The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting > Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old October 14, 2017, 09:15 AM   #1
Freeloader Reloader
Member
 
Join Date: May 12, 2014
Location: New Orleans, LA area
Posts: 51
Pan Lubing Problem

I have been reloading for over 5 years now (closing in on 50,000 rounds, mostly pistol calibers but 5 or 6 rifle as well) I started casting a year or two ago and used to tumble lube my bullets. I have been reading up on pan lubing and thought I'd like to try that with my .45 ACP castings. Bought the gear, settled on one of the simpler recipes I found in Cast Boolits forum and started melting yesterday. My recipe was halved down from the original due to the size of my melting pan (It just barely fit at half). It consisted of:
1/2# Beeswax
1/2# Gulf Wax
1/2# Petroleum Jelly
About an ounce of STP Gas Treatment
1 crayon for color

I melted the ingredients in my steam cooker at 160deg, then poured them around my projectiles sitting base-down in Teflon baking pans. I had just enough for 3 pans (about 100 bullets). I let them set for a few hours and the mixture seemed cured. When I popped the bullets out, none of the lube stayed in the grooves. It all ended up on the tip of the round-nosed bullets even though the tips weren't covered and I pushed from the bottom side. The lube seemed very soft as well.
Is there something missing from my recipe that would harden it a little bit more? More Gulf wax? Less Beeswax or jelly? Should I have let it cure longer, maybe overnight?
I know there were a myriad of recipes on that website with some ingredients I have never heard of in my 70 years on this planet. That's why I looked for a simple recipe. Any ideas before I try it again?
__________________
Rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it!
Freeloader Reloader is offline  
Old October 14, 2017, 09:31 AM   #2
briandg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 4, 2010
Posts: 4,195
The beeswax is the only part of that recipe that is sticky. Everything else will fail to attach to metal. I'm not sure what actual process you are using, but that recipe is crap. It might work in a lubrisizer.

Go back to you liquid wax, I suggest, even though I hate it myself, and I understand why you would want to stop using it. Pan lube is the most primitive method possible and doesn't really belong in a modern production process.
__________________
None.
briandg is offline  
Old October 14, 2017, 09:46 AM   #3
Unclenick
Staff
 
Join Date: March 4, 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 13,829
FR,

What do you mean, you "popped" them out? All the pan lubing I ever did with the now-obsolete Lee kits back in the 70's and 80's included using their aluminum tubing punch that was the same ID, plus a couple thousandths, as the cast bullet OD. You slipped it down over the bullet in the pan to the bottom of the hardened lube and rocked it a little and the bullet came up in the punch tube to be pushed out with a pencil.

See if you can find a hobby shop that has the K&M Metals telescoping tubing in 1/64" increments. Find one in brass or aluminum with 29/64" I.D. (≈0.4531"; take a bullet to the store with you to try the fit) and chamfer its mouth inside with a case neck chamfering tool or just a countersink turned by hand. If you cut it too a manageable length, you could use it on the bullets like a primer pickup tube and keep going after it fills so the bullets can be picked of the top as they start coming out.

Hardness of the lube is, as you may have guessed, ruled by the softer things you put in. Cut down the petroleum jelly until you have the consistency you want. If you still don't get there, start reducing or eliminate STP as it probably is preventing adhesion. In general, soft, sticky lubes are often most effective at moderate pressures, like ,45 Auto, but are hardest to handle cleanly and make the most smoke.

Also, if you are pan lubing, I assume you are not sizing, but rather are firing as-cast. Good alloy that has never had its surface crystallization corrupted by a sizing die will often shoot quite well from lower pressure .45 Auto target loads with no lube at all and still cause very little leading unless your bore is rough. The trick is to load to headspace on the bullet making contact with the throat, so the bullet is well-aligned with the bore at firing. It both makes smaller groups and reduces leading. With cast bullets it does not raise pressure appreciably (third from left, below).



If you want to try the old NRA formula, this is a source of 2 lb. of Alox. You mix it 50:50 with bee's wax. It's been used for so many decades that I don't know when it first appeared, but unless you are trying to shoot cast rifle bullets to jacketed bullet velocity, for which you want something like LBT's blue lube, this will do it.

Note that the same company sells liquid Alox like Lee's, but at only $13/quart is about 1/4 the price.
__________________
Gunsite Orange Hat Family Member
CMP Certified GSM Master Instructor
NRA Certified Rifle Instructor
NRA Benefactor Member
Unclenick is offline  
Old October 14, 2017, 11:26 AM   #4
mikld
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 7, 2009
Location: Southern Oregon!
Posts: 2,363
I had the same problem when I started making my own pan lube. If I were using your formula I would cut way down on the vaseline and mebbe even drop the paraffin. Another hint, I would put the lube around the bullets and warm the whole pan/bullets/lube together in a toaster oven (I use about 175-200 degrees for 20-25 minutes). The lube will stick to the bullets much better that way. I now use a "cookie cutter" I made out of stainless steel tubing reamed to a few thousandths over the bullet diameter...

https://www.google.com/search?q=bull....0.4I_yiXkkiJk
__________________
My Anchor is holding fast!
I've learned how to stand on my own two knees...
mikld is offline  
Old October 14, 2017, 12:40 PM   #5
briandg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 4, 2010
Posts: 4,195
A plug cutter can be made out of an oversized fired round. If the bullet will slide into a fired shell it will work. I tinkered with this when I was very young. For 30 caliber bullets I cut a window into the side of a 30-06 round and chamfered the mouth. Cut through the gunk and shake the bullet out if the slit on the side. I never managed to do it for pistol.
__________________
None.
briandg is offline  
Old October 14, 2017, 07:38 PM   #6
Chainsaw.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 12, 2015
Location: Issaquah WA. Its a dry rain.
Posts: 1,259
Somthing Ive been struggling with, never hace found an easy method for clearing the bulleys of all the excess lube from the pan.
__________________
To crimp, or not to crimp, that is the question.

Just shoot the damn thing.
Chainsaw. is offline  
Old October 14, 2017, 08:28 PM   #7
briandg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 4, 2010
Posts: 4,195
The only good way to lube and size is a machine. It is clean and precise, all other are lacking. Lubricating and sizing take a lot of work, my use of my shoulder is limited. This is why I have started buying some cast.

I just loaded about a thousand pistol, using up the last of my hand cast. I might start again next year, I don't know. The place on the bench is still there and I can bolt it back on in minutes.
__________________
None.
briandg is offline  
Old October 14, 2017, 08:30 PM   #8
briandg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 4, 2010
Posts: 4,195
You could probably dip the loaded ammo into boiling water for a second or two and wipe it clean. Not much past the crimp.
__________________
None.
briandg is offline  
Old October 14, 2017, 08:43 PM   #9
briandg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 4, 2010
Posts: 4,195
Before anyone gets their panties in a knot, boiling water cannot ignite gunpowder as the ignition temp is about 350 and higher for some formulas

Boiling water cannot get any hotter than boiling water. The lead is a great heat sink and will not let any heat reach the powder in such short time. A crimped greased bullet held in place by a compressed brass cartridge could not possibly allow water to enter the shell.

I experimented with this once, it worked. Try it if you want to.
__________________
None.
briandg is offline  
Old October 14, 2017, 10:25 PM   #10
FrankenMauser
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 25, 2008
Location: 1B ID
Posts: 10,317
Preheating the bullets may help.

Pouring lube around cold bullets generally results in a fast "freeze" of the lube, without it actually filling the lube grooves.

And... Even with really good lubes, and lubes designed for pan-lubing, I've almost always had to go to a 'kookie kutter'.

After several years of fighting pan-lubing, I actually transitioned to dip-lubing for low-volume stuff. It makes a helluva mess in the sizing die, but - at least the way I do things - it's quicker, easier, and results in only having to clean the sizing die (rather than a bunch of pans, the kookie kutter, and the sizing die).


Dip-lubing:
Melt your wax.
Line a pan with your non-stick option of choice. (I usually use freezer paper or parchment paper.)
Dip the bullets in the lube, as far as necessary.
-- Loiter and let the bullet warm a bit, if the lube needs it for better adhesion.
Repeat until the grooves are filled.
Put the bullet base-down on the non-stick sheet, and slide it a bit to clean the base.
Let cool.
Size to remove excess lube (and also to size ... if needed).
__________________
"Such is the strange way that man works -- first he virtually destroys a species and then does everything in his power to restore it."
FrankenMauser is offline  
Old October 15, 2017, 02:18 AM   #11
armoredman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 22, 2007
Location: Arizona
Posts: 4,527
I think I have a jug of Alox I'm not doing anything with right now...I powder coat instead.
armoredman is offline  
Old October 16, 2017, 04:35 AM   #12
Freeloader Reloader
Member
 
Join Date: May 12, 2014
Location: New Orleans, LA area
Posts: 51
Pan Lubing Responses

Thank you to all the members who have replied to my query on pan lubing. I appreciate all the information that you gave me,,,it is a lot for me to think about and experiment with, that's for sure.This is a wonderful site to gain very useful information about firearms in general and to gain knowledge from members' experience.
__________________
Rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it!
Freeloader Reloader is offline  
Old October 16, 2017, 02:24 PM   #13
Chainsaw.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 12, 2015
Location: Issaquah WA. Its a dry rain.
Posts: 1,259
I made up a cookie cutter yesterday, used a 357 case and expanded it with a bolt no less, then drilled out the primer pocket so I can pop the bullet out, works great.
__________________
To crimp, or not to crimp, that is the question.

Just shoot the damn thing.
Chainsaw. is offline  
Old October 18, 2017, 11:25 PM   #14
Sure Shot Mc Gee
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 2, 2012
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 3,266
After standing your bullets in the soften lube. Stick the whole she/bang pan & all in the freezer for a 1/2 hour. I guarantee those bullet groves will fill. But you'll need a Kake cutter to free your frozen lubed bullets from their pan.
__________________
"JUST A OLD DEPLORABLE THAT'S IRREDEMABLE."
Sure Shot Mc Gee is offline  
Old October 21, 2017, 07:28 PM   #15
reloader28
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 13, 2009
Location: nw wyoming
Posts: 1,018
The best way I found is to move the bullet back and forth a bit a couple times just to loosen it then it usually comes right out with a groove full of lube. Sometimes the nose is better, sometimes base is better to push on.

The next time you use your pan just set the bullets in the original holes and heat up with a hair dryer or heat gun. WAY faster.

Add 10-11% parafin wax to that NRA formula and its way better. Runs from 380 to mid range rifle loads. Its what I use in every gun.
reloader28 is offline  
Old October 23, 2017, 07:00 PM   #16
briandg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 4, 2010
Posts: 4,195
I have used a blc2 charge over 180 grain in my 06. I used pan lube for a while.
__________________
None.
briandg is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:32 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2017 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.07437 seconds with 9 queries