View Full Version : carnauba wax

July 7, 2005, 12:34 PM
I have been reading about the advantages of carnauba waxed bullets. I have located a lb of superfine carnauba wax powder and tried impact plating them the same way I do with the moly...no luck. I now have textured bullets. Any one out there have a better plan for coating? Comments on pros and cons of waxing?

July 7, 2005, 01:44 PM
I have a batch of corncob media with carnauba that I use, tumble/polish
them. I don't think plating them is the idea...(I could be wrong)

July 7, 2005, 02:19 PM
A good many of us use plain Johnson's Paste Wax which has a high carnuba content. We apply it by heating the bullets just above the melting point of the wax and tumbling. No reason that would not work with your powdered carnuba.

July 7, 2005, 03:27 PM
dj, are you saying you heat bullets, drop them in the wax, remove, then tumble... OR heat wax, add bullets, remove bullets, then tumble? Sorry, I just didnt understand which was gettin the heat.

July 7, 2005, 06:00 PM
Heat the bullets. I generally have the wax on top the bullets when I am heating, but have added the wax after the bullets are heated. You don't want anything real hot, just above the melting point of the wax. If the bullets are cold, you can't get an even coat.

Some folks just put a jar half full of bullets in the sunshine, but that might not be hot enough for pure carnuba. I use an clean tin coffee can on a wood stove. Without a wood stove, I'd shove the can of bullets in the oven for half an hour at somewhere under 200 degrees.

Doesn't take much wax. A heaping tablespoon will do several hundred. Just rotate the container when the wax is liquid. Bullets get slightly darker as they are waxed so you can see when they are all coated.

Johnson's is good for anything I am going to do with plain base bullets. When I have to go to gas checks, I go to a more conventional lube.

July 7, 2005, 08:09 PM
Over the last 50 years I have used Johnson's wax in several ways, as a teenager we just rubbed the wax on with our hands, later we tried sitting the bullets on the base, melting the wax and pouring it over the bullets and pushing the bullets through a hole drilled in a piece of steel.
The last way, and the one I still use now with LBT soft blue lube, is to melt enough lube in a small loaf pan, set on a hotplate with a thermostatic control, and adjusted to keep the lube melted but not smoking, useing some cheap forceps , place the bullets in the pan, have enough lube in the pan to come up most of the way of the driving bands, watch the lube , will be depressed at the bullet, then as the bullet warms up, the lube will climb up the bullet, then take the bullet out, shake the last drop off and set it down base first on an aluminum pie pan, cools quickly and can load or size in minutes.
Works fine for me, never have any leading so long as I use gas checks and lube this way. :D

July 8, 2005, 08:03 AM
Where can I get info on the advantages of this waxing process? I stopped moly-coating bullets because I found that accuracy in several of my rifles dropped off after shooting moly'd bullets since 1995. I had a 7mm STW that shot on a dime but now throws them all over the place. I suspect I have moly buildup in the barrel as the cause. I would guess that wax won't do that just because of the heat of ignition, but what's the advantage of shooting waxed bullets? Thanks.

July 8, 2005, 08:34 AM
Cdoc, never occurred to me that anyone was waxing jacketed bullets. Lead bullets have to be lubricated in some way, and waxing is a fast easy way to do it.

Only reason I can think of for waxing jacketed bullets would be to keep them from tarnishing.

July 8, 2005, 09:07 AM
cdoc, you and I are on the same page here. Sorry guys (dj & drink) I guess I should have been more specific. I have been looking for info about laying a thin (very thin obviously) layer of carnauba wax on jacketed rifle bullets. The purpose, to lower the coefficient of friction in the barrel (similay to moly). There are some kits out there that can be bought that contain a super fine powdered carnauba wax, however, I havent been able to find info on how to use it once you have the powder. I'm a little cheap and didnt buy the kit, I got the powder from a wax manufacturer as a free sample. So I have 1lb of powder, plenty of bullets, and no idea how to put them together.

July 8, 2005, 09:44 AM
Zeisloft, I was with ya ;)

You are using powder, I use Mothers paste wax "Carnauba"
But, It's the same idea. Put them in the tumbler for a few
hours. It's the same method as polishing brass except you're
Using carnauba on bullets..
This is my alternative to moly-coating.
Does it help???? Negligible, but it sure makes pur'dy bullets. :p

July 8, 2005, 10:16 AM
Mr Tater, I guess I'm slow today- are you putting the bullets an the raw paste and tumbeling or are you mixing paste and media then tumbeling?

July 8, 2005, 10:22 AM
Mix the paste and media then tumble

July 8, 2005, 11:31 AM
Mr Tater,
Thanks for the update, I plan to load up some 190gners in the 300WM. A batch with the carnauba, another with moly, and run em through the ohler and print them for group size. If it aint too windy I'll post results, ofcourse I'm up around Amarillo so it tends to be windy.

July 8, 2005, 03:28 PM
The claims for moly, at least when I started, included less need to clean the rifle and better accuracy. I can't say I was impressed with accuracy other than the LOSS of same. Cleaning was questionable since the patches stayed black and one couldn't tell if the rifle was clean anyway. Of course, if you were looking to see absence of copper, well, ok, I can live with that. But starting with a previously fired rifle that was not 100% clean of copper to start with probably ended up with moly covering the pre-existing copper. Then there's the concern that moly attracts moisture. That lead to the recommendation that we should only moly the barrel and not the bullets. I did notice a drop in velocity due to reduction of the friction coefficient, requiring one to increase the charge to recapture the same velocity. Hence it cost more to fire the same bullet given the cost of moly and powder.

Take me now to wax. What is the advantage of friction reduction other than velocity loss?

July 8, 2005, 04:14 PM
I think it started in regards to barrel life with barrel burners and wildcats.

July 8, 2005, 04:28 PM
Doc, sorry to hear Mrs. Moly didnt treat you well. I give the barrel a GOOD cleaning with copper solv. then coat with spray moly and a patch, not a big fan of "fire coating" (ie laying it down w/ a succession of shots) as the moly would in theory coat first few inches of barrel then lay copper, next shot lays moly ontop of copper etc etc...so coat it w/ moly then shoot moly. I have shrunk 1/2" at 300 with it. However, I was also tinkering with other variables at the same time. Maybe not the moly but a combination of things.
Back to your question..
Reduction of friction in the barrel= lower velocity but reduction of friction in the air= higher velocity. Well not exactly higher velocity but less air resistance. In theory, the wax will fill in the tiny voids in the jacket of the bullet making a "smoother" surface. I'm still trying to figure it all out myself and will gladly take any advice from any of you salty dogs out there with more experience/ knowlege/ skill than me.

July 8, 2005, 04:39 PM
Are you chasing your rifling??

July 8, 2005, 05:17 PM
Mr. Tater, I have no idea what I am doing.

July 8, 2005, 09:10 PM
By casting your chamber and throat, you can measure
your throat erosion and change your seating depth
accordingly. "Chase Your Rifling" This might close
Your groups a little more.... Give it a try :)