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Old January 15, 2021, 07:57 PM   #9
Join Date: March 4, 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 18,614
Keep in mind, a lot of folks shoot with no lube successfully. If bores are reasonably smooth and free of tight spots, there's no reason moderate loads shouldn't be fine with it. Like Babbitt, though to a lesser degree, bullet alloys slip over steel quite well as long as pressure isn't too extreme. The trick is to stay below a pressure that will distort the alloy directly. Based on Richard Lee's work on the subject, this is about 15,000 psi for BHN 12, and 20,000 for BHN 16. Lots of non-magnum handgun loads run in those ranges.

Something I want to try with higher pressure cast bullet loads is using Tubb Dust in the powder to see if that isn't adequate to prevent leading. It's meant and tested to prevent copper fouling accumulation in rifle barrels, but it makes any surface slippery, so I suspect it will work to keep lead from accumulating, too.

As far as lube that has mostly but not completely fallen off, if target accuracy is a criterion, you may want to remove it to prevent unbalancing the bullet. A soak in mineral spirits for a day or two will usually make it easy to brush off. If shooting un-lubed isn't something you want to try, the Lee Liquid Alox can be thinned in mineral spirits so dipping bullets in it only leaves a thin layer. You can grasp them by the tip and submerge only the base and bearing surface, and then wipe the bases on a rag before setting them on some wax paper to dry.
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