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View Full Version : Oh how pan lubing sucks, Let me count the ways!



Ironduke
03-27-2014, 04:17 PM
So I tried pan lubing some boolits last weekend. In a word: Bummer.

The 200 gr SWC .452 from a Lee 6 banger were a real chore. Especially when many times the wax would not stay in the lube groove when I pulled the bullet out of the wax. I tried pulling them out with pliers. I tried punching them out from the back side and from the front. i got a piece of tubing and cut the wax around each boolit so there was a wax ring around each one going into the sizer. Sitll maybe 30% of the boolits required me mashing lube into the groove by hand and ALL of the boolits had significant wax build up above the shoulder of the SWC, which I removed with my thumbnail for 400 boolits. That sucks.

Next I tried some 420 gr 458 cal FN from a custom mold. At least these boolits have square bottomed lube grooves. the lube seemed to stick in these better, but I found the best way to get them out of the wax was to cut them out with a piece of tubing. Well this basically coated the boolits with wax from top to bottom so the wax build up at the base of the sizing die was significant. plus I still had to clear the excess wax off the ogive on 200 boolits. That sucks.

I will be getting a lube sizer I guess. I like the economics of the Lee push through sizer, but considering the value I place on my time, I am not interested in spending all day lubing 600 bullets.

Beagle333
03-27-2014, 04:24 PM
In my opinion... pan lubing is for 30-40 boolits. With 600, you definitely justify getting a lubesizer!

Love Life
03-27-2014, 04:24 PM
Kake cutter...

Wayne S
03-27-2014, 04:44 PM
Since you use a Lee push through die,The simple and easy solution is to either make or buy some 45/45/10 tumble lube. As to the pan lubing, what worked for me on .430, .452 & .458's was to;
1. place the bullets on the sheet and put in the oven till you saw 110-120 *
2. remove and place where you are allowed to put your things by TOWMBO
3 pour in your lube
4. depending on your lube, when it solidifies either move and allow to become solid or put in the freezer for .5 hrs
5. For a DIY kooky kutter, for the 45's find a 45 colt case and cut the head off
For something for 45 ACP rounds where you may go through a hundred or so rounds you can't beat the T/L
but that's just my $.02

Shiloh
03-27-2014, 05:16 PM
Were the boolits as warm as the melted lube, did you use a cookie cutter??

Shiloh

geargnasher
03-27-2014, 05:36 PM
That's why they call it "Pain Lubing".

Gear

runfiverun
03-27-2014, 05:36 PM
or take them outta the lube sooner, like while it's still a bit warm and pliable.

I never got the hang of pan lubing ether, I did better just dip lubing and letting the sizer scrape the excess off.

labradigger1
03-27-2014, 05:49 PM
If i had to pan lube i would never load again.

ShooterAZ
03-27-2014, 05:54 PM
For me...ANY kind of lubing sucks, even with a lube sizer. Thank God for music or I would not get many done. I'd rather sort wheel weights.

Doc Highwall
03-27-2014, 06:04 PM
Here is a good video on pan lubing maybe you can get something out of it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBDFO0ftCQc

beagle
03-27-2014, 07:11 PM
That's why so many lubricator/sizers are sold. Usually the first big tool a caster adds. I know it was for me./beagle

Digital Dan
03-27-2014, 07:16 PM
I might buy a lubrisizer one of these days, but not because I have a problem with pan lubing. First couple of times were learning experiences but I did learn.

MT Chambers
03-27-2014, 07:19 PM
Get a Star and stop doinking around or you'll end up hating making your own bullets.

gwpercle
03-27-2014, 07:55 PM
For some reason I can make a mess doing just about anything. I started out pan lubeing and after getting melted lube on the table, my pants, shirt, floor , the cat and everything else I touched, I could no longer put up with it . I went out, bought a Lyman 450 lube/sizer...one stroke and I had a gas check seated, sized and lubed boolit ! Amazing ! No mess, no fuss...That was the best money I ever spent, I love that lube/sizer. I just don't have the temperament for pan lubeing...yeah, total agreement...it sucks!
Gary

goodsteel
03-27-2014, 08:00 PM
For me...ANY kind of lubing sucks, even with a lube sizer. Thank God for music or I would not get many done. I'd rather sort wheel weights.

You don't own a Star. Do you.
LOL!

CastingFool
03-27-2014, 08:13 PM
I use Emmert's lube on my cast maxiballs. I read somewhere it was good on low pressure centerfire ammo. I don't know for sure if the 45LC would be considered low pressure but I ended up pan lubing my Lee 452-255 SWC with emmert's. I don't seem to have any problems, and I normally lube 50 at one time. I let the pan cool on top of the stove. I push slightly to break the seal, then push the boolit back and forth a couple of times before pushing it out completely. I don't preheat the boolits, they are at room temp. The lube starts out in a cottage cheese tub, takes 3 mins on high in the microwave to melt completely. Once I lube one batch and push the boolits out, the "cake" is still in one piece (most of the time) and I simply put more boolits in the empty holes. then I put the pan on the stove, turn it on low, until the Emmerts is almost melted (by that time all the boolits have melted lube around them, and I shut the gas off, and let the pan cool. The Emmert's does seem to work on my 45LC, as I don't seem to get any leading.

L Ross
03-27-2014, 08:19 PM
Ironduke, I don't find pan lubing difficult at all. For my method see my post in trucker76's thread on Casting 44 Mag.
For the record I also own a Lyman 45, a 450, and 3 Stars, I think. Anything worth doing is worth doing to excess.

Duke

dverna
03-27-2014, 09:00 PM
Ironduke, I don't find pan lubing difficult at all. For my method see my post in trucker76's thread on Casting 44 Mag.
For the record I also own a Lyman 45, a 450, and 3 Stars, I think. Anything worth doing is worth doing to excess.

Duke

Exactly!!!

I started with a Star. I was really lucky to have a mentor who told me to just buy the best and never look back. Have added two Lyman 45's for some specialty stuff I am working on. A Star is not the right tool for small test runs. Once you have the lube and size determined, it is the only way to go.

Your other option is coating with Hi-Tek or Powder - but none of them can top the productivity of a using a Star. Coatings offer other benefits. No smoke, better if using a bullet feeder, and pretty colors. Coatings are also a good choice for carry ammo as there is no danger of lube killing the powder/primer under high heat storage conditions.

Don Verna

Even a klutz like me can lube and size 1000 bullets an hour on a Star.

mac60
03-27-2014, 10:23 PM
That's why they call it "Pain Lubing".

Gear

Having felt the pain - I wouldn't pan lube another boolit if it hare lipped Santa Claus.

blikseme300
03-27-2014, 10:35 PM
Get a Star and stop doinking around or you'll end up hating making your own bullets.

+1 I tried Pain Lubing and and after a little thinking bit the boolit, pun intended, and got a Star. Making good boolits is now easy and fast. Price is what you pay, value is what you get. Get a Star, you'll be glad you did.

Any Cal.
03-27-2014, 10:44 PM
Don't know why the vitriol. You may not get it the first go around, but it isn't difficult in the least. I can do 400+/hr pan lubing, and the tools needed are almost free. I still pan lube the calibers I haven't purchased sizing dies for. Many have no issues at all with it. Best if all, the equipment to do so cost less than a buck! This makes me think I need to build a video for casters who would like to learn something useful.

.22-10-45
03-28-2014, 01:47 AM
Most of my shooting is with calibers designed for lead, from .255 Jeffery up thru .577 Snider. Even though I do own a very nice Starr, Ideal No. 1, 45, 450 & Saeco lube sizers, for these calibers pan-lubing is my prefered method. My softer consistancy home-brewed beeswax based lubes probably help as well. I almost every case, I only need to push bullets out of cake base first & grooves are filled. If using a gas-check, pushing out by base helps fill space in front of check.

jmort
03-28-2014, 02:13 AM
"Kake cutter... "


Yes indeed. Simple process and great solution for some of us.

'74 sharps
03-28-2014, 06:28 AM
Tumble lube works well and there is no additional equipment to buy.

rhead
03-28-2014, 07:02 AM
It is like paper patching or most other motor skills. Some people's fingers will pick it up quicker than others. use the methos that works for you.

ohiomadman
03-28-2014, 07:55 AM
I tumble lubed with alox for a while but didn`t like the lube on the end of my boolits.

Then I tried pan lubing and didn`t like that. I now use a Q-tip. I take most of the cotton off the

end, heat my alox up a little bit, pore some in a bottle cap, dip the Q-tip in and swirle it around

boolit. Set the boolit on wax paper to dry. Works great and not too messy.

dudel
03-28-2014, 09:40 AM
I use the Lee push through sizers. If I'm not in a rush, I'll give them a coat of LLA (50/50 with mineral spirits). They dry quicker and are less sticky. If I'm in a real rush, I give them a spritz of Hornady One-Shot. That dries in a minute, and I'm ready to size.

161
03-28-2014, 10:01 AM
I avoided pan lubing for a long time, used LLA on everything. I shoot the Lee 240 TL in the .44 for plinking and the Lee 310 for serious work. The 310 shot fine with LLA but I thought I would try pan lubing them just cause. I kinda enjoy it, keep in mind I don't want to pan lube every 358 WC I shoot. I save the high volume stuff for 45/45/10 TL. But 100-200 big boys now and then I think pan lubing is kinda fun.

Ironduke
03-28-2014, 10:21 AM
Well i'm glad It's not just me. I won't get $400 past the wife for a star and dies. I mights can swing a Lyman 450.

I like the economics of pan lubing as far as equipment cost, but my labor is worth something too. melting and cooling several pans of lubed bullets is a beating. I can see it, and I'll use the method if I am cranking up some test loads. But for cranking out shooting quantities of bullets, it's a no-go at this station.

weasel 21
03-28-2014, 10:25 AM
I really like pan lubing using those silicone pans.

Dale53
03-28-2014, 11:13 AM
Some few years ago, I wrote an article on pan lubing for the Single Shot Rifle Journal- "Pan lubing, a piece of cake". The key is the particular lube you use - some lubes won't stay on the bullet when pan lubing, some won't release, and on and on. Use a proper lube for the job and it is, truly, a piece of cake. Emmert's is an excellent lube for Black Powder Cartridge rifles and pistols and is the lube of choice for many when using precision Schuetzen rifles with smokeless. It works just fine for all smokeless pistols, too:

http://www.castpics.net/subsite2/HowTo/Dale_Lube.pdf

These are specific directions and if you follow them as written, it should remove the pain from pan lubing. I have a Star that does my volume pistol loading as well as an RCBS lube/sizer for specialty bullets. However, pan lubing still has a place for those on a limited budget and all black powder rifles, etc.

FWIW
Dale53

The Real Doc Holliday
03-28-2014, 12:04 PM
I pan lube all of my boolits and I cast a couple thousand at a time...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-9Ii3o1Tn4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47QQJixrSr4


Doc

Bullshop Junior
03-28-2014, 12:20 PM
I've tried pan lubing a couple rims. It blows. Get a RCBS LAM or a LAM2. You wont regret it.

mdi
03-28-2014, 12:47 PM
Well, nobody is forcing you to pan lube. Common sense and patience goes a looooong way when working with bullets, wax and stuff. There's several ways to shoot cast bullets, some without wax bases lubes. Powder coating is hot right now and might be an option.

I don't have a lubersizer and have no intension on getting one. Been casting, lubing, and shooting boolits for mebbe 18 years and pan lube a lot of bullets. I don't have any problems with lube coming out of the groove (I determined which lube sticks the best and the right temperature to remove bullets from the cake). I have been using a lube that does not lend itself to "punching out" bullets from the cake so I made some cake cutters for removing bullets. I normally do 150-200 at a time and never do 500-600 unproven anything; bullets, lube, loads, etc.

I'm sure a lot of replies will appear that have very good hints on how to pan lube and some that will tell you to ferget pan lubing and only use the same lube/size equipment and methods they use. Some you may be able to use, some will be worthless to you, but without common sense and patience, nuttin' is gonna work...:wink:

gwpercle
03-28-2014, 01:27 PM
I tumble lubed with alox for a while but didn`t like the lube on the end of my boolits.

Then I tried pan lubing and didn`t like that. I now use a Q-tip. I take most of the cotton off the

end, heat my alox up a little bit, pore some in a bottle cap, dip the Q-tip in and swirle it around

boolit. Set the boolit on wax paper to dry. Works great and not too messy.
I vote we call this method " swab lubeing" . Q-tip = cotton swab. Sailor's would like it.
Sailors? we could call it "Naval lubeing" , naw ....that conjurs up a mental picture of someone greasing his belly button!

Any Cal.
03-28-2014, 01:53 PM
Another vid on pan lubing. Use two pans and 400+/hr isn't difficult. Pan lubing definitely has its place once you learn how.


http://youtu.be/bOKqgOUB_kA

paul edward
03-28-2014, 05:17 PM
When I first began casting and money was tight, pan lubing worked fine. At the time, pan lubing was fast enough to keep up with my 2 single cavity molds. I used disposable pie pans. One small extravagance was a .430 kake cutter. I was able to make one for .312 out of a cartridge case with a larger hole drilled through the head. Cutters for most sizes can easily be made from cartridge cases.

trapper9260
03-29-2014, 09:04 AM
I am going to pan lube for my muzzle loader for some mini and i find this all helpful.I do use a 450 sizer and that is all I did my with for rifle and handgun. But i want to use some mini for my BP so I got the what to use to make it I just need to do now is get the rest of what is needed and also the pan to do it in now.Thank you for all that posted on it.

hendere
03-29-2014, 10:38 AM
I've been pan lubing for a year and a half or so, made my own cake cutters out of brass in the same caliber. I usually do about 200 a week. I've tweaked the process to suit me over time, the biggest thing seems to be to keep the timing and temperature at just the right spot and everything goes pretty smooth. I lube after after sizing with Lee sizers. The only things I don't like are the time involved with setting up and tearing down. You can't really stop in the middle of it, pretty much an all or nothing thing. It never seems to be as clean of a process as I would like. I'm far from a clean freak but I do end up with wax on the noses and bases and bench no matter what. The approach of letting the lube harden and then pushing out the bullets never worked for me. Money is an issue, and I've noticed enough posts asking about using lube sizers and how to keep the lube from getting on the bases and noses to kind of scare me away from spending the money on a lubesizer and then a new twenty or thirty bucks for each size then punches....

UNTIL NOW. I finally picked up a used 450 for a good price and then managed to find a couple of sizers for cheap. I can't believe how easy it is. I don't want to be one of these people trying something once and then acting like I'm an expert, but the first couple of batches I've done were WAY easy. The adjustments to keep the lube in place so far have been easy to figure out and the only temperature control I needed was to put a lightbulb next to it for a while. If I don't run into unforseen problems in the near future I don't see myself doing pan lube unless I have to.

sthwestvictoria
03-29-2014, 05:09 PM
I don't load for pistol, rifle only and I panlube. For low velocity pistol where you are shooting a lot I think pan lubing could be a pain, I think this is where people use tumble lube with plain alox or 45/45/10.

For my pan lubing i use bee wax/vaseline/lanolin/crayon. I tried the cake-cutter method as set out here:
http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?119056-So-you-can-t-afford-one

but too much smearing and mess. I now use the silicone bake tray method and just as the lube/bullet cake is cooling to a plastic but fairly firm temperature I pop it out of the silicone mold and push the bullets out backwards with finger pressure - beautiful:
100868

Green Frog
03-29-2014, 08:37 PM
Well, I was a non-believer in the process of pan lubing until I actually had it taught to me in person by Dale53 in his very own kitchen! He's right... it does work and work well. While I don't do this technique for long runs of small bullets, it is my method of choice for large (50+ cal) bullets and Minie balls I shoot unsized with black powder. A lot depends on your choice of lube... I use Emmert's so I can confirm that one works well, but it's not the only one, it just happens to be the one I use. JMHO based on personal experience, YMMV.

Froggie

A pause for the COZ
03-29-2014, 08:49 PM
No one said pan lubing was fun... But after you figure it out and come up with a useful process. Its not so bad.
I have a star and its fine when I need to hammer out some volume. But if only doing a hundred or so at a time. Panning is actually faster.
Right now I am doing 223 and 8mm Mauser.
Kake cutter for 223 is easy. Resize a 243 case with out the expander gives just about the right size for 223 and gives you a easy place to add the gas check.
Ofcourse you need to drill out the primer pocket for your choice of plunger.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d66/Kelly2215/100_8911_zpsa5f12a69.jpg

161
03-29-2014, 09:25 PM
I don't load for pistol, rifle only and I panlube. For low velocity pistol where you are shooting a lot I think pan lubing could be a pain, I think this is where people use tumble lube with plain alox or 45/45/10.

For my pan lubing i use bee wax/vaseline/lanolin/crayon. I tried the cake-cutter method as set out here:
http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?119056-So-you-can-t-afford-one

but too much smearing and mess. I now use the silicone bake tray method and just as the lube/bullet cake is cooling to a plastic but fairly firm temperature I pop it out of the silicone mold and push the bullets out backwards with finger pressure - beautiful:
100868

Where do you find lanolin??

jmort
03-29-2014, 09:39 PM
Randy Rat vendor/sponsor here or Amazon or Ebay or Google