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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I revisited Hi-Tek Supercoat again. I have been primarily shooting my powder coated cast for the past 4-5 years. I've suspected that Hi-Tek would be a quicker overall process for large batches, even though it requires multiple coats. That's presumably why the commercial guys use Hi-Tek rather than PC.

My first attempts with HT were disastrous, and scrubbing lead isn't fun. Dabbling here and there, I wasn't satisfied.

This time, I think I got it down. Based on feedback directly from the Aussie Hi-Tek guy, and thoroughly reading and re-reading the instructions, I'm happy!

I did a test run of about 200 LBT 401-175-TC bullets. Hi-Tek takes a lot more specific attention to detail than PC, and I am guilty of kind of not being as deliberate on prior attempts.

While focusing on repeatability, here is what I did differently:

1) actually weighed out the powder (20 grams/309 grains)
2) measured the acetone (100 ml)
3) measured the amount of bullets to coat in the tub (equates to 200 180 gr)
4) measured the amount of liquid to add (1 tsp per 200 10mm bullets) to barely add a thin coat
5) swirled bullets in coating for 30 seconds and dumped onto a wire mesh rack before the acetone flashed off
6) gave a couple hours to COMPLETELY dry (it is cold)
7) monitored the oven thermometer to determine when temps recovered to 385F after the door was open, then let it go another 8 minutes

Let cool then repeat.

Transfer and smash tests passed swimingly!

I'm totally happy. My oven can bake at least 500 at a time. Doing batches, I could easily get a few thousand done in a couple of evenings with minimal hands-on work.

Here they are in Brick Red. Any input/criticisms would be appreciated.



 

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I love the Hi-tek coated Bullets. They are all I buy nowadays. I’m ready to shoot up the last of my uncoated .38 special lead bullets so I can clean the lead and fouling out of my model 66 and shoot only coated bullets from now on. I still have about a thousand lead bullets, but I won’t be buying anymore uncoated bullets.

I am not willing to cast or coat my own bullets, but I am interested in seeing how it works out.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I love the Hi-tek coated Bullets. They are all I buy nowadays. I’m ready to shoot up the last of my uncoated .38 special lead bullets so I can clean the lead and fouling out of my model 66 and shoot only coated bullets from now on. I still have about a thousand lead bullets, but I won’t be buying anymore uncoated bullets.

I am not willing to cast or coat my own bullets, but I am interested in seeing how it works out.

Good luck.
It wasn't until I started shooting commercial coated lead that I even considered casting my own. I was turned off by lubed lead for volume stuff, so I shot plated and jacketed.

That all changed when I realized just how well coated cast performed. Then I thought, "Huh, I could make these myself."
 

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Very good Tater! After having problems with some coated bullets (from some big name casters), passing the color transfer and smash test is a must for me. I check every batch I buy.
Would love to start casting and coating my own, but with my work schedule and home projects I have a hard enough time finding time to reload.
Just curious. Have you figured out your cost per bullet to coat?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Outstanding as always, Taterhead. My question is what are you gaining with the extra cost and work going the HT route over simple PC?
Thank you.

The short answer: scale.

PC is simpler. No question. For smaller batches, PC all the way.

I'm still formulating this, but my mental math indicates that at some volume, HT takes less effort and time. Most likely why the commercial outfits HT and don't PC. Coating 200 takes 30 seconds. In the amount of time that I did 200, I could have done 1000 without an appreciable increase in time. Cannot say that with PC.

As far as cost, I don't know if it is more expensive or not. I haven't done the math. 2 times one tsp of solution coats 200 10mm bullets. Most of the solution is acetone. A little HT goes a LONG way.

View attachment 891659
These look great. Hi-Tek coatings have decreased the cost of reloading and I have been testing a few.
Do you have a picture of the projectile before?
Do you know the mil thickness you applied?
Thank you.

It looks like about 1 thousandth inch (plus maybe a skosh) after 2 coats.

As-cast from my LBT 401-175-TC:

 

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Taterhead,

I think one of the benefits of the Hi-Tek coatings is that it doesn't smell when shooting. I've been to indoor ranges and one can definitely smell the PC coated bullets being fired.

As for your conclusion to accurately measure the ingredients and follow the instructions, this is also mentioned by others in You Tube videos I've watched.

Thanks again for posting your experiences and results (great photos)!

Steve
 

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I do both PC & HT. I agree, for really large volume, HT is just easier. Though I think cost is quite a bit more than PC, the perf is very sim. What I do like about PC is I dont have to measure anything & double coating/baking of the HT is a bit of a time suck. To help I use a fan to cool down the bullets after first coat. Either is better than lubes though.
 

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Taterhead,

I think one of the benefits of the Hi-Tek coatings is that it doesn't smell when shooting. I've been to indoor ranges and one can definitely smell the PC coated bullets being fired.

As for your conclusion to accurately measure the ingredients and follow the instructions, this is also mentioned by others in You Tube videos I've watched.

Thanks again for posting your experiences and results (great photos)!

Steve
Actually, I think the HT smells more on firing especially with certain powders like TG.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Taterhead,

I think one of the benefits of the Hi-Tek coatings is that it doesn't smell when shooting. I've been to indoor ranges and one can definitely smell the PC coated bullets being fired.

As for your conclusion to accurately measure the ingredients and follow the instructions, this is also mentioned by others in You Tube videos I've watched.

Thanks again for posting your experiences and results (great photos)!

Steve
Not all PCs are the same. The PC used by many of us do-it-yourselfers has virtually no smell. I do detect a bit of odor from HT, though.

EDITED TO ADD: @SBray do you know the maker of the stinky PC bullets that you encountered? I heard that some of the earlier types used a different type of PC. Some of which transferred to fingers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
View attachment 891891 Is this projectile able to receive a PC or HT coating?
The bullets must be super clean, so assuming that all traces of lube could be removed, then yes. However some habe claimed that HT won't adhere as well once a bullet has been sized. I don't know about the latter. Probably not worth it.
 
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Not all PCs are the same. The PC used by many of us do-it-yourselfers has virtually no smell. I do detect a bit of odor from HT, though.

EDITED TO ADD: @SBray do you know the maker of the stinky PC bullets that you encountered? I heard that some of the earlier types used a different type of PC. Some of which transferred to fingers.
No I do not know since I usually have limited time at the range and don't usually ask other shooters questions.

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Update. Success!!

Had some range time with this initial batch. No issues whatsoever. Right away the distinctive odor of Hi-Tek ammo was extremely faint, unlike my less successful earlier attempts.

These loaded and ran great. Zero leading this time.

Next up is to scale up the process to more than 1k. I think Hi-Tel is going to save a lot of time over PC for larger batches.

PC isn't going anywhere for me. I'll still use it for smaller batches and maybe full pressure 10mm ammo. PC seems more trustworthy for high pressures, but that's just a hunch.
 

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What indo like about HT is they dont require danty handling. You can dump,a batch twp layer deep & they cure fine without sticking together. It does require time to coat, dry, bake, cool, coat, dry & back but the handling is much less. Inlike PC, but might go back & revisit my HT for a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
What indo like about HT is they dont require danty handling. You can dump,a batch twp layer deep & they cure fine without sticking together. It does require time to coat, dry, bake, cool, coat, dry & back but the handling is much less. Inlike PC, but might go back & revisit my HT for a bit.
Exactly. Swirl. Dump. Swirl dump. Go do something else while drying. My biggest flaw previously was insufficient drying.

I'm thinking I'll spend a few minutes over a couple eveings. First coat into the racks. Dry overnight. Next day. Bake, cool and coat again. Let dry overnight while I do something else then final bake. My oven can do 500 at a time easily.

I know that overnight is overkill, but same hands on time overall -- even if the total time is protracted.

I'm convinced that many if the reports about bad commercial coating lately is die to insufficient drying in an atmosphere of trying to keep up with demand.
 
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I use a fan for cooling bullets & drying. Place the bullets in their tray on top of the oven then run the fan on them. They Dry in about 15m. Hairdryer works fast too.
 
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