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Thread: Lube specific for coated bullets?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Whistler's Avatar
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    Lube specific for coated bullets?

    Dan Lynch posted some very interesting shootouts some time ago where he fired .357 Mag with 180 grain bullets using lube, powder coating and both at the same time. In short, his conclusion was that lube never hurts accuracy but sometimes helps with it when the bullet is coated.

    This got me thinking. We use lube on non-coated bullets to seal the gas behind the bullet and some other more or less mythical or logical reasons. If the coating can remove the need for some of those reasons, but the lube still helps in accuracy, can we isolate those properties and focus on a lube that is specific for coated bullets? For example we must use soft lubes at low velocities because of desired flow properties at low pressures, and hard lubes at high velocities because of higher pressures and higher rotational forces. What if the coating allows us to use hard lube at low velocities for greater accuracy, or vice versa?

    Has anyone tried this?

    My own tests are limited to the 50/50 beeswax/lithiumgrease formula (Glen Fryxell's lube), but I steadily run it at 2150 fps with a coated 180 gn bullet in .308 Winchester with great results, 0.6 MOA at 100 yards.
    Last edited by Whistler; 10-20-2018 at 08:27 AM.
    Shoot from a rest at 25/50/100 yards, then post your groupings. That is the only way to compare accuracy results.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    Rcmaveric's Avatar
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    Lube is a friction modifier. I have herd sugestions that friction is good for accuracy. Thats why super slick lubes hurt accuracy.

    Powder coating is super slick. So a lube that adds a bit of friction or tackyness. Could in theory add accuracy.
    "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far."
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    JSnover's Avatar
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    We're dealing with a machine of sorts. Lube may not be necessary with PC boolits but I don't see how it could hurt unless it wasn't compatible for some reason.
    Warning: I know Judo. If you force me to prove it I'll shoot you.

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master popper's Avatar
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    I've used BLL overcoat on PCd. It does seem to keep the bore just a tad shinier. Can't tell any accuracy difference.
    Whatever!

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Forrest r's Avatar
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    FWIW:

    I've tested traditional cast/lubed/sized bullets vs cast/coated/sized bullets using bullets from the same casting session in pistols and revolvers. The velocities were higher with the coated bullets. I tested bullets that were pc'd and then lubed with ben's red, lbt blue & 45/45/10. The pc'd + lubed bullets showed no gain or loss in accuracy or velocity.

    What I did find with pc'd bullets was when I started going over 2700fps they started leaving a black residue in the bbl.
    [IMG][/IMG]
    Hoppe's #9 would not take the black streaks out. Had to use this.
    [IMG][/IMG]

    It wasn't the pressure of the load that caused the black streaks in that bbl. I took heavier bullets and tested higher pressure loads with them looking for the same black streaks in the bbl. There were none. I then used the same 2700fps pc'd bullet/load that caused the black streaks and put a coat of 45/45/10 on those pc'd bullets and re-tested. The black streaks were not there with the pc'd/lubed bullets.

    I never had any issues with pc'd bullets in the pistols/revolvers. A 500+ round range session with a 25,000+psi load doing 1100fps.
    [IMG][/IMG]
    1 wet patch with hoppe's #9 and 1 dry patch and the bbl on that 1911 pictured above was clean.
    [IMG][/IMG]

    That firearm/load above does this @ 50ft. Not a hand/cherry picked target by any means, nothing more than the actual target used to tests loads with that day, 1 of several targets.
    [IMG][/IMG]

    I tried lubing those same bullets that were pc'd in the target above with 45/45/10 & ben's red. Used the same load trying to tighten that group up. It didn't matter if the bullets were just pc'd or pc'd + lubed, they all had the same accuracy/velocity.

    Same thing with these 38spl loads, 6-shot groups @ 50ft. Tried tightening the groups up with pc + lube. Didn't matter what I did to the pc'd bullets, same velocity & accuracy.
    [IMG][/IMG]

    That's the testing I've done with pc'd + lubed bullets. The tests were with 15,000psi/25,000psi,35,000psi+ loads that ranged from 900fps to 2700fps. Putting lube on the pc'd bullets didn't seem to matter in 3 different firearms. The only difference I saw was that the black streaks went away with the 2700fps loads when I coated the pc'd bullets with 45/45/10.

    While the accuracy of the +/- 2700fps 308w loads are not that great, +/- 1 1/2" @ 100yds for 10-shot groups. I believe it has more to do with my bullet selection (lee 312-160tl from a 6-cavity mold) and how I cull/sort the bullets I test.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Whistler's Avatar
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    Forrest r, thank you for your extensive testing, that was just the kind of response I was hoping for.

    I notice a clear increase in accuracy on my 2150 fps .308 Winchester load when using PC+lube opposed to just using PC. Just using lube gives the same accuracy as PC+lube.
    Shoot from a rest at 25/50/100 yards, then post your groupings. That is the only way to compare accuracy results.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    I’ve never shot PC over 2000fps, but if lube makes a difference, has anyone tried tumbling them with Liquid Alox?

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Following.

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master popper's Avatar
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    BLL is alox based. PCd I get dirty crown, dirty bore but cleans easy, 2700+ fps in 308. HF or Smokes red. These are slick sided no LGs. PC abraded from friction, lube just keeps it from staying in the bore. No fps difference I've chronyd.
    Whatever!

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    You guys are way out of my field. I lose accuracy after 2000 to 2100 in all my 30 cal loads even with straight lino.

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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