Blue lube...red lube?

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Mus408

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Notice of various brands of hard cast bullets I get,I see red or blue lube used in the groove.
Anyone know what types they are..is one better than the other? Also I come across several in a 250 box that might be missing a bit of lube,like it fell out the groove....use as is?
 

Chuck 100 yd

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Those hard 'crayon' type lubes are mainly designed to be tough for handling and shipping. Although they shoot OK the soft lubes do a better job of doing what a lube was meant to do and that is to lubricate the bore and help prevent leading. If you shoot one of those hard lubed bullets into a soft media at distance and retrieve it you will find almost all the lube still in the lube groove of the bullet where it can't do any good.
They will shoot OK even if some of the lube is missing from a bullet once in a while.
 

sixshot

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I've used some type of bullet lube for about 50 years, most of it some type of Alox based lube or Verl Smiths LBT soft blue lube. The last 18 months I've used nothing but powder coated bullets & will never go back to regular lube.

Dick
 

mr surveyor

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no matter what vendor I get my cast bullets from, nor what lube is in the lube groove, they all still get a light tumble with a dab of Lee Liquid Alox. I've noticed my extreme spreads in velocity have gone down, and fouling reduced ... what little I've had anyway.


jd
 

stevemb

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Blue lube...red lube...green lube...goo lube.., sorry, think I just channeled Dr Suess. Need more coffee I think.
 

contender

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sixshot is correct. Many of the commercial bullets sold use a harder lube & it doesn't perform as well as other types. I had just gotten 10 sticks of Veral's blue when I discovered powder coating. Sadly,,, all of it is still wrapped up on it's shipping bag. Powder coating has been a nice thing for many of us who cast our own. People who purchase cast slugs are at the mercy of the suppliers.
 

Mus408

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Well I haven't noticed any leading issues with what they use. Just curious.
Powder coating seems to be the trend.
 
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So if I understand y'all correctly, I should buy powder coated bullets and not cast bullets with the blue lube in the grooves? I don't cast my own at this time.

What does the lube do exactly? And the powder coat just does it better?
 

contender

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Kevin,,, the lube does a few good things for the cast bullets. Mostly,,, it's there to help seal the bullet to the bore. When the right hardness bullet is used, and a good lube is used,,, leading is minimal if any at all. The wrong lube can cause issues,, as well as too hard or too soft bullets for the velocity used.
The entire subject is a lengthy study to fully grasp.

Powder coating does a few things. Yes, it replaces the traditional lube. PLUS,,, it does an excellent job of properly sealing the bullet to the bore. Next,,, it reduces the amount of smoke (that comes from the lube,,, not the gunpowder,) along with no leading, and often slight improvements in velocity & accuracy.

Powder coating for the hobbyist bullet caster is simple & economical. And it's a lot less messy to fool with when reloading.
Get into casting & get into powder coating & you'll really learn a lot AND become a better shooter.
 
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Thanks Contender. I have actually thought about getting into casting. I have the space I guess. Hmmm. I'll think about it. My birthday is actually coming up. A lead melting pot might be a nice present to myself.
 

Chief_10Beers

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contender said:
Kevin,,, the lube does a few good things for the cast bullets. Mostly,,, it's there to help seal the bullet to the bore. When the right hardness bullet is used, and a good lube is used,,, leading is minimal if any at all. The wrong lube can cause issues,, as well as too hard or too soft bullets for the velocity used.
The entire subject is a lengthy study to fully grasp.

Powder coating does a few things. Yes, it replaces the traditional lube. PLUS,,, it does an excellent job of properly sealing the bullet to the bore. Next,,, it reduces the amount of smoke (that comes from the lube,,, not the gunpowder,) along with no leading, and often slight improvements in velocity & accuracy.

Powder coating for the hobbyist bullet caster is simple & economical. And it's a lot less messy to fool with when reloading.
Get into casting & get into powder coating & you'll really learn a lot AND become a better shooter.

How thick is the powder coating? Will it affect pressures in any significant way?..................
 

32shooter

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I have ordered some cast bullets and requested them unlubed and then powder coated them. Just another option as I haven't done any casting yet.
 

sixshot

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Powder coating adds about .001"-.015" thickness, many guys don't even size after powder coating & get very good accuracy. It changes pressure very little, just something you'll have to try, starting with a load you know is safe. I've never experience a pressure spike with any of my old loads & I've always shown an increase in accuracy.

Dick
 

Chief_10Beers

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sixshot said:
Powder coating adds about .001"-.015" thickness, many guys don't even size after powder coating & get very good accuracy. It changes pressure very little, just something you'll have to try, starting with a load you know is safe. I've never experience a pressure spike with any of my old loads & I've always shown an increase in accuracy.

Dick

What temp do you cook them at?......................
 

contender

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We usually add the powder coating paint using a simple "shake & bake" method. We use a toaster oven, set around 400 degrees for about 15 minutes.
 

Chief_10Beers

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contender said:
We usually add the powder coating paint using a simple "shake & bake" method. We use a toaster oven, set around 400 degrees for about 15 minutes.

Cool beans, I have a beater but functional Toaster oven on hand! What's good brand of paint powder? Or does it really matter............................
 

mikld

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Prolly more info. than most will need concerning powder coating; http://castboolits.gunloads.com/forumdisplay.php?184-Coatings-and-Alternatives

I once read of a difference in the red and blue lubes used by commercial casters, but I doubt it. If you are purchasing cast bullets, normally you'll get a lube designed more for shipping than shooting, but some of the casters do use a good lube (Beartooth Bullets comes to mind). If I were to mentor a new caster, I'd say first mold be a standard, proven design and recommend dip/tumble lubing with alox or 45-45-10. Next would be pan lubing and Lee sizers (I stopped here 12 years ago). Then many get a lubersizer (I haven't, and prolly won't). Many casters go for powder coating which can get involved, equipment and time wise, but PCed bullets are clean to handle and clean to shoot. I started with the "dry tumble" method.

I've purchased some Precision coated bullets (about 1,000 for my 45 ACPs and 9mms) and have had excellent results. I PC my own and get good, clean shooting bullets (I use the same load data and methods I use with nekkid lead bullets).

For me it's all good but for some labor, time, and equipment can be deciding factors on making your on bullets at home...
 

contender

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Chief, We've had good luck with certain types of stuff.
Harbor Freight red powder paint
Black airsoft pellets
#5 recycleable container, (look on the bottom,, for the code number in a triangle,)
Place a good handfull of pellets in the container, add 1-3 teaspoons of powder, add a handfull of bullets. Cap off & give it a couple of minutes of shaking. Open, pour everything through a sifter of some sort to separate the excess powder & pellets from the bullets. Shake off the excess paint.
Dump then bullets out in the pan for the toaster,,, that you PRE-LINED with non-stick aluminum foil. Make sure the bullets are not in a pile,, all spread out. No, they do not have to be standing up.
Bake & cool.
Use as needed.
Repeat as often as necessary to enjoy cast bullet powder coating fun!
 

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