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Thread: Lubing pellets with Ballistol

  1. #1
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Lubing pellets with Ballistol

    I did some testing last year and wanted to go down this rabbit hole again. Last year I shot 5 shot groups at 50 yards and found "a little" Ballistol shrank groups from .814" to .65" (average of 10 groups). A "heavy" amount of Ballistol opened groups up to .87"

    Today, conditions were not great, so I stayed at 25 yards. Wind was gusting up to 10 mph from the north and my range faces west. I know, the range should face north but my house is not built that way and I shoot off the back porch to 200 yards.

    The gun was a .22 Daystate Huntsman. It is not regulated. I top the gun up after every 20 shots form a tank. Pellets are the Crosman Premier HP's that weigh 14.3 gr. Pellets are straight from the tin. No weight sorting, skirt unforming or visual inspection. Cheap Amazon and Wally World $6.24 per tin "crap".

    I decided to shoot five 10 shot groups figuring that was a better test than 5 shot groups, and saves me hobbling back and forth so much. Getting old sucks.

    Without lube, I got .547"

    Instead of a subjective "a little" lube, I measured 20 drops of lube into a new tin of 500, and got .453" groups.

    Then put 30 drops into fresh tin of 500 and averaged .484" with one bad group that went .679". The four "good" groups averaged .436"

    I decided to repeat the 30 drops of lube test and ended up with .662".

    This last test was frustrating. The groups were very good except for one flier in nearly every group. I was getting tired, and the wind had picked up. I also wonder if I am getting "lube purge" or maybe the barrel needs cleaning.

    Testing last year and this year have shown adding some lube helps accuracy of these cheap pellets in my gun. YMMV.

    Health issues have kept me from shooting much and firing 200 rounds today aggravated my back.

    I will be doing more testing. I may weigh sort pellets to see if that addresses the fliers I am getting. No way I will ever weight sort plinking pellets, but it would be fun to get some "wallet" groups with $6.24 pellets.

    One thing for sure, 10 shot groups are tougher to hold together and they make average group size larger. Let me explain. I had a .396 group and one shot opened it up to .696. If I had a .396" group for 5 shots and .696" for the next five that would average .546" There is a very high chance the 5 shot group would be less than the .396' nine shot group. And there is a good chance the maximum group would be less than .696".

    Out of the 20 groups shot today, I had 10 nine shot groups that were under .35".

    With 5 shot groups at 50 yards that gun/pellet combo averaged .77" groups at 50 yards last year. That was the average of 45 groups!

    BTW, one reason I ignore accuracy posts with one 5 shot group. They are "feel good" but tell little else.

    Sorry but it is a pain for me to post groups and I shoot a lot of groups.

    I will update as I send more pellets down range. Plus I want to see how my inexpensive DAR does.
    Last edited by dverna; 08-05-2022 at 10:19 AM. Reason: Error on number of groups shot...20 not 40
    Don Verna


  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    Does ballistol alter the velocity in anyway. A drop of diesel on the back of pellet is said to ignite upon the being hit by the compressed air of a spring powered gun and IIRC correctly is not good for material on the face of a piston. With a pneumatic power gun I am not sure as to what might happen.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I have done a lot of research on using Ballistol in PCP guns and many British “experts” (they shoot a lot and have some good data to share) are of the belief that Ballistol helps with group size. There seems to be better results depending on how it’s applied and when it’s applied. I have a small bottle of it here and plan on trying it myself. I’d trust what Don is reporting, he’s pretty meticulous in his approach. Totally agree on five shot groups. I use them, but I do at least three of them to get any statistical results. It really shows why three shot groups in any gun is pretty much useless information.

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by barnetmill View Post
    Does ballistol alter the velocity in anyway. A drop of diesel on the back of pellet is said to ignite upon the being hit by the compressed air of a spring powered gun and IIRC correctly is not good for material on the face of a piston. With a pneumatic power gun I am not sure as to what might happen.
    I cannot comment on velocity.

    I have been told Ballistol will not diesel.
    Don Verna


  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master
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    NSB, thanks for the kind words...

    BTW, have not forgotten your advice to test on a calm day, but I have been getting cabin fever and felt good enough to get a bit if trigger time in.

    Most of the “fliers” were left/right. 5 mph wind drift with those pellets at 25 yards is 3/4 inch. It doesn’t take much to blow a good group.

    I have a couple of tins of Air Arms pellets my gun loves, but decided not to waste them today.

    BTW, if you would be kind enough to share links of what the “experts” are doing it would be appreciated. I suppose there is no “one size fits all” answer but it would be interesting.
    Don Verna


  6. #6
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    Without going into to much detail - I was told in 2009 by a top local air rifle
    Shooter that he lubes his store bought crossman pellets with heated car wax- just a few drops per tin and then shakes it gently like Lee Alox. He gave me a tin of off brand Chinese .22 cal pellets in a cardboard container like an old milk carton from school lunch . And I’ve never again shot such good consistent groups from my Benjamin.22 cal rifle.
    I’ve not repeated as I was soon sidetracked down another rabbit hole and am just now getting back into air rifles.

  7. #7
    Interesting results. Any idea as to why the lube helps? Any theories?

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I watched a good video on a guy doing this and then measuring groups. It was last year sometime and I went and ordered some Ballistol to try it. Just didn’t get around to it yet. I’ll see if I can find it and post the link. I’m a “tinkerer” myself and I’m always trying to find out how to wring out something extra from my gun and loads. I’m not sure myself what it might do to my Daystate. I have the HUMA regulator on mine and my shot-shot variation is crazy small…..like 3fps in a ten shot string as long as I’m shooting on/above the regulator. I get about 43 very consistent shots before it starts to wander.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
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    Be care full. Some of the lubes destroy the seals in your air gun > I found this the hard way>>>

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawkenhunter50 View Post
    Interesting results. Any idea as to why the lube helps? Any theories?
    There are two theories I have seen. One, is that the Crosman pellets have antimony and are prone to coat the barrel and accuracy drops off quickly. Lubing reduces this tendency.

    The other theory is lube lets the barrel maintain accuracy for more rounds by keeping it cleaner even if using pure lead pellets like the JSB’s.

    BTW, the JSB’s work well in both my guns and many report good results with them. But they are three times the cost of the Crosman’s. My goal is to get close to premium pellet accuracy with the Crosman’s.

    I expect lubing the JSB’s will have less benefit....there is a point of diminishing return. Especially for me as I am not competing and just plinking. If I can get 10 shot 1” groups at 50 yards with pellets that cost less than $15/k I will be quite happy.

    Another comment about lube. Every other lead bullet we shoot is lubed. Be it .22 standard velocity, .38 wadcutters at 700 fps, or higher velocity 9mm. Intuitively, it makes sense lube should help accuracy.
    Don Verna


  11. #11
    Thanks for the info, I did not know about the antimony. I usually have decent results with the cheap Crosman pellets. This looks like a neat test you did, and might just give this a try myself to see if I get the same type of results.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master 35 shooter's Avatar
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    dverna,

    That was some very good shooting; especially considering a crosswind!! I’ve seen other good reports on ballistol for lubing pellets and slugs in airguns.

  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    Would love to see you try that same test with a "light" addition of ATF, ie Dextron II or III Automatic Transmission Fluid. Maybe 5 drops in a whole tin then shake.
    And the same for BLL. 5 drops in a tin, shake, then open to let them dry.

    ATF has become my lubrication of choice for all things gun related. Half a quart bottle from the garage will last you a significant portion of your life.

    I had a 20 yr old Heritage Rough Rider convertable revolver in .22lr and .22wmr. I spent 10 minutes cleaning with a single q-tip moistened with ATF. Then wiped it all dry as I wiped down the outside. Man did that old girl sit up and take noticed.

    Before a cylinder spin would maybe rotate 1.5 times. Now it was rolling through 5 or 6 rotations. Cocking the action everything sounded clean crisp like a perfectly tuned sewing machine. Well it turned me into a believer. Now I keep about a 1 oz jar of ATF and a box of q-tips on my desk. The gunoils, 3 in 1 oils have been retired to a desk drawer.
    I truly believe we need to get back to basics.

    Get right with the Lord.
    Get back to the land.
    Get back to thinking like our forefathers thought.


    May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you
    and give you His peace. Let all of the earth all of His creation worship and praise His name! Make His
    praise glorious!

  14. #14
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    Sorry to read about your back pain challenges -- I do hope you get relief!!! Re pellet lubing, albeit I LOVE Ballistol for soooo many uses, I've been wary using it behind pellets. Hence, I'm happy to read you have applied a bit with no harm!
    Vis the "fool and his money soon parted" thread, I saw some Napier Power Pellet Lube on the Airguns of Arizona site a while back -- then a short ten dollar bill for less than an ounce -- and elected to try one. Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Power Pel Lube.jpg 
Views:	11 
Size:	38.6 KB 
ID:	302908 It seems to work as advertised, and I am better able to hit a barn wall at twenty paces . Seriously, when bench-rest shooting I can (hopefully not "just in my head") see an appreciable group size reduction. Frankly, I am not a "good-enough" shooter to perhaps make it worth the price, but I teeny amount goes quite the long way!
    Had you not heard of or tried this product -- I thought I'd share.
    geo

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master
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    George,
    I have heard of the Napier product and a little goes a LONG way. One guy on YouTube who shoots about 1000 pellets a month has used it for over 3 years...IIRC 5 drops to a tin. He is on his first little bottle.

    Ghosthawk,

    BLL is on my list of stuff to try. Another product is this stuff used for bicycle chains:

    https://www.walmart.com/ip/White-Lig...e&gclsrc=3p.ds

    It is a wax instead of an oil and likely closer to BLL so an interesting option. If it works, it will not have the downsides of BLL. (Keeping BBL mixed and liquid)

    I have also seen positive reports of using synthetic 2 cycle oil as a pellet lube.

    BTW, it seems most of these products are applied by washing pellets with something like Dawn soap, rinsing well, and drying well before application. Those of you who have read my posts wrt reloading/casting know I am a lazy SOB. My joy is in the destination (holes in stuff) not the journey to get there. Easy and cheap trumps getting the last bit of potential out of a load. (ie...trimming pistol brass, weighing every charge and cleaning primer pockets are a waste of time for me)

    I started with Ballistol for two reasons. I had a lifetime supply and it seemed easy to use. Open tin, add "goop" gently shake, SHOOT. If that gives me the results I want. I will stop there. If not, I will try the White Lightning chain lube next.
    Don Verna


  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Here’s one of the video’s I saw. Lots of them on the net
    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...W74VWMvRaRAYWB

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy
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    I had some old pellets that had dried out so I lubed them with silicone oil worked good but I did not test for group size.

  18. #18
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    georgerkahn's Avatar
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    Don -- In my mountain-biking days the White Lightning was the best kid on the block! My 'biking was in pretty much 100% dry terrain, but the younger and wilder riders oft' pedaled through mud-holes, creek beds, and similar. My (Gary Turner) bike has no fenders -- so I avoided the wet stuff -- guaranteed mud-soaked be-hind. However, again, White Lightning proved its worth, so riders voiced, after wet-biking. I, too, used the stuff, and still have a bottle of it...
    The product which replaced it, so to speak, was a dry Teflon lub which I cannot recall the name of, but this is moot as it became unavailable -- no longer made. Following, we found DuPont's Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Dupon Lub.jpg 
Views:	10 
Size:	18.8 KB 
ID:	302912 Non-Stick Dry Lub to be the cat's meow! I wonder if a short spritz on a spread-out layer of pellets (it goes on wet) which are jiggled to coat all before drying might not be a better option than than the 'Lightning?
    In *my* experience, the 'Lightning goes on kind of thick/thin -- great on mountain bike gear-sets and chains -- but -- questions arise re use on pellets...
    geo
    Quote Originally Posted by dverna View Post
    George,
    I have heard of the Napier product and a little goes a LONG way. One guy on YouTube who shoots about 1000 pellets a month has used it for over 3 years...IIRC 5 drops to a tin. He is on his first little bottle.

    Ghosthawk,

    BLL is on my list of stuff to try. Another product is this stuff used for bicycle chains:

    https://www.walmart.com/ip/White-Lig...e&gclsrc=3p.ds

    It is a wax instead of an oil and likely closer to BLL so an interesting option. If it works, it will not have the downsides of BLL. (Keeping BBL mixed and liquid)

    I have also seen positive reports of using synthetic 2 cycle oil as a pellet lube.

    BTW, it seems most of these products are applied by washing pellets with something like Dawn soap, rinsing well, and drying well before application. Those of you who have read my posts wrt reloading/casting know I am a lazy SOB. My joy is in the destination (holes in stuff) not the journey to get there. Easy and cheap trumps getting the last bit of potential out of a load. (ie...trimming pistol brass, weighing every charge and cleaning primer pockets are a waste of time for me)

    I started with Ballistol for two reasons. I had a lifetime supply and it seemed easy to use. Open tin, add "goop" gently shake, SHOOT. If that gives me the results I want. I will stop there. If not, I will try the White Lightning chain lube next.

  19. #19
    Boolit Grand Master
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    More testing today.

    I had a freaking wasp nest in the center support tube of my shooting bench. When I went to lower the seat to ease the strain on my back, I started seeing the little ******** coming out. Good old Raid to the rescue. Got most of them but decided to cut the shooting short when I started getting more of them coming around.

    Good thing too. Doctor called and they were able to get me in early for an exam. Will know more after the X-rays. Tweaked my back two weeks ago cutting rounds off the log pile. Went to step back and slipped. Threw the saw one way while I twisted my body the other way. Fell hard.

    Anyway, managed to fire 15 groups today. Here are the results. Again at 25 yards. Wind was lighter (4-6 mph) but squirrely with lots of shifting.

    First ten groups with 20 drops of Ballistol delivered an average of .509"
    Smallest group was .360" and largest was .688". Yesterday I got an average of .453" for five groups

    Then shot 5 groups with 30 drops of Ballistol, they averaged .485"
    Smallest was .366" and largest was .580". Yesterday 10 groups averaged .557"
    Smallest was .337" and largest was .804"

    Looking at all 15 groups:
    20 drops averaged .491"
    30 drops averaged .533"

    With no lube, groups are .547"

    There is a small improvement using Ballistol. With 20 drops of lube groups shrank by
    10%. With 30 drops, groups were essentially the same within the margin of error.

    At this point, I need to fire another 10 groups without lube to get an apples to apples comparison as I only have 5 groups with bare pellets.

    As to achieving my goal of an average 1" groups at 50 yards, I will test the 20 drop treatment. It should be close.

    One last piece of information from the testing last year with this gun and a variety of pellets. Using 5 shot groups, I averaged .33" at 25 yards for 20 groups. At 50 yards, my average was .76" for 146 groups.

    It seems that moving from 5 shot to 10 shot groups resulted in going from an average of .33" to about .5"...and increase of 50%

    Last year, at 50 yards, untreated Crosman pellets averaged .77" for 45 five shot groups.

    If, and it is a big if, 10 shot groups will be 50% larger than 5 shot groups and Ballistol reduces groups by 10%, Here is what I should get for 10 shot groups with treated pellets at 50 yards:

    .77' x 1.5 x 90% = 1.04"

    Stay tuned!!! My search may be over...might still try the White Lightening though.

    Aren't engineers a PITA?
    Last edited by dverna; 08-05-2022 at 06:14 PM.
    Don Verna


  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy chutesnreloads's Avatar
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    Very interesting report Don. I've read of the Crosman pellets leaving antimony in the bore enough to need a lot of shots to get accuracy
    when switching to a different pellet and I "seem" to be experiencing this. Wonder if the lube would help with this also?
    Years ago was able to go into work on week ends and shoot down the long aisles in the warehouse. I'm not as meticulous a tester
    but the lack of breeze should take a little more uncertainty from the equation.

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