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Thread: Canning wax bullets?

  1. #41
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Colorado Springs, Colorado
    I started shooting wax in the mid 1980s, before paintball was a thing. We made vests out of carpet and wore motorcycle helmets with full face shields. I started out using a metal lid that was smooth sided to make 1/2" thick wax pucks. I found that running warm water over the wax softened the wax enough to where pushing a case through was a breeze. I put marking line chalk in the metal lid which sank to the bottom causing the tip to show red. As I would place the wax loaded cartridges into Styrofoam trays designed for wadcutters the wax often would take the shape. When the wax got dirty from the primer and subsequent re use they would look like wadcutters and so the chalk. Also, the impact left a red mark on your opponent um target

    I took those wax boolits to the range at work and the rangemaster hollered out 'you need hearing protection.' I replied 'no I don't' and let one fly. 'Let me check that out' he said and the next thing I knew every rangemaster loaded up a revolver and soon were hunting lizard around the rocks. Good times.

    One of the guys was a buddy I went to the academy with and he asked me to make him up a box which I obliged. A week later he asked me for another box. 'Did you shoot all those up?' He said 'no, my wife did.' It seems she was quite the landscaper and her lawn was pristine. In fact, all of her shrubs and plants were well manicured. Across the street was bare land for hundreds of feet but the neighborhood dogs preferred squatting on her lawn. She shot the male dogs in the testicles and they never pooped on her lawn again. In fact, when they walked down the road they would go on the far side as they passed their house.

    Later, I taught him how to make his own wax boolits. Then I showed him how to reload his shells. Then I taught him how to cast and size. One day, we mined 6, 5 gallon buckets of lead from the pistol range. I told him I would come by on my next days off (or his) as we worked different shifts. I came by a few days later and he had smelted all of it into ingots. We cast some boolits and I went on my way. On my next days off (or his), I went by his house again. There was a 5 gallon bucket of 230gr 45 RN, a 5 gallonb bucket of 125 RN 9mm boolits, a 5 gallon bucket of 158gr .38 SWC, etc. I knew he was hooked. By the end of a month he had bought pretty much all of the same equipment I had, same molds, furnace, lube-sizer, and a couple molds I didn't have. He got bit by the bug badly after showing him how to make wax boolits.

    A few years ago, I started making hot glue boolits and had fun with that. My neighbors get a kick out of shooting down the hall at targets pasted on a cardboard box. I did learn one thing the hard way, glue boolits need lube. Liquid floor wax as a tumble lube worked wonders. Huh, more wax boolits. Who knew?
    Common sense Gun Safety . . .

    Is taught at the Range!

  2. #42
    Boolit Buddy

    doghawg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    fcvan...That was a very informative...and entertaining post.

  3. #43
    Boolit Grand Master

    missionary5155's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Back in Sunny, Warm Arequipa till 2020
    Good morning
    Olive oil and beeswax.. The only lube I am permitted to make in the kitchen. Basis for our BP lube.
    I would think 10% olive oil to 90% (1-9) would get you there. Can always add another small amount of olive oil. Even tastes good !
    Mike in LLama Land
    "Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
    Male Guanaco out in dry lakebed at 10,800 feet south of Arequipa.

  4. #44
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Squirrels are horrible here and I can't make a dent in them. I use Super Colibri and a table for one at 20 yards

  5. #45
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    30 miles South of Cheyenne, unfortunately
    So, what is the concern about just shooting the wax buildup out with a mild metallic bullet load?

    I realize this may seem like a dumb question but it appears to me that it would not be any worse than the practice of shooting jacketed bullets after lead bullets without cleaning in between.

    I recall, back in the day, that there was a school of thought that after a session of lead bullets, one was supposed to fire several jacketed bullets to remove any leading. In fact some of the fellows following that theory would load some very square based jacketed bullets, backwards in the belief that it would scrape the lead out better. Personally I didn't have much luck doing it but those same fellows followed the practice religiously.
    There are 550 million arms in worldwide circulation. This is 1 firearm for every 12 people on the planet. The only question is , HOW DO WE ARM THE OTHER !!? The Lord of War.

  6. #46

  7. #47
    Boolit Master
    JBinMN's Avatar
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    Feb 2017
    Goodhue County, SE Minnesota
    Quote Originally Posted by Lostinidaho View Post
    Thanks! Good to watch & interesting!
    2nd Amend./U.S. Const. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

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  8. #48
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Old NRA article on making wax bullets....
    An old Cherokee was teaching his grandson about life. "Inside me two wolves fight," he told the boy.
    "One is evil - he is anger, envy, greed, arrogance, self-pity, resentment, lies, false pride, and ego. The other is good - he is joy, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, generosity, truth and faith. The same fight is inside you - and every other person, too."
    The grandson thought for a minute and asked,"Which wolf will win?"
    The old Cherokee replied, "The one you feed."

  9. #49
    Moderator Emeritus

    georgerkahn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    South of the (Canada) border
    Quote Originally Posted by roysha View Post
    So, what is the concern about just shooting the wax buildup out with a mild metallic bullet load?
    roysha -- A good question for which the only answer -- why I remove all wax -- is FEAR! . I have first-hand witnessed a barrel ruined from being fired with a coating of oil which had not been removed -- it turning into a galling agent instead of a lubricant.
    My "fear" is of the unknown affect of leaving a wax coating, which like rust-preventative oil, is quite easily removed. I have taught so many years of firearm safety classes where a pristine, clean of anything barrel is requisite, I guess (in this case) I do practice precisely what I preach. My quite quick, easy, and simple "drill" is, immediately before range/hunt, I pull an Otis-type brush, followed by a couple of patches through each barrel. Generally, two shots are then fired to "prove" both sight-in and function, with -- a superstition I have -- ensuring the third shot, after the 2-shot fouling -- will be right on! Fyi, in my kit is a small container of cigarette lighter fluid, and that's what I use on both the brush and patches to ensure absence of oil. wax, and/or ???.

    Perhaps one may shoot lead/jacketed safely in a wax laden barrel -- but, again, my FEAR of the unknown damage/personal injury prevents me from my trying.

  10. #50
    Boolit Grand Master

    jonp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Planet Reality
    Quote Originally Posted by Pressman View Post
    I first learned about shooting wax boolits as an 18 year old from reading gun magazines, in 1967. I got a new Super Blackhawk the following year and snitched a bar of mom's canning paraffin, took a couple of 44 mag cases and drilled the flashholes then proceeded to have a literal blast plinking at paper targets in the basement.

    Today I have an airsoft pistol, a Dasiy BB pistol and a Crossman CO2 pistol. But wax bullets remain my favorite for basement or garage plinking.

    A Lyman wax boolit set from 1960, all the tools needed, a bar of wax and clearly written, illustrated instructions.

    Plink On,

    Attachment 247986

    Attachment 247987

    Attachment 247988
    Wow, never knew they made such a thing. Now I have something to go look for.
    I am become death. The destroyer of worlds

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  11. #51
    Boolit Master

    SSGOldfart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    East Texas
    Yep I'm a fan of was bullets as well as mouse fart loads,but a old rough rider by gun keeps the squirrels at bay in my pecan trees, I don't want to kill them,but I do want my pecans. Besides they will make a great squirrel stew later in the year,followed with a pecan pie. Dean Grennell wrote a article on wax bullets in his book The ABC's of Reloading (3rd Edition). Good read
    I started out with nothing and I still have most of it left.
    Paralyzed Veterans of America

    Looking for a Hensly &Gibbs #258 any thing from a two cavity to a 10cavity

  12. #52
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    Smoke4320's Avatar
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    Apr 2013
    Right here least I was a minute ago
    had to laugh .. read the title of thread … thought why would anyone want to can wax bullets
    I carry a Nuke50 because cleaning up the mess is Silly !!

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  13. #53
    Try a cylinder of shells loaded with dry tumbling material or grits or dried used coffee grounds to clean out the wax buildup.
    Then just clean as usual.
    WD 40 works to clean out the wax too.

  14. #54
    Boolit Master Drm50's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    SE Ohio
    When I clean my guns, I wipe bore dry and apply a good coat of oil. I alway run a couple patches through them before next use. I too am leery of ringing a barrel, better safe than sorry. I just bought a box of gun misc at a sale. There is a box of reddish orange plastic bullets marked .224 on box. They look like 22rf bullets. Never saw anything like them before. They should make some good cat stingers in 222 or 223. Need to find load data for them, maybe just primer.

  15. #55
    Boolit Buddy

    doghawg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    After reading the NRA recipe I'm wondering if it would work to substitute a stick of 50/50 bullet lube to a pound of paraffin. I've got a few odds and ends sticks of bullet lube that may never get used otherwise.

  16. #56
    Boolit Buddy facetious's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012

    Bill Jordan's book " No Second Place Winners" is where I first heard of them. The links I just found with a Google search. I have never tryed them but it is what he said he used for stunt shooting show's.

    Go to page 83 of the book to read what he said about it.
    We go through life trying to make the best decisions we can based on the best infomation we can find, that turns out to be wrong.

  17. #57
    Boolit Master redhawk0's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    North East, USA
    To eliminate any wax build up in the barrel...try Powder Coating.

    Sorry....I couldn't resist.


    The only stupid the unasked one.
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    If more government is the answer, then it was a really stupid question. - Ronald Reagan

  18. #58
    Boolit Grand Master RogerDat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Michigan Lansing Area
    I seem to recall squirrels don't like hot spicy things like cayenne pepper. Birds can't taste it. You might try sprinkling some very rowdy ground hot peppers on the suet. Or hot sauce on seed.

    Have a dog with a strong rodent prey drive. Squirrel has to beat the dog to the fence or a tree every time. Dog only has to win the race once. With luck the dog won't bring the dead and bedraggled squirrel to the back door to show your wife, that doesn't always go over well. Leave you to guess how I know.

    I think I get not wanting to kill them for just tryin to get food. On the other hand if one is going to shoot them it does seem like doing so fatally might be the more humane approach. Injured wild animals can have a struggle to survive. I figured a squirrel that kept coming in the yard despite being chased by the dog was taking his chances and I'm pretty sure it didn't suffer long when caught by a standard schnauzer.
    Je suis Charlie
    Scrap.... because all the really pithy and emphatic four letter words were taken and we had to describe this way of getting casting material somehow.
    Feedback page I do trade a bit from time to time.

  19. #59
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Central Ohio
    A warrant officer I worked for in the Marine Corps told of shooting rats at Khe Sahn. They pulled the bullets from .223 for the M16 and only left a tiny bit of powder. They took the case mouth and stuck it in a bar of Ivory soap. They shot the rats and the rats ran off to die elsewhere.

  20. #60
    Boolit Master
    Freightman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Amarillo, Tx
    Some hot glue sticks are just right to load in a 45 acp case works on grackles
    Frank G.

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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