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Thread: Lube/sizing dies & relubing bullets....questions

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    Lube/sizing dies & relubing bullets....questions

    I am slowly accumulating everything I will need to start casting, and recently picked up a Lyman 450 luber/sizer that included a few dies marked .356, .357, & .358. I eventually plan on loading for .357, .41 & .44 Mag, .45 Long Colt, and .480 Ruger, and have molds for the .480, but right now I need to worry about a few hundred cast bullets I already have ready to load.

    A couple years back, I traded for several hundred 215gr SWC .410 cal bullets to load in my .41 Mag. I was able to get them fairly cheap, but have noticed that a lot of the lube has started flaking off. I've seen this with some of the other various cast bullets I have, so here are my questions. Can I simply order lube dies of the correct diameter and relube the bullets I have? If that is the case, any other sizer dies that fit the Lyman 450/4500, or will I need to stick to Lyman dies? Any suggestions on a heater for the lube? Finally, would I be better off slugging my cylinders and attempting to resize the bullets to better fit my chambers (meaning, ordering the appropriate sizing dies)? Any other tips or suggestions?

    I won't be using any gas checks, as most of my loads will be in the 900-1k fps range. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Hello Jason,

    I would measure your bullets first, then get a matching sizing die. Yes, you can run them through the lubricator again to fill the groove, but I'd probably pick the dried up stuff out first. In the Lyman 450 you can use either the Lyman Dies (usually cheaper) or the RCBS dies, the two are interchangeable. I will warn you to be careful with the nut which holds down the die, very fine thread & easily cross threaded. Other than that, the 450 is a good old sizer, I purchased mine used about 30 years ago.

    AntiqueSledMan.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    Czech_too's Avatar
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    Slug the cylinders and size accordingly. An interim solution to the bullets which have flaking lube would be tumble lubing in some LLA until you get the appropriate size dies. An inexpensive lube heater can be made using a cartridge heater and a dimmer style electrical switch.
    Cruffler

    genealogy, another area of interest

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  4. #4
    Boolit Bub
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    An inexpensive lube heater can be made using a cartridge heater and a dimmer style electrical switch.
    Details?

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    Czech_too's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jason280 View Post
    Details?
    This 'idea' was borrowed, it's not original by any means. The cartridge heater was acquired off of e-bay, I would strongly suggest one less than 100 watts. It's not needed, not even close. The electrical workbox and dimmer switch I had on hand already, and since I always cut the cord off of any appliance/lamp that gets tossed, I had that too. I took a piece of 3/4" plywood and chiseled out enough to fit the cartridge into, lined it with some metal flashing, a cut up aluminum can, and mounted the sizer to the ply. Without the flashing you're liable to char the ply the first time you use it. Now how do I know that? Some have used a suitable thickness of metal plate and drilled a recess into it. I didn't have the plate but I do have scrap plywood, so ...Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #6
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    I use the wife hair dryer if my sizer runs a little cold. I generally run soft lube but it gets a little stuff sometimes.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master




    Cherokee's Avatar
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    A flat metal plate and old iron will make a good heater.
    God Bless America
    US Army, NRA Patron, TSRA Life
    SASS, Ruger & Marlin accumulator

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cherokee View Post
    A flat metal plate and old iron will make a good heater.
    This is exactly what I did several years ago,,works great!

  9. #9
    Boolit Master poppy42's Avatar
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    I apologize if this has already been covered. In answer to your question you can certainly run the Boolets through the right size dies and re-lube. You can use either Lyman or RCBS sizer dies in your 450 lube/sizer. I have had the same problem with Boolets that I’ve sized, lubed, and stored for future use. The lube being removed from the lube groves and getting all over the Boolets. I coat my Boolets with a light coat of Ben’s liquid lube. ( Bens liquid lube is alox, Johnson or lundmark liquid wax, and mineral spirits! Search the stickies for the exact formula) . I use just a very light coat, just enough to coat the Boolets. It seals the lube in the lube grooves and stops the lube from getting all over the Boolets. After they dry I throw them in a plastic coffee can and they keep forever! Hope this helps
    Long, Wide, Deep, and Without Hesitation!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cherokee View Post
    A flat metal plate and old iron will make a good heater.
    ^^^ this is the simple answer many of us have done.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.”
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cherokee View Post
    A flat metal plate and old iron will make a good heater.
    This is exactly what I ran for several years. Just go to the steel store and get a piece of 1/4" plate that is about 5"x10" ISH (measure your luber and clothes Iron...), drill holes for the luber and mount on your bench, then just place the clothes Iron on the steel plate next to the luber, turn it on and wait about 10minutes. I usually ran mine on Wool setting, you'll have to play with it to see what setting works best.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jason280 View Post
    I am slowly accumulating everything I will need to start casting, and recently picked up a Lyman 450 luber/sizer that included a few dies marked .356, .357, & .358. I eventually plan on loading for .357, .41 & .44 Mag, .45 Long Colt, and .480 Ruger, and have molds for the .480, but right now I need to worry about a few hundred cast bullets I already have ready to load.

    A couple years back, I traded for several hundred 215gr SWC .410 cal bullets to load in my .41 Mag. I was able to get them fairly cheap, but have noticed that a lot of the lube has started flaking off. I've seen this with some of the other various cast bullets I have, so here are my questions. Can I simply order lube dies of the correct diameter and relube the bullets I have? If that is the case, any other sizer dies that fit the Lyman 450/4500, or will I need to stick to Lyman dies? Any suggestions on a heater for the lube? Finally, would I be better off slugging my cylinders and attempting to resize the bullets to better fit my chambers (meaning, ordering the appropriate sizing dies)? Any other tips or suggestions?

    I won't be using any gas checks, as most of my loads will be in the 900-1k fps range. Thanks!
    Jason,
    Welcome to the madness.

    You have lots of questions for lots of calibers.

    I'll start you off with my answer to your "215gr SWC .410 cal bullets with flaking off lube"

    41 mag guns are not as susceptible to varied internal gun barrel dimensions as other calibers. (44 mag and 9mm guns are the most notorious for variations in barrel dimensions) I don't think slugging the barrel is necessary until you have some problems, because you will likely not have any problems. I would recommend a Lyman .411 lube-size die. I would also consider removing all the old lube, and applying all new lube. Lastly, even though your bullets are .410, there will be no problems running them through a .411 die to re-lube them...the process should go quick.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.”
    ― The Dalai Lama, Seattle Times, May 2001

  13. #13
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    For relubing your bullets, You could dump all the bullets onto a cookie sheet that is lined with Reynolds Non-Stick Aluminum Foil, then place in the oven at about 200F to melt all the lube off. If you prop one end up a tiny bit then the lube will all collect on one end of the cookie sheet.
    Then get the appropriatly sized die and relube as normal...

  14. #14
    Boolit Master


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    Cast bullets need to be .001 or .002"larger than the actual bore size. Hint not all barrels are the size they are suppose to be. Like stated the 9mm is the biggest offender. Bores can be from .353 tom.358 so the lead boolit needs to fit the bore. When you get into problems with a revolver is when the cylinder throats sizes the boolit down before it gets into the barrel.
    I use a sized boolit as a pin gauge for my cylinder throats. If a .358 boolit will not fit in the cylinder throat then you may be in trouble.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master murf205's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jason280 View Post
    Details?
    Here is the one I made. I drilled the 1/2" plate in the middle with a 1/4" drill bit and used a short 100 watt heater. I used aluminum and it transfers heat really well so you will NEVER need to run it wide open. Start very low and give the luber time to get warm-only warm-or you will have a puddle of lube on the floor as you can see from my pics.Click image for larger version. 

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    In the pic you can see the hole in the plate and also the 1/2" pvc pipe I used to protect the wiring coming from the dimmer in the box that I mounted at the end of my bench to keep it out of the way. It is a piece of cake.
    Last edited by murf205; 02-15-2020 at 11:42 AM.
    IT AINT what ya shoot--its how ya shoot it

  16. #16
    Boolit Bub
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    Thanks, looks like I have a lot of good info to go through!

  17. #17
    Boolit Master

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    Back in the day, I never needed a lube sizer heater, having only used Javalina. But, I started out pan lubing before I got the Lyman. As stated above, melt the lube off and simply resize/lube with the Lyman. I did get a Lyman heater for the 450 because I started using Lars White Label Carnuba Red. Good lube, heater worked great. 41 is a great cartridge, I have several molds for the caliber, but my go-to is a SAECO 220 TC GC design. I bought that mostly for use in a Marlin M1894 Carbine but also have a Lee 410-215-SWC picked up in a trade. Good luck.
    Common sense Gun Safety . . .

    Is taught at the Range!

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy
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    I don't know, I would change my lube before I mess around with a heater setup. I'm currently use Ben's red and my work area is around 65f, no flow problems.

    While I can see some weird concoctions that would warrant a warmer I can also see people running one where one is not needed.

  19. #19
    Boolit Grand Master


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    I've been shooting 41 magnums for many years and have used a .410 H&I sizer in my 450s. That has always given excellent accuracy because, as already mentioned W&W and Ruger are quite uniform in throat and groove diameter dimensions. Also for a lube to use in the 900-1000 fps range any 50/50 lube will work perfectly well in 450/4500s w/o a heater unless you're sizing/loading in a very cold room.
    Larry Gibson

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

  20. #20
    Boolit Master murf205's Avatar
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    You are right, Larry, and I wouldn't bother with a heater but I've got a 450 full of Carnauba Red with 10 more sticks in my stash and I am to cheap to waste it by boiling it out. Plus I have had excellent results in the Hell we call Alabama summer. Jason280, you should not have any problem relubing with 50/50 as it is a more pliable lube than the red lube in my pics.
    IT AINT what ya shoot--its how ya shoot it

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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
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LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check