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Thread: What lube for low velocity soft cast?

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    UK - Kent

    What lube for low velocity soft cast?

    I have just started casting 357 wadcutters, soft (ish) cast, low velocity.

    I have got a RCBS Lube-a-matic 2 on its way to me, but what Lube should I use?

    At the moment I do not want to make my own, also I don't have a heater for it, but if needed I will get one.

    Any recommendations? oh also I am in the UK, choice seems to be a bit limited to Lyman or RCBS



  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    May 2015
    easternshore of va.
    O Boy this could get complicated get a pin and notebook .

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    Rcmaveric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Jacksonville, FL
    If your just doing tipical pistol work. Fivers Simple Lube is good stuff. Its simple quick and easy to make works good for me in pistols.

    SL-68B is what i am transitioning over to. It works good in everything.

    Eds Red works great in rifles.

    Thats my experience and recomendations.

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  4. #4
    Boolit Master 35 shooter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    collins ms.
    If your saying your limited to rcbs orLyman lube, either will work pretty well. I used the rcbs rifle and pistol lube in my 44 mag. 40 odd years ago when I got started. I used the rifle lube for full mag. loads, but it probably wasn’t necessary.

    As far as making your own lube, I use Ben’s Red and BLL for everything rifle and handgun with zero problems.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

    gwpercle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    I have found a lube that contains Lithium grease and beeswax works well.
    I bought a large supply years ago , that maker is no longer in the lube making business but he kindly gave me the recipe . 1 part Lithium Grease (Lucas Red-N-Tacky) to 3 parts beeswax. Measure by weight.
    Makers refer to this as Lithi-Bee Lube. Someone must make it or a similar lube. It is a soft lube , requires no heat and works well with softish alloys .
    I have always believed the soft lubes work better than the hard ones that require a heater.
    If Lyman is available go with Lyman Alox Lube or The Lyman Ideal Lube isn't bad.
    I'm not sure about RCBS , never used it . I believe it's a Alox - beeswax like Lyman Alox.
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  6. #6
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    May 2015
    easternshore of va.
    Contact White Label Lube co. - www.LsStuff .com . For your intended use their are a lot of lubes that will work . Tumble lubing is fast and works well , a lot of members powder coat , I have used a black powder lube consisting of bee's wax and unsalted Crisco with a bit of olive oil with wonderful results . I have read of members using wax seals for toilet bowl installation .

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Few years back, I did a simple lube test for my low velocity cast wadcutter loads. My Lyman 45 was filled with Micro lube (discontinued?)..I used this lube for all my IHMSA revolver loads, so I lubed bullets with this. I also used my home brewed mix of beeswax, anhydrous lanolin, castor oil, & carnauba wax..this one is fairly soft & when rubbed between thumb & fingers will easily absorb into skin. This lube proved a little better for accuracy at 25yds...not by much but groups definatly smaller.

  8. #8

    ShooterAZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Flagstaff, AZ
    50/50 Beeswax and olive oil will work well in a pinch for low velocity stuff. If you need a little stiffer lube, use a little more beeswax. Use a pyrex cup "double boiler" setup to melt the beeswax and then blend them together. You can then pour the mixture into you lube sizer. If you want to purchase a good lube, the White Label lubes in the link above are hard to beat. I really like their BAC lube for handgun applications.

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    over the hill, out in the woods and far away
    If you go back through Col. E.H. Harrison's articles on loading accurate .38 Special wadcutter ammunition, he noted that when loading the H&G #50 bullet that best accuracy was obtained filling only the bottom groove with the NRA formula 50-50 Alox-Beeswax.

    Most people use far too much lube! Doing so isn't necessary for .38 Special or .45 ACP loads at subsonic velocity or in plainbased rifle gallery loads under 1300 fps in calibers like the .30-06. Nor is it necessary to have special "tumble-lube" bullets with the tiny grooves. Standard cast bullets work fine. There is absolutely NO NEED to "fill" conventional lubricating grooves with LLA. Film lubes works best by using a THIN coating over THE ENTIRE bullet.

    This is how I do it. As they say, YOUR MILEAGE MAY VARY.

    DILUTE the LLA or LSStuff with equal parts by liquid volume with aliphatic mineral spirits.

    Use 1 fluid ounce of the diluted solution to every 25 POUNDS of bullets, agitating in a .50 cal. ammo can.

    Use four fluid ounces of dilute solution to do ONE HUNDRED POUNDS of plainbased .30 cal. gallery rifle, .38 or .45 wadcutters in a 5 gallon bucket rotated slowly in a cement mixer.

    After every 5th cycle you can do a run with mineral spirits only to dissolve and redistribute the dried LLA coating the inside of the bucket or ammo can.

    More lube enlarges groups. When I was at NRA and later Ruger we shot thousands of rounds of reloads in testing. Our objective was to obtain 12-round, 25-yard X-ring circular-normal groups from a heavy-barrel PPC gun or 2" or less at 50 yards firing a BSA-Martini action with heavy Green Mountain barrel, .38 AMU chamber and 10X Unertl scope. Never had any leading issues.

    Start with a clean bore, which has been LIGHTLY lubricated with mineral oil USP or the diluted lubricant, then wiped with 2 dry patches to distribute the lube and remove the excess so that for the first string you aren't sending bullets down a squeaky clean dry, naked bore.

    Once the bore has been conditioned treat it like a seasoned .22 match rifle or pistol. After firing wet the bore with cotton mop only using Ed's Red or Kroil and store it wet, muzzle down, do the solvent does not run into the action.


    Before shooting again run one wet patch to push out the softened residue, then follow two dry patches through bore, dry the chambers and shoot. The bore remains conditioned with a slight remaining oily-lube residue in bore. First shot from a clean, wiped, and lightly lubricated, cold barrel at 25 yards pistol or 100 yards rifle should shoot right to sights and into group of subsequent shots without any foulers or sighters needed.

    For lubing "commercial quantities" fill a USGI .30 cal. ammo can flush to the top with your .30 cal. gallery bullets, .38 or .45 wadcutter bullets, using the .30 cal. can as a "bulk bullet measure"

    Pour the .30 cal. ammo can of bulk bullets into a .50 cal. can, so that there is "tumbling room" to agitate the can.

    Pour 2 fluid ounces of DILUTED 50-50 LLA-Mineral spirits into the .50 cal. can, then snap down the lid.

    Gently agitate the ammo can. Grasp it by the handle and turn the can first end to end ten times, then side to side ten times, then repeat end to end ten times.

    Unsnap the lid, leaving the can open, supporting a ten-inch box fan over the top of the open can. Let the fan blow on its highest setting to evaporate off excess solvent for 8 hours while you so something else in the shop.

    After 8 hours, repeat the agitation sequence and again leave can open with the fan over top blowing overnight.

    The next morning snap the lid closed, agitate again, then the pour lubed bullets out onto plastic film and spread them out to finish drying, if needed. When dry to the touch bullets can be stored bulk in ammo cans until needed.

    After you have repeatedly used your lube can, five or six times, such that its insides are now thoroughly coated with dried lube, you can skip the LLA for every 5th or 6th bullet load, using clear mineral spirits only to dissolve and redistribute the accumulated lube inside the can.

    If bullets are not lubricated "excessively" your seating dies should not accumulate bullet lube to affect seating depth. When loading "commercial quantities" on progressive machines when loading large quantities have a 1/16" bleed hole EDM'ed into the seater die so that lube deposits will extrude out and not affect seating depth. Erik at www.hollowpointmold.com can do this for you reasonably on RCBS, Redding, Dillon or Lee dies.

    I save the extruded "lube worms" coming out the bleed hole to flux my casting pot or to lubricate the sprue plate hinges on my gang molds.

    Using a LARGE rotating tumbler which will hold a HEAVY 5-gallon bucket you can use 4 fluid ounces of diluted 50-50 to 100 pounds of bullets. SLOW AND GENTLE rotation rather than vigorous agitation avoids bullet base damage.
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  10. #10
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Central Virginia
    I believe the OP is shooting those WC's in a very long barreled revolver (based on his other thread)


    I believe NRA 50/50 (Available from White Label) would work just fine for him. He's in the UK, so that may be an issue.
    Last edited by Petrol & Powder; 10-05-2018 at 06:04 PM.

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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
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