Shooters Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
183 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm just getting into casting bullets for my .357 and .41 magnum revolvers. I'm starting on a small budget for now. I'll be using Lee moulds for both calibers, and they will produce the tumble lube type bullets. I plan to size them using Lee sizing dies and then lube them with Lee Liquid Allox. Now the questions...

Should I lube the bullets before I run them through the Lee sizing die or after? Should I lube them both before and after sizing? All information will be appreciated. Thank you. :confused:
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
13,632 Posts
You should try loading the Tumble Lube bullets without sizing. Only size them if the loaded rounds are too fat to chamber in your gun. The TL designs are intended to work as-cast, and as-cast bullets, when they work out to fit, will generally cause less leading than sized bullets. That is thought to be due to the sizing corrupting the surface crystal structure in a way that spreads a short distance into the bullet over time. Barrel time is too short for that to occur when the bullet is sized on its way down the barrel.

Sizing is mainly needed for bullets with regular lube grooves, many of which are too big to work out as-cast. In the case of having such bullets, use the Liquid Alox lube first, size, then reapply the lube. That will give you some extra lube, but bullets don't size easily if a little lube isn't in the die, whether you put it on the bullet or it is left by the previously lubed bullet. Alternately, you can dip them in mineral spirits for sizing (it will lube them enough for that) then apply Liquid Alox after the mineral spirits dry off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
183 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thanks for the info Uncle Nick. I'll just plan on lubing them before and after sizing. Not a big problem...to me at least.

One other question. The instructions with my moulds say I should use bullet lube on certain points on the mould (Lee) such as the sprue bushing, V ribs, and locating cross pin before casting bullets. I don't have any bullet lube (only liquid alox) available or easily obtained. Is there a substitute I could use for this purpose such as parafine wax, Johnsons paste wax, etc? Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
291 Posts
Thanks for the info Uncle Nick. I'll just plan on lubing them before and after sizing. Not a big problem...to me at least.

One other question. The instructions with my moulds say I should use bullet lube on certain points on the mould (Lee) such as the sprue bushing, V ribs, and locating cross pin before casting bullets. I don't have any bullet lube (only liquid alox) available or easily obtained. Is there a substitute I could use for this purpose such as parafine wax, Johnsons paste wax, etc? Thanks.
Kermit,
When I started casting with the Lee molds I purchsed a stick of the RCBS bullet lube designed for their sizer/lube machine and it has worked fine for lubing my molds. I also use the Lee Alox for lubing all of my cast bullets. Other than being in a liquid form and thus thin compared to the stick lubes I think it should work. The problem I have experienced in using lube on my molds is the lube getting inside the mold cavity and causing casting problems with bullet fill out. You then have to re-clean the molds to correct the problem. With the liquid alox it may be a problem keeping it out of the mold cavity. What ever lube you use a little goes a long way.
Cary
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,985 Posts
I use the Lee sizing dies extensively and tumble lube bullets (TL) exclusively but my choice is to size all the bullets. I even run my pistol bullets through the sizer as it helps me identify bullets that have, for one reason or the other, dropped too small in diameter. I don't find many, but I do find some and they are thrown back in my scrap.

I've been after Lee for a while to change the die set a bit. The die body would remain the same but each size would be a threaded steel, hollow plug that screws down into the body. Three bullet punches would cover the sizes. We also need a few more store bought sizes.

cturpin said:
The problem I have experienced in using lube on my molds is the lube getting inside the mold cavity and causing casting problems with bullet fill out
You should never use Liquid Alox on your molds! I think there are warning that come with both the lube and molds.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
291 Posts
Ranch Dog,
I am aware of the warning Lee has on the liquid alox and the molds. Do you know the reason behind their warning? Has their liquid alox been thined using a solvent perhaps? I would like to understand the reasoning behind their warning. Thanks for your input.
Cary
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
670 Posts
There was an ad I recall seeing where there were two bullets, one coated with LLA and the other was run through a lubrisizer, and a man was holding a propane torch to the bullets, with the question " Can your bullet lube do THIS?" It showed both bullets in stages of melting, but the one lubed with LLA still had a shell of LLA standing..

I know it was an ad, but if the LLA was there with all of that heat, can you imagine what it would do to your mold?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,985 Posts
Ranch Dog,
I am aware of the warning Lee has on the liquid alox and the molds. Do you know the reason behind their warning? Has their liquid alox been thined using a solvent perhaps? I would like to understand the reasoning behind their warning. Thanks for your input.
Cary
Lee Mold Instructions said:
Do not use Liquid Alox as it will bake into the surface and prevent proper closure
My experience agrees with the Lee warning. Alox has terrific bonding properties and works best at extreme temperatures. At lower temperatures, such as casting, it flows into the surfaces and is extremely tacky. I've melted alox coated bullets in my pot and it creates a mess that is very difficult to clean up, if ever. Even at 900°C, it is still liquid and resembles tar.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
291 Posts
Ranch Dog,
Thanks for the information. I have another question for you. If I was wanting to recycle some bullets I have that are coated with the alox how do you remove it before before you put the bullets back in the lead pot?
Cary
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
670 Posts
Your LLA coated bullets would be best thrown into the pot that you use to melt down your w/w. You'll get an awful mess in your casting pot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,701 Posts
Throw them in the pot and melt them. BEWARE that LLA will be very flameable at these temperatures. Best done outdoors with proper protective gear. Really makes a good flux though (waste of a good bullet lube to do so).

I had a pretty spectacular flare-up melting some LLA lubed bullets from an unknown maker once. Ladle introduced enough oxygen to make it happen.
Just be careful.

Cheezywan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,927 Posts
When you use the liquid Alox use far less than you think you need......just a very lght coating. I heat the bullets slightly or thin slightly with mineral spirits. Midway has a spray mold lube that works fantastic on aluminum molds, well worth buying.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top