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Thread: Minie Ball Lube Question

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Minie Ball Lube Question

    I've a quick question about what to use as a lube for banded Minie balls. I just picked up a .58 Navy Arms buffalo hunter and it came with a bunch of different weight minie balls. From what I've found out so far I'll need a hard lube to shoot this beast. I've been using a bees wax, STP oil treatment 5:1 mix for cast with modern center fire rifles with no problems and would like to use the same lube for the .58 BP minie balls. Would it work or do I need to mix up a different lube?
    I'll probably go to patched .58 caliber RB in the future but still want to try the minies just because I've got them.
    Thanks

  2. #2
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    don't know how compatible the STP would be with blackpowder foulin' but, the beeswax part will be just fine.

  3. #3
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    Petroleum based lubes do not fare so well in BP guns. A lot of shooters use plain old Crisco for minie lube. I use a concoction called "moose snot" which is castor oil, beeswax and murphy's oil soap. It works great for me as a minie lube and patch lube. I have never found the need to make a really hard lube for minies, even the softer cream type lubes like bore butter and hogdons 2000 work well. You will need to try different lubes with your minies and varying powder charges to find out which combination works in your rifle.
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I've heard of moose snot, what are the ratios for the mixture? I've some Bore Butter which I'm using for .50 caliber patched round balls in a flinter so I'll give it a try.
    I'll try some of my home made lube on a few minie balls just to see what happens. I don't think the STP will cause a problem with the BP, the mix is mainly bees wax but I'll keep an eye on the fouling. Won't be able to get to the range for at least a month so I"m just trying to get all my ducks in a row.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    You can mix bees wax with Crisco and or olive oil to get the consistency you want.
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  6. #6
    Boolit Man
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    For shooting at the range Crisco in the base works fine,no mixing needed. Used it for years in N-SSA matches

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Most of the fellows around here use what we call Confederate Army Lube, which is equal parts by melted volume of Goya Manteca and beeswax. Manteca is a refined, filtered, unsalted lard product used in Mexican cooking you can get in any grocery.

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  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    My BP shooting lube is 1part BW to 2 part crisco stirred until melted mixed on low heat, not good burnt ! I remelt and dunk minis and pour into my 450 sizer for boolit applications /works great

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    Boolit Master


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    First of all, sort the minies by appearance then weigh them. You may well find many that have invisible voids and they will not shoot well. Also take a look at the minies' hollow base for voids. That is where most of them are when visible. The thicker the skirt the better they will handle heavy charges. Thin skirted minies rarely shoot well above 60grs FFg. My 575213-OS and 577611 both like 90grs of FFFg or FFg. They have thick skirts. Quite a few of the N/SSA marksmaen get great accuracy with minies using 30-50 grs FFFg.
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  11. #11
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    BW + Mutton Tallow is the lube I'm using in my '53 Enfield. I pan lube them then run the bullets through a .577" sizing die.

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  12. #12
    Boolit Master LabGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outpost75 View Post
    Most of the fellows around here use what we call Confederate Army Lube, which is equal parts by melted volume of Goya Manteca and beeswax. Manteca is a refined, filtered, unsalted lard product used in Mexican cooking you can get in any grocery.

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    This is what I do, different brand of lard, and I mix by weight, 50/50. You can make adjustments for your climate.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    If you are using standard minie balls - such as the Ideal/Lyman 575-213 in either the new style or old style or the smaller wad cutter design - they are all hollow base. Don't over think it. The purpose of BP lube is to keep fouling soft. For many, many years and thousands of rounds - I have always used a dab of crisco in the hollow base - take your index finger, dip in the crisco and just smear it in the base. That's all you need. Most all N-SSA shooters do exactly as that and have for many years. One thinks of the lube grooves on a minie ball as being a requirement to have lube in them such as you would do for a cartridge boolit when running it through a sizer/luber. T'ain't so. One might also worry about the crisco migrating in to the powder charge - even when shooting relays where multiple fast firings on a pigeon board, etc. and the barrel being hot it does not cause an issue. If you are shooting in hot conditions . . then you can always add a little beeswax to the crisco to "stiffen" it but other than that, the standard style minie balls don't require anything but some lube smear int he base.

    And . . . all BP lubes should be "natural" and not petroleum based. natural = such things as natural fats/oils/tallow/beeswax/etc. Again - it's to keep the fouling soft.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    The angled grooves of the Minie' bullet were designed to perform a scraping action to remove fouling from the bore when upset into the rifling. Their use as a vehicle to carry lubricant was secondary to their specific shape to provide a scraping action.
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  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    OK, I'll skip the idea of using the STP based lube for the minie balls. Instead I'll mix up some BW and Crisco or olive oil for a lube and take it from there.
    The rifle came with two different minie balls, one style has two bands with a conical flat tip and weights about 340 grains, the other type has three bands and a rounded nose and weights around 540 grains. Don't know what molds they came from or how old they are.
    Thanks
    Last edited by Eddie2002; 03-19-2017 at 01:33 PM.

  16. #16
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    Use a veg oil with a high heat tolerance. Best is Avocado oil, then the tree nut oils and then refined peanut oil and grape seed oil. I use deer tallow/bees wax/veg oil and adjust amount of oil according to season. This loob is good on whatever patch you use for PRB. In my 58s I found .565 rb and ticking patch with loob shot great. 10
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  17. #17
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    Eddie,

    This is the You Tube video of making Moose Snot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qkc3jXnm3-w
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  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Stub, that's a great help, I'll give it a try, thanks.
    Ed

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BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
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