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Old February 19, 2021, 06:33 PM   #1
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38 S+W bullet lube-Alox t

A friend recently told me she inherited her Grandfather's 38 Colt New Police.
Its the 38 New Police/38 S+W cartridge.I may have heard her say something about "1928"

She won't find much ammo on the shelf.

I found 200 rounds of new PPU brass at Graf's.Its comng. I found some new Lee dies.

I found an old Lyman Ideal mold that should cast the needed .360 diameter.
Its a# 360344 ,150 gr SWC. Its coming.

She's a capable,independent Texas sort of Woman. I'm figuring she'll have her own basic loading kit for this gun.Probably based on a Lee Hand press.

While I have a bench Lyman sizer.luber...It may be a bit much for her to have a sizer luber. And I don't really want her to need for me to size/lube her bullets.A push through sizer for her Lee press is possible if needed

After all that story,what I need to know is, Will liquid Alox be sufficient lube?
Does it dry for clean handling? I'm open to other suggestions.
I don't believe we are talking screaming velocities here. A quick look at data suggests around 650 fps.
Also,I'm open to load suggestions for a 150 gr SWC cast of wheelweight.
My fast pistol/small case powder choices are limited,but I do have Bullseye and maybe HS-5.
I realize this is not a gun to hotrod. Of course,I'd like to now an upper end safe velocity to target.
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Old February 20, 2021, 11:36 AM   #2
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I've actually had better luck with my own cast and liquid Alox-lubed bullets than I ever had with commercial ones, both in accuracy and leading (lack of). So yes I'd say LLA is plenty sufficient. It can be a little sticky, particularly if too much is used and without sufficient drying time. I always thin it with mineral spirits and use just enough to put a light bronze tint on the bullets. Maybe 7-8 drops for 30 (depending on cal of course). Dry for a couple of days before loading, depending on humidity. Most of the time I don't even size them, as long as they chamber as-cast.
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Old February 20, 2021, 03:06 PM   #3
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Thank You!
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Old February 23, 2021, 01:48 PM   #4
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Same experience. What I used to do when I wanted to be able to keep some loaded rounds in a pouch or somewhere else the stickiness might rub off and stay, then when the recently dipped bullets are just getting tacky, I put them in a margarine tub (well, actually a tofu tub these days) and shake some motor mica in with them and roll them around a bit. It makes them less tacky.

What I do now is a little different. You can actually shoot unlubed bullets at moderate velocities. That and my experience getting exceptional accuracy from the Lee Tumble Lube designs inspired me to consider that a lot of lube grooves are the size they are in order to sell more lube, but not because the guns really need them. Especially not at target pressures of 11,000 psi and lower. So what I started doing is grasping the bullets by the nose and dipping only the portion that will be below the case mouth. Seating still squeezes a little up to the mouth and around the crimp, but there isn't nearly so much build-up in the seating die and if I wipe off the finished rounds with a rag, they are fine for handling.

The next frontier after that is coated bullets. I've only tinkered with them a little. I just acquired some copper-colored powder coat from Eastwood for the heck of the confusion.
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Old February 23, 2021, 03:27 PM   #5
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Sworn off ALOX - now I either swage into a brass jacket or powder coat - and powder coating is the cheaper way to go. I hated how the ALOX would get on absolutely everything even when I just dripped it into the projectile lube grooves. Also hated the ALOX hardening and needed to be reformulated in the bottle season after season.
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Old February 23, 2021, 05:41 PM   #6
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These are not arguements,they are just factors I'm considering.I do not have the gun in hand,so I can't slug it at this point.Itssupposedly a 1928 or so Colt Police Positive.

My research tells me bullet dia for 38 S+W should be .360. Undersize cast bullets are problematic.

The only in stock loaded ammo I found (did not buy) is Buffalo Bore .The load data I've seen suggests around 650 fps as typical for handloads. The Buffalo Bore is 1100 fps.
I'm thinking that may be a bit warm for this gun.
One option I was looking at is a Lee 2 cav mold 140 gr SWC .358 dia. A workable plan would be to powder coat those.I can buy that mold. I can set up for powder coating.

Lets remember its not my gun.I'm helping a friend have some ammo for late Grandpas gun.

An Ideal mold with handles came along on line Its a.360 dia 150 gr SWC for this cartridge. I won bid.Its coming.
Time will tell if the bullets will need sizing. I have a luber sizer The luber/sizer bushing and punch in stock .360 dia is $60.

If necessary,I can make a push through die. They might work as cast.Time will tell.

I just dont her to have to deal with leading problems. Some lube seems a good idea. I've never used Alox tumble lube.

At this point,Unclenicks suggestion is interesting,

I may try diluting the tumble lube in mineral spirits and dipping the bases up to the SWC shoulder.

She may take up loading her own.We want to think minimalist and simple.

I can give support,but its best if she's not dependent.

I'm still open to suggestion.
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Old February 23, 2021, 09:30 PM   #7
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I use a lot of tumble lube, but it is a mix of Lee lube and Johnson liquid floor wax (the mix is known as BLL).

A small shop, White Label Lubes, makes a product similar to BLL, called 45-45-10.

Either of the above dry much less sticky than straight Lee Lube.

For me, I like having a light target load using a tumble lube for all my handguns I shoot offhand. These tend to be high volume loads and the tumble lube is just so easy.

I use powder coat for full power loads in these guns.
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Old February 24, 2021, 12:19 AM   #8
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Thanks!! That stuff just might be the answer!

Last edited by HiBC; February 24, 2021 at 12:41 AM.
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Old February 24, 2021, 01:37 AM   #9
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Switch to powder coating and be done with it.
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Old February 24, 2021, 05:08 AM   #10
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[QUOTESwitch to powder coating and be done with it.][/QUOTE]

That might be a good plan...I guess.

But the .360 mold might be a little big...So we'll have to buy a .358 mold.

And the powder paint ,airsoft pellets...

And a convection/toaster oven.

She'll (Or I) have to learn to use all this stuff, AND have storage space to put it all away.

Because she has this one gun she inherited from her Grandfather.


I don't doubt the merits of powder coating if shooting cast bullets is what you do.
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Old February 24, 2021, 05:23 AM   #11
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I use a mixture of Alox and Johnson's Paste Wax. Heat the bullets up and dump them in a Cool Whip container. Add a little of the Alox mixture (it does'nt take much) and slosh and roll them around to coat. Then stand them up on an old cookie sheet to dry.

I think Johnson's has been discontinued, but you can still get Minwax and Trewax paste wax.
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Old February 25, 2021, 01:31 AM   #12
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No need for a 358 mold. Get a cheap Lee 358 sizing die, size the bare bullets, powdercoat and voila.
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