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November 9th, 2008

Applying Boron Nitride (HBN) to Bullets

hexagonal boron nitride bullet coatingIn our recent article on Bullet Coating we covered the basic principles of applying dry lubricants to “naked” bullets. This article covered the three main coating options: Molybdenum Disulfide (Moly), Tungsten Disulfide (WS2 or “Danzac”), and Hexagonal Boron Nitride (HBN or “White Graphite”). All three compounds can be impact-plated on to bullets with relative ease, using inexpensive equipment. Moly is still the most popular choice, but many more shooters are considering HBN because it is ultra-slippery, it is less messy, and it offers some advantages over Moly or WS2.

After we published our Bullet Coating feature, many readers asked for more info on HBN. Some current moly users had questions about switching over to Boron Nitride. Recently Forum member Larry Medler published an excellent web article discussing the process of applying 70nm HBN using plastic jars and a Thumler’s rotary tumbler. If you are working with HBN currently, or plan to experiment with Boron Nitride, you should read Medler’s HBN-Coating Article.

After coating some bullets for his 6XC, Medler seems “sold” on the merits of HBN. Larry writes: “The coating process is much better than Moly — no black mess. My coating process times are the same as for Moly. Three hours of tumbling in the corn cob and three hours of tumbling in the steel balls with 3.0 grains of hBN Powder. The bullets look something like sugar-coated donuts when I dump the jar of steel balls with the freshly coated bullets into my sieve to separate. The coated bullets wipe clean to the touch with a little towel rub down and remain very slippery. So far I am very pleased with my coated bullets’ smoothness and appearance.”

hexagonal boron nitride bullet coating

Field Tests Are Very Promising
Interestingly, Larry’s HBN-coated bullets are shooting flatter, with tighter vertical, than his moly-coated bullets. Since he has also pointed the tips of this batch of bullets, it’s not clear whether the reduced drop is due to the pointing or the HBN coating, but the results are certainly encouraging: “I have shot the HBN-coated bullets a couple of times now at 600 yards and everything seems to be okay or a lot like Moly. Funny thing is the HBN-coated bullets are shooting higher by 7/8 MOA. I have to check the speed and see if it has changed enough for that POI change. Good news is I had a string of 15 shots with less than 1.5 inches of vertical which is the best I have ever seen with my rifles. Is that due to the hBN or bullet pointing?”

Boron Nitride 500gr Packs Available for $20.00
Larry acquired more HBN than he needs, so he is offering smaller quantities for other reloaders to try. Larry tells us: “If anyone would like to try using the 70 nm Hex Boron Nitride powder, I have made a few small bags with 500 grains of the HBN powder. That’s enough to coat 10,000 -16,000 bullets based on my results so far.” $20.00 includes shipping. Send email to anyrange [at] to order or to check availability.

Photos courtesy Larry Medler, All Rights Reserved

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November 9th, 2008

Firearm Sales Climb Due to Fear of Future Gun Bans

Obama Gun BanIn the wake of Barack Obama’s election as the next U.S. President, gun vendors around the nation are reporting a significant rise in firearm sales. Customers are flocking to stores to purchase guns they expect to be banned once Obama assumes office. One shop owner noted that, since the new President will enjoy a Democratic-party majority in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, there will be nothing to prevent the passage of a new assault weapons ban and strict new controls on handguns.

As reported on ABC’s Nightline, gun sales have risen dramatically. The FBI reports that background checks are up 15% compared to the same period last year — and that was before Tuesday’s election results. Texas retailer Cheaper Than Dirt (CTD) has sold $100,000 of guns and ammo every day since the election. One CTD customer explained: “Everyone’s here for the same reason — buy it now or you won’t have a chance in the future.” CTD owner Dewayne Irwin says “I’m flabbergasted”, but he adds that he could be selling twice as many guns if he could get the inventory: “We’re buying [for resale] anything… pretty much anything that will take a magazine and is a rifle.” Click on the image above to watch the Nightline Special Report on gun sales.

The news is the same across the country — gun sales are up, way up. The Denver Post reports that a “crush of business” has hit gun shops and the state’s computerized background system was “jammed with waits” due to the spike in gun sales. In North Carolina, the Raleigh/Durham News-Observer reports that distributors are running out of semi-automatic rifles and prices are rising. Reporter Jay Price says that gunshops have the Democrats to thank for the buying frenzy: “Barack Obama said he would improve the economy. Turns out he already has, at least in one retail niche: gun sales. Starting in the days before the election, gun shops across the state have been mobbed by buyers who fear that Obama and a larger Democratic majority in Congress will restrict firearm sales. Many were stocking up on things such as assault rifles, high-capacity magazines and handguns that they think would be the most likely targets of new laws, though practically everything related to shooting has been selling more quickly.”

Are people smart to purchase controversial firearms now, or are they over-reacting to the Democractic election victories with “panic buying”? Some political observers say that there are much more important issues facing the Obama administration, notably the economy and Iraq, so passing new gun laws will NOT be a priority for the new President. Also, it is argued, the recent ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court in D.C. v. Heller upholding the Second Amendment should dissuade Congress from moving aggressively to ban guns. On the other hand, some analysts suggest that quick passage of a new Federal gun ban is likely because it can be accomplished so easily. A gun ban is “showpiece” legislation that could be pushed through Congress quickly to demonstrate that Obama is acting decisively out of the gate. By contrast the bigger issues are much more complex and there are no quick, easy (or inexpensive) solutions. While he struggles with the economy and the Iraq war, Obama can show his supporters that he is “accomplishing change” right away by banning so-called “assault rifles”. He’s got the votes in Congress and a gun ban won’t add to the deficit or require new taxes.

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