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Old February 8, 2013, 02:49 PM   #1
denster
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Mutton Tallow

I really like mutton tallow for patch lube and for making up black powder bullet lube. Only problem is Dixie seems to always be out of stock. I just found a unlimited source for premium pure mutton tallow at $12 a pound + shipping also available in smaller quantities. If anyone is interested I'll post the link.
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Old February 8, 2013, 03:20 PM   #2
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Good stuff

Quote:
I really like mutton tallow for patch lube
Years ago, when I worked with mutton tallow or a mixture that had it, there was nothing better. This is old-school stuff and glad to see that someone is still using it. ....

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Old February 8, 2013, 03:31 PM   #3
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Sure, post a link.

I just made up a batch of period correct Civil War era cartridges, using the 1:8 tallow:beeswax lube. I got the tallow from Dixie Gun Works.

Steve
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Old February 8, 2013, 05:28 PM   #4
denster
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The company is McQueens pure mutton tallow and the lady's name is Anita Baker just drop her an email at abaker@hughes.net. She also sells on eBay just search for mutton tallow.
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Old February 8, 2013, 06:15 PM   #5
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U.S. Wellness meats has lambs tallow periodically during the year. That's who I get mine from. $9.99 for about 2 lbs

http://www.grasslandbeef.com/Detail.bok?no=719
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Old February 8, 2013, 07:56 PM   #6
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If you luck out and shoot a fat deer you can render the tallow. My deer tallow sure smells like mutton to me.
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Old February 8, 2013, 08:46 PM   #7
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Made my own for a while. It was a bit better than other lubes, but just not better enough to warrant the time and smell to make it, or to buy it.
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Old February 9, 2013, 11:10 PM   #8
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They are on ebay.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/McQueens-Pur...-/120990336557

Steve
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Old February 10, 2013, 05:06 AM   #9
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At least one source of mutton tallow

Went to Wellness meat but it appears that they will not ship orders of less than $75.00.

Used the link to Queens on eBay but for 12 tins of 1 ounce each of tallow for 31.43, the price seems a bit too high.

Dixie Gun Works has 12 ounce tubs for 5.75 plus 6.00 shipping.

I ordered that.

I am anxious to see how this stuff works in the lube I need for my shooting.

(Cap and ball revolvers and BPCR.)
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Old February 10, 2013, 09:57 AM   #10
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Doc

As the eBay add states contact her for one Lb containers. She charges $12 + shipping for those.
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Old February 10, 2013, 10:56 AM   #11
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Okay so....

a pound of tallow is something like 18.00.

I just got a pound of lard at Farm Fresh for 1.50. Is mutton tallow twelve times better than lard?
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Old February 10, 2013, 11:02 AM   #12
DD4lifeusmc
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mutton tallow

While I agree Mutton is about the best.
In actuallity you can use any fat if need be.
Save the fat from your deer, bear elk, pronghorn
render it down.
Save the raw fat from your steak, or ask the butcher to save some.
You can even save bacon grease and render it down.
Yep a PITA, but as a sport and a hobby.....
If need be buy a 1lb block of hog lard at the grocery store.
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Old February 10, 2013, 12:22 PM   #13
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I don't know if it is twelve times better but I've never had mutton tallow go rancid.
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Old February 10, 2013, 01:52 PM   #14
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Doc asked:
Quote:
I just got a pound of lard at Farm Fresh for 1.50. Is mutton tallow twelve times better than lard?
Nope, however, tallow is rendered differently than lard. To make tallow, I boil raw fat in water in a large enamel pot for several hours so that all the fat/oil separates and floats to the top. Then it has to cool, slowly. I can then pull the whole layer of tallow off the top in one big round chunk. Below that is a layer of jelly, some will cling to the tallow layer, but is easy to wash off. Below that jelly is nasty muck that stinks to high heaven. Lard is rendered by frying raw fat to separate the oil from the fat cells. Most tallow will not go rancid, probably because of the way it was processed. Lard can go rancid, probably because the separation of the fat from the jelly and particulates isn't as complete. Mutton tallow is traditional, but then again, so are corn cobs for other purposes . I use neither.
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Last edited by noelf2; February 10, 2013 at 01:59 PM.
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Old February 10, 2013, 03:16 PM   #15
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What makes Mutton Tallow better?

Back in my Buckskinner days when working with Mutton Tallow, I recall reference to it's properties and what made it better than others. I recall that it should come from internal fat or suet as opposed to external fats. Also that it had the highest melting point of any tallow. So, I went looking and found the reference to internal fat but so far, nothing about the higher melting point. ..

Quote:
Typically, tallow starts with the extraction of suet from a carcass. Suet is hard fat found in the neighborhood of the kidneys and around some other organs. While suet can be used as-is, rendering it removes the impurities and also extends the shelf life. Once suet is rendered, it becomes tallow. As long as it is stored in an airtight container in a cool environment, it can keep for an extended period of time, unlike suet, which will become rancid.
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Old February 10, 2013, 04:19 PM   #16
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That's a lot of interesting info I wasn't aware of. Noelf2 I still use corncobs ground up as a polishing media. That is what you meant isn't it?
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Old February 10, 2013, 04:52 PM   #17
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Quote:
That's a lot of interesting info I wasn't aware of. Noelf2 I still use corncobs ground up as a polishing media. That is what you meant isn't it?
Cleaning, not polishing. Polishing would hurt.
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Old February 10, 2013, 05:54 PM   #18
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Thanbks for the clarification Hawg. Now I get it.
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Old February 10, 2013, 10:18 PM   #19
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Mutton tallow also has natural lanolin in it, so it makes your hands soft.......LOL!
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Old February 11, 2013, 12:46 AM   #20
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I'm not so sure that mutton tallow has any lanolin in it. Lanolin is an oily secretion onto the skin of the sheep to help waterproof the wool and keep the skin supple. I think it is a byproduct of wool production and used in human skin preps.

I would also think that sheep fat, whether it is around the kidneys or under the skin that fat tissue is fat tissue and the oils within are going to be the same whether internal or external. Just my thoughts. I'd say use it all, why limit to just one part of the body?
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Old February 11, 2013, 04:19 AM   #21
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I want to emphasize....

...I have never so much as held mutton tallow in my hand so I am only speculating on what I have read.

Everyone here who has ever used it is far more knowledgable than I am.

I have some lard. I have some mutton tallow coming. I am going to compare the two as used in recipes for bore lube for cap and ball revolvers and for BPCR lube (and I think for that application I will try it as a pill rather than just as lube groove lube)

I'll mix up two batches with identical portions (Prolly use Gatofeo 1) and then observe the properties and performance of each.

I know there are those here who are comitted to mutton tallow as desirable over lard. I am not disputing anyone's opinions. I just want to see for myself, if a lard based lube will work as well as mutton tallow.

I do question the idea that lard goes bad over time more quickly than mutton tallow. Lard lasts for years when refrigerated and even has a long shelf life at room temperature if it is kept in a sealed container. The lard I bought yesterday was in the same unrefrigerated section of the store as the vegetable shortening. It does not have a shelf life on it.
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Old February 11, 2013, 07:13 AM   #22
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Good luck Doc. I think you'll find that lard is no better than crisco. The only advantage I found with mutton tallow was it's consistency. More solid at room temp. Not as greasy as other greases. Use a bit more beeswax than lard or crisco, and you make up for the lack of tallow.
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Old February 11, 2013, 10:24 AM   #23
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Yeah, I didn't find anything magical about the tallow - I only bought it because I wanted to make an authentic Civil War-era lube.

It's grease to keep the fouling soft. Any kind of organic grease will probably work fine.

The grease is to make things slippery, and the wax is to keep it in place.

My Crisco/beeswax lube seems much the same to me.

Steve
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Old February 11, 2013, 12:01 PM   #24
Doc Hoy
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Thanks guys.....

Here is a question....

I have ready repeatedly that mutton tallow makes a period correct lube for the era of the War of Northern Aggression (Hows that..and I am from Pennsylvania... ;o) ) .

But the last time I read anything, there were pigs during the war just as there were sheep.

Was there some preparation that was provided to the troops which we are certain consistently made use of mutton tallow?

Do re-enactor groups have rules which specify mutton tallow and if so, What is the basis for it?

Was there some guidance provided by the Union or Confederate government that specified mutton tallow?

Is there historical evidence that soldiers used only mutton tallow?

To Mailmaker,

You and I have been consistently on the same page with regard to bore lubes. You use Crisco because you know it works for you. I use Crisco because I don't know any better but I am about to find out.

To Noel,

It was my plan to try to arrive at the same stiffness by using more beeswax. So I am on the same page with you as well.
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Old February 11, 2013, 12:17 PM   #25
maillemaker
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Quote:
Was there some preparation that was provided to the troops which we are certain consistently made use of mutton tallow?

Do re-enactor groups have rules which specify mutton tallow and if so, What is the basis for it?

Was there some guidance provided by the Union or Confederate government that specified mutton tallow?

Is there historical evidence that soldiers used only mutton tallow?
Page 266 of the 1862 US Ordnance Manual indicates the correct mixture for lubricating bullets:

http://books.google.com/books?id=wwY6DT2Sc_cC

is made using beeswax and "tallow". In this section, it does not specify what kind of tallow, but elsewhere in this manual in multiple places it specifically says "mutton-tallow", and differentiates this from pig lard.

Remember also, that the soldiers did not "use" lube as you may be thinking about it - the bullets came pre-packaged as "cartridges" and the bullets were already dipped in lube.

Period documents like the Ordnance manuals are primary documentation for reenactors.

Quote:
To Mailmaker,

You and I have been consistently on the same page with regard to bore lubes. You use Crisco because you know it works for you. I use Crisco because I don't know any better but I am about to find out.
Mostly I use Crisco because when I got in the N-SSA I was told to make my lube out of Crisco and Beeswax, so I made up a big batch of it and I have not run out yet in 2 years - I've gone through about half. So I haven't had reason to try much else yet.

I experimented with the Civil War era lube recipe because I was experimenting with making period-correct cartridges.

Edit to add: Think modern shooters tend to use much gooey-er lubes than in period for two reasons: The softer lube makes for softer fouling, which can allow you to shoot more shots before the fouling impedes loading, and we don't have to worry about our lube soaking into paper cartridges and making a mess.

Period 1:8 tallow/beeswax, or even the older recipe of 1:3 tallow beeswax makes for a much harder, waxier lube that doesn't rub off or run and thus won't soak into the paper of a period cartridge nearly as badly.

Steve

Last edited by maillemaker; February 11, 2013 at 12:49 PM.
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