Powder coating lead bullets
None of the information / ideas presented here are original to me - credit is due to those participating in 'coating' threads on various forums.
Cast boolits: Haven't run into any limitations on design / shape / size - as long as the bullet is clean (if you have some that are lubed with Alox or wax and want to try this process, simply soak in white gas, rinse with warm soapy water, and alow to thoroughly dry).
Powder: I've tried Harbor Freight red ($5.99) and RAL. RAL seems to offer a more consistent finish, though I doubt that has any effect on function. User smoke4320 (no affiliation, link ) over at castboolits sells RAL for $17.50lb delivered, or pick four colors (out of about 20) and get a 1/4lb of each delivered for the same price. From my usage, I suspect a pound goes a very long way.
Application container: Tried a few different sizes / shapes, and the ones pictured below worked the best. Available at Wally World in 3 paks for about $3.
Powder coating lead bullets, the right container matters
These are no good - They're too brittle, the bottom of the bowl cracks after just a few uses.
Powder coating bullets, wrong containers
The plastic BBs. Available at WW for around $15. I'm up to seven colors, and each has it's own container / BBs, and I've used about have of what's pictured below. If you order powder from smoke4320 he'll sell you 1,000 BBs for $3.
Powder coating lead bullets, the plastic bbs and HF red powder
Diggin' the boolits out tool: I tried long tweezers, different needle nose pliers... A set of $4.99 hemostats from Amazon worked the best.
Powder coating lead bullets, hemostats
Oven: I have a convection toaster oven, though I don't see any difference using convection, or just 'bake'. If I didn't get the hand-me-down from the kitchen I'd buy the least expensive one from WW, and spend another $5 on an oven thermometer (the oven I use was off by 50deg).
Powder coating lead bullets, toaster oven
Non stick foil: Buy this, use it. Put the correct side up. Available for under $4 at WW, a roll should last a lifetime.
Process: Fill your container with enough BBs to cover the bottom about 'two BBs' deep. Add a teaspoon of powder, cover (snap the lid tight, trust me on this one) and 'swirl' a moment to cover the BBs - add small amounts of powder as necessary to get good coverage.
Add bullets - Make it easy, start with 20 -25. Swirl for a moment or two, then shake the container up and down aggressively (watch the lid!) for 10-15 seconds. Why the shaking is important I can't speculate, but it is.
Open and close your tweezers / hemostats in your powder a few times to coat the tips (it'll keep them from removing powder from your bullets where you grasp them) and dig your bullets out (I try to grasp them from the lube groove, not the bearing surface that you're tying to protect). By the time you get to the bullets on the bottom you may have moved them around enough to remove some of the powder - simply cover, shake the container up and down again a few seconds.
Place bullet base-down on your 'foiled" tray and bake at 400 for 20 minutes (I start with a cold oven). Let air cool.
Sizing: May, or may not, be needed for your loading. Each coat of RAL added around .001, enough to cause chambering issues in my 9mm. Lee sizers are fairly inexpensive, and work perfect for this task.
Do the above (with experimentation and tweaking) and you'll get this:
Powder coating lead bullets, finished product in 9mm
Powder coating lead bullets, mixed powder results
Powder coating lead bullets, 45 Colt 255gr
10mm (T&B .401 180gr) & 9mm (LEE 356-120TC, BHN 11) coated with RAL, fired into an embankment (clay and rocks). The coating is intact at the rifling, and the barrel is lead free.
I'm running 147gr (Lee mold 401-145) full go (1,500 fps+) out of a Lone Wolf barrel - No leading issues whatsoever.
Powder coated lead bullets, coating still intact after being fired

02.04.16 © 10mmreloaded @ gmail.com

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