Good Golly Miss Moly!
Purple Bullets!

I have begun experimenting with "Purple Bullets"! (hey, they look purple to me!)

I wrote at length about it last year, that is all below. Currently, I degrease in boiling water, let the bullets dry, then tumble in Moly'd BB's for 2 to 4 hours, then I dump them in a coffee can about 1/3 full of clean (now slightly grey with moly) corn cob, I put the lid on and shake for 5 or 10 seconds, then I sift the corn cob off and load the bullets.

 Some more input from another shooter:!

A bit of an update that you may find useful. I still tumble the bullets the same way (square powder bottle in a Thumbler's tumbler) but I have omitted the tumbler cleaning of excess moly. I now use a soft clean towel and empty the moly coated bullets and BBs onto the towel. I use a strong bar magnet to separate the BBs from the bullets. I wear a pair of disposable nitrile gloves to keep my lillywhites white. I also wear the gloves when loading to keep my skin oil off of the bullets. Don't know if this accounts for anything or not, but I do it because I got a great deal on the gloves. Anyway, after separating the BBs from the bullets, I gather the ends of the towel to make a kind of cradle and then run the bullets from end to end in the towel. This not only seems to quickly pick up the excess, but if anything, the bullets look even better. I crossed my fingers and told my wife the black stuff would wash right out. Praise be, it did just that. I don't know why I didn't think of the magnet earlier. I guess I was fixed on the idea if some kind of screen or sieve. Using it, I can have the BBs separated very quickly and back in the tumbling bottle. Works for me.----PJ

(We return to our regularly scheduled program.)

Apparently Molybdemum Disulfide on the surface of the bullet acts as a lubricant between the copper bullet jacket and the steel barrel. The result is bullet deformation seems to be more of a swaging and less of a gouging, resulting in less yaw and measurably better ballistic coefficients. There were photo's in a recent Precision Shooting showing this.

They claim much much less fouling. I can't wait, I hate cleaning!

They claim much better barrel life.

Note: this stuff is the rage. A significant number of shooters at the Rocky Mountain Palma Matches in Raton the previous summer, like half, had purple bullets. It looked like everyone at a recent Bench Rest Match in Phoenix used them. But the really good shooters that always win (can you say: "Tompkins"?) don't bother with them! (yet).

Since Neco introduced the world to the process of Plating Bullets with Molybdemum Disulfide, I might as well give them top billing.

PO Box 427
Lafayette, CA 94549, USA
510-450-0421 fax

 That's right out of Precision Shooting Magazine.

 They have patented a process to plate Molybdemum Disulfide (let's call it moly) onto bullets using shot and a wax over coat.

They sell a kit to do it for about $150.

The NECO process has been described in numerous articles in Precision Shooting and probably elsewhere.

I ran into a guy at a booth at the Phoenix gun show:

 Moly Kote

 PO Box 2854
Palm Desert, CA 92260
619-568-9562 fax

This guy was selling a small baggy of moly powder for $20.

Since when I go to gun shows, I spend money like a drunken sailer (It costs me more to go to the gunshow than for my wife to go to Price Club!), I figured what the heck...So I became the proud (confused) owner of a coupla ounces of moly.

This guy's technique was to put the moly powder and the bullets in the tumbler, run it for 2 hours, then sift the bullets out and roll them on an old towel and load'em and shoot'em. No shot, no wax, no NECO kit.

He said you plate thousands of bullets with that much moly powder. He said Berger does it this way.

Midway is sellin' a moly kit now too!

I got to talkin' to the guys at the Phoenix Palma Match, and came up with a coupla more variations on the theme.

One guy tumbles in clean corn cob before AND after tumbling in Moly. He uses 0.177" BB's, copper coated, 4lbs (5000) from K-Mart. you know, like for BB guns!.

He degreased the bullets with boiling water beforehand.

He does NOT wax coat.

The other guy stressed that you need to degrease with Tric or Brake cleaner, I don't remember if he tumbles in corn cob or not, but he used NECOs shot, which is smaller than BB's. He stressed that you should have no loose moly in the tumbler, just moly'd shot. (yeah, you separate that moly powder out!)

Darn, I can't remember for certain, but I think he said he waxes'em.

I called Berger, they said they do not use the exact NECO process, but wouldn't tell me how they moly plate their bullets. (in retrospect, I should not have expected them to).

By the way, Berger sells their bullets coated or non-coated and will Moly coat your non-Berger bullets for a fee. (They're at: or: Berger Bullets, 5342 W. Camelback Rd. St. 200, Glendale, AZ 85301, 602-842-4001, 602-934-9083 fax, from PS ad).

Well, I ordered a spare tumbler bowl from Midway and bought my BBs and a few kitchen utensils like a slotted spoon from K-Mart and off I went.

Here's how I did it when I first got started:

I had to grind the holes in my slotted spoon to bigger than a .177 BB, but smaller than a bullet (If you shoot a .17 rem, get the NECO kit, or buy coated bullets!).

I degreased the bullets with Rem Action Cleaner, seemed to work, watch out for brake cleaner, some of that junk has water and kerosene and all kindsa crap in it, pure Tric would be better.

I put my degreased BBs in the tumbler with a coupla tablespoons of powder and tumbled for 2 hours.

I put the degreased and dry bullets in with the BB's and tumbled for 2 hours. (One of my mentors said any longer and the BBs ding up the hollow pointed noses).

They came out covered with dust, a few minutes rolling them in an old cloth, WOW they look nice!

 I may eventually get yet another bowl and tumble them in corn-cob before and after.

I did a batch of 190 .30's and 140 6.5's. I have not loaded any, Stay tuned.

The guy that sold the powder really stressed wearing a face mask when handling the stuff, so did one of my friends, the junk gets everywhere.


Here's some more info I got from a viewer on 31-May:

Bill, Just checked out your web page and am very impressed. Re. your comments on moly coating, I do my impact plating a lot like you do. A bit of information you may find helpful. Moly can be purchased in 10 ounce bottles and is called Molykote Z. It is made by Dow Corning. The bottle even has a useful dispenser. I paid $38 for my bottle and it should last me for the rest of my life. I also bought a couple of square plastic powder measure bottles from Sinclair to apply the moly. I also use BBs and can't help feeling that the moly improves the BBs performance ;-) I filled one of the bottles half full of BBs and added 200 50 grain .224 VMAX bullets. They were tumbled in my Thumbler Tumbler for 1 hour. I simply wrapped the square bottle in a towel and stuffed it in the tumbler barrel, put on the lid and let it rip. At the conclusion of one hour, I separated the bullets and put them in the other bottle which was half full of clean corn cob media. Then put them in the tumbler for ten or fifteen minutes and they were done. There is something impressive about the silvery sheen of the coated bullet. I have the Carnuba wax, but am having a hard time convincing myself that it would not foul the bore. The instructions on the bottle of Molykote Z read, "Lift cap nozzle and squeeze bottle to direct powder onto surface. For best results, burnish powder onto surface with lint free cloth or by tumbling parts". Seems simple enough to me The bottle makes a reference to temporary eye discomfort and directs in case of contact with the eyes, that the eyes be flushed with water immediately. I am most interested in your further results with moly coated bullets. I can get the information from your web page...[snip]

MOLYBDEMUM is the trademark and service mark of Molybdemum LCC.

I included addresses as a convenience to readers only.

last modified by Bill Poole on 8-Jul-98, ©.
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