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Thread: Case Lube Types Chapter and Verse

  1. #41
    Boolit Master
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    A friend who works in a tire shop gave me some lube that he makes from bulk window washer fluid and coconut oil (a.k.a. tire mounting lube), I'm going to try it next week. I'm tired of trying to squeeze that too thick RCBS lube onto the pad. I liked Imperial, but its a bit spendy in my neck of the woods.
    Last edited by ravelode; 11-21-2013 at 11:29 AM.

  2. #42
    Boolit Master



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    I have used Marvel Mystery Oil since the early 70's and have never stuck a case yet.I have never done any swaging but suspect it would work there also.

  3. #43
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    Back in 1981, I was working as a machinist, and had just begun reloading metallic cartridges. Being somewhat of a thrifty disposition, I made two stuck case removers out of 416 SS. I had been looking at a RCBS catalog, saw what they looked like, and the price, and decided to make my own. I'm happy to say that I have never had the opportunity to see if they work. Both removers are still in a plastic bag, in my cabinet. I also made my own powder trickler out of stainless steel. that one works very well. I appreciate all the tips and comments you guys have made.

  4. #44
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bayou52 View Post
    But so does Hornady Unique case lube that comes comes in a little tub, and at a much cheaper cost.

    Bayou52
    I bought 4 or 5 of those Unique lube tubs. Now i knew it was lanolin but my wife uses it on her skin..specially her feet. Smooth too. But it is a great case lube and you can make yer own spray on with it.Bought one at the last gun show I did for a dollar

  5. #45
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    Hornady Unique case lube!


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    Pukka Bundhooks

  6. #46
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    Attachment 90530

    Mineral jelly, paraffin wax, castor oil, coconut oil, cod liver oil and a few other ingredients. This stuff is pretty good. I was converting some .270 Win. to 8mm Mauser today and used this for lube. Only took a very slight amount. 5+ oz. should last a while.
    So many guns, so little time
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  7. #47
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1hole View Post
    "...what I'm wondering is, what lube were you using when you stuck a case.
    Bottom line; the type or brand of case lube we use is largely irrelivant but the way we apply it and use it is not.
    I do not agree, Jack O'Conner in a book he wrote in 1954 about reloading said he had problems with his hands drying up so he used lanolin, he used lanolin from his hands to lube cases. He used lanolin and nothing, I am sure there are mentions of case lube before Jack O'Conner in 1954. Lyman used a tube of lube that looked like http://www.mscdirect.com/product/012...&026=-99&025=c

    I use a lube that is not on anyone's list of approved lubes. "Bottom line; the type or brand of case lube we use is largely irrelevant". I work with other loaders/builders forming cases that do not exist. If Imperial or Dillon in a can or bottle is not going to be used there is no reason for me showing up. Before I get there I make sure the dies we are going to use work, my part is done effortlessly. Once we get started with the Imperial or Dillon spray I am concerned for the press. There are times the die does not make it to the shell holder because of the lube or the method used to clean the cases.

    I clean my dies with a towel on a dowel, I do not use degreaser sprays. I like the finish on the die, I do not want to start over by removing it.

    F. Guffey
    Last edited by fguffey; 01-21-2014 at 04:02 PM. Reason: change is to in and top to to

  8. #48
    I began handloading in 1982 w/ the RCBS STP stuff, very messy! Then I switched to the Lee wax a few years later when it came available. I discovered Gardner-Bender (GB) wire pulling lube around 1995 and never looked back!

    I have stuck exactly one .308 case in all those years. I was my fault for not properly lubing the case. I drilled & tapped the flash hole 1/4-20. A 1/4" drive, 12mm socket, a 1/4-20 bolt & flat washer and a 7/16 wrench had the case out in no time!

  9. #49
    Boolit Man
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    For what it is worth. Each oil change I add a qt. of Shaler Rislone. Then I allow the yellow can to drip into an old prescription bottle. Take it to my loading bench and use a "Q" Tip dip in and lube inside of case mouth. Then lube outside of case also. Only have ever had one stuck case and was my fault. forgot to lube it on outside body. Not only is it a good case lube, it cleans up a sticky valve lifter if you ever have one.

  10. #50
    Boolit Master



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    Unique, non-toxic goodness
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    James. C. Henderson

  11. #51
    Boolit Master .30-06 fan's Avatar
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    i use kiwi mink oil for all my 30-06 loads, works fine. put a little on my fingers and away i go.

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    The lazy do not roast any game... but the diligent feed on the riches of the HUNT!! Proverbs 12:27

  12. #52
    Boolit Man
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    Each oil change I add a qt. of Shaler Rislone.
    Many years ago they guaranteed me if there product did not help it would not hurt. I was a fan of Rislone and Marvel Mystery oil. Even then it was necessary to understand some additives were not compatible with parts made of rubber.

    F. Guffey

  13. #53
    Boolit Bub

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    I use Imperial wax. I still manage to get one stuck once in a while from being stoopid. No fault of the lube- just the NUT that holds the press handle!!!

  14. #54
    Boolit Master
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    I don't know how you can expound so long on the subject if you are not a high volume loader. Anyone can load a few round every year for 40 years but that hardly qualifies having the experience to know everything about case sizing lubes.
    I know for a fact that the internal dimensions of dies, the internal finish, the finish of the brass and how much the brass was expanded by firing all effect the force required to size a case.
    I have measured the interior dimensions of over a 100 fl sizing dies. I have one FL die in particular that you would have to stick 4 or 5 cases in before you would learn what does not work.

    Quote Originally Posted by 1hole View Post
    "...what I'm wondering is, what lube were you using when you stuck a case. And also, has anyone stuck a case while using either unique case lube or imperial sizing wax?"

    Okay, a couple of good, short questions. But, they really don't have short proper answers, it's just not as simple as you appear to surmise.

    First, I've been loading a loooong time and have used virtually every commercal lube on the market and have tried a LOT of other things as substitutes, just out of curosity. With the commercial lubes I have stuck quite a few cases but each one was MY FAULT, not the lube's. I mean, IF I properly applied a proper lube I've never had a stuck case. I've made a good number of .22-250 cases from .30-06 cases and know that the lube used makes little real difference if it's used correctly, they all get stuck if not done properly.

    When I started loading, all case lubes were pretty much the same; all were basiccally STP, applied with a pad that was soon "dirty" as well as messy. It worked good but I hated those pads and hated getting my fingers in the goo. So I soon started trying to find a better choice. Ditto the loading companies, so today few of us use the old oily types that can harm both powder and primers.

    Basically, we have three lube types; spray, water soluable and wax. Which we use, or should use, depends a whole lot on the volume and how we prefer to apply it. They all work very well and, so far as I know, none of them are harmful to powder or primers.

    Water soluables, Lee's white stuff, RCBS, etc, are basically soaps. They are easy to apply with finger tips or even a pad if we wish. They are excellant case lubes IF properly applied. Good substitutes include some bath/bar soaps having a high lanolin content. Some "saddle" soaps. The various electrical cable/wire pulling lubracants (soft soaps) such as Gardner-Bender (GB) are sold in quarts at Lowe's, H'Depot and electrical supply houses for very little cost considering the quanity.

    Commerial wax lubes include Imperial and Unique. They are soft enough to touch our finger tips to and transfer the wax to each case as we pick them up. Waxes are clean and easy to remove from both fingers and cases. I really like them. Good substitutes include Kiwi "Mink Oil", "Sno-Proof", "Snow Seal", etc., leather boot treatments, all soft waxes. Pretty good, workable for sure, substitutes include Johnson Paste Wax and others of that type, Kiwi (Neutral) Shoe Wax, the soft wax-lube sticks marketed for lubing auto door latches, Chap-Stick lip balm, Oldham saw blade lube for woodworkers. Some of the toilet wax ring seals sold to plumbers are good too but tend to be more greasy than other waxes.

    Sprays seem to be mostly mixtures of lanolin and alcohol. Sprays are best when doing large quanities of cases, especially so with a progressive press. All of the spray lubes have the lube itself mixed with a rapid drying solvent, the alcohol or another "carrier". They don't stay mixed so it's necessary to shake the containers well before AND during use to keep them mixed. Then allow sufficent time for the carrier to evaporate before attempting to size.

    It appears that many users get failures with sprays because they spray their cases standing in a loading block which effectively shields the lower part from getting much lube in the critical area! That's NOT a good idea! When I use sprays (which is seldom because I'm not a high volume loader) I place the cases on a sheet of newspaper to catch the over-spray and that allows me to spray the entire case, IF I roll them around a little while doing it.

    If the user only shakes the spray once before use the contents will seperate. By the time he gets to the bottom of the can there is ltttle lube left. With only carrier remaining, he WILL get stuck cases. Moral: Shake it up, often, as it's used and cover the full case length.

    No matter the type of lube, WE MUST LUBE THE LOWER CASE OR THEY WILL GET STUCK! Sticking has virtually nothing to do with the internal finish of a sizer die, nor the brand of case, nor how much the case must be sized down; it has to do with a lack of lube where it's needed, period. It's clear that many reloaders over-lube the upper half of their cases and apply too little to the lower part. Excess lube up high makes lube dents on the shoulder, too little on the thicker, harder lower part assures many stuck cases.

    A final factor, especially when a die has been cleaned internally, is to cover the die wall with a good layer of lube before sholving the first few cases home. Doing that is easily achieved by giving the first 2-4 cases an extra thick coat AND then inserting those few cases into the die in a series of 4-5 short strokes, allowing the lube to move around on the die walls a bit before pushing the the cases fully up. I clean my size dies internally prior to each use so this start-up step is VERY important or I will get STUCK CASES, no matter what lube I'm using.

    Bottom line; the type or brand of case lube we use is largely irrelivant but the way we apply it and use it is not.
    EDG

  15. #55
    Boolit Master




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    I use a strange way to lubed my brass. Layer of waxed paper, then a folded paper towel. Spray with Lyman spray case lube and let it set for 1/2 hr or so to have the liquid (you know, the stuff that puts dings in the shoulder when you size) evaporate. What's left is the anhydrous(?) lanolin. Roll the cases and you just get a nice THIN layer of lube.
    I have had some 308 brass that sticks. I load for an AR-10 so I usually use small base dies, but in this case, I got a "REGULAR" set of dies to load these problem brass. Regular dies first, small base dies second. If some of the brass is run through a small base die first, it will stick, and we all know how much fun that is.
    I've had suggestions on ALL types of case lube, but the way I described above works fine, easy to do, and when the paper towel gets dirty, throw it away and use a new one. Cheap, effective, and it works
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  16. #56
    Boolit Master

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    Glad I ran onto this thread. I've been sizing some .308/7.62X51 - primarily LC - '12. Apparently this brass has been fired from a number of different firearms because some of them re-size fairly easily but some of them are really hard to re-size - and everything in between. It is all once-fired because I had to de-prime and remove the primer crimp from every last one of them. My guess is that some was fired from full-auto firearms, since being military stuff. Because I stuck one case - again, my fault, not using enough lube - I went to something I'd never used before ... compressor oil. Still hard to re-size some of them, but no more stuck cases. Have on hand anhydrous lanolin, castor oil, Vaseline, various greases - the usual, but don't want to take any chances. Next time around should not be such a bother. Big Boomer

    Well ... decided that I would try the anhydrous lanolin with just one case since I had two 1-lb jars that have been sitting around for the last 10 to 15 yrs to make some FWFL. Put plenty of the lanolin on the pads of both thumbs & index fingers and rolled a .308 case and gingerly gave it a try. Wow! Easier than with compressor oil or any other lube type I've ever used. You guys have convinced me. Wondered what I would use to wash the lanolin off the cases and read on the container that it should not be used without mixing with water. This stuff is apparently water soluble.
    Last edited by Big Boomer; 08-11-2017 at 05:28 PM. Reason: addition

  17. #57
    When reloading brass that has been shot in sloppy chambered full auto stuff that has way excessive head space. Be shure you check for case head separation or overstretched cases.
    Bill

  18. #58
    Boolit Master

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    WILDEBILL308: You are right that ammo brass shot in sloppy chambered full auto firearms is likely to have stretched unduly. Reloading for a Century Arms C308 Sporter, first did just a smidgen of neck sizing - sizing the neck short of touching the shoulder. Then I tried a few of these cases on for size in the Sporter. They all worked. Then reloaded some 190 gr. boolits with gas checks and they all fired and grouped well. This is definitely not a long-distance firearm. Big Boomer
    Last edited by Big Boomer; 08-15-2017 at 08:21 PM. Reason: correction

  19. #59
    Boolit Master
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    I'm always fascinated by the lengths folks will go to to come up with a difficult solution to a non-existent problem. The reloading Manufacturer's have all come up with excellent lubes for case resizing. Unless you have a pressing need to reinvent the wheel. What's wrong with the Manufacturers Lubes ? I've used LYMAN case lube, because it came with my 1st reloading press. A few years later when that LYMAN lube ran out I switched to RCBS because it came with the RockChucker I received as a gift. When the 1st RCBS lube bottle ran out I bought a bottle of RCBS Case-lube 2.
    I used all these lubes on a case lube pad to load THOUSANDS OF RIFLE AMMO over 25+yrs. Only three 4oz containers of lube in all that time. A few hundred cases formed using IMPERIAL SIZING LUBE. And I started using HORNADY ONE SHOT for loading .223, .308 & .30-06 for loading on a progressive loader for semi-auto's. I use the special short "nylon?" Loading blocks made by SINCLAIR just for spraying on case lube. Never had a stuck case with the HORNADY ONE SHOT or IMPERIAL SIZING DIE WAX. Even when reloading NORMA brass fired out of the FLUTED CHAMBER of a SIG PE-57.

    I had my only stuck case ever while I was teaching a newbie to reload .25-06 for his RUGER M77. I didn't watch to make sure he ACTUALLY ROLLED THE CASES OVER THE LUBE PAD. It may have taken an entire 5 minutes to locate the "Stuck case remover" and remove the stuck case. He learned the hard way to roll those cases across the pad every time. I'm only into my 6ixth bottle of Case-Lube & 2nd tin of IMPERIAL SIZING DIE WAX in almost 50yrs loading on my own setup. Get about 1000-1500 cases lubed using HORNADY spray lube, depends on size of case .223 to .30-06 and how heavy handed I get with the spray.
    Happiness is a Warm GUN & more ammo to shoot in it.

  20. #60
    Boolit Master
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    I've tried a few case lubes over the years. I like Hornady One Shot for inside the case necks and good old RCBS case lube on the pad for the case bodies. Almost zero friction running them up into the sizer die. I know they are coming out uniform then and it's easier on me and my press. Sure, I have to wash the cases off in soapy water, rinse and dry them but I only do that once because then I neck size only.

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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