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Thread: 1st attempt at powder coating

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    1st attempt at powder coating

    I have been casting and loading since 1972. I cannot count the literally tens of thousands of .38's I have shot, cast from my 2-cavity Cramer wadcutter mould, pushed by 2.7 gr of Bullseye. I always use the NRA 50/50 formula lube and have had great results.

    Well, this old dog has tried a new trick: powder coating. I've read so much about it here, I thought I should try it. I used Smoke's Carolina Blue, shake and bake method. The pictures tell the tale. They turned out great! I pushed them through a Lee .358 sizer and loaded them as I have for decades. My questions: besides being cleaner, What can I expect when I shoot these? A few of them have a small bare spot from where they stuck together. Will this be a problem as far as leading goes?

    Thanks for the help.
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  2. #2
    Boolit Master Rcmaveric's Avatar
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    I was scared of that as well. I shot them anyways, figured if they leaded i would just clean the gun. Wouldnt be the first time i siverely leaded a gun. Well they shot fine with no leading. Only thing i noticed is my point of impact shifted to the left about an inch @ 100 yards with rifle and i didnt notice anything in my 9mm 's
    "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far."
    ~Theodore Roosevelt~

  3. #3
    Boolit Bub
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    Good to know.

    Powder coat 9mm's ? I've always had leading with 9's unless I heat treated the bullets and sized large, .357-.358". Tell me more!

  4. #4
    Boolit Man
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    I kinda think everybody has to do it the way they want. I'm an OCD type and have to stand them all up not touching. Can't stand to see bare spots and/or have them stick together. Matter of fact, I've only done it one way. I've got strong Rubbermaid containers for each color. A sickness it is.

    I suspect you'll find no accuracy degradation. I've only found improvement across the board for 3 diameters (.358, .430, and .452). Love this stuff!

    You mentioned Carolina Blue so I'll assume it's Smoke's. I have only used his powders, but I now mix each color about 50/50 with his clear. I only shake n bake, but when the clear is in there, I get a complete covering. I could just use clear and be happy, but my eyes sure like the colors. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master MyFlatline's Avatar
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    Congrats on your first batch, they look great. I can't help in the difference between lube and PC, as I have never lubed..When I started casting, I was researching lubes and got hooked up on PC..have never looked back and have had no issues. I love reaching into a jar of bullets and not coming away all lubed up.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    But it softens the skin. Better than hand lotion.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master MyFlatline's Avatar
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    :biggrin:

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I have had problems with 9 mm leading with powder coat. I finally went to installing a home made gas check on the plain base 9 mm bullets. The leading ended with the gas check.
    Size to .357 and load the same bullet in the 38 Special also with the home made gas check.
    The gas check gives a good seal and also cleans the barrel with each shot.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Rcmaveric's Avatar
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    I had leading in the beginning in my 9mm. I opened the sizer up to .357 from .356 and it stopped. Way easier to lube a few thousand 9mm bullets and the wife gets pink bullets. She expanded my reloading budget and I get new things to experiment with. Yes, pink bullets is how I talked her into letting experiment with powder coating. I used to pan lube the 9mm, but it was daunting because I hadn't perfected my technique.

    You got some good looking bullets there. Nice job. They should perform well.
    "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far."
    ~Theodore Roosevelt~

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Grmps's Avatar
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    There are several threads about leading with the 9MM.
    Most all concur that the boolit is getting sized down in the crimping process.
    Pull a couple loaded boolits and verify they are still 1 - 2 thou over bore and you'll be golden.

    You know you should really let one of us test those for you

    great job on your first attempt, I'll bet you're good at following directions. You might be happy with Hi-Tek coating too.

    The bare spots don't always mean there is no coverage, they just mean you have no pigment there. sometimes the pigment doesn't cover as well as the clear mixing base.

  11. #11
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rcmaveric View Post
    I had leading in the beginning in my 9mm. I opened the sizer up to .357 from .356 and it stopped.
    Do you mean use a .357 expander die ? Please explain.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Rcmaveric's Avatar
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    I size the bullets to .357 with a Lee push through sizer. Its the Lee RN 125 G bullets. After sizing I pre heat the toaster oven and then set the tray on top of the oven to get the bullets warm. I dump them in the container, tumble, pour through a screen, dump them on parchment paper and roll them around to even distribute. I noticed that by doing hundred at a time that they don't stick to each other as bad and keeps the oven temp more stable. Set a time for 15 minutes. After that I air cool them and run them through the sizer again.

    For reloading and I have the Lee 9mm dies set with the powder through die and bullet seater/crimper die. I use the powder through expander because it makes them easier to charger and its set to just bell the case enough for the bullet to sit on top of it. For the bullet seater/ crimper die, I have it set so it just barely crimps. I can feel it barely kiss the case on the press. Some say it swags down the bullet and causes problems, but for me I haven't had issues. I knew it could potentially be a problem so I set the die up carefully.
    "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far."
    ~Theodore Roosevelt~

  13. #13
    Boolit Bub
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    Thanks. I'll try less crimp. I have been using a pretty heavy crimp for 9mm because I had to be sure they would chamber in 5 different guns. I'll see what happens.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master Grmps's Avatar
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    I use the boolit seat/crimp die (crimping to where I push the cartridge against my reloading table and the boolit just stops moving)then I just barely "kiss it" in the Lee factory crimp die to make sure they are chamberable'

    do all you 9's slug out the same or are they different? My 1911 9mm Llama slugs out @ .358 so I have to go fat for that one.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    They should be fine , nice looking bullets for your first try .

  16. #16
    Boolit Master daloper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rcmaveric View Post
    I had leading in the beginning in my 9mm. I opened the sizer up to .357 from .356 and it stopped. Way easier to lube a few thousand 9mm bullets and the wife gets pink bullets. She expanded my reloading budget and I get new things to experiment with. Yes, pink bullets is how I talked her into letting experiment with powder coating. I used to pan lube the 9mm, but it was daunting because I hadn't perfected my technique.

    You got some good looking bullets there. Nice job. They should perform well.
    And I thought that I was the only one that made pink boolits for the wife. She loves shooting her pink .380's. You are luck that you got raise in your budget. Maybe your wife need to talk to mine and help me out.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Rcmaveric's Avatar
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    I am only reloading for two 9mms at the moment. Just needs enough crimp to ensure the bullet does not move during cycling. There is decent neck tension during bullet seating so i only figured a light crimp was good enough.
    "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far."
    ~Theodore Roosevelt~

  18. #18
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Looks like smokes blue...my favorite color for even coating. I stand my boolits up so they won't stick together. I wouldn't worry about the bare spots.

  19. #19
    Boolit Mold
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    Good job!

  20. #20
    Boolit Mold
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    We have a similar blue.
    We broke down and got zombie green too....

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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