Adventures In Powder Coating Part Iii
Part I dealt with initial trials with powder coating. In Part II, the method that worked best forME was determined. This will be anattempt to sum up and answer the remaining questions. Questions posed in the initial reportwere:
- Can cast bullets can be shot at jacketedvelocities in my rifles with powder coating, and, if so, what are the upperlimits, if any?
- What is the best method ?
- Can hunting accuracy can be obtained atvelocities of 2500 FPS or higher?
- Can match accuracy can be obtained at thosevelocities ?
- How do powder coated cast bullets behave uponimpact at these velocities?
Additional questions that arose were:
- Does alloy matter?
- Can powder coating take the place of a gascheck?
The purpose of this series was NOT to provide The Last Wordin powder coating, but simply to describe in some detail the steps a rankbeginner had taken to achieve passable results. I had no previous experience with powder coating. Some initial reading was done, but, beingimpatient and anxious to get my hands dirty, I jumped in with limited information, and made a lot of very valuablemistakes. Hopefully, those mistakes will aid others .
The most helpful advice came from a Fouling Shot article byRic Bowman. Paraphrasing, he said that,when loading powder coated bullets, forget everything you know about loading cast bullets. Thattidbit really kicked down the door. These things behave a LOT more like jacketed bullets than cast, but eventhat isnt totally true. They are a lawunto themselves.
Tried Powder Coating A Handful Of Boolits Today
I just tried the bowl , about 500 black Air Soft BB’s, a handful of Boolits, and a few tablespoons of red Powder Coat paint. The PC seemed to stick to the Boolits pretty well. I have very large tweezers that have several grooves cut across the end, which allowed PC to build up and protect the Boolits as I lifted them. I didn’t seem to lose too much paint when I grabbed them and moved them to the oven. I want to build something like I saw in another thread that uses pliers? with a thumbtack on each side to lift them with.Oh, 400 degrees for 40 minutes in my $10 Craigslist Wolfgang Puck convection oven. Here they are – not perfect, but not hard to do either.
Plata o plomo?
nothing wrong with them–shoot them and keep going
- Back in the woods a piece, just outside Auburn, AL.
That’s great coverage. PC is the way!
KE4GWE – – – – – – Colt 1860, it just feelsright.
ghh3rdThose look really nice. I am getting things ready to try my hand at PCing soon. How long did you shake them? What do the BB’s do? Did you have much PC left in the bowl?Thanks..
Plata o plomo?
How I Powder Coat My Bullets
Convection toaster oven for curing your bullets. ONLYNEVERPlastic container for tumbling bullets in.LOW HUMIDITYPowders I like to use.Eastwood powders I likeA few notes on cast bullet air cooled or quenched from the mold and how the curing process will anneal the cast lead bullets using an alloy that responds to water quenching or heat treating. Your results may vary depending on the original alloy used and the as cast BHN and at the time the bullets BHN is tested.Some good videos
mudman35963 / rickSuicide*Ridegrcsat
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What Are The Benefits Of Cast And Powder Coated Bullets
Here are just a few of the benefits of powder coating your bullets.
- Cast bullets provide better accuracy.
- Powder coated bullets offer a cleaner shot because they dont have lube, meaning there are no smoke clouds.
- Both the option of making or purchasing cast bullets is very cheap compared to other readily available bullets on the market.
- Powder coating bullets is a cheap process that only requires a few items and your time.
- There is a lot of room for customization when it comes to making your own bullets and powder coating them. You can create specific designs to help the bullets be more accurate and versatile. Beyond that, you can have some fun with the powder coating process and choose different colors for different shooting needs.
Lyman Products Gen 2 Digital Trigger Pull Gauge
Does Cast Bullet Hardness Change after Powder Coating?
The practice of powder coating ammunition is quickly gaining momentum among the cast bullet community, and its not hard to see why. Although tedious at times, powder coating bullets can reduce or even eliminate the need for conventional bullet lubes as well as further reduce barrel leading.
As most folks employ the shake and bake method, wherein powder coating is baked onto bullets via a toaster oven, Ive always assumed that the heat used in this process ends up annealing the bullets to some degree. Apparently Im also not the only person thinking this, as recently some of the internets more prominent powder coating proponents have begun water-quenching their bullets as soon as they leave the oven. Although Im sure that helps regain some of the lost hardness, I suspect theres still a net loss, as bullets exiting the oven are nowhere nearly as hot as those leaving the mould.
With that in mind I decided to conduct an experiment to determine whether or not powder coating actually changes the hardness of cast bullets, and if so, how much hardness can be regained by quenching them afterwards.
For this experiment, I used Lee Precisions Lead Hardness kit to test some .44 caliber bullets, all of which were cast on the same day, using the same equipment, and from the same wheel-weight alloy.
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Some Sort Of Tumbling Container
I use a couple of inexpensive snap-lid food storage containers, one for each color, but any suitable plastic container should work. You will put the cast bullets in this and add about a tablespoon of powdered paint. Of course, the amount of powder youâll actually use is dependent upon the number of bullets youâre coating. I find It doesnât take much paintâ¦a thin, even coat is best. I have good results when coating between 50-100 bullets, depending on bullet size. Donât try to do too many-a moderate number of bullets is best. As the old commercial said, a little dab âll do ya! Too much paint will put a thick coating on the bullet and could even push it past the given bullet diameter you are trying to obtain. If you are using a plastic tumbling container, the type that seems work best and creates the most static electricity has a recycle triangle on the bottom with the number five. Shake, rattle & roll the container in a circular motion for a minute or two to coat the bullets evenly. A few voids with silver showing through here and there wonât hurt anything.
What I Have Learned About Making Powder Coating Easier
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- Last Post 15 October 2016
The below is from an email I sent to a friend who suggested I post it here. Powder Coating is not for everyone. It’s not a purist bench rest, 2 inch hole at 500 yards kind of thing. It’s a use cheaper alloys and have prettier colors kind of thing. There is some talk of accuracy, and it is generally on par. Some guys get better, some a little worse. In some ways, I think the jury is still out, but if there was a horrible degradation it would have been called out.
What you are about to read is a combination of things I have picked up from other forums and then validated with my own experience.
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Best Ways To Powder Coat Bullets That Worh Your Time
Published: Sep 24, 2021 by Allison · This post may contain affiliate links · This blog generates income via ads
You can DIY anything these days, and the same can be said of powder coating and even making bullets. Cast bullets that you make can be more accurate and versatile, plus its just really cheap to do, which is a bonus.
If youre asking yourself, how do I powder coat bullets, or why? then get ready. Were going to break down the benefits of powder coating bullets as well as what you need and how to do it.
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Adventures In Powder Coating Part Ii
Part One dealt with powder coating cast bullets using the shake and bake method and employing a vibrating case cleaner for application of the powder. It worked, but it was time consuming and, perhaps overly complex. The next logical step was spraying the powder, more or less in the manner in which it was intended to be used.
As a reminder, some questions were posed prior to beginning these experiments. They were:
- Can cast bullets can be shot at jacketed velocities in my rifles with powder coating, and, if so, what are the upper limits, if any?
- What is the best method ?
- Can hunting accuracy can be obtained at velocities of 2500 FPS or higher?
- Can match accuracy can be obtained at those velocities ?
- How do powder coated cast bullets behave upon impact at these velocities?
The first and third questions were at least partially answered. Cast bullets can, indeed, be shot at full velocity, and there seems to be no upper barrier, at least within the pressure limits of the .308 Winchester or .30-06 Springfield. Hunting accuracy wasat least initiallyeasily obtained. . Questions two, four and five remained unanswered.
THE SPRAYER METHOD
Add paint, read the directions and youre ready to go. Also VERY important, is a respirator. There will be a lot of dust in the air. A fan to move the dust towards the garage door is also helpful. To be considered is hearing protection if your compressor is in the same room. Muffs were essential in my case.
Done With The Shake And Bake Method
I started doing the shake and bake back when we all started PC’ing our bullets 8 or so years ago but I moved 3 times since so I hadnt even cast in that long. Well now I am in Oregon and it sucks to do the S& B up here with all the humidity so I started looking for my Harbor Freight PC gun I purchased right before I started moving. I also remembered that Popper used a PC gun so I looked at the pics of his bullets from years ago and decided that YUP that is what I am going to now.So I read through threads that people drilled holes in sheet metal or wood and covered with the “NSF” so today I was bored and went to the dollar store and got some cheap cookie sheets. I went to Harbor Freight and got some Pop Rivets as well. I then laid out a grid pattern on the cookie sheet and used a screw and hammer to punch a divot into the sheet to drill I drilled out the holes in the pan as well as the primer pockets of some 9mm cases that were crappy ones that I never use.I then used the pop rivets to secure the 9mm cases to the panHere are the rivets I got from HFSo now I can powder coat my 35 Rem GC bullets without getting the GC coated as well.Im going to do the same thing to some 45acp cases to PC my 45-70 GC bulletsAnd some 40 S& W to do 45-70 PB bullets so that a part of the tip is not coatedKUDOS to Popper for making the best looking bullets I have seen and finally convincing me to go the HFPC method.
- out of here, wandering somewhere in the SW.
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Some Type Of Strainer Or Sieve To Dump The Bullets Into
so the loose or excess paint that falls from the bullets can land on a piece of cardboard to be reused. When finished with the process, empty the excess paint back into the tumbling container by simply folding the carboard lengthwise to make a funnel of sorts and channeling/tapping the paint into the container. As for the piece of cardboard, I use one side for red, the other for yellowâ¦that way, the colors are not mixed. I then use a brush to remove all the remaining âclingingâ paint from the cardboard into the container. I try to waste as little as possible.
The easy way to powder coat bullets:
First, start with non-lubed cast bulletsâ¦
Next, put the bullets into a tumbling container and shake until all are evenly coated, about a minuteâ¦
Pour bullets and paint into a strainer/sieve, then shake the excess paint onto the cardboardâ¦
Place bullets in tray, then into the ovenâ¦
âBakeâ for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. When timer goes off, pull tray out of oven. Obviously, itâs hot, so wear gloves!
After they cool, they are ready to load!
Thatâs it. Pretty simple. You will have to experiment to find the right shaker container, the amount of paint needed, etc. for your needs, but this is what works for me. Some guys will put small plastic Airsoft balls in the shaker container with the bullets to add to the static electricity, or even use some type of spray gun to spray the powder onto the bulletsâ¦Iâve never found these processes necessary.
What Is Powder Coating In General
Powder coating is the process of painting surfaces of materials like metals with powdered paint. The coating is applied, goes through a curing process that involves extreme heat. The powder coating provides a strong, durable, and uniform finish.
If youre still left a little unsure about the whole powder coating process, be sure to check out this video The Ultimate Beginners Guide to Powder Coating – How to Powder Coat at Eastwood which goes into excellent detail about the process from start to finish.
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Just How Hard Is Hard
The Brinell Number Hardness scale is a method of determining the hardness of metals. A BNH of around 11-15 is recommended for most cast bullets in the moderate velocity range. A 15 BNH hardness alloy for example would be 90% lead, 5% Tin, and 5% Antimony. Too hard is not good, eitherâ¦like Goldilocks, we want the middle choice, usually around 12 BNH.
For many reasons, cast bullets are viable in the hunting field, on the range and for self-defense. From mouse-to-moose loads, cast bullets have proved to be game-stoppers for many years. In the early 20th century, Elmer Keith and Phil Sharpe among others used hard-cast bullets in the development of the .357 and .44 magnum cartridges at velocities that were guaranteed to go almost end-for-end through a decent-sized deer. Elmer Keith blew up a few guns developing his heavy .44 Special loads which evolved into the .44 Magnum. But he proved, to choose one example of his experiments, the penetrating power of a good, hard-cast .44 Magnum semi-wadcutter by shooting into a water tank after a .30-06 rifle had been shot into it and the penetration distance markedâ¦his .44 went past the point of the .30-06 bullet and dented the far wall of the long chamber. The seminal semi-wadcutter bullet he developed, the Lyman 429421, is appropriately called the Keith bullet and is still extremely popular with reloaders and commercial bullet casters.
Some advantages of cast bullets:
Re: Powder Coating Cast Bullets
juststarting wrote:Morning allI have a question about powder coating … I think I got pan lubing under control , but now I am thinking I want to give powder coating a go. Especially with deep groove bullets designed for black powder amount of lube … Anyhow, I want to give powder coating a go. The process seems rudimentary, no issues there. However, I am a confused about materials used to powder coat bullets.What is it? Is it something designed for bullets or something more generic like, say, airbrushing? Where can I buy it? What can I use and what should I avoid using? Basically, I am really unclear on the actual material that is used to powder coat and everything about it . Any answers would be awesome. Cheers
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