Some OCD questions from someone who likes to verify what may be obvious.
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...
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!