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Thread: Wax bullets get very hard when fired

  1. #1
    Boolit Master


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    Wax bullets get very hard when fired

    A buddy made up some wax boolits using 1 pound of paraffin, 4 oz beeswax and 2 oz marine bearing grease. They’re soft when he cuts them from the cake. He fires them right away and has noticed that they get very hard when fired. They’re punching through aluminum cans and cardboard. He’s using magnum primers in .45 Colt and no powder. When he recovers them they are much harder than when loaded. Any ideas on what causes them to get so hard?
    Sometimes life taps you on the shoulder and reminds you it's a one way street. Jim Morris

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    I am no material physicist but heat, pressure and friction do strange things to substances. That's just my SWAG. I really dont know.

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    Boolit Master poppy42's Avatar
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    Has he recovered any after firing? I’ve made a lot of hot glue Boolets and never found them to be any harder after firing. At short distances, they still punch through aluminum cans and cardboard. Neither of those materials offer much give or resistance. As a kid I shot many wads of bubblegum with a slingshot and had them penetrate cardboard and aluminum cans. I seriously doubt your wax bullets are becoming harder after firing! At least not from the pressures generated by a primer.
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    As I wrote, he has seen that the wax boolits are MUCH harder after he recovers them. I wouldn’t assume that hot glue would have the same characteristics as the wax blend he’s using.

    Unfortunately he lives several hundred miles away so I can’t look at it myself.
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    Boolit Buddy Ateam's Avatar
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    too much antimony....

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    Boolit Buddy Snow ninja's Avatar
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    When fired and when it hits the target, it gets compressed. When it compresses, it gets harder.
    Do the best you can, with what you've got, where you're at. -Theodore Roosevelt

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    Boolit Grand Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by Ateam View Post
    too much antimony....
    It's just "magic".....
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  8. #8
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    Perhaps it has some relation to the principal of Newtonian solids. Typically, this refers to substances are liquid or semi-liquid but in some circumstances, they behave like a solid. In this case the velocity of the wax causes a solid to behave as a harder solid. just a theory

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    too messy ....i use hot glue boolits.

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    If I were to guess, if they are harder, I'd bet the hardness only goes so deep.
    maybe a function of melting/refreezing the outer layer and forcing the oil/grease out of that portion of the mixture.
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master bikerbeans's Avatar
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    Maybe your friend should heat treat his wax bullets and hunt with them?

    BB

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    Boolit Master poppy42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerbeans View Post
    Maybe your friend should heat treat his wax bullets and hunt with them?

    BB
    Yah he could hunt rubber chickens or paper Tigers!
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    Moderator Emeritus / Trusted loob groove dealer

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snow ninja View Post
    When fired and when it hits the target, it gets compressed. When it compresses, it gets harder.
    That was my first thought too. However, it would be considered a liquid rather than a solid, and you can't compress a liquid.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
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  14. #14
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    A subsequent conversation with my friend shed some light. Apparently more time than he had originally indicated had passed between loading and shooting. When he went back to load up more wax boolits the cake was rock hard. Shooting them probably had nothing to do with the hardness. Can anyone suggest a modification to the formula in the first post that would keep the wax cake soft enough to load once it’s cooled? I’ve never made lube so I don’t know what to recommend. His formula looks similar to some lube recipes.
    Sometimes life taps you on the shoulder and reminds you it's a one way street. Jim Morris

  15. #15
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    Warm the wax slab and the cases will easily push through the wax to form a slug.

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    Boolit Master Burnt Fingers's Avatar
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    Summer wax vs winter wax?
    NRA Benefactor.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by David2011 View Post
    A buddy made up some wax boolits using 1 pound of paraffin, 4 oz beeswax and 2 oz marine bearing grease. They’re soft when he cuts them from the cake. He fires them right away and has noticed that they get very hard when fired. They’re punching through aluminum cans and cardboard. He’s using magnum primers in .45 Colt and no powder. When he recovers them they are much harder than when loaded. Any ideas on what causes them to get so hard?
    When you hit the water on a lake at high enough speed you will break up or crumple like as if you struck a brick wall !
    Similar to a skydiver whose chute failed to open.

  18. #18
    Boolit Bub

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    Equal parts of paraffin and bees wax and replace marine grease with 1 toilet bowl wax ring . I have used this combo for over 50 years , you don’t want them too soft or you will have barrel waxing equivalent to barrel leading . The wax slugs will look like lead slugs when recovered and just put in your pan ,reheat , then re punch . Punch an empty unprimed empty into the wax and then add primer .

  19. #19
    Boolit Master



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    Wax mixed with Crisco or some other vegetable or grease should work well for your wax boolits. Search for recipes for black powder lube cookies. You may have to experiment to get what works best for you.

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
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    One agency I know of used wax bullets years ago with revolvers for training. Vaseline was used in the mix to keep the wax bullets soft enough. Colder winter temps required more vaseline.

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BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
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