Problem with powder coated loads

Tomme boy

Active Member
I have been having a strange problem lately. I am getting some rounds when fired that seem to have very little to no powder in them when fired. I have stuck 2 bullets in the barrel of my AR9 this week alone.

This has never happened to me before. I watch every load to make sure the powder is there. I have also loaded some regular cast and lubed bullets and some plated with the exact same load. None of them are having the issue.

It all started when I got some powder from Smoke over at the boolits site. I have used the Harbor Freight red and never had the issue. I pulled a bunch of the bullets apart and they had the right amount of powder and none of it was melted into the PC. I am at a loss to what this may be????????
 

Ian

Well-Known Member
Did you find any unburned powder from the ones that stuck bullets?

What kind of propellant powder are you using, and how much?
 

freebullet

Well-Known Member
Screams undercooked pc to me. Eratic pressure, gets gooeyier? More ya shoot, especially in a blowback...check oven temps/time.
 
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Tomme boy

Active Member
3.8gr tightgroup and the 231. Getting more from tightgroup. Yes powder was there but not like normal. More just carbon.

I checked my oven when I first got the powder from smoke. I am doing 400* @ 20min. So I don't think it is undercooked. I start my timer when the PC goes shiny. When it happens I get a puff of smoke out the port from the bolt blowing back and releasing the gas.
 

Dusty Bannister

Active Member
I have also loaded some regular cast and lubed bullets and some plated with the exact same load. None of them are having the issue.

It all started when I got some powder from Smoke over at the boolits site. I have used the Harbor Freight red and never had the issue. I pulled a bunch of the bullets apart and they had the right amount of powder and none of it was melted into the PC. I am at a loss to what this may be????????
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If you are shooting a 115 grain bullet you might be a little light on the charge. If the powder application is thicker or thinner, it might alter the degree of bore seal/gas leaking past the PC. No mention of the bullet being sized or shot as cast and powder coated. PC is reported to be slicker, so start resistance might allow the bullet to begin moving before the powder really burns correctly and pressure is lost rapidly as you describe with the puff of smoke through the bolt vent.

Are you getting carbon blown back on the sides of the case, which would suggest very low pressure ignition? Are primers rounded and perhaps a bit proud of the end of the case which would also indicate low ignition pressure of the powder as the primer forced the primer out of the pocket? Dusty
 

358156 hp

Well-Known Member
I've had issues in the past with Tite Group and poly coating powders. The high nitro content of TG weakens and softens some powdercoat formulas. My solution was to stop using TG for powdercoated bullets, and I no longer have any such issue. It seems to me that there are other powders that can cause this as well. I tested all the coating powders I have on hand with all the gunpowders I keep, and TG was the only one that caused this issue. There's a lengthy thread somewhere on these pages that covers this situation. I think a number of us tested everything we had to nail this down.

Try this thread: https://artfulbullet.com/index.php?threads/powder-coat-varieties.1377/
 
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Tomme boy

Active Member
Using the Lee 124TC bullet and MP359-125hp as of right now. I am going to take some bullets and set them in a tray with some TG and see what is going on. I remember reading that thread before and several others on different boards.
 

Ian

Well-Known Member
But you said you already pulled some bullets and none of the powder was melted into the PC. I don't understand.

What I do understand is that Titegroup can eat up poly tgic powder coat. Whether it is under-bake on the paint or a poorly rinsed lot of Titegroup or simply the nature of the beast has still not been 100% determined. Myself and (iirc) Grmps don't have problems with Titegroup and poly powder and we think it's due to complete curing of the pc, but it could be a less solventy powder lot. Reloder 7 is an extremely high-nitro powder and so far it hasn't melted my poly pc.
 

popper

Well-Known Member
Do you wet clean the brass? Flash hold clogged? Only other possibility is a low powder load. It happens. For pistol generally stuck near the chamber for a primer only squib. Those using TG indicate no problems shooting PC stuff.
 

358156 hp

Well-Known Member
A friend of mine gave me a couple of loaded 45 ACP cartridges to test the bullets for hardness. He had loaded a bunch of powdercoated 45 hollowpoints with TG and when I pulled the bullets the first thing I saw was powder granules melted into the PC on the bullet base. I was able to scratch the PC from the bullet bases with my thumb nail, practically without any effort at all. I couldn't even mark the PC on the sides or nose of the bullet with my nail, and I had to file through the PC on the sides to test hardness using a vee block and my LBT Hardness Tester.
 
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Tomme boy

Active Member
I loaded then shot these right away. They sat for 3 days at the most before I shoot them. I had 15 rds left and that was what I pulled apart. None of them had any powder melted onto the bullet bases. That was what is throwing me off. I read before that TG did this, that was why I pulled the bullets. All of these had the right amount of powder also. I am trying not to load a bunch at one time till I find what works with this gun. I am only loading about 50 or so to take to the range to test. Once I find something I like I will load a bunch.

I am wondering if I should tighten the crimp die down a little to help start the combustion sooner. I had a rifle with a long throat act like this. So I gave the bullets some crimp to get it started burning right. But this upper has a very short throat so that is not it. I have my die set up to just straighten the brass and just barley crimp it.

Dry tumbled and primer holes cleaned. Both times this week when it stuck the bullets they were about 2" down the barrel. I know when I ran some polishing bullets that it took around 0.7gr of bullseye to get a bullet out of a 4.5" barrel. Anything under that it would stick about 1
or less. I would think it would be about the same for TG for the amount to get a bullet that far.
 

Tomme boy

Active Member
So can one throw these bullets back in the oven and cook them again? I just put about 300 of them back into the oven and raised the temp 25* and let them cook for 20 min. They look the same to me.

But I did have some of the TG powder that was melted on the bottom of a couple bullets. This was the bullets that I sat onto some powder to check. I have to go get a new temp gauge I stepped onto the one I got from NOE molds. Not been a good day.
 

fiver

Well-Known Member
how much slipperier are the smokes ones than the HF coated ones?

I'm not a fan of the new 231 it just seemed to be off? from the old stuff.
your right at the same 3.8 I was at in my 9's and things just seemed goofy.
I'm kind of wondering if you don't have a combination of some of the bullets being slipperier and the powder already struggling to get going causing your problem.
 

Ian

Well-Known Member
231 is the same stuff Hodgdon puts in the HP-38 bottle, and it's not even close to the same powder 231 was 20 years ago. I miss the older stuff, it was the best thing ever for 230-grain .45 ACP. Nowdays I think it has the same issues that Titegroup and Longshot does with melting the paint.

If you insist on using an insanely fast powder for 9mm carbine, try Bullseye. BE hasn't so far messed with my poly powder paint.
 

Tomme boy

Active Member
I have a BUNCH of bullseye from when I shot my 45acp. That was my next one. 231 was doing the same thing, but not as bad. I went out today and shot around 200 plain lubed 125hp and ALL shot fine. Not one low powered or dud. So it has to be the PC.

The other thing I was thinking was do I need a heavier buffer to hold the bolt closed???? Because when this does this I get a bunch of smoke coming out the action when it does it. The one in the rifle is a standard 9mm at 5.4 or 5.5oz. Can't find a straight answer on PSA website.
 

freebullet

Well-Known Member
You need an 8oz buffer with heavier spring, same recommendation I made when you were buying it.

Try cooking them till they darken a scootch more than they normally do. Might find that takes 30-45min. Backing it off from there 5min at a time till they just start to darken is my preference. Ymmv
 

Pistolero

Well-Known Member
Interesting comment on 231. WW231 was made by the same factory in Fla, St. Marks in north Fla.
I wonder why they would change it? The Hodgdon and WW powders that have been identical
are the ones made by St. Marks, HS6.W540 , HS7/W571, HP-38/W231, and H110/W296. HS7/W571 is
no longer available, at least in cannister grade, maybe at all. These were identical because both
Winchester and Hodgdon sourced them from St. Marks. Now that Hodgdon owns the Winchester
powder trademark, they still keep the same "single source- two names" thing going, and they are
still sourced from St. Marks, AFAIK. I can ask Chris or Bob the next time I see him if they have changed 231.

Bill
 
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popper

Well-Known Member
PC & 231 is my standard load for 40sw and was for 9mm until I changed to wst 1 1/2 yr ago. Absolutely no problems in a LOT down range (4#*7000/4.5=4400). HF of various colors and smokes red. Even mixed some HF & smokes stuff. Using PC for 6-7 yrs or so? Don't know which powder measure you use but a warning - I got 'bridging' with leverE once RCBS dropper. Fine powder formed a 'ring' in the cylinder; ring came loose & I got a double charge of 4895 for 30/30. Also ended up with undercharged case & had to weigh each one to find it. I don't leave powder in the dropper so that wasn't the problem.