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Hard plating of cast lead bullets



I am a small cast lead bullet manufacturer looking for an edge and better sales. Copper clad bullets are not the best, pure copper over lay on bullets peels off at high velocity and leaves too much fouling in the barrel. Iron would be harder and with a carnuba wax final polish would be a distinctive dark color and do the job. Questions? Can lead bullets be barrel plated with iron? They come out of the caster clean with no oxide coating to be removed. What chemicals would be needed, what basic plating equipment would work? Process question- I use cement mixers in a Teflon polymer coating process now,can they be used with modifications to barrel plate? I have a complete machine shop and can make almost anything. Please return your thoughts and suggestions.

Thank you,

Peter Wilbur
DiamondHard Cast Bullets - Lincoln University, Pennsylvania, USA


Most job shops do not know how to properly prepare lead for plating, therefore the plated deposit has poor adhesion and "peels" off easy.

The process should be: Alkaline clean off the "organic soil", rinse, dip in 10% Fluoboric Acid. rinse, strike in a Copper Fluoborate Plating Solution, Rinse, Copper Plate in a Copper Sulfate Solution to thickness desired.

Proprietary Hardeners are available from companies listed on that will work in the copper sulfate solution.

One of the problems you may be having with your current copper sulfate solution is that fact that lead removes the 50 ppm of Chloride that is necessary for the Copper Sulfate Solution to work. By first striking in a lead soluble solution you will cover the lead and then the sulfate solution only "sees" pure copper.

Robert H Probert
Robert H Probert Technical Services

Garner, North Carolina

Editor's note:    
   Mr. Probert is the
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