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A comment in the powder coating rifle bullets thread prompted me to remark on my experience with powder coating vs. lube and ask if others are seeing the same thing.

Basically, I'm getting better groups with powder coated bullets than the same bullet/load/firearm using lubed bullets.

So far I've only compared this in four different .38 Spl or .357 Mag revolvers but it is consistent across all of them. Using the same bullets cast during the same session from an Accurate 358160 mold, sized to the same dimensions but some lubed with LBT Blue and others powder coated, the powder coated bullets shoot better groups. Every single time. Not hugely better, maybe 1/2" to 3/4" better at most, but the PC bullets are always the smaller group. These are all 10 shot groups, btw, to get a bit better confidence level than just 5 or 6 shots.

So - am I alone in this or are you guys seeing the same thing?


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Yes they do and they seem to travel faster than the ones that have regular lube.

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I can’t compare, as I’ve only shot powder coated through my Marlin GG. powder Coated 430’s @ just under 1800 gave 4 shots just over an inch! This was the first group fired from the rifle on paper…..I called it good enough and stopped there! 😉 memtb

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Last edited by memtb; 10/15/22.

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I dunno, never powder coated a bullet. I'm OK with regular lube.

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Various lubes make things work better as you get older.



Wait, what?


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I know nothing of handguns and cast bullets, but as far as rifles go, I think powder coating makes up for the absolutely schidtful ill conceived dimensions of most generic store bought mass produced molds. Lack of interest by many shooters in actually measuring throats and grooves, and spec'ing a mold to fit, lack of controlling Brinnel hardness of the bullet alloy to match the load pressure, lack of adjusting load pressure to the alloy hardness...result in poor performance on target. Powder coating is a shortcut to better results if you are ignoring the basics of cast bullet success. That's why powder coating seems to work better.


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I never compared them. Once I started powder coating I haven’t lubed a bullet with the lubrisizer since. When I was lubing them I only shot cast bullets in pistols and I’m probably not a good enough shot to tell the difference. Now 95% of my shooting is rifles and I have no desire to shoot lubed bullets in them. The pc’d bullets are much cleaner to handle and load, little or no smoke when shooting them and the guns are much cleaner.

I’ve thought about comparing them but don’t know if I want the mess again. If I do, I’d probably use the Lee lube and try it with and without powder coating. I’d probably be mad if the lubed bullets shot better than pc, then I’d have to deal with the mess… :-)

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Originally Posted by flintlocke
I think powder coating makes up for the Lack of interest by many shooters in actually measuring throats and grooves, and spec'ing a mold to fit, lack of controlling Brinnel hardness of the bullet alloy to match the load pressure, lack of adjusting load pressure to the alloy hardness...result in poor performance on target.
I'll admit this is me to a "T". Maybe when I retire I'll have time to fret those things. right now I prefer to spend more time actually shooting.


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Originally Posted by bbassi
Originally Posted by flintlocke
I think powder coating makes up for the Lack of interest by many shooters in actually measuring throats and grooves, and spec'ing a mold to fit, lack of controlling Brinnel hardness of the bullet alloy to match the load pressure, lack of adjusting load pressure to the alloy hardness...result in poor performance on target.
I'll admit this is me to a "T". Maybe when I retire I'll have time to fret those things. right now I prefer to spend more time actually shooting.

I’m in the Whatever Works camp. If I get good results via the easy button, it’s a win.


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I have only shot PC bullets. I compete in cast bullet benchrest, and have done fairly well. many tell me they can't make a PC bullet shoot well, and I can't see why. The advantages are many, the only down side is it takes a little more time. I treat my rifles the same as I do when shooting jacketed benchrest, I clean after every target. The condition of the barrel is amazing, after a whole season I have bore scoped them and there is no carbon buildup, no leading, no fire cracking, just clean steel.

If you take the time to work up a load properly, the PC bullets shoot as good/better than greased bullets. I do think many who try to PC bullets put too much coating on. Too thick and the bullet may very well be eccentric and out of balance.

Last edited by WayneShaw; 10/19/22.
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I’ve used alox and a lubrisizer in the past, but never tested identical loads back to back once I began to PC, but I never noticed any degradation in accuracy once powder coating. Use the tumble method, and shoot in both pistol and rifle. Both methods have given me great results after finding the right load data, but the cleanliness aspect sold me hard on powder. I’ll never go back.

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Where is the best place to buy the Powder Coat? Thanks

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Originally Posted by 450hunter
Where is the best place to buy the Powder Coat? Thanks

Smoke, he's on the castboolits website.

https://castboolits.gunloads.com/sh...uality-Powder-for-DT-or-Spraying-bullets


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The man who taught me to cast bullets had 30+ years of experience. Just a year after teaching me, I asked him about powdercoating rather than traditional lubing. He said, blasphemy! A year later I gifted him a couple of tupperwear bowls with a few ounces of powder inside, a toaster oven, and away he went. He cast and coated some of his favorite 9mm bullets. He loaded 10 of them with trad lube and 10 with PC. I got a phone call the following weekend. He seemed out of breathe. He was so excited about the groups he shot with the PC bullets he could hardly get the words out of his mouth fast enough. Sadly he died just a few years later. From the lack of PC bullets left inside his storage cans I'd say that was all he shot for those last few years.


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Originally Posted by flintlocke
I think powder coating makes up for the absolutely schidtful ill conceived dimensions of most generic store bought mass produced molds. Lack of interest by many shooters in actually measuring throats and grooves, and spec'ing a mold to fit, lack of controlling Brinnel hardness of the bullet alloy to match the load pressure, lack of adjusting load pressure to the alloy hardness...result in poor performance on target. Powder coating is a shortcut to better results if you are ignoring the basics of cast bullet success. That's why powder coating seems to work better.

I tend to agree with this. I had the precepts drilled into me almost from the git-go when I started casting 50+ years ago, and have employed them even for backyard plinking loads. On top of that, as I segue into my "golden years" (I'll be 70 on Tuesday) I find I haven't completed my experiments with "traditional" cast bullets nearly to my satisfaction - and aim to do so to the best of my ability before I shuffle off this mortal coil. While I recognize the benefits of PC'ing it simply isn't in my cards. Add to that my main area of competition with cast bullets is in ASSRA shuetzen/benchrest, and there we can't use jacketed, coated, or even gas checked bullets (which is pretty much a moot point when you're talking 1400fps velocities in general anyway).

Our comrade Dinny here reached out to me and guided me into the wonderful world of shooting .357 Maximum in a long barreled rifle. The bullets he provided as a sampler were all PC'ed, and most of them shot beautifully. In fact a load with one style, a 200 grain, was my most accurate load to date and was one I hunted with this year. Since then though, I knuckled down to minding my P's&Q's in terms of strict adherence to bullet fit protocols and have coaxed a "naked" 200 grain cast bullet of my own to shoot a shade better than the best of the PC'ed lot I had to work with, at the same velocity and zero leading. Done. Works for me, I can now get on with other stuff. I know, a real piss-poor sampling of one and full of holes in terms of statistical averaging, but sufficient to me in this instance and certainly not reason to condemn one approach over the other.

In short, I elect to avoid yet another time consuming step in the bullet making process that in my view isn't an earth shattering idea. If PC'ing guaranteed a hugely significant improvement in accuracy I would probably sing a different tune. Besides, brightly colored bullets to me look kind of gay or something! (Son, I say, Son, that's a joke, boy!)


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gnoahhh's response is my take on it was well.
To me its the "moly coated bullet" deal all over again

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Powder coating is the busy man's shortcut to satisfactory accuracy...I applaud it. On the other hand, reviewing the "Fouling Shot" magazine of the Cast Bullet Assn, wherein the national competitors list the components used in competition as well as their score...no competitor listed powder coated bullets. I think they are legal.
Over time, several well regarded shooters have evaluated lube vs pc, and were unable to see any marked advantage or disadvantage. One shooter conducted tests using a .222 at 2,800 fps with satisfactory results...but in competition I noticed he used lube....your call guys.


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This seems like a discussion about tuning carburetors vs a modern fuel injected engine. Of course fuel injection is a shortcut. Blasphemy. And a short lived modern fad. All that skill and knowledge wasted and replaced with a new technology that doesn't appreciate the meticulous skills and dedication to the art of tuning carburated engines. ;-)

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Originally Posted by castnblast
This seems like a discussion about tuning carburetors vs a modern fuel injected engine. Of course fuel injection is a shortcut. Blasphemy. And a short lived modern fad. All that skill and knowledge wasted and replaced with a new technology that doesn't appreciate the meticulous skills and dedication to the art of tuning carburated engines. ;-)

Seems pretty spot-on to me.

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Originally Posted by flintlocke
Powder coating is the busy man's shortcut to satisfactory accuracy...I applaud it. On the other hand, reviewing the "Fouling Shot" magazine of the Cast Bullet Assn, wherein the national competitors list the components used in competition as well as their score...no competitor listed powder coated bullets. I think they are legal.
Over time, several well regarded shooters have evaluated lube vs pc, and were unable to see any marked advantage or disadvantage. One shooter conducted tests using a .222 at 2,800 fps with satisfactory results...but in competition I noticed he used lube....your call guys.

Regarding the Cast Bullet Assoc. the board of directors approved the use of PC bullets quite a few years ago. Then, a few got their panties in a wad and tried to claim they were illegal since the "rules" were never changed to say it. So last year the few made a big push to force the rules to say yeah or nay in writing. And they didn't stop there, they tried to make PC bullets ineligible to set any records, make them illegal to use that their National shoot, and a few other items. All of these "proposed rule changes" got shot down and the rules now reflect that PC bullets are legal in all CBA competition.

Ironically, these few people who objected to PC, in my opinion, bend the rules in their own way. The rules state (paraphrasing) bullets must be cast in a mold to their basic shape.......sizing and bumping are allowed. Using a significant press, they cast a lino slug which resembles a wad cutter, then fully swage that slug into a fully formed bullet. That is far from a "basic shape".

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