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Discussion Starter #1
Is it reasonable to relube factory cast bullets if I'm not happy with the factory lube?

Can this be done over top of the factory lube, without removing it?

Any recommendations for the second lube?
 

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I am assuming that you are talking about the 'tumble coated' lube and not lube filling the lube grooves.

If this is the case I don't see any problem in lubing over the existing lube by you preferred method (eg: a lube sizer).

If the existing lube fills the lube grooves you could still follow the above procedure by passing the projectiles through a lube sizer, but if you want to remove the existing lube from the grooves the only thing I can think of is jgriffin's solution above. Seems messy though. You would have to ask yourself if it's worth doing.
 

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Boil them in a pot of water. Let cool. Remove lube cake. Retrieve and dry boolits. Re-lube with preferred product.
^^^^^This is what I do. The wax cake floats on top of the water as it cools. Don't try to pull bullets up through the liquid wax, wait for it to solidify.
 

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I have tumble lubed cast bullets in Lee Liquid Alox after firing a few cylinders full and getting a lot of barrel leading. The cast bullets were from a reputable famous manufacturer, sized correctly, and fired with a light cowboy action powder charge. The only thing I could think of was that it was a bad batch of alloy. I never had any trouble with their bullets before or since. The LLA cured the leading problem entirely. I did all 500 bullets in that box, so I have a whole little bottle of the lube left, it only takes a small spoon to tumble lube that many.

There is one disadvantage to Lee Liquid Alox. It stinks! Bad. I had to tumble lube out in the garage, and let them dry overnight out there.
 

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I've also boiled them off and powder coated them. Also I've rolled them in baggie with a squirt of Rooster Jacket and let them dry over night.over old lube Lee liquid alox also helps but the Rooster jacket is a dry film and not sticky.
 

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Since I started re-loading in 2011, I guess I'm a late bloomer ... but my late mentor insisted I use cast bullets in my .357's. He also prodded me into giving even the commercially lubed bullets an extra dance with LLA, tumble lube. I found out pretty early on to mix a tube of LLA with the equivalent of three parts of mineral spirits to keep on hand in a plastic bottle. I'm still using an 8 year old, wide mouth, screw top Coors beer can for a "tumbler" and only a small squirt of lube in the can of 20-40 bullets at a time (depending on size). If they come from my casting buddy I ask him to leave them un-lubed ... then I'll give them two coats myself. Commercial stuff is usually going to get it's own bath, regardless of the green, red, blue wax in the grooves, especially if it's older and the lube is beginning to crack.

Having loaded from the same batch of bullets, both with and without the extra LLA, my experience shows that the extra care with tumble lubing can make a difference. But, that's just from my experiences.


jd
 

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Is it reasonable to relube factory cast bullets if I'm not happy with the factory lube?

Can this be done over top of the factory lube, without removing it?

Any recommendations for the second lube?

HiKayaker,

You can also put them in a pan and break out the propane torch to melt out the factory hard / dry lube.

I always pan lube so it is easy to quickly lube with my softer bees wax and coconut oil mix. I have two mixes, one for summer that is uses the coconut oil that melts in the 90 degree range and for cooler weather I use the coconut oil that melts in the 70 degree range. By weight start with around 60% bees wax and 40% coconut oil and blend to your liking from there.

Look up Bulk Apothecary, they have both bees wax and the two coconut oil varieties in small quantities. For a lube pan I use a silicone bread loaf baking mold. see below

A 3 to 4 cup pyrex measuring cup, microwave, and meat thermometer are all the additional tools you need. Heat the Lube to 160 degrees, let it cool to 150 and pour. As soon as the lube block shrinks away from the mold side and the lube still a little warm, 10 min or so, just push out the bullets! Done. If the bullets are too hard to push out, the lube got too cool (Hard). If you get extra lube on the bullet the lube is still too warm (soft) . You can lube 70 - 80 bullets at a time.

If you have not tried pan lubing in a silicone mold, you should. Much more economical than the expensive Lyman or RCBS rigs.

You will like the smell of the bees wax and coconut oil when shooting as well.
 

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Have you ever tried Ben’s Liquid Lube? I coat all my cast bullets with it. It really works and a little goes a long way. Here’s the short quick version...

Sept. of 1016, it appears Ben updated it to: 30% LLA or Xlox /30% Lundmark Liquid Wax /40% Mineral spirits (or naptha). Pour together & shake, no heating required.



The full link is here...

NEW ! ! T/L Liquid Lube.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks Uncle G,

I tried a mixture of Alox and liquid Johnson's Floor Wax 50/50. Sounds like your mixture has a bit of solvent in there too.

My mix gave a honey colored coating on the bullet body. I dipped mine individually and let them dry. I dipped them over top of the factory lube-- the original premise of the thread.

Can't say I was impressed. Certainly no worse than the original lube, but not noticeably better either.

I'll do more testing come spring...

Maybe if the factory lube was removed?
 

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The only reason that comes to my mind for this would be if one wanted to shoot black powder cartridges using prelubed bullets and therefore should use a softer lube to reduce the fouling.
 

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I have also bought commercial and then lubed wiht the Lee stuff. I bought some 125 grain 357 for my Rossi rifle and felt the tumble lube would not hurt at the velosity I would push them at as they were not gas checked. The tumble lube does seem to avoid leading issues. Mostly I cast my own but a couple of hundred commercial bullets for the 357 was much easier than buying a mold and being hard cast they fit my needs.

DEP
 

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Re-lubing a factory bullet seems like a real PITA. I think if you want the commercial cast bullet but have your doubts about the commercial casters lube a wiser approach may be to ask the caster for your desired bullet in “as cast “ configuration. Then just make sure you have the appropriate top punch for and sizing die for that bullet in your lubsizer and problem solved.
 

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Boil them in a pot of water. Let cool. Remove lube cake. Retrieve and dry boolits. Re-lube with preferred product.
Neat, effective and simple! I like it!
 

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Re-lubing a factory bullet seems like a real PITA. I think if you want the commercial cast bullet but have your doubts about the commercial casters lube a wiser approach may be to ask the caster for your desired bullet in “as cast “ configuration. Then just make sure you have the appropriate top punch for and sizing die for that bullet in your lubsizer and problem solved.

Many years ago, I came to this exact conclusion. But, DOUBLE LUBING never crossed my mind.
I don't tumble lube, I don't know why, just, never started, probably never will.

After contacting a half dozen commercial casters, NOT ONE, would sell unlubed boolits to me.
It may be different now-a-days!

EDIT,... just wanted to add, TURPENTINE has dessolved hard commercial lube,
overnight, with one change of TURPENTINE and another 24 hour soak,
very nicely for me... shake contents, when the urge strikes you!!


So, I did some research and made my own, SOFT LUBE.

bees wax
avocado oil
moly powder

It isn't the easiest to apply, but, I can shoot hundreds of marlin444 rounds, and still have a lead free, micro groove, shiny bore!

Hard lubes are great for retention during shipping, but, not worth a nickle, shooting in my rifles.
 

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in the last couple of weeks I've tumble lubed around 500 various bullets (mostly pre-lubed commercial bullets) with an additional coat of LLA with mineral spirits. It makes an amazing difference in my lever guns.


jd
 

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I had an extra few minutes today so I tumbled my last 100 pieces of True Shot 30-30 170 gr RNFP G/C. Caulk in the groove or not, I'm still addicted to adding the extra coat of LLA :)

jd
 

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in the last couple of weeks I've tumble lubed around 500 various bullets (mostly pre-lubed commercial bullets) with an additional coat of LLA with mineral spirits. It makes an amazing difference in my lever guns.


jd
Love that LLA (Lee Liquid Alox)! I use it in addition to whatever factory lube my lead bullets come with. I don’t thin it with solvent though, I place it in nearly boiling water for a few minutes (thins it right up). A little squirt and tumble with about 100 bullets at a time in a margerine container, and dump things out on some wax paper to dry over night. Ive yet to experience leading in my SBL but haven’t pushed past about 1800 FPS (as per manuals I have no chronograph).
 
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