Author Topic: Powder Coated Cast Bullets  (Read 13001 times)

Offline res45

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Powder Coated Cast Bullets
« on: December 07, 2013, 05:02:18 PM »
Tried my hand at powder coating some TL bullets today after reading a few threads over at the Cast Boolits Forum, I got some powder from a friend that deals with a powder coating business just for asking.

I decided to go with heating the bullets to touch an tumbling them lightly fora few minutes in the powder before baking at 400 degrees for 20 min.  My first small test batch turned out nicely I think although it's still a work in progress. Bullets pictured were sized after they cooled down.

We smashed a couple standing up and lying on there side to see what the coating did and none came off even when the bullet was flattened to the thickness of a nickel after repeated pounding.


Offline bdhutier

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Re: Powder Coated Cast Bullets
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2013, 05:45:22 PM »
As a reloading rookie, why do this?

Offline NWPilgrim

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Re: Powder Coated Cast Bullets
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2013, 06:12:11 PM »
I just saw this at cast boolit forum as well.  there are a couple of reasons from what I understand:
* Replace lube to reduce or even eliminate leading
* Strengthens the surface of the bullet so to some degree it replaces the need for gas cheacks, maybe in the 1,200 - 2,400 fps range.
* Appears to reduce leading so much that these can be shot in Glocks same as plated bullets

The question I have for Res45 is which type of powder coat?  No spray gun, just tumle?  I understand there is epoxy, polymer and other types of PC.  What doid you use?

Offline res45

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Re: Powder Coated Cast Bullets
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2013, 07:38:44 PM »
The powder that was given to me was polymer based.  My casting and reloading buddy picked it up at the guys business that does all his powder coating,he has lots of leftover odds and ends of various colored powders for jobs so he gave us two lbs. of olive drab for free.

I use the method where the bullets around 25 are warmed to the touch on top of the toaster over but not to hot to hold,if there to hot the powder will clump up on the bullet. I then dump them in a tumble lube container along with about 1/4 teaspoon of powder and shake rattle and roll for around two minutes.

Remove the bullets from the the container using a pair or tweezers and stand upright on the baking pan which is covered with a sheet of non stick Aluminium foil and bake at 400 degrees for 20 min.  If you had the right amount of powder to bullet ratio there should be very little to no powder left in the container.  It a trial and error thing.

After the bullet cool you can size them to the dia. of your choice the coating will not or should not come off if done correctly.

Offline bdhutier

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Re: Powder Coated Cast Bullets
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2013, 09:36:20 PM »
Ah.... And so the polymer acts as a bullet lube, but is non-abrasive to the bore?  Cool idea!  You could get some bright green for your super-duper zombie rounds! 

Everyone knows neon green things kill zombies better & deader...  ;)

Offline res45

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Re: Powder Coated Cast Bullets
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2014, 10:39:01 PM »
Loaded up and shot my PC bullets pictured above today out of my Ruger BH and Taurus 357 revolvers. Was mainly just wanted to see how accurate they shot as well if there was any build up or leading  in the bore.

Happy to report that everything went as I had hoped,accuracy was as good or slightly better than the same bullet if it were tumble lube,  No fouling or leading of any kind in either pistol barrel and cleanup was basically to remove a little powder residue.

Offline NWPilgrim

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Re: Powder Coated Cast Bullets
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2014, 11:46:28 AM »
Loaded up and shot my PC bullets pictured above today out of my Ruger BH and Taurus 357 revolvers. Was mainly just wanted to see how accurate they shot as well if there was any build up or leading  in the bore.

Happy to report that everything went as I had hoped,accuracy was as good or slightly better than the same bullet if it were tumble lube,  No fouling or leading of any kind in either pistol barrel and cleanup was basically to remove a little powder residue.

Excellent!  Are these bullets you cast yourself?

I am not casting yet.  But I have thousands of hardcast bullets that are already sized and lubed (Missouri Bullets, Dardas, Penn, etc). I tried acetone and gasoline to remove the lube on a few but it does not completely remove it all.  Then I thought perhaps I should set up to cast and just melt them all down and cast new ones and powder coat instead of lubing. I am mainly interested in doing this for 9mm and .40 to eliminate any leading from Glock barrels.  I don't get any more leading in them than my revolvers but just for extra safety I would like to powder coat the lead bullets and shoot in my Glock barrel that i carry rather than a StormLake bbl that I do not carry.

Offline res45

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Re: Powder Coated Cast Bullets
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2014, 04:18:11 PM »
Yes I cast those myself the bullets pictured are the Lee 38 cal. 158 gr. RNFP tumble lube design sized to .359".  I cast about 14 different handgun and rifle bullets of various diameters and weights.

There are several ways to remove the wax lube for commercial cast bullets, you can place them in the oven on the lowest setting on a screen inside a pan and melt the lube off or you can boil them and the was lube will float to the top and be skimmed off after it cools.

If you want to just remelt them and recast them that's fine as well just do that outside as the wax lube will smoke really bad and eventually catch fire so don't stand to close if you do them all at once. 

Your other option is just to sell them and buy some commercial cast bullets that are already coated.

http://www.snscasting.com/40-s-w-10mm/

http://www.bayoubullets.net/40_10mm.html

http://www.precisionbullets.com/

Offline Jailer

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Re: Powder Coated Cast Bullets
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2014, 07:37:48 PM »
I've removed lube in the oven before using just paper towels underneath to soak up the melted lube.

Make sure if you do this method that you don't use anything that you will be cooking with.

Offline phils70

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Re: Powder Coated Cast Bullets
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2014, 04:31:27 PM »
Those look too pretty to shoot! Glad to hear about the favorable results on the test firing. Can't wait to try it.

On the 357 loads, were they velocities that you'd usually run a gas check on?

Offline res45

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Re: Powder Coated Cast Bullets
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2014, 08:13:15 PM »
Quote
On the 357 loads, were they velocities that you'd usually run a gas check on?

Not really,I only use gas checks on bullets I cast from softer alloy that I want to expand/deform that normally can't withstand the higher pressure loads. I usually shoot that same bullet with the same load  just using my regular tumble lube. 

Powder coating is just another option on the table that can be used to replace the regular tumble lube process and it is faster as far as getting bullets prepared for loading faster.  It is a bit more expensive though if you have to buy the powder but I got a couple lbs. for free and that will go a long ways a coat more bullets that I probably shoot in a years time.

I've fired many a full house cast 357 loads over the years using plain base non gas check bullets,you just have to use bullets that fit the cylinder throat properly a good lube and a higher BHN that can take the pressure.

I picked up a PC gun a couple weeks ago so I be doing some rifle bullets soon but weather will have to get better so I can get outside.  The gun will do a  better job coating the bullets and will be totally hands off as far as touching the bullet.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Powder Coated Cast Bullets
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2014, 10:18:53 PM »
Interesting idea.  I have the exact same Lee bullet mold.  The vast majority of my cast hand loads or low velocity .38spl plinkers, so I haven't dorked with gas checks or lube beyond the generic Allox tumble lube.

For the small amount of magnum rounds I load, I actually prefer a softer lead if possible. Reason being the lead is more easily able to expand and plug the throat and forcing cone fully.  If you have a rock hard alloy and the bullet isn't sized perfectly for your cylinder throats/cone/barrel (talking revolvers in particular), you can get more leading in your bore.

Offline res45

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Re: Powder Coated Cast Bullets
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2014, 06:48:48 AM »
Was a nice day yesterday so I got the PC gun out and set everything up and coated a few pistol and rifle bullet.  Below is the finished product ready to load,L to R Lee 30 cal. 150 and 170 gr. RNFP.Lee 160 gr. RN for the SKS and Mosin.  Lee 158 gr. SWC 38/357 and Lee 124 gr. TC for the 9mm.

Some of the gas check style bullets will be fired without gas check as well for several plinker applications.  I also plan to test some of the PC coated gas check bullets at much higher velocity which is closer to J bullet velocity as well.



Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Powder Coated Cast Bullets
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2014, 10:57:24 AM »
Was a nice day yesterday so I got the PC gun out and set everything up and coated a few pistol and rifle bullet.  Below is the finished product ready to load,L to R Lee 30 cal. 150 and 170 gr. RNFP.Lee 160 gr. RN for the SKS and Mosin.  Lee 158 gr. SWC 38/357 and Lee 124 gr. TC for the 9mm.

Some of the gas check style bullets will be fired without gas check as well for several plinker applications.  I also plan to test some of the PC coated gas check bullets at much higher velocity which is closer to J bullet velocity as well.



I think I have the same lee .358 TL mold.  That's my favorite for low velocity and accurate plinking.