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copper plating lead bullets

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by never4get, May 5, 2013.

  1. never4get

    never4get federal way Member

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    ok guys, here I go.. I'm new to lead cast bullets.. after reading too many blogs, and watching too many you-tube vids, I've decided to try my hand at "copper plating" my lead cast bullets :thumbup: what I'm trying to achieve is a .30 cal bullet that I can push to a med. to upper end fps for 170gr. bullet for 300win mag, 30-06, 30-30, 308.. I have tin, pure lead, lino-type, wheel weights, and lead ingots that vary BIN of 18-28, total of 175lbs.I like to keep me BIN in the neighborhood of 20+/- . my intent is a bullet for big game. I also cast 9mm,10/40,357/38, 45lc,45acp, 44mag. So... if some of you "casters" can give me some advice, I would be grateful. Some times I just over think things. oh ya, youtube "copper plating bullets "I'm using ZEP rootkill and vinegar. 2amp battery charger. Thanks to all in advance!
     
  2. MarkAd

    MarkAd Port Orchard Well-Known Member

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    Why not do the simple thing. Cast a gas check bullet. You get the spped you want without all the hassles
     
    Izzy and (deleted member) like this.
  3. jib

    jib Central OR Active Member

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    Plating adds to the diameter of the bullet, Some plated rifle bullets have a plate thickness of .006-.009" I hope your lead core allows for that.
     
  4. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    Here's the thing, I set up systems for doing this for large commercial customers and plating copper onto lead requires a lot more effort than some people make it out to.

    First, you're going to need to have all your molds made smaller, if you're looking to push rifle velocities you're probably going to want at least .010" to .020" smaller, that way you are creating an adequate thickness.

    Next, you need to dope the surface of the bullet with a compound that will allow copper to stick, this can be done with silver acetate or copper cyanide (would not recommend cyanide for the home user).

    Then you need a drum plater, this drum is full of holes that allow the plating solution to flow into, on and around, and also provides continuity for the plating circuit.

    Next you need a low voltage high current source (2a won't do it), usually we step 220VAC down to 2-8VAC and then rectify it to DC. This usually gives us about 600A, the thing to remember, the amount of amperage relates directly to how much surface area you can plate, it also reflects the speed of plating.

    Since you're talking about making hunting bullets, I think you're barking up the wrong tree here, either turning (from bar stock), swaging, or jacket drawing will give you a dramatically better result. Plated bullets have some advantages when manufactured properly (winchester PDX-1, gold dot, and remington's core-lokt) however, taking a cast core and then plating over it will not make a bullet that is better than a normal jacketed bullet, in fact I guarantee it's performance will not meet anyone's satisfaction.

    My main suggestion is to talk to the people over at castboolits forum, many people there have forgotten more than I know, my main suggestion is check out the swaging forum. If you're looking to get into bullets for taking game, swaging is a much better process.
     
  5. never4get

    never4get federal way Member

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    I do have gas-checks, but not all my molds are for gas check designed. By time I figured that out, the molds have been sold out or backordered, so now I wait for them to be back on the market. Thank you for your reply!
     
  6. never4get

    never4get federal way Member

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    Thanks, I was told that the lead and copper would be "compressed" to each other once I ran bullet through the sizer die, making it the correct size for reloading....
     
  7. never4get

    never4get federal way Member

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    Thank you for your info! I kinda think that I am trying to do too much..After reading your reply, I think I'll just use my bullets for target and plinking!I have plenty of hunting bullets (Barnes,) to last my lifetime. Guess I was looking for the "magic bullet" that I did myself.:laugh: