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Green Valley Cowboy

Powder Coating Bullets

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Hi Y'all,

 

So I am very new to the reloading world but came across a screaming deal for a Dillon 550 already set up for .38 (which is what I currently shoot) so I couldn't pass it up. In the deal I got a few hundred if not close to a thousand lead bullets. I'm not worried about lead poisoning or anything but have seen some different videos about people who reload with lead will powder coat them first. I know there are people who sell coated ones which I might buy later on but if anyone has some knowledge or tricks they would like to share I'm all ears, and even any tips or tricks you have about reloading, anything and everything is welcome and appreciated.

 

Thanks in advance,

GVC

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I load lead bullets, just wash my hands good in cold water when I'm done. Sometime I wear latex gloves. Most folks say dry tumbling brass will give you more exposure if you don't wear a mask.

 

Randy

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Cowboy,

I'm a believer in powder coated bullets.Cleaner dies ,cleaner bores,cleaner hands.

Since I've been shooting coated bullets( I cast and coat them myself) and use a wet tumbler,my blood lead levels have dropped by two thirds.

Lots of info about coating bullets on the web ,very easy and inexpensive process. 

Choctaw Jack 

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FortuneCookie45LC has a lot of informative videos on powder coating. Here’s a brief summary of the process and materials. General consensus is that Eastwood’s Ford Light Blue powder covers well, which worked well for me too (though I haven’t used anything else yet for comparison). First wear a good dust mask and some latex/nitrile gloves; the powder is very fine.  Swirl bullets with a tablespoon of powder in a #5 plastic pail with lid (like an old cool whip container) for ~1 min, which builds static charge making the powder adhere to the bullets. Dump onto a wire basket, saving excess powder back in the pail.  Place basket in an old toaster oven for 20 minutes at 400F. Convection toaster oven is ideal, and MUST only be used for powder coating ever after, not for food. I bought one from a thrift store for $5.  When cooled, test the coating by smashing one bullet with a hammer.  If the coating doesn’t flake off, then the powder coating worked. By the way; make sure your bullets don’t already have any other coating (e.g., Lee liquid allox or moly coating like on Bear Creek bullets).  Have fun and good luck! Please keep us posted on how it turns out.

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10 hours ago, Green Valley Cowboy said:

 

 

So I am very new to the reloading world but came across a screaming deal for a Dillon 550 already set up for .38 (which is what I currently shoot) so I couldn't pass it up. In the deal I got a few hundred if not close to a thousand lead bullets. I'm not worried about lead poisoning or anything but have seen some different videos about people who reload with lead will powder coat them first. I know there are people who sell coated ones which I might buy later on but if anyone has some knowledge or tricks they would like to share I'm all ears, and even any tips or tricks you have about reloading, anything and everything is welcome and appreciated.

 

 

Even though coating lead bullets may not be hard, but unless you're going to keep doing it after your initial 1,000 it probably isn't worth the hassle.  One way to think about it:  how may rounds used per match x how many matches per month + how much you go to the range;  you'll most likely burn through a few hundred rounds in a month or two.  My dos centavos, just load'em, shoot'em, wipe the smile off your face and repeat, when you're done with them by coated bullets. 

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If I can get a good deal on quality, un-coated lead bullets I'll buy them, load them and shoot them.

 

Otherwise, I'll buy coated bullets from a recognized CAS vendor.

 

The Hi-Tec coated bullets are cleaner, but I'm not going to set up to do that myself. 

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Just tumble lube with Lee Liquid Alox, load and shoot. Easy and cheap. All I've done for over 13 years with all calibers.

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I have been a bullet caster for over 30 years last time blood checked was at the bottom of the range.  Wash your hands, arms and face after casting.  Wash your hands after loading.  Do your tumbling outside and use a used dryer sheet in the tumbler to pickup the dust.  Wipe down the area when done and wash your hands.

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18 hours ago, Choctaw Jack said:

Cowboy,

I'm a believer in powder coated bullets.Cleaner dies ,cleaner bores,cleaner hands.

Since I've been shooting coated bullets( I cast and coat them myself) and use a wet tumbler,my blood lead levels have dropped by two thirds.

Lots of info about coating bullets on the web ,very easy and inexpensive process. 

Choctaw Jack 

What exactly is your coating.  True powder coating has to be baked in an oven, which seems incongruent with soft lead bullets retaining their shape.  Is it a true baked powder coating, or a polymer cold application covering???! 

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DDD,

I use polymer  powder coat paint.At the temperature that it is applied, it doesn't affect the hardness of the lead.I also use mostly clip on wheel weight lead which is considerably harder than pure lead or the Lyman #2 alloy which has always been very popular.Seems like the lubricity of the polymer prevents any significant leading of the bore.

I'm not really very knowledgeable about the science behind it ,but I've been using this system for a couple of years and it works for me.

No reason to change.

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3 hours ago, Dusty Devil Dale said:

What exactly is your coating.  True powder coating has to be baked in an oven, which seems incongruent with soft lead bullets retaining their shape.  Is it a true baked powder coating, or a polymer cold application covering???! 

 

I bake mine at 400° with no problems/melting of bullets

 

I see this as another hobby in and of its own.  Cast Boolits has an entire subsection on powder coating

http://castboolits.gunloads.com/forumdisplay.php?184-Coatings-and-Alternatives 

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OP, check out Bear Creek Bullets in Waterford, Ca.

I've been using their moly-coated bullets for the better part of 20yrs now.

Best to call as it's a one man 'show' .....

OLG 

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Been powder coating bullets for a few years now. I used clear matte powder so the bullets look normal. Since I cast my own bullets for competition, the process is no more difficult than lubing the bullets.

9A60927F-DCB0-448C-841E-A855237D618D.jpeg

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Thank you all for the replies. Will keep you posted on the status once I have everything needed to try some coating myself.

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One caveat - make sure what you’re coating with. ... (full disclosure, I’m in the bullet business and sell lubed and hi-tek coated bullets). POWDER coat (like from Harbor Freight) is for car parts etc and can contain high amounts of silica (bad for barrel). Hi-tek polymer coating contains NO SILICA. 


Just beware! :ph34r:

 

Big hugs!!

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On 6/21/2020 at 10:59 AM, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

OP, check out Bear Creek Bullets in Waterford, Ca.

I've been using their moly-coated bullets for the better part of 20yrs now.

Best to call as it's a one man 'show' .....

OLG 

Bear Creek is the only place that I have found that casts and coats .410" RNFP bullets for .41 Mag shooters.  He built his own molds.

I only know one SASS guy that shoots the .41 in Ruger Blackhawks and Marlin '94.

 

If you ever want to shoot a "wierd" caliber in CAS, see Bear Creek.

 

MG

 

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On 6/20/2020 at 1:31 PM, dannyd said:

I have been a bullet caster for over 30 years last time blood checked was at the bottom of the range.  Wash your hands, arms and face after casting.  Wash your hands after loading.  Do your tumbling outside and use a used dryer sheet in the tumbler to pickup the dust.  Wipe down the area when done and wash your hands.

I’m just getting ready to start cleaning shells in a tumbler, I already have. I have ordered Lizard Bedding Walnut shell material. I’ve seen the advice to use a used dryer sheets several times. What if I don’t have used sheets can I use new ones?  Also I read something about ‘lemon shine’? What is that? I’ve forgotten the reference for the lemon shine , what is it supposed to do for the brass? 
I used to have access to a mentor, but he passed away. He was a good pard though not into CAS, always willing to talk and show me. I am still looking for someone local who might be willing to mentor me on reloading. I have a RCBS Rock Chucker that is not yet set up. 

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Not to hijack this post, but I’m new to the game and reloading as well.  I have some powder coated bullets on the way from Scarlett now.  Do I need to run these through a sizer before loading them?  If so, does the sizer damage the powder coating?

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No & no

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14 hours ago, Cactus Jack Calder said:

Also I read something about ‘lemon shine’? What is that? I’ve forgotten the reference for the lemon shine , what is it supposed to do for the brass?

 

Lemi-Shine is a weak citric acid that helps soften water. Only used if you are wet tumbling. Put 1/4 teaspoon per batch. 1/2 a teaspoon is too much.

 

14 hours ago, Cactus Jack Calder said:

I’ve seen the advice to use a used dryer sheets several times. What if I don’t have used sheets can I use new ones?

 

You can use any porous cloth like material. It is used to collect the fine dust that comes from vibratory cleaning of brass.

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16 hours ago, Cactus Jack Calder said:

I’m just getting ready to start cleaning shells in a tumbler, I already have. I have ordered Lizard Bedding Walnut shell material. I’ve seen the advice to use a used dryer sheets several times. What if I don’t have used sheets can I use new ones?  Also I read something about ‘lemon shine’? What is that? I’ve forgotten the reference for the lemon shine , what is it supposed to do for the brass? 
I used to have access to a mentor, but he passed away. He was a good pard though not into CAS, always willing to talk and show me. I am still looking for someone local who might be willing to mentor me on reloading. I have a RCBS Rock Chucker that is not yet set up. 

New dryer sheets will work.  Cut them into quarters and only use a couple of them at a time.

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4 hours ago, Sedalia Dave said:

 

Lemi-Shine is a weak citric acid that helps soften water. Only used if you are wet tumbling. Put 1/4 teaspoon per batch. 1/2 a teaspoon is too much.

 

 

You can use any porous cloth like material. It is used to collect the fine dust that comes from vibratory cleaning of brass.

Sedalia,

Thank you for reply. I have a conventional tumbler not a vibrating one. I didn’t expect to do wet tumbling with it. Is that possible? Will the Lizard Bedding Walnut Shells work wet and survive? I collect all advice I have received or seen posted into my Reloading Data Log Book, so these comments will be retained. 
If I dry tumble is there dust to be collected? I would like to have my cleaning medium last reasonably long and maintain the quality of the cleaning process.
 

1 hour ago, Chief Rick said:

New dryer sheets will work.  Cut them into quarters and only use a couple of them at a time.

Rick, 

Thank you for the reply. I was concerned that new sheets might deposit something that would adversely effect the reloading process or the finished ammunition. This puts my mind at ease on that issue.  Same goes for recording this information. 
 

Thank you to both of you.

CJ

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I am sure this has been asked in the past, but I don’t seem to have recorded anyone’s answer.

Should I deprime spent shells before tumbling?
I have a hand operated primer pocket cleaning tool.
Do I need to do anymore than lightly run the tool in the primer pocket?

 

 I really need to find a local mentor. 
 

CJ

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Cactus Jack,

 

If you deprime before tumbling, there is always the possibility of a chunk of walnut or corn cobb  caught in the flash hole.  

 

When I deprime before, I still leave the deprimer rod in the sizer die and that pops anything out of the hole as I size the brass.

 

 

 

 

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Barney,

 

OK, I was a little concerned about the cleaning medium getting in the primer pocket, didn't think of the flash hole, Duh.

Thanks for the idea leaving the deprimer rod in for sizing if needed.

I am learning quite a lot by just watching the wire. Appreciate everyone who shares their expertise.

 

CJ

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