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 Powder Coating Quick and Easy 
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That is a good question about gas checks.

Bullets from some of my molds accept gas checks after coating without issues. Others won't without shaving coating and/or lead, no good.

My solution is to flare out the gas checks a little. I made some tapered punches to fit the gas check sizes I use; I made some punches to fit a lubersizer but the hand punches are a lot easier. Sometimes I'll use a little mallet but really hand pressure is enough to flare the checks. Then they fit onto coated bullets easily. It takes a little more time to do this but is still faster than a lubersizer, and I don't do rifle bullets in as much volume anyway.

I would like to see copper gas checks available that are a little looser fit for coated bullets; they don't need to be so tight before sizing, and it wouldn't affect use on non-coated bullets at all.


Tue Apr 25, 2017 11:58 pm
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I just got a batch of new molds in the mail. *rubbing hands*

The previous few times that I have powder coated were so amateurish... "Here's some left over powder. Let's try that bullet thingy"... I think it was a decent quality powder, but I don't have any practical experience picking out the right powders.

Any advice on brands, grades, types that have worked out well, and which ones have not?

https://www.powderbuythepound.com/ Any thing to look out for ?

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Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:22 am
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That's another good question.

I've had great results with the RAL colors from PBTP (go to Powder Coating Powders › RAL Colors), so that's what I use now. The first powder I tried, RAL 6018 Yellow Green, has been one of the best so I continue to use it. RAL 6007 Bottle Green has also been working really well for me.

I use different colors to color code my loads (cobalt blue is subsonic, bottle green is target, yellow green is full power or +P) so I encourage people to try different colors. The main thing you're looking for is the "TGIC Polyester" label
A couple caveats about powders:
- avoid the "flat" or "matte" colors, as the de-glossing agent is rumored to be abrasive.
- super high gloss, especially candy colors, tends to stick bullets together much worse, making them difficult to break apart. I no longer use candy colors for that reason. Performance in the barrel wasn't any better anyway.

I have used a bunch of other powders from different sources as well, with a wide range of results. Harbor Freight powders either don't stick well, or clump unevenly on the bullets. A dark blue powder I have (unknown type or source) is much lower strength and is no good for hot loads, but lets baked bullets separate easily so I use it for subsonics. I tried a white powder from an ebay vendor that was labeled "TGIC Polyester", and might be, but bullets stick to each other more and friction in the bore is higher.
Lots of experimenting that can be done with this stuff.

I also suggest you not use flourescent orange or safety orange, just to avoid having someone think those loaded rounds are safety training ammo.


Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:20 pm
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One more thought regarding powder coverage - total amount of powder used will depend on bullet size and how many coats you use of course, but in my use I coat many thousands of rounds with a single pound of powder. I don't know for sure, but as a rough guess I'd say ~10,000 bullets per pound. At $15-$20 per pound, that's pretty cheap.


Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:27 pm
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Yondering, thank you again for sharing your process with us. I'm making this thread a 'sticky' so it's easy for folks to find later.

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Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:57 pm
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I'll continue adding to this as I think of more.

Tincanbandit asked for pictures of the toaster oven, so here are a couple. Mine is nothing special, just the old one from the kitchen that I salvaged when the wife wanted a new one. I keep it in the garage next to the welder. Yes, it's ugly, I use it for all sorts of nasty work-shop stuff, it's OK to laugh.

One very important detail - use an oven thermometer to figure out baking temp, do not trust the dial on your toaster oven. I've shown my thermometer in the oven in these pics, but now that I have the correct setting figured out, I don't normally put it in there. Notice my dial is up past 500F, but the actual temp is right about 400F. Some ovens may go the other way. You can bake the powder coating for a long time without hurting it at the prescribed temp, but if your oven gets too hot, you can burn the coating or even melt your bullets into a puddle. If it's too cold, your coating won't fully cure and will not be strong.

A guy could also control one of these toaster ovens with a casting pot PID and thermocouple, but I've found mine is pretty consistent even with large batches of bullets and when the garage is really cold in winter.

Dry coated bullets placed in the oven, note the dry/dusty looking powder on them:
Image

My oven usually gets up to temp in ~6-8 minutes, and the powder coating melts over the bullets as you see here. Appearance of the bullets won't change for the remainder of the time in the oven, as long as it doesn't get too hot.
Image


Last edited by Yondering on Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:56 pm
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One more thought, about personal health when doing this - powder coating, because it is such fine dust, is hazardous to your body and you don't want to inhale it.

When I first started powder coating, I just put powder in a yogurt tub and shook it, but I'd notice a bit of powder dust in the air afterwards. Now I've learned to put the container in a gallon ziploc bag and seal it up before shaking. You can see powder in the bags in the pic, that's what came out when shaking. I'm going to add this pic to the OP because I think it's important.

I still tend to get some on my hands, you may want to wear surgical gloves; personally I just wash my hands after and avoid touching my face. Just excercise some caution, whatever you choose to do.

Image


Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:01 pm
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Excellent job sir. You even preempted one of my questions about how many pounds of the powder to order up. :cheers2:
Thanks very much!

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Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:23 pm
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Unless I missed something... what does the barrel look like after shooting these?

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Thu Apr 27, 2017 6:14 am
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AR15L wrote:
Unless I missed something... what does the barrel look like after shooting these?


Shiny!

Seriously, you get powder fouling, and that's it. It's a lot like shotgun barrels actually, where the only thing touching the bore is slick plastic. (except for ported shotgun barrels that foul plastic, not like that)
In my cast bullet shooters, I never clean the barrels any more, except for built up fouling on the outside. I've been shooting ~1,000 rounds per month (all cast) through a pair of Glock 19 pistols for example, and haven't cleaned the bore of either one in several years. Haven't had any reason to.

Sometimes a certain load that's not right (undersized bullets, wrong powder combination, etc) will leave some dark streaks in the bore, but those disappear after firing a round or two of good loads.


Thu Apr 27, 2017 6:37 pm
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Yondering, as a newbie Bullet Powder Coater, Outstanding post!

Love your research tactic retrieving bullets!

Personally I use the Glad Seal containers shown in picture (instead of what your method is) and they seal up really nice. No mess, no fuss. And I also use the vibratory tumbler.

My method is this; After the bullets cool down from casting, I place 75-125 bullets per small container (count depends on size of bullet) with a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of "Powder by the Pound" blend. If you haven't used this stuff, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. No chips after baking!

Then sift it out on butcher paper after 30 minutes. (Pour the excess powder back into the Glad food storage container)

I also dump the freshly baked bullets right into a bucket of cold water after PC for 20 minutes. Every one of them break up, no chipping.

Then I size them in a Lee bullet resizing die (with a little squirt of case lube to keep them feed easy)


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Last edited by sportsdad60 on Sat Apr 29, 2017 5:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Sat Apr 29, 2017 5:29 pm
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Yondering wrote:
AR15L wrote:
Unless I missed something... what does the barrel look like after shooting these?


Shiny!

Seriously, you get powder fouling, and that's it. It's a lot like shotgun barrels actually, where the only thing touching the bore is slick plastic. (except for ported shotgun barrels that foul plastic, not like that)
In my cast bullet shooters, I never clean the barrels any more, except for built up fouling on the outside. I've been shooting ~1,000 rounds per month (all cast) through a pair of Glock 19 pistols for example, and haven't cleaned the bore of either one in several years. Haven't had any reason to.

Sometimes a certain load that's not right (undersized bullets, wrong powder combination, etc) will leave some dark streaks in the bore, but those disappear after firing a round or two of good loads.


This is my experience too!
Cleaning barrel bores is like...2 swabs and DONE!


Sat Apr 29, 2017 5:30 pm
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When I read about the tumbler method I didn't realize that it was with Tupperware containers inside... Excellent.
Ever had one of those containers pop open during a powder coat session?

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Sat Apr 29, 2017 6:10 pm
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sportsdad60 wrote:
I also dump the freshly baked bullets right into a bucket of cold water after PC for 20 minutes. Every one of them break up, no chipping.


Do you mean that you bake them in a pile like Yondering does, and they all stick together . . . but the cold water quench makes them come apart more easily?

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Sat Apr 29, 2017 6:22 pm
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MadPick wrote:
sportsdad60 wrote:
I also dump the freshly baked bullets right into a bucket of cold water after PC for 20 minutes. Every one of them break up, no chipping.


Do you mean that you bake them in a pile like Yondering does, and they all stick together . . . but the cold water quench makes them come apart more easily?


Single layer, pizza tray (I use Non-Stick Aluminum foil now)... yes just cold water quench from 3 feet above. Clean break up of bullets. But it doesn't matter of they're in a pile either. You'll get some chipping, it does NOT affect the aerodynamics of the bullet.

This photo shows the alum pizza tray. I had bullets sticking to it so I went with aluminum foil that is anti-stick. (Great stuff! Dull side up!)

Image


Sat Apr 29, 2017 6:44 pm
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