View Full Version : Lee sizer/lube.......

August 24, 2009, 01:25 AM
I have a lee sizer and the lube that comes with it. It just seems to be kind of a messy process to lube the bullets. Just wondering how others are dealing with this, or are they using something else to lube the bullets. These are my first cast bullets and I have been wiping off the excess, after loading them......messy. I used some brake cleaner to aid in removing some of the lube off the bullets, after the bullets were crimped.

Loading the .45 ACP.

Yoosta B. Blue
August 24, 2009, 04:17 AM
I've just gotten into casting, and have used the Lee sizer/lube for .40 bullets. I agree that the process is a bit messy. I decided that the next mould I bought would be the "Tumble Lube" type made by Lee. So I got one for 200 grain .45 and have loaded several hundred of them. This allows me to skip the sizing step. I've shot several hundred of them now, and they work fine.

At first, I tried wiping off the Alox after I'd finished loading a batch. But it's a tad aggravating to do so, so I'm not worrying about it. A bit messy, yes, but just think of all the money you're saving by casting... :D

Yoosta B. Blue

August 24, 2009, 06:43 AM
when i tumble lube i cut my alox 50/50 with mineral sprits in a shallow small jar lid of sorts (i have a seperate container for diluted mix)i grab the boolit by the nose lube it & stand it on wax paper .adjust depth of lube accordingly.

when dried i size , then lube again.
if higher production needed i just tumble as normal but still stand em upright to dry though , it keeps the excess off the nose.

August 24, 2009, 12:04 PM
Yes. Hold the nose with your finger tips and dip only below it (rather than rolling the lube on in a pan). Wearing a latex glove or finger cot makes that easier.

Another technique is to first double-lube with diluted lube, as GP100 man described, then let the second application dry only until it is just tacky. At that point, use a salt shaker to apply motor mica dust (http://midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=290522) to the bullets, then roll them around to get it into the surface. That addition makes them much less tacky to handle. Hornady has used something like bee's wax and motor mica as their lead bullet lube for decades. It works fine.

August 24, 2009, 02:29 PM
Here's a trick I discovered. Whether dipping only the driving band and lube grove, or simply tumble lubing them. Place them on wax paper or cardboard on a cookie sheet and place it in the oven @ 150 degrees. A half hour later the LLA is dry and far less tacky than simply air drying. Do it when SWAMBO is not around, or clear it with her. Also, relegate that cookie sheet to ONLY using it for that purpose.

Another thing, I simply put up with the mess, because LLA WORKS! If you leave it on the bullet noses, it WILL build up in/on your seating plug, causing the bullet to get seated progressively deeper.

Alox stinks, some just can't stand the smell. Me, I think it smells like a successful load has just been fired!

SWAMBO= She Who Always Must Be Obeyed.

August 25, 2009, 08:49 AM
Is there a good book, that covers this topic? Like, lubing the bullets before sizing them, is that just a preference, different types of lube and ways to lube the bullets. Anyway, I see I need to read up on this.

August 25, 2009, 09:54 AM
As with everything in life, there are trade offs. Lee Tumble lube bullets. Lube faster than the standard. Lyman, RCBS, or other lube sized bullets. Some will even say it is a better lube job. I have done both. But now only use a Lyman 450 lube / sizer . The idea of 50 / 50 Alox with mineral spirits works well. But just the nature of the Tumble lube bullets make them messy . thus the trade off. I don’t think I would use brake fluid to clean brass.. Just like reloading there are many aspects to bullet casting. Lyman as well as RCBS. Both put out great manuals on bullet casting. If you read the instructions that come with the Lee molds. It states ( May not need to be sized.) there are many factors as to why a bullet needs to be sized. Alloy use to cast. Barrel Dia,. Just because your gun is a 357. Dose not mean a .358 bullet is right for it. Anyone getting into casting just like anyone starting out in reloading. Get the manuals read and understand them before you start.

August 25, 2009, 01:40 PM
let me say i agree with hornady theres a reason for sizing & a reason not to ,the only gun i TL is a 38s&w & i have a TL mould that drops a 160swc at .360 & it fits the little revolver to a T & it shoots acceptable with.

the last batch i used jpw on because burnin alox stops my sinuses up tite as you know what!!

FIT is king HARDNESS is queen & LUBE is the joker!!!

August 26, 2009, 07:37 PM
Sounds like the cleanest way to lube the bullets is also the slowest....dipping them in hot lube. Some one said something about graphite, has anyone try'd spraying dry graphite on them? Seems like it would be clean and look good.

August 26, 2009, 10:55 PM
Lyman 450 at the moment, didn't do enough research other wise I'd be using a Star/Magma lube/sizer:(

August 26, 2009, 11:06 PM
I think the slowest is "pan lubing".

Here are a few links that might help.
http://www.lasc.us/ This site is a goldmine.


August 27, 2009, 06:09 AM
A while back I read an article about a cast bullet, that was sold with a Graphite type lube. The manufacture stated that there would be a build up of the lube in the barrel. And you would need a special solvent to remove it. Just me but anything that the manufacturer states up front that it will build up in the barrel. And you need a special way to remove would not be worth the trouble.

August 27, 2009, 10:09 AM

it was moly lube system for rifles & i tried it , alot of prep for a little shootin & no moa difference at least for me .
i don`t think i ever got it all out of the barrel!

August 27, 2009, 12:22 PM
No these where pistol Bullets, I think they were trying to compete with the plated bullet Market. If I can find the link for them again I will post it on here.

August 27, 2009, 12:32 PM
Here is the link and there instructions for cleaning


Normal cleaning methods will work for our bullets, but sometimes the coating will stay in the barrel. If you cannot remove the coating with traditional cleaners—Shooter’s Choice, Breakfree, etc.—see methods below.
Stainless steel barrels only
50/50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and vinegar in a jar
Make a hook out of a paper clip
Remove barrel and lower into mixture with paper clip hook
Soak for 20 minutes
Remove barrel and wipe off excess with paper towel
1 pass with a bore brush
1 pass with a tight patch
Flush out under sink with water
Dry off, patch out, and oil
Carbon steel barrels
Take a “Chore Boy” stainless steel scrubbing pad
Cut off a spiral portion from the pad
Wrap around brass cleaning brush
Apply Breakfree CLP—5 or 6 passes through the bore
Patch out with favorite cleaner

August 27, 2009, 12:55 PM
I used mirror lube for years when I first started casting bullets. It was a wax WITH moly in it. It worked just fine and I could NOT see any build up. Of course that was WAY before the internet so there was no chance for myths and internet rumors to develope!:p

I have and use a Lyman 450 sizer. When I want to do the traditional sizing/lube style, mostly for rifle bullets. I use NRA formula 50/50 beeswax/alox, Javalena or tamarak lube. The problem is; it doesn't ship well! As I'm finding out now that I've shipped some bullets to those that asked for them in my boolits in the mail thread.

Sounds like the cleanest way to lube the bullets is also the slowest....dipping them in hot lube. Some one said something about graphite, has anyone try'd spraying dry graphite on them? Seems like it would be clean and look good.

If by "hot lube" you mean melting a stick of bullet lube(melted) you would otherwise use in a lubrisizer, then I doubt enough would stick to the bullet to do it's job. There's a lot of theories about how lube works, but one that is true is the lube groove should be full of lube to protect from leading. Melted lube would slide off the bullet, leaving the lube groove only partially filled.

Lee used to make a cake cutter die that was used to cut bullets from a cake of lube that was melted and poured around bullets. That left hardened lube in the grooves. Since they came out with LLA, they quit making them. You can use a cartridge case with the head cut off to cut bullets from the cake.

August 27, 2009, 01:27 PM
Snuffy I to use the Lyman 450. I used the softer lubes you mentioned. But I got a heater for the 450 and now I use. White Label Lube Special Blend. It is a mixture of Beeswax – Alox – Carnauba wax. I find it holds the grooves better than NRA or Java.And Is less sticky to the touch. And you don’t get the Added smoke you do with the softer lubes. I use a heater because, I lube bullets in a cool Basement. If its warm where you lube you may not need it.

August 30, 2009, 07:57 PM
I got some alox beezwax mix to add to the lead, thinking I needed to add tin, but I'm not using pure lead, so I won't need it for that. Can this beezwax be heated up and used for bullet wax? Or should something be mixed with it?

Got a new mold, my favorite TC FP bullets, here is my first batch. Lubbed bullets and right, middle is the loaded ones, then clean them off and put them in the box. :O).......
Took less than an hour to knock out 200.