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Thread: old alox lubed bullets

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    old alox lubed bullets

    I found some 7mm and .41 bullets in Speer bullet boxes. These 7 mm and .41 cast bullets have gas checks and are lubed with Lee Alox bullet lube. They have to be at least 25 yrs old and look dirty. Should I melt them down or would they be loadable? They seem to still be sticky, is that common with Lee Alox?
    What is the opinion on the best way to lube, lube/sizer, Alox, or powder coat.
    I am trying spraying bullets with my lanolin/alcohol case sizing mix. Then sizing and washing the bullets. Let them dry and run them through the NOE sizing die again putting on the gas checks. After that I powder coat and maybe resize them if they are too fat.
    I have an RCBS lube/sizer, but have not used it yet. Time wise that might be the quicker way to lube and size, but which are the better bullets? lube/sized, Lee Alox (and having sticky bullets), or powder coating?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    If they aren't gritty I'd give them a fresh dose of tumble lube and use them. If they are gritty id try washing them with solvent to remove anything but still tumble lube again. I'd be feared that you'd have problems getting the PC to work right.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    If you want to start all over again, or, as was mentioned, they are gritty (dirty) wash them in mineral spirits, and then mix some BLL or buy some of Lars' White Label 45-45-10 lube. Either one should work, or you can use them over the old lube.

  4. #4
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    richhodg66's Avatar
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    I have boiled LLA off bullets. Takes a while but works. A rolling boil in some water, stirring the bullets with a wooden stick now and then will melt it off and cause it to float to the top where you can skim it off when it cools. A little dish soap may help. Then lube with whatever you like.

    If they aren't gritty from dust getting on them, just load and shoot the. LLA is good lube. Casting bullets is enough work that I don't melt any down to be re cast if they can be shot up in something.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master uscra112's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by richhodg66 View Post
    I have boiled LLA off bullets. Takes a while but works. A rolling boil in some water, stirring the bullets with a wooden stick now and then will melt it off and cause it to float to the top where you can skim it off when it cools. A little dish soap may help. Then lube with whatever you like.

    If they aren't gritty from dust getting on them, just load and shoot the. LLA is good lube. Casting bullets is enough work that I don't melt any down to be re cast if they can be shot up in something.
    Boiling is the right way to remove old lube. Personally I'll say that it's the ONLY way.
    flectere si nequeo superos, acheronta movebo

  6. #6
    Boolit Master rsrocket1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by odette View Post
    I found some 7mm and .41 bullets in Speer bullet boxes. These 7 mm and .41 cast bullets have gas checks and are lubed with Lee Alox bullet lube. They have to be at least 25 yrs old and look dirty. Should I melt them down or would they be loadable? They seem to still be sticky, is that common with Lee Alox?
    What is the opinion on the best way to lube, lube/sizer, Alox, or powder coat.
    I am trying spraying bullets with my lanolin/alcohol case sizing mix. Then sizing and washing the bullets. Let them dry and run them through the NOE sizing die again putting on the gas checks. After that I powder coat and maybe resize them if they are too fat.
    I have an RCBS lube/sizer, but have not used it yet. Time wise that might be the quicker way to lube and size, but which are the better bullets? lube/sized, Lee Alox (and having sticky bullets), or powder coating?
    Yes, Lee Liquid Alox can remain tacky for a long time and soft for even longer. No matter how little there is on it, it's probably sufficient to shoot. 90% of the people who apply it put in on too thick.

    For ease and expense of lubing, they are in order: Tumble lube, Powder Coating, Lube Sizer (possible exchange of #2 and #3 for ease).

    If you want to powder coat the bullets, you need to remove all the Alox which can be done with several washings of the bullets in a tub with mineral spirits, changing the spirits out between washings. You can see the alox in the solution as you swirl the bullets around. When the mineral spirits remain clear, your bullets are clean.

    Best bet is to load up a dozen and shoot 'em as is. If the barrel remains clean and you don't mind the smoke, you are good to go. No need to waste any more time or effort if not needed.

  7. #7
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    Cleaning old Lee Alox tumble lube:
    Soaking in MS works great, but MS is much more expensive than another technique I use. I soak them overnight in "LA's Totally Awesome". I get it at the dollar store. I don't know what's in there? but for $1, it removes Lee's Alox better than any other household cleaner that I've tried.

    which are the better bullets? lube/sized, Lee Alox (and having sticky bullets), or powder coating?
    I prefer to use a lubesizer...but only you can say what is BEST for you...but I would get the dust cleaned off that RCBS lube/sizer that you have not used it yet...and give it a go, once you get the old sticky Alox off your bullets.
    Good Luck.

  8. #8
    Boolit Bub
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    all bullets have gas checks, will that be a problem boiling them or using mineral spirits? I will probably powder coat them, but snowed in at work

  9. #9
    Boolit Bub
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    no Dollar Store here, only Dollar General and they stopped carrying LA Totally Awesome.

  10. #10
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    richhodg66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by odette View Post
    all bullets have gas checks, will that be a problem boiling them or using mineral spirits? I will probably powder coat them, but snowed in at work
    I think if the bullets were sized and the gas checks were subsequently crimped on, there would be no problems boiling them.

    If the lube that's on them in good shape? Why not just shoot them as they are if the lube is still there?

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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