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Thread: Lowest alloy for powder coating.

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6bg6ga View Post
    There are numerous posts that seem to indicate that coating at 400 degrees doesn't affect the hardness. People have compared the hardness before and after and found no differences. I have some bullets that test a straight 5 as tested with a REAL bullet hardness tester. I will coat some and test them.

    Attachment 204130
    I don't know about other people, but I found difference in numerous tests, even when I powder coated at 200 degrees (actual temperature reached 275 degrees F when scanned with IR thermometer). This was mystery alloy, my suspicion it was contaminated with zinc, I did my best to flux it with wax and sawdust and scoop up heavy dross. Bullets dropped at 10.7 BNH average after a week the BHN tested average 14.93 from 4 samples, I discarded 5th sample that was way off. After I powder coated I tested bullets on the 2nd day with avg. BHN 13.1, when tested after 1 week it was same BNH number using 5 samples. So I lost almost 2 BNH points after powder coat. In another example I heat treated WW with 2% tin rifle bullets and end up with average 25.8 from 6 samples. After I powder coated and baked at 250 degrees for 30 min (I was using PID controller so it took about 20 minutes to reach 248 degrees and another 10 minutes to make sure it cured. I placed thermocouple probe in the middle of the tray, the temp never went over more than 1 degree) I tested 3 samples and it was BNH 19.3! Same number on 3 samples. So in this case it was dramatic 6.5 points lost!

    I would like to see reports of people what they do, unless they are baking at 450 degrees for a long time like 30 minutes and more, I've tried that, it made my PC brittle, it would come off if I scraped it with a knife.
    Last edited by dimaprok; 09-17-2017 at 03:32 AM. Reason: spelling

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by popper View Post
    I got pure to work in a hot load for 180gr. 40sw by adding Zn, ~1% with a tad of Cu. PC helps but just barely,AC. They will drop shiny, heavy & small so PC should help. Best solution though is to get some superhard, cast into boolits and add as needed. One ingot is ~$20 and will last a long time. 1%Zn/1%Sb/0.3-0.5%Cu works good in the 30/30 @ hunting fps. Should be good for 9mm. It will get harder WD after coating. Adding Zn to the range scrap will help but with a limited supply, you do need some Sb for the soft. Adding R.S. to the pure won't help.
    With your 1%Zn/1%Sb/0.3-0.5%Cu alloy, what kind of accuracy are you getting with 30/30? I found that with 300 blackout, I first started casting bullets this summer and I struggled to get good accuracy and by good accuracy I mean at least 1" at 50 yards. I was getting between 2 and 3 inches. After much reading I learned that hardened alloy and gas checked I was able to get about less than half inch group. So I decided to use your method to clean suspected zinc contaminated lead, I sprinkled copper sulfate it sizzled, turned white at this point I crushed against the wall, the powder was greyish, not brown or red as I expected, I repeated the process 4-5 times still no brown/red residue. There was dross being formed that I removed with powder, I fluxed with wax few times after removing the dross, in the end I wasn't sure what was happening, was I removing my tin with copper sulfate?? I didn't think there was much tin in there because I casted earlier with it and fill out was terrible, I sorted probably 30% rejects. I haven't tried casting with new alloy, I decided to add copper only to my pewter tin - that worked, actually surprisingly well, I added roughly 8%, I could have tried more, but I ran out of copper wire.

  3. #23
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    The ONLY way I will remotely believe that powder coating effect hardness is with proof. Start out will a GOOD hardness tester not a Lee. take hardness of lead samples before casting and after. Hardness of bullets not water dropped and those that were water dropped. Provide hardness tests of same bullets 6 months down the road to see if the hardness of NON water dropped bullets and water dropped hardness has changed or not.

    Do the same with the powder coated bullets.

    There are some that say that water dropped hardness changes with time. To have an accurate idea one must have untainted lead of a known alloy probably purchased from a vendor that can supply such lead in quantities. There are too many variable with respect to the lead samples to come to a conclusion. The tests like I mentioned need to be accurate with good product with multiple samples to provide respectible result. The I got some lead but some of it was bad but I don't think hardness is as good ideas need to be thrown out and decent data be saved in order to achieve an objective test with decent info as a result.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6bg6ga View Post
    The ONLY way I will remotely believe that powder coating effect hardness is with proof. Start out will a GOOD hardness tester not a Lee. take hardness of lead samples before casting and after. Hardness of bullets not water dropped and those that were water dropped. Provide hardness tests of same bullets 6 months down the road to see if the hardness of NON water dropped bullets and water dropped hardness has changed or not.

    Do the same with the powder coated bullets.

    There are some that say that water dropped hardness changes with time. To have an accurate idea one must have untainted lead of a known alloy probably purchased from a vendor that can supply such lead in quantities. There are too many variable with respect to the lead samples to come to a conclusion. The tests like I mentioned need to be accurate with good product with multiple samples to provide respectible result. The I got some lead but some of it was bad but I don't think hardness is as good ideas need to be thrown out and decent data be saved in order to achieve an objective test with decent info as a result.
    I provided you with data I tested on numerous samples - you provided me with word of mouth. Lee hardness happened to be more accurate than more expensive SAECO and Cabin Tree tester, since I don't have access to lab grade equipment it's what I use. My source of information is respectable and recognized: http://www.lasc.us/Shay-BHN-Tester-Experiment.htm

    I think you missed my point. First of all you are adding to the mix another factor called AGE hardening, I know about that and I have data to show it, but for simplicity sake it pretty much levels out after 1 week so I am comparing 1 week samples. I don't need some super duper accurate alloy in large quantity in order to get proper testing done. It doesn't matter. I am using what I have which is WW sweetened with some tin and I casted bunch of bullets going at same rate to get same consistency and using PID to control pot temperature precisely. 2) I used the same batch of bullets from the same casting session, one was powder coated and one was not and compared their hardness. Pretty simple test. It seems to me that you are going by what other people said and you haven't actually done any testing yourself because I am guessing you don't have hardness tester?

    There are also youtube videos by TATV Canada who did testing on this subject: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fbjs-lErL0
    Last edited by dimaprok; 09-18-2017 at 06:33 AM. Reason: revised

  5. #25
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    If you guessed that I don't have a hardness tester you just guessed wrong I have a Cabine Tree. With respect to trying to use the Lee hardness tester. Have had experience with this unit and that is why I purchased the Cabine Tree unit. We had six people that weren't that experienced with the Lee thus a normal run of the mill group. All six came up with a different hardness and none agreed with each other.
    Last edited by 6bg6ga; 09-18-2017 at 07:20 AM.

  6. #26
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    dimaprok 50yds ~1700 fps 185gr GC with BLL. I'm not that great a shot but I don't see any 'fliers' there. At least it was below 100F that day. Gray powder is tin, brownish is zinc.
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    Last edited by popper; 09-23-2017 at 02:59 PM.
    Whatever!

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by gobbles23 View Post
    I have a lot of soft pure lead and some range scrap. I'm going to be powder coating these bullets for 9mm. I've read that pure soft wouldn't be a good idea, but was wondering what would work good since I don't have a lot of antimony.
    The problem with pure soft lead is that it shrinks in the mold too much. You will end up with undersized boolits, and the Powder Coating (PC) isn't enough to make up the difference. If you could mold them the correct size, the pure lead would be perfectly fine, once PC'd as the PC acts as the lubricant for the boolit.

    I pour at BHN 10, but could probably get away with 9 or even 8 and then PC with Harbor Freight Red. 20 minutes at 400 degrees, and you will have a perfect boolit.

    Your range scrap will work perfectly fine, and you could even mix in a little pure lead without much change. Most range scrap I have gotten comes back at BHN 12 or so. Pure lead is BNH 5. You can estimate hardness mixes using a simple formula. 2 pounds of BHN 12 and 1 pound of BHN 6 will yield 3 pounds of BHN 10 (12 + 12 + 6) = 30, 30 / 3 = 10.

    If you have a bathroom scale, a drill press and a micrometer, you can measure the hardness of your alloy.

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    P.S. This is how Brinell measured hardness, except he used a ball bearing.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by gobbles23 View Post
    I just loaded up my first bit with the powdercoating and only shot about 20. I had some powder fouling, but no leading.
    Powder fouling?

    Do you mean Gun Powder or Powder Coating fouling?

    I shoot 200 .45 ACP's a week, and another 100 or so .38's. I see NO fouling. In fact, I've stopped cleaning my guns, unless they start jamming. I get a little carbon build up at the end of the barrel on the outside, but not any type of fouling. I use Harbor Freight Red, and it sticks to the boolit very well. I can hammer my boolits down flat, and the PC stays on them. I size my boolits after PCing them, and even then it doesn't scrape off. The boolits just seem to get squeezed down to size.

    Make sure you are baking the PC long enough. I use a little toaster oven, and don't pre-heat it (apparently I'm in the minority about this). I put my boolits in, and wait for the powder to melt and get shiny. Then I bake a additional 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Since I'm doing all this in the basement, and all my materials are always about the same temperature, I actually just set the timer at 25 minutes now.

    My boolits turn out almost perfect. I found an empty box of the new Federal lipstick rounds at the range, and filled them with mine. I had the guys at the range going, because they couldn't believe that I actually bought boolits. The cases were Federal, and they looked beautiful. They only flaw was the new rounds Federal makes are small primer, and mine are large. My buddy figured it out only because he knows my sick sense of humor.

  9. #29
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    PB, what kind of lead for the .45 ACP's? I have 50lbs of pure lead that I bought for airgun bullets that I'm thinking of alloying with Rotometals Super Hard. 2.5lbs Super Hard to 5lbs pure lead that should give me BHN of 15 or 16. I also have 30lbs of 1 to 40 (97.5-lead, and 2.5 tin), also bought for airgun bullets. Considering a .45ACP shoots in the 750 to 800ish FPS, is there an issue with "soft" lead, assuming bullet is proper size for the barrel?

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6bg6ga View Post
    If you guessed that I don't have a hardness tester you just guessed wrong I have a Cabine Tree. With respect to trying to use the Lee hardness tester. Have had experience with this unit and that is why I purchased the Cabine Tree unit. We had six people that weren't that experienced with the Lee thus a normal run of the mill group. All six came up with a different hardness and none agreed with each other.
    What I found in my testing I get relatively consistent readings. It takes a bit to get used to using Lee, for example I was going to return the kit at first because I couldn't hold the **** microscope tube to hold still to take a reading so I knew I had to construct some sort of support. I took about 4" funnel, cut the spout to point where I could insert the microscope with enough tension to slide up and down and than I cut the square "window" at the side and that resulted in very stable platform that I can adjust for different height of bullets. I use flashlight to shine though the "window" now I can take very accurate readings. I don't have experience with cabin tree tester, but I believe that a huge variables come from learning curve on using lee. My results typically don't deviate much. If you read the article I linked earlier the Lee comes out closest in accuracy to lab test.
    Last edited by dimaprok; 09-19-2017 at 06:43 PM.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by dimaprok View Post
    What I found in my testing I get relatively consistent readings. It takes a bit to get used to using Lee, for example I was going to return the kit at first because I couldn't hold the **** microscope tube still to take a reading so I knew I had to construct some sort of support. I took about 4" funnel, cut the spout to point where I could insert the microscope with enough tension to slide up and down and than I cut the square "window" at the side and that resulted in very stable platform that I can adjust for different height of bullets. I use flashlight to shine though the "window" now I can take very accurate readings. I don't have experience with cabin tree tester, but I believe that a huge variables come from learning curve on using lee. My results typically don't deviate much. If you read the article I linked earlier the Lee comes out closest in accuracy to lab test.
    I've read everything about the Lee, played with the Lee and purchased the Cabine Tree unit that was a heck of a lot more money. I like being able to look at the dial indicator instead to trying to guess with the Lee's paper that you try to match the width of the indent in the lead. I question the test which seemed to show the Lee to be superior. With a Rockwell Hardness tester within 3 feet of my Cabine tree the measurements between the two were almost spot on. To each his own I guess.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by popper View Post
    dimaprok 50yds ~170 fps 185gr GC with BLL. I'm not that great a shot but I don't see any 'fliers' there. At least it was below 100F that day. Gray powder is tin, brownish is zinc.
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    Hi Popper, thanks for the honest picture. I guess my expectations were higher, but I achieved it by experimenting and by accident when I used traditional lube, gas check and correct seating depth. My only beef is this light bullet (RCBS 115gr) which is perfect for my recreational shooting doesn't always feed reliably in my bolt action rifle. (Ignore the black stickers I used to cover up previously shot target.) Forgot to mention this was with wheel weights and about 2% pewter (tin).

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    Last edited by dimaprok; 09-19-2017 at 11:24 PM.

  13. #33
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    dimaprok, that was a very good, inventive solution to the problem. if I ever get a tester, I'm gonna have to use that!-Travis
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  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by dimaprok View Post
    What I found in my testing I get relatively consistent readings. It takes a bit to get used to using Lee, for example I was going to return the kit at first because I couldn't hold the **** microscope tube to hold still to take a reading so I knew I had to construct some sort of support. I took about 4" funnel, cut the spout to point where I could insert the microscope with enough tension to slide up and down and than I cut the square "window" at the side and that resulted in very stable platform that I can adjust for different height of bullets. I use flashlight to shine though the "window" now I can take very accurate readings. I don't have experience with cabin tree tester, but I believe that a huge variables come from learning curve on using lee. My results typically don't deviate much. If you read the article I linked earlier the Lee comes out closest in accuracy to lab test.
    I agree on having to make a tube holder, could not hold mine steady to get a true reading. I recently bought the Cabin Tree and the Lee was sold on Ebay. Much easier to read for anyone who wears glasses. I had gone to pencils because I couldn't read the Lee consistently

  15. #35
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    I just realized I can just post a picture lol. I even managed to snap a pic of the measurement with this setup.
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  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by second chance View Post
    PB, what kind of lead for the .45 ACP's? I have 50lbs of pure lead that I bought for airgun bullets that I'm thinking of alloying with Rotometals Super Hard. 2.5lbs Super Hard to 5lbs pure lead that should give me BHN of 15 or 16. I also have 30lbs of 1 to 40 (97.5-lead, and 2.5 tin), also bought for airgun bullets. Considering a .45ACP shoots in the 750 to 800ish FPS, is there an issue with "soft" lead, assuming bullet is proper size for the barrel?
    I use BHN 10 for all my loads, .38, .357 and .45's, but I Powder Coat so hardness isn't all that important.

    BHN 10 isn't really all that soft, it's just everyone 'thinks' they need superhard alloys nowdays, as many boolit makers ship out their product at BHN 16, but they do that to keep their product intact during shipping.

    I have tried pure lead (BHN 5 to 6) 230 grain .45's, but they pour small, and that is the only reason I went to a harder alloy.

    Your 40:1 should be about BHN 7.5. I haven't made this alloy, so I don't know how well it will cast. Try a test batch, and see how it works.

    I've been lucky enough to fine Linotype at considerable quantity at the scrapyard, and use this for my alloy hardening.

    You can use simple math to figure out approximately what your mixed alloy will be. 4 pounds of pure lead (BHN 5), with 1 pound of Superhard (BHN 40) will yield 5 pounds of BHN 12 alloy. (5+5+5+5+40=60, 60/5 = 12)

    I haven't used Superhard at all. All my experience has been with pure lead, Linotype, Solder and Pewter to make alloys. I use at standard mold, which make nicely sized ingots to work with. These fit perfectly inside a 2x4 wall, and I can stack them up over 2 feet. I keep all my alloys marked with their BHN, and then mix and match to get my desired BHN 10. This has worked really well for me, regardless of what I start with.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  17. #37
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    PB, I should have mentioned, I plan on using HI-TEK coating as well. This will be my first casting and coating, so I'm hoping for good results. Should I get a throat measurement on the .45 ACP barrel? All my .45 cals are 1911's. I've read that proper "fit" is more important than hardness in most cases. Thank you for your responce

  18. #38
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    Thank you for that ingot mold suggestion, It hadn't occurred to me that I would need a way to break down the 5lb bars into something more measurable. As well as having a way to empty the pot to possibly change alloys. Every exchange here is a learning experience, even if it's just learning what questions to ask next! HaHa. Thanks again, Terry

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by dimaprok View Post
    I just realized I can just post a picture lol. I even managed to snap a pic of the measurement with this setup.
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    The photo of the visible image of dent size just screams Wow!

    Good job with your "fix" to using what you bought.

    As a young whippersnapper, I remember using a dial calipler and making real precise readings of similar dimensions.

    As an old fart, I can say that my ability to measure this kind of stuff "went South for the winter" and never returned.

    I have a DYI rig for making dents & I have a spreadsheet to convert results. A 20x magnifier that could give me the above resolution on dent size would be a big improvement.

  20. #40
    Boolit Master PBaholic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by second chance View Post
    PB, I should have mentioned, I plan on using HI-TEK coating as well. This will be my first casting and coating, so I'm hoping for good results. Should I get a throat measurement on the .45 ACP barrel? All my .45 cals are 1911's. I've read that proper "fit" is more important than hardness in most cases. Thank you for your responce
    It will take you a little while to master casting, and coating is different skill.

    You need to get something to get your 40:1 a little harder. It should already be about BHN 7.5, which might be a little too soft. If you can find wheel weights, these are fine for .45s, otherwise you will need something to harden your lead. Pewter is another way to add a little hardness. I buy it at Thrift shops around me. Pewter items will be stamped "Pewter" on the bottom.

    I wouldn't try too much at once. Get your casting right, and maybe lube with Alox at first. Then graduate to coating. I'm not sure how HI-TEK goes on, as I use Harbor Freight Red Powder paint.

    Once you are casting and shooting, yes you can slug your barrel, and make some adjustments, but the standard sizes will be fine to start.

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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