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Thread: Thickness of Harbor Freight - Red coating

  1. #1

    Thickness of Harbor Freight - Red coating

    I've been using Harbor Freight Red via ASBB method. My coats seem OK, but on close inspection you can see through it a little bit. I measure the diameter after coating and dang if I can tell any increase.

    Does it make sense for the coating to be less than a mil?

    I don't size before coating. So I take a bare bullet and reserve it from the rest. Then I powder coat, and then measure a powder coated bullet against a bare bullet. Maybe I just stink at taking measurements because I can take the same, unsized bullet and measure it several times and get diameters that vary a few thousandths. I figure this is just slightly out-of-round. But when there is 3 mil variation within the same bullet, it is kinda tough to pick out an increase of 1 mil.

    I guess it doesn't matter much since I get fair performance at the range, I just wonder if other people notice that HF-Red is thinner than other powders when using the ASBB method.

  2. #2
    Vendor Sponsor

    Smoke4320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Right here ..at least I was a minute ago
    if you are not getting complete coverage on the bullet (IE bare/thin spots) its real hard to measure coverage thickness

    When applied properly (IE full coverage) typically you will get a thicker coat with HF powder over what I sell . Theirs is epoxy based and a much larger grain size
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master rsrocket1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Sacramento, CA
    With a nice smooth unsized coat of HF red, I've measured about 1 mils thickness or 0.002" increase in diameter of the bullet.

    In terms of uneven coats, I've deliberately tried powder coating on a high humidity day to get "poor coverage" with HF red. This was coated on hot humid day after a rainstorm.

    After pushing it through the Lee 401 sizer, the polymer flowed to an even coating. I would assume the same thing would happen as the bullet goes down your barrel at 1000 fps pushed by 2-3,000 pounds of force (20-30k psi)

    So a single uniform coat, even if it looks speckled like this, will protect the bullet and work fine.
    Last edited by rsrocket1; 02-07-2019 at 09:44 AM.

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master

    Beagle333's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Back in the woods a piece, just outside Auburn, AL.
    I have not noticed it being thinner than others when tumbled. If anything, I believe it's a thicker coat, just not as smooth, probably due to being a larger particle size.
    KE4GWE - - - - - - Colt 1860, it just feels right.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    Dragonheart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Katy, Texas
    I live in the Gulf Coast I have tried HF powder. I also found I couldn't get a uniform coating and without bare spots unless I did a double coat. So why double my time & effort just top save a couple of bucks on powder. A pound of quality powder will coat thousands of bullets and maybe for some fooling with HF is worth it, but not for me.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    CSRA of Ga/SC
    l just started PCing boolits a coupla months ago. HF RED is the paint l started with and the one l am currently using. AFTER cleanliness-humidity effects paint coverage more than anything.. That's why l always size my boolits AFTER l coat them.. lts also best to size your coated boolits pretty SOON after they are coated.. PC epoxy coatings take app 30 days to fully cure.. l am a RETIRED lndustrial painter, member of IUPAT, lnternational Union of Painters and Allied Trades... Think of PCing a boxcar for Trailer Train

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master popper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Epoxy PC is different than epoxy PAINT! Paint hardener creates low temp heat to force the crosslink which does take much longer to cure. PC uses external heat.

  8. #8
    HF red is the powder I started with and I’m glad I tried it. I use smokes powder now, but wouldn’t have considered trying powder coat at all if it weren’t for the availability of the cheap powder and bb’s. I figured a free toaster oven and $20 worth of stuff wasn’t so much to loose, but it actually worked! I got my 9mm to stop leading, by bumping up the diameter just enough with HF red.

    Smokes powder does work easier. Not worth the trouble to try and get full coverage with HF in my opinion.


  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    CSRA of Ga/SC
    l am enjoying this PCing!! No more smoking up the range with Bens Red.. Less lead exposure too. No barrel leading.. Accuracy is virtually the SAME.. So far l have only used HF RED... l will say in the strongest language allowed.. Coat AND size your boolits as soon after coating as possible!!! Tried sizing some 44s l had cast/coated a couple months ago with my Lee sizer die and Rock Chucker press.. Virtually lmpossible to push them thru... No problem sizing boolits from SAME batch coated/cast the same DAY

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