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Thread: Sizing & lubing fresh cast ???

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Sizing & lubing fresh cast ???

    How long after casting bullets ,, should we wait to size & lube ,, ( ya' after they cool ).



    coffee's ready .. Hootmix.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master waco's Avatar
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    Depends. Random plinking pistol bullets I'd size and lube the same day. High velocity rifle bullets cast of 90/6/4 and water dropped sit for at least a month to achieve full hardness.
    The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    Once I get set up & casting, I do all I'm going to do for awhile, maybe even years for some calibers.

    After I'm done, I size & lube sort of whenever I'm caught up on other projects, and get around to it.
    Usually about 2 weeks.
    It wasn't playing the blame game, finding fault, and complaining about every little thing that made America great.
    It was God, guns, and guts.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    so sizing puts a halt to the hardening process?

  5. #5
    Boolit Master waco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmortell View Post
    so sizing puts a halt to the hardening process?
    I just don't want lubed bullets sitting around for a month, that's all.
    The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
    Proverbs 1:7

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmortell View Post
    so sizing puts a halt to the hardening process?
    In my experience, no it doesn't.
    Some of my boolits need to be sized immediately or at least as soon as possible. Waiting makes them very difficult to size.
    They still get harder for a time if they were going to do that in any case.

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master
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    As soon as the lead cools
    Regards
    John

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmortell View Post
    so sizing puts a halt to the hardening process?
    With ternary alloys, as mentioned, not as much as many think but the variable is directly related to the amount of and proportion to each other of the antimony and tin in the alloy.

    If you're wanting to know the minimum wait we should do and not what we usually wait then; AC'd bullets should sit (age) for a minimum of 7 - 10 days, preferably longer before sizing, lubing and/or GCing. WQ'd or HT'd bullets should age a minimum of 7 - 10 days if not longer before sizing.

    Binary bullets of lead an tin alloy can be sized, lubed, loaded and shot as soon as you want.

    Now with that being said I have sized, lubed and shot the next day a lot of AC'd COWW alloyed pistol bullets as soon as they had cooled enough to be handled. Of course that was before the internet and advent of forums so I didn't know any better...….
    Larry Gibson

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  9. #9
    Boolit Master 243winxb's Avatar
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    Air cooled- size and lube anytime.

    Oven heat treated, water cooled , containing antimony, may take up to 2 weeks to fully harden. Size before they get harder. Diameter will not change.

    Dropped from mold to water, hit and miss accuracy for me. Some will harden same as oven heat treat, some will not.

    IMO.
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  10. #10
    Boolit Master Hick's Avatar
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    It also depends a little on how much you plan to size. I've got a couple of molds that cast several thousands above what I want-- ones I usually size in two steps. I size those as quickly as I can after casting, before they harden, just to make that first sizing step easier. Then I might let them set and finish final sizing/lube later.
    Hick: Iron sights!

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Wheelguns 1961's Avatar
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    I wait at least 2 weeks after powder coat to size because they continue to grow at least that long. All my bullets are air cooled. If you don’t believe this, size some the same day, and then size them again in 2-3 weeks. Some don’t seem to grow, but most do.
    Due to the price of primers, warning shots will no longer be given!

  12. #12
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    Air cooled bullets, I size and lube anywhere from the next day to six months or more. Depending, on what else I have going on. All my pistol/carbine bullets are air cooled. I don't water drop, any alloy. IME, air cooled bullets will reach close to their final BHN, after three days of being cast. They will gain 1-2 BHN after three weeks..........as measured on an LBT hardness tester.

    High velocity rifle bullets are always oven heat treated, after installing gas check and sizing. Try to get this step done, ASAP, because they are significantly harder to run through a sizer...........especially a Star, the longer you wait. Conventional lubing is done, with a die just a bit larger than the initial sizing, anytime after the heat treating.

    Winelover

  13. #13
    Boolit Master


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    Everyone's approach is different.

    I tend to do things in cycles. I cast everything I need from about November through January or so. Bullets get dumped into old 3# coffee cans. I size and lube them as my stocks of sized and lubed bullets get used up. I'll generally have several hundred of each bullet sized and lubed, ready to load. I pack them base down in tiered cardboard boxes. So, I might be loading bullets lube sized a year ago, cast two or three years ago.

    I'm not saying that's the only way to do it, but that's what works for me.

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    Mine are all air cooled,, I have been sizing after 12-? hrs. after casting ,, I now have a 450 lube sizer ( the more you do the more tools ya' got ta' have ) , Thanks for all the options .

    coffee's ready ,, Hootmix.

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hootmix View Post
    How long after casting bullets ,, should we wait to size & lube ,, ( ya' after they cool ).



    coffee's ready .. Hootmix.
    Air cooled boolits are easier to size the same day or the next day .... they begin to age harden in a short time time . After a week I can notice a difference in sizing hardness .
    If the sizing is minimal ...don't worry about it but sizing down .003" or more try to get it done the next day for easiest effort .
    My alloy is 50-50, COWW / soft lead
    Gary
    Certified Cajun
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  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    It depends on the amount of sizing force.
    Oversized and heat treated hard alloy I would size immediately after cooling.

    Air cooled, softer, close to final size, get sized whenever I get around to it.
    Days, weeks, months later, doesn’t seem to matter.

    I am only casting plinking handgun boolits, so perfection isn’t my game right now.

    When playing with heat treating last year I had one batch that cast a little oversize (gunk on mild faces) that sat for a while after heat treating, maybe a few weeks.

    After knocking one back out of the sizing die I gave up and back in the casting pot they went.
    Too hard and too large to size down without risking breaking my cheap Lee single stage.



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  17. #17
    Boolit Master


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    All of my cast are air cooled. All of my .40 S&W are the same alloy of 20 lb COWW: 1/2 lb Monotype. They’re always sized with a Star lubrisizer. Once I cast a pile of ‘em and didn’t get around to sizing them for 3-4 weeks. That was the most difficult sizing I’ve ever done. I assumed that they got harder but didn’t have a hardness tester at the time. Should have measured the diameter but didn’t so I’ll never know if they grew or age hardened. From that time forward I’ve tried to size that alloy the same day they’re cast or no later than the following day.
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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