View Full Version : Which lube to use and other questions
01-20-2006, 08:31 AM
I am very new to cast bullets and have been learning a lot thanks to this forum :)
My casting experience is limited to .38 pistol bullets (Lee 105 gr SWC), .30 cal (Lyman 311291) and 6.5 mm (Lee 006-6.5SWED). A total of about 4 casting sessions!
For the .30 cal I used a Lee sizing die to seat and crimp the gas checks. The pistol bullets shoot great without being sized. I am using a Lee Factory Crimp Die for the .38 so it is possible that they are getting sized in the case.
I want to crimp on the gas check and size the 6.5mm bullets but Lee doesn't make a sizing die for 6.5mm. I saw that I can have one custom ordered but haven't yet. Is this the best route to go?
I have only used liquid Alox for a bullet lube. Are there any drawbacks/shortcomings of this lube? What else would you suggest, primarilly for the rifle bullets?
Thanks for the assistance....
01-20-2006, 11:52 AM
Like your handle. Welcome to the Asylum. [smilie=p:
I have good results with liquid alox in .38spec, .357mag, and various .30's, and as long as you are getting satisfactory results, why fix what works? Boolit size is more critical than lube, and there are other questions you need to answer for yourself first.
As to whether or not your .38's are getting "sized in the case", do you notice the cases to be deformed (does the boolit cause a noticable bulge in the case) after seating? Can you feel any resistance as the neck of the case is drawn out of the die? If you feel no resistance, then they aren't being resized in it. Just because you are not sizing the boolits before you seat them, do not assume that they are coming from the mold so large that it's necessary. If they were that big, you would have to bell the case mouths excessively and may get lead shaving, bulging, etc., in the seating process. There would, in other words, be other obvious indications easily spotted. The biggest problem with commercial molds is that most throw boolits that are too small. Sometimes all the boolit sizer does is to seat the gas check, obviously not an issue for your .38, but of concern with the rifle boolits.
What are you shooting the .30's out of? What loads have you tried? Are you getting good accuracy? If you are not, do you notice any barrel leading? If so, which end of the barrel do you find most of it accumulating? Try a few starting loads and see what happens. (Make sure you have first completely removed all possible traces of copper fouling from the rifle barrels - I like Shooter's Choice, but there are plenty of other good solvents on the market.) Slug the bore if you have any question about proper size.
For your 6.5, Buckshot makes Lee-style push-through sizers in any size you want for $17 including shipping. Slug your bore of this one first, too, so you order the right size first time.
When your boolits are properly sized, you have found which alloy(s) give you the best results, and decided on appropriate loads, then you can consider the purchase of a luber/sizer if needed. My personal opinion, there are other variables to settle before you come to the issue of lube. There are, however, many others here whose order of priorities may differ. With a little experience, you will form an opinion of your own. :coffeecom
In the end, you will have to sort through the info and make your own tests to see what works best out of your guns. Like any load development project, sometimes you hit on the right combo quickly, sometimes it takes a while. Cast boolits just add a few more interesting variables to the equation and keep the brain working and sharp. What more could you ask of a hobby? :castmine:
01-20-2006, 01:56 PM
Liquid Alox seems to work OK with the lighter loads but it leads like crazy in heavy handgun and rifle loads. Accuracy is not real good either. I have tried it through 4 bottles and I will not mess with it anymore. It is just a lazy mans lube as far as I am concerned. Spray moly works just like it.
Fit the boolit to the throats and at least .001" larger then bore size and use softer lubes for the handguns. In rifles as velocity increases, harden the lube a little more. A real hard, brittle lube is useless for anything so don't get carried away with the hard stuff. I figure any lube that needs a heater on the lube-sizer is too hard.
The hardest I go is LBT Blue.
I have tried a light coat of Alox and then filled the grease grooves with Felix lube with good results but not really better then Felix alone.
Most guys say the lube does not matter but you will be surprised at how much different lubes affect accuracy. The consistancy is more important then all the voodoo ingredients people come up with.
Alox is not a magic ingredient and I never seen what the hype is. I have shot a ton of the stuff in every type lube made and never seen any advantage to it. Plain old Felix works the best.
01-21-2006, 03:50 PM
Thank you for the replys...
To answer a couple questions:
What are you shooting the .30's out of? - Springfield 1903A3.
What loads have you tried? - 13 gr Red Dot
Are you getting good accuracy? Yes and no... I had shot some cast bullets that another person made and got about 1" at 50 yards, off a bench so that is my benchmark. The bullets were sized to .309. Lubed with Alox.
The Lee sizing die I bought was supposed to be .309 but it sized to .308. With this sized bullet I got about 4" at 50 yards! I purchased another .309 and a .311 Lee sizing die.
The new .309 sizes to .309. Shooting these with the same load above I got to about 1" at 50 yards for a 10 shot group, which I am happy with. I didn't experiment with seating depth or anything else yet. The bullets are seated according to the crimp groove.
If you are not, do you notice any barrel leading? - When I shot the .311 I did get leading in the barrel near the throat. Accuracy went south after that. I even had a bullet keyhole in the target so that rifle was done for the day!
Slug the bore if you have any question about proper size - I plan to make up some slugs to test a couple bores.
What is the best way to remove lead from a bore :violin: ? I used cleaning solvent and then JB paste. I thought I got it all but then followed up with a 50-50 solution of White vinegar and Hydrogen Peroxide that has worked well in the past. I didn't get any lead in that solution (dissolves the lead to a black paste) so I got it all.
The reason for my question on what lube and machine you use is a general question but it will influence what I purchase to size and lube the 6.5 mm bullet. I am casting them for a 6.5x55 CG-63 Swedish Target Rifle that I just bought. I will be shooting these bullets at 200 yards in a Service/Match Rifle League.
As I mentioned, Lee doesn't offer a sizer for .264 except through a custom order. I know I need to size and lube the bullets, as well as add the gas checks. I am not sure of the best way to do this.
01-21-2006, 03:58 PM
Hi John, email me your address and I'll send you some of my lube to try. firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.lsstuff.com/lube
I make a Beeswax Alox lube that will work for just about everything except top end rifle loads. I also make a High Speed Lube with Carnauba. It's harder and needs a little heat to flow through a sizer, but when cooled doesn't leave your bullets sticky. I've shot this in my 30-06 to around 2700fps without any leading or increase in group size. I compared this to Rooster HVR, same gun, load, bullet... When I got to around 2250fps, the groups doubled in size. I tried it a couple of different times as I expected the Rooster to do better than that, from what other poster have said, but got the same results each time.
01-21-2006, 07:17 PM
Leading at the rear of the barrel can be an indication of poor obturation from a too-hard alloy. It's interesting that it happened with the bigger diameter boolits. (I have been experimenting with .30cal boolits up to 180gr and not having any lube problems with the liquid, though I haven't bothered with anything heavier, and probably won't.) I'd try a second coat of it after sizing to see if it will fix the problem. Your baseline accuracy is very good. I think 2" 10shot groups at 100yds is very good performance out of my .308's and -06's, (2MOA like your load) and I'm not quite there yet with 180 grainers. (I ordered a new .310 sizer from Buckshot that should cure it I hope.) But, FYI, when 44man makes a statement, I have noticed that he always has the data (and often photos) to back up what he says, so you may well run into problems if you go heavier and I would listen to his advice and be experimenting in that direction.
If it were me, I'd have Buckshot make a 6.5 sizer in either .266 or .267 and see what happens with the liquid. It's an inexpensive experiment. If it doesn't work, then it cost less than $20 to find out, (a Lee custom will run you over $30 with shipping), and by then you will be familiar enough with things here to be able to make a more informed decision on which machine to buy. I am decidedly not the person to advise you on it, either. A search of threads here should find you a lot of loads to try, too.
I shoot light boolits out of .38spec, .357mag, .357 Herrett (<158gr), .30carb, .30 Herrett, .30-30, .308, and -06 (90-180gr), and am very happy with Lee's liquid lube. When I get the 180's working up to my standards, I will move up to 8x57 and start experimenting with that for a while. Other upcoming projects will involve small wildcat .30 cal cases shooting boolits up to 150gr, so I will not be pushing the pressure/velocity/heavy weight boolit envelope where I would need to be concerned about more versatile lubes and sizing machines. (I sold the old one I had with heater and sizers and top punches when Lee first introduced their push-through dies, and bought a bunch of them and a decent rifle with the proceeds. I don't miss it. But, that's me, and your path may well lead you in a different direction.)
The vinegar/peroxide solution works as well or better than any of the commercial solvents for lead removal, I use it too when I need to, but I had a problem once using cider vinegar instead of white and it darkened the bore of one of my rifles when I let it sit to work a bit. (I found out later it's used with a mustard paste to create an antique brown on muzzle loaders, but I didn't know at the time and thought I'd killed my favorite .22! Actually, the white would probably do the same thing if you left it in a while, but I haven't let the solution sit long enough in a bore since to find out.)
01-21-2006, 07:54 PM
Thank you again for the information.... Lar45, I would like to try your lube so I sent you my address.
I will order a 6.5 sizing die from Buckshot after I slug the bore. I didn't know that was an option!
01-21-2006, 10:48 PM
................garandsrus, I think you'll find your Swede a very fine performer at 200 yards. There are no flies on it's abillity to shoot cast lead accurately. I don't know what the , (Lee 006-6.5SWED) you mention having is? The recent 6 cav 130gr Kurtz perhaps (as that 006 suggests)? If it is you might also like to get the Oldfeller "Cruise Missle" design, which I believe you can get from Mid-South Shooter's Supply.
It would be #4. My copy of the Oldfeller with lube and GC weighs 172grs. My 2C Lyman 268645 (#3) is also a very fine design. Too bad Lyman saw fit to discontinue it, for some unknown reason. They come up on E-Bay every once in awile.
I have the most experience with that design. Nine or ten years ago I used to shoot our club's short range (200 meter) silhuette match, in the informal un-registered "Cowboy" fun catagory. Usually a couple shooting buddies and I would go through together. One friend used his Swede with that boolit and 34.0grs of surp WC860 for about 1550 fps. Even at that speed it had enough juice on it to knock the 200 meter rams over.
It carried well and required only one sight change for him from 50 to 200 meters. This was between 100 and 175 meters. Otherwise he just modified his hold slightly on the animal.
So far as lubes go, for my first 20 some years of cast lead shooting it was almost exclusively the NRA 50/50 formula and mostly Javaline brand. It was inexpensive and worked very well. I also used Lee Liquid Alox.
Besides some pistol applications I would use LA on all my bore rider rifle designs for a couple reasons. One is I felt the bare lead nose might benefit from some lube. Secondly I thought it might help to ease the nose to engrave. I can't prove the first as I've never tested it, but the second reason is a fact in that it works to ease engraving. They would be stored after the LA treatment, but then when used they'd get their GC's applied and a load of Javalina in the size-lube die.
Possibly you already do it, but if not I'd like to suggest you thin the LA with paint thinner . Not quite a 50/50 volumn dilution but maybe 1.5 OZ of the thinner to a 4 OZ bottle of LA. It coats easier and more consistantly without globbing. It also makes adding a 2nd coat a much more consistant proposition.
As I mentioned at first all I used was the NRA formula. Sometime back I did a velocity and hardness test in a 30-40, and it was obvious that the lube had given up a bit before the test ended. I had been given some hi-temp unknown type green lube from another member here. Lacking another identifier I just called it BGHL for Booger Green Heat Loob. Tacky, I know. Whatever it's makeup, it picked up the slack and trooped on to the end of the re-test I did. So there IS a difference in lubes.
Any boolits you use the LA on should be stored in an airtight container. Over time the coating WILL dry and loose it's effectiveness. The NRA formulas will also shrink in the lube grooves over time. I've not seen a bad effect from this, but it is obvious. The hi temp type lubes don't seem affected at all by long term storage. Their only negative is that they do require heat to flow in the lube presses.
Welcome to the board, and welcome to the illuminati of the shooting world, us boolit casters 8)
01-22-2006, 09:29 AM
Thanks for the information... The mold I puchased appears to be the "Cruise Missle", which I purchased from Mid-South. Here's the link: http://www.midsouthshooterssupply.com/item.asp?sku=000066.5SWED
The bullet weights were almost all between 175 and 176 gr. I am using reclaimed bullets as my alloy. An indoor range that I shoot at just emptied the range. They ended up with about 10,000 pounds of bullets! This was for about a year's time. I got a couple hundred pounds.
I still need to slug the bore and then get a sizing die and give the bullets a try.
I need to find some reloading data also. Any guidance you could provide would be appreciated. The Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook only shows bullets up to 140 gr. I am looking at possibly using Unique as it's listed at the higher end (faster FPS) of the Lyman guide (for the 140gr bullet) but is not the fastest.
01-22-2006, 10:38 AM
John, once summer get s here and you start shootin alot, you'll be surprised at how fast your 200# will dissapear. You'll want to lay in a larger supply as time permits and process it into cleaned ingots so you don't have to during casting sessions.
I made a bottom pour smelter. I can process 5 buckets of WW in a couple of hours with it.
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