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Powder coating quick and easy #11306180 07/13/16
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Yondering Offline OP
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Since we've had some discussion of powder coated bullets lately, I thought I'd share this. I posted my process a few years ago, but don't remember the name of the thread. Anyway, I cast and coated a bunch of bullets this weekend, and figured I'd take some more pics.

These are 9mm 105gr hollow point bullets from a Lee mold I modified. I shoot them at 1450 fps from my Glocks, so the coating has to be pretty tough. That doesn't mean it has to take a long time to apply though. The pics below illustrate less than 1 minute of effort on my part (other than taking the pics) for coating, and another 5-8 minutes for separating and sizing about 200 to 250 bullets.

A quick note about powder BTW - not all powders are equal, in fact, none of them are equal, in my experience. Each one behaves slightly differently, even just different colors of the same brand/lineup. The powder below is RAL 6018 Yellow Green from Powder Buy The Pound

About this much powder for one coat; this is roughly 200-250 bullets. Use a plastic recyclable yogurt or sour cream tub.
[Linked Image]


About what it should look like dumped on the bullets. If you get the quantity right, the bullets will be coated like below, with little or no extra powder left in the tub.
[Linked Image]


15-20 seconds of shaking by hand, hard. I do mean shake it hard; build up some static in there by swirling the bullets around, and get that powder floating around in the air. If you're holding the tub in one hand, you aren't shaking hard enough.
[Linked Image]


Dump them out on a tray, doesn't matter if they touch each other. I use a metal screen in the tray to avoid flat spots.
[Linked Image]


20 minutes bake time in the toaster oven at 400* F (temp varies for different powders). You MUST use a thermometer to verify oven temp. Do this in the garage, not the kitchen.
[Linked Image]


Separated, ready to size (use a push-through Lee sizer die). Notice the thin or bare spots, and marks from the screen and touching other bullets - those don't matter. These bullets pictured are every bit as accurate as any jacketed bullet in my Glocks, and will chew out the X ring at 10 yards.
[Linked Image]

Hope that helps!


Last edited by Yondering; 07/13/16.
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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #11306210 07/13/16
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Thanks for the speed tutorial, I'll have to try it with my next batch.


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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #11309973 07/15/16
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Thanks for the information. I have a few questions: If I remember right you were doing a second coat, have you gotten away from that? If applying a gascheck, you do so before powder coating right? Are there any powders you've found which work well for high velocity (2400-2500) rifle loads? Thanks.

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #11309997 07/15/16
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Yeah, I was doing a second coat for everything, but have gone away from that for most pistol bullets. The stuff shown above gets loaded with just one coat.

Depends on the powder though, I use a different color for subsonics that pretty much requires two coats, as the first coat is pretty spotty. I'll probably switch to something else when I use up that batch of powder.

The green powder above is what I use for my rifle loads. I use it for 30 and 35 cal rifles, up to about 3000 fps. (Might work faster, I just don't have any cast bullet/cartridge combinations to do it right now.) I usually apply two coats for rifle bullets, just for a little thicker/tougher coating.

I apply gas checks after coating. That saves a step, I'm not handling bullets before coating, and I only have to size them once. (I do size all of my rifle bullets for accuracy.)


Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #11310052 07/15/16
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That's very encouraging! I'm going to get a mold and try making some high and low velocity loads for my 9.3x62. Thanks yondering.

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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #11310311 07/15/16
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Glad to help. That 9.3 will do really well with powder coated cast; a lot like my Whelen.

One final thought on the rifle bullets - I cast everything from ww alloy, and water quench for the rifle bullets. You don't strictly have to use quenched/hardened bullets, but accuracy is much better in my experience, and terminal performance is still good with flat nose bullets. This is for full power loads of course, at roughly the same velocity as the same weight jacketed bullets.

If you quench, do it after powder coating, when they are hot right out of the oven. If you water drop out of the mold, they'll get annealed in the oven again so it's not effective. When quenching after powder coating, pour water on the bullets, instead of pouring the bullets in water. The coating is damaged easily until it cools off, and will leave bare spots on the bullets.

Last edited by Yondering; 07/15/16.
Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #11310352 07/15/16
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You just saved me alot of frustration. I'm gonna get the 280gr NOE mold with the pins to try different nose types. I'll have to experiment to see how expansion is with the wheelweights.

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #11310489 07/15/16
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Sounds like a good way to go.

At rifle velocity, you'll get plenty of expansion with a flat nose, don't need a hollow point.

Once you get below about 1500-1600 fps you'll need some sort of hollow point for expansion, and if the cavity is wide enough it can work down to 600-700 fps. With wheelweights, a cone shaped hollow point cavity performs better than a cup shaped cavity, unless you're looking for fragmentation.

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #11312079 07/16/16
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Hey Yondering,

You mentioned, "20 minutes bake time in the toaster oven at 400* F (temp varies for different powders). Is there a guide or quick reference guide for temps per powders? And Powders per calibers/velocities?

Thanks

Tracy


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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #11314353 07/17/16
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Each powder can have different temp/time requirements, so you'll have to go by what the manufacturer recommends, but 10 min @ 400* F is pretty common for the powders I use.

I think the 10 minute spec is for time once everything's up to temp, so I bake for 20 minutes, allowing the first 10 min for the bullets to heat up. Cooking longer doesn't seem to hurt anything, within reason.

It is very important to hit the right temperature though; don't just go by the dial on your oven. I have to set the dial on mine a little past 500* to hit 400* actual temp, but other ovens might be down at 200-300* for the same result. Toaster oven temps seem to vary a lot more than regular kitchen ovens.

Regarding different powders for different velocity - not really; a powder that works well at 3000 fps is fine at 700 fps too. You could just use one good powder (like the green one above) for everything.

Last edited by Yondering; 07/17/16.
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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #11314374 07/17/16
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Yonderling,

What other colors have you found to work well? I might have to try this. I have an old toaster oven out in the garage.


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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #11315385 07/18/16
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So far nothing has been as good as RAL 6018, but there are literally thousands of options out there so the dozen or so I've tried are just a drop in the bucket. My best results have been with "TGIC Polyester" powders from PBTP.

I just started working with a "Bottle Green" from PBTP; it seems to coat well but I haven't used it enough to say any more than that.

I can say the Harbor Freight powders aren't really worth messing with. You can make them work but they are far from ideal, and not worth it to save a couple dollars.

I've also had bad results with the candy colors; they coat well but bullets stick together too badly, and they don't seem to offer as much protection in the barrel.

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #11317577 07/19/16
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Good info, thanks!


Steve
Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #11323042 07/21/16
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When I get home I will post the PBTP powders I have found to work well. Probably around the first of the month.


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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #11339060 07/29/16
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Yondering, about how many bullets can you coat with a pound of powder? Hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands? Ballpark number is fine. Thanks

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #11339316 07/29/16
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Definitely many thousand, five to ten thousand might be a good ballpark number? I haven't kept track, but have gone through over 100 lb of lead on less than a pound of powder, so whatever that works out to.

It makes the cost of the powder pretty insignificant, so it's worth buying good powder to start with.

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #11339817 07/29/16
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Thanks. I see on pbtp sure that you can buy as little as a couple ounces. I wanted to try different colors, but didn't want to end up with a bunch of powder I didn't like. I also didn't want to get 2 ounces and find out it only would coat a small handful of bullets.

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #11339877 07/29/16
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Keep in mind their half pound only costs a little more than 2 oz most of the time; that's what I always end up getting to try new powders.

Last edited by Yondering; 07/29/16.
Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #11341045 07/30/16
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Yeah, I see that. I even found one powder that a half pound cost more than a pound.

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #11352459 08/04/16
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Yondering, Not that sizing is all that time consuming,but have you ever fired any without sizing,if great accuracy is not required? Obviously, for rifle rounds and checked high velocity handgun rounds would be run thru the sizing die. memtb


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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #11352699 08/05/16
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Yes, I do run some without sizing, if the bullet OD is correct. 9mm plinking ammo for example, with the Lee 120-TC mold.

I pretty much use the same criteria for sizing as regular cast/tumble lubed bullet.

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #11352796 08/05/16
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Youndering, Thanks for the response! Now, another question. You mentioned that your using the yellow green for your high velocity rounds. I contacted PBTP and their claim was, that all colors are equal in abrasion resistance, temperature stability, ext. Do you find this to be true! Yellow Green just ain't my color! grin memtb

Last edited by memtb; 08/05/16.

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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #11352950 08/05/16
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For normal powder coating applications they are probably all equal, but in my experience they do act a little differently on bullets. There are a couple characteristics that matter:

- dry powder adhesion to the bullet
- ease of breaking stuck bullets apart after baking
- toughness of the coating in the bore

Since we're using the powder a bit differently than it was designed for, we might be seeing differences that don't show up for a normal powder coating use. The white and candy blue colors I've tried, for example, are tough and coat well, but stick together so badly that they aren't practical unless you want to separate all the bullets before baking.

One other color that works really well for me is a dark metallic green, also from PBTP, but I haven't used a lot of it since I'm not sure if the metallic particles are abrasive. (they may be plastic and harmless, I'm not sure)

I just started working with a "Bottle Green" from PBTP, it seems to work well so far but I don't have much time with it yet. It's sorta between Olive Drab and Forest Green.

Just experiment with different colors, they aren't all the same but I think there are probably lots of them that work really well.

Last edited by Yondering; 08/05/16.
Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #11353393 08/05/16
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Yondering, Thanks for all of the help. memtb


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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #11374986 08/15/16
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Quote
So far nothing has been as good as RAL 6018, but there are literally thousands of options out there so the dozen or so I've tried are just a drop in the bucket. My best results have been with "TGIC Polyester" powders from PBTP.


I just got off of their website and I can't find anything telling me where to find these powders mentioned. All that I see are litte cars with funny sounding color names by them. Where am I going wrong? miles


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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: milespatton] #11375737 08/15/16
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Miles, not an easy website to navigate!!!! I wish I could offer some good suggestions,but I've slept since I "muddled" my way through it!!! smile memtb


After thinking about it for a bit,I think that I finally called them on the phone!

Last edited by memtb; 08/15/16.

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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: milespatton] #11376216 08/16/16
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Originally Posted by milespatton
Quote
So far nothing has been as good as RAL 6018, but there are literally thousands of options out there so the dozen or so I've tried are just a drop in the bucket. My best results have been with "TGIC Polyester" powders from PBTP.


I just got off of their website and I can't find anything telling me where to find these powders mentioned. All that I see are litte cars with funny sounding color names by them. Where am I going wrong? miles


I haven't had any trouble finding colors on their site? The little cars are just templates showing the colors. You can browse through the RAL colors, or look through the green colors for Yellow Green.

A google search of "powder buy the pound ral 6018" brings up that color in the first result. Here: https://www.powderbuythepound.com/RAL_6018_YELLOW_GREEN.html

Last edited by Yondering; 08/16/16.
Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #11543498 10/31/16
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Does the coating come off during the sizing, or does it hold up OK?

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: WayneShaw] #11543557 10/31/16
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Originally Posted by WayneShaw
Does the coating come off during the sizing, or does it hold up OK?


If the coating is done correctly, it does not come off when sizing or when shooting. If it comes off, you've done something wrong.

Here are some examples of my recovered bullets; as you can see the coating is generally intact. (Not all of them are perfect, I experiment a lot.) The black stuff on some of them is powder fouling, not missing coating.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Last edited by Yondering; 10/31/16.
Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: pabucktail] #11925518 03/25/17
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Originally Posted by pabucktail
You just saved me alot of frustration. I'm gonna get the 280gr NOE mold with the pins to try different nose types. I'll have to experiment to see how expansion is with the wheelweights.


I use almost pure led with just enough tin to fill out the mold. The deep HP will almost double in size and those I have recovered from A sand backstop none have lost 5 gr of the 280 they started with.


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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #11926312 03/25/17
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Yondering, is there any reason sizing could not be done successfully using a Lyman 450 without applying conventional lube?

I also find myself wondering if there would be any benefit to applying conventional lube on a powder coated bullet...I can't imagine how it could be better but I say ya never really KNOW until you try.


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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #11930000 03/27/17
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RiverRider, you can certainly size in a Lyman 450 if you want, it's just slower and doesn't always size as straight. But it will do the job just as well as it does for lubed lead bullets.

I have found one situation where it made sense to lube powder coated bullets - when pushing soft bullets at high pressure for hunting loads. I was getting lead rings in the chamber at the case neck and lube grooves were collapsing, but adding lube fixed it. Velocity was too high for that alloy without powder coating. With that said, it was a special circumstance and I don't normally bother with it.

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #11931175 03/27/17
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Thanks for the reply. Good info!


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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #12003865 04/28/17
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Question. I am getting a good coating but when they go onto the non stick foil and into the oven rifle bullets like to stick together. When I break then apart as they cool it leaves a spot of uncoated lead. How big a problem is thei and how do I stop it?

Thanks.


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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #12003923 04/28/17
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It depends a bit on the load, but for the most part small uncoated spots are just cosmetic. I've never observed any leading from those bare spots, and accuracy doesn't seem to be affected. An exception might be where two bullets stuck side by side and you have the full length of the driving bands uncoated.

If it's a situation where I want complete coverage, I'll give them two coats; that gives 99% of the bullets complete coverage. (The local indoor shooting range is one of those cases; they specify no exposed lead.)

For rifle loads (which I use at full power normally) I pretty much always use two coats, partly for full coverage and partly for the thicker coating. You may find that's not necessary.

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #12003973 04/28/17
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Thank you for the fast reply. As always your thoughts are more than helpful. I am thinking of placing some coat hanger wires under the foil to make shallow troughs would keep the bullets nose to base and not touching. It would take longer to load a tray but the end result would be better.


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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #12004398 04/28/17
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Posted this on another forum the other night and thought of another tip to share:

You want to avoid breathing the powder coating dust, so put the container in a ziploc bag before shaking.

[Linked Image]

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #12013117 05/04/17
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Just an fyi: The current Dillon Blue Press (June 2017) has a useful article starting on page 48 about loading plated bullets, which seems to me to be similar to loading coated bullets.


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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: g5m] #12013914 05/04/17
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It really is not similar to loading plated bullets. Because of the very soft core, plated bullets are generally not able to handle the pressure and velocity of good powder coated cast bullets, and therefore need to be used with milder low pressure loads. That is not a restriction for powder coated cast bullets.

The only similarity I see is that you should use very little or no crimp with either one.

Last edited by Yondering; 05/04/17.
Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #12014927 05/05/17
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I think it was the case prep that made me think of the issues.


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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #12015352 05/05/17
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True, flaring the case mouths is important, same as any other cast bullet loading. It's best to think of this like loading normal cast bullets, but without the hassle and mess of bullet lube or the concerns about leading and perfect bullet sizing.

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #12170293 07/26/17
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It is so much faster to use a case tumbler to powder coat with, just dump 200-300 9mm's or 357's in a spare tumbler, throw in a couple table spoons full of your chosen powder & tumble them with the lid on for 20 minutes & then dump them into a collander & give it a few hard shakes to knock off any extra powder onto some old newspaper, etc & they are ready to go into the oven. I use a lot of Harbor Freight Red & have had no problems with it at all & I've probably done 20-25 thousand bullets in the last 2 1/2 yrs. I also use other colors but there's nothing wrong with HF Red.
After removing from the oven & cooling it's best to size right away, makes it much easier to size them. If you are having a tough time running them through your sizer (I use a Star & an RCBS) then just spray them with some Hornady One Shot Case Lube, let it dry for 2-3 minutes & they will pop right through. I've never had to paint twice.

Dick

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Idaho1945] #12170303 07/26/17
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Originally Posted by Idaho1945
It is so much faster to use a case tumbler to powder coat with, just dump 200-300 9mm's or 357's in a spare tumbler, throw in a couple table spoons full of your chosen powder & tumble them with the lid on for 20 minutes & then dump them into a collander & give it a few hard shakes to knock off any extra powder onto some old newspaper, etc & they are ready to go into the oven.
Dick


Umm, no, it really isn't. I can only assume you didn't bother reading the thread? How is 20 minutes in a tumbler faster than 15 seconds of shaking by hand? That doesn't make any sense.

Last edited by Yondering; 07/26/17.
Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #12171204 07/27/17
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I've done the cool whip container method & you can't get very many bullets in there at one time but if you're happy doing it no problem. Actually if I'm doing small bullets like 9mm's or 357's I can do a lot more than 300 at a time, plus I get a much better coating. That's why HF paint does work & I've never had to paint twice. Again, if you're happy with the swirl method use it but a big tumbler works so much easier & the time could easily be cut in half, I'm just baking or sizing while they are tumbling, going longer doesn't hurt. No air soft pellets are needed either & there's no powder dust coming out around the lid. Also I double stack them on the foil, no problem, them come apart pretty easy if you rattle them a bit after cooling.

Dick

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #12171912 07/27/17
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I often do up to ~500 9mm bullets at a time in a quart yogurt tub, and pile them up on the baking tray as deep as they need to go.
It takes 15 seconds of shaking; putting them in a tumbler is not easier or faster, it's just a way to the cheap junk HF powder to stick. Adding air soft pellets is dumb too; I don't recommend anyone do that. If you haven't tried a good high quality powder, you don't know what you're missing here; it does make a difference.

Also, it's powder, not paint.

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #12172373 07/27/17
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If you are getting it to stick in 15 seconds that's pretty amazing! The HF isn't junk, I've used a lot of it, tumbled a bunch of bullets tonight for 8 minutes just to see how they would do, no problem. The reason I usually do them 20 minutes is I'm doing something else like sizing, loading, etc. No need to just stand there.I'm on my third bottle of HF Red & it has done very well, I'd show some photo's of groups but dang Photobucket divorced all of us. You can go on Single Actions Forum & see a target I shot 2 days ago with my Ruger 357 Maximum at 50 yds & make up your own mind whether it's junk or not. I've also shot quite a bit of Smoke's Black & it's a better quality "powder" paint, you make the call. Doesn't shoot one bit better or look any better. Show me the difference in the paint in your groups & I'll buy in. Oops, powder!

Dick

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Idaho1945] #12173392 07/28/17
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Originally Posted by Idaho1945
If you are getting it to stick in 15 seconds that's pretty amazing!


Amazing, or just the difference in using a good powder, and following the process described above. Argue all you want, but the process I described does work well, and doesn't require any tumbling, BBs, sifting, or whatever else people choose to add. The big difference is in using good powder.

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #12173661 07/28/17
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Not trying to start an argument, just saying there's more than one way to get there & HF Red will certainly do it. Also saying that coating 500 bullets in 15 seconds is pretty amazing & I'd guess that you would have to be very careful with those bullets while placing in the oven because the powder can't have much of a bond in 15 seconds. Again, doing them in the tumbler allows me to do other things while they are tumbling & the powder is pretty impacted into the bullets when they come out & you get a very nice, even coat after baking.
Three years ago in Arizona when I first started I did the shake & bake as you describe except that I used air soft pellets after about 6 months which did help. But I always had to shake for at least a minute (HF RED) but the results were great & we were shooting 2 USPSA matches a week with great (and clean) results.The better powders save time but don't produce any better results, none, at least not on target. I'm going to have to test your 15 second method, it seems a little out there for 500 bullets, but congratulations if it's working!

Dick

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Idaho1945] #12174052 07/28/17
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Originally Posted by Idaho1945
Also saying that coating 500 bullets in 15 seconds is pretty amazing & I'd guess that you would have to be very careful with those bullets while placing in the oven because the powder can't have much of a bond in 15 seconds.
Dick


You're trying to say a lot without actually knowing; it's brilliant of you calling bs when the pictures above showed it pretty clearly. It's a static charge that holds the powder in place, just like spray powder coating. It doesn't matter how many bullets you fit in a container, as long as there's enough to generate static, and you shake it enough. If it doesn't work for you, it's because you changed something in the coating process; I've laid it out clearly enough that anyone can follow it if you pay attention.

Next time consider trying what the other person has described before calling bs and saying your way is better. Also, pay attention to the details, they are important. You're obviously missing several of them at least, like where I said the better powder makes a difference in the coating process, not on target.


Last edited by Yondering; 07/28/17.
Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #12176783 07/30/17
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And like I said, not trying to start a spitting match here but you saying HF Red in junnk is pure BS, it's not the powder, its your technique that's the problem. When you cook a steak it only takes a few minutes, when you do a brisket it takes a few hours, doesn't mean you have to stand there & watch it on the smoker, do something else while it's smoking! I have powder coated bullets in probaly 30-35 states & I've never had a complaint, guys have taken everything from African game to moose, elk, bears, hogs & small game, never a complaint with HF Red, saying it's no good, show me some proof. I've probably taken a dozen animals myself including deer, elk & bear & my Dentist used my custom 480 to take his bull moose. I'd say it works pretty good, I can do several hundred pretty fast, I get great coverage & no spots, no second coats, etc.
Dick

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #12176900 07/30/17
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Quote
When you cook a steak it only takes a few minutes, when you do a brisket it takes a few hours, doesn't mean you have to stand there & watch it on the smoker, do something else while it's smoking!


Like load some 45s.


Joshua 1:9
Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Creeker] #12178689 07/31/17
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Here's a 50 yd group I shot a few days ago with my 10 1/2" Ruger 357 Maximum using some cheap Harbor Freight Red powder we've been discussing (or cussing) depending on your experience or lack of. It works great if you know how to apply it, which is very simple. I've taken quite a bit of big game & lots of small game using the same paint & even though I do use some of the more expensive paints I'd like to see the person that could shoot the difference. 5 shots in .835" & 4 in 1/2"
https://imgur.com/6zjTTbh

Dick

Last edited by Idaho1945; 07/31/17.
Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Idaho1945] #12180711 08/01/17
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Originally Posted by Idaho1945
Here's a 50 yd group I shot a few days ago with my 10 1/2" Ruger 357 Maximum using some cheap Harbor Freight Red powder we've been discussing (or cussing) depending on your experience or lack of.


OK, Dick, your insinuations on my lack of experience are getting old. Not only have I been powder coating bullets longer than you, I invented the dry shake and bake process back when everybody else was using solvents, and first documented it in 2012. I started this thread to help others in the community get started coating their own bullets; when some fool like yourself comes along to talk about how experienced they are and show how little they really know, it makes me wonder why bother sharing the info to start with.

You're showing yourself as a fool in a couple ways:
- You haven't tried the powders I recommended so you really don't know what's better.
- You keep blabbing about the results on target, when I've said several times the difference is in how easily the powder coats, not how the bullets shoot.

To my "lack of experience" - I have HF red and black. Neither one coats nearly as well as quality powders, or has any advantage to using them except to be cheap. They are not as good, so I don't recommend them. When a pound of powder will coat many thousand bullets, it doesn't matter if it costs $5 or $15. I really don't care if HF powder works for your process or not; that wasn't what you first came here to argue about anyway.
I've tried the tumbler method you use, as well as a bunch of other variations we haven't discussed here, and stick by what I listed in the OP as the easiest and fastest way to coat bullets.

Last edited by Yondering; 08/01/17.
Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #12184770 08/03/17
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Geez, take a pill & relax! I said I was amazed you could paint that many bullets that fast, said it twice, now I've said it three times, get over it! No need to start name calling "fool" really. I am using Smoke's Black & said that, doesn't give me any better or worse results than HF Red, I also said that, just giving a different approach to powder coating with the tumbler. Isn't the results (target) any proof to you that it works, you said it was garbage which means your method didn't work with it, end of story. If you don't want to use a tumbler is it OK with YOU that other people do it. Good Lord man, grab your pacifier & take a nap. We'll give you the credit for the dry shake & bake, where do we send your trophy!

Dick

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #12184952 08/03/17
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Dick, it's clear from your posts you came in this thread to argue; you got what you were looking for. I don't care how you coat your bullets, that was never the argument.

If you have useful information to contribute, please do, but refrain from claiming your ideas are better than something else you haven't tried, or the passive aggressive underhanded comments about other people's experience while bragging about your own.

If your purpose in coming here was to puff up your chest, as it appears, please just go somewhere else.

I think I'm done with this one until anyone has more discussion about powder coating bullets.

Last edited by Yondering; 08/03/17.
Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #12186962 08/04/17
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I had useful information & gave it, you were the one that said HF Red was garbage or a waste of time, whatever. I just gave an alternative. When I read a couple of times that you had to re-coat, at least at first I thought I "might" be of some help, that seemed to ruffle your feathers. Your fast method seems to work really good & I'm going to try it but for those wanting to try HF Red, they will have great success doing it in a tumbler. And I'm not going anywhere, been a member for quite a while.

Dick

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #12195752 08/08/17
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Powder Coating: [bleep] you, you're doing it wrong! (grins)



Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #12247664 09/03/17
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FWIW

I can't get HF paint up here

I CAN get Peavey Mart, our near equivalent CHICOM importer.

I have used some of that paint to make ugly splotchy bullets in a shake and bake manner, and they were covered.

I don't have a tumbler, but if I did, I would try it as well.


I am in the process of trying to get PBTP to ship to me.... crazy shipping rates, but I'm trying to order enough to spread the pain out.

We shall see!

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #12253782 09/06/17
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For what it's worth:

Look, I was a PC newbie and found Yondering's thread over a year ago. I was just about ready to buy a whole lot of equipment in order to spray PC. This shake and bake method seemed easy, and I gave it a try. In fact, you can see where I asked some questions early on.

I don't know what is the "best" method. I'm not even sure there is a "best" method for putting paint on bullets. All I know is Yondering was nice enough to document his method. It worked for him. It sure worked for me, and having his thread here saved me a whole lot of trouble. I've now casted and coated a couple thousand rounds using Shake and Bake. I've also turned two friends onto it, after giving them a demonstration over the winter.

The good thing about Yondering's Shake and Bake method is it produces excellent, repeatable results without anything more than an empty plastic tub with a cover. As it is, it is a fantastic simple solution to an otherwise complicated problem. I've shown it to a PHD in Chemistry who's adopted it for his 458 SOCOM project. He's fairly convinced the reason the green paint works over the others is due to some relationship between the titanium in the paint and the lead in the bullet. He's currently trying to analyze it to better understand what Yondering has stumbled into. Who knows? Maybe he'll be able to come up with a more generalized understanding of why the green paint works where other's don't. We'll see.

Until it this chemistry wonk gets back with the answers, I'm perfectly happy to cast green bullets.

BTW: Until I turned him onto Yondering's thread, he'd been using Harbor Freight powder and having a really bad time of it. There's now three of us using Shake and Bake and loving it.


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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #12303070 09/30/17
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You might want to search for <a href="https://www.reliantfinishingsystems.com/">Reliant Finishing Systems</a> as well. They also offer a lot of good options.

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #12307195 10/02/17
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I looked at their website, but it looks like they just sell powder coating equipment, is that what you meant? Or do they sell powder too?
With the method described in this thread, there is no need for any special powder coating equipment.

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #12365404 10/30/17
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Late to the discussion but I’ll throw in my experience. I’ve tried a few methods of coating and baking. Settled on a cheap vibratory tumbler for coating. Other methods worked, but the tumbler is the most consistent for me. Tumble for a few minutes. Dump into a mesh strainer. Shake excess back into bowl and continue on.

HF powder works. Astetically, the red is best. The others work but are blotchy in appearance. Not to say they clump, just that the final product does not look uniform. No problems loading or shooting them. White, yellow and black are ugly but they shoot fine. Two coats help some, not worth it to me though.

Eastwood powder works too. I’ve had great success with a few of their blues and grays. Still experimenting.

For curing I use a toaster oven. 20 min at 400 deg. Checked temp with other devices and the dial is close enough. Mesh trays are ok for the bullets. I’ve never had a problem just spreading them out and baking. Lately though I’ve been standing the coated bullets up on the trays with a layer of parchment paper underneath. I do this using latex gloves which does not disturb the coating much if at all. Bullets fall right off after cooling. No flaws.

Sizing is done with Lee push through dies. Very easy.

Still learning. Like it very much so far and so do my pistols!

Rob

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: ring3] #12367103 10/31/17
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Originally Posted by ring3
Dump into a mesh strainer. Shake excess back into bowl and continue on.


Have you tried shaking by hand (in the right container) with more bullets and less powder? Too much powder is counterproductive. If you need to sift off any powder, it's too much for my method; less is more.

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #12369036 11/01/17
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When I started powder coating I used various tubs. Mostly left over food containers. These worked satisfactorily most of the time but occasionally not enough powder stuck to the bullets. I’d then try another container, sometimes with improved results sometimes not. Tried the plastic BBs, didn’t help and were a pain. I do not know the reason but often wondered if weather conditions effected the ability of the contents to generate enough static.

One day While cleaning, casting and coating I noticed the vibratory tumbler bowl was plastic. Figured why not. Dumped out the media, wiped it out added some powder and bullets and switched it on. In less than 5 min bullets were nicely coated. Been using it ever since (got a new one for brass duties). I will say the time it takes for a nice even coat varies. Sometimes 5 mi, sometimes 15. I don’t know why and have not studied too much on the subject. Could be the weather or possibly the different powders. Not really concerned so doubt I’ll ever know for sure. I do know it works for me and has for thousands of bullets the last year or so.

You pointed out what I do is counterproductive. Donno about that but if it’s an extra step from your method I’ll agree. Takes me about 30 sec to dump powdered bullets into large kitchen strainer, shake a few times, pour excess powder back into tumbler, add bullets and start again. Usually I am multi-tasking while powder coating so while a batch is tumbling another is getting ready for the oven.

Seems to me powder coating is somewhat new to casting. Methods and tweeks still being developed. We now have molds being produced without grease grooves for those who coat. I find more and more coated bullets in the berms when gathering scrap. While I haven’t sold any of my lube sizers yet they are sure getting dusty.

Thanks for taking the time to share your methods. Pics are gone from your posts but I think I get the idea.

Rob

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #12369276 11/01/17
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To be clear, using too much powder is counterproductive; it prevents a good coating when shaking by hand. If you prefer tumbling, use what works, just commenting on what I've discovered.

At some point I'll go through and update the pics. I've posted this in multiple places around the web, so lots of links to fix!

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #12370443 11/01/17
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Interesting stuff. To much powder in the container is likely my problem also. Makes more of a mess too.

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #12374493 11/03/17
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I look forward to your updated pics. Thanks again for your efforts.

Rob

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #12413222 11/21/17
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Yondering,

I have read many threads on powder coating. Yours is the easiest to read and understand. So my big question is: Do I use cast bullet load data or jacketed bullet load data?

Does anyone have a good load for powder coated 350 grain 45-70?

My best accuracy is from a 405 grain round flat nose (Lee mold! $22!) using 50.6 grains of Varget over a Federal large rifle primer. This was from the Lyman manual.


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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #12414523 11/22/17
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Thanks, I'm glad the info was helpful.

Use cast bullet data; I haven't found any need to change loads between lubed cast and powdercoated cast bullets in my testing.

I've used the various Lee 458 bullets too, but not in 45/70 so I don't have load data, sorry. I used them in 458 Win Mag and in big bore revolvers (sized down to .453").

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #12475135 12/17/17
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Looking forward to the new pics.


Retired cat herder.

It's good to have friends.

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #12480198 12/19/17
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I've been powder coating for a little over a year now using the shake an bake method and some cheap plastic neckless beads, I've used the black airsoft beads as well an cant really tell much difference in the end result.

Here are a few examples.

NOE Lyman 358156 Clone in Yellow Green an Carolina Blue
[Linked Image]

NOE 220 gr. HP's in OD Green
[Linked Image]




Last edited by res45; 12/20/17.
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Very nice. How do they shoot? Any leading at your velocities?


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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #12485196 12/21/17
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I didn't get any leading with the bullets before I started PC'ing them so leading was never a problem, I just like the powder coat for long-term storage over traditional types of lube. The Lyman clone has always shot well for me in my Ruger BH, the 45 bullets is a new mold for me it cast HP's, cup points or FN bullets depending on which pins I install in the mold.

I've been shooting the Lee 200 grs. SWC bullet out of my Hi-Point carbine PC'ed at a little over 1K fps. haven't chronoed the HP or Cup points but I'm sure they are fairly close to the same velocity. I had to make a slight POA adjustment visually to compensate for the slight drop of the heavier bullet but once I did that they all fell into place at about 30 yds.

[img]https://i.imgur.com/of1HS3y.jpg?2[/img]

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #12629547 02/11/18
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I've read through this thread with a lot of interest. I've done hardly any cast bullet loading for the past 2 years, and haven't cast a bullet in 3... but I've unpacked all my gear and am getting ready for some major casting this coming week after that long hiatus. I was really struggling with the prospect of getting my bullets lubed and sized, then stumbled on the PC'ing concept and decided to see what folks have to say here on the 'Fire. BTW, it will be almost all handgun bullets in .45, .44, and .9mm calibers.

Turns out that was a good idea... the "brain trust" of Youtube bullet powder coaters were not a lot of help. Lots of talk, talk, talk, for little information. That's the problem with Youtube... it can be great, and it can suck the big one.

Anyways. I've decided to try powder-coating my bullets instead of messing with my lubes again. I have both RCBS and Lee sizing equipment, so sizing after PC'ing with the Lee gear is all set to go. I've commandeered the old toaster oven out of the garage. All I need now is powders.

Which brings up my question: what advice do y'all have on best powders for handgun bullets at this time? A lot of time has passed since the start of this thread. I've been reading/hearing a lot about Eastwood powders, have looked at PBTP's website, and have learned to avoid Harbor Freight. Is there any new info out there that y'all haven't posted in here yet? Looking to save some time and/or money.


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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #12629711 02/11/18
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I've done the PBTB- at $16 I thought it was steep; and knocking on powder coating businesses and begging for scraps.

The PBTP for $16 worked wonderfully and now I use the scrap powder as filler for low velocity pistols rounds, mostly 38 spc and 45acp. That is me being cheap but I have to realized that I spend $32 a pound on gunpowder so why not half that on coating that will cover thousands of bullets?

I have so far mainly checked for reliability and leading. I have no problems if I size them before loading. I have not had any leading at all, to include 44 rem mag through a 94 Winchester and 45-70 through a 1895 Marlin. I am delighted with rifles as there is no leading, good velocities and, if I do my part, decent accuracy. My lack of accuracy cannot be pinpointed to any one thing other than I am still learning this game.

I am using Yondering's method of swirling the bullets and powder around in a 3 gallon plastic paint bucket for 30 seconds in each direction. I pour them onto a perforated baking sheet (thanks to a buddy in a sheet metal shop) which is placed on top of another plastic paint bucket, therefore saving and excess powder. NB: I have the hoarder version of OCD. This method worked great on low humidity days. I have had very bad coating sessions when it is raining outside the open garage door. Moisture is not your friend when applying the powder.

Have fun and keep us posted. Load some 45-70 for Roger and have him test it for you- he will love it.

Last edited by Ranger_Green; 02/11/18.

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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Ranger_Green] #12629749 02/11/18
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Thanks, RG. Good tips.

What color powders are you using from PBTP? BTW, I agree that the cost of powder is trivial compared to the other costs of handloading...


"I'm gonna have to science the schit out of this." Mark Watney, Sol 59, Mars
Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #12629839 02/11/18
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I used a grey and a black from the same series of powders that Yondering used (RAL 6018 Yellow Green). I did not like the look of the green. I recently got the green anyway and found that it coats even better and easier than the grey. The grey is great, though, and the black is fine.
I have seen any difference in performance with my pistol calibers. I have not shot enough of the green through rifles yet to make a sound decision, but so far it acts great. One example is I used the green for a 405 45-70 hollow base at 30 grains of 3031 and it shot to point of aim at fifty yards. I used 46.1 grains of 4198 on a plain base 405 grain bullet and it kicked like my ex-wife but put three rounds into two inches, but 7 inches higher, at fifty rounds. All this with no leading. Note with the 4198, the higher charge for the load, the tighter the group. I am cautious about pushing it any faster, and my shoulder chimes in on this, but I am delighted with the powder coating results.

Rereading the thread I might try the plastic pellets to get even more static electricity. I tried once but since I had hollow points from NOE molds it was a pain to separate them from the bullets.

PS: Thank God for spell check.


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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #12629888 02/11/18
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John Haviland has an article on powder coating in February's Handloader. His results imply that a single coat on a pistol round will give slightly better groups than traditionally lubed rounds. But it also implies that TWO coats will open up the groups.

I have always used two coats but that was only to ensure complete coverage of the lead, as I hate leading. I do not have enough data about one coat versus multiple coats to make an informed decision. But I have had no leading and have taken several pigs with no problems. I will continue to refine the techniques and watch for tips here. From Yondering to HawkI and Gnoahh and Scott F, there are a lot of great guys here willing to share real knowledge and experience.


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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #12630250 02/11/18
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Thanks, RG. I'm supposed to call Scott tomorrow to discuss his experiences. I will let him carry the ball from there.


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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #12835861 05/02/18
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Just a quick update, boys...

I bought 4 colors from PBTP: red, blue, black, and white. I'm using the swirl-with-paintball-pellets method, using some of my wife's discarded plastic storage ware. So far I've been very impressed. I've coated various shapes of .358, .429, and .452 diameter bullets, and fired a bunch of 'em through my guns. I'm not sure I'm saving any time vs lubing my bullets, but they're a helluva lot easier to store than lubed bullets (just throw 'em in a bin and forget 'em), and they definitely prevent ANY leading in ANY of the firearms I've used so far.

Swirling for 2-3 minutes (timed by the clock) produces a nice, even coat on my handgun bullets with Red, Black, and Blue powder. The white powder isn't as good. I pick the bullets out of the powder with forceps and place them on the baking tray by hand, which is slower than pouring them willy-nilly, I guess, but I like the product and the bullets don't stick together. I've been using baker's parchment paper rather than non-stick foil, since that's what my wife had in the kitchen.

I'll get around to posting pics of bullets here in a bit.


"I'm gonna have to science the schit out of this." Mark Watney, Sol 59, Mars
Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #12836089 05/02/18
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Something to think about - what are you doing differently than me that you need to
a) use airsoft pellets
and
b) swirl for 2-3 minutes?

Something in your process is obviously different than what I'm doing, and it sounds like it's causing you more difficulty in getting the powder to stick. I do not put anything in my coating container besides bullets and powder, and then shake it hard for 10-20 seconds. That's it, the bullets are fully coated at that point if I got the right amount of powder. Too much powder is a problem, you shouldn't have any excess left in the container. Too little is obvious.

It saves a lot of time to just dump the bullets out on the baking tray; I generally do batches of several hundred minimum, so the bullets are piled 2-3 deep most of the time with no ill effects. When piling them together like that, it's best to use a very light coat of powder, you should be able to see some lead showing before baking.

I've switched from using screen in the bottom of my baking tray to non-stick aluminum foil; that stuff works great. I hope everybody knows not to use wax paper for obvious reasons. I've considered trying a silicone baking mat, but like the aluminum foil because it's easy & cheap to start over with a fresh surface from the next batch, instead of having your bullets pick up the inevitable bits of stray powder from the previous batch.

Last edited by Yondering; 05/02/18.
Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #12853258 05/11/18
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I've noticed that if the humidity is slightly higher at time it can take a bit more shaking to get the powder to coat well it may just be the powder as well. I have one powder Copper Vein that requires a couple minutes to get a good coating but I like the results, I got it for $4 on sale so a little extra effort is not a problem. As far as the air soft BB's I use plastic pony beads they seem to help generate extra static and I like the coating on the bullets vs. not using them and as they say there is more than one way to skin a cat.

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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #12853747 05/11/18
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That is a neat color for bullets.

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #12853968 05/11/18
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Thanks, it's a PITA to get good coverage though.takes a bit longer and a little extra powders but it works OK. After I use up the 8 oz. bottle I probably want buy anymore.

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #13141325 09/19/18
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Well gentlemen, I have successfully done my first batch of powder coating using Yonderings instructions and RAL 6018. Currently have just coated and baked. No sizing or loading of said bullets. They look great. I have to replenish loads for my .44 special since Owl shot up all of my loads at Quemado. smile miles


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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #13260528 11/06/18
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I've used your method exactly as published and have had very good luck... I wanted to ask if you have a special barrel in your Glocks for shooting PC bullets?

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: IAE_pilot_Retired] #13261136 11/06/18
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Originally Posted by IAE_pilot
I've used your method exactly as published and have had very good luck... I wanted to ask if you have a special barrel in your Glocks for shooting PC bullets?


Good to hear, glad it's working for ya!

The stock Glock barrels work fine. I use a number of different barrels, including the OEM Glock, and have no issue with powder coated bullets in any of them. In several cases, the factory Glock barrels are more accurate than most of the aftermarket barrels, especially with properly sized bullets.

Last edited by Yondering; 11/06/18.
Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #13482974 01/22/19
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Where do I find this coating stuff for my cast .458 bullets for my 45-70? Do certain colors represent different car actors like hardness. I bought some ACME 405 bullets and they are red. My ACME 147 gr 9MM are also red. Any reason for a certain color or just for fun?


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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #13483439 01/22/19
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ihookem, I use the powder from Powder Buy The Pound. Look for the RAL colors, any of the TGIC Polyester -based powders should work well. The different colors are nice for color coding your bullets or loads; for example I use a dark blue for subsonic loads, and bright green for +P or other hot loads.

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #13490255 01/24/19
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Where do I get some ? I'm sure it's online but could look for hours when you could tell me in a minute.


But the fruits of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,faithfulness, Gentleness and self control. Against such things there is no law. Galations 5: 22&23
Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #13491012 01/25/19
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https://www.powderbuythepound.com/ral-colors/

Another "thank you" for the instructions. I have had a lot of shooting done since I started powder coating.


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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #13509903 01/30/19
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that stuff from powder by the pound in my opinion works a lot better than the harbor freight variety.
I started powder coating a few years ago, and am not going back to traditional lubes. Easy to do, stores well in arizona heat, and a pound of the powder will do a lot of bullets.
i have a number of .45 colts and i like to coat the bullets in three colors, some are white, red, and blue. Kind of patriotic sticking out of the cyclinders on the revolvers.
I would have to look in my notes to be sure, but a few years ago i fired a 429421keith out of a thompson contender, i want to say over 1200fps for sure. no leading, nothing in barrel. But i fired it through a bunch of water filled gallon milk jugs and recovered the bullet.
i still have it around someplace, almost looks like it could be reused.


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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #13510808 01/30/19
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Originally Posted by RoninPhx

i have a number of .45 colts and i like to coat the bullets in three colors, some are white, red, and blue. Kind of patriotic sticking out of the cyclinders on the revolvers.


That's a fun way to do it, I've done that myself.

And, if your buddy asks for some of the same, it's pretty easy to "accidentally" mix the red and white together in one batch to make his bullets "special". smile Even better when it's for a shooting match at the local range.

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Last edited by Yondering; 01/30/19.
Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #13606317 02/26/19
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I visited one of the local shops that does powder coating as a business. I asked about colors that didn't have much call for, was able to get several pounds of powder for a deal. I'm coating bullets in 16 different colors.

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #13617984 03/02/19
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Some OCD questions from someone who likes to verify what may be obvious. wink

About how much diameter does the coating add? My first attempt at coating will be with some 250 grain .38-55 bullets that drop from the mold at .377 and are being sized to .3765" in a custom order Lee sizing die. Even if coating makes them .378 before sizing I'm guessing that running them through the die won't scrape off any powder coating? I mean, they're going to be shoved at 1600-1800 fps down a .375" groove bore so I figure a trip through the sizing die won't hurt but wanted to verify.

Does that coating make it much harder to add gas checks?

In your first pic in this thread, would you call that a teaspoon size; table spoon size? Looks like you're using a typical large yogurt size plastic container of about 24 ounces, if not what size is that?


By weight, what would you say is in that spoon - 1.245 ounces or maybe 1.317? Okay, just kidding on this last one, I'm a precise kind of guy but not quite that bad... wink

Will probably come up with more questions as I go about this but thanks for a good tutorial on getting started.





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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #13618317 03/02/19
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Using the Powder by the Pound RAL colors suggested by Yondering only added .005" to my bullets. I have had no problems sizing them and shooting them unless I cured it improperly. By that I mean either I ran the oven too hot or too long or both. The test - smashing a test bullet to verify the coating stays on and does not crumble or flake, will give you some piece of mind. I have fired more than a few 45-70 powder coated bullets out of the 20" barrel without any leading. I have recovered bullets from the berm with the powder coating seemingly intact, though I did not fully inspect after cleaning the mud off of it.

I have had very few problems with gas checks. As per usual casting standards, if the base is crisp and sharp the gas checks snap on fairly easily. My failures have been when I have hard (bnh 22) double coated oversize rounds (.461 -.463) and tried to size them to .458. I mangled a few gas checks then. Heck, I tore my little Lee press off the plywood doing that. Once I tempered them with another trip through the oven (bnh 16) they sized pretty easily and the gas checks snapped on.

I use a heaping tablespoon and have powder left over in the tub. It gets on the bullet in the second coating.

I refer to use a one gallon paint bucket with lid but that is just a personal preference. It feels sturdier and the lid helps when my old tired hands slip. No more powder cloud calamities.


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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #13619075 03/02/19
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Did you mean to write .005" - five thousandths - or did you mean .0005? .005 would make a .377" bullet .382", then it would have to be sized back down to .3765 again which seems a bit excessive.


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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Jim in Idaho] #13619113 03/02/19
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I meant 0.5 thousandths - no excuses. My mind composes the words faster than my fingers can bungle them. Sometimes if the coatings are thicker one coat can add almost a thousandth by itself.


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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #13621139 03/03/19
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Thanks, I figured it was just a typo, half or even a full thousandth is not a big deal.

On to more questions.

How big of a toaster oven do you guys use and where did you get them? I was just looking around on line and at Walmart yesterday and it seems the most common ones only take a 9" pan. They run about $30 for the most basic ones, if you go bigger the cost goes up rapidly. Might have to look on ebay for a decent used one unless the 9" one works okay for you all.


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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #13622885 03/03/19
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Jim, I would check Savers and Desserett Industries for a toaster oven. I picked one up at a thrift store in Ontario last week. A Black and Decker, for four bucks. And yes, it takes about a nine inch tray.

I am doing 120s for my 327. I put parchment paper on the tray and carefully stand the bullets on end with a pair of tweezers. I can get 300 on the tray without them touching.

The RAL 6018 from Power buy the Pound was recommended to me, and it works wonderfully. I received my first powder last Thursday. Over the weekend I cast, and coated about 800 bullets and loaded the first 300.

As stated so eloquently above, I shake about 150 bullets at a time in a "Cool Whip" container.

One note about Powder buy the Pound. Their S&H is about equal to purchase price on one pound. So if you think you might want more than one color, it is wise to order it all at once.

I let my first batch of bullets get too hot in the oven and they slumped. I was bright enough to move the lead pot outside before recycling them. But damn, that paint fumes something fierce. One does not want to breath any of that smoke.

I am so happy with the results, that I am in the process of stripping carnuba red from a big batch of pullets so I can powder coat them instead.


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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #13623761 03/04/19
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Bump to clear spam off of the homepage


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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Idaho_Shooter] #13624066 03/04/19
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Hadn't thought about those thrift stores even though I've donated to some. There is an Idaho Youth Ranch and some other thrift type store within a 1/2 mile radius of my house, I'll give those a try, thanks.


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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Jim in Idaho] #13626442 03/04/19
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Originally Posted by Jim in Idaho
Some OCD questions from someone who likes to verify what may be obvious. wink

About how much diameter does the coating add? My first attempt at coating will be with some 250 grain .38-55 bullets that drop from the mold at .377 and are being sized to .3765" in a custom order Lee sizing die. Even if coating makes them .378 before sizing I'm guessing that running them through the die won't scrape off any powder coating? I mean, they're going to be shoved at 1600-1800 fps down a .375" groove bore so I figure a trip through the sizing die won't hurt but wanted to verify.

Does that coating make it much harder to add gas checks?

In your first pic in this thread, would you call that a teaspoon size; table spoon size? Looks like you're using a typical large yogurt size plastic container of about 24 ounces, if not what size is that?


By weight, what would you say is in that spoon - 1.245 ounces or maybe 1.317? Okay, just kidding on this last one, I'm a precise kind of guy but not quite that bad... wink

Will probably come up with more questions as I go about this but thanks for a good tutorial on getting started.





Jim, all good questions, I'll try to answer them all here.

- The coating should only add a thousandth or so. Thicker is not necessarily better, and even a very thin coat with some bare patches showing through is adequate for most pistol loads.

- The coating will not be scraped off in the sizing die. The one possible exception is an extra rough Lee push through die - those are left with the rough reamed surface on the inside, and some can be pretty bad. All of them benefit from internal polishing, and it's pretty easy to do.

- The coating can make it harder to add gas checks. It really depends on your mold; I have some that aren't affected and the gas checks go on easily, and others with a larger gas check shank that don't do so well. Those with larger shanks will often peel the coating and even shave a little lead if I force gas checks on. My solution with those molds is a tapered (really a truncated cone) shaped punch that I use to flare the gas checks; it goes pretty quickly and fixes the problem.

- Those are the typical 2 lb (32 oz) yogurt containers. A typical batch for me is a bit more than actually shown in the pic, about 300-400 9mm bullets. I want the container somewhere between 1/3 and 2/3 full; enough to generate some static inside but not so many that they can't tumble around well.

- The amount of powder shown is adequate for those 400 9mm bullets; it's about 1.5 teaspoons or 1/2 tablespoons, or ~70 grains. I aim for just enough to fully coat without leaving much or any in the bottom of the container. Again, a thicker coating is not better.


If you dump the whole batch of bullets on non-stick aluminum foil, it works better than the screen shown in my original pics. I need to update those.
Dropping the batch (still in the tray) flat on a concrete floor a few times after they completely cool does a good job of breaking them apart. You'll notice they break apart easier with a thinner powder coat layer.

Hope that helps!

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #13641024 03/09/19
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Well, I'm about halfway ready. Hit the thrift stores in town for a toaster oven and found just what I wanted, a larger Rival model in great shape for $13 that will take a full 13x9 tray, plus I got a tray of the right size for another buck. Just got it cleaned and tested with an oven thermometer, you have to set the dial at 425 to get 400 degrees but it holds that temp dead even for at least the 10 minutes I timed it. Will have to regulate it with a tray of bullets but it looks like it will do the job. Also just ordered some RAL 6018 powder from PBTP, that should be here middle of next week.

Will be using this mostly on 38-55 bullets at around 1700 fps and two different .30 caliber cast bullets for .308 and .30-06, for economy and easy recoiling practice will keep those in the .30-30 velocity range. Right now I have two boxes full of Accurate 358160A bullets ready to be the first guinea pigs.

This should be fun, and I always like to learn new stuff, just not sure what to do now with the 14 sticks of LBT Blue still in their wrappers and some 18 base first sizing dies for the RCBS Lubrisizer... wink


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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #13641323 03/09/19
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Those 14 sticks of lube will sell to some old dinosaur like me.


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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #14559163 02/10/20
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It's such a good method, I didn't want to lose it.

This should be a sticky.


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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #14569997 02/13/20
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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #14647463 03/10/20
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Yondering, or others that have extensive experience shooting PC'ed bullets, what bore cleaning issues are to be expected? Shoot 100 rounds of jacketed bullets and you will have to clean powder residue and copper out of your bore. Shoot 100 rounds of lubed cast bullets and you will have to clean powder residue and lead out of your bore. What is left after 100 rounds of PC bullets....just powder residue? Or is there a buildup/smear of the PC coating to clean out? What should be expected in terms of bore maintenance?

My first batch of PC'ed bullets in .459 and .309 shot very well in initial tests. The second batch slumped while being cooked! I learned that a little bit of extra heat might just turn out to be too much heat. Looking forward to going into full production of cast/PC bullets for fun and games but got to thinking about longer term cleaning issues. What is y'alls experience?

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Hook] #14648474 03/10/20
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Originally Posted by Hook
Yondering, or others that have extensive experience shooting PC'ed bullets, what bore cleaning issues are to be expected? Shoot 100 rounds of jacketed bullets and you will have to clean powder residue and copper out of your bore. Shoot 100 rounds of lubed cast bullets and you will have to clean powder residue and lead out of your bore. What is left after 100 rounds of PC bullets....just powder residue? Or is there a buildup/smear of the PC coating to clean out? What should be expected in terms of bore maintenance?

My first batch of PC'ed bullets in .459 and .309 shot very well in initial tests. The second batch slumped while being cooked! I learned that a little bit of extra heat might just turn out to be too much heat. Looking forward to going into full production of cast/PC bullets for fun and games but got to thinking about longer term cleaning issues. What is y'alls experience?


Just the powder residue. And if we're talking about the bore (not the action) it's the same amount of powder residue after 5 shots, or 100, or 1,000. I've never seen any coating residue in the bore, in anything from 700 fps pistol loads to 3,000+ fps rifle loads.
Some of my barrels only get used with powder coated bullets any more - I never clean them. Not because it's bad to clean them, but because it's just unnecessary. I do wipe off powder residue from the exterior, but that's it.

Controlling the temperature in your baking oven is important, and an oven thermometer is only a few dollars. Some guys are baking way too hot and trying to just pull the bullets out before they slump, but that's not what the powder coating needs for a good cure. The coatings I use are pretty specific about needing 400° F part temperature for 10 minutes; to me that means ~20 minutes total time in the oven, with the first 10 minutes to get the bullets up to 400°.

Last edited by Yondering; 03/10/20.
Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #14650110 03/10/20
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Wow, what an interesting development. All the advantages plus a great bonus when it comes to cleaning! I was afraid I'd get an answer similar to what some of the jacketed bullet moly coatings did to bores.

Overheating the bullets was entirely on me. The first cook worked well but I thought a little extra heat was called for. I have a digital thermometer and monitored it closely. It seemed the temp would drop too much when the elements cycled off, so I turned the knob up 'just little' more. What I didn't realized was that clicked it over to 'broil' and that put too much direct heat on the bullets. I salvaged about half dozen of the bullets around the edges, but that was all. Learnt my lesson tho, kinda like the feller that picked up the horseshoe that had only cooled off enuf to not glow red anymore.

Thanks for the reply!

Last edited by Hook; 03/10/20.
Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #14655655 03/12/20
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Hook, the part ie the bullets maintain the 400- 415 degrees even when the oven temp causes the thing to cycle.
I discovered PCing about 10 years ago now and no cast bullet goes down a bore naked. I worried at first about painting the bores. after hundreds of rounds it never showed up .
I even dumped a mag full auto through a ar and no paint in the bore.
ps I hate casting 22 bullets so that was the end of that!


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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #14657140 03/12/20
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Thanks for the input deerstalker. PC'ing is getting more and more interesting. Now I wish there were some way to PC all the lubed cast bullets I have stockpiled...

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #14657412 03/12/20
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I got my oven at a thrift store, $7. Use the timer and temp setting on the oven. Apply powder in an old Frankford Arsenal tumbler. Five minutes and they are coated. Twenty minutes in the preheated oven and done. Most of the time I spend the effort to stand the bullets upright on the tray. When lazy, I just make one layer. Usually let them cool overnight then size with Star or Lee.

Easiest thing I found so far. Shot thousands this way. Accuracy is excellent. Cleaning rifle or pistol after shooting is a snap. No lead, minimal residue.

I use parchment paper to line my trays while baking. Works well for me. Bullets fall off like chocolate chip cookies. Paper lasts for multiple batches.

Funny, our climate must be perfect for static needed to properly coat bullets with powder. Never an issue here getting them properly coated in just a few minutes with tumbler. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, no problems yet.

One pound of good powder goes a looong way. Looking for some powder variety now. Seeing some really neat color combinations posted out there. Been at this a few years now. Entirely sold! Lube sizers and lube sticks sit lonely on the shelf.

Read about a new Lee press that sizes like a Star. May invest once I get more info. Star is the berries but dies are pricey.

Rob

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Hook] #14657427 03/12/20
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Originally Posted by Hook
Thanks for the input deerstalker. PC'ing is getting more and more interesting. Now I wish there were some way to PC all the lubed cast bullets I have stockpiled...


Wondered the same thing. Thinking the lube may clear off boiling the bullets in some light soapy water. Worth a try, but haven’t done it yet.

If brushing and otherwise extra effort is required I’ll just cut bait and re-cast. I’m not an old hand at casting so remelting culls is part of the exercise for me.

Rob

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: ring3] #14658243 03/13/20
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I posed that question in a recent thread and the bottom line is that cleaning off the lube is more trouble than it's worth. The best way to get rid of already lubed and sized bullets is to shoot them. If they've been working so far then they haven't suddenly become worthless, you'll just have to put up with the same amount of smoke for a while.

I'm in the same boat although with only a few hundred lubed bullets left on hand. I'll shoot them up and then as more new bullets are cast will begin switching to powder coating exclusively.






Still adjusting to the sight of green bullets sticking out of a brass case, it just looks wrong somehow... wink


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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #14691253 03/22/20
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Well, my preliminary findings are excellent. So far have tested loads in 45-70 and 308.None have stretched velocities so far. just mild target/plinking type loads. Cast a pile of 7mms yesterday so will get around to them eventually. Now, the goal is to cast, PC, and stockpile....

Thank you Yondering for posting your PC method. Has worked perfectly for me with the exception of that one overheating that resulted in slumped bullets. I will next try baking a batch of piled up bullets in order to decrease the baking production. Hope I get the same results that you did and don't end up with a pile of glued together slugs.

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #14693777 03/22/20
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I am..........disturbed.

Concerning the difference between man and the jackass: some observers hold that there isn't any. But this wrongs the jackass. -Twain


Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Hook] #14694835 03/22/20
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Originally Posted by Hook

Thank you Yondering for posting your PC method. Has worked perfectly for me with the exception of that one overheating that resulted in slumped bullets. I will next try baking a batch of piled up bullets in order to decrease the baking production. Hope I get the same results that you did and don't end up with a pile of glued together slugs.


They will be somewhat glued together, but should break apart without too much trouble once they've cooled down. Do not try to break them apart while they're still warm. If you coat the powder pretty thick, the bullets will be harder to break apart.

I break apart most of the clump by dropping the pan flat on the concrete floor from about a foot high. It takes a few times, but that usually breaks up ~ 90% of them, and most of the rest break apart by hand without much trouble. Occasionally with very short bullets, like the Lee 95RF 9mm bullet that I really like, the bullets will get stuck base to base and are almost impossible to break apart. Those just go back in the pot as rejects; it's not worth spending much time or effort trying to save the few difficult ones.

Interestingly, you're one of the first in 6-7 years to ask about whether the pile of bullets gets glued together. It's a valid question, and makes me wonder if most people just won't try piling them up, or if those who did just figured it out on their own. I'd guess a lot of people aren't trying to cast & coat in the quantities I am, so maybe they don't mind some extra time in separating each bullet for small batches. I've been going through 9mm in ~500-600 bullets per batch every few weeks, so I want to be as efficient as possible without sacrificing accuracy.

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #14695112 03/23/20
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Cooked several 'piles' of bullets yesterday and had no trouble breaking them apart. This is great because my only complaint so far is how long it takes to cook a batch of bullets with my small countertop oven. Just can't get many in there although piling them up certainly helps. Sure wish I could do it in the kitchen oven.

DigitalDan, you cast some of the nicest looking bullets going. Although mine shoot very well, they look like crap compared to those pics I've seen you post around here.

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #14740072 04/03/20
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I am sure that not all toaster ovens are created equal. I discovered that my thrift store oven had some significant hot spots - I had coated a number of different bullets with a small number cast out of straight linotype. Once the oven had cooled and I removed the bullets the linotype bullets in the far back left corner had slumped while the rest didn't.

I went shopping for an oven with a convection fan - no more hot spots and no more slumped bullets.

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Hook] #14741861 04/03/20
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Hook, you should see the pile that goes back in the pot ! Thanks nonetheless.


I am..........disturbed.

Concerning the difference between man and the jackass: some observers hold that there isn't any. But this wrongs the jackass. -Twain


Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #14750276 04/06/20
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DD, I guess I just have to settle for the uglier sister. Despite culling and other efforts, my bullets just don't look 'lathe turned' like yours do. However, like many of the uglier sisters, once you turn out the lights, the results can be notable...

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

That 45-70 load has been an eye-opener. I was looking for a light pllnking load for my Marlin and decided to try Unique. My old Pacific pistol powder dropper produced a 12.4 grain load without a bushing in it. Even though that was a lighter load than I was looking for, the ease of charging the cases with it made me try. It gives a 1075fps velocity out of the 22" Marlin barrel and produces FINE accuracy. Here is another group fired Saturday while fine tuning the zero on the Weaver 2.5X scope. One inch high at 100 yds should get me all the practical use I can get with this load. You can shoot this load all day long with no danger of developing a flinch.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Last edited by Hook; 04/06/20.
Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #14752361 04/06/20
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Quote from yonderling
Just the powder residue. And if we're talking about the bore (not the action) it's the same amount of powder residue after 5 shots, or 100, or 1,000. I've never seen any coating residue in the bore, in anything from 700 fps pistol loads to 3,000+ fps rifle loads.
Some of my barrels only get used with powder coated bullets any more - I never clean them. Not because it's bad to clean them, but because it's just unnecessary. I do wipe off powder residue from the exterior, but that's it.


Controlling the temperature in your baking oven is important, and an oven thermometer is only a few dollars. Some guys are baking way too hot and trying to just pull the bullets out before they slump, but that's not what the powder coating needs for a good cure. The coatings I use are pretty specific about needing 400° F part temperature for 10 minutes; to me that means ~20 minutes total time in the oven, with the first 10 minutes to get the bullets up to 400°. [/quote]

I clean out of habit from shooting jacketed. But after all last season shooting matches, I bore scoped my barrel and was amazed at how clean the barrel was. No carbon buildup between the lands, hell, the leade still had the same minor radial marks left from the reamer after I lapped it in. These minimal marks I expect to be gone after 5-10 shots...still there!

Last edited by WayneShaw; 04/06/20.
Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Hook] #14753733 04/06/20
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You’re doing fine Hook!


I am..........disturbed.

Concerning the difference between man and the jackass: some observers hold that there isn't any. But this wrongs the jackass. -Twain


Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #14786482 04/15/20
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Best thread on powder coating, that I have read. I want to shoot cast in 2 AR rifles, and this is the ticket!!


Some is Good---More is Better----Too Much is Just Right
Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #14810048 04/22/20
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You no good so-and-so's! I just ordered some RAL 6018 from PBTP, going to do my first coating attempt for some sub 300 BO cats bullets from GT. Down the rabbit trial I go, and it's your guy's fault....

Thanks for the info.


Life......is a death sentence
Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: bowfisher] #14815335 04/23/20
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Originally Posted by bowfisher
You no good so-and-so's! I just ordered some RAL 6018 from PBTP, going to do my first coating attempt for some sub 300 BO cats bullets from GT. Down the rabbit trial I go, and it's your guy's fault....

Thanks for the info.


whistle

Glad to contribute to the sickness. grin

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #14825041 04/27/20
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I will be buying some 225 Grain lead .452 Lead semi wadcutter Hollow point Bullets with a Brinell Hardness of 6-8 for use in An EMF Pietta GWII single action revolver. with velocity of approximately 1000 FPS
I will be Shooting maybe 500-750 rounds per year, if I shoot that much .I do not want to size the bullets

Given the information I just gave would Powder Coating Bullets be better than just using alox for my set of circumstances ?
Or hand lubing ?

I would prefer to lube inside the house,can this be done safely inside the house ?
We also have 4 Cats in the house.


Thanks


Faster horses,Younger women,Older Whiskey,More money

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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #14825504 04/27/20
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Good information Yondering. One question, does the baking step effect the bullet hardness ? I cast for a 45/70 and my bullets are used for hunting. NormallyI water quench right out of the mold. Am I wasting my time if I PC ?

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #14826988 04/27/20
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Good question yukon. Yes, baking does affect the hardness - it will negate the affects of any quenching out of the mold. The solution is easy though: if you want to quench for hardness, do it after baking. The bullets are hot at that point, like when they come out of the mold, and can be quenched for hardness. Just pour cold water over the pan of hot bullets; I usually use a full juice pitcher of water on each pan of bullets.

Important! Don't try to dump the hot baked bullets into water; you'll tear the coating, pour water on the bullets instead.Once the coating has cooled, it takes a set and remains hard at high temperatures (it is what's called a "thermoset plastic", meaning it doesn't melt once cured), but right after that initial baking when it's still hot, it's soft and easily damaged.

I suggest skipping the water quench out of the mold (it doesn't hurt anything, but doesn't help either) and just quench after baking. This has worked well for me for use in high pressure handgun and rifle loads.

Hope that helps.

Last edited by Yondering; 04/27/20.
Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #14827840 04/27/20
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Thanks, thats a great idea. I like it when a process can be streamlined. I just ordered a new mold for my 45/70 from NOE. They didnt have a Ranch Dog 405 so I got the 350. Hopefully I can get them to shoot.

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: yukon254] #14833131 04/29/20
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Hook Offline
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Originally Posted by yukon254
Good information Yondering. One question, does the baking step effect the bullet hardness ? I cast for a 45/70 and my bullets are used for hunting. NormallyI water quench right out of the mold. Am I wasting my time if I PC ?


Here you go, Yukon....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fb...ecL1Yx3zgJCUDhzXRqp-uJwtNpMN5pjhQRM2arjM

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Hook] #14837792 04/30/20
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Yondering Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Hook
Originally Posted by yukon254
Good information Yondering. One question, does the baking step effect the bullet hardness ? I cast for a 45/70 and my bullets are used for hunting. NormallyI water quench right out of the mold. Am I wasting my time if I PC ?


Here you go, Yukon....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fb...ecL1Yx3zgJCUDhzXRqp-uJwtNpMN5pjhQRM2arjM



Hook, I'm not picking on you, but 2 things stand out right away in that video:

1 - it's a lot harder to get a good coating on just a few bullets like he did, than doing several hundred at once.
2 - Don't dump hot baked bullets into water, it will tear/damage the coating. Dump water on the bullets instead.

We live in an age where pretty much anybody can pretend to be an expert on YouTube, and few people test things for themselves to find out if they're following good advice or not.

The video did have good data on the hardness, so there's that. Beware of conclusions drawn from small differences though; the results can change with different alloys, different bullets, and more samples.

Edit - sorry, I'm a test and development engineer, so this stuff may bother me more than the rest of you guys. To me it's the equivalent of watching a movie where the good guy shoots 15 times without reloading his revolver.

Last edited by Yondering; 04/30/20.
Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #14837856 05/01/20
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From my experience and results I have no issues doing small lots of bullets at one time in fact I never do more than 50 to 100 bullets at a time and in some instance I only do 25 at a time if I'm testing a new powder. I also water quench some bullets right out of the toaster oven if I need to increase the hardness and I have seen no ill affects on the coating.

[img]https://i.imgur.com/nfB1r7c.jpg?1[/img]

[img]https://i.imgur.com/j05d4HB.jpg?1[/img]

[img]https://i.imgur.com/TtYlOVP.jpg?2[/img]

Last edited by res45; 05/01/20.
Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #14838076 05/01/20
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Yondering, I understand the shortcomings of that very simplified test. But, it does give an idea of the question in hand. Personally, I was not too interested in the process because I ultimately want to use my PC'ed bullets for hunting and want them soft enough to expand reliably. I'm still playing with developing a good alloy for that purpose. No water quenching for me! So far, the unquenched bullets have shot very well indeed.

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Hook] #14843487 05/02/20
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Originally Posted by Hook
Yondering, I understand the shortcomings of that very simplified test. But, it does give an idea of the question in hand. Personally, I was not too interested in the process because I ultimately want to use my PC'ed bullets for hunting and want them soft enough to expand reliably. I'm still playing with developing a good alloy for that purpose. No water quenching for me! So far, the unquenched bullets have shot very well indeed.



I may be able to help you with that, since I have spent a lot of time studying and experimenting how to achieve the same goal. What bullet are you using, and what is the meplat diameter, and what velocity? Also to start with, what alloy are you using right now?

Reliable expansion with either hollow point or flat point bullets is fairly easy to obtain with cast bullets, if you balance alloy, meplat diameter vs bullet size/shape, and velocity.

Last edited by Yondering; 05/02/20.
Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #14843761 05/03/20
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Well, the alloy is the problem. I have a large amount of lead, but none of it is known content. I acquired a lot of lead pipe fittings, elbows and straight connections for 1" or so pipe, that I thought was pure. I read the other day that the fittings sometimes contain up to 10% tin!! I had been using it to mix with unknown ingots acquired from an estate that likely are wheel weights. I also recently got a stash of what is supposed to be monotype. My first efforts were to try to develop softer alloy that would expand at about 1800 fps +/- .

After groping around in the dark for a month or so, I jumped on an older Saeco lead tester someone offered online. It is 20-25 years old but pretty much unused for the last 20 years or so according to the seller. The hardness of the bullets I've been casting lately run around 8 on the tester which equates to about 15 BHN. The molds I have are the 180 gr RCBS FP and the 170 gr Lee FP, both chosen because of their flat points. The RCBS makes great shooting bullets that end up at 186 gr GC'ed and PC'ed. The Lee bullets just aren't up to the quality of the RCBS no matter how hard I've tried to get them right. The RCBS bullets usually shoot to about 1.5-2.0" at the low velocities I've started with, and quite often will go below MOA. I am using them in 308, 30-40, and 30.06. Will heat them up when I get all the kinks worked out of my alloy.

The 45-70 mold is the Lee 405 gr FP and it makes accurate bullets that have shot some sub MOA groups out of my 1895. Not worried about alloy in it though because the 45 cal bullet doesn't really need to expand.

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #14846351 05/04/20
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Hook, from your description of the alloy, it sounds like there's a strong chance the spring in that Saeco tester might have weakened. Best to calibrate it against known pure lead (or close to it) for reference. Foster-style shotgun slugs and muzzle loader balls are convenient sources if you have them. 15 BHN sounds suspicious for a low-antimony alloy like your pipe fittings and wheel weight mix.

I don't know the meplat diameter of those bullets though?

Last edited by Yondering; 05/04/20.
Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #14847623 05/04/20
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As near as I can tell, the Lee's meplat is about 0.165" and the RCBS is about 0.190".

I think you may be right about the spring in my Saeco. Scrounged a few commercial cast bullets and tested them....they all tested at about 15 BHN. I have an email in to Redding to see if the current unit's parts are compatible with my unit and whether I can buy a new spring.

While looking through my stash, I found about 8-10 lbs of nice, BIG 45 cal slugs marked as being cast of 1:25 alloy. Heaven knows where I got these things, but it must have been back when I was dabbling around with BPCR rifles. I no longer have anything I can shoot these in, so am considering turning them into 180 gr, 30 caliber bullets. The question is, at what point is an alloy too soft to be driven at ~1800 fps when GC'ed and PC'ed?

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Hook] #14860838 05/08/20
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Originally Posted by Hook
The question is, at what point is an alloy too soft to be driven at ~1800 fps when GC'ed and PC'ed?



In my experience, 25:1 is definitely at that point. It probably won't lead, but is likely to not shoot very accurately either at that speed. That depends a lot on the design as well though. It's also a lot softer than you need for good expansion, in my experience.

For what you described, at 1800-2000 fps with those bullets, straight clip-on WW alloy will give plenty of expansion. I would not go any softer than that for those speeds (such as mixing stick-on WW or pipe fittings with that alloy). If you think you've got an alloy that's considerably softer, like the pipe fitting & WW mix you described, you can buy a pound of antimony on Amazon and mix it into your lead alloy. 1 lb of antimony with 50 lb of soft lead will get you to about ~2%, which is just about right. You might want to reduce the amount of antimony you add, depending how much WW was in the mix; maybe 3/4 lb for that 50 lb of alloy.

FWIW mixing in antimony is not nearly as difficult as some claim. I start with ~15 lb of alloy in my 20 lb pot, add the antimony, and run it up to about 800° F. It takes a little while and lots of mixing, but does eventually mix in. For some reason, adding a lump of old bullet lube or candle wax helped it mix better than other fluxing methods I normally use; not sure the reason for that but there it is.

Last edited by Yondering; 05/08/20.
Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #14861036 05/09/20
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Thanks for the input, Yondering. Fortunately, I now have a better handle on some of my 'unknowns' . I took a sample of my lead pipe fittings and monotype to a local salvage yard where they did a RXF(?) analysis of them. The fittings are 98%+ lead and 1.5% antimony with traces of other metals. The monotype is 80% lead, 12% antimony, and 7% tin. I shouldn't have any problem with having the right amount of antimony, just have to alloy the stuff properly to get enough tin for good fill out. The comment about coww alloy hardness giving good expansion at my desired velocities gives me a target BHN to shoot for.

Thanks again!

Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #14872575 05/13/20
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 4,720
Y
Yondering Offline OP
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Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 4,720
Glad to help, Hook. Let us know how they work out, and maybe post pics of some expanded bullets if you recover any.

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