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Thread: Anyone else copper plating?

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    Anyone else copper plating?

    Found a few interesting videos on youtube and had to give it a try. Here is a picture after 20 minutes.


    upload my photos

  2. #2
    Boolit Master



    MUSTANG's Avatar
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    How do they shoot? Years ago (actually three different experimental periods over 30 years) I attempted to Copper Plate. Flaking was one problem I encountered, spotty locations where it did not plate was another, and yet another was a coating that was not uniform (call it spongy as a descriptor). Looking forward to hearing reports on you progress, and how well they shoot.

    I see you are plating for rifle. How did you achieve the Boat Tail/Bevel on the rifle bullets in your picture?
    Mustang

    "In the beginning... the patriot is a scarce man, and brave and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." - Mark Twain.

  3. #3
    Boolit Bub
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    I don't know how they shoot. This is my first attempt to the plating process. 15 trial bullets in the tub right now. Hopefully the tumbling will give an even and "stuck" coating. If they shoot better than a 5 inch group at 50 yards, it'll be a progress compared to the ESPC coating.

    It is a NOE mold that has a boat tail.

    One hour in... Looking good.



    Smash test will follow when they are done.

  4. #4

  5. #5
    Boolit Master



    MUSTANG's Avatar
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    Which NOE Mold are you using? What is your alloy? A softer lead when copper plated will still have velocity limits similar to the cast boolit since there is no Jacket of 0.015 to 0.030 thickness to take the sheer twisting when driven across the Rifling.

    Concerning your efforts with ESPC coating: What powder Coat were you using? What were Dimensions of your cast Boolit?
    Mustang

    "In the beginning... the patriot is a scarce man, and brave and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." - Mark Twain.

  6. #6
    Boolit Bub
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    HTC310-174. WW. Previously casted/PC coated recovered bullets look OK. Shot out of a 300 BLK at 1050 fps.

    Using Eastwood powders. I had the same results with HF red too. I tried them with sized and coated and then shot ~.311" as well as sizing after coating to .309". Same shotgun pattern of a group.

    Measured the thickness of a bullet after 2 1/2 hours of plating. They came in .001" over the sized bullet size, so I am currently at .0005 thickness of copper plating. Thought maybe there was an issue so I tossed in another uncoated bullet and after 10 minutes, it showed a slight coating. This is going to be a long process to get a good .0015" to .002" coating on them like I was planning.

  7. #7
    Boolit Bub
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    Four hours in a .0015" (total) coating on them. Found one with a blem and decided to pull it and tumble it to see if I can get a shine on it.


  8. #8
    Boolit Bub
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    Didn't really shine up like I thought it would, but not horrible. My sizing die is dirty so it made it look worse after sizing.




    Tried to do a smash test with a hammer, but that failed. I couldn't hold on to it properly. I'll use the vise on the next one.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master



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    Driving band looks shiny. That should be a Good Sign as the Copper is being smoothed out and not adversely affected by sizing down.
    Mustang

    "In the beginning... the patriot is a scarce man, and brave and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." - Mark Twain.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    Are you electro-plating?

  11. #11
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bmi48219 View Post
    Are you electro-plating?
    Yes I am.

  12. #12
    Boolit Bub
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    Everything was looking OK until I tumbled them in the corncob media. Lost a little coating. Better the tumbler than the barrel.

    I am beginning to think my cleaning process might be the biggest part to blame. I only swirled the bullets in acetone for a few seconds before dumping them in the plating liquid. I'll have to experiment more later.

    These will be shot though.

    Straight from the tumbler.



    Sized.



    Loaded for tomorrow.


    upload photos internet

  13. #13
    Boolit Bub
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    Still shot like buckshot.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master



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    Have you slugged and measured your barrel diameter?

    If you are interested; I'll send you 40 RCBS 165Sil .308 boolits HF Red Powder Coated with Gas Checks to see if another boolit may do better for you. I can do .308, .309, .310, and .311 dimensions so you can see if there is one size that may do better.

    I'd be interested in trying some of your HTC310-174's if interested. I'd rather do the Powder Coat myself so "As Cast" would be an interesting SWAP.

    Let me know via Private Message if you might be interested.
    Mustang

    "In the beginning... the patriot is a scarce man, and brave and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." - Mark Twain.

  15. #15
    Boolit Bub
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    That sounds like a good offer. I haven't slugged the barrel yet, but do have the material in my basket on midway. Will place the order on Monday. I'll PM you.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
    NoZombies's Avatar
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    Does the rifle shoot good groups with factory ammo or reloaded with jacketed bullets?
    Nozombies.com Practical Zombie Survival

    I collect all things .32. If you have something you don't need, please let me know!

  17. #17
    Boolit Bub
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    Yes, very good groups for having a 10.5" barrel and with everything from 125 TNTs to 220 SMKs.

  18. #18
    Vendor Sponsor uncle dino's Avatar
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    Tri sodium phosphate is the best cleaner I have found. As you plate copper should be shiny and smooth.. Looks like you may be over tumbling and under powered amps..d

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    ive plated a few hundred million bullets, slightly different process, but to get good adhesion you have to start with very clean bullets. secondly your chemistry has to be correct, as copper does not like to stick to lead of its own free will. trying to plate too few bullets in your tank will also have adverse affects.

  20. #20
    Boolit Bub
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    lefty o, good to hear from someone that has done it and in such a magnitude. Can you share your prepping process and chemistry?

    I am currently trying what I found on youtube with ZAP tree root killer and some copper tubing. I was initially only tumbling a few bullets to see how things would go.

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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