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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Riflemen-found out something recently. Graphite is an abrasive good for grinding things and maybe missold as a lubricant. If I rub a bit of fine graphite on a pretty Seirra bullet or new case it will leave small grooves from it's abrasive qualities. If it is used in circumstances with more than .001" tolerances it has some lube properties. If you are going to lube something with tight tolerances shelve the graphite and use a real lube. and I read that a fellow recently checked his Rockcrusher RCBS press for flex and it turns out that they flex about .004-.005" on the typical full sizing stroke and a couple thousandths when you seat that bullet. This does make "just kissing" the lands difficult doesn't it :wink: It all makes me wonder why I try so hard to make good ammo. Life is good, BestLever
 

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Bestlever,
Richard Lee says it's called "tolerances," not "tight fit" yer thinkin' on the wrong things.....remember...this is a GUN Forum!! :lol: :lol: :lol:
 

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Your observations are quite true I think, BL. I don't have personal knowledge of the graphite being abrasive but I've also read that about it - probably one of the reasons it is used in some action "slicking" compounds: it actually abrades ever so slightly and smooths.

As for the spring of a press, this is most certainly true as I have had to spring my press just a bump to get cases small enough to fit one Remington rifle I have. It doesn't matter what dies I use; none will size the cases enough unless the case is pushed all the way in. And the only way to get it to go all the way in is to cause a bit of flex in the iron frame of the press. I don't think bullet seating is nearly as much of a problem but I do know that cases with varying lubricity won't all be sized the same. Good lube evenly applied is important. I would imagine sorting cases by maker and type: nickel or plain, is probably good as well in the interest of sizing uniformity.
 

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BestLever said:
Graphite is an abrasive good for grinding things and maybe missold as a lubricant.
......and maybe the graphite used as a coating on smokeless powder is the real reason for barrels wearing out...... :wink:
 

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It's all relative. Everything is abrasive if used long enough and hard enough. Water and wind wear away rock. Graphite is a mild abrasive. So is mica. Brass is much softer than steel and will show wear much faster. Abrasion is not always a bad thing because burrs and sharp edges abrade first. This can help with the lubricant effect by polishing away roughness.

One of my tricks with milsurp junk with dubious bores is to fire a few hundred cast bullets that have been lubed with Liquid Alox and coated with powdered mica. This does not remove any measurable metal but removes some of the roughness.

Modern powders are graphite coated because the early uncoated powders were fiercely erosive. The unchecked gases did a lot more damage than the graphite coating which now slows them.

For other uses, the abrasive effect is so mild as to be irrelevant. A steel press lubed with graphite ain't gonna wear out in one man's lifetime. It might wear out unlubed because of galling and roughness, but a few hundred thousand cycles with graphite would take good equipment to measure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm certain you are right but it sure puts the dull on a pretty bullet and scratches up the brass. Under a powerful microscope that is :) Forgive me Riflemen but I am forever trying to find the thing not obvious. Especially with reloading goodies. Life is good, BestLever.
 

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Best, you made a good point and had a worthwhile concern. Just happened that the point came up before so long ago that only a few of us old farts remember it. There ain't much about guns that has not been around the block a few times.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
ok, sometimes I hit and sometimes I miss but either way I love this gun and handloading hobbie and when I learn something myself I just pass it on. If it's worth something that's great :lol: but I would feel pretty dumb if folks didn't comment one way or the other. Thanks, and Life is good, BestLever
 

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Well, the walls of engine cylinders intentionally have a cross-hatch pattern of scratches or grooves put in them for maximum reduction in friction. Air (or other fluids) will flow best through an intake manifold that has a bit of roughness to the surface of the internal passageways. Golf balls fly farther when they have dimples. So, maybe those tiny scratches caused by the graphite actually allow for better lubrication than you would get without the scratches.

Just something to think about.
 

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In an engine, those cross hatch honing scratches help hold lubricant (oil) and wear in the rings so that they seat, seal, and give them the contact they need to dissapate heat into the cylinder walls.
 

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Golsovia said:
In an engine, those cross hatch honing scratches help hold lubricant (oil) and wear in the rings so that they seat, seal, and give them the contact they need to dissapate heat into the cylinder walls.
Absolutely right. And a textured surface inside intake passageways also holds air molecules and "lubricates" the surface so passing air flows over the air molecules held in the crevices of the texture. So maybe some very fine scratches in the surface of a bullet will help "lubricate" or at least hold a lubricant to the surface of the the bullet as it passes through the bore and flies through the air, the same way cross hatches in cylinder bores hold oil and and textured intake passages hold air molecules.
 

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Leftoverdj said:
There ain't much about guns that has not been around the block a few times.
Yup. Seems like I'm still on the first lap sometimes :lol:
 
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