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Thread: How long to wait between powder coating and loading?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master brewer12345's Avatar
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    How long to wait between powder coating and loading?

    I usually size soon after coating. How long should I want until loading? Out of my fave 45 boolit.
    "If you see me running something has gone poorly, and you should probably run too." - any beekeeper

  2. #2
    Boolit Bub
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    I've done it all the same day, cast to loaded, and never had a problem. I PC as I'm casting and will size and load when the bullets are cool.

    PC is a polymer so it's basically not going to react with much. In my opinion PC isn't too different from the plastic bottle the powder was delivered in so it's doubtful those two parts would react in any way. And once the bullets are cool enough to handle they don't stick to anything so I doubt they're going to stick to the case. From what I've read, PC cures in the oven. When it comes out of the oven it basically just cools down. Like most plastics, it's softer when it's still hot but it's fully cured. I'm thinking if it's cool enough to handle and run through a sizer, it's cool enough to load.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    the only observation ive ever made that would actually matter to wait, is when your doing a type of alloy or heat treating where it will get harder in a few days. if you wait till its harder the base of the bullet will get "sized" less by the cases neck tension. ive pulled freshly loaded 44 mags and measured that that base tapered in a few thou from being soft and the neck tension high, if i waited until there harder it wouldn't happen as much so accuracy and leading would be less a problem.

    that's a specific scenario for types of lead and gas checks obviously avoid that so otherwise go as fast as you want.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master brewer12345's Avatar
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    Yeah, these are 45 SWCs meant for standard pressure 45 ACP loads. Plain base and cast out of a mix of shielding and harder stuff to approximate COWWs plus a bit of tin. Everything I do is air cooled. That all sounds like I can load pretty much whenever I get the sizing done, right?
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master


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    yep--go for it
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  6. #6
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    You know I’ve read posts here when I started casting a few years ago that it takes a good three weeks if not longer For an alloy to reach its final hardness. I casted and PCd all in the same day and tested the hardness every day for three weeks. After three days my alloy was basically about as hard as it was going to get. So if it really bothers you wait a few days versus shooting them on the same day as your alloy will be softer like the above posts mention and you’ll get different grouping results. My groups open up or shrink with changing alloys. Im sure shooting a softer uncured alloy versus the end result with a harder BH is going to change your group sizes. If you don’t care and just going to plink load them up and shoot away.

  7. #7
    AKA: GRMPS Conditor22's Avatar
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    Cast and load the same day not so good the lead hasn't had time to harden and reach its final size. This usually takes 2 or more weeks.

    But PCing and loading the same day is not a problem.

  8. #8
    Boolit Bub
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    Ditto to above. I size mine as soon as i can touch em. Load em when there is time.

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master
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    depends on alloy
    pb/sn rite out of the gate
    something with antimony I may wait a couple of weeks
    then check the size and re-size if necessary
    Hit em'hard
    hit em'often

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    I cast & PC the same day, more efficient for me to cast while waiting for PC to bake. By the time they're done, I quench them in cold water by then a new batch is ready for PC. I wait a day or 2 to size (& gc if required), then load them whenever. By the way, smokes powder is way better than others I've tried (HF, pbtp, prismatic, ebay), especially like the translucent copper.
    ...Speak softly & carry a big stick...

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    I cast one day, PC and size another day, then let them age for about a week at least before loading. Of course you dont have to wait and you might be fine but I like to wait for my bullets to get full BHN before I load. Helps with not swaging your bullets down when loading and crimping etc. I always cast ahead so i dont have to rush anything but thats just me and everyone has different SOP.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Misery-Whip View Post
    I size mine as soon as i can touch em. Load em when there is time.
    I haven't seen ANY difference on paper or game animals.
    If God didn't want man to eat animals, he wouldn't have made them out of MEAT!

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  13. #13
    Boolit Master Wheelguns 1961's Avatar
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    I now wait two weeks before sizing. I have noticed that my bullets certainly grow. So why size twice. As for powder coat, I usually will do this the day after casting.
    Due to the price of primers, warning shots will no longer be given!

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
    Petander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wheelguns 1961 View Post
    I now wait two weeks before sizing. I have noticed that my bullets certainly grow. So why size twice. As for powder coat, I usually will do this the day after casting.
    I re-sized a batch of once-sized bullets yesterday. They were sized 3585 one month ago,then heat treated. They were 360 yesterday.

    Alloy can be soft right after coating so depending on your expander and alloy, bullets may or may not swage down when loaded quickly after coating. But that's easy to check.

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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