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Thread: lubricant question

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    lubricant question

    Its the most commonly held directive when it comes to reloading. Case lube. Cant do a rifle case without it. Really, ya cant.

    Question is that since the new liquid case lubes have come on the market, the application is basically "put in a ziplock, give it 3 squirts/spritzs and squish it all about till its nice and coated".

    How does THAT correlate with the old adage of "thou shalt not get case lube on your rifle cases neck or shoulder lest ye have thyne cases wrinkled and dented"?

    A liquid lube that evaporates and becomes a waxy dry film may get around some rule of physics that perhaps leaving a bit of imperial sizing wax or Lee Case Lube on the neck or shoulder CANT?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I think it all boils down to what lube you use...exactly why I use Imperial (sparingly). I've never been a fan of shake and bake lubing. Doing each one gives me another opportunity for inspection.
    Domari Nolo

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    well the lube in too much will cause a wrinkle but if its_ drylooking it wont . i use the spray and let air dry it works fine. many of the older dies had a vent hole to prevent that. but as with new stuff they wont spend the extra time to put vent . i have gone back to the old Lymans for that reason

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Use Imperial sparingly for brass cases. Use the Lee bullet lube for sizing down lead bullets.
    Size a down a lot of cast bullets for paper patching. The Lee lube is the same lube used to tumble lube cast bullets. Use the same lube on the paper patched bullets for the final pass thru the sizing die.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Everyone has their favorite. a thin even coat is the goal. uneven/thick imperial or other paste lubes are guilty of denting/wrinkling cases.
    I like 1 lanolin to 10 99% alcohol. my buddy does a few squirts on an RCBS lube pad, I like using a large plastic jar with cut up sponge pieces in it. a few sprays, shake, a few more sprays then toss in the brass, put the lid on and shake away. give me a thin even coat

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Mytmousemalibu's Avatar
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    At my bench, rifle brass, or case forming operations get a thin wipe of Imperial or pure lanolin individually, per case, by hand. As noted, this is finer control of the operation and adds in a moment of visual inspection per piece of brass.

    I do shake'n'bake lube my bulk pistol brass that is going through the Dillon. Some may scoff at the idea of lubing pistol brass but when my round counter is ticking away near or over 1000rds per hour cadence, the slick brass makes for a dramatically smoother running machine. For that, I use Dillon's DCL. Its simplicity, lanolin dissolved in isopropyl alcohol and it is fantastic stuff. About 400rds poured in a big ziploc bag, flat on a table and brass tipped on its side in the bag. Two light spritz of DCL, a mist of straight alcohol, zip bag and agitate. Dump in the case feed and fill primer tubes while the alcohol flashes off leaving a thin film of lanolin. Been very happy with the method and never had a problem. Small batches of ammo for testing, I don't lube pistol brass for single stage or turret work.

    I will also add that the 1st lube I tried years ago on rifle brass, Hornady 1-shot. Should be called 1-stuck because it stuck the 1st piece. Never again.
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master


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    I used to use other brass lubes until I started making a lube that uses lanolin and heat the (heat with alcohol not nitromethane) anyway no more cases that are malformed around the neck. I used to use one in a spray can that was about $9 or so for a can of it no more.

    Now I put some paper towel on the bottom of a flat cooking sheet (don't use the wifes or girlfriends) buy your own. Simply lay out your brass in rows and spray it and let it set for a while and then process it. I've done .223-308's with no problems and it seems to work better than anything else I've tried.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    A heavy coating is what causes troubles in this case there is to much of a good thing. I have used the imperial sizing die wax for years and not planning on changing yet. ( I bought a sleeve of five of the big tins years ago and still have most of them). For small batches I lube by hand just a touch rubbed on the case with fingers. For larger batches a old bath towel put a couple fingers of lube on the towel I usually put one pea sized lump each end and center on my towel then a couple thousand rifle cases grip corners of towel in each and and rock up and down agitating cases for 3-4 mins. this puts a very thin even coat on the cases. When starting out with a new towel remember the towel has to impregnate also so it takes a little more lube and attention. I fold and seal my towel in a ziplock bag when not in use. Ive used the same towel for 20 years now. I used the Lee sizing die wax for a coating on cast bullets for awhile.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master slim1836's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grmps View Post
    Everyone has their favorite. a thin even coat is the goal. uneven/thick imperial or other paste lubes are guilty of denting/wrinkling cases.
    I like 1 lanolin to 10 99% alcohol. my buddy does a few squirts on an RCBS lube pad, I like using a large plastic jar with cut up sponge pieces in it. a few sprays, shake, a few more sprays then toss in the brass, put the lid on and shake away. give me a thin even coat
    I do the same except use a spray bottle.

    Made it this way:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0117UuXiSS4

    Slim
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  10. #10
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    The original formula Ed's Red WITH the lanolin makes a great case lube.

    It also works nicely for light case forming and bullet swaging.

    If you only need a little you can buy a bottle from Brownell's.

    https://www.brownells.com/gun-cleani...prod19936.aspx

    I apply it with an eye dropper onto a stamp pad. Wipes off easily with a baby diaper and leaves cases clean.
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Its just funny because the LEE website has that annoying video of the guy using about a half table spoon of lee case lube to "lube" a rifle case.

    Now that I have discovered Johnson paste wax in a clean barrel BEFORE I start shooting, I can see I really will be having fun here.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I have been using lanolin and heat mix, that I spray into plastic coffee can then shake around then then let them dry. I have found that if I do this too soon (still wet) they will come out with dents in the shoulders. works good when I do a large batch of brass.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by redriverhunter View Post
    I have been using lanolin and heat mix, that I spray into plastic coffee can then shake around then then let them dry. I have found that if I do this too soon (still wet) they will come out with dents in the shoulders. works good when I do a large batch of brass.
    I always assumed that everyone sprayed their brass and walked away and gave it some time before sizing it. You made a good point that everyone should at least try. Myself I sometimes let the brass lay there for 3 or 4 hours with the lanolin mixture and it still sizes great.

  14. #14
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    DerekP Houston's Avatar
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    I only use the spray lubricants for pistol rounds, with rifle I'm still using a pad and case lube the traditional way. I too spray the bag well ahead of time, mix well, then leave it open for a day or 2 before I get around to loading them. Much smoother on the press than before when I just used them as is. Not sure it is really needed but I like it so I keep using it.
    My feedback page if you feel inclined to add:
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    Thanks Yall!

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by redriverhunter View Post
    I have been using lanolin and heat mix, that I spray into plastic coffee can then shake around then then let them dry. I have found that if I do this too soon (still wet) they will come out with dents in the shoulders. works good when I do a large batch of brass.
    What he said I use dillon spray lube pretty much the same ingredients spray em shake em let em dry about 15 min and your off to the races I havent used a lube pad ect in years never stuck a case in die with spray lube either. Just finished a thousand 5.56 cases in a little over hr tonight

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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