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Thread: Tumble lubing standard cast bullets?

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    Tumble lubing standard cast bullets?

    First off, sorry if I'm in the wrong section. Wasn't exactly sure where this post belonged. Anyway, I've been checking out some of the Lee molds and notice that their designs that were intended for tumble lubing have multiple smaller grooves rather than one or two larger grooves for the lube. So, is it necessary to use this design if you want to use the tumble lubing method or can it be used with pretty much anything. If relegated to those designs intended for tumble lubing it kind of cuts down on the available options. Currently I'm interested in .356 and .401 sizes.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master



    jmortimer's Avatar
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    "So, is it necessary to use this design if you want to use the tumble lubing method or can it be used with pretty much anything."

    Pretty much anything. Spend a few hours/days reading the info here. You can make a decision after that. I like the LsStuff 45-45-10 lube - sponsor link at bottom of page
    "Had his shooting been as good as his running, he might have given a better account of himself."
    James. C. Henderson

  3. #3
    "A General PITA"


    P.K.'s Avatar
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    No, before I rolled enough coin to drop on a lubesizer( still cleaning it up) I TL'd ALL of my boolits. As long as you are not trying to achive escape velocity or determine the point of impact in relation to the curvature of the earth you should be just fine with LLA( Lee Liquid Alox), or the one mentioned above. If you use the TL method, just remember to tumble them again after sizing.

    Welcome to Cast Boolits and good luck!
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I just started tl on a gg boolit for my 38 and 357. Works fine. I shoot as cast, and tl once.

  5. #5
    Bullet Master

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    If you TL a standard cast bullet, won't seating the bullet in the case rub the lube off the driving bands?

    Does enough lube stay in the lube groove to matter?

  6. #6
    Boolit Master




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    I started out tumble lubin - and never owned a TL style mold. Works just fine. I did thousands
    of them that way. Mike
    I saw Elvis at 1000 feet. John Force

  7. #7
    Boolit Master


    williamwaco's Avatar
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    I have used both methods of lubrication with both styles bullets.

    I think you can pretty well size any bullet either way.


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    First reload: .22 Hornet. 1956.

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  8. #8
    Boolit Man
    max range's Avatar
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    Per the advice from the learned I found here, two days ago I shot 50 ea of 452460 tumbled in Lee liquid alox and 50 ea pan lubed with red rooster. There was no discernible difference between the two lube methods in accuracy and function. To my delight, there was ZERO lead in the bore. I didn't load them to "escape velocity" and was more than pleased with the results. Shooting them out of a series 70 Nat. Match/Gold Cup at one point I moved to the 100 yd range and could hit paper with the handloads.

    Lyman 452460 is not a tumble lub mold per se. It was intended for running through a lube sizer.

    I did have to wait a couple of days for the lube to fully dry. I cheated and mixed a little paint thinner and some Johnson's paste wax. However I observed no reason why straight tumble lube would not provide the same results.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    Works for me at target velocities. Never tried tumble lube on boolits that were going toward the upper velocities of what I was shooting.
    No issues at all to 1100 fps, usually less.

    SHiloh
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  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    If you TL a standard cast bullet, won't seating the bullet in the case rub the lube off the driving bands?
    Yes it will but it rolls the lube into the lube grooves.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master


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    For the last couple years, I've been shooting tumble-lubed 200 gr. Lee RNFPs, loaded to .44-40 levels (1150-1200 fps), in my 1894 Marlin (MG barrel) with no leading issues. Boolits get (2) coats of 45/45/10 then loaded 'as cast' in .44 Mag cases.

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  12. #12
    Boolit Master

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    I have loaded 311-291 30-40 rounds to 2300 fps using Lee Liquid Alox. For most target and standard pistol velocity loads, a light coating is all you need. For higher velocities, use 2 or three light to medium coats. Don't know why, but 2 light coats seems to work better than one heavier one. I have cast and lubed well over 100,000 boolits of virtually all types using LLA or Recluse 45/45/10 with good to excellent results.
    My Lyman and RCBS Lubrisizers don't get used much any more, at least for lubing.
    _________________________________________________It's not that I can't spell: it is that I can't type.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Case Stuffer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmortimer View Post
    "So, is it necessary to use this design if you want to use the tumble lubing method or can it be used with pretty much anything."

    Pretty much anything. Spend a few hours/days reading the info here. You can make a decision after that. I like the LsStuff 45-45-10 lube - sponsor link at bottom of page


    Here is the thing. I am new here but have been a member of computer user's group boards for over 35 year and I currently belong to several radio control aircraft user's groups and on some a rather an active poster as in close to 40 K post in eight years.

    In my opinion it does next to no good to point out the use of SEACH or reading anything posted over a month ago. Most do not care to spend hours reading / learning they come to a user's group and post a question hoping to get great answers with very little effort required.

    The 45/45/10 referance is a great example. MNust be close to 100 post about it ,likely closer to 3K but still see post almost daily asking is it suppose to be this thick, o I really need to cook down the JPW , do I really need to wrm the bootlits,warm the lube, coatbefore sizing and then turn around ad coat again after sizing. Why do I need to size, why does the bootlit need to be larger than the barrel, why,why,why?

    Do not get me wrong ,questions are great and yes if one does not care to read the same questions over and over then they certainly do not have to visit this or any other forum however I believe that helping those who help themself works best.

    Give a man a fish and feed him for a day,teach him to fish and....................................
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  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    The search engine can at times be useful but the problem is the engine tags the words, not the question and as a result one can wind up with hundreds of posts that have nothing related to the question. Personally I get a lot more frustrated with the search engine than I do with repeated questions. Besides....my mouse easily scrolls past repeated questions if I don't want to read them and sometimes to my surprise, I find new or updated information to the answers given in a often repeat question.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by timberhawk View Post
    If you TL a standard cast bullet, won't seating the bullet in the case rub the lube off the driving bands?

    Does enough lube stay in the lube groove to matter?
    That is the point of the lube. Lube that stays in the grooves does about as much good as motor oil that stays in the crankcase.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master detox's Avatar
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    I put a one lead bullet in my Lee Alox bottle then heat bottle in microwave for 45 seconds. I then shake bottle well with boolit rattling inside. I then lube my bullets by rolling in a clear zip lock baggy. Remove from baggy then size. After sizing i lube again, but setting each boolit on its base to dry.

    Alox is some stinking stuff and hard to get that smell off hands. You may want to use thin rubber gloves while handling. Or just use the Lubrimatic.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Chilmonty's Avatar
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    Newb here with a reverse question to the OP.
    Can you pan lube a bullet that has tumble grooves??
    Will the pan lube stay on with the micro grooves?
    Just wondering.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master detox's Avatar
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    I do not know. I think lee's micro grooves were designed using their liquid alox, but a believe pan lubing would also work.

    I am a newb, everybodies a newb newb. Lots of newbs here

  19. #19
    Boolit Man
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    I tried the tumble lube method and I hated it, once you graduate past it you will understand the benefits. I pan lube now. I can see the target when I shoot. I can breathe easy. I can actually put a handfull of my bullets in my pocket if I want...without that alox **** making a mess. Then there's the smell...dogs are jealous of my nose..alox is just nasty. Then there is the gummy residue that must be cleaned from your seating dies...anway...I am not a tumble lube fan...not to mention I dont like the tumble lube bullet design either. And yea I know about all of the alternate methods of applying it...odd aint it? That there are so many alternate methods? Cause the stuff is a mess no matter how you look at it. But it is cheap and easy...if it gets you to the range then so be it...I guess.

  20. #20
    "A General PITA"


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    Quote Originally Posted by Chilmonty View Post
    Newb here with a reverse question to the OP.
    Can you pan lube a bullet that has tumble grooves??
    Will the pan lube stay on with the micro grooves?
    Just wondering.
    You could try, but IME the micro-grooves are too shallow for the PL to adhere to. The Kake Cutter either shears it off or if you do the dowel push through method the same appears to happen. I'll Tumble any boolit. I'll PL only standard lube grooves.
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    These are the times that try men's souls.
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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check