copper coating your own lead bullets

Discussion in 'Reloading Room' started by adam, Feb 10, 2008.

  1. Is there anyway to copper coat your own lead bullets? I'm one of those people that don't want to shoot strait lead down their gun, and I was thinking there's gotta be a way to coat the lead bullet with copper. Anyone ever heard of doing this or know how?

  2. Best of my knowledge copper coatings are either cold drawn around a lead core or plated via the electrolysis process. I know people can do basic electroplating at home with basic equipment, but have no idea how this process would work for lead bullets.
  3. I have heard of some bullets coated with a 'copper wash'. I don't know what the process is but 'wash' seems to imply just a spraying or dipping or something to that effect.
  4. Silicon Wolverine

    Silicon Wolverine Well-Known Member

    copper wash is just thin electroplating. not a "wash" as we think of it. being as electroplating is done with liquid thin plating just goes through a wash in the plating bath, not a soak as is needed for a full jacket. electroplating can cost hundreds to set up but besides bullets you can make cash plating other thingsas well.

  5. If there were a way to copper coat bullets at home, the equipment would be very prohibitively priced. Especially with the price of copper lately. If you insist on copper coated bullets, you're better off buying the ones already made that way. Personally, I find it easier to clean lead residue from a barrel than copper fouling. Hoppe's No. 9 solvent will dissolve lead, but not copper.

    The first time I shot lead bullets in my Taurus 85 38 special it leaded badly on me. I was using someone else's cast bullets which were way too hard for using in a 38 special, as I learned afterwards. I stuffed a piece of rag into the barrel, saturated it with Hoppe's No. 9 and let it soak overnight. the next day, I removed the rag and brushed and patched the barrel and it looked like new. Since I went to softer lead in the 38, it hasn't leaded since.

    I also learned from the benchresters in the club that you should never clean the barrel on a 22 rifle. Apparently, once the barrel is fouled to a certain point, it stays that way and never gets any dirtier. Most 22 ammo have bullets which are also lubricated with an Alox lube of one type or another.

    Generally, if you're only shooting the cast tumble-lube bullets (or any cast bullets with a good lube), in normal circumstances you shouldn't have to clean the barrel except maybe the chamber on occasion.

  6. An inexpensive alternative to jacketed ammo is the copper plated rounds from Rainier or Berry. A lot of people like them because they do not have to handle the actual lead, a lot of indoor ranges do not allow exposed lead bullets of any kind so the copper plated TMJ's offer reloaders a way to still shoot at such ranges.

    If you do purchase the copper plated rounds to reload with be aware that they require different load data. The Rainier bullets use Lead data and the Berry bullets use data on the lower half of the Jacketed charts. Both brands should never be loaded to mag velocity's and the max fps recommendations is 1200fps tops.

    I use Berry 124gr copper plated TMJ's in my 9mm's with very good results. For the .44's I use Berry 200gr TMJ's and Rainier 240gr HP's.
  7. Thanks, rimfirehunter. I meant to mention those companies in my post, but somehow got sidetracked. For those who insist on copper coated bullets, the Rainiers and Berry's have received favorable reviews. And it's true that some indoor ranges insist on using TMJ bullets for lead control.