Author Topic: bullet lube  (Read 4310 times)

451whitworth

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bullet lube
« on: September 12, 2009, 02:58:51 AM »
after reading Dphariss comment about SPG and wiping between shots i figured i'd pose a question. i shoot alot of .451" bullet rifles like PH Whitworth, PH Volunteer, Navy Arms Rigby, etc. i cast my bullets from moulds with ample and deep greese grooves used in BPCR. i have read the old books and how no wiping was done between shots in their 20 shot competitions. i've tried alot of commercial bullet lubes and am still searching. i've shyed away from mixing my own but am now ready to dive in. i have plenty of beeswax. do animal tallow based lubes work better or worse than something like Crisco? i've searched around on the net and there are plenty of concoctions. any proven favorite formulas? thanks, patrick

Daryl

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Re: bullet lube
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2009, 04:19:06 AM »
I have learned that beeswax/vaseline makes an excellent bullet lube for BP ctgs.  Forget that vaseline is petrolium based - it works.  This lube was mentioned in Paul Mathews books as working with both Pyrodex AND black powder - it does.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2009, 04:19:18 AM by Daryl »

billnpatti

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Re: bullet lube
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2009, 09:23:03 PM »
A favorite of mine is 8 oz melted bees wax plus 1 oz Ballistol.  It makes a thick paste that I apply with my finger to the bullet lube grooves.  It seems to reduce the fouling noticably.  I also use a leather over powder wad that is saturated with Ballistol.  That reduces fouling considerably as well.  I make the wads from 6 to 8 oz leather scraps that I get from a leather worker.  I use a hollow punch to make them and then soak them in Ballistol for a couple days.  Then I drain them on some paper towels for a couple days and they are ready to go.  If you want to use them for hunting loads, I'd put a dry poster board wad over the powder before the leather wad to keep the Ballistol from soaking into the powder.  If you are shooting targets, you don't need the poster board wads.

The wads give you a very consistant muzzle velocity.  You will notice the improvement.  I ran a test using a chronograph.  I was shooting 50 grains of Goex fffG behind a .490 ball and .016 drill patch with my home made lube in my .50 cal. Hatfield rifle.  I fired 10 shots without the wads and then 10 shots with the wads.  The difference was noticible.  Without the wads, the average MV was 1289 fps with a standard deviation of 21.4.  When I used the wads, the MV increased to 1317 fps and the standard deviation decreased to 7.0.  The wads work!  The lube works!   That day I fired over 50 shots without having to clean my bore.

Daryl

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Re: bullet lube
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2009, 11:28:46 PM »
When shooting slugs in a ctg. gun, you should be able to fire a minimum of 10 rounds without wiping the bore, then with a single dry patch, push all the fouling out the bore, leaving a bright, clean bore. If not, your lube is lacking, either in quality or quantity. This goes for paper patched slugs with grease wads, or for grooved lubed bullets.

As to shooting round balls in a ML,you should be able to load and shoot unlimited shots without ever having to wipe the bore, as fouling will not build up, shot to shot in a barrel that is using a good tight patched ball with sufficient lube- that lube can be as simple as spit, or as complicated as you want.  Currently, I am using winter windshield washer fluid with some body soap added. This shoots just as cleanly as spit, both of which will allow as many shots in a day as you can shoot - without having to wipe.  If you want to wipe, buy all means do - I choose not to waste my time doing that.  Accuracy in my rifles is better shot 'dirty' than when wiped, as the bore itself changes not at all, shot to shot.

Online Larry Pletcher

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Re: bullet lube
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2009, 12:50:55 AM »
Daryl,
what do you use for lube if loading from  bullet block?
Pletch
Regards,
Pletch
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Daryl

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Re: bullet lube
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2009, 02:48:39 AM »
Daryl,
what do you use for lube if loading from  bullet block?
Pletch

For all trail walks I load with loose balls form the bag and a small tin of pre-lubed patches.  For hunting, I've a tin of milk oil for lubing patches that has worked just fine for that purpose, in that gun, in the past.  I've yet to try straight neetsfoot oil in the big gun, but will, in the 14 bore some time this fall - probably.  A loose mix of mink oil, beeswax and perhaps neetsfoot oil might do for a colder weather patch lube & give better lubricity than straight neetsfoot oil.

 If and when I can get some more Hoppe's #9 Plus, I'll be using that as it doesn't freeze and shoots well in the 2 guns I've tried it in. As well, unlike the greases, it doesn't get thick as well as allowing unlmited shots.  With the greases, I can get consistant accuracy for up to 10 shots - 8 or 9 more than needed :D.  Paper ctgs. extend, of course.

Colonial Riflesmith

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Re: bullet lube
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2009, 12:03:30 PM »
I use animal tallow and bee's wax. For winter, I use more tallow so it don't get too hard. In the summer, I use more wax so it don't get too soft. Worked for our ancestors, works for me, should work for you.

Offline Dphariss

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Re: bullet lube
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2009, 05:42:18 PM »
Bullets, PP or GG, are not patched RBs. The bullets "use" the powder differently. In cartridge guns the chamber shape can have a considerable effect on fouling and where it appears in the bore.
MLs do not have this problem. But with heavy loads the longrange ML shoots such as the ML vs BL matches of the 1870s I am sure the MLs were using a wad over the powder which wipes the bore. The system does not work otherwise, at least in Montana. I built a ML slug gun with a .457 BORE to shoot 525 gr lubed bullets and it worked best with a dry felt wad and a oiled felt wad over the powder. But we did not keep it long since it was temperature sensitive. It was very accurate if shot at a steady rate otherwise is was pretty random.

So the first question one must ask about ML bullet guns, Whitworth etc. is "did they put a wad over the powder and was it lubed". I am pretty sure they did and it was.
Next thing. Shooting someplace with 80%+ relative humidity is different than shooting with 8-10 RH. FAR different.
Yes, I happened to check the temp here one hot day this summer the the RH from the local electronic weather station was 9.

Temp is in the 40s-50s right now and RH is about 80. It will drop significantly if the temp goes over 75 or so today. 20s to 30s is very typical, teens and lower on hot days in summer/fall.  Its dropped 20 points in the last 30 minutes while I was away from the "devil box".
So things that work here may not work in Florida or Alabama in 90+ RH. Things that work there will be useless here.

Dan
No, sir, I don't give 'em $#*!, I just tell the truth and they think it's $#*!. Harry S Truman

Daryl

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Re: bullet lube
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2009, 08:37:53 PM »
At the Hefley rondy, the humidity was under 10% for the first week, until the rains started.  After the rains started, with a humidity in the 50's to 70's, the air felf clammy incomparrison to the previous days, yet the barrel and pan fouling stayed quite white.

Taylor and I had NO fouling problems at any time with our round ball guns and cleanup was as always - easy as there was never any fouling buildup.  This, we attribute to the ball/patch combos we use which demand the use of a short starter. He used a whindshield washer+murphy's for pre-lubed patches in his .50 and .40, while I used windshiled washer+soap for my pre-lubed patches in the .32, .40 and .69. At no time, was wiping the bore even remotely on our minds - normal easy loading throughout the matches, even when I was shooting in the ctg. match with heavy charges in the .69 - no fouling buildup, even from the 140gr. to 165gr. loads.
Incidently, I've heard of guys with little rifles, ie: .32's having trouble with fouling.  I used the same lube, WWasher fluid with a bit of soap added, a .017" denim patch(8oz) (.020" with calipers) and a .311" ball.  I haven't benched this load, but it seemed to shoot well. Too, it was exceptionally easy loading (I softened the edges of the crown prior to shooting it) with the stock 5/16" hickory rod - almost 2 finger loading once the ball and patch were several inches down the bore.  There was never any fouling build-up in the bore.  Guys having trouble with their small bores, as noted here before, might try this combination.

I've used an intermediate, over powder wad in the 14 bore when hunting back in the 80's and early 90's, but since Taylor's tests of last winter showed no powder degredation over a 5 day period using Hoppe's 9 Plus for lube, I'll not use a wad any more, mink oil or Hoppe's 9 Plus being the lube. The additonal step of loading a wad is not necessary for a round ball gun, it seems.

The best load for my .44/60 Sharps uses only a parchment disk on the powder, then the grooved lubricated Schmitzer 506gr. bullet with no wads and gives clean shooting in 70F weather, 30% humidity - no fouling buildup.  Higher humidity should shoot the same, but lower might demand a lube disk or lubed wad.  This load shoots into sub 1" for 5 shots at 100 metes off the bench - apperture sights, front and back.

451whitworth

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Re: bullet lube
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2009, 01:25:35 AM »
thanks for all the ideas. Daryl, what kind of vasoline/bees wax ratio? i'll try the Ballistol soaked wad and the Ballistol/beeswax bullet lube as per billnpatti. Dphariss,  everything i have read indicates a grease wad in the whitworth. i have been using .5" wool hexagon wads that i punch myself i just didn't know how greasy and what kind of grease. maybe i'm just not using enough to get that moist muzzle crown. patrick

Offline Dphariss

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Re: bullet lube
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2009, 09:18:09 AM »
At the Hefley rondy, the humidity was under 10% for the first week, until the rains started.  After the rains started, with a humidity in the 50's to 70's, the air felf clammy incomparrison to the previous days, yet the barrel and pan fouling stayed quite white.

Taylor and I had NO fouling problems at any time with our round ball guns and cleanup was as always - easy as there was never any fouling buildup.  This, we attribute to the ball/patch combos we use which demand the use of a short starter. He used a whindshield washer+murphy's for pre-lubed patches in his .50 and .40, while I used windshiled washer+soap for my pre-lubed patches in the .32, .40 and .69. At no time, was wiping the bore even remotely on our minds - normal easy loading throughout the matches, even when I was shooting in the ctg. match with heavy charges in the .69 - no fouling buildup, even from the 140gr. to 165gr. loads.
Incidently, I've heard of guys with little rifles, ie: .32's having trouble with fouling.  I used the same lube, WWasher fluid with a bit of soap added, a .017" denim patch(8oz) (.020" with calipers) and a .311" ball.  I haven't benched this load, but it seemed to shoot well. Too, it was exceptionally easy loading (I softened the edges of the crown prior to shooting it) with the stock 5/16" hickory rod - almost 2 finger loading once the ball and patch were several inches down the bore.  There was never any fouling build-up in the bore.  Guys having trouble with their small bores, as noted here before, might try this combination.

I've used an intermediate, over powder wad in the 14 bore when hunting back in the 80's and early 90's, but since Taylor's tests of last winter showed no powder degredation over a 5 day period using Hoppe's 9 Plus for lube, I'll not use a wad any more, mink oil or Hoppe's 9 Plus being the lube. The additonal step of loading a wad is not necessary for a round ball gun, it seems.

The best load for my .44/60 Sharps uses only a parchment disk on the powder, then the grooved lubricated Schmitzer 506gr. bullet with no wads and gives clean shooting in 70F weather, 30% humidity - no fouling buildup.  Higher humidity should shoot the same, but lower might demand a lube disk or lubed wad.  This load shoots into sub 1" for 5 shots at 100 metes off the bench - apperture sights, front and back.

A BPCR should work OK for 15-20 rounds with a blow tube with a good lube.
Harry Pope stated that lube wads were often a noted source of inaccuracy.
With PP you need them if there is no time for wiping. GG bullets should not need them.
Especially in a smaller case like a 44-60.

Dan
No, sir, I don't give 'em $#*!, I just tell the truth and they think it's $#*!. Harry S Truman

Daryl

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Re: bullet lube
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2009, 03:56:09 PM »
Brad used 90gr. 1F with a 500gr. PP bullet and lube disk in his .45 2 4/10's Shilo  Sharps without fouling problems - without blowing down the barrel between shots.  The lubed disks he used were SPG & the fouling wiped out every 10 shots cleanly.

  With the grooved lubed bullets I use, my rifle requires 3 breaths down the tube between shots to keep the last 3" from crusting up.  In hot weather, it might need the lube disk or lubed wad as well.  I find SPG and Lyman BP Gold both shoot well.  When using BW/Vaseline, I use approximately 60% Beeswax, 40% Vaseline, by volume.