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Thread: Does Lee Tumble Lube protect the base of the bullet?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Does Lee Tumble Lube protect the base of the bullet?

    On plain base , does tumble lube help protect the base of the boolits?

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    Protect the bases from what?

  3. #3
    AKA: GRMPS Conditor22's Avatar
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    The base of boolits don't need protecting, many jacketed bullets have exposed lead basses. GC are to prevent blow-by around the boolit

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    Yes.... what Conditor22 said. I have seen pictures of thin wax gas checks cut from sheets of wax that were found in front of the firing line after being fired from a pistol, not melted at all. The bullet is gone down the bore before the hot gas affects the base. UNLESS, the bullet does not seal the bore, allowing the hot gas to blow past the edge of the bullet, melting the lead, and causing "leading"....

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by clearwater View Post
    On plain base , does tumble lube help protect the base of the boolits?
    Thin coat of tumble lube ... Easy answer ... No

    Put a gas check on a boolit base ... now you got protection !
    Gary
    Certified Cajun
    Proud Member of The Basket of Deplorables

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    I think that there are multiple aspects to consider. It IS true that exposed lead at the base is not necessarily a problem as evidenced by exposed base jacketed bullets. However , it is also true that a layer of lube does provide a barrier between hot gasses and the boolit base(whether that is signifcant is obviously debatable). One of the theories behind soft gas checks and tumble lube is that gas pressure may drive lube into any gap between the boolit base and the barrel thus eliminating or reducing gas cutting of the boolit base. It is pretty tough to actually observe this stuff in the barrel but I am of the opinion that in some cases lube on the base does protect the base and reduce leading.
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I doubt that much of a bullets base ends up as bore leading. But, anything that can reduce the base temperature has to reduce the melting of a lead base. A thin coat of lube on a bullet base will boil away some of the firing flash heat and reduce accuracy damaging of the heel but that's so little of it there's probably not much difference on targets.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    It is questionable to compare Soft Gas Checks with a tumble lube. Tumble lube goes on very thin, and often dries somewhat tacky. Improved versions dry hard. But if the bullet is not large enough to seal the bore, leading does occur. The Soft Gas check is about .035" thick and does form a gas seal so it does prevent gas leaking and bore leading.

    Now the next step is deciding if you are protecting the base of the bullet or supporting the base of the bullet. A metal gas check supports the base of the bullet. Tumble lube and the soft gas checks do not support the base of the bullet. If there are slight barrel irregularities, the Soft Gas Check can help maintain the seal, but the tumble lube fails to do that.

    Bullet lube can be detrimental if it contaminates the powder. Sorry about the thread drift.

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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