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Old November 18, 2008, 03:48 PM   #1
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Lubrication for .22 LR Ammo

Some .22 lr ammunition comes with a lubrication already on the rounds. In fact, it seems most of the higher priced .22 ammo comes this way. Not surprising, these lubricated rounds seem to work their way through an extended magazine flawlessly. Question...For the rounds that do not come lubricated, what can best be applied? Anything to avoid (spare me the "axle grease" responses...)?
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Old November 18, 2008, 05:26 PM   #2
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I, uh, thought that pretty much all .22 ammo comes lubricated in some way. Like it might be a very thin waxy coating on some that is not so evident. Maybe more visible on the lead versus plated bullets? I would look at some kind of waxy lube that stays put, that reloaders use. Usually comes in a plastic tube and is designed to work with bullet sizers, I think. Actually hand lubing .22 rounds seems like an expensive waste of time versus buying a brand that would be lubed to your satisfaction, IMO. Sometimes the waxy lube coating can rub off of old ammo or flake off and maybe leave it appearing to be unlubed. What did you think you would do? melt the lube and dip one round at a time in it? Then somehow shave off the excess? Sounds really desperate.
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Old November 18, 2008, 06:22 PM   #3
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As far as I know, all 22lr's have a wax lube. It forms an interesting waxy star (with as many points as the barrel has grooves) on the crown of my 22's. It's pretty thin though, I never notice it built up on the bullets themselves.
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Old November 18, 2008, 09:38 PM   #4
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Well, I'm, uh, not gleaning, uh, much from these, uh, responses so far. Thanks for this valuable feedback, uh, dudes.
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Old November 18, 2008, 10:37 PM   #5
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All .22RF rounds have lube

On the bullet. They use and outside lubricated heel type bullet. Generations ago it was the same, except that the bullet lube oftgen used was somewhat stickly, and would pick up lint and debris.

Somewhere around 50 years ago (not sure exactly when) the change was made to a dry waxy lube, which usually did not pick up random debris.

The reason higher priced .22shells seem to work through your mags better is not because of lubrication, it is because the ammo is higher quality with better kept tolerances than the cheaper stuff.
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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Old November 18, 2008, 10:42 PM   #6
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IF you need to lubricate, try one drop of a light gun oil on the nose of the top round in the magazine.

But this probably isn't necessary. People who shoot match 22's sometimes do this - it's thought to help chambering.
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Old November 18, 2008, 11:04 PM   #7
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I have some .22 LR ammo that has been sitting on my loading bench for several years. The original wax/lube has dried, dissipated, or otherwise disappeared. I put a drop of FP-10 on the bullet of top round in each magazine. My Marvel Unit One and S&W M41 both seem to appreciate the little bit of extra oil/lube. They run great even using the old ammo.
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Old November 18, 2008, 11:22 PM   #8
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Hey, now we're getting some good info here...thanks guys. I sent out a few emails to friends outside of the FL about this subject. Several responded that bees wax, or at least a processed derivitive of it, has been commonly used in the past for rimfire ammunition. I also learned that a very slight application of soy lecithin revives dried out (flakey) wax-based lubricants on rimfire ammunition, and will not leave any noticeable residue. It's even nontoxic. Can life get better?

Last edited by KMO; November 19, 2008 at 07:25 AM.
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