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Thread: Rangefinder's PC Tumbler Method

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Rangefinder's Avatar
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    Rangefinder's PC Tumbler Method

    All right Guys (and girls??), I've been playing with this PC stuff a bit and have come up with my own variation of the PIGLET method that is both fast and consistent. I use my tumbler. Here's the step-by-step, as requested.

    As mentioned in the Piglet method, Lacquer Thinner is working best for me--not Acetone. I'm using the separator bowl of my tumbler, but you can use the large bowl just as well--either will work.

    As-dropped Lee TL-401-175's from my 6-cav... There's probably about 70 or so there that I threw real quick for the purposes of this. I've done about 200 at a time with perfect results.
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    Pour about a 1/4 cup Thinner in the tumbler, add the boolits, and turn it on. In a couple minutes they'll be nice and clean. Special note though, Thinner WILL splatter a little. Keep heat sources away. Using a small scoop (I use a Lee .3cc dipper, start sprinkling the 'soup' with PC powder. Add just a little at a time and give things a little jostle between scoops to make sure it spreads evenly. For this batch I used 6 scoops--or just under 2cc of PC paint total.
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    When everything is coated evenly but there's still enough Thinner in the bottom of the bowel to see a slight puddle in the shake, I add a tiny sprinkle of graphite powder.
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    Let things run for about a minute with the graphite to embed, then dump the soup out onto a baking sheet lined with foil.
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    There should still be a little thinner that pours out with the coated boolits. With a little thinner on your fingers, you can stand them up without making a mess of yourself or leaving prints all over the tacky boolits. Once on end, either let them dry for a while or do what I do--spark 'em to burn off the excess thinner.
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    At this point, they're ready to slide in the oven. Bake 'em at the prescribed temp and time for your PC. When the 'ding' happens, pull them out, let 'em cool, and peel 'em off the foil. They're ready to size and load. Here's what this batch turned out to look like.
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    And here's the bases once they're peeled off the foil.
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    From the time I fired up the pot to cast this lot till the time I snapped the photo of the base was just over an hour. Realistically, you could go from ingot to shooting in a little over 2 hours on a small lot. Tough to complain about that. Gimme a day or so and I'll show you accuracy differences between my former LLA and the current PC method. It's down-right scary.
    Last edited by Rangefinder; 10-16-2013 at 07:10 PM.
    Guns have only two real enemies; Rust and Politicians...

    "Praying might get you to heaven, but trespassing will expedite the journey..."

    Where might I be found when I'm not here? Try looking here:http://www.facebook.com/NSWE.Pagosa and here: www.rescueropes.org

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    Beagle333's Avatar
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    Splendid!!!! Thanks for the tutorial.... now out to the yard to test it!
    Colt 1860, it just feels right.

  3. #3
    Thank you! !!

    Now it's time to try

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Rangefinder's Avatar
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    As promised, here is some accuracy tests. The photo shows 4 targets--the bottom are targets from when I first started PC'ing against my old TL. Top is today. Left is LLA, right is PC'd. Two different tests at different times. I think I know what my new standard is.

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    EDIT--This is 20 yards, two-hand grip 40S&W 175gr SWC Identical loads.
    Last edited by Rangefinder; 10-17-2013 at 06:28 PM.
    Guns have only two real enemies; Rust and Politicians...

    "Praying might get you to heaven, but trespassing will expedite the journey..."

    Where might I be found when I'm not here? Try looking here:http://www.facebook.com/NSWE.Pagosa and here: www.rescueropes.org

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the write up .. I will be trying this tonight
    I carry a Nuke50 because cleaning up the mess is Silly !!

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  6. #6
    Boolit Man rhadamanthos12's Avatar
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    What purpose does the graphite serve? I don't have any on hand but have all the other products to give this a shot, what do you believe the outcome would be if you omitted the step with graphite?

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
    fishnbob's Avatar
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    Why not size before powder coating? Doesn't sizing take the coating off?
    You boys gonna draw them pistols or whistle Dixie

    NRA ENDOWMENT MEMBER

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    ------Babylonian Proverb

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    375RUGER's Avatar
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    Is that foil shiny side up or down?
    Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats. H.L. Mencken

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks Rangefinder. To show where my mind was this morning; I read the thread title and thought "what the h@!! is politically correct tumble lube!"...
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Rangefinder's Avatar
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    What purpose does the graphite serve? I don't have any on hand but have all the other products to give this a shot, what do you believe the outcome would be if you omitted the step with graphite?
    I have no doubt you'll be just fine without it. I've done it both ways, and haven't really given it a serious test. What I did notice was those with the graphite had a nice, slightly darker sheen after sizing that does NOT rub off, so it would appear the added graphite is giving the coating one more slippery barrier between lead and bore. I finally gave my barrel a chore-boy scrub yesterday and barely had even a smudge to remove--not even much in the way of carbon. The round count by that point was somewhere over 2K.

    Why not size before powder coating? Doesn't sizing take the coating off?
    Sizing does NOT remove the coating after heat curing--if it did it wouldn't work for boolit coating. But sizing before is unnecessary because the PC paint adds to the diameter just a little, and final sizing uniforms everything up.

    Is that foil shiny side up or down?
    Funny as it is, I seem to always go with shiny side up. *shrug* OCD? Probably....
    Guns have only two real enemies; Rust and Politicians...

    "Praying might get you to heaven, but trespassing will expedite the journey..."

    Where might I be found when I'm not here? Try looking here:http://www.facebook.com/NSWE.Pagosa and here: www.rescueropes.org

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

    Beagle333's Avatar
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    My foil says "Reynolds Wrap - Non Stick Side" on the suggested use side, and incidentally, it is not the shiny side. You got the cheap stuff!
    Last edited by Beagle333; 10-21-2013 at 09:38 AM. Reason: spellin
    Colt 1860, it just feels right.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Rangefinder's Avatar
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    Awe man... you're next going to tell me you read the parts diagram before assembly too, aren't you? Traitor ... LOL...
    Guns have only two real enemies; Rust and Politicians...

    "Praying might get you to heaven, but trespassing will expedite the journey..."

    Where might I be found when I'm not here? Try looking here:http://www.facebook.com/NSWE.Pagosa and here: www.rescueropes.org

  13. #13
    Boolit Bub
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    This was well written and hopefully I can follow it. I am trying to remove some pre-lubed boolits and then PC them. I just want to check it out.

  14. #14
    Boolit Bub
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    Well I gave this a try today with HF Matte Black.

    I do not think things look right and I am not getting a coating in the lube grooves (not that it matters).


  15. #15
    Boolit Master Rangefinder's Avatar
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    Filling the grooves isn't necessary with PC. Looks like you did get a fair coating over the rest of the boolit. Next--if you've already cooked 'em--you'll want to give those a wipe test with a rag and thinner to see if it's cured well (it's shouldn't come off on the rag) and give one a smash test--stand one on a hard surface and smack it with a hammer (cured well and adhered right, it shouldn't chip or flake off). HF paint seems to be more difficult to work with using this and the piglet method, black in particular. THAT being said, I'd say you made it cooperate pretty well.
    Guns have only two real enemies; Rust and Politicians...

    "Praying might get you to heaven, but trespassing will expedite the journey..."

    Where might I be found when I'm not here? Try looking here:http://www.facebook.com/NSWE.Pagosa and here: www.rescueropes.org

  16. #16
    Boolit Bub
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    What brand of PC paint are you using?

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Rangefinder's Avatar
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    Honestly, couldn't tell you--I never asked what company it came from bulk.
    Here's the two I get best results with of the four I have (also have his black which doesn't work worth squat) and a blue I picked up elsewhere that works good but has to go on thinner and slower.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/GLOSS-BRIGHT...item19d94e9da1
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/GLOSS-ORANGE...item19dec7d889
    Guns have only two real enemies; Rust and Politicians...

    "Praying might get you to heaven, but trespassing will expedite the journey..."

    Where might I be found when I'm not here? Try looking here:http://www.facebook.com/NSWE.Pagosa and here: www.rescueropes.org

  18. #18
    Boolit Man rhadamanthos12's Avatar
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    So I tested it without the graphite, I let the tumbler run till the boolits were completely dry to the touch. My first try with having some of the "soup" at the bottom left the boolits looking runny

    here is letting it run till completely dry

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    pouring early with some soup

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  19. #19
    Boolit Master Rangefinder's Avatar
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    Those on top that ran until dry look really good! What I'm noticing is that the length of run is different with all the different PC paints we're all using. I got similar results to one of the posts in the other PC'ing thread (I think it was squibload's recent attempt with an improvised tumbler) where if it ran too long it would start taking the coating off the high areas and depositing it in the lower areas (losing from the drive bands and base where it's needed most). BUT, it looks like that isn't the case at all with your paint, and running till dry gives the necessary coverage. NICE WORK!
    Guns have only two real enemies; Rust and Politicians...

    "Praying might get you to heaven, but trespassing will expedite the journey..."

    Where might I be found when I'm not here? Try looking here:http://www.facebook.com/NSWE.Pagosa and here: www.rescueropes.org

  20. #20
    Boolit Man rhadamanthos12's Avatar
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    The powder im using is from prismatic powders, that color is flatter black. I have some HF yellow I could give it a shot with, the recipe im using is 2fl oz of lacquer thinner and 2.8cc of powder and tumble to till dry. I'm processing some 30cal rifle bullets right now. I will update again when I get a chance to test these out.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check