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Powder coated bullets??

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by rcmodel, Jan 31, 2016.

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  1. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I wonder if anyone has done any long term testing of the abrasion effects of powder coated bullets??

    We know from history that grease lubed lead bullets don't wear out barrels like jacketed bullets.

    (Because the friction is much less with the grease lubed bullets.)

    But what about the color pigments used in powder coating??

    Are Red bullets more, or less abrasive then Black or Green or Blue bullets??

    Or, is any color powder coated bullet more or less abrasive then a grease lubed lead bullet??

    I haven't bought into it yet just to cut down on smoke & gun cleaning!!

    Any testing done anywhere??

    Rc
     
  2. frogfurr

    frogfurr Member

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    Hi-Tek coating has been around twenty years. I haven't read of any barrels wearing out from it yet. I have shot about 8K of them through a 45acp and the barrel still shines like new.

    Smoke wasn't a concern when I went to coated as I shoot outdoors. I pay the extra for coated because I got tired of cleaning bullet lube out of my gun, dies, and mags.

    For me coated is no more or less accurate than plain lead.
     
  3. Duvel

    Duvel Member

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    Spent a good amount of time reading (castboolits) before setting myself up to coat (RAL), and found nothing that indicated excessive wear.

    I've shot thousands, but without a bore scope and the necessary equipment to measure, I can only comment that my barrel 'looks good'.

    Alox and wax lubed bullets were part of my reloading repertoire for a very short time, and I'm happy about that :)
     
  4. floydster

    floydster Member

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    Have been shooting PC bullets in my competition guns for the last two years, have not noticed any barrel wear in any gun.
    Sure is nice to get rid of the mess lubed bullets made in my guns and dies.
    Plus, I like the pretty colors:)
    Floydster: aka Smokeyloads
     
  5. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    Now Federal is producing powder coated bullets, too. They were pushing them pretty hard at the SHOT Show last week.

    As for me, I'm still casting and lubing, simply because I'm set up for it and it's what I'm used to.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  6. chris in va

    chris in va Member

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    I'm impressed RC, you're asking us a question.;)
     
  7. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    I can't speak for wear, but can testify to them being clean shooting. In the past year, I have put 3k MBC coated Zingers thru a 686 without cleaning it once. The barrel has zero leading.
     
  8. BigBore45

    BigBore45 Member

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    I have shot a few thousand through a 1911 without any noticed barrel wear. All mine have been red color. Also about 500 through a .308 W. Gas checked around 2200 fps. Did testing up too 2500 fps but lost accuracy around 2300-2400 fps. So far it seem fine, I use powder coat from harbor freight. Mostly red and white colors as that is the cheapest powder coat powder at the time I buy it. Also shot quite a few out of a Winchester 94 in 45 colt at around 1800-2000 fps. The 94 shoots those great, haven't noticed any loss in accuracy. My guess on the round count on the 94 would be 300ish, its not overly fun to shoot a 265 gr. Bullet that fast in a light gun.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2016
  9. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Time will tell, but it's going to take a lot of rounds, a whole lot. As with other bullets, I suspect the leade will suffer long before the lands and grooves do. So how many rounds will it take to wear barrel lands and grooves out? Dunno, but it is tens of thousands for jacketed, and a couple of life times for lead.
     
  10. dragon813gt

    dragon813gt Member

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    You meant they are producing them AGAIN. They produced Nyclad bullets a long time ago. They are simply bringing them back to market. It may be a different production process. But it's still a coated bullet.

    And to the OP, what abrasive properties are you talking about? I don't shoot PC bullets because conventional lube works fine for me. It also takes to long to PC them. But you hear over and over about the abrasive properties. What exactly makes PC abrasive?
     
  11. Conservidave

    Conservidave Member

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    If you are worried about metal oxides used in PC pigments try a clear PC coating. Not as purdy as a colored bullet but should perform just the same.
    For me personally i wouldnt be casting my own if not for powder coating, but i'm new school.....:scrutiny:
     
  12. oldpapps

    oldpapps Member

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    RC,
    I can't answer your questions but will say what I can.

    I've been doing the 'shake-n-bake' coating system for a little over 2 years. When I was researching before I started I remember reading where some guy was claiming that he had shot out barrel, the info was very limited and only broad statements.

    With the various pigments added into the mix to produce colors, one would think.... carbon black, silica, aluminum oxide... all know abrasives. But the pigment is encapsulated in polyester.

    I found that the black powder I bought just didn't play well, it always clumped. The neon yellow and pink ended up being splotchy. The harbor Freight Red went on thick. I just ordered clear powder. And I do get full coverage and some times will add just a little neon powder to the mix.

    The polyester coated bullets are very, very slick. I experimented with my little cut 130 grain 30 cal bullets, loading in '06 cases and fired in one of my Garands. The first shot would pull every bullet in the rest of the clip. Role crimp or not. Now with both a good role crimp and using a Lee FCD, they will hold.

    Next test. 44 Mag with 240 grain lead. 2400 powder needs a heavy bullet pull to develop it's energies and my normal crimp just didn't do it. With all else the same, my coated bullets would get 50 FPS less velocity. It was simple to bring the 50 FPS back and go to higher, but just the same, why use more powder.

    98% of my powder coating is for bullets to be used in my 300 Blackout. After over 250 various (264) test rounds, all powder coated, and not cleaning the weapon, the bore was as clean as if it should be. My present favored charge is 15.1 grains of 2400 under my 130 grain PCs and the 2400 doesn't leave those little ash balls. I couldn't take it any longer and cleaned the weapon. Normal grime on the bolt but the bore didn't have leading or copper fouling, just as clean before and after.

    Before I write a book, I will summarize.
    Properly coated bullets don't fowl the barrel and may actually clean it a little.
    Color is nice but clear does the desired job.
    I have fired my coated bullets to a clocked 2877 FPS with no problems (unable to recover any fired bullets).
    I'm sold on powder coating.

    Hope this was some help.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2016
  13. FMJBT

    FMJBT Member

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    If you're going to start powder coating, do yourself a favor and just skip the harbor freight stuff.

    Yes the red coats the best, but if you buy a better powder from the beginning, the results are night and day different. I bought my colors from thepowdercoatstore.com.

    One coat is all it takes, and it's miles ahead of the harbor fright stuff.

    Sorry if the pictures are large. Tapatalk does not let me resize them. 8ba51b6aa9dfed5a86ac17abb8c75397.jpg a6945ce38703557744538eb1b4e1437e.jpg
     
  14. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    I will disagree on the harbor freight powder. It works just as good as the Eastwood powder in both the harbor freight and Eastwood ESPC guns

    Shake n bake results differ in sure

    My take on the potential yet to be determined wear issue is this. Any gun you will likely shoot enough to find out will have A readily replaceable barrel anyway
     
  15. Reefinmike

    Reefinmike Member

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    RC- over 10,000 of them through one gun. no visible wear on that gun. I cant see powdercoated bullets being anywhere near as damaging to a barrel as thick copper or steel full metal jacket bullets. If my barrel wears out at 150,000 rounds with powder coat when plain lead would get me to 160,000 rounds, I wont shed a tear. she's lived a good long life and had super stylish pretty bullets flying down her.
     
  16. snuffy

    snuffy Member

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    NYclad. As in nylon clad. Not even close to the polymers used in true powder coating.

    I see Hytech coatings being lumped together with real powder coated boolits. It's not the same stuff. I never tried Hyteck, so I can't comment.

    Among true powder coat powders there's some differences as well.The harbor freight powders are powdered epoxy that melts to bond to the bare lead boolit. The others are various blends of powdered polymer paint. I used some HF at first, it works good in red, haven't tried the white or the flat black,(the flat black only works with the electrostatic gun). Since then I bought wet black, andHarley orange from powder-by-the-pound.

    I could see some shallow minded guys looking at the flat black saying "the way it looks it just HAS to be abrasive." Just like those of small mental capacity that say tumbler polish left inside brass cases can destroy the rifling. Egad, don't they know that abrasives come in different grades, (hardness). Hard enough to polish brass is NOT hard enough to cut steel. Using that reasoning, try to even polish brass with a powder coated boolit.
     
  17. snuffy

    snuffy Member

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    Oh, we were supposed to post pics!¿

    IMG_2059.jpg ?


    IMG_2061.jpg

    IMG_2063.jpg Those are Lee 124 nines, cast of pure lead, coated via tumbling with HF red. Too soft for the high pressure 9's they shot terrible, but did NOT lead.

    IMG_2056.jpg

    IMG_2069.jpg

    After a trip down the CZ-75-B, caught in my bullet tube test media. Notice the coating staying on the boolit, no leading.

    IMG_2072.jpg

    IMG_2070.jpg

    Two 45's the HP is a 200 MP mold, the other is a 230 TC Lee. No the coating does NOT prevent the HP from opening up!
     
  18. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Member

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    There was a thread here where someone quoted a bullet maker as saying his sizing dies wore out faster with powder coated. I can't find it anymore, could use some help there.

    Blue Bullets (proprietary polymer coating) claims 30K rounds though an XDM 9mm with no wear.
     
  19. shootniron

    shootniron Member

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    It is a non-issue...less abrasive than copper...and you can put a lot of copper through a barrel before seeing harmful effects.

    As others have said, if my barrels wear out...it will just be time to buy new barrels, cause I AIN'T going back.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2016
  20. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Being of small mind, let me throw this out there in response.

    The Red treated tumbler media is red because it is treated with Jewelers rouge. (Iron Oxide)

    This is a hard fine abrasive used to polish all metals, including hardened steel to a high shine.

    The green treated tumbler media is green because it is loaded with even finer Chromium Oxide.

    Also used to polish things like hardened Stainless steel knife blades to a mirror finish.

    Neither are 'soft' enough to polish brass and not polish steel just as well.

    BTW: I was never one to worry about tumbler dust left in cases wearing out barrels.
    But, it should make then shinier over time, because you are basically shooting very fine, very hard metal polish dust through them!!

    rc
     
  21. rsrocket1

    rsrocket1 Member

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    I've put over 20,000 rounds of Lee 401-175-TC PC'ed with Harbor Freight Red through my M&P 40 barrel and recently reslugged my bore. 0.401" throat and 0.400" on the grooves. No change from when I bought the gun. The barrel has close to 30,000 through it in total so I certainly got my $70 worth out of it if I had to replace it.

    I also use the gun to shoot 9mm but I've only put about 10k rounds through that barrel.

    ad880d26-c1f1-43a0-a7ab-9e8feb719e4e_zpszjq5tqdt.jpg
     
  22. TimSr

    TimSr Member

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    I was curious as to how much powder coat adds to the bullet diameter. Do you start with a normal size cast bullet, or do you start with like .001" smaller?
     
  23. floydster

    floydster Member

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    Powder coat will usually increase dia. by .002.
    I size my cast bullets to .002 over bore, powder coat and resize again using the same sizing die.
    Smokeyloads
     
  24. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I have shot coated bullets for more than a decade and have seen no evidence that they do any more harm to a barrel than a regular jacketed bullet.

    In any case there is no reason to try and convince yourself they are not doing harm if you don't mind the smoke and cleaning of a wax lubed bullet as they would just be more work for nothing gained by you.
     
  25. oldreloader

    oldreloader Member

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    Yep! That does not happen often!
     
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