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Thread: Black powder lube question

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    Black powder lube question

    I've been reading up on lube recipes for BP cartridges, and find a lot of people using a 40-40-10 mix of Crisco beeswax and olive oil or tallow. I know Crisco is a veggie based product, and then adding tallow or lard would add sticky I guess. Walmart has a great value shortening that is animal based. Would this be better, or just different? Do y'all think it would eliminate the need for the tallow, or lard? Now, it's not available everywhere, but it is in a close store and under 5 for the only available can (biggun). Is it worth the 20 minutes of drive time to try it? Input more than welcome.

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  3. #3
    Boolit Master Maven's Avatar
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    Why not make a batch of each and test them? While you're researching BP lubes, look up Emmert's Lube, okiewolf.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    The top shooters use SPG!

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Hes pretty close to emmerts with that. My recipe I use for emmerts improved is 50% beeswax 40% Crisco or lard unsalted, 5% canola oil and 5% anhydrous lanolin. I suspect the original mix used lard or animal tallow before Crisco was available. My concern would be the lard tallows going rancid over time. The recipe I use works well in temps and long barrels blow tubing. I also add a very small amout 1 small drop of murpies oil soap to act as a emulsifier to help blend everything.

    For safety use a double oiler for melting and blending this.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
    Chill Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smithnframe View Post
    The top shooters use SPG!
    Who are the top shooters?
    Chill Wills

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I'm certainly not one of those top shooters....but have friends that are. SPG is the recommendation, and I use it, and I've never had a bad experience with it.
    "Do not follow where the path might lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail" Ralph Waldo Emerson

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chill Wills View Post
    Who are the top shooters?
    Check the BPCR news magazine!

  9. #9
    Boolit Bub
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    I've looked at the single shot exchange if that's what your referring to, and the issue I got seemed to be sponsored by SPG...so I'll take that with a grain of salt.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    I went with SPG. I don't shoot black powder, but I might someday and want to be ready. SPG works just fine for smokeless also. Leaves a nice star pattern at the muzzle.

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I shoot BP a lot in the old cartridges both grease groove and paper patched from 44-40 up to 45-90. I have had good results with SPG and the Emmert's Improved. One thing I have noticed when shooting is some newer designs may not carry enough lube for the longer barrels in use. A 20" marlin barrel may not need near the lube a 34" 45-90 barrel does. With paper patched a frease cookie substitutes for the lack of grooves. Lube in a BP round isn't just for the bullet but is also needed for fouling control.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Just be sure not to use the butter flavored Crisco...Wayne Schwartz pitted a brl. using this stuff when he ran out of regular Crisco. I have been using Mutton tallow from around the kidneys. This is nice firm and pure white..just make sure to remove all tissue & blood when rendering or it will turn rancid.

  13. #13
    Boolit Bub
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    I'm working up a 34" barrel 45/120. I'm leaning towards the multi mix crisco substitute from above with animal fats, beeswax and maybe some sort of oil or lanolin. I was given some no longer needed nipple creme that is marked as 100% lanolin just a cream form.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    I've been using Emmert's, aka 541, or Emmert's Improved (add 1/2-1 part anhydrous lanolin to Emmert's) for some years, Improved for use in the grease grooves, straight Emmert's for lube cookies under boolits that don't carry enough lube for a rifle barrel. It works for BP or smokeless, but probably not the best for high speed rifle rounds. It's cheap and easy to make, and easy to adjust the ingredients for seasonal/temperature changes. The 40-40-10 mix the OP mentions sounds like a softer variation on Emmert's 50-40-10 Beeswax-Crisco vegetable shortening-canola oil. The thing I noticed about Emmert's is the importance of using a double-boiler to prevent overheating. Every time it's melted too hot, the resulting lube will be increasingly brittle at room temperature and lubricate somewhat less well. Trying to cut lube cookies out of a sheet that splits and cracks into little pieces is a pernicious annoyance easily avoided.
    Last edited by yeahbub; 12-02-2019 at 01:43 PM.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    40-40-10 only makes 90%....what is the other 10 %?
    NRA Life
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    F&AM

  16. #16
    Boolit Bub
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    I've seen lots of stuff from auto wax, Wintergreen oil to stp or transmission fluid, I think I'll stick with basics.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    You're right, Mazo. I noticed that also. Maybe it would be better to write it 4-4-1, in terms of measures of each ingredient. It works that way.

  18. #18
    Boolit Bub
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    I just have fat thumbs guys.... supposed to be 50/40/10. Although, I have seen a bunch of 40/40/10/5/5 with all sorts of odd stuff added.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master reloader28's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by .22-10-45 View Post
    Just be sure not to use the butter flavored Crisco...Wayne Schwartz pitted a brl. using this stuff when he ran out of regular Crisco. I have been using Mutton tallow from around the kidneys. This is nice firm and pure white..just make sure to remove all tissue & blood when rendering or it will turn rancid.

    I dont shoot BP cartridges yet but I'm curious as why or how this pitted the barrel

  20. #20
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reloader28 View Post
    I dont shoot BP cartridges yet but I'm curious as why or how this pitted the barrel
    Butter flavored Crisco has salt in it.

    I use 50-50 beeswax and Goya Manteca which is a refined, unsalted lard product you can buy in almost any grocery.
    The ENEMY is listening.
    HE wants to know what YOU know.
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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