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Thread: Powdercoat thickness

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Bad Ass Wallace's Avatar
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    Powdercoat thickness

    Been working up powdercoat loads for my 30.06 and 303 British. I have shot nice tight groups with normal lubed and gas checked boolits where the bore riding nose just kisses the top of lands. The same boolit when powder-coated adds +0.006" to the nose diameter and won't chamber.

    Pistol boolits don't appear have the same issues except in a Marlin Cowboy 45 Colt

    10 shot with lubed boolit

    Hold Still Varmint; while I plugs Yer!

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    farmerjim's Avatar
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    Get a nose sizer die. (NOE has them) I have to nose size my 500 gr 45-70 boolit or it won't chamber.
    There is no difference between communism and socialism, except in the means of achieving the same ultimate end: communism proposes to enslave men by force, socialism—by vote. It is merely the difference between murder and suicide. Ayn Rand

  3. #3
    Boolit Master


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    Nose sizing suks... its not a option for me or for most unless you shoot VERY LITTLE.

    Back when you apply the powder coat, dump your bullets to remove excess powder. Use a wire basket and "SIFT OFF" longer/more. You should bring that thickness far closer to .001/.002. I can. Also different powders apply at different thicknesses. East wood for example always seem to have a thicker application.

    Good luck

    CW

    PS I have videos showing what I am speaking to.
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master mehavey's Avatar
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    With a true bore-rider,
    Thin-film ALOX`em and shoot 24 hours later

  5. #5
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by mehavey View Post
    With a true bore-rider,
    Thin-film ALOX`em and shoot 24 hours later
    Yes a true "BORE RIDER" are mostly a futile effort... I cannot use my beloved 35809 in my big 35's because of this...
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  6. #6
    Boolit Master mehavey's Avatar
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    In reality, I don't find thin-film ALOX to to any more difficult/messy/time-consuming (or all that less effective) than PC.
    It's just that:
    - PC can be shot immediately.
    - PC looks kool.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master


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    I still have some boolits that I use my ES Spray gun to powder coat. A bore rider .300 Blackout from Mihec works great sprayed but is too thick too chamber when I tried shake and bake on it. I am not nose sizing ammo for an AR, way too much work. I get a much thinner, even coat with the cheap HF gun than doing them shake and bake. Pretty much all of my pistols shake and bake works fine.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I'd agree about too much powder. Mine 'grow' only .002-3" after PC.

    I also nose size the bore riders in my .308. Not a big deal for me. Especially since they shoot so well The Acc311-210E is my favorite bullet for the .308. 1 1/2 MOA on a regular basis.

    FWIW, I had to nose size the Lyman 311299 even without PC since it cast a bit too big for my bore (with Lyman #2 alloy).

    If I was casting for a 'plinker' I'd not use a bore rider. Too easy for them to jam when sized correctly for the bore.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy 405grain's Avatar
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    I've been all over this. I prefer bore riding boolits because of the accuracy, but when you powder coat them the nose gets too fat to chamber. I machined a nose sizing die, and discovered that it will make the nose the right diameter, but that it will no longer be concentric with the driving bands. There's no logic to going to the effort of making your own bullets & ammo if it isn't accurate. After lots of experimenting and trial & error I came up with a process that powder coats just the driving bands, and not the nose. These boolits are both powder coated and swirl lubed. I tried lots of different lubes but finally settled on a 45-45-10 mixture of Johnsons paste wax, Alox, and paint thinner. It only takes a very small amount; 3 or 4 drops will swirl lube over 100 boolits. Let the boolits dry overnight and once the paint thinner has evaporated everything is good to go

    This process is absolutely not for everyone. In a normal shake-n-bake operation you coat a whole tub full of boolits at once. I like this method and do it whenever I can (like with pistol boolits). When coating the driving bands only, I have to coat each boolit one at a time. Almost no one is crazy enough to do this! At this time it's what I got, but necessity is the mother of invention so I'm confident that there will be a way to make a fixture where it will be possible to coat a whole batch of boolits at once (probably with a powder gun). This is still a work in progress, but here's a link to what i was doing: https://castboolits.gunloads.com/sho...=hybrid+boolit

    I tried out some 6.5x55 loads with this style of boolit recently and the accuracy was pretty good. I'll keep on experimenting to see if the coating process can be improved. If any of you casters out there are feeling inventive and have an idea on how to step up production I'm all ears. https://castboolits.gunloads.com/sho...ghlight=hybrid

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Nose sizing does not 'bend' my bullets. But, I don't have to size them much either.

    And, this is not a production line job. If I want volume I do not use bore riders.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    For my rifle bullets, a couple of which are bore riders, I grab then with tweezers and knock off all excess powder then stand them on their bases for baking in the oven. That can be a pain in the ___, but doing it this way I add less than 0.002 to the diameter of the nose.
    Hick: Iron sights!

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy 405grain's Avatar
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    Hick: Two things. First: I love going over to Winnemucca in the spring to shoot sage rats. Everybody there is so friendly, and the scenery around Paradise Valley is amazing. Winnemucca's a great place!

    Second: when I started out with PC on rifle bullets I was doing it pretty much the same way as you. The problem with that process is that once you have over a hundred bullets standing on end waiting to get baked, if even one of them falls over it starts a domino effect and the whole thing comes down like a house of cards. When that happens cursing that would make the Devil blush ensues. I quickly developed a work around for that problem. With the help of Jeff Bezos I got me a sheet of perforated stainless steel direct from China. I chose one with 5/16" diameter holes, then bent the edges down so it would stand proud. Here's a snap shot of the contraption on the piece of 1/8" aluminum plate that I use in my cruddy powder coat toaster oven. (the plate is because the tray for the oven would sag under the weight of bullets) I place a sheet of parchment paper on the plate to keep the mess from getting out of hand. When you place the bullets in this "holder" they are much less likely to fall over. I place the bullets in nose down so I don't get any flash around the bullet base, but I suppose that it would work just as well if they were right side up. Click image for larger version. 

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  13. #13
    Boolit Master


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    Can you seat them a little deeper?

  14. #14
    Boolit Master


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    As I mentioned above and is in the video links posted... Simply sift off the coated bullets!! You WILL NOT REMOVE ALL POWDER!!! I use hemostats but tweesers are same and stand up. Silicone icube trays work well also. I use every other hole so out of 144 holes I can do about 65/70 bullets. Less is more easier to handle leas mass in the over to overcome and over all better product produced. NO NEED to choke the oven full.

    I shoot the 311299 NO ISSUES. But the 35809 still cannot be used. Heck my one Whelen just taked a conventionally lubed bullet!!

    CW
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  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    I also stand mine. I found baking trays at the store.

    https://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/sto...skuId=47381827

    I got the smaller version for my toaster/convection oven. The mesh is approx 1/2". You could bend some hardware store stuff and get the same result.

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy 405grain's Avatar
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    This thread has gotten me thinking of some new ideas. Everyone has their own personal requirements and their own methods of achieving them. The criteria that I'm looking for is a way of powder coating the driving bands only on bore riding cast bullets, and to develop a method of doing this where I can coat multiple bullets at once instead of just one at a time. These bullets are then swirl lubed (even though they have powder coated driving bands). The reason that I'm trying this process goes beyond the normal convenience and freedom from barrel leading that powder coating provides. I want to try to make cast bullets that are more accurate. I'm thinking that the thin film lubed "as cast" bore riding section coupled with the polymer jacketed driving band section may be a step in this direction. Will it work? Who knows? Won't find out until after it's tried, so, nothing ventured - nothing gained.

    Here's what I conjured up as the next step in this process: I'll get a 1/2" thick sheet of high temp silicone foam and make a small "cork boring" tool to create a pattern of holes through the foam pad. Then I'll stretch a sheet of non-stick aluminum foil over the pad. The aluminum is so that everything will be electrically conductive. Next I'll take the cast bullets, with gas checks seated, and push them nose down through the aluminum foil and into each hole into the foam pad. Only the driving band area will still be above the foil. Then spray everything with a powder coating gun and bake. Once the bullets have cooled run them through a push through sizer (which will also knock off any flash from the PC getting on the aluminum foil) and then swirl lube them.

    Just to clarify a few things: I tried nose sizing. It doesn't bend the bullets, it just makes it so that the nose section is no longer aligned (concentric) with the driving band section. The bullets still work, but accuracy suffers. When I tried shake-n-bake with bore riders, no matter how thin I tried to make the coating the nose was always too big and the cartridges wouldn't chamber in my firearms. If I try seating deeper the gas check will be below the case shoulder and the bullet will have to take a leap of faith before it gets to the rifling. Again, the bullets still work, but accuracy suffers. Shake-n-bake does have a very useful place in my cast bullet hobby: I can do a full PC on Lyman #311284, size to .3125", and they become amazingly accurate in my 7.65x53 Mauser. All my pistol bullets get the shake-n-bake and that works great. I like bore riders because they're accurate, but to get that accuracy with PC I'm finding that I have to work for it. The whole thing may never work, but if it does some day an unlucky rock chuck might just get an unpleasant meeting with a cast 6.5mm boolit.

  17. #17
    I powder coat as thin as possible. I do the shake and bake and I have the bb's too, but I only put a very small amount of powder in the bowl, and shake. I check the coverage and I'm looking for a coating that I can almost see through. Are the pretty, no, they look ugly, but there is a coating over the entire bullet. Once the grease grooves get powder in them, the outside surface has enough on it.

    I had coated some bullets once and they had a nice even looking coating on them. I size my match bullets before I coat, and again after. So these had been sized and the diameter was "round". But I picked up one of these nice looking bullets and mic'd them and they were as much as .001" out of round. Not good for a match bullet to be out of round. That's why I apply only enough to get a coating where I can kindof see through it. I know it's at least even all the way around. Oh, and I pick these out of the bowl with tweezers in a grease groove, I tap it against the side of the bowl which knocks off any excess, and I have a paper towel laying on the table next to me, and I drag the bottom on the towel to remove the PC from the gas check bottom. Another place you don't want an uneven surface.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    For my 35 rems I tumble powder coat and then bounce all the excess off in another container before baking. I then run my boolits through a lee sizer after the PC bake because I want them all sized to the exact same diameter for consistency and best accuracy. Mine are sized approx .0025 over. I have work the action firmly on my 336 microgroove to make sure I get it to chamber being the nose does “ride”. I have unchambered dummy rounds and have microgroove rifling marks on the boolits. They shoot very accurate this way for me as you can see in my avatar. I would assume that’s what you are referring to you when “bore riding”.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master


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    A bore rider bullet is not designed to engrave rifling chambering. But often will obturate to engrave.

    Problem isnt into rifling for me. Its a cast bullet after all NOT JACKETED. This isnt the issue. The issue is when they WILL NOT CHAMBER.

    CW
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  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy 405grain's Avatar
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    "The issue is when they WILL NOT CHAMBER."
    ^ This, exactly! cwlongshot hit the nail on the head. When the nose section of the bullet is at bore diameter, increasing that by even .001" means that it won't fit. With the cast bullet designs I'm using, and with my firearms, if I PC the whole bullet the cartridges will not chamber at all. That's the problem - the need to keep the nose section "as cast", while powder coating the driving bands.

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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