bullet lube

Discussion in 'reloading/bullet casting' started by grumpyvette, May 9, 2011.

  1. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    If you only lube a few hundred cast bullets a year, Id say buy the commercial lube sticks as its not worth the effort to make up batches of lube, but if you load thousands of cast bullets, then yes its well worth the effort and you can improve on most commercial lube results, and save some cash making your own lube, but its just not worth the effort or cost of doing it for a few hundred bullets a year, but once your casting bullets in larger batches that easily fill several gallon plastic containers , several times a year ,its a different deal.
    If your adding your home brew lube to your bullet sizer, you can either make the effort to force it in in chunks or you can simply heat some to the point its a semi liquid and pour it in and let it cool.
    I usually find I don,t have the patients to wait while I melt and let it cool and find I just open the cylinder , force in chunks and use a hair drier to heat it up a bit to make cramming the chunks in a bit easier, the air pockets will be removed as the piston forcing the lube thru the sizer compressed the lube chunks , but Ive also found I can drop a muffin paper full of lube from my supply into a 1 quart aluminum pan I got for $1 at a yard sale that I place on my lead melter while it heats up, and that solves that problem.
    and youll be VERY familiar with the process of refilling a lube/sizer once your bullet count is measured in several gallon containers per session.
    use of a LUBE SIZER with the correct punch and sizing dies helps consistency and accuracy.
    50% bees wax
    20% moly axle grease
    30% alox works great
    then add one 6 oz pack of MOLY powder too each 5 lbs of lube mix, and stir into molten mix

    http://www.midsouthshooterssupply.com/i ... 0157631412

    [​IMG]
    btw if your going to cast bullets wait till the molds clean and hot then lightly spray the mold interior surface with moly spray, as it helps the cast bullets fall easily from the mold and makes casting process faster and more consistent. and spraying the cast bullets with moly spray after they are sized and lubed , and before they are loaded into the cases,certainly seems to reduce barrel fouling

    [​IMG]
    Ive used that lube in my 44 mag and 45/70 lever action carbines with cast bullets for decades , while I rarely exceed 1800fps I also get almost ZERO leading in the rifling and very good accuracy

    any cast bullet is going to require a coat of lubricant or bullet lube after or during the sizing process
    the lube forms a lubricant barrier between the bullet and bore rifling thats REQUIRED to prevent leading with cast bullets.
    if you want real consistency youll want to use a lube sizer rather than tumble lube cast bullets in most cases

    [​IMG]

    http://garage.grumpysperformance.co...re-a-more-durable-lube-sizer.9299/#post-33595
    youll need a lube sizer and dies and a top punch matching the bullets to be lubed and sized

    a custom mix Ive found works very well is BY VOLUME , mix 50% BEES WAX ,[​IMG]

    http://www.lasc.us/CastBulletNotes.htm
    HERES A GREAT DEAL OF RELATED INFO
    http://www.lasc.us/Fryxell_Book_Contents.htm

    http://www.lasc.us/Brennan_5-0_BulletLubes.htm

    http://www.lasc.us/LubeIngredients.htm

    20% moly axle grease[​IMG]
    OR
    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/183655 ... owder-6-oz
    OR BOTH

    [​IMG]
    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/466811 ... -oz-liquid
    30% liquid alox melted and blended as its heated,
    this formula allows about 1700fps in my 45/70 and 44mag marlin rifles with cast bullets, you simply melt and blend it then pour it into a muffin pan with muffin papers to form cakes of soft lube that can be stored for years or used by simply pressing the crumbled cakes into the lube-sizer or melting them easily in a small sauce pan and pouring the contents into the lube sizer reservoir
    personally I find a 1 quart cheap sauce pan you can get at some yard sale for $1 that you set on the lead melter will heat the lube up so you can pour it into the lube sizer, when its low on grease, but once filled its good for a couple hundred bullets being lubed.
    you might not realize it but a good lube and the correct bullet alloy, and sizing allows you. in many cases to shoot cast bullets without any appreciable leading in the rifling.


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I generally make up batches of lube about once or twice a year in about 2 gallon volume size batches, once made I pour the lube in muffin papers in a muffin pan to cool and the cups are easily stored on a shelf.
    you can make filling, the lube sizer fairly easy if you buy a hot plate and a 1 cup-to-1/2 quart sauce pan with an insulated handle,these rarely cost over $20 total for both and if you hit a yard sale maybe $10 total.
    you simply use a knife to cut a few chunks of lube out of the storage container,or drop a few full muffin size chunks in the sauce pan, turn the hot plate on low and after a few minute you open the lube sizer and pour in the lube, my lube sizer takes just a bit less than one muffin size chunk, but obviously both muffin pans and sizer,s are made in various sizes.
    youll find you can judge when to start heating the lube with experience as you see the lube sizer piston descend in the reservoir, you can lift the top plate to inspect the piston location


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    BTW THE TIN-FOIL baking cups TYPE WORK BEST
    related info

    http://www.castbullet.com/makeit/lube.htm

    http://www.lasc.us/LubeIngredients.htm

    http://shootersforum.com/showthread.htm?t=441

    http://www.voodoo-lube.com/

    http://www.lsstuff.com/store/
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 7, 2018
  2. cstan

    cstan New Member

    At what velocity are using this lube on plain base bullets ?
     
  3. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer. Staff Member

    plain base bullets generally are limited by the type of rifling, bullet alloy used and a few other factors in ADDITION to the lubricant being used
    but I rarely see top accuracy with a plain base bullet at much over about 1400 fps, you might do better, but Id look for best accuracy at under about 1100fps with plain base bullet designs

    use, of a gas check bullet and the lube I use has produced good accuracy up to about 2200 fps , but seems to work best at velocity,s in the 1600 fps-1800 fps range

    BTW Ive read several places that, long term tests were done,and if you carefully clean fairly new barrel rifling and spray the moly dry lube sprays into the barrels then swap the moly into the rifling at fairly frequent and consistent bore cleaning it tends to reduce bore wear. lead build-up and increase accuracy with cast bullets used
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2016
  4. chromebumpers

    chromebumpers solid fixture here in the forum Staff Member

    I would just ask what the lady prefers.
     
  5. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer. Staff Member

    I think were both referring to totally different lubricants and applications for their use here!
     
  6. rlphvac

    rlphvac reliable source of info

    Grumpy did you ever hear of using a mix of pure lanolin and red heet gas line anti freeze to lube cases before resizeing?
     
  7. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer. Staff Member

    no, I have not , Ive always found rolling cases on a felt pad
    http://www.midsouthshooterssupply.com/item/000449307/Case-Lube-Pad-
    [​IMG]


    thats been previously soaked in vaseline [​IMG] works just fine for lubing cases for sizing, yes there are plenty of case lube formulas but nothing Ive tried works any better than a light evenly applied film of vaseline for case sizing brass,
    now you could also roll cases on the pad soaked in vaseline and done in batches throw them in a card board box then dust spray them with MOLY MIST , after rolling them on the pad,if you want to have even less friction,during the re-sizing [​IMG]
    this works REALLY well at reducing friction, while sizing cases, but its also going to leave a slightly messy dark surface film that get transferred easily to hands and clothes , so you make the sizing nearly effortless, but youll need a roll of paper towels to clean the film off the cases before use.
    naturally starting with clean and DE-primed cases helps a great deal, so a vibrator case cleaner with the correct medium sure helps

    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/411956/rcbs-formula-1-brass-cleaning-media-walnut-hull-5-lb

    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/10...rass-cleaning-media-treated-tufnut-walnut-box

    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/1064641155/lyman-turbo-brite-brass-case-polish

    http://www.dillonprecision.com/#/co.../Dillon__039_s_CV_2001_Vibratory_Case_Cleaner

    [​IMG]
    http://www.shootandreload.com/2012/03/26/definitive-guide-to-case-cleaning-and-polishing/
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2015
  8. rlphvac

    rlphvac reliable source of info

    What do you do just rub - work Vaseline into the lube pad
     
  9. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer. Staff Member

    yes, just repeatedly work Vaseline into the lube pad, then a quick roll of the case on the pad prior to resizing is all that required, it takes practice because its rather easy to get too much, on the case , or too little but with practice it works really well
     
  10. rlphvac

    rlphvac reliable source of info

    I have a pad & I will try that thanks
     
  11. rlphvac

    rlphvac reliable source of info

    Grumpy I just got a Ruger blackhawk revolver in .45 Colt and I am having a leading issue that I don't like. I bought some cowboy action loads and reloaded some Acme lead bullets 230 gr. RN over6.5 gr. of unique and some 255gr. lead flat points over 6.4 gr. of unique. The rounds I bought were 200 gr. flat point. Like I said this gun is leaded up bad can you lube bullets after they are loaded before firing and do you think this will help? What kind of lube would you use?
     
  12. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer. Staff Member

    You can,t really lube a bullet effectively after its loaded to anywhere near the level you can before its loaded, what you can do, is you can carefully clean the bore , down to the clean steel, bore surface and then prep the bore surface with [​IMG] a swab soaking wet with moly, and fire a few shots and repeat ,
    the process will embed moly in the bore surface reducing leading, but in the future use correctly lubed and properly SIZED cast bullets,of the correct alloy , you won,t have leading
     
  13. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer. Staff Member

    By John Zemanek, Handloader #145 May/June 1990.

    Dave Scoville recently sent me an assortment of Lubes offered by Thompson Bullet Lube Co. All of the samples received, except for one were heat type lubes. That is, they required heat to be used in a lube-sizer. The one cold lube was Bear Lube Cold, but as it's flow temp is 90, it too had to be heated. I figured the best way to test these bullet lubes was to try them out with some of my favorite bullets and loads in which I normally use Javalina lube. My goal was to see if I could achieve the same sustained accuracy with the Thompson heat lubes.

    I began the test with Bear Heat Lube which flows at 110 degrees, and lube-sized a batch of 44 cal 250gr H&G No.503 SWC's through my Star lube-sizer (he used his wife's hair dryer for heat). The Bear lube Heat did not perform very well with my 250gr 44's. Leading was heavy and accuracy rapidly deteriorated. My bullets were cast from WW alloy and it was obvious a harder alloy was needed. Another batch of bullets were cast using 50/50 WW & Lino, plus 2% tin. This blend will produce bullets slightly harder than Lyman #2 alloy.Accuracy improved with these harder bullets and the leading was noticeably less, but my standard lube, Javalina, still out performed Bear heat Lube with 8.5grs of Unique under the H&G 250gr SWC. When I switched over to full magnum loads with 20.0grs of 2400, however, the accuracy contest between Javalina and Bear Heat Lube was dead even. Also, the mild leading I experienced with the lighter load disappeared.

    My next test was with the 38 Special, using a 148gr wadcutter, an H&G No.50-BB, loaded over 3.6grs of 700X. My 6" Colt Python will consistently print 10 shot 25 yd groups of under 1.5" with this load. The alloy was the same as that used in the 44 Magnum's heavy loads and I used the same testing methods employed with the 44 Magnum. That is, I fired 10, 10 shot groups from a machine rest (100 rnds) without cleaning the gun. This system of continuous shooting enabled me to make a comprehensive analysis of how the bullet lube influenced accuracy and how well the lube prevented leading.The 10, 10 shot groups I fired with Javalina Lube behaved exactly as it always had, turning in an average group size of 1.489", with mild leading after 100 rounds. The Bullets lubed with Red Angel printed an average groups size of 1.527", or .039" larger. This minor difference made it too close to call and a more extensive test would be required. Probably 50, 10 shot groups. In the 38 test, the Red Angel produced one of the smallest groups at 1.089", which occurred on the third 10 shot string. Red Angel also turned in the largest group which was fired on the 10th, 10 shot string going 2.115". Had it not been for this last large group size, the Red Angel lubed bullets would have turned in the smallest overall group aggregate. The smallest Javalina group was 1.157" on the 6th 10 shot group. It's largest group was the 2nd 10 shot group at 2.009".

    Next I loaded up 2 batches of .357 Magum ammo using Javalina and Red Angel. One of my favorite loads is 13.5grs of 2400 under the 173gr H&G No.43 SWC Cast/Swaged HP. The range was 40 yards with the 6" S&W M686 mounted in the Ransom Rest. As with previous tests, 10, 10 shot groups were fired without cleaning the pistol. The Javalina bullets turned in an average groups size of 1.766". After 100 rounds I inspected the pistol and found very moderate leading which was easily wiped out. The only real problem was lube residue which had accumulated in significant amounts on the exterior of the pistol and under the extractor star, which made the pistol difficult to rotate during the last 30 rounds.........Wheeeew! Done with the first page [​IMG]!I then fired 100 rounds with the bullets lubed with Red Angel. The average group size was 1.600", which was .166" smaller than the Javalina groups. Leading was noticeably less with the Red Angel. In addition, the pistol remained noticeably cleaner and there was no difficulty in rotaing the cylinder. It was clear by this stage that the Thompson Heat lubes performed better in high pressure/velocity loads then they did in moderate, or light loads. Secondly these heat lubes were demonstrating that they performed much better with bullets that were as hard as, or harder than Lyman #2 alloy.

    My next test was with Blue Angel, which has a flow temp of 125 degrees, with a 44 cal 250gr H&G No.243 GC-SWC Cast/Swaged HP. The alloy I used with these bullets was a blend of one pound of foundry type to 3 pounds of WW. Because this is a GC'd bullet it was necessary to switch from the Star to the Saeco lube-sizer. The Blue Angel flowed through the Saeco as easily as the Red Angel did in the Star.The average 40 yard group size with bullets lubed with Javalina measured 1.895", and the Blue Angel turned in an average of 1.650". This appeared to be a significant difference and I began to wonder if the difference would be of much value at longer ranges. I switched from my 7.5" Ruger RH that was used for these tests in my Ransom Rest, to a 9.5" Ruger Super RH with a 2.5X Redfield scope. The target was set back to 75 yards and groups were fired from a sandbag rest. Bullets that were lubed with Javalina consistently printed an average 3.542" group. Those with Blue Angel went 2.544". That, of course was a significant improvement.My standard load with this bullet is 20.5grs of 2400, W-W cases and Fed #155 primers. This combination produces a velocity of 1,450 fps from the 9.5" bbl of the Ruger Super RH. It is not a maximum load, but it is the most accurate. I've tried 21.0grs and 21.5grs of 2400, but there has always been a significant loass of accuracy when ever the posder charge was increased. When I used my std load with Blue Angel bullets and achieved such an astonishing increase in accuracy, it seemed to me after inspecting my cases, primers and analyzing the groups, that I might be able to boost the charges a bit and tighten the groups in the process.Increasing the charge by a hald grain up to 21.0grs of 2400 powder, muzzle vel jumped form 1,450 to 1,520 fps for an increase of 117 ft lbs in muzzle energy. Mor importantly, the average groups size at 75 yards decreased from 2.544" to 2.025".

    I was so impressed by this outstanding performance that I used the combination to fill my doe tag. It was a clean, one shot kill at a measured distance of 125 yards.According to the literature supplied by the Thompson Bullet Lube Co., their lubes will produce higher velocities and better accuracy. Insofar as gas checked bullets are concerned, I found that statement to be absolutely true.

    I had observed the same phenomenon with the 44cal 200 gr H&G No. 237 GC bullet.The best average group size I've ever been able to obtain with the 44 cal 200gr No.237 GCSWC bullet is 2.75" @ 50 yards when they were lubed with Javalina. The same bullet lubed with Bear Lube Heat, averaged 2.25" at the same distance. As for the velocity difference, my standard load with Javalina Lube, is 35.5grs of W-W296, which delivers 1,590 fps. When I lubed with Bear Lube Heat I was able to increase the charge to 26.2 grs and the velocity rose to 1,620 fps.With this stiffer charge, the average groups size shrunk down to 1.995" from a 10.5" Ruger Super BH.

    Since it was becoming quite obvious that Thompson's Heat lubes turned in their best performance gas checked bullets, I loaded up another batch of 357 Magnum ammo, using the 155gr Lyman 358156 GCSWC bullet. A charge of 14.0grs of 2400 behind that bullet will produce a muzzle velocity of 1,440 fps from my 8" Colt Python, and average 2.5" 10 shot groups at 50 yards.when lubed with Javalina. When the same bullet is lubed with either Bear Lube Heat (110 degrees) or Blue Angel over 15.0grs of 2400, it delivers 1,510 fps and prints an average 10 shot 50 yard group of 1.880". When the target was moved back to 100 meters, I immediately recognized I'd stumbled on to an outstanding long range load for my 8" Python. I was able to shoot consistent 10 shot groups well under 3.5".This load is one full grain over the maximum charge listed in the Lyman CAST BULLET HANDBOOK. I should caution the reader this load unless you have exactly the same components. After you've reached the maximum load, and things look okay in your experience, the increasing by 0.03grs is in order. I used an alloy of 50/50 WW and lino, plus 2% tin and Hornady GC's. Bullets were sized to .3567". Other components were either Bear Lube Heat or Blue Angel, W-W cases and Fed 200 primers. This combination of components was quite safe in my handguns, but when I used Javalina Lube and/or a softer alloy, the primers showed definite signs of excessive pressure and case extraction became difficult. In addition to the high pressure signs, the groups opened up considerably.

    One of my favorite medium high power target, small game, and general purpose loads in the 41 Magnum is the H&G 220gr No258 GC SWC seated over 11.0grs of HS-6. The Alloy used for these is the same as that in the 44 Magnum with the 250gr H&G No. 243 GC SWC. The bullets lubed with Javalina averaged 2.246" at 40 yards and the Blue Angel bullets averaged 2.137". The bullets lubed with Blue Angel grouped poorly with lighter loads and were not as accurate as those which had Javalina. As for the Magnum loads which had 18.5 grs of 2400 and the 220gr bullets, Fed 155 primers and W-W cases, the Blue Angel bullets delivered the tightest groups. As with the 357 and 44 magnums, the Thompson Heat lubes turned in their best performance with plain based bullets which were loaded to pressures and velocities above the moderate range.When used with HARD bullets and loaded to pressure which approach magnum levels, Thompson's Heat Lubes will deliver fine accuracy. In particular they do their best work with GC'd bullets which are loaded to magnum pressures and velocities.
     
  14. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer. Staff Member

    ets make a few non rifle loonie heads spin ,
    now I have not tried this with jacketed bullets but I see no reason it would not work in a similar manor
    I have got too point out that if you have a large bore, rifle or revolver that you want to hunt with ,using hard cast gas check bullets,
    and you intend to both maximize accuracy,
    and reduce or eliminate bore lead deposit's.
    (especially if your using hard cast , gas check,
    bullets to hunt with, like I've used for decades)
    cleaning the bore Of each firearm with a lot of solvent soaked patches,
    (old cotton sheets cut into 1"x3" rectangles work ok on most 44-50 caliber revolvers, or rifles )
    and a brass bore brush until you have no trace of jacket or lead fouling,
    then , after the bores squeaky clean, soaking a couple patches , until they drip, with moly spray and working it back and forth in the bore surface, and repeatedly soaking those patches with moly, to coat the rifling with a good film of moly, then swabbing the bore clean with a solvent patch and dry patch, seems to very noticeably reduce future leading and fouling and in many revolvers.
    yes it leaves a darker semi shiny surface in the bore,
    as theres a thin micro surface of embedded moly,micro particles,
    that might not look as bright, as a polished metal surface ,
    but it darn sure seems too form a slick, extra well lubricated ,
    and fairly durable protective surface barrier that resists fouling.
    this will all but eliminate leading if you use the proper sized and lubed gas checked cast bullets, cast from that 95% wheel weight and 5% pure tin alloy Ive used for decades, even in rifles where the velocity reaches up to about 1800 fps.
    I can shoot both my 44 mag caliber revolvers and 44 mag caliber marlin carbine and 450 marlin caliber BLR ,458 LOTT, etc.
    with cast bullets, and a solvent soaked patch shows powder residue,
    but no leading in the rifling once the bores carefully been pre-treated with a good moly soak down,
    (which I repeat on returning home with, each firearm, and after each cleaning after a hunting trip or trip to the local rifle range.)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    https://www.thoughtco.com/how-to-clean-a-gun-1927314


    http://www.engineersedge.com/lubrication/molybdenum_disulfide_characteristics.htm
    Moly exists as microscopic hexagonal crystal platelets Several molecules make up one of these platelets. A single molecule of Moly contains two sulfur atoms and one molybdenum atom. Moly platelets are attracted to metal surfaces. This attraction and the force of moving surfaces in contact, rubbing across one another provide the necessary thermochemical reaction necessary for Moly to form an overlapping protective coating like armor on the rifle bore surface, This protective armor coating has a number of properties that are very beneficial for your rifles bore surface


    [​IMG]

    The Moly platelets that make up the protective layers on your bore wall surfaces slide across one another very easily. Instead of metal rubbing against metal, you have Moly platelets moving across one another protecting and lubricating the bore to projectile surface contact

    This coating effectively fills in the microscopic pores that cover the surface of all micro bore imperfections making them smoother. By filling in the craters and pores Moly improves this seal
    [​IMG]
    This overlapping coating of Moly also gives protection against loading (perpendicular) forces. The high pressures that occur between these moving surfaces that tend to squeeze normal lubricants out.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    http://www.engineersedge.com/lubrication/molybdenum_disulfide_characteristics.htm

    If you only lube a few hundred cast bullets a year, Id say buy the commercial lube sticks as its not worth the effort to make up batches of lube
    , but if you load thousands of cast bullets, then yes its well worth the effort and you can improve on most commercial lube results, and save some cash making your own lube, but its just not worth the effort or cost of doing it for a few hundred bullets a year, but once your casting bullets in larger batches that easily fill several gallon plastic containers , several times a year ,its a different deal.
    If your adding your home brew lube to your bullet sizer, you can either make the effort to force it in in chunks or you can simply heat some to the point its a semi liquid and pour it in and let it cool.
    I usually find I don,t have the patients to wait while I melt and let it cool and find I just open the cylinder , force in chunks and use a hair drier to heat it up a bit to make cramming the chunks in a bit easier, the air pockets will be removed as the piston forcing the lube thru the sizer compressed the lube chunks , but Ive also found I can drop a muffin paper full of lube from my supply into a 6 quart aluminum pan I got for $1 at a yard sale that I place on my lead melter while it heats up, and that solves that problem.
    and youll be VERY familiar with the process of refilling a lube/sizer once your bullet count is measured in several gallon containers per session.
    use of a LUBE SIZER with the correct punch and sizing dies helps consistency and accuracy.
    50% bees wax
    20% moly axle grease
    30% alox works great
    then add one 6 oz pack of MOLY powder too each 5 lbs of lube mix, and stir into molten mix
    the use of this lube constantly forces a replacement film of moly into the bore surface as the existing moly is depleted though wear and heat

    http://www.midsouthshooterssupply.com/i ... 0157631412


    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/183655/lyman-super-moly-superfine-grade-moly-powder-6-oz

    [​IMG]
    btw if your going to cast bullets wait till the molds clean and hot then lightly spray the mold interior surface with moly spray, as it helps the cast bullets fall easily from the mold and makes casting process faster and more consistent. and spraying the cast bullets with moly spray after they are sized and lubed , and before they are loaded into the cases,certainly seems to reduce barrel fouling

    [​IMG]
    Ive used that lube in my 44 mag and 45/70, 450 marlin lever action carbines with cast bullets for decades , while I rarely exceed 1800-1900 fps I also get almost ZERO leading in the rifling and very good accuracy
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018

Share This Page