DIY copper plated bullets?

Discussion in 'General Reloading' started by Imakethings, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. Imakethings

    Imakethings G&G Newbie

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    I'm curious about something, do any of you make you own copper plated bullets? If so, how?
    If no, any idea on how they are made commercially?
  2. 338RUM

    338RUM G&G Enthusiast

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    I have attempted this, it works but not well enough to make any real jacket faster than you could size and lube boolits. I used a dc power source, root kill, and copper wire. It made a .002 jacket over the boolit but it needed more.

    The commercial guys use a tumbling method with a copper cyanide solution to place the thick jackets on the boolits.
  3. lefty o

    lefty o G&G Enthusiast

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    used in commercial plating is copper cyanide, potassium cyanide, and potassium hydroxide with about 250 amps of current thru the rotating barrel thats used to plate the bullets. besides the deadly chemicals, the rotating barrel is the trick, without it the bullets will not be plated uniformily. another important thing is the temerature of the solution, if its not hot enough you'll have big issues. this is truly not a venture for the do it yourself guy.
  4. Purdy

    Purdy G&G Enthusiast

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    Why in the world would you want to?
  5. trigger

    trigger G&G Enthusiast

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    Why in the world would you ask?
  6. lefty o

    lefty o G&G Enthusiast

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    seems like he asked a valid question!

    on the other hand, since i do this for a living currently i can list at least 100 reasons why its not a good idea to even consider trying to plate your own bullets.
  7. Big Dog

    Big Dog Dinosaur Wrangler Forum Contributor

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    Back in 7th grade science class, we used copper sulphate solution and a battery to do simple electrolitic plating. I once read online of someone doing this with lead bullets, having several attached on one electrode and imersed in the solution. Labor intensive, but you should be able to do it. Getting them done consistently would be the trick.
  8. gandog56

    gandog56 G&G Enthusiast

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    Before ammobrasstrader shut down there was a guy sulling dies to make jacked bullets using old .40 S&W and .45 ACP brass. But doesn't copper melt at a much higher temperature, than say lead? The only other way I can figure is electrolysis, and god knows what chemicals you need to do that.
  9. gandog56

    gandog56 G&G Enthusiast

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    Yeah, I did that one too. But the copper that came out was all green already.
  10. runfiverun

    runfiverun G&G Enthusiast

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    the above mentioned copper sulphide and electrical current in a heat bath will do the job.
    take a gander on you tube.
    either way you can push a cast boolit faster than the copper plated ones.
    there are some places where a plated is desired [like indoors]
  11. Big Dog

    Big Dog Dinosaur Wrangler Forum Contributor

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    In class we deposited the copper ions onto a carbon rod (from the older pre-alkyline battery days) from a D-cell battery. Result was a nice dull copper-colored rod! If we'd left it in solution (copper sulphate, a blue liquid) longer it would have been a thicker plating. You'd have to figure out how long to leave it for 'X' thickness of copper plate.
  12. runfiverun

    runfiverun G&G Enthusiast

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    you can slightly over-plate them and size them.
    many of the commercial co's. do it this way.
    they call it a double/re strike.
    as they size the cast/swaged core before plating.
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