View Full Version : Why that lube??
06-08-2008, 05:52 PM
I am curious, beeing a relative noob to boolits in general, what is the reasoning behind a particular lube. I understand that some type of lube is necessary, but why do you like the lube you use?
Is it linked to the purpose, the climate in which you are shooting, or what?
I realize this might be a Ford vs. Chevy thing, and if that's all it is, enough said. But if there is more to it, I would like to know.
06-08-2008, 06:40 PM
Lubes do a lot of things, not just lubricate. My view is that they are important in sealing gasses too. This is in large part art, and a load may work great for someone with one lube, but not with another. A load may work great for you through one barrel, but not through another barrel.
For low velocity, just about anything, or even nothing, works fine. Above 900 fps, things get demanding. Things get really demanding above 1400 fps.
Do you mind lots of smoke? At lower pressures, the NRA formula tends to smoke a lot. Indoor during the winter, this may be a problem.
Some formulas are hard, which takes some heat on the sizer/luber. A hard lube tends to stick better in the bullet grooves, which is better for rough handling, or shipping. Harder lubes work better during hotter weather.
06-08-2008, 07:22 PM
Lube does just that lubricates the bore.There is no way a ring of wax is going to seal a bore with in excess of 10,000 PSI. The base of the bullet is upset by the rapid pressure increase of the powder charge burning.This is why you need to tailor your alloy hardness to the operating pressure of the cartridge.Not enough pressure and the base of the bullet does not seal the bore and hot gasses blow past the bullet causing streak leading down the bore,too soft an alloy with and you get shear leading in the begining of the bore caused by lead shearing from the bullet when engaging the rifling as it starts to twist. This info was in an excellent article about 20 years ago in Gun Week,my copy has since been lost. I was a comercial bullet caster for 12 yeard and did a lot of research.
06-09-2008, 04:07 AM
I use JPW as a lube for all of my handgun boolits. I know it is most likely not the best lube out there, but it works well for my needs. Depending on the Velocity that I shoot them, determines how many coats of JPW they get. For 38 special loads I only coat them once, for my 45 LC loads I give them 3 coats. The main reason I use JPW is that I may toss a box of shells in the truck or in the cab of the tractor, and they do not get used up for months. The summers are hot here in MO, and there is nothing worse than having your lube melt and run down into your powder.
When properly applied and allowed to dry, JPW forms a hard coat on the boolit that won't melt under normal summer conditions. When loaded, it reminds me of the hard waxy lube on 22 LR's, but only a bit tougher. JPW seems to hold up well to the heat and friction of shooting also. I have recovered some of my boolits that still had a minute amount of lube on them. The positive or negative depending on how you look at it is that with JPW you have to tumble lube. This is considerably more time consuming than a lube sizer would be, but I think tumble lubing gives you a better overall coat of lube. Just my 2 cents worth.
Best Wishes from the Boer Ranch
06-09-2008, 05:32 AM
A particular lube is used for different reasons.
1. One lube is used because it is fast.
2. The same lube is used when I am lazy.
3. The same lube is used when I want to shoot cheap.
4. The same lube is used to augment other lubes.
5. Then I leave that lube when I want things to work better. These type lubes must be applied by hand, panned, or lubricised.
Different bullet designs carry different amounts of lube. Bullets will be different hardness's. Your gun's dynamics will be different. What geographic region you live in will be different temperatures that alters what lube works best for you in that region.
So even for the same application, you can have different lubes that perform more accurately than another lube in the same pressure range. But generally you can find one lube that performs across an entire range well enough to get you by, like say for handguns.
I would say that for a guy just starting out that NRA 50 /50 has as wide an error proof application as most lubes and will get you started. But it can get very soft in hot weather or storage conditions.
I am down to four lube applicators at this time as these four lubes handle what I am doing.
06-09-2008, 05:45 AM
I have never believed that lube is a "seal" either. If the lead can't seal, how can wax or grease? Think of an engine with piston rings. They need lube to keep them from wearing and galling the cylinder walls but the rings do the actual sealing.
There is no way wax is going to hold back 40 to 50,000# of gas jets.
It does nothing more then lube the sides of the boolit to keep lead from wearing off in the bore. As long as the lube doesn't melt into the powder of a loaded round in the heat, it is good. Lube so hard it breaks out of grooves is bad.
One thing some don't understand is that even very hard lube can have a very low melting point. What counts is what the lube is made from, not the hardness.
Lube that sends clouds of stinky smoke out of the bore is BURNING and is losing it's lube qualities plus laying down fouling for boolits to run over. I don't know anyone here that would dump wood ashes down their bores so why put burned lube ash in them? All of you know my opinion of Alox! [smilie=1:
Lube should also keep powder fouling soft so the next boolit can push it out so the bore stays in the same condition for many shots. Yes, it makes the rest of the gun dirty but it is the bore that is important. Those that search for a lube to keep the outside of the gun cleaner are losing the lube function. Lube that works will get EVERYWHERE!
I have to consider that something like JPW might just be ideal. It lubes, doesn't burn off and also should keep the gun cleaner. After all, .22's have been working for many years with a wax coating. I have never seen a leaded .22!
Why does LLA lead my bores so bad? Some say because my boolits are too fast--well, I don't shoot 700 fps, my guns are for hunting. Could it be that the **** is burning more when pressure goes up? Or is it that LLA can't handle the additional fouling more powder makes? Dry fouling will remove lead from boolits as well as sandpaper.
06-09-2008, 06:07 AM
44man, typical 22LR wax builds up around the case mouth and gets very, very hard over time. When known accuracy fails, then you know concrete has formed and it's time for a jack hammer cleaning. Easy to see the rings in a revolter cylinder. For a rifle a good idea is to use an intentionally long case with sharp neck to act as a razor blade every once in a while. Better yet, just clean the gun every once in a while. ... felix
06-09-2008, 06:09 AM
I use JPW as a lube for all of my handgun boolits.
The positive or negative depending on how you look at it is that with JPW you have to tumble lube. This is considerably more time consuming than a lube sizer would be, but I think tumble lubing gives you a better overall coat of lube. Just my 2 cents worth. Joe
The most accurate load I got out of my M&P 9mm was the Lee 124 gr. RN lubed with JPW. I liked the fact that the JPW dries hard and isn't sticky like LLA. But, the bore on that M&P leaded badly. Thinking back, the pistol was fairly new and the bore from the factory seemed pretty rough to me. I need to experiment more with the JPW in my CZ Compact and maybe my 1911 .45's.
I like tumble lubing with LLA and lubing with JPW is more time consuming. I still think I'd rather do either than mess with a lubesizer. I had one 35-40 years ago and I remember it being pretty darned slow compared to the Lee push through sizing die and LLA and certainly more "finicky" and messy. But, maybe I didn't know how to operate it properly and there was no castboolit group to help me out.
06-09-2008, 06:25 AM
Thanks for the feedback guys....
I have a Star, and it will lube bullets FAST!!! I am using the chunk of NRA lube that came in the box with it, and it works great. No heater needed and shoots well. It is a little smokey, but I don't mind.
It sounds like that for long term storage of loaded ammo, or use in a warm environment, a hard lube would be better.
Sounds like I will have to go ahead and buy that heater after all.
Get some 2500 plus from lar,it works.Carnuba red for very hot weather.With those 2 you will have accurate loads and won't need anything else.
06-09-2008, 06:43 AM
I am using LARS REd Carnauba for everything and it seems to work as well as the NRA 50/50 Alox/Beeswax. It DOES require a heater but the advantage is that it has a higher melting point. In hot weather that can be a big plus. It has another feature that I like, is that after it "sets up" it is not sticky like the NRA Formula.
Keep in mind that it isn't leading you should worry about (most ANY lube will stop leading). The most important function is to shoot accurately. There are many lubes that will stop leading but cause wild shooting. The NRA Formula allows you to shoot accurately if the rest of the load is correct. Red Carnauba has much of the same characteristics as the NRA formula but the plus is as stated above, not sticky after setting and has a higher melting temperature.
06-09-2008, 08:50 AM
Felix, I have never tried wax and as you know I only use your lube or Lar's carnauba Red and will never change.
No way I will use anything else except for plinking stuff that is shot slow and at close range.
I did find a use for LLA! :mrgreen: Some guy has me load for a .38 so I use it on them. He can't shoot for beans so I get rid of the alox, he doesn't know the difference! :drinks:
Yeah, I cheat too when I don't make any money for all the work.
06-09-2008, 12:42 PM
I choose my lube based on color and smell. :)
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