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Thread: Is anybody powder-coating Foster slugs?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

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    Is anybody powder-coating Foster slugs?

    We have alternately shot both Winchester and Federal rifled Foster slugs at work, and as the armorer, it's frequently my task to scrub the lead skid marks out of the smoothbores. Not the most entertaining chore on the planet.

    I've been wondering if powder coating would have any benefit in this setting where the slug is in physical contact with the bore (in other words, no shot wad being used as a sabot), or if the coating would just peel right off, considering the super-soft alloys typically used.

    Anyone been down this road? Useful links?

    WWJMBD?

    Is the mightiness of the pen still relevant after we roll the writing paper into cartridges for a Sharps?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master


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    Why bother 3 minutes with 4/0 steel wool around the correct size brush on a drill and lead is gone! Way faster than powder coating the slugs IMHO

  3. #3
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    W.R.Buchanan's Avatar
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    Just put your Foster Slugs in a shot cup like they were designed to be used. This will eliminate the problem you are having. I am loading 60 lee Slugs for a 3 gun shoot Sunday. None are PC'd there will be no problem with anyone's gun. Randy
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    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
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  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master


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    I've seen it done. I'm sure it would eliminate leading. I'm no fan of coating, but this would be a good use for it.

    Alternatively, tumble lube in Alox works just fine.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geezer in NH View Post
    Why bother 3 minutes with 4/0 steel wool around the correct size brush on a drill and lead is gone! Way faster than powder coating the slugs IMHO
    A: Try it in an institutional setting where you're dealing with a couple dozen guns at a time. Time consuming and probably not the healthiest passtime to undertake. I chuck a Brownell's Double-Tuff bush on a drill for the task. . .& it's still often a time-eating mess.

    B: Mainly considering this as possibly a worthy suggestion to the commercial manufacturers of the ammo.

    My operating theory is that it would not only be cleaner, but probably more accurate if the bore is not accumulating crud with every shot.
    WWJMBD?

    Is the mightiness of the pen still relevant after we roll the writing paper into cartridges for a Sharps?

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master


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    It's hard to say if accuracy would benefit at all. The only guns that lead bad have rough and/or uneven bores. A good bore is a good bore, and there's no replacement for that. The only shotgun I have that leads significantly is also quite possibly the most accurate smooth bore slug barrel I own. Go figure.

    I don't think the alloy is going to stop the coating, but hollow based slugs like rifled slugs do deform significantly during firing. It looks like this guy's coating is holding up decent, especially once he fills the base. https://castboolits.gunloads.com/sho...5-Slug-Results

  7. #7
    Boolit Master


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    Institutional setting seems to me lazy public employee.

    1 1/2 hours to clean 24 barrels. Actually, less I guessed at the 3 minutes mostly 2 would be correct. Let's add the time to powder coat huh? Way more eh?

    Give us a break

  8. #8
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    M-Tecs's Avatar
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    Just put your Foster Slugs in a shot cup like they were designed to be used.

    Never seen a factory Foster Slug in a shot cup. Some history on the Foster slug here.

    https://www.ojp.gov/pdffiles1/Digiti...32229NCJRS.pdf

    Foster Slugs
    The most common rifle slug in the United States is based on the design of Karl M. Foster of Great Barrington, Massachusetts. He developed the slug in 1931 for his personal hunting use. Foster originally ca'lt the slugs to shape in a 20-gauge barrel and then cut the grooves into the sides with a file. He subsequently obtained a custom-made mold from the Lyman Company (Middlefield, CT) and rifled the castings in a handmade die. He soon made theslugs available to his neighbors. In 1932, some of the Foster slugs were submitted to the Remington Arms Company. Experiments showed that they were more accurate than balls, but Remington was apparently not inclined to develop them further. In 1933, sample slugs were sent to the Winchester Arms Company, where they underwent extensive testing. Winchester accepted the new design, and factory loaded shells were first placed on the retail market in September 1936. The Remington Company soon recognized its error and added them to its product line in 1937. Foster type rifle slugs are now manufactured by Remington, Winchester-W~stern and Federal (Anoka, MN) cartridge companies. Lyman continues to make casting molds and a swaging kit for hand loaders. The first factory loaded slugs differed from those of Foster originals in that the weight was reduced to approximately .875 oz. Also, Foster had originally placed wax in the hollow base of his slugs so that accuracy would not be diminished by cardboard wadding sticking to the base. In lieu of wax, Winchester and Remington used a hard cardboard wad at the base. The diameter of the slug was further reduced for safety so it
    would pass through even the tightest choke. The basic Foster slug, however, remains a hollow lead cup, heavier at the point. It has 14 small angled ribs swaged into the side of the slug. The rifling tends to be obliterated by the passage of the slug through the barrel, especially
    through a full choke. Some spin does result from the ribs, however, and tests show a very
    slow spin of approximately one turn in 24 feet of travel to one turn in 129 feet of travel,
    depending upon the choke used.
    In 1980, Remington and other slug manufacturers increased the weight of 12-gauge rifle slugs to a full 1 oz.
    Neither Brenneke nor Foster slugs depend upon the rifling ribs or projectile spin for stability. The slugs are stable because they travel
    through the air like a sand-filled sock with the heavier toe forward (O'Connor 1965), unlike symmetrical lead balls (Figure 3). The trailing light end acts as a stabilizer. The slight rotation imparted by the ribs reduces the effect of manufacturing irregularities. In tests performed by Winchester-Western,the slu.g rotation was confirmed, resulting in consistently smaller groups for rifled slugs than unrifled slugs
    (Sterett 1966).
    Last edited by M-Tecs; 08-07-2022 at 05:25 PM.
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  9. #9
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    He asked if putting PC on a Foster Slug would stop leading? If it is a full bore slug then yes it would. If he is taking shells apart to PC the Slugs then he's going to have to put them back in a hull to shoot them? The factory isn't doing it.

    The Lyman Foster Cast Slugs are designed to be used in a Shot Cup, I haven't seen any other full bore Foster Style Slug molds out there with the exception of the Lee Drive Key Slug I just made 150 of last Saturday. They were loaded into a Claybuster Blue Slug Wad with a 1/8" card under the slug and a Overshot Card on top then fold crimped. They don't touch the bore so PCing them would not do anything.

    Randy
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
    www.buchananprecisionmachine.com

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