Inline FabricationRotoMetals2ADvertise hereRepackbox
Lee PrecisionMidSouth Shooters SupplyReloading UKTitan Reloading

Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Lube groove size differences

  1. #1
    Boolit Master FISH4BUGS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Inland from Seacoast New Hampshire
    Posts
    2,275

    Lube groove size differences

    I was casting a metric ton of H&G #51's and sizing/lubing them on the Star. Basically a year's worth for the 38's.
    Over the years I have noticed that most, if not all, true Keith bullets seem to have a lube groove the size of the Panama Canal.
    In contrast, I recently cast a bunch of Lee Group Buy 38 130gr gc bullets that has a very small lube groove, and a tiny space above the gas check for lube. I also have other bullets (9mm, 45acp, 380) that have comparatively small lube grooves.
    I was just wondering - what is the determining factor in the width of the lube groove?
    Keith seems to love them, others not so much.
    Any thoughts?
    Collector and shooter of guns and other items that require a tax stamp, Lead and brass scrounger. Never too much brass, lead or components in inventory! Always looking to win beauty contests with my reloads.

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master popper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    9,268
    Keith was using a lot of grease lube. Nowadays we have LLA/BLL/PC/HiTek. Not much lube needed. Grooves also serve the purpose of collecting alloy that normally would get pushed all the way to the base as tails. None of my rifle moulds have lube grooves, just a small collector groove.
    Whatever!

  3. #3
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Location
    lockhart, texas
    Posts
    26
    I tried Lee's .480 design bullet for my Ruger Super Redhawk, and except for low velocity loads, it leads like crazy with loads above 1000 fps. I then bought RCBS plain base mold design, 400 grains, and it doesn't lead much above 1000. I've never liked the Lee design, with the shallow grooves. The crazy thing is, the Lee mold bullet, groups as well, or better that the RCBS! Go figure!

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Just outside Gun Barrel City, Texas
    Posts
    4,022
    Quote Originally Posted by FISH4BUGS View Post
    - what is the determining factor in the width of the lube groove?
    Keith seems to love them, others not so much.
    In the old days, they were still in more or less uncharted waters as technology was rapidly changing and smokeless
    powder, center fire primers, etc. was still sort of new.

    They didn't have as much to improve on, or 'tweak' like we do now being so far down the road they pioneered.
    A lot of the old mold designs basically started on a blank piece of paper,
    and they had to figure out which lube worked best-- axle grease, or chicken fat..
    Some worked, some didn't. Some did so well, they hang on even today.

    We're just tweaking and making minor changes to their ideas and concepts as better lubes, powders, & such come along.
    Last edited by Winger Ed.; 01-24-2021 at 02:26 PM.
    Political Correctness and the cancel culture is only allowed to exist because of the coward culture.


    Old age, and treachery will always over come youth, and skill.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master



    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Posts
    2,348
    Sounds like the Lee boolits are designed for Alox type lube.

  6. #6
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Location
    lockhart, texas
    Posts
    26
    They are, of course. I've never cared much for them, but lots of folks love em. I have 3 Lyman 450 sizers set up on my loading bench, so I pretty much go that way on sizing and lubing.

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Lake Havasu City, Arizona
    Posts
    18,894
    As mentioned, with "modern" lubes starting with the NRA 50/50 formula it was found the larger lube grooves were not required. Actually, it also was found the larger lube grooves could be a detriment to accuracy especially when the cast bullet was pushed hard. Note on the NOE 30 XCB the lube grooves are much smaller than with conventional designs. The lube grooves on the 30 XCB hold enough modern lube such as 2500+ and 2900+ that, even at 2900 - 3000 + fps out of 28 - 31" barrels there is no leading and exceptional accuracy. The smaller lube grooves also increase the diameter of the bullet on the inside of the groove which adds considerable strength to the bullet to resist compression during high pressure acceleration.

    Name:  NOE_Bullet_Moulds_310_165gr_FN__zps7973554c.jpg
Views: 100
Size:  11.8 KB
    Larry Gibson

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

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Finger Lakes Region of NY
    Posts
    1,174
    I don't think Keith fired a light load in his life. With stiff loads the large lube grooves are fine. With light loads like .38 Special wadcutters, while they may have several small lube grooves, I typically only fill one with lube. More than enough.

    Don
    NRA Certified Metallic Cartridge Reloading Instructor
    NRA Life Member

  9. #9
    Moderator Emeritus


    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Land of 10,000 Lakes
    Posts
    13,726
    Most of NOE's design drawings include capacity of the Lube groove, good stuff to know, if you have a certain application for a boolit and specific amount of Lube you want it to hold.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “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
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Location
    lockhart, texas
    Posts
    26
    Another good way to know if you have enough lube is to look for the "lube star" at the muzzle. No lube star, not enough lube.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
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