mica substitute

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drsquat posted this 15 March 2007

what does anyone think about using  talcum powder applied to lube bullets to make them easier to handle?

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Ed Harris posted this 16 March 2007

Talc is abrasive and will make a REAL mess in the bore. If you want to make the lube non-tacky you could use calcium stearate instead of motor mica.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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TRKakaCatWhisperer posted this 19 March 2007

So is there an issue with mica?

 

 

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CB posted this 19 March 2007

Mica is abrasive, it would be like shooting a ton of lapping bullets down your bore.

I take it drsquat that you are looking for a way to keep the lube from sticking to your hands correct?

What kind of lube are you using?

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drsquat posted this 20 March 2007

Yes, just looking for a way to cut down on the mess. The lube i am using is Lyman Alox. With a Lyman 450 and a soldering iron attached for heat lol thanks Drsquat

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CB posted this 20 March 2007

If I were you I would consider changing lube. Alox is sticky regarless of what you do to it.

I would try Something else, I take it you are planning to shoot mainly pistol?

Without giving a plug for someones products, I think if you were to puruse the forum I think you would find something that would work better for you.

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Ed Harris posted this 21 March 2007

Calcium stearate comes in flake-granular form, but this breaks down readily if applied in a drum tumbler. A Chock Full-O-Nut coffee scoop full will coat 5000 bullets. Best method to apply is to place 5000 bullets in a 5-gallon bucket and mechanically agitate for one minute. Some commercial casters use a paint shaker for this, but violent agitation will peen the surface of soft cast bullets. I prefer to roll the container while on its side, holding the bucket by the wire bail.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Maven posted this 24 March 2007

I don't thin calcium stearate is available in non-commercial quantities in my area, but would corn starch be a suitable alternative?

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CB posted this 24 March 2007

Well I can tell you it aint cheap! I bet about $50 for 1 LB..

http://www.sciencelab.com

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Geo. posted this 24 March 2007

What you guys (excepting Ed) do not realize is that the suggestion to use Calcium Stearate is an astute one.

Calcium Stearate is the calcium soap of stearic acid. If you dissolved sodium stearate, as in normal soap, in hard water you would get a certain percentage of calcium stearate as hard-water scum.

Back in the days of yore when Col. Harrison and crew did the NRAs seminal work on cast bullets, they noted that waterpump grease made good bullet lube. Waterpump greases were often based in a calcium soap formula.

Alox is a calcium based soap that was originally meant for the auto industry (and others) as a protective coating. I would be more correct to state that the family of Alox protectives contains compounds made of calcium-based soaps.

So--give it a try because the chemistry is correct and advantageous.

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TRKakaCatWhisperer posted this 25 March 2007

I did find it difficult to believe that mica (which FEELS so slick) could be abrasive - until I looked it up!

I wonder if it would be any good for lapping - it does have abrasive qualities, but is MUCH finer than the grade of abrasives used for fire-lapping (closer to toothpaste, and IS found in some brightening toothpastes).

I'll bet the calcium stearate is available for much less - perhaps not at the same grade or quality but at a quality that is perfectly adequate for launching bullets.

It is used in Felix's lube and there are quite a number of folks that make their own bullet lube using it.

 

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Shuz posted this 25 March 2007

TRK--Where did you see that mica was abrasive? I've been using Midway Mica for years to keep the NRA 50/50 and other soft lubes from being soo messy. Now just because I'm using it, doesn't make it right,but how come so many have advocated using it for the same purpose I do? Inquiring minds wanna know? Where can I “look it up"?--thanks,Shuz

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CB posted this 25 March 2007

Mica powder and Talcum powder are made from a same class of mineral from the silicate family. Mica is made from Muscovite with a hardness of 2-2.5. Talcum powder is made from a form of Magnesium Hydroxide with a hardness of 1! Pure lead had a hardness of 1.5 and copper (copper gascheck) a hardness of 2.5-3! Let alone the consideration of antimony and tin.

Somebody needs to get a life! When it comes to stuffing abrasive material down yer bore, the projectile itself dose a lot more damage than these powders, or lint, or coated cleaning rods. The residual carbon fowling being ground down the bore shot after shot more than likely has the most wear affect on the bore. Mica and talcum powder is about the softness material you can stick down yer bore.

Hey drsquat, I'd go ahead and use Talcum powder and find one with a goooood smell added to it for more pleasant shooting sessions, unless someone objects to the added smell is too abrasive :)....................Dan

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drsquat posted this 25 March 2007

lol thanks Dan, I believe I will

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Ed Harris posted this 26 March 2007

Geo. wrote: What you guys (excepting Ed) do not realize is that the suggestion to use Calcium Stearate is an astute one.

Calcium Stearate is the calcium soap of stearic acid. If you dissolved sodium stearate, as in normal soap, in hard water you would get a certain percentage of calcium stearate as hard-water scum.

Back in the days of yore when Col. Harrison and crew did the NRAs seminal work on cast bullets, they noted that waterpump grease made good bullet lube. Waterpump greases were often based in a calcium soap formula.

Alox is a calcium based soap that was originally meant for the auto industry (and others) as a protective coating. I would be more correct to state that the family of Alox protectives contains compounds made of calcium-based soaps.

So--give it a try because the chemistry is correct and advantageous.

Yup!  -  all correct.

I wasn't going to bore everyone with the details, just know that it works and you can buy it in at the drug store.  

8-)

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Shuz posted this 26 March 2007

Thanks, Dan, for putting the abrasiveness in perspective. I'm prolly a lot more abrasive at times than Mica! I'll continue to use it because it sure makes the cast bullets a lot easier to handle.

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CB posted this 26 March 2007

Shuz,

Ya, I'm an old rock hounder and my son is a geologist. The Mohs scale hardness is just a relative test for identifying rock specimens, so it isn't absolute. Talc is the softest rock out there, so none of this was making sense to me. Talc is ground pretty fine for talcum powder and if it was abrasive, they sure wouldn't put it on baby's butts!..............Dan

Oh drsquat, that reminds me. We used to use scorched corn starch on our baby's butt and it worked better than talcum powder. Maybe corn starch would werk fer yer bullets?

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Shuz posted this 27 March 2007

Thanks again!

I just loaded up about a hunnert rounds of RCBS 120's coated with Midway Mica for my .250 Sav., in preperation for this Sat's CBA match in Spokane.

Ray

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JeffinNZ posted this 27 March 2007

Dan Willems wrote: Shuz,

Ya, I'm an old rock hounder and my son is a geologist. The Mohs scale hardness is just a relative test for identifying rock specimens, so it isn't absolute. Talc is the softest rock out there, so none of this was making sense to me. Talc is ground pretty fine for talcum powder and if it was abrasive, they sure wouldn't put it on baby's butts!..............Dan

Oh drsquat, that reminds me. We used to use scorched corn starch on our baby's butt and it worked better than talcum powder. Maybe corn starch would werk fer yer bullets? So Shuz's bullets have diaper rash then?  :P

Cheers from New Zealand

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TRKakaCatWhisperer posted this 28 March 2007

Shuz wrote: TRK--Where did you see that mica was abrasive? I've been using Midway Mica for years to keep the NRA 50/50 and other soft lubes from being soo messy. Now just because I'm using it, doesn't make it right,but how come so many have advocated using it for the same purpose I do? Inquiring minds wanna know? Where can I “look it up"?--thanks,Shuz Shuz -  I think Dan W. did put it into perspective.  I simply did a google search on Mica and found there are 29 types natural and synthetic and that it was used as a polishing agent - a very mild one.  How bad is it?  That's been addressed.  Is calcium stearate better - I think so. 

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CB posted this 29 March 2007

The question asked was:

what does anyone think about using  talcum powder applied to lube bullets to make them easier to handle?  (drsquat)

The point isn't which is less abrasive, because I also made a point that the lead bullet and copper jacket is a harder material. I worked around ground mica and Zinc stearate every day at work for 16 years. The applications for coatings were used for completely different processes and the mica was a far superior coating when applied to a tacky material.

How bad is ground mica? There is absolutely no 'haz mat' warning for it! We did not use or wear any protective mask or clothing, at the manufacturer's recommendation and OSHA's guidance. I would leave work shining with a coating of mica all over me and just as much in my lungs. Mica was everywhere in the air and on the steel machinery, which I never noticed wear away from abrasion.............Dan

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CB posted this 29 March 2007

Here is something to think about...

Motor Mica is sold and used by many a reloader to lubricate the inside of the necks of their cases prior to resizing. I am sure that some remains in the case when they load it. I don't know if any survives after the powder burn to make it's way down the barrel.

Zinc Stearate is mainly used as a release agent for powdered metal applications. The problem with this is when it is burned it releases zinc oxide fumes, which are quite hazardous. Zinc Stearate has a melting temp of about 140 degrees , I would be curious to find out if mica has a melting temp.

There is an alternative to Zinc Stearate called Acrawax, used for the same purpose, same results, but no toxic fumes.

Lithium Stearate and Calcium Stearate are used to make greases. They are the thickening agents. Most bullet lubes use a type of grease as the base ingredient, such is the case with Alox, which is basically a very thick grease. Lithium Stearate is hard to get a hold of, Calcium Stearate may be a little easier. I have been advised that many of the compounds in the stearate family have been classified now as, of all things, flammable, making it a hazmat compound.

Mica is rock Talc is rock Calcium is mineral Lithium is metal Zinc is metal Which is worse? Who knows...

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CB posted this 29 March 2007

drsquat wrote: Yes, just looking for a way to cut down on the mess. The lube i am using is Lyman Alox. With a Lyman 450 and a soldering iron attached for heat lol thanks Drsquat Shouldn't really need heat on the lubesizer to make Alox flow so that should cut the mess a bit and wouldn't it just be simpler and less of a hassle to do as Jeff suggested and just go with a lube with the consistency more in line with what you want? Takes the question of what's abrasive and what's not right out of the picture that way and I'm sure you could find something that'll shoot just as well.

I'll be the first to admit that I have no idea what any of the products mentioned would do to a barrel but there's a pretty good chance lube alone wouldn't hurt anything so why risk it.

Pat

 

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Maven posted this 29 March 2007

O.K., So we now know that mica and talc may pose a bit of a risk.  How about corn starch, as you can't beat it's price or availability?

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CB posted this 29 March 2007

Maven wrote:   How about corn starch, as you can't beat it's price or availability?

Since it's a thickener maybe it'd be good for those big bored milsurps!!

( Just kidding :D)

Pat

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CB posted this 29 March 2007

Yeah can I get a 03a3 with a side of 45/70 with gravy???

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CB posted this 30 March 2007

I did a dumb thing today! I read the directions on a can of Motor-Mica!

Directions: Under your own operating conditions...simply add Motor-Mica to your present lubricants, OR use dry for insured performance. AS AN ADDITIVE...use approximately 2oz. of product per lb. of lubricant. WHEN USED DRY...distribute product both evenly and lightly over specific area.

Advantages

<>Excels under all temperature and climatic conditions. <>Electrically non-conductive, non-static, non-pollutant <>Improves product and equipment life...reduces breakdowns. <>Exhibits a low co-efficient of friction...is non-toxic. <>It has no melting point ( it sublimates). <>Exhibits a natural affinity to metal inertness.Hey, this stuff sounds fantastic. I don't know why anyone would want a substitute for Mica? This has all the answers. It sounds so safe, I think I'll start dusting my pancakes with!..............Dan

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lv2tinker posted this 26 January 2008

Ed Harris wrote: Yup!  -  all correct.

I wasn't going to bore everyone with the details, just know that it works and you can buy it in at the drug store.  

Ed,

I went the Walgreens and ask for calcium stearate and they didn't have a clue what it was.

Where in the Drug Store/Department & what brand /product name should I look for in order to find this Calcium Stearate? Is this Soap?

Al 1-30-08

Checked with several Drug Stors in the Co. Springs area. When I asked them about Calcium Stearate they “all” got that 'deer in the headlights look' and said “say what?'

so I just bought a small can of Talcum Powder to use on my “stickey” boolets.

-al

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REDTAIL posted this 16 September 2008

where can i buy motor mica say a 2 lb can from other than midway usa does'nt any one else carry motor mica in larger quanites check out the web & could not find any companies that carry it , i would appreciate any help that other members have with a sorce of contact for motor mica thanks, brownells does not carry it

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pascalp posted this 23 September 2008

mica, talcum and moly are dry lubricants, search for “tribology".

I use successfully talcum, neck lubricant and LLA coater.   

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CB posted this 25 September 2008

I shoot Ranch Dog Bullets in Marlin, these are a special mold. They are to be lube with Alox or Xlox, use a Lee Sizer and then in a bowl tumble them with some of the Mica that Midway sells. I have noticed no problem with my bore after a couple hundred rounds.

 

Here what Michael recommends to do with bullets produced with his molds:

http://www.marlinowners.com/forums/index.php/topic,27078.0.html>http://www.marlinowners.com/forums/index.php/topic,27078.0.html

;}

Jerry

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bandmiller2 posted this 26 June 2011

Talcum powder is soapstone ground fine,most of it is mined in Vermont and shipped to johnson&johnson in NJ.I know its abrasive in its natural state,not so bad pulverized,probibly grafite is the same. Frank C.

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hunterspistol posted this 26 June 2011

  Pure ground Mica is available from Midway USA in one pound tubs.   I use it sometimes, a teaspoon goes a long way.   This isn't necessarily motor mica but, reloading mica.

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Loren Barber posted this 22 November 2016

Calcium stearate. Witco Chemical Co makes many stearate salts like Lithium, sodium, zinc, iron etc. I have one pound research samples. The particle size can be very fine like corn starch. I use them for other things, but they should work very fine for detackification of your bullets

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max503 posted this 6 days ago

So....It's ok to apply a thin dusting of motor mica to bullets coated with LLA?

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Larry Gibson posted this 6 days ago

"Yes, just looking for a way to cut down on the mess. The lube i am using is Lyman Alox. With a Lyman 450 and a soldering iron attached for heat lol thanks"

Drsquat

I've used alox lubes (including the Lyman) since the late '60s and never found a need to use a heater on all the 450s I've used it in.  Even when I lived up north and it would get down into the 40s in my garage I never found a need for the heater with alox 50/50 type lubes.  I stack the sized/lubed bullets in boxes and haven't found them messy.  Years ago I tried the mica treatment and didn't see any improvement.  Suggest you try lubing them in the 450 w/o the heat.

LMG

Concealment is not cover.........

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 6 days ago

I agree with Larry, no heat is necessary for this lube. However I do understand the comment about being messy. Here in Texas it can be "quite tacky" and storing the bullets in bulk is not an option. This is what got me to start storing the lubed bullets in the Styrofoam ammo trays. It keeps the bullets from sticking to one another and pulling lube from one to the other. Handling is much easier when using this method of storage. 

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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BigMan54 posted this 5 days ago

Thats why I started Powder Coating bullets. Dumping them lose in a big plastic peanut butter jar is a lot easier then sticking them in trays. 

The WWL 45-45-10 is a good lube, easy to apply. I stand the bullets on their bases to dry on Wax paper. More trouble, but it gives the bullets a more even coat all the way around. 

Found out by accident that Cornstarch BP does a good job of removing the tackyness of TL.  Simply spilled it on the cookie sheet as I was in the middle of standing them on their bases. Don't ask.

 

But now I hear on another website that the act of PC'ing will actually soften bullets.  But I was cruising the reloading websites while I was under the influence of drugs after coming home from a "procedure" and

I CAN'T FIND THE BLASTED WEBSITE AGAIN !!!   

 

 

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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ten-mile posted this 5 days ago

You can get calcium stearate at Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/HiMedia-GRM1667-500G-Calcium-Stearate-Pure/dp/B00DYO8Y34/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=calcium+stearate&qid=1568221622&s=industrial&sr=1-1

 I don't think I want to use it in my 223 because of the calcium oxide that might deposit in my already small enough bore.  I have used lubes that leave a deposit of some kind of hard material that must be aggressively brushed out.  It might be ok in handgun loads.  Try some White Label Carnauba Blue.  Some of you other old guys might remember the fouling problems with early ball powders that used calcium carbonate as an acid neutralizer.

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Larry Gibson posted this 5 days ago

While back a friend was touting the advantages of PC.  One main point he said it was faster and "cleaner".  So I said we should test that and he agreed.  I cast up 800 452-230-TCs and took them along with my 450 and a large cigar box with cardboard (from soda boxes)  dividers for different layers.  I figured we'd do 400 apiece for a good test.  I C clamped the 450 to his reloading bench and we started. 

It was interesting to watch the gyrations he went through putting goggle and a paint mask on, tumbling the bullets 50 at a time and laying them out on trays to dry a bit, then baking them, them water quenching them, then drying them, etc.  Long story short by the time he had 200 done I was done sizing, lubing and setting my 400 bullets in the cigar box (I only handled each bullet a very short time putting it into the 450 H&I and taking it out).  I then said we should go load them up and he mumbled something about he should let his age a bit longer since they were HT'd. 

I have run numerous tests of various PC and HT coated bullets from 22 caliber to 45 caliber.  Frankly they have shown me nothing..... Since I clean my guns after every use if they shoot cleaner it makes no difference.  I have not found any PC or HT coated bullet to prove more accurate than the same uncoated bullet sized and lubed with the same load.  I have found PC and HT coated bullets to foul and lead in various firearms with the same loads that the uncoated bullets did not.  I have found that PC and HT bullets when sized and lubed the same as uncoated bullets will shoot as well....but then why bother with PC or HT? 

Now I'm not telling or even suggesting that anyone stop using PC or HT coatings, If you like them by all means keep using them.  I don't like them and have not been impressed in the least with them either in any of the process to coat the bullets or the shooting results.  I keep watching what all the PC/HT guys are doing in case they come up with something useful in my cast bullet shooting but have not seen it yet.

LMG

Concealment is not cover.........

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Brodie posted this 5 days ago

Big Man 54;

If you heat treat your bullets or water drop them the time in a 400* oven will certainly soften them.  So what!  If they are hunting or defense loads they may expand.  If the bullets that have been Powder Coated (I hate the term PC, it sounds like some idiot on TV.) and don't lead and still give acceptable accuracy that seems fine with me.

Larry;

I haven't powder coated as yet, although I will try it eventually.  The only big advantage I can see in the process is that it could allow me to shoot a softer alloy at a higher velocity without leading for hunting purposes.

 

B.E.Brickey

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Larry Gibson posted this 5 days ago

Perhaps but I've been using GC'd bullets for that for years.....313631 or 311316 in the 32 H&R Magnum, 358156 in the 357 Magnum, 410610 in 41 Magnums, 429415, 429244 and 429640HP in 44 Magnums and 452490 in the 45 Colt.  Cast of 40, 30, 20 or 16-1 alloy those bullets can be pushed with excellent accuracy to as fast as the cartridge/firearm will safely allow. 

LMG

Concealment is not cover.........

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