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Thread: A few questions

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    A few questions

    Now that I've tried it I have a few questions. Obtained powder from Smoke 4320 so that should be good. I'm not trying to win a beauty contest with finished product.
    BEFORE I remove the bullets from the CW container with a pair of giant tweezers I notice tiny bare spots in the powder coverage. After firing in the kiln the pinhead sized bare spots are still slightly noticeable. Should I be getting 100% solid coverage? Secondly, I notice a very few of the BLACK bb's in the CW container are not coated with paint powder and are quite noticeable amongst all the other coated bb's. There is still powder left at the bottom of the container. Could the brand of bb's be at fault? Input would be appreciated...

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    JWFilips's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Northeastern part of Penn's Woods near Slocum Hollow.
    I have seen this with many of the "color" powders that is why I use Smokes Clear. I have found if you heat your bullets before tumbling with a hair drier until the are a bit uncomfortable to touch then tumble You will see an improvement!
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    rancher1913's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    plains of colorado
    2 things---sometimes the colour pigment does not fully cover, most of the time its a lack of static problem, try more vigorous swirl action, and 2ndly the polymer that protects is clear so just because the colour pigment is not there does not mean its bad.
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  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy Doubles Shooter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Upstate Western New York
    When I notice those spots, I just shake and swirl some more. sometimes a teaspoon more of powder helps.

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master popper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    More static needed. When baked a lot of bare spots disappear as the powder flows when cooked. Using a real kiln? Need to insure that coating temp rise is a little slow so there is a flow stage. Unless pushed hard, bare spots aren't a big deal, big bare spots on the drive bands after sizing need to get coated again or dumped into the pot.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
    Huskerguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Without pics my guess is the tiny bare spots you are referring to are from bullets touching each other. Are they very small, like from a sharp edge and the color of the lead? Some of it depends on where the mark is and how big. Is it on a band that contacts the barrel? Typically, if I open my container and see a lot of the marks, I go slower to avoid the violent contact.

    As for BB's, don't worry about them. I have black ones and some some other orange plastic ones and I can't see a difference. I use glad sandwich containers and start either two plastic spoons of powder. Less is more and you will know when you need to add some, not a problem to leave powder in the container. When you use tweezers, just grab on the point where the powder doesn't contact the barrel. As stated above, if you are baking long and hot enough thr PC will flow. That is why like to stand mine up.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Forrest r's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    NE Ohio
    I get the same thing when the humidity is up and the bowl with the bb's/powder is low on powder at the same time. The perfect storm in my little world so to speak. Adding more powder usually solves this.

  8. #8
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    Smoke4320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Right here ..at least I was a minute ago
    if you see bare spots after shaking. close the lid and shake harder..
    If you have done a couple of batches with the powder in that container add another 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of powder and shake harder
    heating the bullets to NO more than 150 degrees can also help get a good solid coat especially when in hi humidity
    Last edited by Smoke4320; 01-19-2022 at 11:52 AM.
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  9. #9
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    I can put 3-3.5 lbs of just cast bullets in my old Midway 1292 vibrating tumbler with enough of Smoke's powder to cover the bullets. 10 minutes later I use a mesh basket to separate the PC bullets from the excess powder over a piece of cardboard. I can use my gloved hand to stand the bullets on their base on the silicone mat lined baking sheet. Great finish on the bullets. Even the part that doesn't get sized has a slick finish. Pieces dug out of the berm have the finish still intact. When I finish, I can leave the excess powder in the tumbler with the lid tightened and it hasn't suffered from exposure to moisture.
    Last edited by jsizemore; 01-21-2022 at 02:29 PM.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
    Dragonheart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Katy, Texas
    A tumbler does a terrific job of coating, especially when a preheat is used. I started tumbling my bullets in 2012 but I found tumblers were too aggressive; notice how your powder turns darker? That's lead rubbing off the bullets.

    The answer to too aggressive action is being able to adjust the vibration. To do this I simply removed the bowl & rod on a small tumbler and replaced it with a 1/2" thick cut to fit rubber mat and a 5 gallon #5 recycle painters bucket held in place with a 1/4"-20 single center screw. A plywood frame with two all thread & straps holds the tumbler. The nuts on the all threads allow me to easily adjust the tension by tightening down the nuts. The flat bottom bucket allows me to coat 300+ bullets at a time with no effort. The lid to the painters bucket keeps down dust and noise. That was 10 years ago and well over 100K bullets.
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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