You can DIY anything these days, and the same can be said of powder coating and even making bullets. Cast bullets that you make can be more accurate and versatile, plus it’s just really cheap to do, which is a bonus.
If you’re asking yourself, ‘how do I powder coat bullets, or why?’ then get ready. We’re going to break down the benefits of powder coating bullets as well as what you need and how to do it.
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What is Powder Coating?
Powder coating is the process of coating a metal part with powdered paint. To do the coating process, you need to use heat to bond the powdered paint to the metal. The process can be easy or difficult, depending on what you’re trying to powder coat.
What are the Benefits of Cast and Powder Coated Bullets?
Here are just a few of the benefits of powder coating your bullets.
- Cast bullets provide better accuracy.
- Powder coated bullets offer a cleaner shot because they don’t have lube, meaning there are no smoke clouds.
- Both the option of making or purchasing cast bullets is very cheap compared to other readily available bullets on the market.
- Powder coating bullets is a cheap process that only requires a few items and your time.
- There is a lot of room for customization when it comes to making your own bullets and powder coating them. You can create specific designs to help the bullets be more accurate and versatile. Beyond that, you can have some fun with the powder coating process and choose different colors for different shooting needs.
Shake n’ Bake Method: What You Need
To effectively powder coat your bullets using the shake n’ bake, you’re going to need a few supplies. Here is a list of things you need;
The color is entirely up to you, but you will need paint to powder coat, so be sure to get some. Usually, red, yellow, and white are the cheapest colors. However, there are countless other options available, so don’t be afraid to experiment.
Don’t overthink this part. Any plastic container will do. This will hold the cast bullets and be where to add your powdered paint. Make sure the container has a lid because you’ll be shaking, rattling, and rolling the container in circular motions to coat the bullets evenly.
Try to find something made of steel like office organizer trays which are cheap and perfect for this process. Don’t let the bullets touch or stick to one another.
Toaster Oven (Or something similar)
Don’t use an oven that you make food in or plan to use to make food in again. Instead, buy a small toaster oven and just let it be for this process, and this process only. Look for models that can produce 400-degree heat and can sustain that for 20 minutes or so.
The straining process is just to collect the excess paint from the bullets, so nothing goes to waste. Then, the bullets over a piece of cardboard and put the paint back into the containers for the next time.
Step-by-Step: The Shake n’ bake Method
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to powder coat your bullets using the shake n’ bake method, which is the most commonly used method.
Step One: Put Your Bullets in the Container
Grab your non-lubed cast bullets and place them in your container. Make sure you don’t add too many bullets and choose a reasonable amount. If you’re looking to do many bullets, break it up into chunks and do it separately.
Step Two: Add Paint and Begin Shaking, Rattling, and Rolling
Add paint to your container and shake your bullets around with the powdered paint. Check every now and then, but only stop the process once all bullets are evenly coated.
Step Three: Place the Bullets in the Strainer and Shake
Bring your strainer and grab a piece of paper or cardboard to place underneath. Place the bullets into the strainer and remove all the excess powdered paint. You can put the leftover paint back in their respective containers to use later.
Step Four: Put them In the Oven
With your basket that can withstand heat, place your bullets in and set the oven to 400 degrees, and leave the bullets in for 20 minutes. Make sure to wear gloves.
Step Five: Finishing Touches
Now that you’ve gone through the entire process, just drop the tray down gently to help the bullets separate from the tray and from each other. You may need to do this process a few times to get all the bullets dislodged.
Leave the bullets to cool off for 60 seconds once they’ve been disconnected from the tray and each other. Following that, drop them out onto a hard surface and let them cool off a little longer before you’re able to use them.
Alternatively, you can use water and take them from the oven, straight to the water and dump the bullets in. But, of course, this process means you’re going to need a hammer or something to hit the tray dislodging the bullets.
Step-by-Step: The Spray Method
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to powder coat your bullets using the spray method. This method utilizes an electrostatic powder gun.
The Spray Method: What You Need
The spray method uses a majority of similar items from the Shake n’ bake method, including;
- Powder Coating Gun and Compressor
- Air Nozzle
- Powder Point
- Nitrile Gloves
- Oven (Toaster or better)
You can purchase any of these things from local hardware stores for reasonable prices.
Step One: Bullet Prep
Allow your bullets to sit in a sealed container with acetone, and strain the bullets after a while to remove excess acetone. Then, blast the acetone bullets with compressed air to dry them out.
Step Two: Jig
You can either buy a jig or make one your own using the following;
- Machine screws
- 2 washers
- A lock washer
- A nut
Set this into the baking tray and set the bullets down on a non-flammable conductive surface. Now you’re ready to place your bullets.
Be sure to wear your gloves to avoid getting your natural oils on the bullets and thus defeating the purpose of the acetone.
Step Three: Bullets into the Oven
Let the bullets spend five minutes in the oven. This will get rid of lingering acetone, as well as get them to a prime coating temperature.
Step Four: Prep Spray Area
Take your air nozzle and clean the area where you’ll be spraying the bullets. You want to make sure there is no dust around that might interfere.
Step Five: Powder Coating
Take your powder coating gun and add in the necessary amount of powdered paint. Next, take the bullets from the oven and put them on a riser that separates the tray of bullets fromPowder the plastic drop cloth. Make sure to ground the tray before you powder coat.
Generously spray the bullets with the powder coating gun and then put them back in the oven cooking at 400 degrees. After about 20 to 25 minutes, remove the bullets. Finally, separate the bullets from the tray, either using the drop or water option.
And there you have it, powder-coated bullets ready to go.
Here are a few questions we’re constantly encountering.
What is powder coating in general?
Powder coating is the process of painting surfaces of materials like metals with powdered paint. The coating is applied, goes through a curing process that involves extreme heat. The powder coating provides a strong, durable, and uniform finish.
If you’re still left a little unsure about the whole powder coating process, be sure to check out this video The Ultimate Beginners Guide to Powder Coating - How to Powder Coat at Eastwood which goes into excellent detail about the process from start to finish.
Can any bullet go through a powder coating process?
Almost any cast bullet can be coated. The biggest concern that people have when it comes to powder coating bullets is adding to the bullet’s diameter. However, this isn’t the case due to the layer of paint being very thin.
Can lead bullets be powder coated?
Yes, they can! The process isn’t as easy and does take a bit more effort to achieve, but it’s very possible.
There you have it! Now you know the best way to powder coat your bullets, so what are you waiting for? Enjoy this fun DIY project with numerous benefits to making target practice or hunting more enjoyable with more accurate and colorful bullets.
You’re bullet’s will be the envy of the shooting range, and everyone’s going to want to know how you did it, and how they can do it too.
Be sure to let us know how it goes for you, and don’t forget to share this with a friend who’s looking at a way to powder coat bullets themselves.