October 30th, 2022

Evergreen Ballistics — Vendor of Coated, Cast, and Plated Bullets

Evergreen Ballistics Bullets cast lead plated rifle green bullets

Evergreen Ballistics is a shooter-owned enterprise that sells a great selection of coated lead bullets, conventional cast bullets, plus copper-plated bullets. If you currently shoot cast and/or plated bullets in your pistols and/or rifles, you should definitely check out the Evergreen Ballistics offerings. The prices are very competitive and customer service is excellent.

Evergreen Ballistics (EB) was launched in April 2020. The company soon received many customer requests to produce coated bullets. Marc McAtee, owner of Evergreen Ballistics, set to work: “I ordered several different colors of Hi-Tek Supercoat [to test]. We launched the line of coated bullets in mid-2020 and they quickly became our most desired type of bullets.” A year later Evergreen launched a line of EB-branded plated pistol bullets produced by a major North American plated-bullet manufacturer.

“I have always tried to keep the mission of Evergreen Ballistics focused and simple. Provide quality projectiles to reloaders at the best price possible. In addition, we try to treat our customers as we would want to be treated. From fast, inexpensive shipping, to taking the time to answer every email, we do our best to do right by the customer.” — Marc McAtee, Evergreen Ballistics

Evergreen Ballistics Bullets cast lead plated rifle green bullets

Evergreen Ballistics Polymer-Coated Bullets
Evergreen Ballistics offers a selection of coated bullets in two styles: 1) NLG or “no lube groove” bullets; and 2) grooved bullets made from the same alloy and molds as its regular cast lead bullets. The NLG bullet molds were designed specifically to meet the increased demand for coated bullets. McAtee explains the coating process: “After casting and cooling, the bullets are weighed out onto individual wire trays. The coating is then mixed with a solvent, in our case acetone, and applied to the bullets. We apply the coating by adding it to a large mixing bowl and shaking the bullets vigorously. The bullets are then spread out on their wire trays to dry thoroughly. The bullets are then backed for approximately 10 minutes to set the coating. After cooling, we perform two tests to verify the integrity of the coating.”

Evergreen Ballistics Bullets cast lead plated rifle green bullets

This shows that the coating has cured. Next, we simply smash a bullet with a hammer. The coating should not flake off. This proves the coating is chemically bonded to the lead. We preform these tests on every tray that comes out of our ovens. After this, we repeat the process for the second coat. Once the bullets have cooled from their second coat, they are sized through carbide sizing dies. We use a small amount of fluoropolymer-based lubricant to aid in sizing the bullets. One of the questions I get asked all the time is, “Does the coating come off during sizing?”. No, it does not. If the coating is cured properly it will remain on the bullet during sizing. Just as it remains on the bullet as it travels down the barrel.

Evergreen Ballistics Bullets cast lead plated rifle green bullets

The coating is Hi-Tek Supercoat manufactured by J & M Specialized Products in Australia. This polymer coating has major advantages. The coating nearly eliminates barrel leading and significantly reduces airborne lead. In addition, with no greasy lube to vaporize, there is greatly reduced smoke.

Evergreen Ballistics Cast Lead Bullets
Along with its signature green-coated bullets, Evergreen Ballistics offers a full line of conventional lead bullets cast from an alloy containing 92% lead, 6% Antimony, and 2% Tin with a Brinell hardness (BHN) of approximately 16. This alloy delivers good performance at a range of velocities.

Marc McAtee notes: “Our molds were designed with this high-quality alloy in mind. Our lead arrives very clean, so there is minimal fluxing that we have to do, and we do not have a significant amount of dross to pull off the pot. Our lead bullets are sized using machined carbide dies and lubed with Commercial 160 from White Label Lube Company”.

Evergreen Ballistics Bullets cast lead plated rifle green bullets
Evergreen Ballistics Bullets cast lead plated rifle green bullets

Evergreen Ballistics Plated Bullets
Our plated bullets are manufactured by a leading North American bullet manufacture. The lead cores are swaged to ensure consistent starting weight. They are then electroplated which deposits a layer of copper that completely encapsulates the lead core. This copper layer is approximately 0.008″ in thickness. The bullets are then resized to ensure concentricity and appropriate diameter. The heavy plating on these bullets allows them to be pushed to higher velocity using FMJ load data.

Evergreen Ballistics Bullets cast lead plated rifle green bullets

Interview with Marc McAtee, Founder of Evergreen Bullets

Evergreen Ballistics Bullets cast lead plated rifle green bullets

Q. How and why did you start the company?
A: The idea to start the business originated in late 2018 after finding a commercial casting set-up at an estate sale. I acquired the automated casting and sizing machines along with a collection of molds. Over the next several months, I would cast and re-melt numerous batches of lead bullets to optimize the production process . In April of 2020 the Evergreen Ballistics business was formed, and I began selling cast lead bullets online. Around this time, I began to use Hi-Tek Supercoat on small batches of lead bullets, making polymer-coated bullets for myself. Shortly after I learned about the Supercoat product, customers asked if we could produce coated lead bullets. After experimenting with several colors and ratios of coating, I settled on the color and recipe we use now.

Evergreen Ballistics Bullets cast lead plated rifle green bullets

Q. What are the benefits of the polymer bullet coatings?
A. When compared to ordinary cast lead bullets you have no lead fouling and no smoke that would normally be created from burning lube. In addition, you do not get cast bullet lube on your reloading dies. Polymer coated bullets are cleaner to shoot and cleaner to load than plain lead bullets.
Q. What makes your bullets different/better than the competition?
A. In our coated bullets we use the same 92/6/2 alloy as our cast lead bullets. This keeps the cast weights consistent. Some coated bullet companies have switched to a 98/2 alloy. It’s a cheaper alloy, but the weights do not cast the same. For OUR plated bullets, the plating is 0.008″ thick. Many other plated bullets on the market range from 0.002-0.006″ in plating thickness. Our thicker plating allows the bullet to perform more like a FMJ and you have less chance of plate separation as the bullet travels down range.

Q. How are the jacketed bullets made?
A: Full disclosure: our jacketed bullets are not made in-house, they are manufactured by a contractor. With that being said, The cores of the plated bullets begin as chucks of 98% lead, 2% antimony lead wire. The cores are formed into the rough bullet shape then head into the plating process. This process involves several steps in various chemical baths. This results in strong adhesion of the copper plate to the lead core. The bullets are then reformed in a hydraulic press to ensure prefect dimensions and consistency from bullet to bullets. Finally, the bullets are polished and shipped to us in 50,000-piece crates. Upon arrival, from the contractor, several bullets from each batch are tested for weight and dimension consistency. In addition, we verify adhesion of the copper plating.

Q. Are you able to keep up with the high current bullet demand?
We are a small shop — we do not have big OEM customers or even wholesale customers. ALL the bullets we make and sell go to people who reload. This was very evident during the last big rush on ammo/bullets. While some manufactures were taking 4-6 weeks to ship orders, we were able to ship orders in less than a week. We were not backlogged with massive OEM bullet orders. All of our capacity goes to support the everyday reloader.

Q. Will any new calibers/bullet types be offered in the near future?
Our newest addition to our plated bullet line are our .458 diameter bullets. These include a 300gr and 405gr RNFP and a Spitzer design available in 350gr, 450gr, or 500gr sizes. We are currently working on a coated, 220gr .308-caliber bullet for the suppressed 300 BLK crowd.

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