The below is from an email I sent to a friend who suggested I post it here. Powder Coating is not for everyone. It's not a “purist” bench rest, 2 inch hole at 500 yards kind of thing. It's a “use cheaper alloys and have prettier colors” kind of thing. There is some talk of accuracy, and it is generally on par. Some guys get better, some a little worse. In some ways, I think the jury is still out, but if there was a horrible degradation it would have been called out.
What you are about to read is a combination of things I have picked up from other forums and then validated with my own experience.
Some time back I gave Powder Coating with Harbor Freight Red a try but I was not entirely happy with the way it turned out. I used the Dry Tumble with Air Soft BB method as I do not have a spray gun. Got acceptable coverage, but I still got some leading in my HK with polygonal rifling. Not a lot, just a little. Plus it just was not a “smooth, even coat". I understand it won't be with the DTASBB method, but it just seemed too gloopy to me. When I cast the bullets, I was “casting fast” with them and I had the little divots in the base when cutting the sprues. This caused them to stick to the foil and generally be a pain. Yes, I used non-stick foil. Yes, the right side was up. In general some of them stuck to the foil causing me to have to try to peel tiny bits of it off. Not all, but some. Combine that with the immense PITA of shake-shake-shake pick out 10-15, shake shake shake, pick out 10-15 and it was a nightmare. I thought it might have to do with humidity so I tried it inside. No luck. I bought a Star.
At any rate, in an effort to make some Christmas presents for the Chair of the Decorating Committee I decided to give this another try. I had much better results this time and here's what I learned:
<> Get powder from Smoke4320 over on the Cast Boolits site. You can find the contact info Doing it this way I got the coverage I wanted.....most of the time. I could put about 50 bullets in, shake, get somewhere between 25 and 40 out, then shake for the rest of them. Too many BBs and it didn't work. Too many bullets and it didn't work. I chased this several times previously thinking it was technique, humidity, etc. I did this out in the shed tonight, next to the door.....and it was raining. I really think the size of the container was the key.
With three trays, you should be able to get about 50-75 per 10 minute batch. It takes 10 minutes to shake and place 50-75. Probably 4-5 batches per hour is reasonable. I used a mini spring loaded needle nose pliers. I am told hemostats speed things up. With hemostats rather than needle nose pliers you might be able to get to 100 a batch. A guy might be able to get 4-500 an hour, but not any more unless they are just dumping them- which some do.
The keys I found are:
<> Powder from Smoke <>Small container to shake in <>Vertical shake <>Not too many BBs or bullets <>For production you need three pans, one cooling, one baking, one loadingI have not shot these yet, but they are for medium charge 38 SPL and the size (I use a Lee push through for this) is proven to be fine with various traditional lubes as well as Ben's Liquid Lube.
I hope this is useful for someone trying to get into it.