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Thread: Any problems lubing my bullets with melted stick lube?

  1. #1

    Any problems lubing my bullets with melted stick lube?

    First off, hello, this will be my first post. I recently decided to start casting, and purchased a Lyman Big Dipper kit, to get started. I have managed to created some decent pills (160 gr, 30 cal-for my 30-30), but the kit only came with stick lube (actually, three lubes; Super Moly, Alox, and Range Magic), and my Lee sizer is just that, a sizer only. My idea was to just melt the lube in an old pan, and swirl my bullets around. Is this a bad idea?

  2. #2
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    ShooterAZ's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum! You could try doing it, but you'll more than likely end up with a mess on your hands literally. You might read some of the stickies on pan lubing, but I don't think you have enough lube to do that unless you buy more. Another alternative is to hand lube them by rubbing the lube into the lube grooves with the lube stick. You can then run them through the sizer. It's painstaking, but it works. I have done it. My final suggestion (if you're not going to get a lube-sizer) is to get some Lee Liquid Alox, or XLOX from White Label Lubes. This is the tumble lube method, and works pretty well for most applications. Hope this helps...

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    gwpercle's Avatar
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    Welcome to the club Humpty , I started with a big dipper kit in 1968 , know it well.
    What you want to do is called Pan Lubing , size your boolits and stand them up in a shallow pan of melted lube, The melted lube needs to come up just above the top lube groove , let the lube solidify .
    Next you have to cut the lubed boolits out of the solid block. Make a cutting tool from a 30-30 case, sharpen the case mouth, drill a hole through the primer pocket for a rod to push out the lubed boolit after you cut it from the cake. It did this ...Once ! After making the biggest mess , spilled melted lube on table, floor , the dog, my pants , my shirt , lube all over my hands and all over the bullets...They would slip out my fingers , fall on dirty floor....It Was A Nightmare way to lube.
    I drove down to the gun shop and bought a Lyman 450 Lube/sizer , sizing die and top punch.
    Set it up....it seats a gas check , sizes, lubricates and spits out a clean , lubed, sized boolit in one cycle of the handle...To me this was the absolute best money I ever spent , so fast , so clean and boolits need to be sized. Go with pan lube for now but start saving your nickles and dimes and as soon as you can get a lube sizer....they are so nice...clean too. Do you know how hard it is to get lube out of clothes and you can ruin shoes with spilled lube ...it never comes out .
    I still have the original 450 and used it a lot .
    Your swirl in lube method is dip lubing , it may work , try it . Dip the base in melted lube above the lube groove and stand on paper towel to dry the downside is the groove may not hold enough lube to do the job and the excess lube gets shaved off and into the boolit seating die. Give it a go and see how it works .
    Gary
    Last edited by gwpercle; 10-06-2018 at 06:32 PM.
    Certified Cajun
    Proud Member of The Basket of Deplorables

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    There are several ways to lube bullets with out the pump. I shoot all my BPCR rifles as cast and pan lubed. These bullets run from 335 grn and 360 grn 38s to 500-550 grn 45s. My bullets are cast from 20-1 alloy so softer than some.

    Pan lubing,
    works good and for batches of bullets is handy. My pans hold roughly 250 bullets at a time
    You want 2 pans one outer with 2 spacers mine are 1/2" x1/2 angle iron this keeps the inner pan up above the bottom. Set on a stove burner and level set second pan and add water to outer pan to just above lube level in inner pan. heat and melt lube. turn off burner and let cool. The benefits of the double boiler is it helps prevent scourching the lube and lowers the risk of fires with wax based lubes. Once cooled cut bullets out with the above mentioned cake cutter. With this you get a little lube on the base that needs to be wiped off before loading. Grooved are gilled and any shrinkage during cooling is done before they are cut out. Save the block and pan as it makes the next batch easier to do having the holes in place already. When starting a new pan I melt the lube to close to depth and punch the holes in it this makes it easier to stand bullets up. the draw back is you need more lube to start up once the pan is filled and holes you only add what is needed but it requires more to start out.

    Dip lubing: Works but I find it harder and messier to do. A small can ( mushroom can or small cut down tomato paste can) with the lube in it again melted in a pan of water. Bullets are dipped into the lube base first and set aside to cool. I use waxed paper for the bullets to sit on. Here when dipping cold bullets you get a heavy coat of lube on sides and base. Again pushed thru a cake cutter removes the sides excess and a flat knife blade ( xacto knife) scrapes the base clean then a wipe on a towel or patch. Youll want a xacto knife or single edge razor blade for scraping bases, and a set of tweezers for dipping. Tweezers can be modified by adding jaws tips with the bullet noses radious from epoxy. if a piece of clear plastic tubing can be found the nose fits snug into it can be used with a rod to push bullets out. A simple piece of .010 feeler gage 1" long glued into a small block of wood works for a base scraper. You need to protect surfaces from lube drips. I do small batches and test lubes like this before I fill a pan and pan lube.

    Finger lubing: this lso does good with softer lubes. A pinch of lube is put on finger tips and worked into grooves. Think packing a bearing with grease. Slow and my fingers cramp quickly Re plus is with a small board on your lap you can finger lube while watching TV.

    My cake cutters are made from brass tubing 3 1/2" long with one end swaged down to bullet dia +.010 this allows for a raised lube ring. I sharpen the working end on the onside so ity presses the lube into the groove as it cuts. A piece of snug tubing 1 1/2" long on the other end for a handle and the bullets are pushed thru as you cut them from the block or trim the dip lubed ones. 7/16 od tubing with .030 walls is 3/8 ID swage one end down to .320 for 3/8" - 1/2" long a fired case with the head cut off works but is short to hold.

    Online metals sells brass tubing in short lengths. A fired case also works don't size or expand neck to size. if a sizer is available you can make this a ling necked case on bottle neck cases.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
    Rcmaveric's Avatar
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    Good tips. Finger lube, pan lube,or dip lube. Tske your pick.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far."
    ~Theodore Roosevelt~

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy RED BEAR's Avatar
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    ditto on pan lubeing .or you can hand lube them. good luck and welcome aboard. !

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
    Tom W.'s Avatar
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    As of late I've been finger lubing my .30 cal boolits, sizing them and finishing up with a dip in JPW. When they dry I'll either store or load them. So far it's working, no leadi........
    Tom
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  8. #8
    Boolit Master


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    "Dip lubing: Works but I find it harder and messier to do. A small can ( mushroom can or small cut down tomato paste can) with the lube in it again melted in a pan of water. Bullets are dipped into the lube base first and set aside to cool. I use waxed paper for the bullets to sit on. Here when dipping cold bullets you get a heavy coat of lube on sides and base. Again pushed thru a cake cutter removes the sides excess and a flat knife blade ( xacto knife) scrapes the base clean then a wipe on a towel or patch. Youll want a xacto knife or single edge razor blade for scraping bases, and a set of tweezers for dipping. Tweezers can be modified by adding jaws tips with the bullet noses radious from epoxy. if a piece of clear plastic tubing can be found the nose fits snug into it can be used with a rod to push bullets out. A simple piece of .010 feeler gage 1" long glued into a small block of wood works for a base scraper. You need to protect surfaces from lube drips. I do small batches and test lubes like this before I fill a pan and pan lube."

    When dip lubing, if your getting too much lube on your bullets, heat the bullets up a bit 140-150 Degs and much less lube will cling on the bullets.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
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    Me, i like the alox tumble lube method on the ones i dont powdercoat. But i add a pinch of mica powder so that the boolits arent as sticky.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    Read the thread on BLL. I tried pan lubing, hand lubing, then I tried BLL. Went to that for everything and never looked back.

  11. #11
    Whoa, thanks for the informative replies. I only have a about seventy to lube right now (this will be my initial test batch), so I'll hand lube them. I think I'll get some liquid Alox, and see how I like that. I can always get a lube/sizer later. At the moment, I am just trying to squeeze as much economy out of this little starter kit as I can.

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
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    For a cheap start alox and tumble lube is the way to go. In my opinion of course.

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BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
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