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Thread: Black Ideal Lube

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Black Ideal Lube

    Does anyone know whether the currently available Ideal Bullet Lube (SKU 2857275) is the same as the stuff that was used in all the old Ideal lubricator sizer presses (#1 & #2) in the pre-War era? IIRC, that stuff was a little softer than NRA Formula 50-50 (Beeswax-Alox) and worked OK with just about anything besides ultra high pressure rounds. Now that I'm blessed with a couple of these older tools I'm thinking about going "old school" with one and using the black stuff in it.

    TIA~Froggie
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    I would have to say it's the same stuff.

    from Lyman's website:
    Ideal Lube, a Lyman Original.
    Fill the bullet groove like a reloading pro with the Ideal Lube. The original, all-purpose Lyman formula. All Lyman stick lubricants are hollow and fit the 4500 Sizer/ Lubricator and similar Sizing/Lubricating tools, including RCBS.

    Due to Canadian Health regulations, this item cannot be sold to customers located in Canada.
    I was told by another member here, that it contains Lamp Black. I wonder if that is basically soot? and I wonder if that is known to cause cancer in California?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I had heard it was powdered graphite... of course both of these are varieties of carbon. I guess next time I'm getting an order together from one of the major suppliers I'll order a stick of it to see whether it will function as hoped for, then try to seek out a good supply if it meets expectations. I've got a bunch of NRA type 50-50 to use for now, so I'm wondering whether it will be worthwhile to add another item to the mix. My buddy Dale53 is after me to use some LLS Carnauba Red for high temp, hard wax applications, and I've got a big batch of Emmert's for BP use, and then there's my super secret proprietary Frog Guano for Schuetzen... I really need another type of lube, don't I?

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  4. #4
    Boolit Bub

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    I'd second Green Frog. I was poking through Ideal #38 this morning and it has a section on the lubes offered and the #45 lube sizer. I can picture the word graphite on the page.

    PDF is online and will have some more detail on the original blend. Lyman should have an SDS for the new sku and that will probably be your closest bet at comparing them.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master gnostic's Avatar
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    I think it's moly in Lyman lube...

  6. #6
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    The old Lyman black lube contained a base of beeswax and something called Colloidal Graphite , I searched the term and got a explanation that is above my pay grade... something about a super fine suspension that allows the molecules to move in between and bind ...
    The first Lube I ever used... It's OK but a newer Lithium-Beeswax lube is superior to the old school Colloidal Graphite - Beeswax lube in most ways .
    The old black stuff will do for standard pressure handgun loads.
    Gary
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnostic View Post
    I think it's moly in Lyman lube...
    Lyman sells a black lube that is labeled Moly, but there is another one on their webpage that is just called Ideal Lube, and it is black like the old original stuff was.

    BTW, colloidal graphite was found in several old classic lube formulae including, IIRC, ones by Aldo Leupould and Harry Pope.

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  8. #8
    Boolit Master



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    I remember it as being filthy on the gun and hands after shooting. Very Smokey so much others at the club range complained. It was the first lube I used in 1970, I used 2 sticks and then was given a red lube I believe was called javlinas.

    That cut the filth and smoke in at least 75%

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    Years ago, when the member told me it was Lamp Black, the discussion was about the wax. Some thought the base was paraffin. As a test, I heated canning wax til molten and put drops on a napkin, then smelled it. It has a distinct smell, but it is faint. Then I did the same with Crayola brand Crayons. Then did the same with the Vintage Ideal Lube. They all smelled the same.

    Anyone with any amount of smelling ability can smell Beeswax, it is very strong and distinct. I get no beeswax smell in warmed/molten vintage Ideal Lube. I'd need to see some proof to convince me the vintage Ideal Lube has beeswax in it.

    Also, from what I understand, soot, Lamp Black, Graphite, Colloidal Graphite are all similar forms of carbon black and would do essentially the same thing, functionally, in a boolit lube.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “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

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonB_in_Glencoe View Post
    I would have to say it's the same stuff.

    from Lyman's website:


    I was told by another member here, that it contains Lamp Black. I wonder if that is basically soot? and I wonder if that is known to cause cancer in California?
    Everything causes cancer in Komifornia! Just read the labels on everything.😕
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Frog View Post
    Lyman sells a black lube that is labeled Moly, but there is another one on their webpage that is just called Ideal Lube, and it is black like the old original stuff was.

    BTW, colloidal graphite was found in several old classic lube formulae including, IIRC, ones by Aldo Leupould and Harry Pope.

    Froggie
    In layman's terms can you explain what "Colloidal" Graphite is ? I've seen it in many old lubes , Lyman Ideal and Herter's Lube being the oldest I've used. I get the impression it is a superfine graphite mixed with something else ... but don't really have a grasp on what the stuff is .

    Can you help me ?
    Gary
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    Quote Originally Posted by ubetcha View Post
    Everything causes cancer in Komifornia! Just read the labels on everything.��
    I saw a report that stated undocumented workers might cause cancer in Komiifornial !
    Certified Cajun
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwpercle View Post
    I saw a report that stated undocumented workers might cause cancer in Komiifornial !
    No, it’s being legal in Kalifornia that will get you in trouble... undocumented or illegal is fine with special status.
    "It aint easy being green!"

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    The term colloidal is a precise description of a substance that will remain in suspension once it has been mixed. One of the colloidal forms of graphite used in the old time classic lube mixes was ultra fine graphite particles in a light oil carrier. They called it colloidal but you were still advised to shake the can before using it.

    Froggie

    PS I seem to remember one brand name, “Oildag.”
    "It aint easy being green!"

  15. #15
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    Froggie;
    I am still happy with Carnauba Red for all of my smokeless loads in rifle and pistol. It DOES require heat when using either the Star sizer/luber, the RCBS, or Lyman. I do not consider that a problem. I seldom shoot black powder these days, but when I do I use Improved Emmerts.

    FWIW
    Dale53

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dale53 View Post
    Froggie;
    I am still happy with Carnauba Red for all of my smokeless loads in rifle and pistol. It DOES require heat when using either the Star sizer/luber, the RCBS, or Lyman. I do not consider that a problem. I seldom shoot black powder these days, but when I do I use Improved Emmerts.

    FWIW
    Dale53
    Yes Dale, I find myself somewhat luber and sizer "poor" at this point... I'm thinking of Emmert's in one of my early #1s and original Ideal Black in another, then NRA 50-50 (from whoever) in one of the 450s and "Panama Red" in the Star with a heater. Then I need to decide whether to put Frog Guano in the other #1 or the other 450 and perhaps sell "the odd one out." I'm trying to decide whether I really need six luber/sizers in addition to my three Dell Lube Pumps and my (copy of a) Pope Lube Pump by Joe Ruth.

    I guess I'll just have to shoot a lot more!

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  17. #17
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    Colloidal particles are larger than molecules but smaller than one micron in size, typically dispersed (or dispersible) in another phase and difficult or impossible to filter or centrifuge back out.

    I think I have one lubrisizer with the old black Ideal lube, and maybe one other where the lube still comes out as streaks in the Javelina lube that I generally use now. The Ideal stuff was either in the lubrisizer I found used, or was found for cheep at a gun show and used more out of a sense of obligation than anything else.

    As far as I’ve been able to determine, the only thing the old Ideal lube had over other formulations was its ability to stain clothes and hands to near indelible levels. A “speshul-secret” lube I made up of stockroom chemicals included one of those “Dags,” or colloidal graphites, and is just as messy as the Lyman stuff. An engineer colleague I described this to told me that the lubricating properties of graphite are actually pretty limited, and at their best in environments (like locks) where better lubricants would attract dust and dirt, and by doing so, negate their effect.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Hey BR,

    Thanks forr chiming in! Good info on both colloids and graphite. I’m betting you’ve read the comments on his own lube studies by my old friend and mentor, the late Charlie Dell, right? I wish he were still here to chat with on the subject, but I’ll have to pull out his book on the “modern” practice of Schuetzen and a couple of his articles in the old American Single Shot Rifle News to refresh my memory on what he had to say about graphite in bullet lube.

    Anyway, I’ve got at least one old Ideal #1 Lubricator/Sizer that currently contains the old Ideal Bullet Lube, and since it would be so hard to get out, maybe I should use it as my “old school” tool for adding lubricant. Since it’s there already, I won’t be going “backwards” by continuing to use that lube in that tool. .

    BTW, I once bought a Winchester Model 1894 tool with a cigarette tin full of cast bullets for 32-40. They had probably been cast and lubed with the old black Ideal lube for at least 30 years when I got them, but the lube was still in place evenly and did what it was supposed to when loaded and fired. Longevity is not a problem!

    Regards,
    Froggie

    PS You may recall that one of Charlie’s lube articles described the action of the lubricant molecules as behaving at the molecular level like a “fur coat” around the bullet, between lead and bore steel. That inspired me to put the best fur coat possible in my lube, so Frog Guano was formulated with mink oil as a tip of the hat to Charlie.
    "It aint easy being green!"

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Frog View Post
    The term colloidal is a precise description of a substance that will remain in suspension once it has been mixed. One of the colloidal forms of graphite used in the old time classic lube mixes was ultra fine graphite particles in a light oil carrier. They called it colloidal but you were still advised to shake the can before using it.

    Froggie

    PS I seem to remember one brand name, “Oildag.”
    Thanks for the layman's explanation ... the colloidal graphite mixed with beeswax would seem to be a easy to blend lube with decent properties for low pressure handgun loads .
    It does blacken up your guns when fired like all get out... but I might use too much in those Keith SWC lube grooves ... I can say I never had any leading problems with it and bores were left shiny and bright !
    Gary
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwpercle View Post
    Thanks for the layman's explanation ... the colloidal graphite mixed with beeswax would seem to be a easy to blend lube with decent properties for low pressure handgun loads .
    It does blacken up your guns when fired like all get out... but I might use too much in those Keith SWC lube grooves ... I can say I never had any leading problems with it and bores were left shiny and bright !
    Gary
    Use of colloidal graphite was not limited to low pressure pistol bullets. Around the turn of the last century when the single shot rifles ruled the target ranges, lubes by such luminaries as Aldo Leupold and Harry Pope used it as well. Their target velocity, lead bullet loads thrived on those lubes. There was also a petroleum based mineral lube called Ozekerite used as well as tallow from various animals. Some of their formulae really seem strange to the modern shooter.

    Froggie

    PS I like to add just a touch of carnauba wax to my “classic” lubes to slick up and polish my bore.
    Last edited by Green Frog; 01-07-2021 at 11:29 PM. Reason: Add PS
    "It aint easy being green!"

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