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Thread: Lubing during the heat treat/hardening process?

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
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    Utah
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    Lubing during the heat treat/hardening process?

    Hey everyone--

    I have a jar full of .223 bullets that I heat treated and quenched using the LASC chart for a target hardness of about 20 BHN. According to the chart it should take the bullets about 2 weeks to reach that hardness.

    I'm going to lube them with FWFL. I have found the batch I made melts easily at 100 degrees F, which should be well under the temperature needed to anneal the lead bullets and undo all my heat treating for hardening purposes (right?).

    Is there any reason to wait until they're done hardening before I lube them? Or am I good to get them lubed now so I can load them right away when they have finished hardening up?
    Currently in the process of developing the "perfect" cast .223 load for my AR-15. Click here to follow my progress

  2. #2
    Boolit Master





    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    NH
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    I size and lube quick before they are hardened fully . why tax the equipment

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    Yodogsandman's Avatar
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    Apr 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geezer in NH View Post
    I size and lube quick before they are hardened fully . why tax the equipment
    Agree fully! I broke my table once after heat treating and waiting 5 days. Much easier done ASAP and within a day.
    A deplorable that votes!

  4. #4
    Boolit Man
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
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    Utah
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    I'm using a push-through sizer to both size and install gas checks, so I'm actually sizing and gas checking before I heat treat. No issues there. Then heat treating and letting them harden for a couple of weeks. Sounds like I shouldn't have any issue pan lubing as long as I keep my temp well under the annealing temperature for the alloy, which should be no problem. Thanks all!
    Currently in the process of developing the "perfect" cast .223 load for my AR-15. Click here to follow my progress

  5. #5
    Moderator



    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    Depending on alloy, they will probably harden up faster than you think.

    My target hardness was 24 BHN for the alloy I heat treated
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...671-Heat-treat
    It was 22 BHN in 2 hours.

  6. #6
    Most of the hardening occurs in first 3 days. The chart you are talking about works with his equipment and alloy. Your results will vary.

    Sent from my SM-G950U1 using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    south western pennsylvina
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    3,223
    I have been water dropping cast bullets from the mould directly into a 5 gallon bucket filled about 4 " below the top and a layer of packaging peanuts covering the surface in a thin layer (splashing) ! you can deepen a 5 gal bucket by cutting off the bottom of a few other 5 gal buckets about 4" below the reinforcement rings and they will slip into each other, glue into place so they wont leak , I don't glue the top one and use it as a splash guard.

    I size & lube and add gas checks right after casting that's when the bullet haven't started hardening yet and there easyer to push through the Star lube/ sizer , if sizing down more than a few thousands or the mould casts a bit large the sizing even after 24 hrs can be difficlut ! to make it a bit easyer try some case spray case lube on the bullets applying just like brass.
    Your method will work as described in your 2ed post but that's a lot of extra work IMO , water dropping from the mould and keeping the alloy & mould temp a constant temp through out the casting session will produce excellent bullets lacking nothing in accuracy. I use a stop watch to time when I cut off the sprue usually some where between 5 to 10 seconds if you have to knock the sprue plate with a tool you are wating too long or the alloy or mould are not up to temp , I usually cast @700 degrees and pre heat my mould to about 450 degrees and just push open the sprue plate with my hand or push it open with my small 1 lb raw hide mallet
    !

    if its still available ? get LBTs book on bullet casting.
    Last edited by bobthenailer; 05-31-2018 at 08:23 AM.

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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