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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been reloading for a lot of years, and NEVER had a squib load.

This year, I've gotten back into shooting on a much larger scale (~500 rounds a month) and am dipping into my stash of .45acp reloads.

In the past, I've shot reloads from 15 or more years ago with no issues. Now, all of a sudden, I'm having a rash of squibs from ammo loaded in '06 through early '08. At first, I thought it might have been an old can of 700X I had used, but then I started having problems with some loaded with Unique from the same time frame.

Now the common factor seems to be the bullets, some 230 LRN cast lead stuff I got from a friend who was getting out of shooting. He cast them himself and they're very nicely done, consistent weight, sizing and appearance. I did notice at the time that I loaded them that they were lubed with something I had never seen before.

It's a very VERY sticky, dark brown substance. These bullets had been cast some time ago and stored in a hot garage in Texas and the lube tended to be all over the base and nose of the bullet as well as in the grooves.

They were loaded and stored in my basement in sealed ammo boxes. My basement is relatively dry and stays around 60-65 degrees pretty much year around.

I'm wondering if having the lube in contact with the powder may be contributing to the sudden rash of squibs.

Opinions?
 

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It's a strong possibility. Some folks store their cast lead handloads nose down to prevent that.

There are lot of unscientifically made-up lube formulas out there. Nobody knows what they might do. The well-designed formulas do not "leak" liquid lubricant.
 

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Yes, powder contamination is possible. the "sticky brown stuff" may be an alox based home brew lube. I don't think alox by itself will harm the powder, but who knows what is used as a carrier for the alox?
 

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May be Tamarac. Dark brown and very tacky. Nice and soft for easy lubrisizing, but after handling it, you can see why people get the harder wax lube and a heater instead.

I think if you pull some of these with an inertial puller, you'll be able to see powder contamination because it will tend to clump. You can clean the bullets in mineral spirits, then treat them with Lee Liquid Alox and let them dry. You don't need Tamarac for sub-rifle velocities anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Crud. That's what I was afraid of. I've got several hundred rounds each of .45 and .38/.357 loaded with that stuff.

Sigh.
 

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I think your right on track my dad used deer fat to lube hie 45 colt cast bullets and had trouble in hot weather but worked quite well if the ammo was stored in a cool place... he would load the week before hunting season here in Michigan and didn't have any trouble


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