Big day yesterday

MikieG7174

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A few days ago a buddy gave me a 5gal bucket full of wheel weights. Yesterday we saperated them and ended up with maybe 1gal of lead.
Next we used a burner off an old propane grill to melt them in an old skillet and poured the led into a $12 Lee ingot mould.
Then we melted the ingots in a $69 smeting pot and poured 9mm bullets in an $18 Lee bullet mould.
Once they cooled, we sprayed the bullets with a $50 harbor freight powder coat rig.
Then we baked them in a $5 goodwill sandwich oven. After baking we immediately dumped them into water to harden them and then we ran them thru a $25 Lee 9mm size die.
The whole thing was easy and fun. For a bit of electricity and propane and powder, we got 500 bullets and 25 pounds of ingots for next time!
I plan to be shooting some on monday.
 

NikatKimber

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So you sized and hardened them after coating them? I would think it would be best to drop them from the mold (much hotter then) directly into water (much more hardening - to whatever extent that works), then size, then coat. Also, just FYI, lead does not hold the heat treating very long due to the weak crystal structure. So if you want long term hard lead you need to harden the alloy.
 

Calamity Jake

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The bullet has to be over 400 Deg. when dropped in water to get any hardening.
WW should be hard enough for the 9mm without heat treat.
Heat treated alloy will soften over time, but it takes a very long time.
 

MikieG7174

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Here are 300 loaded with 3.5 gr of W231
 

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MikieG7174

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So you sized and hardened them after coating them? I would think it would be best to drop them from the mold (much hotter then) directly into water (much more hardening - to whatever extent that works), then size, then coat. Also, just FYI, lead does not hold the heat treating very long due to the weak crystal structure. So if you want long term hard lead you need to harden the alloy.
They get coated right out of the mould. Then ride in the toaster oven at 400 for 20 minutes. Then out of oven straight into the water.
Tested some tonite. Cases flew 4 feet out of my M9. No issues at all. The powder coat leaves a very clean bore as the lead never touches the barrel.
 

swampratt

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Lead will harden with time.. many moons later it will soften..You will shoot all you make by then.
Arsenic helps the hardening when water quenching ..Wheel weights are more than hard enough with all clip on.

In fact a softer alloy mix could actually improve accuracy in slower stuff like pistols.. he correct sizing makes the most difference in my testing.
Kudos for jumping on the powder coat .

Did you coat 1 time or 2 did you wash the bullets in acetone before coating them.
How did you coat the bullets and how did you have them standing when they went into the oven?
If they were standing.
 

MikieG7174

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We used a $50 powder coat kit from harbor freight. The bullets were standing upright on end when sprayed and baked. 400 degrees for 20 minutes in a $5 goodwill toaster oven.
They came out looking snooth and shiney!
Going out to shoot a few hundred of them this morning. Planning to shoot 2 M9s and one 9mmAR. Should be good as i tested 3 and ejection was 3 or 4 feet out.
Coated them just once and did not wash before or after. Just dumped the hot finished bullets into water to quench.
 

swampratt

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Thanks..Some people add plastic bb's to a butter bowl and add some of the powder coat and swirl the bullets. Remove and bake.

Some people say you need to clean the bullet first with something..I take it you did not need to clean them.

What color did you use? I hear some colors are better
 

MikieG7174

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We used orange. I am told black powdercoat has something in it that is abrasive.
The fellow that was giving the block of instruction does not clean the bullets. He said that examining recovered bullets has indicate that the coating is nearly unscathed after firing. Only rifling impressions but nothing more.
 

MikieG7174

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Shot a few hundred of these bullets. More than acceptable accuracy. Is it fmj accuracy? As of now, no. But it is great for steel plates etc.
In the end, i am quite happy with the end result of this excursion.
 
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