Let's Get Started Casting - Part 2
Lubing your boolits
(Part 1, written March, 2019, can be found here - https://www.hipointfirearmsforums.com/articles/lets-get-started-casting.329/ )
[Pan Lubing - one way to lube bullets]
The first article in 2019 talked about equipment and the basics of casting. Hopefully, this will address the next step for those who now, in these uncertain times, have decided to "roll yer own"
So, here you sit with a tin full of freshly minted, shiny silver bullets. Now what? Well, first step is getting some lube on the little critters. Lube is one of the things that keeps the lead from stripping off in your barrel - or that's the theory anyway. There are three basic ways to lube bullets. The easiest is tumble lubing. Use a lube like Liquid Alox (commonly called Mule Snot). It's fairly cheap and I mix mine 50/50 with Johnson's Paste Wax. Some also add 10% mineral spirits. Make sure the lube is well liquefied (I heat mine in a metal pan in the winter), then dump about 100 bullets into an old Kool Whip container, pour a SMALL amount of lube in and swirl the bullets until they are coated. A little goes a long way! Dump the bullets on waxed paper and let them dry overnight. Done!
[Tumble lubing is the easiest and cheapest for beginners]
The second way is called pan lubing. Stand your bullets upright in a shallow pan. Melt the lube (Any lube will work. I use bee's wax, lanolin and olive oil, but I'm cheap). Pour the liquid lube around the bullets and let everything stand until the lube cools and hardens. You can make a "cookie cutter" from an empty UNPRIMED and unsized case by simply drilling the primer hole larger. Press the case mouth down over the bullet until it hits the bottom of the pan, then twist and lift. Use a small punch or finishing nail to push the lubed bullet out. Again, Done. You can refill the holes with fresh bullets and stick it in the oven at 350* for about 15 minutes to remelt the lube. Just don't let SWMBO* catch you!
[Star Lubrisizer - one of many automatic lubricating sizers available]
The final way is to use a lubrisizer. This is a machine that looks a lot like a press. But has a reservoir for lube and a way of forcing the lube into the bullet lube grooves. There are many different machines, some using stick lubes, some using liquid lube, some have heaters… All of them work on the same basic principle. Put a bullet in the holder, push it into the dies in the machine, pump lube into the lube grooves, and remove the bullet. The big advantage here is that the machine also sizes and, if necessary, adds a gas check, to the bullet. It is, however, the most expensive method of the three.
There you have it. Tumble lubing requires little more than lube and a container. It works best for low velocity bullets, as the lube will be fairly soft. Pan lubing is a little more complicated, but allows using harder lubes that take more heat and allow bullets to be pushed faster. Machine lubing is the most expensive but also the most versatile. Experiment - and enjoy!
*Editor's Note: SWMBO - Pronounced "swahm-bow." Acronym for "She Who Must Be Obeyed." The origin of the term is from H. Rider Haggard's 19th century African adventure novel "She." Today it is commonly used to refer to the writer's Significant Other.