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Thread: Case sizing lube

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

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    Case sizing lube

    I found out some of what I do and don't know about case lube today. For 30 years I've been using RCBS case lube and it's always worked well. I recently bought some Royal Case & Die Lube, thought I'd give it a try.

    It worked fine, no complaints about that. I sized a coffee can full of brass. The problem came when I went to rinse them off like I always do, before tumbling. The RCBS lube is water soluble- a quick rinse and it's ready to go. This new stuff I had to use soap and really wash it a couple times to get it all off. I've never found any drawbacks to the water soluble RCBS lube, so that's what I'll be going back to.

    If I'm loading a box or two of precision rifle rounds I don't mind using a cloth to wipe the lube off, but when I've got a can full of brass there's no way I'm going to sit there for hours wiping them down.

  2. #2
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    FLINTNFIRE's Avatar
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    I to went and tried other lubes , I used to wipe every case off after sizing but when loading for the 223 and 300aac it gets tiresome case after case , went back to rcbs case lube that was on my shelf , cleaned cases before sizing , wash and rinse and dry after , it works for me .

    The midway spray on lube I had would stay on case no matter how hot I washed and I did not want lube on loaded rounds , used the Lee case lube that came with some dies it works and cleans right off but with a pair of rcbs case lube bottles I am probably set , imperial case lube came with some stuff and guns I bought and I use it on small batches .

    For large batches at a time I prefer the lightly lube size toss in a box , wash it rinse it and dry no more greasy fingers when priming and loading , to each their own .

  3. #3
    Boolit Master kmw1954's Avatar
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    I have just recently started with bottlenecks and have started with the Hornady Universal Lube. I like it and get an easy feel for enough/not enough.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master mehavey's Avatar
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    What's your reason for wanting to completely remove the case lube?
    If it's that you tumble afterward, I suggest you tumble before sizing.
    (Keeps media out of flash holes/kinder to your sizing die/no-need-completely-clean afterward)
    Last edited by mehavey; 10-11-2020 at 09:23 AM.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    fatelk - I came to the same conclusion. Imperial for forming, others for small lots, RCBS for big runs.

  6. #6
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    I use Ballistol. Get some on my fingers, stick my hand in a container of brass and roll them around. Works well, and pretty much evaporates on its own. I still wipe cases before putting them in boxes, just as part of my final inspection of the loaded rounds.
    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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  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Many reloaders tumble to remove case lube. Is there a reason for washing brass pre-tumbling? Personally I prefer to have a very fine film of either wax or case lube on my brass (not enough to feel, but enough to retard brass tarnish). But I'm not as anal with tumbling my brass as some and mainly just tumble to clean the cases. I only tumble two size cases to a shine; 45 ACP and 39-06. Shiny brass that is tossed out by my 1911 and Garand is much easier to find in the dirt...
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    I size and decap, then wet tumble. I've found that anything greasy or oily tends to gunk up the batch in the wet tumbler. When I'm going to process a thousand pistol cases, it's so much easier to just rinse the lube off with water.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    A little more expensive but I use Hornady One Shot and don't clean it off. Works great for me. I only use it on rifle cases meant for semi-autos. A side benefit of the spray lube is it gets in the case necks as well.

    I decap, clean, and then lube. I've primed before lube and the spray lube does not bother the primers.

    Haven't lubed pistol cases since carbide dies came out.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Why not make your own spray on lube? It's easy to do and very inexpensive. I've also found it to be the equal of Imperial Sizing Die Wax, and that's saying something.

    Don
    NRA Certified Metallic Cartridge Reloading Instructor
    NRA Life Member

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    I should clarify- I bought a Lee APP press. My son has been picking up brass at the range, processing it, and selling it for a premium on Gunbroker. The APP press is great, a bit finicky to get set up. Even with carbide dies, I've found that it works so much smoother and easier with just a little lube on the cases.

    I used it for a thousand 9mm cases of my own yesterday, that I intend to load someday. It's really quick and easy. 90 minutes in the wet tumbler and the brass looks like brand new. Yes, I know it doesn't have to be so pretty to shoot well.

    I'm looking forward to using this little press the next time I cast and powder coat some bullets.

  12. #12
    Boolit Mold
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    I use 10 parts red bottle heet to 1 part lanolin oil in a spray bottle. Toss the cases into a gallon ziplock bag, give it a couple sprays, then shake about. I don't wash it off after loading.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Here is an in depth description on how to make the best spray on lube:

    You need to buy 3 things. First, you want to get pure liquid lanolin. It can be bought online on Amazon.com and looks like this: (http://www.vitaglo.com/7730.html). There are other suppliers as well, but try to get it in a 4 oz. bottle, as you will understand why later. Liquid lanolin, which is a refined lanolin oil, is also sometimes available from health food stores and sources specializing in ingredients for cosmetics.

    Next, you need to buy a 12 oz. bottle of 99 percent isopropyl alcohol. While many stores carry isopropyl alcohol in their drug/cosmetic isle, I have found few that carry the 99 percent variety that you need. Fortunately, there is an easily found product that contains 99 percent isopropyl alcohol: Iso-HEET Injector Cleaner & Fuel Line Antifreeze. Make sure it is the red bottle HEET and not the yellow bottle HEET, as that contains methanol and not isopropyl alcohol.
    Lastly, you need a spray bottle. I bought mine at a Dollar General store for about 2 bucks. Now for the mixing. You need to warm both the lanolin and the HEET to enable them to mix together. But, you cannot do this over an open flame. Again, do not heat either the lanolin or the HEET over an open flame. Rather, bring a pot of water on the stove to a boil and then turn off the heat. Then, insert the bottle of lanolin and the bottle of HEET into the boiling water until both are quite hot. After removing them from the water, with a pen or magic marker, mark the lanolin bottle in increments of 1 oz. In other words, if the height to the top of the lanolin in the bottle is 4 inches, from the bottom place a mark 1 inch up, 2 inches up, and 3 inches up. Actually, it is probably better to do this prior to heating the lanolin. So now, with both the lanolin and the HEET hot, pour 1 oz. of the lanolin and the entire 12 oz. bottle of HEET into your spray bottle. Shake it up and look for an even mixing taking place. If you see separation of the two, place the spray bottle into the hot water to heat up the mixture and shake again.
    To apply the lube, it’s best to place your brass into something like a 1 gallon ziplock bag, give a couple of squirts, close the bag and then shake the bag so the lube gets distributed onto all your brass. You can also spray the inside of the bag a couple times and then put the brass in prior to shaking them.

    After resizing the brass, you will need to remove the lube. The best way to do this is to place them in your dry tumbler, add about a tablespoon of mineral spirits/paint thinner, and then tumble them for about 20 minutes. Hope this has been helpful, and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

    Don
    NRA Certified Metallic Cartridge Reloading Instructor
    NRA Life Member

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    Started loading in the 80s. Never used anything but Lee case lube cut with alcohol. never had a problem with it and never wipe off.

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    I use Hornady One Shot spray lube. I have never had a stuck or difficult case while resizing while using it.
    It also cleans easily by tumbling for just a few minutes.

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy
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    I smear a RCBS foam lube pad with a bit of Imperial Sizing Wax and roll the cases on the pad.
    Even if I’m using carbide dies I still lube the case as it makes the sizing so much easier and with less wear on the brass or die.
    I found that the Imperial Sizing Wax wipes off easily with a sheet of paper towel but I follow up with a second wipe off with a microfibre towel (which gets washed to be used again).

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by USSR View Post
    Why not make your own spray on lube? It's easy to do and very inexpensive. I've also found it to be the equal of Imperial Sizing Die Wax, and that's saying something.

    Don
    What's the formula?

  18. #18
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Look at post #13. Thats a well written post about making case lube.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Well, duh. I guess I should have read it closer

    I like the One Shot spray cause I can put the cases in a loading block and the lube goes in the neck, on the outside of the case, and dries in seconds. No bags, no tumbling, no heating. I can resize the brass and load powder/bullets immediately or wait for a month. And I don't remove it from the case before firing.

    It is this ease of use that makes it appealing to me.
    Last edited by charlie b; 10-12-2020 at 07:54 PM.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master waco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lightman View Post
    Look at post #13. Thats a well written post about making case lube.
    This is what I use. Never go back to buying case lube again.
    The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
    Proverbs 1:7

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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