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Thread: testing unknown powder

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy

    oconeedan's Avatar
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    testing unknown powder

    OK, Lucky me was given a good amount of powder coating from two different commercial manufacturers, from factory test samples or bags that the color wasn't perfect. I do not know if they are epoxy based or polyester based.
    I used the shake and bake method, coated a handful of bullets of each color, and baked at over 400 for over 20 minutes.
    Two of the colors, are thrown out immediately, as they either didn't coat the bullets using this method, or had very splotchy coverage.
    I have "commercial yellow", that covered well, but you could see thin spots here and there, I think it is ok. I have a big bag of this.
    Then there is red. Oh my gosh, the bullets came out beautiful glossy red with near perfect coverage. I have quite a bit of this, but not as much as the yellow.
    I mixed the red and yellow 50-50, and the coverage was perfect, looked orange-ish, but is less glossy than the pure red or yellow.
    I whacked all of the colors with a hammer, not problems with any of them at all, but we know that isn't a great test, right?
    Next, I guess I'll load them up and shoot them, right? Will be starting with 44 mag loads.
    Does anyone suggest any other tests before shooting them?
    DanClick image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Boolit Master slide's Avatar
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    Sounds like you got it covered. Shoot them and see what happens! You always get bleed thru with the yellows.
    Boolits !!!!! Does that mean what I think it do? It do!

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    The red looks really good, but you can't tell full cure by looks. Yellows tend to be thin from my experience and require a double coat, or at least with the colors I have tried. Just do a Partial cure on the first coat and then a full cure on the second coat and the coats will flow together.

    Mixing powders can have unwanted results because powders like paint come in different bases. Not all powders can be tumble coated, but all can be sprayed, so you might keep the powder for that purpose. Many other things can be spray powder coated like tools, equipment, artwork etc.

    As a further check, scrape a bullet with a razor knife held at 90 degrees to the surface to see if the coating can be easily removed or see if the PC can be cut with a 2-H lead pencil. The smash test only tells you there is a bond and the elasticity of the polymer and does not tell you if you have reached full cure; I got this straight from a physicist. What the Scratch Test tells you is the hardness of the polymer and hardness is necessary for what we are doing with the polymer.

    My guess is you are going to be spending a lot of time with the casting pot to use up all that powder, but making them can be as much fun as shooting them.

  4. #4
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    try mixing 2 parts yellow to 1 part red. Should cover well

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Conditor22 View Post
    try mixing 2 parts yellow to 1 part red. Should cover well
    I will likely do this. I started with just the red, it is PURTY. I shot 14 rounds with Marlin 44 lever gun (Microgroove), then gun jammed. I think I short stroked it due to gun sitting on sandbags. I was at public range and I left, since I don't like fooling with jams in public range.
    I got gun unjammed at home, no problem. The bore...I pushed a dry patch through it and it still looked clean, only powder residue was on the patch. Bore still shiny clean with no fouling from lead or PC. So far, so good!

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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