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Old November 12, 2009, 07:24 AM   #1
Dr Killdeer
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Is lube necessary for 45ACP?

I’m loading 45 ACP rounds using the Lee 4 die set. I’m new at it and I need some input about lubing. Once I got the dies set up properly and worked out some initial problems, I made 10 dummy rounds to check the specs. They came out just fine and I proceeded to load the first 100 live rounds.

I had no problem seating the 185 grain Speer Gold Dot when I made the dummy rounds, so I didn’t use any lube when I loaded the real ones.

Now, I’m having second thoughts about it. It’s a hell of a time to ask, but should I have used lube when seating the bullets? I know it’s necessary for rifle, but what’s the norm for handgun?
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Old November 12, 2009, 07:45 AM   #2
grumpa72
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If you bought the Lee Deluxe four die set, then you have one with carbide components and lube is not necessary. I have that set and have loaded several thousand 9mm, .40 s&w, and ,45 acp without lube.
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Old November 12, 2009, 08:10 AM   #3
David Wile
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Hey Doc,

Your last paragraph makes it sound like you are asking about using lube in the bullet seating process: "It’s a hell of a time to ask, but should I have used lube when seating the bullets?" I think Grumpa's response was addressed to using lube while sizing the cases and, like he said, you do not need to lube cases when using a carbide sizing die. However, if you are talking about lubing bullets before seating them, that is something new to me, and I suspect you are confusing lubing bullets and lubing cases. Most folks lube and size cast bullets in a special Lubrisizer press before seating them in cases, but I don't think that is what you were asking. Could you clarify your question?

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Old November 12, 2009, 09:09 AM   #4
sourdough44
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No lube when seating bullets. Lead bullets usually have lube on them, that is a slightly different issue. Even with carbide dies, when resizing cases I may lube every 5th case or so. It's also important to have clean cases when resizing, usually after tumbling is fine.
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Old November 12, 2009, 09:37 AM   #5
margiesex
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All the above...

I use .45 acp carbide RCBS dies - no lube required to resize. And, the only lube you would need would be with lead bullets.

No need to lube the Gold Dots.

Welcome to the hobby - don't be afraid to ask - someone will help.

God bless.

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Old November 12, 2009, 09:57 AM   #6
Dustin0
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Ya carbide components and lube is not necessary on Jacketed rounds. I have loaded 1000s of rounds of 45 acp. with out lube.
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Old November 12, 2009, 03:20 PM   #7
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lube is only needed when doing the resizing step using non carbide dies. most new pistol dies are carbide. the rifle dies generally are not carbide requiring lube or the case with get stuck in it. some lube a pistol case every x amount of rounds. i havent yet and had no issues, but i like you are fairly new at it.
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Old November 12, 2009, 03:52 PM   #8
BigJimP
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you don't need to lube cases on carbide dies ...... but I lube the cases anyway ( and it makes my press run a lot smoother )....on every handgun caliber I load.

I use a Dillon lube - and I use a "paper box cover" from a case of copy paper ( so its 11" X 17" and about 2 " deep ) - and put 4 or 5 handfulls of brass in the box lid. I flatten them out - so they are all on their side - then I spritz them with the lube ( roll them around a little ) - then spritz them lightly a 2nd time ( and let them dry for about 20 min ). Then I run them in my case feeder and run them thru the press.
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Old November 12, 2009, 03:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
If you bought the Lee Deluxe four die set, then you have one with carbide components and lube is not necessary. I have that set and have loaded several thousand 9mm, .40 s&w, and ,45 acp without lube.

I was wondering the same thing. I just got a Lee press and carbide die set (4 dies) for .38 special and deprimed about 200 cases last night. It seemed to go OK without the lube, do I need to use it? It was included with the press, not the dies.
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Old November 12, 2009, 04:03 PM   #10
Foxbat
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Although it is not necessary to lube the cases before sizing with carbide dies, more and more people do lube them today using spray lube, as it makes the job go easier both on you and the dies, and it is easy to do.

However, different calibers take different effort to size, and among them the .45 is perhaps the easiest one, due to large diameter and relatively thin walls.

So the bottom line is - it is not necessary, but you should try it, and it you like the improvement it makes - all the power to you. Just try not to spray inside the cases.
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Old November 12, 2009, 04:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Just try not to spray inside the cases
The instructions mention rubbing the outside of the case with lubed fingers and using Q-tips for the inside. I guess I'll be forgoing the inside, seems like a lot of time saved also.
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Old November 12, 2009, 04:22 PM   #12
Foxbat
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Too complicated. I usually spread the brass in a shallow box or tray, trying to make sure they are more or less looking in the same direction, then spray lightly aiming from the bottoms up, so it would not hit the inside. Roll them a bit after that to spread the lube, and you are done.
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Old November 12, 2009, 04:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spacecoast
The instructions mention rubbing the outside of the case with lubed fingers and using Q-tips for the inside. I guess I'll be forgoing the inside, seems like a lot of time saved also.
That is for rifle reloading. The only pistol brass I have lubed at all has been .460 S&W and only on the outside. When you resize rifle brass, the decapping pin will also have a neck sizer part which takes the place of the pistol expander die. That's why you lube the inside of the rifle brass, is for the neck sizer.

When doing rifle I used a lube pad and rolled the brass on it and about every third round would run the my finger over the case mouth and it would pick up the lube on my fingers and lube the neck sizer.
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Old November 14, 2009, 04:55 AM   #14
Dr Killdeer
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OK, I think I’m getting a handle on it. Sorry Dave, I meant using lube in the cases to ease the bullet seating process. Sometimes I just assume that everybody knows what I’m asking because this is the only place I’ve found where people really know reloading inside and out.

I think I’ll continue loading dry because that process gave me zero problems. It’s not broke, so I’m not going to try to fix it.
I tumble my brass before loading it and since I enjoy spending time at the reloading bench, I even polish the finished rounds with Brasso and then I wipe off any residue with alcohol pads. Although it’s unnecessary, they look pretty impressive.
So far, I have 100 rounds under my belt. They feed, shoot and eject flawlessly. All I can say is, Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. Thanks again folks for all your help.
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Old November 14, 2009, 08:40 AM   #15
Bud Helms
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Re: bottleneck rifle cartridges neck lube: You can use a dry lube to dip the neck into after spraying (or rolling) the outside of the case with lube. I hesitant to use a wet lube inside the neck. After I saw sticks of powder sticking to the inside of the neck just before seating the bullet, I decided to eliminate the potential problem of contaminating the powder with spray lube on the inside of the case neck. It's not supposed to be there.

I've never tried to experiment and determine what effect the wet lube would have on a powder's ignitability, or a primer's for that matter, but clean and dry means clean and dry. The first part of the powder drop takes any case lube residue on the inside of the neck right straight to the bottom of the case where the primer is sitting, mouth wide open.
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Old November 14, 2009, 09:03 AM   #16
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for 45 ? no.
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Old November 14, 2009, 10:10 AM   #17
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Bullet lube is used with cast bullets, not jacketed bullets. It's added by the bullet maker, so is a non-issue for the average reloader. Jacketed bullets do not require any bullet lube.
Case lube is another matter–it is not required when using carbide dies, such as yours, with straight walled pistol cases, such as .45 acp.
Sorry–no lube for you!
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Old November 14, 2009, 08:54 PM   #18
dmazur
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Quote:
I even polish the finished rounds with Brasso
Not trying to be a wet blanket, but you might read this -

http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/...ad.php?t=47164

There are so many alternatives for case polishing, I just wouldn't risk weakening the brass with anything containing ammonia, even if you are wiping it off. It chemically attacks the brass, and that may not be stopped by wiping.

The brass is a pressure vessel. It's nice if it is shiny, but it is more important that it is strong...
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Old November 15, 2009, 10:27 AM   #19
Dr Killdeer
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dmazur….Thanks for the heads up. I was not aware of the potential hazard Brasso creates. If a weakened case were to let go upon firing, I suspect my head could go with it. Not good!

Reloading is an enjoyable hobby, but there’s a steep learning curve and what you don’t know can really hurt you. Brasso is no longer part of my reloading inventory. I’ll use it to polish my wife’s silver before Thanksgiving, but it will never touch any of my brass from this day foreword. I’m just glad I mentioned it in my last post.
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Old November 15, 2009, 03:43 PM   #20
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It's not a guaranteed disaster, and there are mixed opinions on whether to worry about using Brasso or not...

However, I thought you should at least be aware of the potential problem.
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Old November 15, 2009, 11:20 PM   #21
Rich Keagy
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Gentlemen, I've reloaded shotgun shells for more than two decades. When I got my first pistol and started reloading my .45 ACP empties, I felt like a beginner all over again. This brass-and-bullet business is far more precise in nature than cranking out skeet loads.
Here's my question: In this thread I've seen mentioned seating lead and jacketed bullets, but what about plated bullets? I've started adding a VERY thin film of oil around the base of each bullet before pressing it into a charged case. When I do this I don't get that grinding sound \ sensation caused when a case rim catches the copper 'foil' making it bunch up. This makes the cartridge chamber poorly or not at all.
So, my situation is 'not lead, not FMJ'. Is a slight film of oil on the base of each copper-plated bullet a no-no?
Also, is there a new three-letter acronym for these copper-plated bullets? CPBs? FMPs?
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Old November 16, 2009, 01:53 AM   #22
dmazur
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Is a slight film of oil on the base of each copper-plated bullet a no-no?
Unless the lube is rated for reloading (meaning it is supposed to not degrade the powder), it is generally considered unwise to put lube inside cases.

Lube on lead bullets isn't supposed to get inside the case, as I understand things, but that isn't what you're asking about...

Are you belling the case with an expander die? (Or, if you have a powder thru expander setup, is it adjusted correctly?)

I use plated bullets for practice loads and I haven't seen the shaving or bunching you are describing, or heard that noise. That doesn't mean it can't happen, but I'm having a hard time picturing how the belled case mouth can bunch the plating off a bullet.
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Old November 16, 2009, 10:06 AM   #23
David Wile
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Hey Rich,

I would suggest there are two basic types of bullets in use today: jacketed and cast lead bullets. Plated bullets are really lead bullets with a thin copper skin, but they are in no way comparable to jacketed bullets. I guess you could also mention swaged lead bullets, paper patched bullets, and half jacket bullets, but they are rarely seen or used these days by most of the reloading community. I know there are some very determined paper patchers who do well by the craft, but they are comparitively small in number.

With that said, let's go back to jacketed and cast bullets and consider plated bullets as cast bullets.

Adding any oil or grease to the base of any bullet is not a necessary nor a good idea. Most oils and grease will degrade the powder beneath the bullet.

If you are having trouble seating your bullets, whether it is a grinding sound or shaving lead or copper jacket, then your cases are not prepared properly. A slight belling of the case mouth is usually necessary to seat cast bullets, but it is usually not required at all for jacketed bullets. How much do you bell the case mouth? Just enough to get the bullet started without having the seating process shave lead from the side of the bullet. If you bell too much, you may find the bullet fits in the mouth quite easily, but the bell is too wide to allow the case to enter the seating die. At that point, you will have to resize the case again. Keep in mind, for seating cast bullets, you only need to bell the case mouth just enough to start the bullet without shaving lead.

There really is no need to bell the case mouth for jacketed bullets. However, I have always found that a careful champhering of the inside of the case mouth will remove any burrs that may scratch a jacketed bullet and generally make it easier to seat the jacketed bullets.

Most pistol die sets are normally 3 die sets with one die to bell the case mouth to allow the use of cast bullets. Most rifle die sets are purchased as 2 die sets for jacketed bullets. If you want to use cast bullets in a rifle, you can buy a special belling die to bell the case mouth. All the cast bullets I use for rifle are gas checked bullets, and when I first started reloading, I did not want to spend the money for a special belling die for rifle calibers while using cast bullets. That is when I started my very careful champhering of the inside of the case mouth for rifle cases, and I found I was able to seat my gas checked cast bullets without any lead shaving whatsoever. To this day, I still do not own a single die to bell bottleneck rifle cases, and I load a lot of cast bullets in bottleneck rifle calibers. The key to doing this successfully is the use of gas checks and champhering the inside of the case mouths.

I have never heard of the terms "CPBs" and "FMPs" for copper plated bullets. I am guessing that the first stands for Copper Plated Bullet, but I have no idea what the second is. Again, I submit that copper plated bullets are essentially either cast or swaged lead bullets, and they can in no way be considered as copper jacketed bullets.

Best wishes,
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Old November 16, 2009, 08:46 PM   #24
Rich Keagy
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Thanks for your responses everyone.
Dave: Thanks
I'm using RCBS equipment.
The flare on the brass measures about .481 - .482. I'm using mixed brass so there is no uniformity.
Should I increase this? How much?
I have avoided FMJ bullets because I figure they cost too much. Though to be honest I haven't found any in the stores. Lead is messy. I don't mind paying a few bucks more for the cleaner lead *kisses* wrapped in copper foil (think 200 gr flat nose bullets here).
btw, I want to emphasize I use only the slightest film of oil, and it doesn't reach the powder.
I'll try a wider flare to see if I can load them smoothly.
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Old January 10, 2010, 11:26 AM   #25
boy412
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Quote:
A slight belling of the case mouth is usually necessary to seat cast bullets, but it is usually not required at all for jacketed bullets.

<snip>

There really is no need to bell the case mouth for jacketed bullets. However, I have always found that a careful champhering of the inside of the case mouth will remove any burrs that may scratch a jacketed bullet and generally make it easier to seat the jacketed bullets.
Huh? I tried skipping the expander die in my process once and when I went to seat the jacketed bullet I ended up With a shaved bullet. My Redding die set didn't come with an expander die (was made for a progressive press) but I very quickly added one.

I may revisit this again after trying a little champhering.
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