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Thread: any point in lube groves when always PC'ing, have you ordered smooth sided?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    any point in lube groves when always PC'ing, have you ordered smooth sided?

    when seeing all the pictures of peoples PC boolits there pretty much all standard lube grove designs, only seen a few with no lube groves. I get molds from accurate, my last one I knew id not be using regular lube ever, so I got his small tumble groves and it looks nice with PC and I could LLA if lazy. but is there any point to groves at all if only using PC.

    maybe the multiple bearing surfaces acts like several gasket seals?
    or provides displacement zone for rifling deformation?
    or maybe lube groves are there so the edge of my scissors can fit in them to pick bullets out of the powder shake container without noticeable marks? ok maybe not that one

    main reason I didn't want 1 large standard grove is when im looking through designs with PC in mind im thinking that's 10grs of mass missing for no reason. while not a lot, it means the lead either needs to make up that mass by taking up more powder room or outside dimensions for a given weight, so I consider it relevant if your trying to optimize.

    also ive seen a large grove can fully obturate to a smooth side anyway when theres no lube to resist pressure. I cant imagine its more concentric than one who was smooth sided to begin with. so I wouldn't get one unless i needed it

    do any of you order with lube grove delete? was there any noticeable positives or negatives? just trying to figure how I should order next time. the tumble groves seem like a good compromise, by the time its powdered and sized its just tiny notches, which looks nice and could tumble lube as backup plan, but im wondering if even that is pointless when its powder coated.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Well, it's not a perfect comparison, since in my case we're talking about two different boolit styles of the same weight, and I HiTek rather than PC, but I found that my boolit with one lube groove took less powder to make the same velocity compared to a groove less boolit of the same weight and coated and sized the same way. I'm guessing that at least part of the difference is due to the different amount of bearing surface.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    My boolits are only ever going to be hitek coated, so see no benefit in lube grooves. Jwords dont have lube grooves and they go just fine. I just today recieved an nlg mold from mp.

  4. #4
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    Smoke4320's Avatar
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    Two or more ways to look at this
    Always having lube grooves will give you more buyers if you decide to sale the mold later on.
    The lube grooves hurt nothing being there if pc ot hi tek coated.
    No loobe grooves make bullet release from mold very easy and coating simpler if you are OCD like me
    No lube grooves gives more bearing surface in the barrel. More bite so to speak in the bore
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  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master fredj338's Avatar
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    There is no point in the grooves but I like options, so all my molds have lube grooves. Just eb aware that smooth bullets produce a bit more pressures, more bearing surface.
    EVERY GOOD SHOOTER NEEDS TO BE A HANDLOADER.
    NRA Cert. Inst. Met. Reloading & Basic Pistol

  6. #6
    Boolit Master


    tomme boy's Avatar
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    Most of the no lube grove pistol molds I have seen are geared to Hitek. They don't take into account for the throat. You will have to seat deeper because of the PC that is applied.

    Most all pistols come with no throat anymore.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy Rainier's Avatar
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    Tom at Accurate Molds made this for my 358 Winchester - checked and PC'd it weighs in at 255gr. I couldn't be happier with a mold, its a great shooting boolit.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I also have a 160gr 358 HP mold without lube grooves that works like a charm in my 357's. I don't suspect I'll order another mold with lube groves if I have the option.
    "Truth is treason in the empire of lies" Ron Paul

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rainier View Post
    Tom at Accurate Molds made this for my 358 Winchester - checked and PC'd it weighs in at 255gr. I couldn't be happier with a mold, its a great shooting boolit.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I also have a 160gr 358 HP mold without lube grooves that works like a charm in my 357's. I don't suspect I'll order another mold with lube groves if I have the option.
    Wow. She's beautiful! Nice work Rainier.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    I have yet to order a NLG mold since my thought is that versatility is nice. The lube grooves don't seem to bother anything. That being said, it is unlikely that l will ever get a lube-sizer.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy Rainier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taterhead View Post
    Wow. She's beautiful! Nice work Rainier.
    Thank you! Here's a picture of the mold...
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I see some folks worry about a "cow manure coming into contact with swift moving blades" situation for ordering molds - I have a backup plan;
    1) Cast and PC a large supply
    2) Have an additional lube groove mold on hand you can tumble lube.

    Keep in mind with my thoughts and $5 you can get a cup of coffee and the local coffee shop
    "Truth is treason in the empire of lies" Ron Paul

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Petander's Avatar
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    I have been coating for a year and just recently tried a NLG mold in 45 ACP.

    I'm getting ridiculously good accuracy,could be just good luck in many ways but I have been shooting cast 45ACP for 20 years with many pistols,have many molds. None of my grooved molds shoot this good,I didn't know that I,Myself,can shoot this good either. Mihec/STI/Hi Tek. Clays@50 meters break all the time.

    I will definitely get more NLG:s.


    Of course this is just my one lucky experience.

  12. #12
    AKA: GRMPS Conditor22's Avatar
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    Some say that the lube grooves give a place for some of the lead to go from compression by the rifling when traveling down a barrel, I'm still out on the matter due to lack of experience and equipment to test this,

    Like others, I only purchased TL or regular lube grooved boolits for ease of resale factor.

    my 2

  13. #13
    Boolit Master


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    Over the last year or so, I’ve been reading that a of folks are going to plain sided boolits. Most are being ordered custom. When I order another mould, it will be plain sided.

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy

    WheelgunConvert's Avatar
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    Just keep in mind that the NLG versions are not the proven original successful designs. There’s more mass. The balance is slightly different. Do you need the groove for displacement?

    That said I have 3 NLG variations on established designs and they cast easily, PC or HT easily and have proven to be accurate for my purpose.
    Stronger, Prouder and Greater!

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy Wheelguns 1961's Avatar
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    I have both. I really like the nlg designs. It is my personal opinion that the increased bearing surface aids in accuracy. I have no way to prove it, but all of my nlg designs shoot very good. Come to think of it, my lube groove molds are also very good. So who knows. I started buying them because you get a little more weight in the same package. That is my story and I’m sticking to it.
    Due to the price of primers, warning shots will no longer be given!

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy Rainier's Avatar
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    Here is the boolit I was working with, a SEACO #352, 245gr mold. Good mold, good boolit, good accuracy, few complaints.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Tom simply made his copy, the 245S, without lube grooves. Winner, Winner, Chicken dinner! Most accurate boolit I have for my 358 Win and at pretty crazy velocities if you want to play speed demon. Think 2300+ fps - I couldn't do that with the SAECO.
    "Truth is treason in the empire of lies" Ron Paul

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy Tmaloy's Avatar
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    I guess I'm a just a traditionalist. Anyhow if I can't get some powder coating material I have the option of using traditional lubes.

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
    Dragonheart's Avatar
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    I think a no groove mold would be the best choice if it were sized appropriately to take int6o consideration the added dimension of the coating. If not then I can see that the lube grooves offer a place for the metal go that is displaced in sizing. A no groove sized base first would have the additional alloy pushed up, but a no groove sized nose first would end up with metal being pushed down around the base, deforming the base. A deformed bullet base is going to be an accuracy problem.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master mattw's Avatar
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    I am pc'ing about 50% of my bullets. They will always have lube grooves! It gives me options, you know **** options when PC may not be as simple as email to Smoke or a trip to the auto paint shop. I also lube for a few guns that just do not seem to work as well with PC. I am convinced that it is a good option, all of my 22TCM bullets get PC, not sure lube would hold up real well at 1900 to 2000fps on something as small as a 22. My 300BO are all getting PC, do not want to risk leading up my AR's.

    Long story short, will not buy a grooveless mould.

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
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    One additional thought. Smooth bullets have less chance of getting out of balance upon firing

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BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
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