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Thread: Size before PC?

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
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    Size before PC?

    I PC'ed several of the boolits that I cast in the last few days, let them set overnight and ran them through the appropriate Lee sizer. 9mm were dropping from the mold at almost .360". After coating I ran a few through a .356 Lee sizer and they measured just over .355. On at least one a good portion of PC was scraped off of the bands and base on one side of the boolit.

    I have seen others post that they size and then PC. Does this not build up lead inside the sizer? This would prevent dragging the coating off if it did not lead up the sizer. I also have a .358 sizer that sizes a little over .357 but that may be too big for 9mm. I have not slugged the bore of either 9mm yet. Any ideas/ opinions/ suggestions? Thanks.
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  2. #2
    Boolit Bub
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    I've been PC and then sizing, but I haven't tried it the other way yet. Maybe I should but so far this has worked.

  3. #3
    Boolit Man
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    That worked fine for my 358 bullets. Just dragged some of the coating off of the 9mm. I have also always coated my 30 cal 240's before sizing without a problem. Could be a problem with one cavity of the 9mm mold. I just started casting with it.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    Are you sure it dragged the coating off, or did the PC clean some lead off the inside of your sizer and it just made lead streaks on your boolits on top of the coating? I have seen light colored pc boolits come out with pretty dark lead streaks on them if the die had been particularly dirty before sizing.
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  5. #5
    Boolit Man
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    It was a new die. Thinking about it I wonder if it is possible that I may have been thin on that side when I sprayed that bullet. May be worth repeating the process and being more careful to check that. That is the only problem I have had with the gray powder. It works great but is difficult to see when applying with the gun. I have some orange powder on the way that should solve that problem.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    I will often size, PC and size again and I haven't had any problems like that. Sometimes I will size down a .462 boolit to .452 as well, and that's quite a jump (using two steps in sizing) and it hasn't been a problem. If you get any recurrence, I'd suggest polishing the die with some 600-800 grit paper, which shouldn't change the size if you go lightly, and get a mirror finish in there. Good luck and happy coating!!
    KE4GWE - - - - - - Colt 1860, it just feels right.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master CASTER OF LEAD's Avatar
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    Scotner,
    First may i ask you if before sizing have you done any smash testing on these boolits. It may be an adhesion issue. Secondly beagle may be onto something with the streaking from the die. If not lead it may have machine marks causing the issue. 3rd it may well be a cavity issue. However if it is the pc still should stay put if it is properly cured.
    I have done it both ways. Pc before , then size is my normal process. YMMV - CASTER
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  8. #8
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by CASTER OF LEAD View Post
    Scotner,
    First may i ask you if before sizing have you done any smash testing on these boolits. It may be an adhesion issue. Secondly beagle may be onto something with the streaking from the die. If not lead it may have machine marks causing the issue. 3rd it may well be a cavity issue. However if it is the pc still should stay put if it is properly cured.
    I have done it both ways. Pc before , then size is my normal process. YMMV - CASTER
    No, I did not smash test this batch. As I noted elsewhere, I am just getting back to casting after more than a year without any activity. I have several new to me molds and the 9mm Lee is brand new. I just grabbed samples from three molds and coated them. The 357 boolits came out fine. I was not overly concerned with the smash test because I used the same powder and cure process as before. I do realize that there could well be variations in the process and will test one the next time I go out to the shop. Thanks for the replies.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master vrh's Avatar
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    I size, then I powder coat. Then I size again, the attach gas check if needed.
    Da Okie/ Now known as Vearl

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    What Beagle333 said on polishing. Some of the Lee sizing dies have a rough edge in them. With the boolits coming out of the die at just over .355, it sounds like you also need to open it up some. It can be done with the fine emery paper, a small woden dowel and a drill.
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by farmerjim View Post
    What Beagle333 said on polishing. Some of the Lee sizing dies have a rough edge in them. With the boolits coming out of the die at just over .355, it sounds like you also need to open it up some. It can be done with the fine emery paper, a small woden dowel and a drill.
    Agree. Polishing that die would help they are not always smooth when you get them. Plus most of the time Lee sizing dies are running small anyway so I usually open them up little bit anyway.

  12. #12
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by CASTER OF LEAD View Post
    Scotner,
    First may i ask you if before sizing have you done any smash testing on these boolits. It may be an adhesion issue. Secondly beagle may be onto something with the streaking from the die. If not lead it may have machine marks causing the issue. 3rd it may well be a cavity issue. However if it is the pc still should stay put if it is properly cured.
    I have done it both ways. Pc before , then size is my normal process. YMMV - CASTER
    Attached pic of smash test of all three styles of bullets coated in this batch. While picking these out from the box of unsized boolits I did notice a couple more that were light coated on one side. I think that is most likely the problem. Hopefully the orange powder will be easier to see before curing and will help better judge coverage. I do like the appearance and even coating possible with the spray method when done properly. I will look into smoothing the sizer dies and may end up having to open them up a little. I don't want to do that until I slug the bores. I did have to open up the .309 die as it was about .001" below spec. I honed it out to .3095 and it is working great. I just wish I had heard about the NOE sizer system before I invested in so many of the Lee sizers. Thanks to all for the help.

    Scott
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  13. #13
    Boolit Master Toymaker's Avatar
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    I went looking for someone to pc some bullets for me so I could test the idea. Odfairfaxsub was kind enough to do the task for me, and a good job he did too. The as cast bullets measured 0.3800". After coating they measured 0.3835". For the first test I wanted 5 each at full size, 0.380" sized and 0.3790" sized. I carefully cleaned my dies so there was no lube or residual lead. When I ran the first bullet into the 0.380 die it jammed tight. TIGHT. It would not move. I removed it from the sizer and went into the shop where I worked my "jammed bullet magic". After thinking about it for a minute I gave a bullet a coat of Imperial Sizing Wax. That didn't work. So I tried some Ben's Red. That worked. The bullets slipped through the sizer perfectly, no scraping, no loss of coating. And I was able to wipe off the lube before loading.

  14. #14
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toymaker View Post
    I went looking for someone to pc some bullets for me so I could test the idea. Odfairfaxsub was kind enough to do the task for me, and a good job he did too. The as cast bullets measured 0.3800". After coating they measured 0.3835". For the first test I wanted 5 each at full size, 0.380" sized and 0.3790" sized. I carefully cleaned my dies so there was no lube or residual lead. When I ran the first bullet into the 0.380 die it jammed tight. TIGHT. It would not move. I removed it from the sizer and went into the shop where I worked my "jammed bullet magic". After thinking about it for a minute I gave a bullet a coat of Imperial Sizing Wax. That didn't work. So I tried some Ben's Red. That worked. The bullets slipped through the sizer perfectly, no scraping, no loss of coating. And I was able to wipe off the lube before loading.
    I have had this happen with the 240 grain 300BLK bullets and when you get one of them stuck you have a big problem. After having to drill the center out of a couple to get them out of the die I grabbed the closest lube at hand. It was Frankford Arsenal spray case lube. I spray one bullet at the start of sizing a batch and they run great after that. I have not had to do that yet with pistol bullets.

  15. #15
    Boolit Man

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    When powder coating, you can cheat a little on the alloy and cast softer bullets than normal. This allows for ductility in the round when going through sizer. Also use a 90/10 mix of isopropyl alcohol/lanolin and lightly spray on bullets before sizing.

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  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    If you are using a Lee multi-cavity mold I would start by checking the bullets diameter. Don't be surprised if they are not the same.

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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