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Old November 10, 2018, 04:26 PM   #1
Grey_Lion
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Powdercoating trials have begun

So today I started down the road of powder coating cast lead rounds.

These are NOE mold .402-160 .40 S&W cast lead rounds.

Powder coat media is Harbor Freight Red and Yellow.

For the trial & error file - some notes -

Red & Yellow CANNOT be mixed to form orange.

Powder coating makes AMAZING adhesive between lead and aluminum foil....

The yellow and red coatings did not blend to form orange, but it seemed that yellow adhered the the bullets first and then red sort of glommed on spotting next. - so mixing pigments didn't work out as I'd hoped.

I had the lead rounds mixed with equal parts red & yellow in a gatorade container - this was then shaken for several minutes before the result was dumped in a clean tray and then the rounds removed with a pair of small needle nose and arranged onto a foil lined tray.

results attached.
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File Type: jpg 20181110pwdrct2.jpg (217.2 KB, 32 views)
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Old November 10, 2018, 05:39 PM   #2
reddog81
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Looks like you got good coverage. Do they pass the smash test?

Non stick aluminum foil works much better than regular foil. It also helps to knock the bullets loose before they fully cool.

Most colors don't really mix very well hovever it doesn't seem to matter performance wise.
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Old November 11, 2018, 05:05 PM   #3
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I have come up with another reason not to mix 2 different powder coat media. The clumping I mentioned, it does NOT like to feed in GLOCK factory or after market barrels. The polycoat acts like traction rubber tread and jams up tight mid-feed causing a jam that's a serious pain to clear.

In my hi-point carbine, the rounds fired well enough, but the grouping spread out an additional inch at 25 yards. Not enough to matter to me, but also a reason to drop the notion and move on.

My next steps -
1) check and re-size the powder coated rounds I haven't yet loaded
2) try a different seating depth to see if perhaps a different seating depth will resolve the glock feed problem - doubt it would
3) try to powder coat again without mixing media for a smoother finish
4) try to powder coat only the butt of the round to prevent lead melt similar to a gascheck
5) do the smash test to answer reddog81

I'll let you know how that all turns out as it happens
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Old November 11, 2018, 06:15 PM   #4
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I had enough trouble with my glocks and powder coated round nose bullets that i gave up on it and went to a truncated cone. It works much better in glocks.

I highly recommend either buying some eastwood powder or some powder from Smoke over on castboolits. Both are excellent coverers. Smokes being a little bit better. Eastwood how ever had tons of colors if you care. And some colors cover better than others. Apparently ford light blue is a really good one.

And uh, yeah, non stick foil, should be able to use it a few times.
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Last edited by Chainsaw.; November 12, 2018 at 08:31 AM.
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Old November 11, 2018, 07:18 PM   #5
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Here's the powder coat smash test -

success - the powder coat holds up with no breaks or flakes under the hit of a 3 LB hammer
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Old November 11, 2018, 08:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
I highly recommend either buying some eastwood powder or some powder from Smoke over on castboolits. Both are excellent coverers. Smokes being a little bit better. Eastwood how ever had tons of colors if you care. And some colors cover better than others. Apparently ford light blue is a really good one.
Good advice for anyone who is smart enough to take it. Avoid Harbor Freight powders. The Red works alright when applying with a gun, but other than that, poor results are generally reported.
Go here as previously posted if you want to start powder coating and save yourself some grief:
http://castboolits.gunloads.com/foru...d-Alternatives

Last edited by dahermit; Yesterday at 09:02 AM.
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Old November 11, 2018, 09:06 PM   #7
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Yeah, harbor frieght powders aren't ideal. They'll work OK but there are much better options out there as mentioned by the other posters. The powders I've bought from Smokes4320 on castboolits are all smooth as snot once cooked. If the powder is causing extra friction I'd avoid it in auto-loaders unless you're ok with stoppages.
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Old November 12, 2018, 01:13 AM   #8
armoredman
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Smoke's powder over at castboolits.gunloads.com is the best powder there is.
Welcome to the addiction - I powder coat all cast bullets now.
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Old November 12, 2018, 09:15 AM   #9
Russell P
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Just a note to add the boys on youtube are using silicone pads to put there powder coated bullets on during the baking process
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Old November 12, 2018, 07:13 PM   #10
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As this is my first ever powder coat effort - I'm learning on the cheap with harbor freight powder media.

I will be working next on a better oven tray or lining - still thinking aluminum screen will be one thing to try.

I also had a notion to just powder coat ONLY the butt of some cast rounds to act as a sort of gas-check.
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Old November 12, 2018, 10:38 PM   #11
dahermit
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Quote:
As this is my first ever powder coat effort - I'm learning on the cheap with harbor freight powder media.

I will be working next on a better oven tray or lining - still thinking aluminum screen will be one thing to try.

I also had a notion to just powder coat ONLY the butt of some cast rounds to act as a sort of gas-check.
You are barking up the wrong tree...everything you mention has been covered in depth at the cast Boolet site I gave you. You can continue to dork around and learn the hard way and waste time and effort, or you can do yourself a favor and benefit from what others have discovered over there. Your choice. In case you have not discovered it yet, the only color that will work (and that is not very good) for "shake and bake" from Harbor freight is their Red and that turns dark (so abrasive it grinds away at the lead in the bullets which then mixes with the Red powder turning it Maroon) after a few batches of bullets.

Last edited by dahermit; November 12, 2018 at 10:49 PM.
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Old November 12, 2018, 11:27 PM   #12
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While his delivery is pointed dahermit is right. The harbor freight powder have been a real pain in the rear that has many people almost give up trying to get good results. The east wood powders are $10 a pound, and a pound goes a loooong way and are a BIG step up in cover quality. Stay away from metallics. Cant recall how much Smoke’s powders are but right in that ballpark.

Also, Id suggest some pony beads from Marshalls or Hobby lobby, a pack for like $4 halved and tossed into your shake container really helps with adhesion and keeps the bullets from knocing powder off one another. Highly recommend.

Do these things, and the silicone mats and you’ll a hapy clam in no time.
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Old Yesterday, 10:07 AM   #13
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Gray Lion, I'll just show you how I do it. I started out with the HF powders, mainly Red an Yellow. They both worked great with the ES gun but not so much using the dry TL process. The HP powders are also epoxy based and are much harder an leave hard edges on the bullets base or any other flat surfaces the bullet touches. I dropped the HF powders after a couple attempts and went with the better quality powders.

Convention toaster oven for curing your bullets.

I prefer the convection oven because it heats more evenly. You can pick one up at a resale store on the cheap or just buy a new one for around $30 to $40 depending on what you like. ONLY use the oven for curing powder coated bullets or heat treating bullets from that point on NEVER use it to cook food in afterwards. If the oven is not digital and controlled by an internal PID get yourself an oven baking thermometer (WallyWorld for $7) to set your temperature dial as close as possible, most toaster ovens heat much hotter than the dial indicates. Set your oven to keep a constant temperature at around 400 degrees, if the temp runs +/- 25 degrees it wants hurt anything you just don't want it to get to high or too cool.



Plastic container for tumbling bullets in.

You will need a one or more #5 plastic containers and lids depending on if you want to do more than one color, screw on types are the best but snap on lid types like I use work fine to. I use these two types of #5 container I recycle from home along with multi color plastic pony beads I get at WallyWorld for $1.50 per pack, they are large enough that they want get stuck in my big 45 ACP HP's. The combination has worked well for me to generate lots of static electricity to attract the powder to the bullets. One thing of note is that LOW HUMIDITY is your friend as it will make generating static electricity easy, I like it to be 40% or lower. At times, I've had to coat in the house and take them out to my reloading shed to cure.

#5 container from local restaurants.


Great Value Yogurt container.


Pony Beads.


In the small container I place enough beads to fill the bottom about 1" deep, in the larger container I add enough to fill it between 1" an 2" but no more than that. I add about 1/2 TSP of powder to the container with the beads and shake it up for about 30 sec. notice how it already starts to stick to the beads and sides of the container. I always start out with 1/2 TSP if you need to add more powder to get the desired coat only add another 1/4 TSP or so to the mix as too much powders will clump on the bullets and you will have to tap it off before placing them on the baking tray. It's easy to add a little more powder to get a fine coating than having too much to start with.




Next I add the bullets. Make sure they are clean of any dirt, oil or lube or any contaminates that might be on your hands as the powder will not stick. I like to wash mine in 100% Acetone if needed and wear nitrile groves when handling bullets I plan on coating. I generally add around 50 to 75 bullets to the container depending on caliber and weight close the lid and shake in all directions for around 30 seconds.

After about 30 seconds of shaking I tap the lid to knock any powder off the inside and look at my bullets to see how they are coated. If they pass my inspection they should look like this or the ones in the white clear coat above.



Next I take my baking sheet and line it with a piece of Reynolds Non-Stick aluminum foil, non-stick side up, there are cheaper brands of that type foil but I think the Reynolds works best and I get around 7 to 10 uses out of a sheet before I toss it, other like silicone baking mats but powder residue tends to build up over time on those, so I just use the foil. I take a pair of long tweezers and place all my bullets base first onto the foil, it takes some time to do it this way but I can easily have the next tray of bullets ready to cure by the time the first batch is done. Many just dump the bullets into a screens tray, shake off the excess powder and dump them on the foil and bake, but I like the results I get standing them up individually and the powder flow and migrates evenly with no lumps or flat spots. Then I pop them in a 400 degree preheated oven for 20 min. You can see the results in my original post, then I size and gas check as needed.

Powders I like to use.

Smokes Yellow / Green, Super Durable Clear or Carolina or Signal Blue are all excellent powders to coat with. Smoke will sell you a pound of powder divided into 3 1/3rd lb. of his colors if you like but these are the colors I like and that have worked for me the best with no fuss. I like the 3 for 1 deal Smokes has as you can try several colors at a good price. 1/3 lb. goes a long way and will coat lots of bullets.

http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...raying-bullets

Eastwood powders I like.

https://www.eastwood.com/hotcoat-powder-lime-green.html

https://www.eastwood.com/hotcoat-pow...ight-blue.html

https://www.eastwood.com/hotcoat-powder-maroon.html

https://www.eastwood.com/hotcoat-pow...ium-green.html


A few notes on cast bullet air cooled or quenched from the mold and how the curing process will anneal the cast lead bullets using an alloy that responds to water quenching or heat treating. Your results may vary depending on the original alloy used and the as cast BHN and at the time the bullets BHN is tested.

1. If you air cool your bullets when cast then PC them an allow them to air cool again the second time there is no change in the as cast BHN of the bullet.

2. If you air cool your bullets when cast then PC them and quench them right out of the toaster oven they will gain a hardness of about 75% over the as cast BHN.

3. If you quench your bullets out of the mold to begin with then PC them and allow them to air cool they will soften around 50% from the original first quenching BHN.

4. If you quench your bullets out of the mold to begin with then PC them and quench them right out of the toaster oven a second time you only loose around 15% hardness from the first quenching.


Some good videos

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqD8CcnzBOA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehvOtKHQ204

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-JELVcNNCo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xb2zzAG0cJc
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Old Yesterday, 10:14 AM   #14
res45
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Some other bullets I've coated with various powders.

Lee .312" 185 gr. RN Smokes Carolina Blue & Sage 303 Aluminum checks.


NOE clone of the Lyman / Ray Thompson 358156 HP Smokes Yellow/Green & Carolina Blue.


NOE 220 gr. tumble lube HP, OD Green from local supplier.


Accurate .314" 215 gr. FP Smokes Super Durable Clear.
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