5. Schwing

    Schwing Member

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    I spent the last couple of weeks doing some testing and found a couple of really interesting results and have some of my own conclusions.

    First, I don't believe the PC gives you the ability to drive lead any harder as far as accuracy is concerned. I have yet to see ANY leading at all with any of my loads but it does not seem to increase accuracy either. Granted, I have only tested this in 9mm and .38. I had some 9mm and .38 bullets that were about 10 bhn. Both had nearly the same accuracy with the same loads with the 45/45/10 lube inching out the PC by such a small margin that you could argue it is subjective.

    With my cast lead, I have always noticed that most bullets seem to have a minimum charge at which they become accurate. Then as you go hotter on the powder, they become inaccurate until a certain point at which they become accurate again with a higher charge. Both PC and 45/45/10 started having accuracy issues at very nearly identical minimum and maximum charges.

    Second, I was really surprised that the type of powder coat, even the color, does change some variables slightly. I consistently saw 20-50 additional fps from Harbor Freight Yellow PC vs Harbor freight Matte black PC... go figure on that one. I also noticed a few flyers with the black that I did not have with the yellow. I am not the greatest shot but it was consistently happening enough only on the black that I shelved it and stuck to the yellow.

    Yesterday I loaded up some 240 grain 44's with 15.0 grains of blue dot. I have used this same load in the past with extremely good accuracy but with horrible leading in that last inch or so of my barrel since, with that charge, the 45/45/10 lube just doesn't seem to cut it. I am going to test these this afternoon and, if there is no leading, I think I will be removing a lot of lube from a lot of previously cast and lubed 44's and never looking back, at least in that caliber.
     
  6. flashhole

    flashhole Member

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    I want to see pictures of yellow bullets in loaded rounds. Nice report.
     
  7. floydster

    floydster Member

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    In my .44 Mag Super Blackhawk I am shooting Lee 240 gr. SWC pushed by either 6 grs. Red Dot or 20 Grs. 4227, these bullets are PC coated using PBTP powder.
    After 50 rounds the barrel is as clean as can be, nice and shiney, just run a patch thru with bore cleaner, patch comes out very clean unlike lubed cast bullets.
    I have the same results in my 38 Spl.and .357 Mags.
     
  8. Schwing

    Schwing Member

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    [​IMG]I just got back from the range. I fired several dozen PC 240 grain lee SWCs. These were loaded with 15 grains of blue dot. Average FPS was 1373. At the end of the session, my barrel looked like a mirror.

    I am 100% sold on powder coating my 44s. The picture here is of these 44s and some .38s. The 44s had previously been lubed with 45/45/10. I cleaned them with acetone for about 30 seconds. Even though the PC didn't adhere as well as it would have had they been fresh cast, they still came through with flying colors.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2014
  9. hartcreek

    hartcreek member

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    I reload for others including my nephew and getting bullets is a PITA. I have been digging through power coating threads online for the last month. I bought a new toaster oven today and just got done casting and sizing 300 Lee 105 grain 9mm.

    I called my nephew and sked if he could grab me a sample of the powder coat that they use at his job...he works for a company building windmachines so hopefully in a day or so I will have 300 powdercoated 9mm loaded up for a wedding present next month.

    My plan is to cast and powder coat .40 cal for him only as he had the only poly gonal rifled handgun in the family a HK but the present is for one of his friends that has a Walter.

    For the others that I load for I will be purchasing powdercoated from a guy here.

    The reality of shooting is one needd bullets when one needs bullets and waiting for Berrys or Raniers to come it at Cabellas just dont cut it.

    At this time I plan to stay with the liquid alllox for everything else.
     
  10. Schwing

    Schwing Member

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    I kept meaning to get back and post some pictures and additional info. I have spent the last couple of weeks tinkering with different application methods and determining what makes the most difference as far as accuracy goes. Over on castboolits, there are some great threads and some really pretty bullets. I have come to the conclusion that pretty does not have much to do with accuracy or leading prevention however so I think I have settled on my method which is just the "Shake and bake" method. There seems to be some big debates about accuracy with this method since it does leave random texture on the bullets but, I can't tell any difference. I am almost positive that these variations would cause problems for long distance shooters but, at least in handgun calibers, it doesn't seem to matter in any measurable amount.

    All of the loads I show below achieved around 1/2 to 1 inch groups at 15 yards from a rest with my GP100 for .38s and Ruger Super Blackhawk for .44s (this is the limit of my skill so...)

    My .38s below are 125 grain RN bullets. They are about 14BHN and are loaded with 4.9 grains of promo. The OAL is 1.530 and they are sized to .359. They chrono at about 1050FPS. I used Harbor Freight yellow powder coat (2 coats). I am posting this unedited. These are random bullets I grabbed out of my bin. As you can see, they are not 100% aesthetic. My point in showing this is that it makes absolutely no difference as far as accuracy and leading are concerned. I messed around with adding additional coats to make them pretty and found it was a waist of time.

    http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=197463&stc=1&d=1397867943

    Here are some .44s with the same coating. They are 240 SWCs that are about 20 BHN. They are loaded with 15 Grains of blue dot at 1.615 OAL and sized to .430. Once again, not pretty but zero leading and as accurate as the same load with 45/45/10. These chrono at about 1400FPS which made me even more impressed with the mirror in my barrel.

    http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=197462&stc=1&d=1397867943


    Here is the same load in black. I hear a lot of folks say that the harbor freight mat black doesn't work... To date, it works as well as anything else and looks the best I think. I think what throws most people is that the first coat looks like little speckles with poor coverage. They do require at least 2 coats. Here is what they look like with 3.

    http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=197465&stc=1&d=1397867970

    Here are some 9MMs I have yet to load up.

    http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=197464&stc=1&d=1397867970


    A couple of useful tips for the harbor freight powder coat: You really only have to bake them for 15-20 minutes to get good solid coating even though the instructions specify 30 minutes. I actually started only leaving my first coat in for 5 minutes (with preheated oven) and had great results.

    Don't try the method where you mix it with acetone or mineral spirits... it clumps making a sticky mess rendering any bullets currently in the mix useless.

    DON"T USE ANY OVEN YOU WILL COOK FOOD IN! This is another debate that I can safely argue is closed. The instructions on the product are very specific about this. It will leave toxins behind that are NOT removable.


    The white powder coat works functionally as well as yellow or black but it looks horrible. No number of coats made them look like anything other than stained bullets.



    AS ALWAYS, USE ONLY PUBLISHED LOAD DATA.
     

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  11. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    Kewl. I ordered the stuff because of you. Good to hear that they all work. Too bad they're still out of red and that white is ugly. Maybe I'll try mixing coats. White then black?

    I already have a massive nonfood toaster oven. I will be trying this for semi auto rifle bullets!
     
  12. Schwing

    Schwing Member

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    Red seems to be about as available as unique these days, I put 4 pounds on back order but, from what I have seen in other forums, it will probably be a long time before i see any. I hear that it seems to be a little more fluid when being baked and, therefore, offers better coverage... It looks pretty cool too.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2014
  13. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    That's a good comparison. I wouldn't be surprised if the nonavailability of red is for that very reason. What with the recent explosion of PC posts on the foums. Welcome the next hoardable reloading consumable?

    "I put four lbs on backorder" is the kinda talk that starts a panic. Lol.
     
  14. Hondo 60
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    Hondo 60 Member

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  15. waggie

    waggie Member

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    Please pardon my ignorance, but why would you want to powder coat bullets?
     
  16. flashhole

    flashhole Member

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    It's a lube substitute and it seems to be getting very good reviews.
     
  17. Schwing

    Schwing Member

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    I first started doing it for the novelty of having colored bullets. I soon found out that it didn't gum up my sizing dies, my seating dies or my ammo containers like lubed bullets tend to. I have also found it is almost impossible to get leading with a powder coated bullet.
     
  18. kimbernut
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    kimbernut Member

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    Why?

    Little to NO leading, much cleaner, and much less smoke than the wax lubes of other cast bullets. I haven't tried them yet but they are on my to do list. If they live up to the reports I've heard it will be a winner. Reports on Bayou Bullets have been very good and he sells his coating mix as well.
     
  19. bayjoe

    bayjoe Member

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    [/ATTACH]
    Here is a few of my projects. I think powder coated bullets are the cheapest way to go.
    I got tired of over paying for 30 caliber copper bullets, so I just make my own. Powder coated bullets do have limitations but for just practice and ALMOST copper bullet velocity they work.
     

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  20. Vodoun da Vinci

    Vodoun da Vinci Member

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    Super Thank You for the complete and thorough report. I don't cast but I'd like to try doing some powder coated as I love lead bullets but hate the smoke...I have been using plated and really like them.

    VooDoo
     
  21. ol' scratch

    ol' scratch Member

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    I just learned about this two hours ago and now I am trying to learn everything I can about it. I was going to get into casting, but now that I know I can run rifle rounds that are PC'ed, I really need to do this. I want to do .223 and .308. What kinds of velocities can you push a .223 bullet at? I want to use them in an AR and an SLR 106. The .308 bullets would be for the Garand and an FAL.

    More information please regarding rifle rounds, velocity and platforms. Thanks in advance. :D
     
  22. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    Anyone tried powder coating .300 BLK lead bullets for subsonic velocities?

    I am guessing it should work.
     
  23. Schwing

    Schwing Member

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    My Harbor Freight red PC finally showed up! I ended up with 4 lbs of it because I had it combined with some other stuff. I didn't realize that I had 2 in my cart already and I added 2 again before I placed the order... Normally I would have canceled it but I am starting to think that Harbor Freight PC is going to be the next powder shortage:uhoh:

    @bds. I don't even own a .300 BLK but, as I was reading up on powder coating over at the castboolits website, it came up a lot. There are several threads over there and many of those folks are doing it with some great results. I hate to tell you to look somewhere else but I think you will find enough info over there.
     
  24. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    ~2100 fps with gas checked hardcast bullets, +- 100 fps. That's pretty much the story for any caliber, not just 223. Beyond that you'll paint your flash hider silver. I don't know if powder coat will increase that ceiling, but I hope it will reduce or prevent fouling of the gas tube.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2014
  25. CraigC
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    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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    This is all mighty interesting! I just never would've expected it to stick that well but the posted results are very promising. Anybody recover one after it's been fired?
     
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