Plating Lead Bullets with Copper

How do you plate lead bullets with copper?


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Q. How do you plate lead bullets with copper?—M.G.

A. Lead is a difficult material to plate, but it is done all the time. I am not sure whether you are a hobbyist who wants to plate a few bullets or a commercial plating shop, but plating lead-based materials is not for the hobbyist working in his garage or basement. The typical way of performing this process is to treat the bullets with a fluoroborate-based acid and then plate with cyanide copper. Once the copper is deposited, you can nickel-plate the bullet and apply a gold or silver deposit. However, working with a fluoroborate-based acid and a cyanide-based plating bath is not something amateurs should consider.

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