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  • Lube

    This weekend I am going to start to cast230 Gr. 45 bullets.
    I have my lead recipe figured out and am going to cast a batch of 100 to try out. Can anyone give me a quick education on Lube? What works, what doesn't? Home brew vs. purchased.

  • #2
    What kind of lube are you considering? Liquid or one of the more solid types?
    "The fact that guns can kill another human being is the whole point. That\'s why they are so darn good at deterring violent criminals". Ann Coulter


    • #3
      For slow moving cast bullets I use Lee liquid alox cut about 50/50 with mineral spirits. Put the alox bottle in hot water for a few minutes then shake it up real good. I use an old Cool Whip container and swirl everything around. Run them through the sizer and back in for another coat using about half as much product the second time. It ends up being a very thin coat kind of golden brown transparent tint. I then place them on wax paper and let them dry overnight. Only downside is they smoke more than hard wax lube. Maybe a problem at an indoor range but no issues outside.
      Endeavor to persevere.

      Call sign: Limp Wrist


      • #4
        If you want a liquid lube the 45/45/10 formula for Alox is about the best I have found. You an make it yourself, or buy it ready made. Formula is 45% liquid alox, 45% melted Johnson's Paste Wax , and 10% mineral spirits. White Label Lube's Xlox is the same thing, and you don't have mix/make it.
        "The fact that guns can kill another human being is the whole point. That\'s why they are so darn good at deterring violent criminals". Ann Coulter


        • #5
          Sorry to take so long, gone for work for a couple of days. I looked at Youtube and not sure if I learned anything or just developed opinions. The solid looked to be a more positive process (Solid being melt soak harden cutout) I also read quite a bit on sizer/luber. There are more opinions out there to not size than to size. What are the thoughts on that? I cast 35 Lbs. of ingots up last week and will start casting bullets this week. My recipe was 1 pound tin, 19 Lbs. Lead 4 oz antimony. I was very please with the results, but remember that the results have not been proven yet. I intend to cast 100 bullets and If I am happy with the finished size, was going to lube and shoot. If I am not happy with the size than I will build a sizer and re-qualify the bullets.

          I am a machinist with access to CNC mills and wire burn machines.

          I'll let you know how this works out. I have 4 Pistols to reload for and am hoping the same bullet works for all. I slugged them a couple of weeks ago and they are close to the same with one being .0008 different. Less than a thousandth.


          • #6
            Except for a couple of Lee molds that are designed for liquid lube, I use a Lyman 450 lube sizer with heater, and one of White Label's medium hard lubes.
            "The fact that guns can kill another human being is the whole point. That\'s why they are so darn good at deterring violent criminals". Ann Coulter


            • #7
              Cast boolit lubes are a whole word in themselves. There are about 7.49 million recipes that the users swear by. For my low pressure 45 ACP bullets I often use 45-45-10, dip lubed. I didn't like the alox on the noses of my tumble lubed bullets so I started dip lubing. Works quite well on T/L and traditional lube groove bullets. I have a super simple recipe I use on my faster stuff; 3-1, by volume, of 2 cycle motor oil and bees wax. But there's a ton of info at castboolits,, just scroll down to "Lubes" sub forum. Also a very good read about lubes here;, chapter 5...
              I\'ve learned to stand on my own two knees...


              • #8
                I use Juniors 4-1-1 but I use a bit more beeswax. 4 1/2 parts Beeswax or church candles, 1 part Automatic Transmission fluid and 1 part Mystic gun grease. Use a piece of 1/4" galvanised mesh, wrapped around a stick, as a whisk to break up grease gobs in the lube as you initially blend it. Be careful it will scorch or even combust if you get the melt too hot. This is a semi hard lube. I've pushed it over 1600 FPS in rifles with no leading. Great pistol lube, especially for revolvers. I cut bullets out of a cake pan with a fired case with the head cut off. Bullets pop right into the hand I'm cutting with. Then I size through a Lee sizer. For gas checked bullets I gas check and crimp the check in the sizer before lubing. After I cut the bullets out I just drop another bullet in the cut out hole and remelt the lube. Instant relube!

                Right now I'm drifting toward powder coating. RD
                Every once in a while in life we need a policeman, a lawyer, a doctor and a preacher. We need a farmer three times a day, every day.

                Et Canis Manducare Canis Mundi


                • #9
                  I've used the NRA formula (50/50 alox/beeswax) and it a good one but a bit messy and I think stinky. I've also used Lyman's Orange Magic and LBT Blue (softer version) and that all worked just fine in rifle and handgun loads.

                  I recently posted about the saga of the 220 gr. cast bullet and the lube for that particular series was Magic Orange. I just switched out to the NRA formula to see if that might make a difference.

                  Apparently the OP plans to use cast in handgun and wonders if sizing is necessary? Yes and no. Depends on the bullet as it comes from the mold, the groove diameter of the firearm, and in the case of a revolver, the throats on each cylinder hole. What you have to consider is, does my mold cast a perfectly round bullet in the diameter I want? Most molds I've used do not cast perfectly round bullets. Measure a few and generally one side is slightly fatter than the other. Sizing cures that problem. One my post about the 220 gr. bullet most bullets were .311" on one side and .312" on the other. I sized the .310" and .311" to see which worked best. It was the ones sized .310"

                  Where people run into problems is when they try to size too much. Take a .45 caliber bullet that cast out to .457" down to load in a Colt .45 round and you've ruined a perfectly good bullet that won't shoot worth spit.

                  What has worked for me for 9MM semis is a bullet sized to .357 to .358", the latter if a seated bullet will fit properly in the chamber. (They do in mine) For revolvers, a bullet sized .359" works quite well in .38 Spl. and .357 Mag. For the .44 Spl./.44 Mag. .432 works nicely. For .45 ACP .452 has worked reasonably well.

                  If you're planning to do a lot of cast bullet shooting, the investment in a luber/sizer is a good one. Lyman and RCBS make good ones and they can use each other's dies interchangeably.
                  Paul B.


                  • #10
                    Don't size the bullets. Unsized bullets are often more accurate. Test and see what you find.
                    Use of tumble lube (LLA or 45/45/10) is the way to go.
                    Almost everyone uses too much LLA. If the bullets have ANY amber/brown appearance, you used too much. LLA isn't really a lube as much as a protective coating. A little goes a long way.
                    For me, I place 200-500 cast bullets in a glass casserole dish, place all bullets on their side, squirt a little "z" on the bullets and then shuffle and roll them around for 30-60 seconds. Then I inspect that they all have a wet/shiny appearance and, if so, drop them on aluminum foil or wax paper. By the next day they are dry and not sticky/tacky.
                    I have not used 45/45/10, since I haven't cast any bullets in about 10 years.
                    BeforeLee introduce LLA and tumble lubing, I pan lubed my pistol bullets.