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Thread: How many bullets from a stick of lube?

  1. #1

    How many bullets from a stick of lube?

    I know that this question will get me an approximation at best, but I am new to casting and have no idea. I also know that different bullets will use different amounts. Using a Lee 148 gr .358 wadcutter, how many bullets can you get out of a hollow tube of lube?

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    1/2 of a brick of SPG lube will easily do over 1,000 200 grain 452 diameter bullets for .45 Colt. Maybe even twice that many.

  3. #3
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    It will take at least one stick to fill the lower part of the lube reservoir, and another to fill the tube. That particular Lee boolit has very shallow lube grooves, one stick would go a very long, long way. To be honest with that boolit (and just a couple of others), I just tumble lube it in Lee liquid alox.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by blindbernie View Post
    I know that this question will get me an approximation at best, but I am new to casting and have no idea. I also know that different bullets will use different amounts. Using a Lee 148 gr .358 wadcutter, how many bullets can you get out of a hollow tube of lube?
    The LEE .358" 148 gr double ended wad cutter (DEWC) has 3 lube grooves. If you estimate 1 gr of lube per bullet you will be close. If you have the bullets try smearing margarine into the lube grooves of one bullet and weigh that bullet before and after to find the weight of lube held by the 3 lube grooves, this will be an even closer estimate of the required amount of lube.
    1 ounce = 437.5 grains don't forget there is alway a bit of lube that gets wasted, but depending on your lubing method (lubri-sizer or Pan) you could salvage most of the waste. I find it to tedious to try to salvage but I use a lubri-sizer.
    Some reloader don't fill all the lube grooves on wad cutters, its based on the accuracy achieved with 1,2 or 3 groove filled.
    Last edited by greenjoytj; 03-25-2020 at 09:38 PM. Reason: spelling and grammar

  5. #5
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    blindbernie -- Your question actually put a smile on my face! Back in the early 1970s, I got into Bullseye shooting, and the .38 S&W Special store-bought fodder clearly was way out of my budget. I sent off to Gander Mountain (they were only a mail-order firm then), Herters, and H&G (50bb mould) for all the goodies I'd need to start producing my own .38 S&W Special 148 grain wad-cutters; complemented with gas-station COWWs. . My one real faux pas was in ordering -- to complement the 450 lub/sizer -- six hollow tubes of Lyman plain-Jane lub. I reckoned this should get me through the one season -- ~90/shots per night target, and roughly same number practice each week for 18 weeks.
    Cutting right to the chase, at the year's end I had four untouched tubes left. I recall a fair amount of lub was required to "fill" the 450, and get it going -- but I recall not even finishing that 2nd tube, the following year. Much younger, and more energetic then -- I cast/lubed roughly 3,500 .38 S&W Special wadcutters each year. I still get a chuckle recalling how little lub is really used...
    Hope this anecdotal tale helps...
    geo

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    Doesn’t last long when you forget to turn heater off.... sigh.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    One stick will lube a lot of bullets but certainly no one would count how many. Lube may be more expensive than ever, but it's still a bargain.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy

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    I never really gave it much thought but some bullets have deeper groves than others. Don't sweat the small stuff, I live by the general rule of 'FIT IS KING all else is secondary.'
    That has served me well over the years.

  9. #9
    Thanks for the input! This is what I was looking for. The reason I was asking is that I have cast 500 148 gr. wadcutters (more or less). I used the Lyman black moly lube that came with my 4500 and another stick that I ordered with the sizer. I have not been overly impressed with that lube. It is not bad, just not what I really want. I have some Carnauba red that I am going to use that has now come in the mail, but was wondering if I should just try to use up what I have in the sizer, or try to get it out and start over with the red.

  10. #10
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    I cannot answer your question, but I recently bought 6 commercial size sticks of Tamarac lube on S&S.
    Holy Moly are those things a lot bigger than standard size sticks.
    At my age I will never need to buy lube again....dale

  11. #11
    Boolit Mold
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    Weigh bullet before and after lubing. Gives you weight of lube and figure how many times it goes into one ounce.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by blindbernie View Post
    Thanks for the input! This is what I was looking for. The reason I was asking is that I have cast 500 148 gr. wadcutters (more or less). I used the Lyman black moly lube that came with my 4500 and another stick that I ordered with the sizer. I have not been overly impressed with that lube. It is not bad, just not what I really want. I have some Carnauba red that I am going to use that has now come in the mail, but was wondering if I should just try to use up what I have in the sizer, or try to get it out and start over with the red.
    blindbernie -- Another tale from my memory files is when I, too, had the SAME query as yours! Having started with the Lyman black stuff, I was about to -- I still recall -- lub/size some cast bullets for .32 Remington. While I reckoned the black stuff would function OK, I decided to move to Lyman Orange Magic. My 450 looked 99.9% empty, so I just added the orange stick. I still recall over 200 bullets getting sized and lubed before a mix of colour -- part orange, part black -- started appearing in grooves. And, more than 75 to 80 before they all were lubed fully orange. In retrospect, vis the loadings I employed it did not make any real difference which lub I used. However, my "solution" was to pick up a few more 450's (I now have five of them) with three each dedicated to one particular lube (and other two, to one bullet I cast/use a lot).
    geo

  13. #13
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    I weighed and lubed and weighed several differfent calibers and bullets.
    The biggest 50 cal was about 500 bullets per stick of lube. My solid 1x4" lube sticks are about 1.6 oz.
    The C358-180RF was around 1500 bullets per stick.

  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Like the others have said, it depends on how many lube grooves the bullet has and how deep they are. Lar's lube is cheaper that other lube that you see on line. And he is local ( less than 30 miles) to me. I always enjoy the visit when I stop by his place.

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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