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Thread: Bullet lube gluing bullets in case necks

  1. #21
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Buy a Lyman 30 LONG neck expander die ....
    https://budgetshootersupply.ca/produ...xpander-m-die/

    First step expands the inside of the case neck to just under bullet diameter.
    Regards
    John

  2. #22
    Boolit Bub
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    Greenjoytj - thanks again.

    Do you have some personal experimental info on bullet tension?

    My Lyman M Die 30 for my .310" bullets has a .307" plug, and the 31 die for .312"/.3125" bullets has a .3095" plug. Short of sizing the larger bullets down, which in the past has enlarged groups, I have no room to move.

    I measured some pulled bullets and found NO CHANGE relative to unused bullets.

    Measurements are with micrometer, not vernier.

    I am starting to think that bullet adhesion is the "good" state, and that using ammo before it has had a chance to set up may be what I have to avoid.

    I am aware of crimping, and have crimped .32-20 and .44-40 cases, since these are thin and weak, but have been able to avoid doing .30-30. Crimping and excess belling are great destroyers of cases. My observation with .30-30 is that bullet adhesion, and bullets utilising only part of the neck, are providing a lot more resistance to collapse than crimping could. Besides, crimping requires trimming, which I also avoid in .30-30 apart from truing up any unevenness. There may even be some advantage in lengthened cases. My .30-30 chamber lengths are 2.121" and 2.153". Case stretch is going to kill the cases long before they get to this length.

    And thanks JohnBoy for response also. M dies are great tools. I have a bunch of them. My first run at headspacing .30-30 on the shoulder, to deal with excess headspace, involved running fired cases over .32, .33, .35 and .37 M dies, then sizing back to the dimensions I wanted. I've also used one in .22 when I was being a bit pedantic about accurate jacketed bullet loads for a M65 Bee.

    Incidentally, a spot of neck turning, 25% or 30% of circumference to take off the high spots, results in more even case stretch and case mouths when doing neck expansions.
    Last edited by Wilderness; 04-27-2021 at 03:48 AM.

  3. #23
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    Boolit adhesion:
    I haven't seen any mention of your process for case cleaning? Afterall, that is what the lube is allegedly adhering to. Beeswax, or a lube with a large percentage of beeswax, sure could act like an adhesive when aged, maybe even as quickly as a few days. If the brass case is super cleaned by wet tumble and SS pins, then adhesion surely would be greater than cases that get a quick tumble in corncob media where you can see tarnish, carbon, or just age patina remaining inside the neck. I know that dark stuff sure makes sizing much easier, than when sizing super cleaned cases.

    If this is a real phenomenon, maybe try a soap lube, like SL69B. Judging by how that lube ages on sized/lubed boolits (that haven't been loaded), I can't imagine any "gluing" action happening with it. I surely haven't noticed any difference of difficulty in pulling boolits from freshly loaded ammo, to aged (a year or more) ammo...which I have done, just recently in fact.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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  4. #24
    Boolit Buddy
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    You could fire an un-lube bullet.
    Not a bunch of them just 4, one aged cartridges and one new ctg. the both fire and pull a week or 2 later.
    Just to remove the your lube from the problem with the shifting POI and difficulty in pulling bullets.
    As far as a week or two of cartridge aging that short amount of aging time is insignificant against the working life span of a modern cartridge.

  5. #25
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Wilderness, I can’t remember the last time I used my one & only Lyman M Die
    I shoot a lot of black powder calibers and from Track of the Wolf, have a box full of $4.99 compression/expander plugs used with the Lee die. For several calibers that I need an exact expansion for 0.001 to 0.002, I take a close dimension plug and shave the diameter.
    https://www.trackofthewolf.com/Categ...-EXPANDER-PLUG
    Last edited by John Boy; 04-27-2021 at 06:53 PM.
    Regards
    John

  6. #26
    Boolit Master



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    If you should decide to do some comparison testing, muzzle velocities would be interesting to know besides POI.

  7. #27
    Boolit Bub
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    Again, thanks to all for responding.

    I'm pretty much satisfied now that I have my solution, in an empirical sense at least - let the ammo sit for a week before I test or use it. The original issue related to unexplained zero failures for LAS Rams. I was shooting my test loads a day or so after loading, while the competition loads would sit around for up to a month. The answer is to let the test loads sit for a while also. Since pulling difficulty is similar between one week and much longer I suspect not much change after the first week. I am now seeing the initial non-adhesion as the issue.

    The immediate object is to get back to a Ram load that will group about 1" for 5 shots at 50 m and be on zero when I come to use it. I've been there before but have recently lost the plot.

    It may even be that BM2 powder, which I'm working on now, behaves differently to other powders when confronted with the adhesion issue/non-issue. Interestingly, BM2 listed data for 170 gn jacketed bullets is very close to realised velocities with 175 gn cast bullets (loads aged), whereas other powders give about 100 fps discrepancy (cast go faster for the same load).

    That said, it is always interesting to get to the bottom of something previously unexplained, and I'll be doing more digging.

    On specific points:

    JBIG - I'm not a case tumbler. I wipe down my .30-30 fired cases, lube them by rolling them between my hands with a very small amount of vaseline (my .308s require lanolin). Case necks are brushed out with some residual vaseline on the brush (from the hands). If the expander ball drags I apply more brushing. Then they get the M die. Residual lube would be scant. Never been an issue before.

    More heresy: Cases from my subsonic loads, which we are not discussing, but which also "set up" over time, apparently without affecting velocity or POI, are processed without any inside neck treatment - there is enough residual bullet lube there to do the business. These loads use 5 gns AP70/Universal with 115 gn .310", and 5.5 gns Unique with 163 gn .312".

    JJTJ - interesting idea re unlubed bullets at least at the level of seating, ageing or not, and pulling. As for firing them, given the differences in POI just of different lubes (can be quite a bit) I think the shooting part of the experiment would be difficult to interpret.

    JB - interesting. I need to look at the Lee system.

    Greg - this is an edit to include your post. As per the edited initial post, velocities for 26 gns BM2 and 175 gn cast bullets in .30-30 were 1898 fresh and 1942 aged, and about 2" POI difference at 50 meters.
    Last edited by Wilderness; 04-28-2021 at 09:37 PM.

  8. #28
    Boolit Grand Master


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    I have run into pretty much the same phenomenon. I had loaded some commercial 45-70 cast bullets that had the commercial type hard wax lube and which I had TL'd in LLA. The W-W 45-70 cases had been cleaned as always in crushed walnut in a vibrator cleaner. The cases had been NS'd to the depth of the seated bullets. They were loaded for use in my H&R Officers Model TD over 4895 with a dacron filler. At the same time I loaded the commercial cast i also loaded some Lee 459-405-HB and some 458124s, both lubed with my BP lube.

    At the range [Ben Avery during a CBA match] I had a case separation. Nothing there at the range would get the front half of the case out so I was a DNF for that match. When back home i thought I'd double check the powder charge so I tried pulling the bullet using a inertia puller......it wouldn't budge. Both types of my own cast bullets with my BP lube pulled out just fine with the inertia puller. I then tried a collet puller in the press....still no go. I then removed the collet puller, raised the cartridge up through the die hole and used a pair of side cutters to bite into the bullet and pulling down on the cartridge expected the bullet to come out.....no go. I took a much solider bite into the bullet and literally cut the nose off the bullet trying to pull it.

    I then put a seating die in the press and seated the commercial cast bullets a small bit. Every one "cracked" as the seal was broke just US milsurp 7.62 will when seated a bit deeper to break the bullet sealant before shooting. After breaking the commercial cast loose by seating them a bit they pulled out as normal.

    Next i turned my attention to getting the stuck case out off the TD. I used a cerrosafe casting to do it. It took a bit of tapping on the rod to push the casting out. When out it was easy to see why none of the "field expedient" measures had worked to remove the stuck case. The front part of the case had literally been drug up 1/2" + into the bore and swaged into the rifling before the bullet broke loose from the case.

    Subsequently I shot the remainder of the commercial cast rounds after the "seal" had been broken by seating the bullet a bit. Nary a problem with them and good accuracy. None of the other rounds loaded at the same time with my own bullets lubed with my BP lube had to be seated deep as there was no "seal" as such. All shot quite well.

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    I have no idea why as i have shot literally thousands of commercial cast bullets relubed with LLA in numerous cartridges over the years w/o any similar problems. I have no idea as to why the bullets were glued, sealed, stuck in, whatever this time in the 45-70.
    Larry Gibson

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

  9. #29
    Boolit Bub
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    Larry - many thanks for coming in on this issue. It's a relief that someone else has had an almost parallel experience to mine, and a warning that it could be something bigger than I experienced. I wonder if Alox is the common factor (my lube was BAC). It is tantalising however that the BM2/Benchmark load seems to benefit from adhesion.

    It is also interesting that you found out about the adhesion only when you tried to pull a bullet. How many others have experienced the same thing without realising it?

    I will feel my way forward with other lubes, testing for velocity and POI with ageing. This will include some newly purchased Orange Magic, which in the past has done well at this level.

    From an experimental standpoint, it seems that I have something repeatable, so it does not have to remain a complete mystery.

    The annoying thing is that this leaves a question over my old data and conclusions drawn from it - was the ammo old or new when fired?

    P.S. Many thanks also for your great posts on HV bullet lubes, LeverEvolution powder and the RPM story. I've had very good results with LVR and HP cast bullets in a Savage 99 with 12" twist at 2200 fps, but less so with the Marlin (1949) with 10" twist. Savage is for hunting, Marlin for LAS. Last year I cleaned up 165 (real) pigs with the hollow points. This year I will use up some Sierra 150s I was given. After that I will be using Sierra 170s and cast HPs loaded up to bring POI into line with the Sierras. All with LVR.
    Last edited by Wilderness; 04-28-2021 at 09:25 PM.

  10. #30
    Boolit Bub
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    For those who are interested, I have added an edit to the original message concerning testing for adhesion, comprising the following:

    Testing for adhesion by pulling bullets is complicated by collet slipping on cast bullets. A surer method seems to be applying pressure with seating die to test for "click" when bullet moves.

    Dummies loaded by me and tested 8 days later clicked for BAC and LBT lubes, but not for Orange Magic. A different set of three dummies tested at 12 days gave definitive clicks for BAC and LBT, and a lesser sound for OM.

    Alternative for home testing of a loading batch is to seat all bullets out a bit, then seat to full depth immediately before use to check for adhesion. A click will indicate adhesion at some level. I have no idea yet whether adhesion will set up again after once being broken - that is the next test.

    If someone actually tests their ammo I would be REALLY interested to hear how different lubes respond.
    Last edited by Wilderness; 04-29-2021 at 01:58 AM.
    "Any member introducing a dog into the Society's premises shall be liable to a fine of one pound. Any animal leading a blind person shall be deemed to be a cat" - Rule 46, Oxford Union Society London. From "Writing With Precision" by Jefferson D Bates.

    It'll be handy if I never need it.

  11. #31
    Boolit Master
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    If you really believe that this is a thing, and it sounds like you do and it may be, you need to figure out how to make bullets with a wire bail imbedded in them like a fishing sinker so you can hook up a strain gauge above your press and measure the force it takes to pull them.

    Best to cast them in, but drilling and screwing in an eyelet before sizing might also work.

    Then you can start testing variables. My guess is that it’s not the lube, but it’s an interesting puzzle.

    Oh, and number your brass, it’s a variable.

    Jim

  12. #32
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Bullets loaded with 0.001 to 0.002 can be easily pulled out of the cases if there are no crimps. BPCR reloads with no crimps are the most accurate in single shot rifles. They are called ‘finger seated’ reloads and when the bullet is removed from the the cases with your fingers, you will hear a ‘pop’
    Regards
    John

  13. #33
    Boolit Bub
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    John Boy - no argument about low tension, but not when I want them to stay put in a tube magazine. I avoid crimping for reasons I have already advanced. Perhaps I should have used the expressions "crack" or "click" to describe the sound when the seal is broken. It occurs when the bullet has barely moved, long before the bullet exits the neck.

    JimB - nice idea to embed a wire bail in the bullet to circumvent the slipping bullet puller collet, and entirely doable with a hollow point mould, but is it necessary?

    Is the force required to break an adhesion by pulling any more or less than the force required to do it by pushing (seating deeper)? I suspect not, other than for the additional force required to expand a bit more neck with deeper seating. And which force is easier to measure, pushing or pulling? As applied to a reloading press and subjective "measuring" I would back pushing. I do not have seating dies that measure force required, and in any case they might go off the scale on a stuck bullet.

    With this in mind, I would propose the following methodology to check for bullet adhesion:

    1. Load a batch of ammo you intend to use (or dummies), but leave the bullets seated out at least .100".

    2. Immediately seat the required sample size another .010". Measure/assess the force required. This is for comparison with the steps that follow, or for netting off the measured force.

    3. One week later reseat another sample the required .010". Assess and record, and set aside.

    4. A week later do another group ..... etc

    5. Perhaps at step 4, take the .010" deeper group and give them another .010" - has adhesion reestablished? As for the rest of them, make it up as you go along to see when or if adhesion is reestablished. Is one "crack" enough to banish adhesion for good?

    6. Finish seating when you need to use the ammo.
    Last edited by Wilderness; 05-01-2021 at 02:03 AM.
    "Any member introducing a dog into the Society's premises shall be liable to a fine of one pound. Any animal leading a blind person shall be deemed to be a cat" - Rule 46, Oxford Union Society London. From "Writing With Precision" by Jefferson D Bates.

    It'll be handy if I never need it.

  14. #34
    Boolit Bub
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    John Boy

    Here is another discussion among the jacketed bullet shooters of "sticky bullets".

    https://www.longrangeonly.com/forum/...k-bullet.1338/

    Of relevance to us is that it upsets ballistics.

    Test for adhesion of cast bullets, as per previous post, is under way.

    If anyone else is in a position to bump some seated bullets in a couple of thou, and test for the click as the adhesion breaks, or not as the case may be, please post. Relevant information is type of lube and how long ago the ammo was loaded.
    "Any member introducing a dog into the Society's premises shall be liable to a fine of one pound. Any animal leading a blind person shall be deemed to be a cat" - Rule 46, Oxford Union Society London. From "Writing With Precision" by Jefferson D Bates.

    It'll be handy if I never need it.

  15. #35
    Boolit Master
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    Brass thickness, composition, hardness and expansion as well as bullet hardness and size are all variables to be considered when pushing but are eliminated when pulling. Maybe easier to just put a strain gauge on the press handle, in which case I’d raise the cartridge, grab the bullet with side cutters and then raise the press handle by pulling on the strain gauge.

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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