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Thread: Any one try the Craftsman ES gun?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
    sledgehammer001's Avatar
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    Any one try the Craftsman ES gun?

    I decided I need an ES gun finally. Has anyone ever tried one of these guns? Kind of skeptical, but hoping, as I'm really low on funds at this point. Not interested in what other guns work, just if THIS one does.
    Thanks for any help
    Jon HClick image for larger version. 

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    if it doesn't fit, don't force it. Get a BIGGER HAMMER!

  2. #2
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    ok ill bite. What does it do?
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

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    Lloyd Smale's Avatar
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    looked it up and found out why I use a tumbler.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

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    Are you already PCing Lead Boolits ? Is this for a particular Boolit ? I'm sorry, I'm thinking PC "Guns" in general are a waste of money. After I found the shake n bake method, the one I bought (not Craftsman) just sits there collecting dust in the garage. It wastes too much powder (yes, there are ways to recover some. not all) and it bites back if your not careful. Don't let me stop you, if you want that one I honestly hope it does what you want it to do very well. (I grew up with and really like Craftsman tools) I just think you would be better off with a plastic bowl and a bag of powder. But if you get one, it wouldnt hurt to give us a review of your thoughts about it.

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    KE4GWE - - - - - - Colt 1860, it just feels right.

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    If you are PC bullets I would suggest you stick with tumble coating. If you are planning on PC larger objects that need to be sprayed I understand this gun will work, but how well and for how long?

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    Thanks, Beagle333! I did search, and got every result except the Craftsman. Just my luck.... Thanks again.
    if it doesn't fit, don't force it. Get a BIGGER HAMMER!

  8. #8
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    Dragonheart: been doing shake-n-bake PC bullets for a couple of years now. Love them. However, my 30/06, 30-30, and 1911 45acp, need a thinner PC layer than shake-n-bake gives me. I need a smaller diameter on my bullet noses, so my quest for a simple ES gun.
    if it doesn't fit, don't force it. Get a BIGGER HAMMER!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by sledgehammer001 View Post
    Dragonheart: been doing shake-n-bake PC bullets for a couple of years now. Love them. However, my 30/06, 30-30, and 1911 45acp, need a thinner PC layer than shake-n-bake gives me. I need a smaller diameter on my bullet noses, so my quest for a simple ES gun.
    OK, I understand your dilemma. A gun will put on a thinner and more even coating. It takes very little air pressure to distribute the powder, so I see no reason why an all in one gun wouldn't work as long as it can pull the powder into the airflow.

    But the real answer is a mold maker that is willing to produce a line of molds for powder coating, instead of the oversized molds that already have too much metal to move to begin with.

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master popper's Avatar
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    PC gun will not necessarily give a thinner coat. The craftsman one is reported to be very low quality. When tumbling, try to use very little powder. When you tumble, almost NO powder left in the bowl. Try about 1 level tea spoon /5# of boolits. & use asbbs. Cook them base down ~ 200F for a while to keep temp in the 'flow' region. Some are using the ESPC and masking the nose off to solve a problem like you have. I tried placing nose down in a plate with holes, spraying bases. Still got powder on the nose with a thick 'ring'.
    Whatever!

  11. #11
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    I have that same Craftsman. It works very well. I made a turntable and an enclosure to reclaim some of the powder. It does a beautiful job but it is more time consuming than the shake and bake method. It does however result in a prettier finished product. I also have on of the Harbor Freight guns. It does a good job also but you need compressed air for that one versus the Craftsman that has a blower motor built in.

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master popper's Avatar
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    There were several sold by craftsman, then they were off the market, guess they are back.
    Interesting, as it uses a fan, could make a vandergraff machine with the fan for static.
    I did some yesterday, sized to 311 then coated and this morning they are 3125, can't get much thinner than that, even with hitek.
    Whatever!

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    Thanks, Retread, Popper!
    Popper, you've given me an idea: going to try blue masking tape on the noses of some .308" bullets, then shake-n-bake, see how it turns out.
    I currently shake then stand them base down on non-stick foil, bake @ 400 for 20 minutes from a cool oven.
    if it doesn't fit, don't force it. Get a BIGGER HAMMER!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by sledgehammer001 View Post
    Thanks, Retread, Popper!
    Popper, you've given me an idea: going to try blue masking tape on the noses of some .308" bullets, then shake-n-bake, see how it turns out.
    I currently shake then stand them base down on non-stick foil, bake @ 400 for 20 minutes from a cool oven.
    OR you could make a tray just for that purpose? When I gas check I put the bullets base down with the GC recess seated in a hole in a sheetmetal pan. When I spray the check area is left uncoated. It would be a simple matter to do the reverse and set the bullet's nose in holes, which would keep the nose bare.
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  15. #15
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    I failed to mention getting the blue tape off would be a problem and you sure wouldn't want to cook on the glue. It would be tedious, but I would use heat tape if you decide to go that route.

  16. #16
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    Dragonheart, I actually tried tape on some Lee 150gr GC for my 30-30. I used blue painters tape on the nose portion. Baked them at 400/20, cooled them down and peeled the tape off. I have a slight glue residue but it will wipe off easily. Need to size and load them.
    Hoping to shoot them next week.
    Thanks for the input everyone!
    if it doesn't fit, don't force it. Get a BIGGER HAMMER!

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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