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Old 12-25-2012, 10:34 AM
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Sizing and lubing

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So I have these 345 grain bullets, hard cast gas-checks, they have been sized at .453, all of the lube has come out (well not quite all). I need them sized to .452, so I purchased a Lee bullet sizing die for .452. I am not willing to spend more money on sizing press with heater. I followed the directions using Liquid Alox (bullet Lube). It did a great job sizing to .452, I am not excited about the lube at all. Besides pan lubing these bullets, is there another lube out there someone could recommend, that I can scrap with a small wooden stick (popsicle stick) - run the scraped lube around the lube channels prior to pressing into “Lee” bullet sizing. I will be using this bullet in .454 C and heavy .45 Colt. ???

I did attempt to run a spent case over .452 bullet ( I was thinking about pan lubing), but the case did not slide easily over bullet. If you all have any suggestions here don't hold back?
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Old 12-26-2012, 04:25 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2012
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If this is something that you want to continue doing, why not buy the right tools? I am a tool junkie and may not be the best one to comment on this but....if I am going to do something, I get the tools not to just get it done but to "finish" the project properly.

You asked the question: "Can I?" Yes, you can. There are several lubes that are soft enough to work like you mention. One is from White Label Lube and is called BAC. No heater required. There is also the old standby, NRA 50/50.

Now, by way of information, that Lee Liquid Alox will only serve you up to about 1200fps or so. The BEST way to use it is to lube, size, lube again, then load. Some folks use a Mica powder or dust on theirs to make them less sticky. Never done that. You can also take that Lee Liquid Alox, make a mixture of it, petroleum jelly and enough canning wax to make it a solid and it will work as well. You have to melt the other two ingredients and there is a lot of "playing around" to get it to work like you want. Been there done that.

Other folks use Johnson's Paste Car Wax, straight up.
Other folks use Rooster Lube, another topically applied lube.

I went to ebay, bought an old Lyman #45, the sizing dies I wanted, BAC lube and had just what I needed for under $75. Since then, I had moved on to a used Lyman #450 and now, son #1 has it. Currently, I am using a new Magma Star Luber/Sizer. I told you I am a tool junkie!
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Old 12-26-2012, 04:48 AM
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Don't count out the Lee Liquid Alox lube so quickly. You may decide to go another direction and that is fine, but I have pretty much exclusively used the Lee product and tumble lubing on everything: .380, 9mm, .38/.357, .40, .44 magnum,.45 ACP, and .308 Winchester. I have shot many a .308 round 2000 to 2200 fps and never had any problem with leading using a 50-50 mix of lead and linotype and gas checks. I have also used the same process with 240 and 300 grain cast bullets in the .44 magnum, but I kept velocities to under 1200 fps. The only leading problem I have ever had with any caliber was with 240 grain .44 magnum bullets cast of straight wheelweights with no gas checks and at around 1000 fps. I think the problem was pressure, not velocity: too much for the alloy I was using.

It doesn't take a lot of the lube, and it can be cut with mineral spirits if needed. You definitely need to tumble lube the bullets prior to sizing with the Lee sizer. Then lightly tumble lube again after sizing. Let them air dry on a sheet of wax paper. I have heard others say they speed up the process using a fan or bloe dryer.
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Old 12-26-2012, 06:46 PM
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I have seen both RCBS and Lyman sizing presses on the second hand market at very reasonable prices....
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Old 12-27-2012, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Skip Sackett View Post
. . . Currently, I am using a new Magma Star Luber/Sizer. I told you I am a tool junkie!
A bit pricey but IMO, the very best and fastest lubrisizer on the market. Mine is set up with a Lyman heater for hard wax.
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Old 12-27-2012, 03:23 PM
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Thumbs up

Originally Posted by Marshal Kane View Post
A bit pricey but IMO, the very best and fastest lubrisizer on the market. Mine is set up with a Lyman heater for hard wax.
It is a bit pricey but, like I said, I am a tool junkie! The GREAT thing about the Magma Star is that the bullets drop right out the bottom and they go nose first. No special punches needed. They are all worked on via the base and the flat part is always the flat part!
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Old 12-27-2012, 06:49 PM
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I like the nose first concept very much as the punch doesn't damage the nose in any way. I also like the way the lube is pressure controlled. Once adjusted, there's enough pressure to lube over a dozen bullets before another adjustment is necessary. My lubrisizer is the San Diego Star which is a bit older than yours but I believe we both have the same design. These lubrisizers show up used on eBay regularly and still bring a decent price.
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Old 12-27-2012, 07:35 PM
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Just wanted to say thanks guys, will try!
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Old 01-01-2013, 12:20 PM
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For a LOT of diffferent ideas on bullet lube, go over to Cast Boolits forum and check the lube forum....some pretty strange stuff, one fella even lubed some bullets with peanut butter, yep, PB, don't remember if he used jelly with it or not..I personally don't care for LLA, but some seem to really like it. Wish it worked for me as well as others, can't get much easier than the Lee sizer and LLA...
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Old 01-01-2013, 01:37 PM
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You didn’t say why you need these bullets sized down to .452”
You can hand lube bullets using stick Alox. Break off a pinch in your fingeres and rubb the Alox into the grooves. It just takes a second.
I use this method when I need to shoot bullets as cast. Put on a movie and start lubing - requires very little effort.
For pan lubing follow this link and scroll down to post # 40 on page 1.

The thread is about shooting large diameter bullets in 45 Colt rifles. The interesting part for you may be the pan lubing picture. You can buy these pans at childrens toy stores and at some specialty cooking stores.
As you are aware, simply cut the base off a fired case and you have a Kake cutter.
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Old 02-12-2013, 05:07 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: SW Colorado
Posts: 3
If you find resizing your bullets difficult and don't want to buy a heater, just use a hair dryer to heat up the press. Works.
I use 1/2 bees wax and 1/2 lithium grease.
Bees wax I buy from local honey producer for $4.00 a pound and grease is $1.39 at Napa, This is my formula for pistol bullets
I use carnuba or blue angel on rifle bullets
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:58 PM
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I've made my own lube for the last 20 years or so, its really not that hard and it works good. I can even fill my Lyman lube sizer with it.

Cast bullets does have some good recipes but you can make your own if you use a little imagination. I use Bee's Wax as the key ingredient, and I guess I need to check with the honey grower in the Irish Hills to get it. You can use common paraffin as an added ingredient, you can also add paraffin to make your recipe softer and easier to work with.

Other ingredients I use to add are: STP, Mobile One, liquid lanolin and there are many others. If you find your recipe is too soft just add more Bee's Wax. If its too hard add more paraffin. I think you can also use Johnson's Baby soap, but I don't remember if it makes your recipe harder or softer..

I also cheat one other way, but don't tell anyone about it...

Once I have my lubersizer filled and its too hard to work with, or if you come back on another day and the lubersizer is already filled, just take your little propane torch and heat it up a bit. You do of course have to make sure there is no gun powder around, in any manner. I've also used the electric blow heaters.

Its all fun, just be careful.
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