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Sixgunner45
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Posted: 3/26/2013 11:08:22 AM EST
I am trying something a little different with my cast bullets. Powder Coating!

I've been making and shooting cast bullets for some time. The only real problem I've had with them is that they are leading the barrels in my 9mm's. They also smoke much more than jacketed or plated bullets, which isn't very good for shooting at the indoor range.

So, yesturday I got a cheap powder coat setup at Harbor Freight ($58.00) and started to powder coat a few.

The powder coating works as the lube, so no more messy/smoky lubes are needed. The bullets actually shoot faster than either jacketed or lubed bullets with the same powder weights, so they are actually more slippery.

There is NO leading and there is very little smoke, just about how jacketed shoot. People have also reported better groups than lubed bullets, so there is a potential for better accuracy.

I've read that some people are pushing these bullets up to 2900 fps. with a plain base, no checks or anything.

Here's a large thread over at Cast Boolits all about it: http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?171403-Powder-Coating-Boolits

And here are a few I powder coated yesturday


DSC01243 by Colorado CJ, on Flickr
351wsl
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Posted: 3/26/2013 11:13:25 AM EST
Looks cool too!

I must find out more.
Vly
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Posted: 3/26/2013 11:23:39 AM EST
Interesting. I will check out your link.
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PointBlank82
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Posted: 3/26/2013 11:36:04 AM EST
What exactly is the material used to powdercoat? There are some state laws specifically prohibiting flourocarbon coatings...
Sixgunner45
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Posted: 3/26/2013 11:40:23 AM EST
It is a powdered epoxy/polymer heat set product.
tbonifie
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Posted: 3/26/2013 11:42:27 AM EST

Originally Posted By Sixgunner45:
It is a powdered epoxy/polymer heat set product.

Is this like moly-coated? Surely it has to leave some residue on your barrel that must be cleaned?
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tbonifie
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Posted: 3/26/2013 11:44:52 AM EST
Oh... and...

Tutorial, please?
"In religion and politics, people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten second hand, and without examination." - Mark Twain.
Sixgunner45
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Posted: 3/26/2013 11:54:10 AM EST
It is regular Powder Coat, the same stuff used for bumpers, outdoor furniture, etc..

The linked forum post has all the information needed.

There is nothing left in the barrel when shot. People have stated that their barrel is actually cleaner after 200 rounds than it was before they shot them. Just gun powder residue left.

This is NOT Moly, so no need to worry about trying to get moly out of barrels
Sixgunner45
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Posted: 3/26/2013 11:55:26 AM EST
Oh, and you could use every color of the rainbow. I picked up the flat black and yellow right now. Harbor Freight also has red, white and some other color in stock.
PointBlank82
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Posted: 3/26/2013 12:17:12 PM EST
Any thoughts on gas system fouling?
Sixgunner45
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Posted: 3/26/2013 12:31:57 PM EST
There is no fouling to speak of. MUCH less than lead anyway, which I shoot out of my 300 BLK all the time. Reports have been that the barrels are extremely clean after hundreds of rounds, just a little powder residue, no copper fouling either, so it is actually cleaner than shooting jacketed bullets.

This is with speeds remaining below 3000 fps for right now. Someone tried it with .224 cast bullets in an AR and are reporting a little fouling in the barrel. They were loading for over 3000 f.p.s. though.

It will work GREAT in a 300 BLK.




Aggie_Gunner
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Posted: 3/26/2013 12:32:33 PM EST
Ok, this is officially the coolest arfcom post I've seen in some time...

Does the coating add any thickness? Can you size them afterwards?

TIA,

- AG
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Sixgunner45
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Posted: 3/26/2013 12:38:10 PM EST
Originally Posted By Aggie_Gunner:
Ok, this is officially the coolest arfcom post I've seen in some time...

Does the coating add any thickness? Can you size them afterwards?

TIA,

- AG


The coating adds a slight amount of thickness. The cool thing is, you resize the bullets AFTER you powdercoat, not before. The powder coating remains intact, just gets a little shiny.

Recovered powder coated bullets show that the powder coating is still intact in the rifled areas. It is TOUGH stuff, but very slippery.

I'll see if I can add a few photos from the other forum.

Sixgunner45
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Posted: 3/26/2013 12:42:09 PM EST
Here is a picture of a smushed powder coated bullet (using the black powder coat from harbor freight). The powder coating remains intact with no flaking.



Here's a photo of a few recovered bullets. Notice the rifling grooves. Powdercoat remains intact.

Aggie_Gunner
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Posted: 3/26/2013 12:44:45 PM EST
Wow... it has been too long since I was over at castboolits. Thanks! Off to order powder coating machine!

- AG
I have a compulsion for firearms and martial arts; other than that I'm pretty non-violent...

Smart as a horse, and hung like Einstein...
Jailer
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Posted: 3/26/2013 12:48:06 PM EST
It does work great but is a bit time consuming for my tastes. I also had a hard time getting good coverage on the base of the boolits.

My Christmas themed 300 blk boolits that ken73 coated for me to try out.

GAZ32
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Posted: 3/26/2013 12:53:38 PM EST
Looks cool.

How much time and money do you have invested in say, 100 rounds?

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CBR900
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Posted: 3/26/2013 12:58:37 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/26/2013 1:04:14 PM EST by CBR900]
Originally Posted By Sixgunner45:
It is regular Powder Coat, the same stuff used for bumpers, outdoor furniture, etc..

The linked forum post has all the information needed.

There is nothing left in the barrel when shot. People have stated that their barrel is actually cleaner after 200 rounds than it was before they shot them. Just gun powder residue left.

This is NOT Moly, so no need to worry about trying to get moly out of barrels


"coated" lead cast bullets are NOT new technology - they've been around for 20 years - but people in the gun community are VERY slow to catch on (there is a maddening amount of herp-derp / mis-information about "TMJ'd" or electroplated bullets out there - like the excellent Speer Gold Dot ELECTROPLATED bullet).

Steel Challenge winner B.J. Norris used to shoot only coated bullets (polymer/moly coating) out of his Glock 34 back when he was just a teenager.

I think this was the brand he used to use back then: http://www.precisionbullets.com/

After he started winning and switched to Open division, he got sponsoship & all his ammo was paid for so there was no longer a need to use inexpensive coated bullets.


Personally, I have concerns about the toxicity of the smoke produced when these are fired. OTOH, all gunsmoke generally contains lead fumes IF moddern lead styphnate primers are used. So its not as if any of it is healthy.

Sixgunner45
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Posted: 3/26/2013 12:59:25 PM EST
The powder coat machine was $59.00. HF powder coat is $4.99 a pound, so far it looks like I can powder coat around 2000 bullets per pound.

Right now I am using a VERY small toaster oven. I am making about 80 bullets every 20 minutes. MOST of that time is waiting on the powder to cook. If I had a larger oven, I could easily see 200-300 bullets powder coated every 20 minutes.

Jimmy22
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Posted: 3/26/2013 1:14:08 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/26/2013 1:14:34 PM EST by Jimmy22]
i doubt that it is more slippery. You are making it a larger diameter bullet and its fitting tighter in the bore, making the gasses push harder against the bullet. The PC is probably also acting like a gasket of sorts. Thats the reason for higher MV.
Sixgunner45
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Posted: 3/26/2013 1:19:33 PM EST
Originally Posted By Jimmy22:
i doubt that it is more slippery. You are making it a larger diameter bullet and its fitting tighter in the bore, making the gasses push harder against the bullet. The PC is probably also acting like a gasket of sorts. Thats the reason for higher MV.


You size these bullets "After" powder coating, so they are the same exact size as the normal lead bullets being shot. People are seeing higher velocities with these powder coated bullets than with the cast/lubed bullets of the exact same size.

So, that means that these bullets are definitely more "slippery" than cast/lubed bullets.
us-kiwi
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Posted: 3/26/2013 1:40:35 PM EST
I am a commercial powder coater.

How are you supporting the boolits to ground them for spraying and baking.

I have LOTS of excess waste surplus powder out of the filters in my spray booth
that would be suitable for this use.
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Sixgunner45
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Posted: 3/26/2013 1:46:17 PM EST
Originally Posted By us-kiwi:
I am a commercial powder coater.

How are you supporting the boolits to ground them for spraying and baking.

I have LOTS of excess waste surplus powder out of the filters in my spray booth
that would be suitable for this use.


I am using "non stick" aluminum foil. I simply wrap my tray in the foil, then set the bullets on it base down. The bullets are then all grounded at the same time through the foil.

Replace the foil after every tray is baked.

GAZ32
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Posted: 3/26/2013 1:46:33 PM EST
Originally Posted By Sixgunner45:
The powder coat machine was $59.00. HF powder coat is $4.99 a pound, so far it looks like I can powder coat around 2000 bullets per pound.

Right now I am using a VERY small toaster oven. I am making about 80 bullets every 20 minutes. MOST of that time is waiting on the powder to cook. If I had a larger oven, I could easily see 200-300 bullets powder coated every 20 minutes.



For me, I don't think the time would be worth it in the end. The only lead I shoot is .45

I also like to shoot a lot at a time, so the most amount that I can crank out safely in the quickest amount of time wins.
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Jailer
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Posted: 3/26/2013 2:08:25 PM EST
Originally Posted By Sixgunner45:
Originally Posted By Jimmy22:
i doubt that it is more slippery. You are making it a larger diameter bullet and its fitting tighter in the bore, making the gasses push harder against the bullet. The PC is probably also acting like a gasket of sorts. Thats the reason for higher MV.


You size these bullets "After" powder coating, so they are the same exact size as the normal lead bullets being shot. People are seeing higher velocities with these powder coated bullets than with the cast/lubed bullets of the exact same size.

So, that means that these bullets are definitely more "slippery" than cast/lubed bullets.


I saw about 50 FPS higher average velocity and tighter groups from a given powder charge from a known accurate load in my 300 blk. And that's not something I read on the internet or formulated a guess about, it's actual results as measured over a chronograph.

I was also able to increase the charge and maintain accuracy over regular lubed cast lead bullets.

knight_dive
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Posted: 3/26/2013 2:34:16 PM EST
Originally Posted By Sixgunner45:
Originally Posted By Jimmy22:
i doubt that it is more slippery. You are making it a larger diameter bullet and its fitting tighter in the bore, making the gasses push harder against the bullet. The PC is probably also acting like a gasket of sorts. Thats the reason for higher MV.


You size these bullets "After" powder coating, so they are the same exact size as the normal lead bullets being shot. People are seeing higher velocities with these powder coated bullets than with the cast/lubed bullets of the exact same size.

So, that means that these bullets are definitely more "slippery" than cast/lubed bullets.


Actually the opposite is probably true. If the bullet were more "slippery" less pressure would develop, therefore less velocity would result. That's like moly coating jacketed bullets, there's less friction so more powder is required to acheive the same velocity. Even at the same diameter the powder coat must increase friction thereby causing more pressure to develop driving the bullets faster.
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