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Thread: TL vs. tradition lube accuracy

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    TL vs. tradition lube accuracy

    Has anyone done any accuracy testing of TL (straight Alox or 45-45-10) vs. traditionally lubed boolits? Iím thinking of boolits with traditional grease grooves, primarily pistol.


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    Last edited by Boolseye; 02-26-2018 at 11:44 AM.

  2. #2
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    I use both 45/45/10 tumble lube on some boolits & pan lube others. I have not seen anything to make me think accuracy is affected by either type of lubrication type, meaning I have not found where one is better than the other so far.

    I am also happy enough with both, that I have not changed over to powder coating, if that means anything.

    G'Luck! in finding out your answer(s). I am sure someone will come along & have some "testing" to help ya out later.
    2nd Amend./U.S. Const. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBinMN View Post
    I use both 45/45/10 tumble lube on some boolits & pan lube others. I have not seen anything to make me think accuracy is affected by either type of lubrication type, meaning I have not found where one is better than the other so far.

    I am also happy enough with both, that I have not changed over to powder coating, if that means anything.

    G'Luck! in finding out your answer(s). I am sure someone will come along & have some "testing" to help ya out later.
    Cool, thanks.

    Iíve mainly reserved TL-only for my boolits with micro-grooves. I do TL all my boolits, but with most itís just a light sheen of 45-45-10 for the sizer, then I pan lube and maybe another toss in the TL after that. My thinking has been that Iím probably better off with that grease groove filled than without. Itís not lack of experience-Iíve just never loaded up the same cartridges (equal powder charge, same boolit) and compared TL and non-TL side by side. I do plan to do it with 9mm and .45, but I thought if anyone else has actually run these tests I might benefit.
    -BE


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  4. #4
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    Perhaps I should clarify. I pan lube boolits that have one or more lube grooves & TL the TL style boolits ( I think that is what you are calling , "micro grooved".).

    I have not TL the ones I pan lube with one or more grooves, nor tried pan lubing the ones that have the TL style ("micro grooves").

    If that is the sort of info you are seeking, I fall short on info regarding that. I will be waiting to see what others have to say about that. I do not think I will be changing my own particular method(s) as they have been working very well for me so far.


    Once again, G'Luck!
    2nd Amend./U.S. Const. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    "A man ought ta do what he thinks is best" - "Hondo" Lane.(John Wayne)

    "If ya don't like my gate, ya don't have to swing on the hinges..." - L. Ackerman ( RIP)

    Enforce the Immigration laws & deport the illegal immigrants. Quit fooling around.

  5. #5
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    TL vs. tradition lube accuracy

    Yeah, sounds like you and I are on the same page. I lube like that too.

    This is really just a slightly closer look at something already established. TL definitely works for any boolit, this I know.

    And yeah, I can test this myself pretty easily. If this thread dies a quick death it will be no great loss

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  6. #6
    Boolit Master 35 shooter's Avatar
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    I tumble lube with BLL in rifle and handgun. I use 3 coats for rifle and usually 2 coats for handgun(45 colt).
    I get the same accuracy with it as i do using Bens Red traditional lube.

    I've run the BLL past 2600 fps. in rifles with no leading at all.
    I don't know how far you can push 45/45/10 as i've never tested it for speed.

    I've used straight alox up to 2600 fps. with 3 coats, but always got purge shots(flyers) every few shots and didn't like the residue it left in the bore.
    Others here report good luck with it though.

    The BLL works just as well as traditional lube for me for sure. It also works well as an overcoat on boolits with traditional lube.
    It works on all boolits regardless of groove design.

  7. #7
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    Thanks 35. Those are some impressive numbers.

    It strikes me that, by rights, TL on bearing surfaces will be removed by the loading process. Yet TL clearly works. Where, then, is the lube coming from on a traditional boolit? The little bit that migrated into the grease groove? Or is it not pushed off on loading?


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  8. #8
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    Just tumble lube all types of boolits .I'm the weak link concerning accuracy.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by robg View Post
    Just tumble lube all types of boolits .I'm the weak link concerning accuracy.
    I think you said it all. Iím overthinking this, as usual.


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  10. #10
    Boolit Master 35 shooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boolseye View Post
    Thanks 35. Those are some impressive numbers.

    It strikes me that, by rights, TL on bearing surfaces will be removed by the loading process. Yet TL clearly works. Where, then, is the lube coming from on a traditional boolit? The little bit that migrated into the grease groove? Or is it not pushed off on loading?


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    BLL dries to a nice hard finish overnight and i've never had a problem with it coming off in the loading process.
    I've pulled a few boolits before and the coating was still there and i've never had it build up around the case mouth as you would think it would if it were being "pushed off" while seating the boolit.
    I seat boolits with 1.5 to no more than 2 thou. bullet pull or neck tension, and of course a bit of flare on the case mouth, or at least, i strive to do that.

    I wouldn't think it would be a problem with 45/45/10 either as it dries a lot better than straight alox, which never seems to completely dry.
    I used to worry about that very thing when useing straight alox, but have pulled boolits lubed with straight alox, and there was still plenty left on the boolit.
    Lol, i do know straight alox will gum up a seating die pretty quickly, but i don't have that problem with BLL.

  11. #11
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    TL vs. tradition lube accuracy

    Alright, thanks.

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  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy AlexAkai's Avatar
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    FC45LC has a whole series on this subject

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8Ry2HeSwec

  13. #13
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    As the question pertains to pistol loads, I suspect most people will not be able to test accuracy effectively IF the two methods are close. It requires a lot of rounds and it is not easy to do with iron sights handheld. And if the results are close, it may be a moot point anyway. Now, there may be differences if someone conducts testing over a high round count if there are differences in bore conditions. That woukd be important if accuracy must be sustained in something like Bullseye shooting and a 90 round course of fire. Most of the testing I have seen are a few 5 shoot groups at a time.

    Even talented pistol shooters will use a Ransom Rest for testing as it takes the human element out.

    And by that, I do not only mean the ability to aim, rest the pistol exactly the same way, or control the trigger, or deal with fatigue. The test should be “blind”. Another shooter should load the gun and the shooter should not know what he is shooting. And of course, the bore must be adaquately cleaned between testing of different lubes/coatings to address that variable.

    I have never shot PC bullets and have no use for them in a pistol. Lubed bullets group under 2” at 30 yards and that is sufficient for my needs and skill set. And I can lube and size them at almost twice the production rate, but I use a Star. Sometimes good enough is good enough! It is not worth the effort to get another 3/8 of a inch group improvement.
    Don Verna

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  14. #14
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    I have not conducted any side by side tests, but it seems like a worthwhile way to spend a weekend.
    While testing 45-45-10, I put 100 rounds through my 30-06 with the 165 Ranch Dog bullet seated to 2.990" and loaded with 14 gns of WC820 for around 1300fps-ish.
    This was my last target of 5 rounds with 4 of them going under .5"
    The barrel was still clean after 100 rounds without any cleaning...

  15. #15
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    With micro-grooved boolits (Ranch Dog designs as well as the better Lee TL designs), TL is the only option, and I have found them to work well (with the exception of Leeís problem child, the TL356-124TC). Well, sure, you can PC them, but I currently donít do that.

    Hereís another question: does traditional lube play a roll in accuracy generally?
    I seem to recall reading something about it having a sealing as well as a lubing action when the boolit spins through the barrel.

    The thing about TL, itís so dang easy. Even if itís 90% as accurate, thatís reason enough to ditch my pans for most applications.

    There is something about a big olí rifle boolit with about 6 lube grooves full, though...



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  16. #16
    Boolit Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    I was running Ben's Red on rifle.

    Then I tried some BLL over Ben's Red.

    Then I tried warm bullets, and a peanut sized chunk of Ben's Red and tumble lubed it, followed by BLL.

    Now I just put 3 light coats of BLL on and call it good.

    From what I can see, rifle accuracy has been improved if anything.
    But the shooter has good days and not so good days so it is hard to pin down.

    Still when you do things right, and you are getting cloverleaf's at 25, 50, and almost at 100 yards with BLL. I don't see much to complain about.

    That almost had the third bullet less than a half inch out high and left. Shooter error I am sure.

    BLL has made a believer out of me. But Ben's Red is good too.

    But the BLL is so simple. Cast 100 .452 230 gr TC traditional lube groove. Bullets were still warm when the first coat of BLL went on. After a good long swirl pop the top on the container, set it in front of a fan for 5 minutes while I did something else.

    Second coat of BLL, swirl and tumble for 5 min, spill them into a cardboard flat in front of the fan.

    4 hours later they are no longer sticky, hard shell. Ready to be loaded tommorow if I get the brass prep work done.

    If not well there is always the next day.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by dverna View Post
    As the question pertains to pistol loads, I suspect most people will not be able to test accuracy effectively IF the two methods are close.

    ...SNIP
    I agree with dverna.
    but would add, there are pitfalls and limitations to most all lubes, a boolit caster just needs to find a lube that doesn't have pitfalls and limitations for their application.

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