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Thread: Heavy Resistance to Sizing After Powder Coatingl

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
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    Smile Heavy Resistance to Sizing After Powder Coatingl

    I apologize if this has already been addressed, however, with much reading have failed to find the topic.

    I’ve been away from casting for quite some time, getting started again ....also powder coating.

    I thoroughly cleaned my Lyman 4500 and dies prior to staring sizing the powder coated bullets. There was high resistance to the down stroke....and promptly broke the bottom off off my Lyman on the return/reverse stroke. Next step...profanities!

    I was told on another website, to merely push them all the way through by placing another bullet on the top of the first bullet. This further increased the resistance.....much more bullet surface area in the die. Next failure....promptly broke the “link” that the press handle screws into! Following step.....extreme profanities!

    Parts are not available.... so, I manufactured ( pretty crude) a new one piece handle/link assembly!

    I have since lubed my die and bullets with Hornady One Shot case lube spray....which has helped quite a bit!

    So, has anyone experienced a similar issue with “high resistance” to sizing....and what did you do to remedy?

    Thanks to any and all replies....even the ones that insult my intelligence! 😋 memtb

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    Not gonna insult your intelligence here, but what alloy were those bullets? Next, how much are you trying to size them down. To me it sounds like a little of both my questions to you, hard as woodpecker lips alloy and fat bullets.

    An example I have was yesterday I sized some .454" before and .456" after PC down to .4525" through a Lee die. As I was also squeezing on a GC, you could really feel them. To more compare apples to apples, I did size 12 in my LAM which included installing the GC (occasionally I'll add lube to a PC'd bullet, but that's a story for another day), and they were tough to size, but not ridiculous. My alloy was 2/3 COWW and 1/3 pure, so it's not a hard alloy. If I were trying a hardball or such alloy I suspect I would have had some fun with it.

    I do not think the PC has anything to do with your issue. In my experience it's slick and bullets slide easily with it applied. The One Shot is a trick I use almost every time I size PC bullets as it's easy and there's no down side.
    Last edited by DHDeal; 09-11-2020 at 12:19 PM.

  3. #3
    Boolit Man

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    memtb, If you don't size before powder coating try try sizing both before and after powder coating.
    eveready

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Never had "resistance" of any kind in the MANY thousands of PC'd boolits I have processed. Never.

    I use a single stage Lee press.

    As asked, how much were you trying to size down and what is the mix of the alloy? Those two key facts you left out.

    banger

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    Tired of editing my earlier post. You can use what you want, but the Lee sizer dies are not expensive and a reloading press is much stronger than a lube sizer. $20 + shipping for a Lee sizer, more or less, and you're there. Don't like the size of the die, then open that rascal up. They are so easy to use and inexpensive enough to not break the bank. One of the true bargains in the reloading world.

  6. #6
    Boolit Man
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    Bullet Alloy....straight wheel weights. However, I quenched as they came from the mold! I’ve never quenched before...may need to reconsider this step!

    Bullet as Cast, prior to powder coat.... .452” - sizing die .452”. Post powder coating, pre-sizing... unknown, as all have been sized. Bullets were “double coated”....perhaps another mistake!

    Thanks Again, for your help! memtb

  7. #7
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by DHDeal View Post
    Tired of editing my earlier post. You can use what you want, but the Lee sizer dies are not expensive and a reloading press is much stronger than a lube sizer. $20 + shipping for a Lee sizer, more or less, and you're there. Don't like the size of the die, then open that rascal up. They are so easy to use and inexpensive enough to not break the bank. One of the true bargains in the reloading world.
    Proper/best method to “open-up” the sizing die? memtb

  8. #8
    Boolit Bub
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    I find that I needed some type of lube to easily size HiTek coated bullets on my Lyman 45 - normally the bullet lube, well, provides the lubrication needed

    I've since moved on to a Lee APP for bulk sizing (saving the 45 for wax based lube and GC) - The price is low and even without a bullet feeder it is much faster than the 45. The shorter sizing die reduces the need to lube but it still helps keep the shoulder happy.

  9. #9
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by memtb View Post
    Proper/best method to “open-up” the sizing die? memtb
    a lathe, lapping compound and adjustable lap.

    you can get away with a drill instead of a lathe but the results won't be quite as precise.

    https://www.mcmaster.com/lapping-tools/
    https://www.gadgetbuilder.com/Lapping.html
    Last edited by pastera; 09-11-2020 at 01:00 PM. Reason: Add links

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master fredj338's Avatar
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    How long did you wait to size? IMO, water dropping is a waste of time if you are baking @ 400 for 20m & then air cooling. I water drop out of the oven. I try to size within a couple days. I have never had issues. I also use a cheap Lee press inverted.
    EVERY GOOD SHOOTER NEEDS TO BE A HANDLOADER.
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    As already mentioned the mass of metal you are trying to move is likely your problem.

    But try spraying the PC bullets with case lube. I make my own lube by adding 1 ounce of Lanolin to 12 ounces of 99% alcohol. You can find the alcohol in a 12 ounce bottle at the auto parts store; they use it to remove water from fuel. Liquid Lanolin can be found on line or by heating the solid stuff available at beauty supplies. This makes a big difference even when things are not a problem.

  12. #12
    AKA: GRMPS Conditor22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by memtb View Post
    Bullet Alloy....straight wheel weights. However, I quenched as they came from the mold! I’ve never quenched before...may need to reconsider this step!

    Bullet as Cast, prior to powder coat.... .452” - sizing die .452”. Post powder coating, pre-sizing... unknown, as all have been sized. Bullets were “double coated”....perhaps another mistake!

    Thanks Again, for your help! memtb
    Quenching before powdercoating gains you almost nothing



    Your alloy was/is probably around 14 bhn, not that much.

    How big are the sized boolits?

    2 coats of PC can add .002-.004.
    sizing down .004 with 14-15 BHN shouldn't be a problem in a NOE or Lee push through sizing die, adding case lube to that and they should go through easily

    Dragonheart is talking about the RED bottles of HEET.

    I polish the mouth of all my sizing dies. recently I did a light polish inside a sizing die, didn't increase the diameter but made sizing much easier.

  13. #13
    Boolit Man
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    Quenched right out of mold.....wait 2 years.....powder coat....from oven immediately to cold water!

    On a slightly different scenario.... I powder coated my bullets for my .45-70 yesterday, they’re “mic’ing- out” around . 464”....my die is .459”. These may be a challenge! memtb

  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Why are you quenching? COWW's are the perfect hardness for most shooting just as they are. And adding PC gives you more "protection".

    You do realize that the 400+°F bake of the PC pretty much kills all your quenching hardness gains, right?

    Don't wast you time. I cast, coat, & cure all in the same day. Perfect for me using a 10-12 alloy.

  15. #15
    AKA: GRMPS Conditor22's Avatar
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    Let me understand this. You quenched the boolits when you cast them 2 years ago. You put 2 coats of PC on them (baking at 400° will take out most of what you gained by quenching then you quenched them again taking you back up to around 23 bhn and your going to shoot them in a 45/70.

    WHY? how fast are you going to push them?? you can shoot 6-8 BHN out of a rolling block I normally go around 12 bhn PC'd

    I've sized hard boolits down .005 before with lube, if it's to hard on your setup get a sixing die half way inbetwen and size them down in 2 steps.

  16. #16
    Boolit Man
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    No rational answer for the quench after casting, as I had never done it in the past. It just seemed that a lot of people were doing it...though that I’d try it. Again, the quench after the powder coat was just something I picked-up reading a few posts about powder coating!

    The bullets for the 45-70 will likely be pushed somewhere in the 1700 to 1900 FPS range...depending upon where I find accuracy. The .454” bullets will be run through my S&W 460. I know that when I started casting in the early ‘70’s....I didn’t have any issues like these! Obviously....I’ve got a lot to learn! memtb

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    in regards to the opening of lee push though dies, for a die like that where all that matters is the diameter and roundness of the narrowest point i dont think any more advanced technique than sandpaper duck taped to a spinning stick is required to bump it thousandths. a type of die that required perfectly straight parallel walls of even size id want a lathe. or if your opening a lee a lot your basically making a straight section that would probably be crooked by that point.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    I used to modify Lee dies or order custom dies from them.

    Now days I use the NOE sizing system and have a selection of inserts. Lee also has that kind of system now for the AP press. If just now starting I'd probably get one of them.

    I always size before PC, mainly to seat gas checks or to nose size certain bullets. These are usually lubed with One Shot (the bullets have to be cleaned before PC, I use acetone). Then PC and size again. I never use lube after coating.

    I have found that my PC increases diameter between .002" and .003" (shake and bake method). I've never felt the need to use two coats. One is all you need.

    If you did two 'thick' coats you were trying to size .004-.006". This is quite a bit. No wonder you were having problems.

    Last, I never heat treat or water quench bullets. If I want a harder bullet I use a different alloy. Powder coating makes the alloy for pistols a non-issue.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master

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    I’ll probably get flamed for this, but when I run into a pc’d batch that has heavy resistance, I spray a light coating of Hornady One Shot case lube on the batch, then size them. They go through slicker than a whistle! I use a Star sizer & let them sit for at least a day after sizing before loading them. The Hornady case lube doesn’t affect the powder or primers so they say & I haven’t run into any problems.

  20. #20
    Boolit Man
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    clum553946, exactly what I did....which certainly helped. While I haven’t done a lot (OK, almost none) reading about powder coating....I had never seen the issue of heavy resistance discussed while sizing! I thought that perhaps my experiences where the first occurrence in the universe! memtb

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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