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Thread: enamel or epoxy paint instead of bullet lube?

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    Default enamel or epoxy paint instead of bullet lube?

    I have been reading lately about the use of paint on cast bullets instead of lube. After a couple of evenings of reading I decided to take the plunge and give it a try. Being a sceptic I started out with just 4 bullets. I painted them with Rustoleum heavy duty enamel. I just sat them on their base and gave them 3 coats of the spray can enamel. Once dry I put them on one of mothers pizza pans(she almost kilt me) and put them in the oven on 360 degrees for 15 minutes. Then pulled them out to cool over night. This morning I ran all 4 of them through a Lee sizing die to see if the paint would stick and walla it did. I then laid one of them on my vice and beat it flat with a hammer and even after being all mushroomed out the paint suck.

    I read an article on another forum about using VHT Automotive Epoxy and the guys using it say that it is much better than the Rustoleum.

    I will pick up a can of the VHT stuff today and give that a try tonight. The real test will be when I shoot them through the gun. All reports I'm reading say I can expect no leading and great accuracy. Yet to be determined. Still skeptical.

    The bullets in test are 45-70 340 grainers. I have a new guide gun that I traded into a short while back but leaning to the side of caution I'm going to shoot them through and H&R single shot thats been hiding in a downstairs closet for a while.

    Have any of you guys played with this stuff before? Am I wasting my time. I am tired of the Alox tumble lube stuff. A hot sunny day at the range I opened an ammo box and melted lube was everywhere but on the bullets.

    I know some guys powder coat theirs but I haven't got the room for more stuff for yet another venture, I will let you know how the VHT stuff pans out after I get to do a range test.

  2. #2

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    Showing my ignorance, I've never heard of it. But your tests sound encouraging. It would be interesting to try to recover them after firing....

    Looking forward to your report.

    It all makes me wonder about the first guy to try it. I bet he used an an H&r too!

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    Member Alangaq's Avatar
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    I too have read hours and hours of threads on the Boolit Casting Forum about powder coating and/or plating cast bullets. Interesting stuff to be sure, however it looks to be more time consuming and requires more equipment than I have now, so I will stick with my current system, which is 50/50% NRA formula thru one of my three lubrisizers. I am currently playing with a tumble lube made from Johnsons Paste Wax that is heated until all the solvents flash off, and then is mixed 50/50% with LLA with just enough mineral apirits to get it to flow. Ive been trying that concoction on some Lee 95 gr rn bullets for my 32 S&W long that im casting from pure lead and only pushing to about 700 fps. Have not tried them yet...

    Probably wont dive into the powder coating until they ban lead here in Alaska... then I will be buying lots of copper colored powder...
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alangaq View Post

    Probably wont dive into the powder coating until they ban lead here in Alaska... then I will be buying lots of copper colored powder...
    Oooooh.... I like the way your mind works, but I'd avoid mentioning it ever again. It will only work if no one knows about it.

  5. #5

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    If you see a smooth bore H&R 45-70 for sale for dirt cheap and some bone head in Iowa is selling it ya might have to wonder about epoxy on bullets.

    i talked to one guy who used the syringe filled 2 part gorilla glue to coat his bullets. He said he squeezed out equal parts of the epoxy until it filled a tablespoon. Then stirred it until it just started to cure then added a tablespoon full of acetone and stirred it all up in a butter tub and then did the shake rattle and roll. I read so many recipes that I can't keep them straight in my head. If I remember right that small amount did a couple hundred 9mm bullets. I doubt it too. Unless it grows somehow he had 2 tablespoons full of goop for 200 hundred bullets. I cant remember if he oven toasted them or not but he swore by it.

    The most positive reports kept coming back to the spray on VHT epoxy paint.....recovered bullets and all. The feller doing the testing even took a VHT coated and cured bullet and put a torch to it. The lead underneath melted before the coating broke down, Yet they go through a Lee sizer slick as a whistle. It's got my curiosity up enough to jeopardize mothers good oven and I eat stuff cooked in it too!

    Give me a few days to play and I'll let ya know.

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    Never heard of that but first thought is ether is likely closer to sandpaper than bullet lube.
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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I think the reason it's being explored is some indoor ranges won't allow bare lead bullets, so either you need a copper plating or a plastic coating. I've read a bit about the powder coating of cast bullets but haven't taken the plunge. The caveat is the coating adds a couple thousandths to bullet diameter, so either you have to get a special mold to cast smaller bullets, or you have to size the bullets smaller and then coat them. At that point you might as well just run them through a lube sizer and be done with it.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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    I also think there is a never ending amount of experimentation and screwing around that some bullet casters are willing to do to come up with a rounder wheel... and the powder coated bullets look pretty, ginchy and all shiny! And since we gun guys are easily distracted and impressed with shiny things, it has naturally taken off! But I don’t think it is a significant performance enhancement. Bullet lubes have been around for a long time, and have pretty much been perfected in that they prevent leading without sacrificing accuracy with the exception of the guys shooting auto loading rifles with a gas system. I think this paint on, bake on finish idea was to eliminate the problems associated with bullet lube making its way in the gas system of those particular rifles when using cast bullets.

    It might be just the thing for some of the guys I know out in the coastal villages that like to use the spray and pray method of shooting caribou with their semi-auto rifles from snowmachines! "hey Bill, if you find any with blue bullets in them, those ones are mine" "yeah Steve, same goes for me, I'm shooting green bullets" ;-) of course I am kidding... mostly...

    For me though, it would have to significantly speed up the bullet making process, and so far it doesn’t look like it will accomplish that for me. Now if the VHT epoxy paint comes in a premixed can and its pretty much just a one step process, then maybe it would be a time saver. But still, if I need to stand each one up, paint them, and then bake them? Well, in that case, I have consumed about the same amount of time as I would by lubing then with LLA or in a Lubesizer.
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

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    The Star luber sizer is so much faster than even standing the boolits on end without doing anything else that I'm going to pass without even trying it. From what I've read, It doesn't do anything good lube doesn't do except make them look pretty. I'm sure it works but by the time you have painted a hundred, I can lube size 200 and you still have to wait for them to dry and bake them. And that's only if you can get a mold that makes a boolit the right size after the paint so you don't have to size it as well.

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    Is this some spicial powder coating? Everything I've ever powder coated needs the holes all cleaned up and doing so is a drill and tap killer becous the coatings are very abrasive . . . Not anything I'd want to put down a barrel.
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    Member Alangaq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ADfields View Post
    Is this some spicial powder coating? Everything I've ever powder coated needs the holes all cleaned up and doing so is a drill and tap killer becous the coatings are very abrasive . . . Not anything I'd want to put down a barrel.
    I don’t think it's anything special. You can go here and read, and read, and read until your brain melts...

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/foru...d-Alternatives

    As many guys as there are shooting them, I would think that if they were abrasive that it would have been noted, discussed and the process discontinued. But I don’t know, and have not tried it myself.
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

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    Copper plating is easier than you might think. I've never personally plated lead, but from what I've read it's pretty close to the same process I used to show my kids what plating was. On a pure whim I threw together a plating rig and copper plated a nickel. Picture shown:
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    Cleaning solution is important and mild solution of muriatic acid should do the job. But for the actual plating all that is needed is some Zep's root kill from home depot, some distilled water, some spare copper pipe (or even pennies), some length of copper wires (thin is good), and a DC power supply. You can pick up the power supply from radio shack. Playing with voltages and currents to get the kind of coating you want. I over drove the plating on the nickel above so it wasn't a slow even coating, but I didn't care.

    If you want to make them shiny, toss the plated bullets in your tumbler with some carnuba wax and your polishing media. They won't be mirrored, but they'll be plated enough to pass as FMJ's. Anyway, just some thoughts. Total cost for all the junk I bought was around $25, but I already had the power supply.

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    I've not heard of painting bullets. I wonder about the fouling left in the bore.

    I got 1,000 bullets from this outfit, SEE BELOW, Maybe 8 to 10 years ago. I've shot maybe half of them.

    Mine were just 158 grain SWCs that were coated instead of lubed. The grooves were not filled. They no longer sell the kind of bullets I bought from them.

    At the time, they said the coating was Teflon. Their website doesn't say that now. You can see the type of bullets they are marketing now on their website. They had/have a picture of the bullets melting, but the coating remaining more or less intact.

    Anyhoo, the ones I have work fine and dandy, with no issues I've noticed.

    I can't get any more of them. Not like the ones I've got. The ones they sell now don't seem to fit my needs.

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  14. #14

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    This VHT Epoxy Paint is pre-mixed in a spray can. Spray em, bake em, size em and shoot em. Sounds easy enough huh? Last night I coated 300ea 45-70 bullets with one $9 can of paint. That was 2 coats ea. Then ruined another of mothers pizza pans so's i could get them all cooked at once. Now I need to let them set for a few days then will load and shoot.

    The 4 practice bullets all went through the sizing die without any extra effort and the paint coating was sized just like lead sizes. It actually feels like it slides through easier than a lead bullet. All reports say no fouling and no residue in the barrel.

    I'm not trying to make a wheel rounder. It's just that I loaned my SAECO lube sizer to a friend who loaned it to a friend who disappeared into thin air! All of my different dies were in the tool box with the sizer. I'm starting over and bought some Lee bullet sizing dies that fit on my Rock Chucker. I hate that messy Alox lube with a passion so...... In the end I'll probably buy another good lube sizer and be done with it. In the mean time this has been the longest and coldest winter on record in Ioway so I'm killing time. Can't even ice fish..... my auger is 3 ft long and we have 4 ft of Ice. The good thing is every single coyote with even a tickle of mange is dead.

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    There are different types of powder coatings. Worn steel shafts can be powder coated with steel to build them back to standard size but the powder coating used on bullets is some type of plastic powder that is sprayed on then baked and is apparently not harmful to gun barrels. Others are using epoxy paint, high temp paint and even regular enamel. Some of it works better than others, but for speed of production the Star luber sizer has them all beat by a mile. Even the Lyman and RCBS machines are faster.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    The real speed king is a Lee six cavity tl mold and liquid alox. In many applications I find they shoot as accurately as conventionally lubed/sized bullets and there is something to be said for making mounds of bullets in minutes vs. hours.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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    How long do you have to wait before you can actually put a boolit in a case with Lee's mule snot. Although I like the Lee six cavity molds for pistol, All of the rifle molds I have from Lee have bore rider noses that are several thousands too small to fit the bore. Although I haven't tried it, I have read the Lee tumble lube doesn't work well at rifle velocities.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbuck351 View Post
    How long do you have to wait before you can actually put a boolit in a case with Lee's mule snot. Although I like the Lee six cavity molds for pistol, All of the rifle molds I have from Lee have bore rider noses that are several thousands too small to fit the bore. Although I haven't tried it, I have read the Lee tumble lube doesn't work well at rifle velocities.
    Your thinking on this post is how i was thinking that got me even reading about epoxy. However if I had a star lube sizer like you I wouldn't be here doing this either. like i said my sizer and full set of dies along with my case trimmer and all the pilots walked away because I was nice guy and loaned it to a nice guy who loaned it to a jackass. I'm not in position to buy all of that stuff again right away at todays prices. So I compromised and called jackie at Brownells/Sinclair intl. I asked her what size moulds do you have for a 45-70 and she said they sell a whole lot of the Lee Mould that makes a 340 grain 45-70 bullet. I also ordered one of the cheap in cost but well made sizers that screw into my press. I had less than $50 invested in everything that I need to shoot my 45-70. When the moulds arrived the first thing I saw was that they were .457 diameter. Rbuck your right in my line of thinking they, are to small in diameter. I think I said out loud you gotta be kidding me .457 and they haven't been sized yet? I moulded a few and ran them through the Lee sizer and it did shave off some lead. Then came the mule snot. Yup Rbuck you called it right. If you've ever used a good lube sizing outfit and then had to resort to liquid Alox....mule snot is fitting. So I started reading on the net and that lead me to this VHT Epoxy. Incidently I went to O'rielly's last night to get more of this epoxy and they were sold out. The guy at the counter said they sell it shooters who use it to make bullets and they can't keep it on the shelf. I guess I'm not the only idjut in this town crazy enough to try it.

    Last night I got 500 bullets ready to go. According to the experts, if there is such a thing I need to let them cure for 5 days as it takes this epoxy that long to fully cure even after oven cooking it. Rbuck in 5 days you could have 500 rounds loaded, shot up and loaded again. I have a daughter getting married in a few months and buying the whole set up all over again so I can shoot this 45-70 isn't going to happen. I am making do and believe me after doing them the easy way for 30 years this ain't fun but it will let me shoot my 45-70 in the cast bullet league this summer and that is the end objective here!

    What else have i got to do at night this time of year? My wife watches Wheel of fortune and then either American Idol or The Voice every night.......I might as well be painting bullets and cooking them in the oven............

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    What else have i got to do at night this time of year? My wife watches Wheel of fortune and then either American Idol or The Voice every night.......I might as well be painting bullets and cooking them in the oven............
    Hope you've got a real good set of ear plugs. Egad. I can't be within hearing of such stuff, or my skin crawls.

    Looking forward to your shooting reports.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbuck351 View Post
    How long do you have to wait before you can actually put a boolit in a case with Lee's mule snot. Although I like the Lee six cavity molds for pistol, All of the rifle molds I have from Lee have bore rider noses that are several thousands too small to fit the bore. Although I haven't tried it, I have read the Lee tumble lube doesn't work well at rifle velocities.
    Because the castboolit crue is corrupting, I went to making what they call 45-45-10 (45% alox, 45% Johnson's paste wax, 10% paint thinner) for a tumble lube. Put your pile of bullets in a large ziplock or tub, squirt in some snot, roll them around until coated then spread them out on a piece of cardboard or similar to dry. They'll be ready to go the next day. The 45-45-10 seems to dry faster than straight alox and isn't as gummy.

    I haven't tested alox of 45-45-10 on rifle bullets as I mostly shoot cast out of handguns and have been loading long enough that I prefer not to experiment. So if people have mixed results with a product or method I tend to stick with the tried and true, and hence will use a traditional lube and gas checks on my rifle bullets. That said, I have found that with lubes it's not only an issue of preventing leading but one of accuracy. You can test 1/2 dozen different lubes and while all may prevent leading, you just may find one or two provide top accuracy and others double or triple your group size.

    So for me the tumble lube is for my 45 acp and 38 sp and mild 357 and 480 loads. I stick with convential lubes for the 357 mag loads, full patch 480 loads and my 350 rem mag. That's not to say a tumble lube might not work for those loads as well, I just don't feel like experimenting with loads I shoot by the 10's and 20's vs 100's and 1000's.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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