Quandary over tooling up over PC or Traditional Cast Bullets?

#21
fiver, I found some reference to PCing plated and jacketed bullets on the other forum. Some reported it was doable and some had run simple experiments but details were vague. I have sourced some PC powder locally and will give it an attempt. The above makes sense for prep. What is your opinion for alcohol as the last solvent. I would prefer not to deal with acetone.
 

KHornet

Well-Known Member
#22
Being old, I am obviously old school and traditional. I have shot PC and they shot just fine, but they just sort of look like jelly beans to me. They are easy to spot in the berm however when I am digging for bullets. I am pretty much in line with Bret. I tend not to fix what ain't broke.

Paul
 

fiver

Well-Known Member
#23
I think it would be fine.
I have used mineral spirits to remove lanolin but it always leaves behind it's own stuff.
some rubbing alcohol or the like as a final prep should do the trick.
I wear some nitrile gloves to prevent finger prints and as a little PPE anyway.
the final wash is just an insurance policy
 
#24
Thanks fiver.I use nitrile mechanic gloves and PEP whenever necessary. The oilpatch here is very strict with PPE and it just becomes a habit.

Khornet, I am going to buy clear gloss powder for that reason. Jelly beans, now that is funny and accurate! This thread has convinced me to pursue traditional GG GC for my initial needs. This PC is an experiment to use plated or jacketed bullets in an oversized barrel. It strikes me as an excellent feature of PC cast to be easily upsized. I also like the capsulation of lead bullets as well. However, I do not want to produce large volumes of PC bullets. I'm a bit of a messy guy in the shop and powder management and cleaning will be a pain.
 

fiver

Well-Known Member
#25
yeah they went insane with the PPE and spills and all kinds of regulations here.
I spent so much time in front of a computer and in classes trying to learn it I was more confused.
everyone went stupid crazy trying to out do the other guy with their minutia.
 
#26
My biggest difficulty with PC in .223 (for my AR) has been that it anneals my heat-treated bullets. There are some steps I could take to reduce that issue (such as quenching out of the PC oven), but I decided at least for .22 cal bullets to go back to standard lube so I don't have to do anything that might anneal my bullets after they are at target hardness.

Probably less of an issue with .30 cal bullets.

I will say I PC all of my handgun ammo and it works fantastic.
 
#27
Thanks to everyone. I've spent some time researching this and am convinced that both systems are required in the skill tool kit. However simultaneously learning two methods almost gaurantees failure. I am going to focus on two calibers and GG GC to start, 303 Brit and 32 Special. I have untested molds for these calibers. My research suggests GC PC is a good system, time will tell.

It seems beginners get good results with conventional lubed GC bullets around 1800 fps to meet my needs and calibers. Average middle of the road goals using old school stick powders. The PC attempt to enlarge the diameter of the Berry's bullet will happen.

First order of business for ammunition is a functioning reloading bench, next processing to ingots a few hundred pounds of lead, then casting some bullets. My strength is returning and these chores are welcome.
 

fiver

Well-Known Member
#28
sounds like an excellent plan.
you will do a lot better with the PC once you understand the basics with cast and fitment.
all of it transfers over and the PC can be an enhancement
 
#29
Those of you powder coaters who are concerned with softening of your cast bullets should check out elvis ammo on Youtube. He experimented with lower temperatures and found that 250F for 13 minutes works well and has a much less dramatic effect on bullet hardness than the manufacturer specified 400F for 20-25 min. He is kind of a good ol' southern boy who likes to tinker. He is slow, methodical, and replicates his experiments to ensure what he puts out is accurate. I tried it and it indeed does work very well.
For the fellow who ruined his rifle with 2400, I was sorry to hear about that. This shows how important it is to find the appropriate load for your gun and bullet. Check out Col. C. E. Harrris' articles on reduced loads for cast bullets in military surplus rifles. He worked for Ruger on their mini-14 and the P85. He tells an interesting tale and discusses the use of cast bullets in 9mm. Also I believe that Lyman gives some light loads in their 50th edition Cast Bullet loading manual. The articles by Harris can be found at: http://www.grantcunningham.com/2014/05/ed-harris-loading-cast-bullets-in-the-9mm-lugerparabellum/ and http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?13425-Cast-Bullet-Loads-for-Military-Rifles-Article. I also noted today that the spot price of lead is $1.07/lb. but that the major retailers are charging $2.99/lb plus shipping. A profit is needed to remain in business, but does this seem a little much to anyone else?
 

JWFilips

Well-Known Member
#30
OK I'm Old ...I'm a traditionalist and Yes I have walked the PC path.
I have done this with rifle bullets to be shot at low to medium velocity.
It started out trying to fix a bad bore in a mauser....Yes it worked! Since I have the PC stuff I have decided to try it in all my rifle to compare results with standard lube. i'm Very sorry to say..... It shoots better groups in my 30-30, It shoots better groups in my .223, it shoots better groups in my 358 Winchester. I still need to test my 8mm Mausers and my .243 Win.No lead , squeaking clean bores and big improvement in consistency of groups! These were test against proven Traditional lubed bullet targets.
Dang it ! I have to say I'm impressed Now I'm in a quandary....where do I go from here?
 
#32
OK I'm Old ...I'm a traditionalist and Yes I have walked the PC path.
I have done this with rifle bullets to be shot at low to medium velocity.
It started out trying to fix a bad bore in a mauser....Yes it worked! Since I have the PC stuff I have decided to try it in all my rifle to compare results with standard lube. i'm Very sorry to say..... It shoots better groups in my 30-30, It shoots better groups in my .223, it shoots better groups in my 358 Winchester. I still need to test my 8mm Mausers and my .243 Win.No lead , squeaking clean bores and big improvement in consistency of groups! These were test against proven Traditional lubed bullet targets.
Dang it ! I have to say I'm impressed Now I'm in a quandary....where do I go from here?
If you have tried all that and had better groups, you are hooked just like some of the rest of us. Might as well jump in with both feet. I had used traditional lube for over 40 years but after I tried pc my sizer lubricator in above the cabinets and a gave away all my lube--have not regretted it yet. Fiver is right about looking at some of the made for pc molds. Arsenal has some you may want to look at. A couple work for me without sizing nose in some guns but not in others. I am cheap and use the shake and bake which adds 2 to3 thou. to size if I don't tap off well.
 

Ian

Well-Known Member
#33
I am firmly convinced the shake-bake method has the potential to give a more even coating and a much more adherent coating than sprayed. If you clean off a shaken bullet it appears bead-blasted, all the loose oxides are off and it has a micro-texture which holds more paint and a deeper coat which at least intuitively should stand swaging and scuffing better than spraying over a loose oxide layer. Also, the spray can have thin spots or thick spots even though the static tends to attract the atomized powder from all directions.
 
#34
Here is a well put together youtube on the question of annealing from PC heating. It is a small sample and I'm not advocating anything. The video is worth viewing if PC annealing or heat treat interest you.


Edit: I added a link and got a video, sorry.
 
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#35
This thread and the folks involved continue to amaze me. In my heart I guess I'm a cast bullet shooter and a wanna be DIY bullet marksman. The interesting options and complex challenges are just too appealing. The best part is the endless pile of gadgets, gadgets are necessary for me. I figured cancer and chemo robbed me of casting. Maybe a nice little sideline for an occasional diversion but never central to my shooting. Now how do I alter course with the Finance Minister!
 

Rcmaveric

Active Member
#36
Elvis Ammo's video about pre warming bullets before tumbling also works very well. He puts his in the oven for a bit, i just set my tray of bullets on top of the oven. I have tumbled with and without the airsoft BB's and i am convinced the that BB's give a much more even coating. I merely tinker with PC occasionally. Works fine at my normal charges and velocities for my riffles, however it working in my pistols still needs more tinkering. The PC changing the seating depth of my riffle bullets drives me bonkers, but accuracy was still there.

I make the financial Head Mistress pink bullets to soften her grip on the change purse. Working on her Lavender Scented bullet lube, she's on a mission to fill the gun range flowery smells. Not sure if it will work, but it got me the 80 bucks i need from her.
 
#37
This thread and the folks involved continue to amaze me. In my heart I guess I'm a cast bullet shooter and a wanna be DIY bullet marksman. The interesting options and complex challenges are just too appealing. The best part is the endless pile of gadgets, gadgets are necessary for me. I figured cancer and chemo robbed me of casting. Maybe a nice little sideline for an occasional diversion but never central to my shooting. Now how do I alter course with the Finance Minister!
Shake and bake is probably the least expensive to start with. If you need a little diversion that has some personal rewards, PC will do it. It is a relatively new process and its full potential has not been reached yet. Don't let the past problems hold you back-and if you just dewll on it, it will. Sounds like you have beat it so don't let it hold you back. The sun rises and sun sets sure look good now don't they!
 

fiver

Well-Known Member
#39
or you can break out the wallet a bit more and order a mold small enough to compensate for the PC.
knowing what I do now if I were just starting out I would probably go through and work a mold strictly for PC. for at least one rifle.
then explore the process.
I'm pretty sure I got everything I needed to start coating for under 100$ and I spread that out over a few months.
the oven was the most expensive piece, powder is cheap and a lb. covers tumble lube volumes of bullets.
the bowls and such were thrift store finds for about 3$ total [or cool whip/butter type bowls will work], the BB's would have been pricey for sure at about 12$ for a 16oz. bottle size but I confiscated one from the kids.
then I only used about 1/3 of them.