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Thread: 44 mag rifle use of PC Bullets

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    44 mag rifle use of PC Bullets

    Not sure if this is the correct or "most correct" forum to pose some questions to the experienced members, but here goes... I want to cast and work up some hunting loads for two 44 magnum rifles for deer hunting next year... the bullet I have chosen this year to test is the NOE 432-278 WFN with or without HP... let me state this up front... I HAVE NEVER POWDER COATED BULLETS BEFORE. I did buy the materials to do so last year, but with my wife's illness and subsequent passing, I never got to it... so here are the basic questions I have.

    1. The bullet base is a plain base, no gas check... my understanding that PC'ing reduces the need for gaschecks...

    2. Most likely I will keep the velocity under 1600fps

    3. Getting the cart before the horse, (I haven't cast any yet with either soft or harder alloy so don't what diameter I am looking at) but, if needed to size smaller than cast, should the bullets be resized to required diameter or slightly smaller before coating, or coated then sized to desired diameter.

    4. Does PC'ing work better with soft or harder alloys?

    Those are the starting questions I have on the upcoming project... but if there are some things that you all have learned from you efforts, I would gladly welcome your input.

    Kindest regards,

    Perhaps my learning skills have diminished in my senior years.. 50 years ago I could read something once and then "have it"... Now I read it about three times, do it a couple of times and then... "have it" only about half the time.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    Walks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    My Condolences on the loss of your WIFE.
    I can't imagine what that would be like.

    On the PC, I finally achieved my 1st perfect PC yesterday. I would suggest you Start with Smoke4320 sampler. Read his suggestion's on PC. And a Convection Toaster oven matters. I'm using the "zip-lock" brand 6"x6"x1 1/2" #5 triangle containers. So far I've used 3 tablespoons of BB's & 3/4 teaspoon of PC. The square corners really allow you to pick up speed on that circular motion. I pick out the bullets using nitrile gloves, stand them up on the little cookie sheet covered in Non-stick aluminium foil. Bake 400 degrees for 20minutes. Then set the tray down on cold concrete to cool. I wait five minutes. Then dump then in a old aluminum pie in. I'm only doing 50 at a time now, but I'm going to try a 100. And buy three more little cookie sheets. My Oven has 2 racks, so I should be able to do 2 trays at a time. With 2 more being prepped to go in.

    Well that's my experience. I think a bigger T. O. With 2 trays is the way to go. I used H. F. Powder to start, just to gain the experience of the process. But I'll use Smoke4320's powders from now on. H. F. Powder is junk.
    I HATE auto-correct

    Happiness is a Warm GUN & more ammo to shoot in it.

    My Experience and My Opinion, are just that, Mine.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    Rick Hodges's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Taylor, Michigan
    I use PC and gas checked lead boolits of approx. 15 bhn in my 44 magnum rifle. I powder coat first, seat the gas check, then size to .431 for use in my CVA Scout at 1670 fps. I have not shot plain based from my 44Mag rifle.
    SAAMI specs for 44 mag rifles call for a larger groove diameter than pistols (I have no idea why) most find they need a larger diameter boolit in the rifle.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master MyFlatline's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Crystal River Florida
    I have found that you can use softer bullets when PC'ing but they need to fit, that is the key. I have found , that if I want a .431, I cast a .431 , then coat and size to .431 and all is good. If the coating is cured correctly , it will not come off.

    Powder Coating has changed casting in many ways. I am still amazed at what all I learn.

    My condolences on your loss.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    South Central PA
    In my experience, the hardness of the alloy isnt such a big deal, as the temp to melt the powder softens the alloy. I always just use range scrap anyhow. Unless the boolit is way oversized, I powdercoat then size as needed. No gas check is needed. No need to water quench, as that will harden them even more. Ive run powdercoated bullets at much higher speed than you're intended speed.no issue there.
    The main thing is to make sure the pc is cured correctly. A smash test is a must. It it passes, and sizes down to what you want, use them. Obviously, the softer the alloy, the softer the boolit.
    Hope this helps. Good luck and be safe.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

    Finster101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    SW Fla
    I would cast a few, powder coat a couple, leave as cast, make a dummy with no primer and see if it feeds and chambers. If it does, load up about 10 or so and see how they shoot. Sometimes we can really over think things.

  7. #7
    Vendor Sponsor

    Smoke4320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Right here ..at least I was a minute ago
    44 mag rifle at 1600 fps SHOULD not be an issue for a totally coated plain base bullet
    As in all casting fit is #1. Cast a few , coat , size to 2 thou over.
    load a few dummys and make sure they will feed
    If they do move to load development
    I carry a Nuke50 because cleaning up the mess is Silly !!


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  8. #8
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Lenore, WV
    I PC for a Marlin 44 lever. The SAAMI specs for a 44 mag. rifle is .430" and not .428 like the 44 pistol. My experience was common molds would not cast large enough for the larger bore. I PC the boolits at as cast diameter to make them large enough.
    Lead hardness should not make a difference as far as shooting. Boolit expansion will depend on lead hardness but the pc will not allow the boolit to fragment.
    One thing I do is stand the bullets on their base. This creates a near perfect flat basewhich should be good for accuracy.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Southern Ky.
    Being somewhat new to powder coating I can only address part of your questions, but here is what has worked for me. There are folk with real experience here that will be along with the know-how to fill in the needed information. With a wide flat nose boolit that your mould will produce, you already have the best of all worlds in terms of boolits - a big flat on the nose just under full diameter. You may have to do a trial-and-error run in boolit sizing but being a revolver round probably will not prove to be a problem in your rifles. I suggest powder-coating then sizing since that has worked for me, though some size boolits after casting, powder coat, then size again. The kind of sizer may affect your end quality. I use a Star so mine is a nose first sizing arrangement but many of the other powder coaters use Lee sizer dies which should produce similar results. You may need to slug your barrels to ascertain the needed diameter but powder coating will add about .002 to .003 to the as-cast diameter. After reading all I could find on the threads here, the conclusion seems to be that only the higher velocities require harder alloys. I started out with water dropped clip-on wheel weights plus tin but knew I would lose the BHN when the boolits were heated to 400 degrees to cure the powder coat. So after powder coating, they were dropped into water again which made them very hard. Seems a 50/50 mix of clip-on, stick-on wheel weights is all that is needed and should mushroom upon impact with tissue. At the velocity you mention, an even richer mixture of soft lead to clip-on wheel weights should work well. If you purchased quality powder coating initially, you should be good to go. I have found that doing the powder coating in my air-conditioned, de-humidified basement gives me good quality every time. Just don't stir up the powder and breathe in that stuff while powder coating and cooking. It is unhealthy to do so. Use a mask. Too, care in handling the boolits - I. e., not touching them with your hands and contaminating them with body oils - aids greatly in the process. I use nitrile gloves to insure good adherence of the powder to the boolits so be careful what the boolits touch. For the heat curing, some stand the boolits on their base. That is too much difficulty for my liking. I use parchment paper and just dump the boolits out onto a cooking basket, shake off excess powder, try to keep the boolits from touching each other but they do not seem to want to stick to each other. Some use non-stick aluminum foil. Most other powder coaters use Coolwhip or such containers with the recycle #5 on the base but I have used empty 1 lb and 2 lb "plastic" gunpowder containers with #2 on the bottom with screw-on lids. Makes it easier to shake. I use black airsoft bbs that I purchased along with Smoke4320's clear powder coating and the results are great. Shoot them in my pistols and revolvers and am experimenting with small caliber rifles. Sorry to learn about the loss of your wife. I lost my wife of 43 years much too early (I was 63) so I know something about what you are experiencing. God bless! Big Boomer
    Last edited by Big Boomer; 01-07-2019 at 09:05 PM. Reason: correction

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Thanks fellas for all your help and kind words; both are very much appreciated and truly needed. I'll have to dig our my supplies, but I know they were from Smoke, so , thank you Smoke...I ordered NOE bushing sizer set for the .44, all others I have lube-sized with Lyman 450.. again, this is my first venture in PC... Think I will start casting tomorrow... just finished casting up some soft lead ML bullets for my Indiana neighbors coming out to the Outdoor Show next month in Harrisburg... I made the mistake of showing them how I paperpatch now for mine and they liked it very much... so now I have a yearly project of casting, wrapping and sizing them allotment...poor guys were headed to Colorado on elk ML hunt this year and truck broke down half way there and ruined their whole trip... never even got there...
    Perhaps my learning skills have diminished in my senior years.. 50 years ago I could read something once and then "have it"... Now I read it about three times, do it a couple of times and then... "have it" only about half the time.

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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