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Old April 19, 2012, 12:51 PM   #1
Mike-Mat
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Case Lube - What do you use and why?

In the past I used Lyman's case lube and a lube pad for resizing my 223 cases. Starting to reload for 223 again and cant find my tube of lube. Bought some Lee's case lube. It says it's water soluble, which means it must be water based. I put it on my pad and it dries out in 5-10 minutes (I live in the dessert).

I generally rinse my prepped cases in mineral spirits or Iso Alcohol to get the grease/oil off. So an oil base lube is fine with me.

What do you use and why?
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Old April 19, 2012, 02:17 PM   #2
serf 'rett
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Imperial Case Sizing Wax

I've sized around 20K pistol cases and still have over 3/4 of the little tin left. When sizing pistol cases, I set the open tin beside the press and use my left hand thumb, index and middle finger to lube the cases. Usually just touch my fingers to the lube every 8 to 10 cases. One point I should mention is my brass is cleaned before sizing.

Reasons for use - fast, no mess, no drying time, no spray and shake and it works well for me.

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/519...izing-wax-2-oz
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Old April 19, 2012, 02:24 PM   #3
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"What do you use and why? "

Ill do this in reverse order.
Friction. Dry, clean brass being squeezed into a die will have friction. A little .25ACP may not have much but an expanded .338 will. The head of the case can only handle so much pulling before it gives and the head is pulled off, well the rim that is held on to to remove the case. Getting a case stuck in your die is a PITA!
Some dies are made of or with a sleeve of carbide and don't 'grab' the brass as bad. These are usually pistol case straight walled dies. There are carbide dies for rifle/bottle necked brass but are expensive. Note, I use a little lub when using carbide dies.

What do I use.... What ever I find first. I have several case lubs about. The brand of lub is a lot like the brand of car one likes. Pick one, try it. If you don't like it, try another. That stuff isn't expensive at all.

I normally rattle my dirty brass in a rattle bucket with some form of media. It cleans and shines. After punching primers and sizing, that put a little grease or slime on the cases, I tumble the cases in water with a little soap and little steel pins. This doesn't shine the brass but does clean the insides and primer pockets well. A full and complete flush with clean water, boy is that water dirty!, then on to a towel and cookie sheet for a trip into the oven. I preheat the oven to 300 degrees, turn it off, then put the wet brass in. By the time the oven is cooled, the brass is dry.

Now I'm ready to trim, prime, charge and seat bullets..... Is it time for a nap yet?

I hope you understand why now. I know that I babble a lot, but I'm old and can get by with it. Just ignore me, my daughter does.

Enjoy and be safe,

OSOK
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Old April 19, 2012, 02:52 PM   #4
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I know why to use lube.

I'm wondering which brand of lube you use and "why" that brand is you favorite choice.

But thanks for the reply.

MIke
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Old April 19, 2012, 02:54 PM   #5
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@ serf 'rett: If this is a wax and not an oil based product, how do you get it off the case?

Mike
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Old April 19, 2012, 03:12 PM   #6
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STP
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Old April 19, 2012, 03:32 PM   #7
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I have several that I use:
  • Dillon Spray Lube (also available rebranded as Cabala's for $1 cheaper)
  • Kiwi Mink Oil
  • Castor Oil
The spray lube works great for .30 Carbines brass, but I haven't tried it on bottleneck cartridges yet.

I think the castor oil might be my favorite. Someday I may try dissolving it in denatured alcohol and spraying it on.

I've also tried talcum powder as an inside-neck-lube. Haven't made up my mind about that one; it works, but any trace of oil that gets on the neck can mix with it in the sizing die and cause massive shoulder dents.
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Old April 19, 2012, 03:53 PM   #8
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I have used the Hornady Spray lube, Imperial Sizing Wax, and the Lee Case Lube. I found they all worked for my use. I load 45-70, 30-30, and .243. For economy sake I find the Imperial Sizing Wax and the Lee case lube less expensive to use. If I am doing just a few cases the Imperial works great. Just wipe your finger over the lube and spread it around the case exterior and size. It doesn't take much to do the job.
When doing a large batch I like the the Lee Case Lube. Take the tube of the Lee Case Lube and squirt it into a full pint or quart of Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol (70% IPA) you can purchase at the drug store. Put the cap on the the bottle of IPA and shake it up to mix. It should look like milk when mixed. Not all of the lube will mix with the IPA but that is alright. Now take an empty pump spray bottle such as an old hair spray bottle and pour the IPA that is mixed with the Lee Case Lube into the spray bottle. I then set a batch of cases on a board with the neck up and spray them from all sides. As the IPA evaporates the Lee Case Lube is left behind on the case. I then run them through the sizing die and wipe with a rag. This works for me. Just give your sprayer a good shake before using to mix the lube and IPA together. You can also keep adding fresh IPA to your original bottle of Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol as you pour out of it. This makes that one tube of Lee Case Lube last quite a while and I find it easy to use this way.
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Old April 19, 2012, 04:00 PM   #9
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RCBS lube and pad.

Maybe not the best choice for the desert. I dont know.
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Old April 19, 2012, 04:09 PM   #10
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Midway spray lube.
Its quick & easy to cover a lot of cases if you volume reload like I do & the stuff works well as long as you actually follow the instructions on the bottle.

I tried the Hornady pump "green" stuff, it reeked, massively & I had to send the stuck case & die back. Hornady had to replace the die as even they couldn't get the case out. They also sent a replacement (aerosol) spray lube that is fine.

I tried the RCBS pump lube but found the "safety catch" pump top a huge pain in the bahoogies, but if you can actually get the stuff to pump it is nice. The problem is the bottle, not the contents.
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Old April 19, 2012, 04:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
@ serf 'rett: If this is a wax and not an oil based product, how do you get it off the case?
Getting ready for FLAME ON!

I don't bother with getting the wax off

1. I'm talking about pistol cases.
2. The wax is not slathered onto the cases; in fact, there is very little wax used or needed (refer to the previously posted 20K+ with much less than 3/4 of 2 oz. can used).
3. I know the conventional wisdom is the lube MUST BE removed, which I might be able to understand for the sprayed, doused, dunked, rolled and soaked cases; however, I haven’t bought into the “lube on case, letting case slide in chamber problem,” because if this was a problem, then wouldn’t ammo makers produce cases with rough exteriors to increase the coefficient of friction between the chamber wall and case side. And wouldn’t we need to wipe down all those cases which were tumbled with stuff like Nu-Finish (car wax) and case polish? I am open to changing my current mode of operation if I see the studies showing the lube must go, but until then, I’ll just continue to be anal about stuff like the right amount of powder below the right bullet.

When I start loading rifle cartridges, I’m fairly certain I’ll take a quick swipe at the Imperial wax with some of the retired underwear which are used for special times of gun cleaning, wood staining, straining liquids, dusting…
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Old April 19, 2012, 04:31 PM   #12
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Dillon. Easy to apply to a lot of rifle cases at once.
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Old April 19, 2012, 04:36 PM   #13
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I use Imperial Sizing Wax in pretty much the same way and for pretty much the same reasons that serf 'rett does. I only use it on rifle cases - I don't bother to lube pistol cases going into a carbide die. I do like to remove the wax after sizing; for all except my .223 I'm not loading in large quantities so I just take a rag and quickly wipe each case. For the .223 brass I tumble the cases for a while in dry media after I size them.
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Old April 19, 2012, 04:44 PM   #14
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"I know why to use lube.
I'm wondering which brand of lube you use and "why" that brand is you favorite choice.
But thanks for the reply.
MIke"

Forgive me. I didn't track on your question.

Reading it again...
I have no preference and used unsalted butter once. Most anything will work, some better/neater than others.

Sorry I'm no help. I like the primer pockets cleaned and inside of the cases. That takes care of what ever I have used.

Enjoy and be safe,

OSOK
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Old April 19, 2012, 05:07 PM   #15
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Quote:
used unsalted butter once
oldpapps - Did you use toast to wipe 'em down?
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Old April 19, 2012, 05:18 PM   #16
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I use RCBS case lube because I was given a bottle of it. I still have a bunch of it so I will continue to use it. I have used the Lee case lube. I still use it if only doing a few cases. It wipes off easily with a damp cloth. If using the Lee case lube I do about 5 cases at a time with finger lubing. No pad. As soon as it is lubed it goes through the die. Afterwards I wipe it clean with a damp cloth.
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Old April 19, 2012, 05:22 PM   #17
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Imperial. Easy to apply. Easy to remove. Easy to keep it off the shoulder and neck.

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Old April 19, 2012, 05:42 PM   #18
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Hey Mike Mat,

I started using RCBS case lube over 50 years ago with both rifle and pistol cases (before they had carbide sizing dies for pistol cases). I still use the same lube pad and same sticky messy RCBS lube for rifle cases. All pistol reloading was quickly changed to carbide sizer dies as soon as they were available since I hate lubing cases and then cleaning them.

Maybe 25 or 30 years ago I tried the spray lube for the first time, and sprayed the cases while they were standing in a loading block. I found the spray works very nicely if I made sure to get the cases covered fully, and it was easy to spray a tad inside the case mouths for expander romoval. The problem I have with sprays, is that it is too expensive compared to plain old, sticky, messy RCBS case lube. Accordingly, I did not use but a few cans of spray lube and went back to the regular lube on the pad.

When loading bottleneck cases in either single stage or on the progressive press, I lube them on the pad, feed them to either press with my left hand while operating the handle with my right. If doing a batch with a single stage press, I will wash the lubed cases in gasoline after sizing and depriming. When loading on the Hornady progressive machine, I take the finished cartridges which are still lubed, and I rinse them off in a 3 pound coffee can half filled with gasoline. The gasoline cuts the lube off easy as can be, and the finished cartridges dry very easily by rolling them around a bit in a terry cloth towel. Since you use mineral spirits, I am sure you already know how well gasoline and mineral spirits do at removing lube. No big danger involved as long as you think about what you are doing and where you are doing it.

After my cartridges (both single stage and progressive) are finished being loaded, lube removed and dry, I put the cartridges in my vibratory tumbler for polishing them. Again, there is no danger in cleaning finished cartridges in vibratory cleaners.

For someone who does not like sticky stuff, I have been using the same old sticky RCBS lube for many years, and I only ever had a few stuck cases with it in all that time. When I tried the spray stuff, I had a number of stuck cases until I finally learned to spray enough on them. Spray really is more convenient to me, but I hate to pay for it. I have also used Lyman case lube a few times, and it was pretty much the same as RCBS to me. I can also assure you the old RCBS case lube will work in the desert climate. No problem there.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile
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Old April 19, 2012, 06:55 PM   #19
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Hornady One Shot

I was using Lee's case lube before but was having issues with the lube being too much and dimpling the case neck. I switched to One Shot and have not looked back. I did have a stuck case but that is my fault for being stingy on the lube (afraid of dimpling) but now I spay them well while on the block do the 50 and then spray another block and keep going. Plus the lube is not a mess when it dries. Don't even notice it on the cartrdiges.
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Old April 19, 2012, 09:27 PM   #20
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I use RCBS spray lube, because it just seems to work. My brother has tried numerous brands and types, and he has also landed on the RCBS.

Its a little messy, so I have a dedicated tray for lube, and then the cases go into the ultra sonic cleaner to remove any lube or other crap involved with case prep.
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Old April 19, 2012, 09:42 PM   #21
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RCBS is what i use.

RCBS Case Lube-2 is a water soluble non-toxic lube that leaves behind no sticky residue. Used with a pad & nylon brush for insided the neck lubing and cleaning. RCBS-
Quote:
You want to avoid lube that is wax based or has any
wax products in the ingredients. 95% of the stuck cases we get back
here are due to wax based lube.

What happens is that the wax builds up inside the die and is like rubber
cement in there and the cases will get stuck every time.
http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=293530
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Old April 19, 2012, 09:44 PM   #22
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And there we have it; a concise lube survey and the winner is....is ....is there a winner?


"What happens is that the (Imperial die) wax builds up inside the die and is like rubber cement in there and the cases will get stuck every time. "

That quote has been attributed to an RCBS tech and it's pure B.S., no wax builds up in a die to become like rubber cement.
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Old April 20, 2012, 07:24 AM   #23
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Quote:
"What happens is that the (Imperial die) wax builds up inside the die and is like rubber cement in there and the cases will get stuck every time. "

That quote has been attributed to an RCBS tech and it's pure B.S., no wax builds up in a die to become like rubber cement.
+1. Utter and complete nonsense - even if it did build up in the die, why would it suddenly start behaving like glue instead of lube?
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Old April 20, 2012, 09:48 AM   #24
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I wonder if vegetable oil would be any good as a sizing lube? Being the curmudgeonly sort that I am, I'm always looking for different ways of doing things.
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Old April 20, 2012, 09:49 AM   #25
Mike-Mat
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Well the general feeling I get is "anything will work".
I don't like the idea of a waxie lube and I dont like the Lee's lube I just bought. Since I'll always rinse my shells in solvent (Mineral spirits or Iso alcohol), I might as well use an oil based lube.

Last night I used some very light machine oil. It says it was part castor oil, which is petroleum based. Someone suggested a mixture of light oil and Iso alcohol in a spray bottle. Spray it on and when the alcohol evaporates, it leaves a light oil residue. I might try that using castor oil.

I was also reading about silicone mold release and something called PTFE which is a Teflon based spray on lube. Might try that if I see it in the store and the price is right. I'm not interested in spend a lot of money on this, If I can use something that's already on my shelf.

So for now I'm using light weight machine oil and a lube pad.

Thanks for all of your input. I appreciate it.

Mike
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