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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Yondering] #13623761 03/04/19
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Re: Powder coating quick and easy [Re: Idaho_Shooter] #13624066 03/04/19
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Jim in Idaho Offline
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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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Jim in Idaho Offline
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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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Hook Offline
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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.
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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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Jim in Idaho Offline
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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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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.

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