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Thread: How to lubricate pure lead bullets

  1. #1
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    How to lubricate pure lead bullets

    I have two 43 calibers rifles, a 43 Beaumont and a 43 Egyptian. Some reference books seem to indicate that these are two names for the same cartridge.

    I've been shooting pure lead bullets, Ballisti-Cast 990-5 powered by 25 grains of 5744. Works very very well.

    My one problem is lubricating these soft bullets. I don't size them I just lubricate them. Have been using liquid lubricant and just rolling it on with a case lubricating pad. It works but it is messy. Any way to speed this process up?

    I'm pretty sure that pushing these bullets through a lubricator/sizer would distort them a lot so I don't want to do that. I can continue to hand lubricate these things but that is messy and is labor intensive. Any way to automate this, to lubricate without sizing?

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    You can pan lube them. Melt your lube as recommended, stand the bullets in a tray and per heat them a little, pour the lube around them and allow to set, tip the block of lube/bullets out of the tray and release the bullets by pushing base first out of the lube block.

    Or in a lubesizer by using a die a thou of 2 over your bullet diameter so no sizing takes place.
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    Boolit Master shooter575's Avatar
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    Ken,I have been using a lubersizer on pure PB boolets for years.Trick is a proper fit with the top punch.A bit of epoxie in a oversized cavity will take care of that.
    Only reason I bought my 450 was to do minnes in the beginning.I now also lube .44-40,514 for the Smith and .544 for the Sharps.
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    Boolit Master wills's Avatar
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    Consider honing a sizing die so it does not resize the boolit. Use that to lube
    http://www.castpics.net/RandD/hone_a_die/hone_a_die.htm
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    If you push them base first through a Star sizer it won't distort at all.

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    Johnson's Paste Wax should work. Just heat the bullets in a metal container, add JPW and gently tumble. Leaving them in the sun for an hour should be enough heat. Set them on their bases after tumbling if you are fussy.

    Gives a waxy surface much like that found on lead .22s, and does an excellent job on bullets for my Handi.
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    Boolit Master armoredman's Avatar
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    Ok, so if i am casting pure lead 358 boolits, I should NOT use the Lee 358 sizing/lube kit, but pan lube instead? I just want to be sure, and limit starting screw ups to as few as possible.

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    Now that is an interesting idea, thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Leftoverdj View Post
    Johnson's Paste Wax should work. Just heat the bullets in a metal container, add JPW and gently tumble. Leaving them in the sun for an hour should be enough heat. Set them on their bases after tumbling if you are fussy.

    Gives a waxy surface much like that found on lead .22s, and does an excellent job on bullets for my Handi.
    I'll give that a try! Thanks!

    I knew that I had seen another weird lubricator and finally remembered where. On the Pedersoli web page. Not quite sure how it works but I ordered one from Flintlock's Etc. just now. Will be interesting to see how it work and if it solves my problem. Fortunately they do have the proper insert for the size bullet I'm using.
    Last edited by klw; 06-26-2007 at 04:27 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by armoredman View Post
    Ok, so if i am casting pure lead 358 boolits, I should NOT use the Lee 358 sizing/lube kit, but pan lube instead? I just want to be sure, and limit starting screw ups to as few as possible.
    The Lee sizer and Liquid Alox work fine. Unfortunately, the LLA stays a bit tacky, and you need to either keep your ammo in dust proof boxes or wipe the extra lube off the noses. The sizer won't distort your bullets since it pushed against the flat base.

    I would suggest that you stick to minimum loads since you are casting of pure lead. Most of us use harder and more forgiving alloys.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leftoverdj View Post
    I would suggest that you stick to minimum loads since you are casting of pure lead. Most of us use harder and more forgiving alloys.
    A month or two ago I would have agreed with that. Now I'm not so sure.

    I've shot my 50-70 Lone Star rolling block a lot. Usually I use RCBS 50-515-FN made from either wheelweights or linotype. But this year for reasons I don't now remember I had a lot of pure lead Ballisti-Cast #1435 bullets. I tried using 13 grains of Unique. That works well with the RCBS bullet. Wildly inaccurate with these pure lead bullets. I tried cutting the charge down. Didn't help. So I tried a fairly large charge of 2015 largely because I had some. Worked wonders. Not as accurate as my RCBS bullet but hitting this pure lead bullet with a large powder charge certainly improved accuracy.

    So now I'm not so sure that pure lead requires light loads.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by armoredman View Post
    Ok, so if i am casting pure lead 358 boolits, I should NOT use the Lee 358 sizing/lube kit, but pan lube instead?
    Somebody who actually uses Lee sizers can answer this more exactly than I can because he can push bullets through the die.

    Say you have two bullets from the same mould, but one is a fairly hard alloy and the other is pure lead. Also assume that both of them are slightly larger than .358".
    If you push them both through a Lee 358 sizer, I bet the hard one comes out bigger than the soft one.

    Why? The harder alloy will have more 'springback' than pure lead (which has none) so it will swell back up a bit after coming out of the die. The lead bullet will remain at the actual inside diameter of the tool.

    The hole in a Lyman 358 sizing die will actually be smaller than .358", because Lyman sets their tool dimensions based on the charactistics of their (fairly hard) Lyman #2 alloy.
    I don't know what alloy Lee uses as their 'standard', but I bet it isn't pure lead.
    Therefore, you can assume the Lee 358 sizer will produce pure lead bullets that are smaller than .358".

    If you need .358" bullets (that is, if your gun does) then you may need to look for a 359 Lee sizer...or hone out the Lee 358 to an actual .358" diameter.

    Now, it's true that most of this is conjecture on my part. The guy with a Lee 358 sizer can push a pure lead slug through the die and tell you if I'm wrong...or not.
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    Boolit Master leftiye's Avatar
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    Klw, This probly won't make it any easier for you, but.... The guys above aren't saying don't use the LLA, nor not to tumble lube. They're just suggesting other ways that you could accomplish the same results (or maybe better). There are better lubes, but LLA works much better than one might expect. There are worse lubes too, and they sometimes work better than should be expected too! Also, when your results don't satisfy you you can experiment and see if another lube solves the problem.

  13. #13
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    If it were me id patrol ebay until i found a cheap lyman sizer and just set it up for black powder lube. Alox is very marginal in my opinion with pushing any bullet hard and if your talking pure lead with smokeless id say it will eventually let you down if not with leading then with accuracy and it isnt the best lube to use with black powder as it has petrolium products in it and it will gum your gun up after a while. I use a mix of 60 percent beeswax 35 percent crisco and 5 percent olive oil and it works fine with black. Cleanup is real easy as fouling stays soft and it pan lubes nicely.
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