View Full Version : Lee push through sizer - avoiding stuck boolits

08-08-2008, 09:04 AM
I've just acquired three Lee push through dies in .308, .427, and .243 in order to size my boolits for my first foray into paper patching. Being that I'm not going to be using the liquid earwax supplied by Lee. What do you guys use to lube the boolits to avoid getting them stuck in the die?

My first thought was Imperial sizing wax or a really light film of STP oil treatment.

Your thoughts and ideas are greatly appreciated.

Oh, and do the rest of you guys get the same responses when you mention paper patching. Even with more conventional gun guys, I get a look and reaction like I was relating a story about seeing Big Foot or a UFO or something. Never mind that it's been around forever.


08-08-2008, 09:16 AM
I've used the Lee sizers both with and without lube. Never stuck a boolit. The last boolit always remains in the die unless you come up with a short rod or something to drive it out. I think the boolits come out nicer looking if you use a lube of some sort. Even WD-40 or PAM cooking spray would probably work.

As for the paper patching- Yes, I get the same look when I talk about most anything that doesn't involve whatever is in the latest issue of G&A, ST or American Handgunner. Just realize the gun writers have to appeal to the masses to put bread on their tables. Places like this are where the technical minded more adavanced shooters hang out, and I don't mean that to sound snobbish at all. It's just that the vast majority of shooters are more concerned about looks, volume and the "cool factor" than most of us. Don't let it get to you. Computer geeks, art history majors, poets and wine afficianados probably get the same feeling.

08-08-2008, 09:22 AM
I can understand that you do not want any lube on your boolits when putting on the paper. How about some of that spray case lube that will wash off with water? Then you could just wash the boolits in a batch. Add a little soap.
STP is hard to clean off. Anything that will clean up with soap and water would be the way to go.
In fact, try dish soap but be sure to wash the die out when done.

08-08-2008, 09:32 AM
Water will work, just evaporates fast in the dry air we have, add a drop of dish soap and it will even be better.
I use a lot of LLA but not for the first sizing operation as it is just too nasty, takes several scrubings to get it off your dands.STP is so slick you will be dropping a lot of boolits as you handle them.

08-08-2008, 09:37 AM
You can try JPW or a spray on Canuba wax if you can find one easily available. Both will dry to a hard shell, and will leave no sticky residue to contend with like the snot in a bottle that Lee sends you with each sizer. I heard on of the other fellas here talking about using the spray on canuba, but I don't know where he got it. JPW can be ordered from Ace dot com.

Best wishes from the Boer Ranch,


Larry Gibson
08-08-2008, 10:50 AM
A very, very light coat of spray case sizer (I use Dillons) works wonders when sizing bullets in Lee sizers. A quick wash with Coleman fuel or hot water with a dab of dish washing soap takes it right off. Bullets most often dry over night or a hair dryer does a quick job of it. I only bother cleaning it off when PPing. For regular bullets that will be lubed I don't bother.

As to the looks, some things are best not mentioned in public..........

Larry Gibson

08-08-2008, 01:40 PM
Hornady One Shot will work just fine, and no clean up needed.


08-08-2008, 01:50 PM
I size .458/.459 to .4515 with no lube. Never have stuck one.

08-08-2008, 02:25 PM
We have had some threads about folks not using lube IN A GUN- with light loads. And having no leading.

Well, I see this as a similar issue. You are moving a lead slug through a smoothbore die that has maybe 3/4" of sizing length- let's say a 3/4" 'bore' at a speed of what, 1 foot per second? Maybe?

I would agree, no lube is needed. I do use lube, normally speaking, but then I figure it will help with the ultimate lubing of the bullet. I don't do it for the sizing operation's sake.

08-08-2008, 02:33 PM
Sizing unlubed boolits will jam 'em really tightly in the die if they're hard and much oversized. I broke my loading bench that way, and spent a lot of time and effort hammering stuck boolits out. (That's not unique to Lee sizers, I've had a Lyman #45 with a #457122 stuck in it for years.) To prevent that, I either lube them with LLA (which works GREAT!) or with Murphy's Oil Soap, which rinses right off when I want to oven heat treat and then lube.

08-08-2008, 02:40 PM
I use Lee push thru sizers almost exclusively now . I just get three culls fomr one batch of boolits and leavethem in the case whenim done i run them through and they push out the last ones inthe tube then the first ones to get sized intrhe next group push out the culls
I use the lee Liquid a lot now too. When im not using the lee LA I pan lube I use the LLA to also add to any commercial cast bullets I buy now and it has increased accuracy in all tehones I have tried

Wayne Smith
08-08-2008, 02:47 PM
Ricochet, pull the die and drop it in your lead pot next time you have it up to temp. The die will float and the boolit will melt. Viola! No stuck boolit.

08-08-2008, 03:22 PM
I have used the Lee case sizing lube to lube boolits for the push through die.
Just a little bit on a cleaning patch wiped over the outside of every second or third boolit seems to do the trick.
It wipes off easily and I believe that it is water soluable.


08-08-2008, 05:07 PM
I like a little bit of Dawn Dish Soap.
Real easy to wash off prior to wrapping.

08-08-2008, 06:33 PM
Hornady One Shot will work just fine, and no clean up needed.Richard

This works great for me as well. Plus, I use it on my Hornady LNL press and powder measure, too. It takes very little on your bullets. One can has lasted me for a very long time.


08-08-2008, 07:38 PM
Ricochet, pull the die and drop it in your lead pot next time you have it up to temp. The die will float and the boolit will melt. Viola! No stuck boolit.
I figured that out eventually and have done it with the Lee dies. Guess I need to do it with the Lyman 45.

08-08-2008, 07:58 PM
For bullets that I will lube (including those with gas checks) that I shoot without paper patch, I use LLA or JPW. For bullets that will be paper patched I like a soap and water solution, then rince it off after sizing with hot water and let dry before paper patching. For lubing when sizing - after - paper patching, I have used Lee case sizing lube on the paper, let dry before sizing. Also can use dry silicone spray or JPW, let dry before sizing. Hope this helps. Safeshot

08-08-2008, 08:43 PM
Yes, very handy bullet sizers.
With unlubed, bare bullets that go thru the Lee sizer I use the same dense foam pad I use for bullet swaging and case sizing. Has a very light load of sizing lube on it. Just roll the bullets lightly on the pad.

In setting up the Lee sizer die I've found if you raise the bullet base punch into the full up position then screw the die down until it makes contact then back up about 1/4 turn.... it will very nearly push each bullet all the way thru. If the last one hangs up a little just tap on palm or push out with pencil or wood dowel. Doesn't take much force at all if the die and base punch are set up right.

As far as getting PP bullets sqweaky clean for paper patching??? Never heard of that necessity. Seems most experienced and/or successful paper patchers fear the paper clinging to the bullet after it leaves the barrel and causing errant flight. Some including Matthews I think says the same thing and says... don't worry about a light film of lube on the bullet as it may help prevent paper sticking during flight. So, I just leave the light coat of lube on the bullet and patch away. If you don't use too much when sizing there won't be much left on the bullet anyway. If you use too much lube just wipe excess off with a paper towel.

08-09-2008, 09:22 AM
Another one for the Lee Case Sizing Lube. A little dab on my fingers and roll the boolit to get a light film on it. There is not enough on it to affect a paper patch. The stuff is suposed to be water soluable anyway. If I am going to use LLA I lube before sizing and sometimes again after sizing.

I get the same reaction to paper patching as you. I am glad to have this forum, at least we all know that we are to say the least a little DIFFERENT. I am fortunate to have a buddy that tinkers with cast and paper patching.


08-09-2008, 10:13 AM
When batch sizing rifle cases, I dilute Lee Case Sizing lube 10/1 with water. Then I dip the cases (I use a french fryer basket) AFTER DEPRIMING and pour them out on a newspaper to dry overnight. The lube dries to a wax on the case. It does NOT hurt anything inside and has the very real benefit of eliminating "drag" of the expander stem when full length sizing.

The same principles work when using the same mix to lube bullets before sizing. I let them dry over night then they push through with little effort. I do NOT bother removing the slight coating of wax. It is completely water soluble and can be removed very easily with a damp cloth (if you think you must)...

Works for me...


08-09-2008, 01:50 PM
I never tried paper patch and it is good to hear a little lube is good. Who knows, I might try it someday.

08-09-2008, 06:26 PM
I have commonly gotten the "paper-patching.....what the heck is that ???" look and reaction from lots of people. Some even have looked at me as if they thought I was crazy. However, since I have been getting such good results with PPing recently.....the guys at the range are now acting as if they are interested....instead of disdainful. Nothing like "seeing is believing".....is there ?

I love it when I get the last laugh...........

08-10-2008, 11:07 AM
Thanks for all the great ideas. I think I'll give the liquid dish soap a try. I know it's slick and it's for sure water soluble.

I figured we were getting close to being visited by a mental health worker if we've been talking in public about wrapping paper around boolits you've been making in our garage from used tire weights.

It sure is great to have this place for us weirdos to hang out. :-D


08-12-2008, 02:35 PM
Squeezed some 311284s down from .311 to .308 with some Dawn. Worked great. My first experience with these Lee push-throughs. Pretty slick little unit and the bands didn't even deform enough to speak of.


08-13-2008, 10:25 AM
I adjust my Lee sizer so that the ram pushes the boolit past the constriction. They dump right out, or in a worst case scenario, I just use one of my high tech unsticking tools (a bamboo skewer swiped from my wife's cooking stuff) to gently push it outl Never a problem!:-D

I've never sized unlubed boolits....hmmmm....maybe somebody knows something I don't? Not an uncommon occurrance. :cool:

08-13-2008, 10:39 AM
Hey guys - when you use the Lee push through sizing setup, does this work for any bullet? To be more specific, let's say I'm casting a Lyman .45 ACP 200 gr SWC, can I size it and lube it with the Lee LA and the Lee sizer, or would I be better off with a different sizing/lube setup?

08-13-2008, 10:43 AM
Works for any boolit.

08-14-2008, 09:38 AM
O.K., 'splain me something, please.

Paper patching? What is the benefit of paper patching? Would it be just as effective , wrapping teflon plumber's tape around the boolit?
How much is enough, and how do you get it to stick, and not unwrap before you load the boolits? Do you have to size smaller, to make up for the additional thickness of the wrap? How to keep the patching material from sliding up the boolit when you seat it in the case?
Did I just hijack the thread? :oops:

08-14-2008, 02:52 PM
Sniper, scroll down to the paper patching forum and read away!