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Thread: Bullets tumbling

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    Bullets tumbling

    Been powder coating for 4 years. I have been using clear powder coating from Paintball Kingdom. It had been working extremely well until about a month ago. I ordered some more clear from PK. When I started using it the bullets began to tumble (9mm). I noticed that the barrel (Glock) was fouling, not leading. I bake the bullets at 400 degrees for 22 minutes. I let them cure at least one day before sizing. I also noticed when sizing that some of the powder would flake off of the sides. This never happened before. I have used 3 different gun powders with the same results. I have also used 4 different clear powder coats including Eastwood and Prismatic. Any suggestions?
    Gatman

  2. #2
    Boolit Bub
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    Double check your temp.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master slide's Avatar
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    Sounds like your powder may not be cured. The 400 for 20 min. started with the harbor freight powder which everybody was using at the beginning of powdercoating bullets. What it really means is that whatever you are baking must reach 400 F and then bake for 20 mins. You can order a thermometer with a thermocouple off of amazon,drill a hole in a coated bullet,secure the thermocouple end in the bullet. I use high heat aluminum tape. Some guys will tap the base of the bullet until the hole you drilled closes on the thermocouple. You could buy a multi meter at wal-mart. It comes with a thermocouple. Make sure it covers the temp range you want. Place the bullet thermocouple on top of your bullets when baking. When you hit the temp mark you need start a countdown timer for whatever is reccommended for time. No guess work. Others will post their methods. Pick whichever one suits you.
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I only use Smoke's and Prismatic's Clear, but I doubt it is your powder.

    Start with the basics: Have you tested your oven? This is the very first thing to do when PC because proper cure time is paramount to getting a proper coating. The simplest way I know of is buy a glass Taylor Oven Guide Thermometer ($12 from Amazon) and place it where you can read it behind the glass in the oven door. Turn on the oven and adjust the thermostat to whatever position it takes for the thermometer to read 400 F degrees. Let the oven run for a half an hour and see if the oven will closely maintain 400 or does it have wild swings in temperature. If the oven won't come to 400 or it won't maintain 400 then it is not suitable for powder coating. A PID might help, but I personally wouldn't spend the money, just get a better quality oven like the Hamilton Beach Countertop Convection Ovens.

    If the oven checks out and if you are only cooking a couple of hundred bullets bring the oven up to 400 degrees and then add about 10-15 minutes for the bullet surface temperature to come to 400 and then start your cure time for the powder usually about 12 minutes. Once you figure out the timing for the load in the oven it should work every time.

    But if you change the load and start cooking hundreds of bullets on multiple trays more time will be needed to bring a larger load up to temp, so a thermocouple will help take out the guesswork as to how long it takes for the bullets to come to temp as it can monitor the temp in a certain area.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master



    cwlongshot's Avatar
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    I agree either bad powder or something happened with your oven. (It’s not 400)

    CW
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  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master fredj338's Avatar
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    Maybe they changed their clear powder, since you said it was new. Could be something totally diff than you had before. IF it isn't cutting at 400deg for 15m, then I wouldnt use it. Everything I have tried, even crap HF red cures at 400/15m.
    EVERY GOOD SHOOTER NEEDS TO BE A HANDLOADER.
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  7. #7
    Boolit Mold
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    I checked my oven. I have a regular oven thermometer. When the ready light came on the oven read 400 degrees. After I put the bullets in, approximately 1500, the oven went down to 350. When it came back to temperature approximately 3 minutes later, I began to time the bullets. I checked the temperature periodically during the cure time which is 20 minutes. During those 20 minutes the temperature varied from 400 to 435 minutes. Can this higher temperature affect the cure time?

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gatman View Post
    I checked my oven. I have a regular oven thermometer. When the ready light came on the oven read 400 degrees. After I put the bullets in, approximately 1500, the oven went down to 350. When it came back to temperature approximately 3 minutes later, I began to time the bullets. I checked the temperature periodically during the cure time which is 20 minutes. During those 20 minutes the temperature varied from 400 to 435 minutes. Can this higher temperature affect the cure time?
    You will probably be OK, but when the air temp in the oven reaches 400, your bullets can still be a long way from that when you are cooking 1500.
    In my PID controlled 30" oven with two 220 V elements maintaining a constant 400 degrees several thousand bullets has taken over 30 minutes for the bullets to come up to temp. As far as the cure schedule the air temp means little other than showing how tight of a control the thermostat has. Cure is the time the bullets are at 400. Your oven does have a significant temperature swing, but 435 shouldn't be a problem as long as the bullets are not close to an element, if so they can discolor. If it were me I would add a few more minutes to the total or cast a thermocouple into a bullet.

  9. #9
    Boolit Bub
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    Did you happen to change your sizing dimensions?

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackriver View Post
    Did you happen to change your sizing dimensions?
    Sorry, didn't understand the question.

  11. #11
    Boolit Bub
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    Are you possibly sizing the recent coated bullets smaller than you were in the past.

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
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    I could be wrong, but isn't it 20 mins @ 400 degrees after the bullets gloss over? That's the way I've been doing it and having no problems.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Boogieman's Avatar
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    20 the min. after the powder glosses @ 400 degrees should work. It does for HF red. a little more time won't hurt. They come out a little darker
    The 3 people a man must be able to trust completely are his gunsmith his doctor & his preacher ..,his gunsmith for his short term health ,his doctor for long term health ,and his preacher incase one of the others mess up.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Dar View Post
    I could be wrong, but isn't it 20 mins @ 400 degrees after the bullets gloss over? That's the way I've been doing it and having no problems.
    What is the temperature in your oven when the bullets gloss? Can your oven reach 400F degrees? Can your oven hold 400F degrees or does the temperature have big swings? How long does it take your oven's air temperature to actually reach 400F degrees? How long does it take the surface of your bullets to reach 400F degrees?

    If you know these answers then you know you are doing it right, otherwise?

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master popper's Avatar
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    Did you change alloy? Cooking gets BHN back to AC and soft may size smaller. If PC scrapes during sizing, tumble in a tiny bit of lube.
    Whatever!

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