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Thread: Just the facts: Lube recipes

  1. #21
    Boolit Mold Shrek's Avatar
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    This lube has worked well for me winter or summer. I use it mostly on rifle because my pistol bullets tend to be TL from Lee.
    I got the base recipe from a gent by the handle of dmell.
    By weight:
    40 parts UNREFINED bee's wax
    20 parts paraffin wax
    20 parts Lucas oil stabilizer (high-grade, better than STP) or Morey's.
    either 2 large kindergarten crayons or 1 wafer candle die, for color.
    Heat the bee's wax over low heat, then add para. and stir until melted
    Add the Lucas/Morey's and colorant and stir until well mixed.
    I have ran this to about 2100 fps on 210 grain 308 bullets in my '06, with no signs of leading.
    Never had it melt off, if I kept the ammo out of direct sunlight. This is Arizona, take that into account. It gets a little stiff through my Lyman in the winter, wouldn't hurt to use a heater when it gets cool.
    Shrek
    if it doesn't fit, get a bigger hammer!

  2. #22
    Boolit Bub pjogrinc's Avatar
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    Sharps Formula

    Original Sharps formula

    1 part Beeswax
    1 part Sperm oil

    Since it is nearly impossible to find Sperm oil, use the following instead.

    1 part Beeswax
    1 part Jojoba oil

    Works fantastic up to 1500 FPS, haven't tried any faster in handgun or 45-70. This lube formula is soft. You can harden it up by reducing Jojoba oil up to 1/2 part. Temperature range I've used this lube at has been 10 deg F to 70 deg F. Have not had a chance to try at higher temps yet.

    Excellent accuracy out of my 45-70, 34 inch barrel. Have fired a 20 shot black powder string in just over 5 minutes, no cleaning or blowing down the barrel, group was just over 3 inches. Very low BP fowling and no leading. Barrel was very warm.

  3. #23
    Boolit Man
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    sperm oil substitute was said to be starrett oil,very fine oil.
    maybe singer sewing machine oil/glass cutting oil may work also.

  4. #24
    Boolit Bub pjogrinc's Avatar
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    Jojoba oil was the first one discovered by US gov. testing to insure a supply of 'sperm oil' during war. Jojoba oil was used in some of the first automatic transmissions that were made. Jojoba oil has a longer C chain C20 - 27 which would allow it to stand up to higher pressure without breaking down.

    This summer I will be doing a lot of testing, since it has finnally warmed up and the snow from the last 2 storms, 43 inches has finnally melted.

  5. #25
    Boolit Master on Heavens Range
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    Pressure is not the problem. We have lanolin for that purpose. Because of the cost of jojoba, I would use it only in cold weather lube where lanolin has too much viscosity for the purpose. ... felix
    felix

  6. #26
    Moderator Emeritus/Boolit Master in Heavens Range
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    Quote Originally Posted by felix View Post
    ...Because of the cost of jojoba, I would use it only in cold weather. ... felix
    Hi Felix,

    I've enjoyed the thread, but your last post really rang a bell with me. Not to give you a hard time, but decades of product research experience suggests that 'cost first' is the wrong approach. First, you should determine what works. THEN look for cheaper alternatives. But find what works first of all, or you have nothing to base your next steps on.

    For example, let me suggest off the top of my head that the 'perfect' bullet lube (however you want to define it) is composed of 70/20/5/5 gold napthenate / silver hydroxide / cobalt stearate / zinc sterate. (That's absolute nonsense, but just for the purpose of illustration.) You might eventually come to that composition if you test metallic salts in general, and work your way toward it, dispite the cost of the materials. You will never come to the perfect lube if you restrict yourself to paraffin and goose grease, just because they're cheap.

    Col Harrison, of NRA fame, who developed most of our modern cast bullet technology all by himself, - including bullet lubes - once said something to the effect that "Economy is an understandable and worthwhile goal, but when it leads you to use materials that cannot succeed, you might wish to reexamine your system of values." He was talking about cheap soft scrap lead in rifle loads instead of more expensive type metals, but the principle still holds true.

    Try everything you can get your hands on. Even the cost of gold and sliver can be borne for as much as it would take to put together five rounds to see if there is any merit at all. If not, you aren't out much. But if it gives you the best group you ever had, it would be a good clue to look at similar but less expensive metal salts.

    OUCH!! Hey! Ya didn't have to ... OK, OK, I'm off the soapbox! (VBG)

    Molly
    Regards,

    Molly

    "The remedy for evil men is not the abrogation of the rights of law abiding citizens. The remedy for evil men is the gallows." Thomas Jefferson

  7. #27
    Boolit Master on Heavens Range
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    Perfectly said, Molly, for something professional rather than for some friggin' hobby. Like finding a "chemical" that can be programmed to cure a cancer type on contact, and not harm any other living cell. ... felix
    felix

  8. #28
    Boolit Master

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    yup, how many liberty dimes and quarters does anyone have stashed to be frittered away making unknown alloy with a touch of silver? price of silver would tell us that it is not worth it....

  9. #29
    Boolit Master leftiye's Avatar
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    So, just what are the merits (if any) of using a fine oil like sperm oil, or jojoba in boolit lube? I have heard it said that in boolit lubes we shouldn't be seeking true lubrication, but something else. What might that "else" be that we should be looking for? How much would MDS (moly) help or hinder if added to the perfect (or Felix lube even for that matter) lube? Is it compatible with Carnauba?
    We need somebody/something to keep the government (cops and bureaucrats too) HONEST (by non government oversight).

    Every "freedom" (latitude) given to government is a loophole in the rule of law. Every loophole in the rule of law is another hole in our freedom. When they even obey the law that is. Too often government seems to feel itself above the law.

    We forgot to take out the trash in 2012, but 2016 was a charm! YESSS!

  10. #30
    Moderator Emeritus/Boolit Master in Heavens Range
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    Quote Originally Posted by leftiye View Post
    So, just what are the merits (if any) of using a fine oil like sperm oil, or jojoba in boolit lube? I have heard it said that in boolit lubes we shouldn't be seeking true lubrication, but something else. What might that "else" be that we should be looking for? How much would MDS (moly) help or hinder if added to the perfect (or Felix lube even for that matter) lube? Is it compatible with Carnauba?
    You might be interested in going back and re-reading Col Harrison's reports on bullet lubricants. Among other things, he reported that "the action of bullet lubricants is unknown." In other words, he couldn't find out what they did in a load, or how they did it. He also said that lubricity of a given mixture had no relation to it's performance: for example, adding a lubricating additive like teflon or mica might or might not give improved give improved results at the target. But in the case of particulate additives, they generally made things worse, as I recall. He also observed that as a general rule, the softer 'lubricants' tended to work better, the stiffer lubes didn't work so well. And he noted that there was absolutely no correlation between the accuracy that you could get with a given lube and whether or not you got any leading with it.

    My own work with lubes has suggested that the ability of a lube to shoot well on the target isat least partly related to its hardness, while the ability to prevent leading is directly related to its surface tension. Lower surface tensions mean less tendency to lube with a given load. You can compare surface tensions of two lubes by placing a speck of each on a thin bit of steel and warming it on a hotplate until they melt. Generally, one liquid will have a higher Ts, and pull away from the other with the lower Ts. Accuracy results are less easily predicted, but all else being equal, I think that the long term accuracy (over many, many shots) correlates to the amount of residue it leaves when charred. This is checked easily enough by continuing to heat the panel with specks of lube until it quits smoking (do this outdoors!) and observing the results. Many lube ingredients will leave a black, hard residue, while a few will simply evaporate over time. I favor the ones that leave no hard residue.

    As for materials to investigate as lube ingredients, I'd suggest synthetic high carboxylic polyester resins for those in a position to look at them. Esters are well known for lubricity, and carboxylic functionality for wetting (low surface tension). Synthetic resins have the advantage of reproducible properties over time, as they can easily be manufactured to specifications. The problem with this suggestion is that very few people outside the paints and plastics industries will have easy access to them, but I can't help that.

    Food for thought.
    Molly
    Regards,

    Molly

    "The remedy for evil men is not the abrogation of the rights of law abiding citizens. The remedy for evil men is the gallows." Thomas Jefferson

  11. #31
    Boolit Master on Heavens Range
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    In Houston I lived next door to a lube designer working for EXXon. He had access to a large database of chains/polymers etc. I asked him to crete a formula that could be built for our purpose, with the restriction that we could make the stuff at home with household equipment using feeds he would have access to where he worked. He was given the characteristics as you mentioned, Molly. A year later or so, he had no formula that would be easy to replicate. He gave me a sample that was close, but not perfect enough to warrent making more. He told me that to go further it would take too much of his workers time without a large manufacturing run (for profit, of course). So, making a lube that will work with black and white can be done on a professional basis. ... felix
    felix

  12. #32
    Moderator Emeritus/Boolit Master in Heavens Range
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    Quote Originally Posted by felix View Post
    ... I asked him to crete a formula that could be built for our purpose, with the restriction that we could make the stuff at home with household equipment ...
    Well, I understand where you were coming from, but I think you put too tight a limitation on him: A LOT of things can be done in the lab that can't be done in the average home. Why did you use such a restriction? There's nothing wrong with a formulation that requires a lab to provide an ingredient. After all, we mostly buy our lubes anyhow, and those who don't, still buy the ingredients. What would be wrong with, for example, buying a new polyester resin from a lab to mix with other ingredients? That's almost exactly what Col. Harrison did in developing his 50/50 beeswax / Alox lube. Alox 2138F is just a modified wax, made especially for him and intended only for use as a bullet lube ingredient. Harrison couldn't make it, but he bought it from the lab, and continued to formulate it himself. (Note that Alox 2138f CAN be made at home: I've posted directions on several sites.)

    Molly
    Regards,

    Molly

    "The remedy for evil men is not the abrogation of the rights of law abiding citizens. The remedy for evil men is the gallows." Thomas Jefferson

  13. #33
    Boolit Master leftiye's Avatar
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    Soooooo...........?????? Molly, thanks for your help. It seems that lubricity is of no value (Harrison), but materials with high surface tensions lubricate better? I'm apparently too obtuse or something, but I don't know what you said. Just my opinion, but there is no chance in my universe that something that doesn't keep the lead separate from the steel (lubricate) will work. Something that cools the lead by evaporating might also help? How about Sperm oil, or its replacement Jojoba oil?
    We need somebody/something to keep the government (cops and bureaucrats too) HONEST (by non government oversight).

    Every "freedom" (latitude) given to government is a loophole in the rule of law. Every loophole in the rule of law is another hole in our freedom. When they even obey the law that is. Too often government seems to feel itself above the law.

    We forgot to take out the trash in 2012, but 2016 was a charm! YESSS!

  14. #34
    Moderator Emeritus/Boolit Master in Heavens Range
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    Quote Originally Posted by leftiye View Post
    Soooooo...........?????? Molly, thanks for your help. It seems that lubricity is of no value (Harrison), but materials with high surface tensions lubricate better? I'm apparently too obtuse or something, but I don't know what you said. Just my opinion, but there is no chance in my universe that something that doesn't keep the lead separate from the steel (lubricate) will work. Something that cools the lead by evaporating might also help? How about Sperm oil, or its replacement Jojoba oil?
    No, no. I must have mispoken. Materials with high Ts do not lubricate better. they WET better, thus providing a barrier between the steel bore and the molten lead droplets.

    Evaporative cooling of the bore or the bullet alloy? I really can't say, but my initial reaction would be that this is not the road to take. The flame temperature of the burning propellent is above the Mp of the steel bore, much less the lube or alloy. I can see that evaporating most any lube ingredients, but I can't see it allowing the lube vapors to redeposit on the bore, only to be removed a moment later. And any cooling of the alloy from this would - I think - be so small that you'd really have a tough time showing it. It sure wouldn't be as great as the temperature change from one day to the next, and if a load has a tendency to shoot better on cool days - or even frigid days - I haven't seen it. Yeah, in principle, the effect might be there, but I suspect it might be like tossing a spoonful of water in the ocean, and then saying that you personally filled the ocean to it's current level. Might be technically true, but ...

    Molly
    Regards,

    Molly

    "The remedy for evil men is not the abrogation of the rights of law abiding citizens. The remedy for evil men is the gallows." Thomas Jefferson

  15. #35
    Boolit Master leftiye's Avatar
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    So, does anybody like or dislike sperm oil and jojoba oil for use in boolit lubes?
    We need somebody/something to keep the government (cops and bureaucrats too) HONEST (by non government oversight).

    Every "freedom" (latitude) given to government is a loophole in the rule of law. Every loophole in the rule of law is another hole in our freedom. When they even obey the law that is. Too often government seems to feel itself above the law.

    We forgot to take out the trash in 2012, but 2016 was a charm! YESSS!

  16. #36
    Boolit Master on Heavens Range
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    The big batch of felix that was sent out has a half gallon of it per 135 pounds of lube. ... felix
    felix

  17. #37
    Boolit Master Marlin Junky's Avatar
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    Jojoba oil can be acquired for about 50 bucks a gallon and 2 to 3 TBS is all you should need per pound of beeswax.

    I have approx. 2-1/2 TBS of Jojoba Oil per 1-1/4 pounds of lube and it's slick enough for 2200+ fps in the right barrel. Other ingredients are T3-Carnauba and Vaseline. Pure, powdered Sodium Stearate goes into the lube (about 1/4 oz.) which raises the melt temp to about 150-155F for a summer time lube.

    MJ

  18. #38
    Boolit Master on Heavens Range
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    By golly, you got it! ... felix
    felix

  19. #39
    Boolit Master Marlin Junky's Avatar
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    Felix,

    You talking to me? You wouldn't be yanking my chain now, would ya?

    MJ

  20. #40
    Boolit Master on Heavens Range
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    You'd da' man, MJ. Keep on spearmenten' ... felix
    felix

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