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Thread: Powder coated mini balls

  1. #11
    PoorJack is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisWBR View Post
    Poor Jack,
    So, I'm curious. It seems you lubed the bullets after powder coating? I was under the impression that powder coating was to take the place of lubing the bullet? It does in modern cartridge ammo I believe. Wonder if leaving the lube off would make a difference? And, if it would increase or decrease fouling?
    Chris
    What I was looking for first was if there was any accuracy benefit. Given the results with lube in modern ammo, I did cut back a bit on the lube for musket rounds. So far, the guns seemed to run a bit cleaner, but I'd have to shoot more to make a decision. I'd like to try a string with no lube at all and see what happens.

    The group that really has my attention was from the Smith. Virtually no change in windage, just vertical stringing. Any ideas?
    "A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition"
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  2. #12
    John Holland is offline Moderator
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    As an interesting side note, the smooth bore shooters who are powder coating use no additional lube of any type.

  3. #13
    Jim_Burgess_2078V is offline
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    Powder Coated Bullets

    This discussion seems to center on the effect, if any, of powder coating on accuracy. Some seem to think powder coating can be used as a substitute for lube to prevent leading. That misses the main purpose of lube in black powder firearms which is actually to keep powder fouling soft and from building up to the point where it adversely affects accuracy. Powder coating might provide a thin layer to increase the diameter of a bullet which can potentially help accuracy but it does nothing to keep the powder fouling soft. You still need to lube those bullets or else your gun will eventually get fouled and the next relay will be delayed while your gun is cleared off the line.

    Lube was not originally used in s
    moothbore muskets and they were always getting fouled but they also used an undersize ball to compensate for the fouling.
    The army did not expect smoothbore muskets to be accurate; their effectiveness came from a high volume of concentrated fire delivered by a line formation. Our expectations are a little different today.

    Jim Burgess, 15th CVI

  4. #14
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    Powder Coating Minies and Balls

    Quote Originally Posted by John Holland View Post
    As an interesting side note, the smooth bore shooters who are powder coating use no additional lube of any type.
    Yes, I thought the main purpose of powder coating was to eliminate the need for applied lube. That is what the modern cartridge shooters use it for. I've seen reports of elimination of leading and a slight velocity increase, but not sure I've seen any real notes about improved accuracy with the modern shooters reports.

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    My understanding is that in modern firearms, powder coating has a similar effect as copper plating. It prevents leading of the barrel by preventing contact of the lead core of the bullet with the barrel.

    I agree that the primary function of "lube" in black powder arms is not as a lubricant at all, but as an fouling softener. In fact it is probably a misnomer to refer to it as "lubricant".

    I would expect that powder coating will bump up the diameter of the round ball by about .005" or so. But, unlike "knurling", the increased diameter is not very deformable, so you may run into trouble as fouling builds up in the bore.

    I'm personally skeptical of any benefit to powder coating black powder bullets in our context, especially smoothbore. But, I welcome the experiments.

    One of the neat things about powder coating is you can size the bullet after PC and it doesn't harm the coating. It just squoooshes it down.

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  6. #16
    bobanderson is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Holland View Post
    As an interesting side note, the smooth bore shooters who are powder coating use no additional lube of any type.
    I've been shooting my smoothbore with no lube of any kind for the last two seasons. I found out that alox just turned into a hard coke-like residue that didn't help anything. With the right powder, Goex Old Eynsford 3f, I can shoot 15-20 consecutive shots without fouling out.
    Bob Anderson
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  7. #17
    PoorJack is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Holland View Post
    As an interesting side note, the smooth bore shooters who are powder coating use no additional lube of any type.
    I measured my smoothbore powder coated balls and the diameter was inconsistent v as cast. I'm thinking that may have had an effect on accuracy. I normally shoot as cast, sprue still on, with just a dip in musket lube on one side towards powder. Shoots very, very well in my gun.
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  8. #18
    PoorJack is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maillemaker View Post
    My understanding is that in modern firearms, powder coating has a similar effect as copper plating. It prevents leading of the barrel by preventing contact of the lead core of the bullet with the barrel.

    I agree that the primary function of "lube" in black powder arms is not as a lubricant at all, but as an fouling softener. In fact it is probably a misnomer to refer to it as "lubricant".

    I would expect that powder coating will bump up the diameter of the round ball by about .005" or so. But, unlike "knurling", the increased diameter is not very deformable, so you may run into trouble as fouling builds up in the bore.

    I'm personally skeptical of any benefit to powder coating black powder bullets in our context, especially smoothbore. But, I welcome the experiments.

    One of the neat things about powder coating is you can size the bullet after PC and it doesn't harm the coating. It just squoooshes it down.

    Steve

    Yup, it does "bump" up the diameter on the bullets but it's no consistent. I measured the diameter on several bullets at several places to check and it varied as much as .006 so sizing was in order.

    I was skeptical about powder coating for what we do and at this point, I think only one, maybe two, of my guns might benefit from it.
    "A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition"
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  9. #19
    Stefan is offline
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    Just curious

    I hear about this powder coating phenomenon that seems to be gaining some popularity among smooth bore musket shooters and now it is being tried in rifled muskets.

    We of course already compromise on historical authenticity in many areas, such as using plastic loading tubes instead of paper cartridges, but it is usually done for a very practical reason ? like not setting fire to the grass on the range. Otherwise we use real black powder and not substitutes, even though it might burn similarly and is cleaner in some ways. I think most of us like to do it that way because that is how it was done in the civil war. So I am curious about the justification for using powder coating, which was definitely not available in the eighteen hundreds?

    Please don?t misunderstand. I am not calling for a ban or anything like that. I don?t shoot smoothbore musket so I really don?t care, but I am interested in the rational for introducing more modern technology in Skirmishing because I want to understand the general thinking in the organization about the trade-offs between historical authenticity and gaining a competitive edge.
    Stefan 10531

  10. #20
    PoorJack is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stefan View Post
    Please don?t misunderstand. I am not calling for a ban or anything like that. I don?t shoot smoothbore musket so I really don?t care, but I am interested in the rational for introducing more modern technology in Skirmishing because I want to understand the general thinking in the organization about the trade-offs between historical authenticity and gaining a competitive edge.
    We ARE a competitive shooting organization that just happens to shoot 19th century arms. If you don't want to glass bed, do trigger jobs, size bullets or do load development, then by all means have at it. I'm always looking for a technique to make my guns that much more capable. I gave up reenacting years ago.
    "A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition"
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