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Old January 9, 2021, 11:22 PM   #1
cdoc42
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Cast bullet question

I found 250 out of a 500 box of .38 caliber, 158gr SWC cast bullets and I figured I load 'em up and get rid of them by practicing at the next range trip.

Trouble is, about 90% of the lube is gone from the lube grooves.

I have Lee Liquid Alox and a tube of Lyman Ideal, but the last time that I tried lubing some cast bullets they looked like me getting out of the shower without washing the shampoo out of my hair. They gave a new meaning to ugly.

I'm looking for some advice on lubing. I wondered if Moly coating would be enough, but I ruined a nice Sako 7STW with moly'd bullets. The moly just built up with successive shots and the accuracy went to hell. I spent one entire week trying to clean the barrel and finally gave up.

So, I'd appreciate any advice!
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Old January 9, 2021, 11:52 PM   #2
mehavey
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Take a "greasy finger" (no more) of the LLALOX and "grease-up" the bullets.
THIN Coat. (What part of thin was unclear?)

Let sit for 24 hours at house temp

Shoot them.
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Old January 10, 2021, 12:30 AM   #3
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Thin the LLA with mineral spirits first then swirl in a container with just enough to put a little color on them. Like 15-20 thinned drops per 50 or so is enough. Doesn't take much for pistol bullets. I stand them up on wax paper to dry for a day (even longer if possible)

If your LLA has been sitting a while and dried out it may need more thinner. When it's new I add 15-20% thinner but it needs more if it's really thick. About the consistency of maple syrup at room temp is about right I'd say.
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Old January 10, 2021, 05:15 AM   #4
Mike / Tx
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I usually lay my bullets in a small pan and warm them up a little with a hair drier. Then put them in a recycled vacuum seal bag and drizzle a little Alox in and give them a good mix by hand. Just roll them around till they are coated and dump them out on wax paper for an hour or so.

The little bit of warm from the drier also helps to thin out the Alox and helps it dry faster.
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Old January 10, 2021, 10:56 AM   #5
30Cal
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Post a pic. They may be fine as is.
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Old January 10, 2021, 12:57 PM   #6
cdoc42
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I don't know how to post a picture. But I'm not sure it would be revealing as the bullets are dark grey. If the bullets are made with lube in the grooves and it dries out, cracks, and alls out, wouldn't leave them unlubed?
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Old January 10, 2021, 01:36 PM   #7
mehavey
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Quote:
...lube in the grooves and it dries out, cracks, and falls out, wouldn't leave them unlubed?
Yes... or at a minimum leave the remaining lube compromised.

Go ahead and just overcoat the bullet -- as-is -- with the suggested THIN film Lee ALOX, let it dry for a day, and shoot them.
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Old January 10, 2021, 07:26 PM   #8
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mehavey, recommendation noted. Thanks!!
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Old January 15, 2021, 07:57 PM   #9
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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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Old February 5, 2021, 08:48 AM   #10
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I've sworn off ALOX as it gunked up so much of my gear even when I carefully and selectively applied it to just the lube groves ( i.e. didn't coat the entire round ) With that said, if you're not going to go into cast rounds beyond these 250 projectiles, don't invest in anything you don't already have - it's just not worth it. If you are going to go further into cast lead, get a cheap toaster oven at your local thrift store and watch 5 to 10 powder coating youtubes, then get into powder coating your cast rounds. Only thing else you'll need is a sizing die for the cast rounds and powder coated rounds.
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Old February 5, 2021, 10:19 AM   #11
mehavey
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You don't put ALOX in the lube grooves -- that's not how ALOX works.
It's a surface lube... very clean, and very effective.

If it's "gunking stuff up..." you're doing it wrong
THIN......
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Old February 5, 2021, 01:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mehavey View Post
You don't put ALOX in the lube grooves -- that's not how ALOX works.
It's a surface lube... very clean, and very effective.

If it's "gunking stuff up..." you're doing it wrong
THIN......
"What we have here is a failure to communicate!"---From "Coolhand Luke".

There are two types of "Alox". For many years the NRA formula of 50/50 Alox was the default standard for cast bullet lube. There Lee came along with "liquid" Alox.
While you advice for not putting Alox into the lube grooves is likely correct for Lee liquid Alox, the NRA formula 50/50 Alox was formulated as a grease to be applied in the lube grooves.

Some of you cowboys would likely communicate "more better" if you specified which Alox you were refering to.
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Old February 5, 2021, 02:19 PM   #13
mehavey
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If I say "ALOX" -- it's liquid coating (be it whatever brand/solvent percentage)
If I say "LUBE" -- I (probably) also say 50/50, Orange, Soft BP, etc, etc)

So far in this thread (an assumption I mind you), we've been reasonably
on-target when discussing "ALOX" as applying to the liquid.

.

Last edited by mehavey; February 5, 2021 at 02:28 PM.
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