Bullet "lube", Is it needed and if so -- when?

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John Alexander posted this 06 October 2018

As recently stated in the recent lube purging thread. i only use lube in for my competition bullets in the tiny gap ahead of the gas check. I sometimes do well against shooters who lube their bullets from stem to stern and sometimes not so well, but it seems this vanishing amount of lube is best for my loads.

Looking at one of these bullets it is hard not to ponder that if such a tiny amount is lube does the job, does the bullet need any at all, especially at the low velocities I shoot in competition. I decided to find out. Since I didn't want to be pulling bullets out of the remaining unfired rounds after leading up the bore, I only loaded ten cases. These were from the same batch of 85 grain bullets I fired in the recent CBA nationals and loaded to duplicate the muzzle velocity of 1,430 fps although with TiteGroup instead of 4756. Otherwise the load was the same.

I shot the lubless bullets this morning. Starting from a clean bore, and not cleaning between groups, one 5 shot group was slightly under 1 MOA and one slightly over for an average of 1.12 MOA.  This is almost exactly the same as the average accuracy of these loads with lubed bullet and this load.

When cleaning the bore the first patch went through smoothly with no hitches indicating leading or hard fouling. The patch showed no signs of lead particles.

Of course two groups is far too small a sample to draw any conclusions but I plan to shoot more.

John

 

 

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JeffinNZ posted this 06 October 2018

Intriguing.

Cheers from New Zealand

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 06 October 2018

I have always been skeptical about this. Since we get copper fouling, what would lead us to believe that leading would not occur. That withstanding I do welcome this testing and will wait with great interest to the outcome.

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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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 06 October 2018

johna ... please notice any difference in that mysterious " fouling shots " thing ... without lube ...

more/fewer needed ??  any at all needed ? 

*************

hey even in my plinking life, my tikka 308 seems to shoot better than my other 30 cals ... maybe real smooth barrels don't need much/any " lube" ....in our match 22rf, some winners were over 50,000 rounds never cleaned ... some winners ( had to? ) clean every 50 shots.

****************

oh, and maybe we are cleaning powder carbon, not lead dust ...  might still need to clean but not lube bullets ... if you have a tikka barrel ...

******

if your lube is lubing, shouldn't it be in the front ring ?? ... if not, maybe it is doing something else, like supporting the base .

ken

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TRKakaCatWhisperer posted this 06 October 2018

I would be interested in a comparison of "no-lube" loads comparing low to high tin content of the alloy.  I assume that antimony would also be significant factor.

 

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OU812 posted this 06 October 2018

Have you ever tried smearing white lithium grease on the seated bullet before firing?

Greased vs. ungreased

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OU812 posted this 06 October 2018

The mysterious 85 grain bullet. What does it look like? How many lube grooves does it have?

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John Alexander posted this 06 October 2018

A lot of good comments and questions.

I suppose it shouldn't be too surprising, lead alloys have been used for bearing material for a long time. Also we already know that bare air guns pellets and low velocity bare pistol bullets don't lead the bore.

Don't know about fouling shots yet Ken.  The ten shots before were plain base bullets using the same charge.  Will see next time. If these work, I don't think there will be any trouble with the phantom lube purging.

My Tikka's hammer forged barrel is smooth but not ultra smooth Recent hammer forged barrels from Remington and Ruger were smoother when examined with a bore scope. But don't shoot as well.

The bullets were 25:1.

i spent years lubing the bore riding noses of the NEI 72 grain I shot in competition. It seemed logical at the time when I still thought bullet lubes were to lubricate.  Then I tried it against no lube on the nose and found no difference.

The 85 grain bullet isn't too mysterious.  It is my first design after I got my hands on a 22 CF factory rifle with a 9" twist (Savage) It is sort of like the 311299 but with only one lube groove and a pointed nose. The forerunner to NOE 80 grain which which is even more pointed.  David Mos made the mold. In its present lapped and beagled condition it fits the Tikka (with 10,500 shots through it) better than the NOE 80s I have.

John

 

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JeffinNZ posted this 06 October 2018

Fast, quick impulse of a small charge not enough to cause bullet erosion?

 

Cheers from New Zealand

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OU812 posted this 07 October 2018

It seems you would want to use a powder that leaves no hard fouling. There are lots of quick burning powders to try. Would Bullseye work a little better maybe? I am sure you have tried most all powders, but when using lube.

What powder is used to load factory 22 Rimfire. Is there an equivalent we can buy off the shelf.

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 07 October 2018

A lot of good comments and questions.

I suppose it shouldn't be too surprising, lead alloys have been used for bearing material for a long time. Also we already know that bare air guns pellets and low velocity bare pistol bullets don't lead the bore.

The air gun pellets were for the most part fairly low velocity, but the newer large caliber air rifles (.30 - .45) have bullets specifically designed for them that have lube groves. Since I don't and have never owned one, I am only going by what I have seen. Is this true that they have to use lube?

Don't know about fouling shots yet Ken.  The ten shots before were plain base bullets using the same charge.  Will see next time. If these work, I don't think there will be any trouble with the phantom lube purging.

My Tikka's hammer forged barrel is smooth but not ultra smooth Recent hammer forged barrels from Remington and Ruger were smoother when examined with a bore scope. But don't shoot as well.

The bullets were 25:1.

i spent years lubing the bore riding noses of the NEI 72 grain I shot in competition. It seemed logical at the time when I still thought bullet lubes were to lubricate.  Then I tried it against no lube on the nose and found no difference.

The 85 grain bullet isn't too mysterious.  It is my first design after I got my hands on a 22 CF factory rifle with a 9" twist (Savage) It is sort of like the 311299 but with only one lube groove and a pointed nose. The forerunner to NOE 80 grain which which is even more pointed.  David Mos made the mold. In its present lapped and beagled condition it fits the Tikka (with 10,500 shots through it) better than the NOE 80s I have.

John

 

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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Hornet posted this 07 October 2018

   I read an article in one of the gun rags a few years ago on the writer taking a tour of the CCI rimfire manufacturing area. He claimer that they powders they used were a non-commercial powder just a little faster than Green Dot for .22 LR and a powder just a little faster than Blue Dot for .22 Magnum. This was several years ago and things may have changed.

   When ELEY was revising their .22 Match ammo, they found that the priming was very critical to ensure consistent ignition. They now licence the priming technology that they invented.  IIRC, they did a design matrix with over 100 possible factors  to determine which ones actually mattered. Lots of investment and they aren't big on sharing the results.

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John Alexander posted this 07 October 2018

David's comment on air rifles reminds us that we should be keeping an eye of what's happening with air rifles since there are similarities to cast bullets. Some of the regular 177 air guns advertise velocities of 1,200 frp with the lighter pellets -- not much slower than my loads so far. I don't know what the big bore air gun claim to have for MV.

I agree with OU812 that a powder that minimizes hard fouling should help. The best I have found is 4756 but of course that is no longer available.  Any suggestions?

If the 22rf powders mentioned by Hornet are chemically like Red or Green Dot not just "burn faster" that may be a valuable clue. Does anybody know?

John

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frnkeore posted this 07 October 2018

Regarding 22 RF ammo, all that I've seen, use lube. Some a very thin coating and some, pretty thick. Most use some method of retaining it in the bore, such as knurling.

I've been shooting smooth sided, breech seated bullets, in 22 RF since about 1988. I have never leaded a barrel and shot 48 gr bullets to 1470 fps (no match accuracy).

I've tried many fast burning powders, including Tite Group, Unique, Herco, AA#2 and many more but, B'eye has always produced the best accuracy.

I do lube the outside of the bullets, my smearing a light coat of lube in my hands and rolling the bullets, between my hands.

I finally built a dedicated rifle for BSing bullets, two years ago and have done fairly well with it, against the best 22RF match rifles and ammo in ISSA & ASSRA competition.

Frank

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shake posted this 07 October 2018

 Vihtavuori 3n37 is specified as a .22 rimfire powder.

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Eutectic posted this 07 October 2018

I did some experiments with smooth sided bullets, nothing would make them shoot. Smearing lube on the exposed nose did nothing,

The same style bullet with grooves but no lube could be shot with a very light 900 - 1000 fps load with red dot and accuracy was OK. Best accuracy was fully lubed, and then the velocity could be increased. 

I think with cast bullets the grooves give the metal displaced by the rifling a place to go so the bullet does not distort. Just a theory but some jacketed bullets now have grooves, so there might be something to it. 

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John Alexander posted this 08 October 2018

Eutectic,

The results of your experiments match the results of an excellent report by Dan Lynch in TFS within the last couple of years. 

His work compared grooved to none-grooved bullets in a rifle.  The results were similar to yours on pistol bullets -- the bullets wouldn't shoot well without grooves for some reason and it wasn't for lack of lube.  As I remember, like you, the only reason he could come up with was a place for displaced lead was needed.

The bare bullets I used in the test starting this thread had one normal sized lube groove in addition to the space in front of the gas check, neither with lube in them.

John

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joeb33050 posted this 08 October 2018

The latest FS has an article and picture of quite accurate bullets sans grease grooves. As I read it. 

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M3 Mitch posted this 08 October 2018

Regarding 22 RF ammo, all that I've seen, use lube. Some a very thin coating and some, pretty thick. Most use some method of retaining it in the bore, such as knurling.

I've been shooting smooth sided, breech seated bullets, in 22 RF since about 1988. I have never leaded a barrel and shot 48 gr bullets to 1470 fps (no match accuracy).

I've tried many fast burning powders, including Tite Group, Unique, Herco, AA#2 and many more but, B'eye has always produced the best accuracy.

I do lube the outside of the bullets, my smearing a light coat of lube in my hands and rolling the bullets, between my hands.

I finally built a dedicated rifle for BSing bullets, two years ago and have done fairly well with it, against the best 22RF match rifles and ammo in ISSA & ASSRA competition.

Frank

 

Are you pulling the bullets (and powder?) from factory .22 RF ammo, then breech seating your own cast bullet?  Or what?

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John Alexander posted this 08 October 2018

Joe,

You are right about the report by Phinney. That's the way I read it as well.

If I remember correctly you experimented with no lube groove bullet and loaned your molds to Bill McGraw and others.  What was the overall conclusion of those experiments?

John

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frnkeore posted this 09 October 2018

Are you pulling the bullets (and powder?) from factory .22 RF ammo, then breech seating your own cast bullet?  Or what?

Mitch,

yes, I made a hand held, shell holder. I hold the case with it and one twist of the bullet, with a pair of pliers and it's out.

The cases are then just used as primers.

Frank

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joeb33050 posted this 09 October 2018

Joe,

You are right about the report by Phinney. That's the way I read it as well.

If I remember correctly you experimented with no lube groove bullet and loaned your molds to Bill McGraw and others.  What was the overall conclusion of those experiments?

John

I had no grease groove mold in 30, 32 and 45. They shot fair, >1.5" for 5 at 100. But they leaded at even medium speed-no gas check. I have a bucket of 30 cal, and test in mind. I will design another 30, pointed, GC, and < 200 gr., and search for someone to cast.

joe b. 

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John Alexander posted this 14 October 2018

As noted in my first post, ten shots are probably too few to draw conclusions about much of anything. So when I found time, I loaded enough cases for 4 - 5 shot groups with bullets with no lubricant whatsoever.  I also loaded enough cases for an additional 4 - 5 shot groups with bullets lubricated normally (MTL only in the space ahead of the gas check) as a control. The bullets were the same 85grain bullets of 25:1, 5gr.of TiteGroup, and Remington 11/2 pistol primers as before.  They were shot in my 6 lb. Tikka T3 Lite 223 at 50 yards and the averages converted to minute of angle.

Conditions were better than when I fired the first two groups a week or so ago and the average group sizes were better as well.

Average for 4-5 shot groups with MTL lube ---- .96 MOA

Average for 4-5 shot groups with no lube ------- .83 MOA

Since the lubed groups averaged 16% larger than the unlubed bullets it is tempting to conclude that unlubed bullets may shoot better than those conventionally lubricated. However, a quick check on Joe’s handy chart for estimating confidence levels shows that it would take nine groups of each load to have even a 70% confidence level when the difference is 16%. Thus, these results are at best a hint that unlubed are better.

One of the groups of lubed bullets has a flyer that more than doubled the size of the group made by the other four shots. According to Joe's criteria that qualifies the flyer as a stranger and it is fair to disregard it. Recalculating the group average without the flyer results in an average group size for the lubed bullets of .82 MOA or essentially identical to the average for the unlubed bullets.

This illustrates, once more, how easy it is to jump to a wrong conclusion based on a small sample.

I have some kind of problem with posting pictures and David offered to post this one while I figure out what is wrong.

John

 

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 14 October 2018

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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OU812 posted this 15 October 2018

Thanks for posting the interesting results. Did you notice more lead and hard powder fouling during cleaning after shooting no lube?

What is MTL lube. I noticed Mr Krasny uses it.

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John Alexander posted this 15 October 2018

The first patch through after shooting the unlubed bullets had no detectable lead and after Ed's Read and brush still no indication of the lead that I often see in tiny flakes.

The first patch was pushed through with uniform resistance unlike when areas of hard fouling can be felt.

MTL is a bullet lube that used to be popular and is still used by Ed K. Dan Hudson, and half the mixture Larry Rickersen uses. If those guys use it it must be OK. It has been discontinued for years as far as I know but I had an old can of it.

To Ken's question about fouling shots. As an indicator, the single shot on the two left aim points were fired after a bore cleaning with Ed's Red. The unlubed one would have been in the following group and the lubed one would have almost been in the following group.

Also note that there seems to be no tendency for the groups in either string to get bigger as bore condition changes, or not, as I have seen in many other loads when the first group in a string was usually the best.

BTW the second measurement after the / above each aim point is of the four best shots -- one of my quirks.

John

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John Alexander posted this 15 October 2018

Joe,

I will look forward to your proposed experiments with your no groove bullets.

My next shooting will be to increase the velocity with unlubed bullets and see what happens.

John

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Ross Smith posted this 19 October 2018

I posted this else where, forgive me JoeB. I fired 35 rounds through my ardito rifle today with only the small area between the gc and the bottom driving band lubed. No leading. 24 grn r-7 behind a 185 grn .310 bullet. 3 lino:1 ww .

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John Alexander posted this 20 October 2018

Ross,

Why not take it to the next level and try a few rounds with no lube.  The worst that can happen is some leading if you only load a few rounds.

John

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Ross Smith posted this 21 October 2018

I will. I had just gc'ed,lubed, and sized 200 bullets. It's easy enough to wipe the lube out of the big grease groove but that skinny little band is problematic. It's skinnier than my thumb nail. Now that experiment worked, I'll go further.

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Ross Smith posted this 23 October 2018

Well, I put some bare naked bullets down the bore today and noticed some silver shinny spots on the case neck. Ed's red cleaned it right up and the barrel too. Could have been the bullet sizing and check seating. I'll repeat with .311 size dies. .3105 worked better with lube than .311 though.

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John Alexander posted this 24 October 2018

Good to hear about your efforts.  Did you shoot enough to get an idea of the accuracy?

Mitch came for a bit of shooting and shot some of my bare bullets in the same load and rifle as above. Accuracy wasn't bad but not as good as before. Also there was a bit more lead flecks on the patches and one long sliver which I didn't see on previous tries ?????

John

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Ross Smith posted this 24 October 2018

John: Accuracy wasn't good and I don't know what else to blame it on. Also when I got home I decided the rifle needed more cleaning than what I did at the range. I ended up using steel wool to get all the linotype scraped out.

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John Alexander posted this 24 October 2018

Ross,

Thanks for the additional info.  Your load and alloy doesn't seem to be a good candidate for no lube bullets. Thanks for giving it a try. We have learned a bit.  My load at 1,430fps and with 25 to 1 alloy seemed to work fine. Even that may be dependent on bullet fit. My Monday's results was the same load and alloy but with a slightly smaller bullet nose and didn't shoot as well and though I didn't get the kind of leading you reported I did get more on the patches than before.  I plan to try another lot of bullets and if that works will try at higher velocities.

My hope is to find a match grade combination that will maintain good accuracy (steady bore condition) longer than the load I took to the Nationals this year.

John 

 

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3Lakes posted this 24 October 2018

John,

Consistent accuracy is a great practical test for our sport.  Maybe small amounts of lead do not adversely affect accuracy. I would be very surprised if there was no lead in the barrel that came from  the bullet.  I have a suggestion. One can purchase lead detector pens that will indicate the presence of lead and lead deposits on many surfaces.  If you obtained one of these devices and then applied it to the first patch through the barrel after shooting a plethora of bullets, you might see indications of lead present. It might give a false positive since most primers contain small amounts of lead. I envision the lubricant as creating a weak boundary layer between the projectile and the barrel and hence reduce the propensity to deposit lead. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

t

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Ross Smith posted this 25 October 2018

John: I agree. The 3:1 lino:ww is as hard as my head but 26 grns of R7 whistles that bullet along, approaching 2400 I think. 22 Grns moved it at 2000fps even over a chrono. John Ardito was infamous for this. I have now backed back down on the powder charge to 22 grn and I see just the faintest bit of sparkle on the patch. Not the kind to worry about ala 3lakes comments. Our dirty fingers could set those off.

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John Alexander posted this 25 October 2018

Glad to hear it is apparently possible to shoot  bare bullets  at near 2,000fps without DETRIMENTAL  leading. I hope to duplicate with the 22 and softer bullets.

John

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 25 October 2018

col. harrison mentioned that all plain base bullets left some sparkle ....   lubed or not ......  

in my 22 rf shooting ... even trying several lube schemes ..... all .. everybody's ...  22 rf. rifles left lead to some degree ....  while shooting 1/2 moa.   mostly non-detrimental .

in 22 rf., the very best ammo at the time ( 2000 era ) was federal gold medal .... it leaded worse , and was the only ammo that i actually had to clean the bore after 50 rounds or so .  it was phenomenally accurate. ( at the time, current fed. gm is a fraud ... shame on them ... ) ...

**********

i might mention that one of my schemes to attain NEVER-CLEAN  along with CONSISTENCY ...

was to mix about 10 per cent   ... real ... JB compound into some moly glop and rub that into the 22 rf bullet .....  i had a barrel with a minor rifling flaw that i used to check wear ....  after some 3000 rounds accuracy was the same, no wear at all on the flaw, and with lapua ammo the minor non-detrimental leading was the same.   it still seemed like a good idea ... maybe more JB ?? ...   maybe it would do something for 2000 fps high-power ??? ... 22 rf didn't need any improvement, possibly.  remember " a quick way to clean any leading is to shoot some cow or such down the barrel  ".  ( from joeb. )   hey, how about a little cow soaked in JB in every shot ?? ...

i should note here that it probably means that you can use a lot of JB on a cleaning patch and just make your barrel better, not worse.  my 22 rf barrel got to be very shiny .

ken

 

 

 

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John Carlson posted this 27 October 2018

 Grasping for answers as to why my performance at matches this season has been below par (certainly not because I was only getting to the range once a month) I watched the discussion on lube purges with interest, along with this one.  Had to give it a try.  Each session consisted of 3x 10 shot groups with 1 groove lubed and 3x 10 shot groups with 2 grooves lubed (the way I've always done it).  The bore was cleaned before starting and when switching loads.  2 sessions shooting 1 groove load first, 2 sessions shooting 2 groove loads first.  Lube was WL 2500 in RCBS Lubramatic.  All 100 yard groups.

Day 1:

Smith Corona 03-A3      Lyman 314299     16.5gn Alliant 2400 (1430fps) 

1 groove lubed 2.411"                                                                                                                  2 grooves lubed 2.242"

Day 2: 

Rock Island 03              NOE 311202   21.0gn H4198 (1590fps)         

2 grooves lubed 2.80"

1 groove lubed  2.42"

Day 3:

Remington 03-A3       NOE 311188     17.4gn H5744  (1440fps)         

2 grooves lubed  2.56"

1 groove lubed  2/54"

Day 4"

Smith Corona 03-A3  NOE 311195    17.0gn Alliant 2400 (1500fps) 

1 groove lubed   1.81"

2 grooves lubed 2.02"

 

All shot over a chronograph with no appreciable differences in average velocity, maximum spreads, or standard deviation.

 

One noticeable difference:  When cleaning the bore after a session (usually 60+ rounds) using Alliant 2400 I have routinely encountered a rough spot about 3 to 6 inches ahead of the chamber.  I had attributed this to powder residue, however, after both sessions with only one groove lubed there was a noticeable absence of this rough spot.

 

Definitely worth additional research.  Hope winter doesn't get here too soon!

Holding public office should be viewed as an obligation to serve, not an opportunity to rule.

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John Alexander posted this 28 October 2018

John,

Good to see the results of another shooting test. Especially one where enough rounds were fired to have a reasonable level of confidence. i look forward to your further testing.

Interesting that restricting the lube to one groove may have reduced the fouling at least with one powder.

Using three rifles, four bullets, and three powders your range of three group averages ranged only from 1.8" to 2.8" which seems odd.

One can overdo reading too much into results but you seem to have hit a wall at around 2 MOA. Could that be a limitation caused by other than rifle, bullet, or powder charge?  Limit of sighting equipment/eyes for instance.  Maybe my speculation is an example of overthinking?

I can't resist suggesting that on your next outing you add ten rounds with bare bullets to be fired at the end of the session in case they lead the bore.

John

 

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John Carlson posted this 28 October 2018

I've also been considering various reasons for deterioration in my performance.  Trouble is, when I alternate groups between my cast rifles and my Tikka 223, using an identical scope, shooting at the same targets, using a slightly inferior rest, I can routinely produce groups around 1 inch (last time out a 15 shot group at 1.23 inches, mostly horizontal on a windy day).  I have tried a few different alloys but I'm afraid I have a flaw in my casting process that is at least one of the limiting factors.  Seems I can routinely produce a respectable eight of nine shot group with the other one or two shots nearly doubling the size of the group.

 

I also found the discussion on group sizes interessting (largest group should be 1.91 x the smallest group).  Have to look back through my records to see how my experience fits in.

Holding public office should be viewed as an obligation to serve, not an opportunity to rule.

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John Alexander posted this 28 October 2018

"I also found the discussion on group sizes interesting (largest group should be 1.91 x the smallest group).  Have to look back through my records to see how my experience fits in".

Remember, that the expected ratio 1.91 of largest to smallest group is only for five 5-shot groups. For 10-shot groups the expected ratio is less. I think one of Joe's tables covers ten shot groups but will have to look.

John

 

 

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John Carlson posted this 05 November 2018

I got a couple more sessions in working on this..  All 10 shot groups at 100 yards, weather cool and cloudy with light steady breeze.  Results as follows,

First was with a Rock Island 03 shooting NOE311202 bullets over 21gn of H4198.   

2 groups with only the gap ahead of the gas check lubed:

2.17 and 1.84"

Bore cleaned.

2 groups alternating between lubed (as above) and no lube bullets:

  3.30 (9 holes 1.57" + 1 "flier") and 2.02"

Bore cleaned.

2 groups with no lube: 

  2.42 and 2.73"

Second with a Remington 03-A3, NOE311188 over 16.6gn Aliant 2400:

3 groups with no lube:

1.32, 1.45, and 3.00" The 3" group was mostly vertical and evenly distributed,

Bore cleaned, 3 groups with only the gap ahead of the gas check lubed.

1.96, 1.50, and 1.59"

None of the loads showed any signs of leading.  Chronograph showed 10-20fps velocity increase with lubed bullets (maybe it really does help to seal the bore).

The weatherman says I'll have lots of time to digest this before I get to give it another try.

Holding public office should be viewed as an obligation to serve, not an opportunity to rule.

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John Alexander posted this 05 November 2018

John,

Wow! Interesting results and you are already ahead of me in number of shots fired.  I had some dumb difficulties with accidentally oversized bullets and had to pull 40 or so. I did get in a few more random  5 shot groups all under 1 moa.  I plan more comparison shooting soon but unless I start getting some negative results for the no-lube bullets vs. lubed, I tentatively intend to start the next season's competition shooting the no lube bullets . They seem to cause a bit less fouling and go longer before needing bore cleaning.  However, I don't have good data on that yet.

What is the muzzle velocity of your loads.  So far I have tried 1,430 and 1,500fps with 84 grain bullets of 25:1 in 223.

Interesting that you are seeing a velocity increase with your lubed bullets. I agree it may be one more data point that lubes help to seal the gases. Could also be that they make the bullet slicker.

What I think we may find is that that bare bullets work under some conditions of velocity, alloy type, and maybe other things but it is way too early to tell.  

I am glad that you are giving it a try and I hope others will be curious enough to see what results bare vs lubed bullet do for their rifles/load/alloy combinations so we can find when this offbeat technique may work and when it won't.

How about it guys, why not try something unconventional.  Maybe we can learn something new. The worst that can happen is a leaded bore.

John

 

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 05 November 2018

... i like to blame results on creative circumstances ..

that doesn't get me far with wimmin critters, religion, or cast bullets ...

but maybe here is a scenario for more buildup down the barrel caused by more lube ....  

"""  some lube is vaporized immediately upon ignition ... it is blown down the barrel ahead of the flame front and one result is the " conditioning " of the barrel  ................  at very high pressures ( 3 inches down the barrel ) the lube is still vaporized ... another ?inch? and the pressure is much lower, the temperatures drop and the sticky carbonized vapor collects there on the colder barrel .... results::  2 inches of carbonized lube gunk .......  """""" 

another couple inches and the carbon crud is too cool to weld to the steel, and is just blown out like dust in oklahoma ...

only the vaporized lube does this ... the 95 %  rest of the lube never vaporized, and is just doing whatever lubes do ...  

remember that according to col. harrison,  most greasy lubes do well in greasing the bullet/barrel ... they just don't all shoot as accurately as the waxy lubes ....  

there !! .... my other hobby is trying to visualize what photons of light do on a saturday night ....  whatever it is, they do it very very fast ...

ken

 

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 05 November 2018

... you guys are having all the fun ... playing with naked bullets and all ....

serious question follows >>  

do i need an accurate rifle to test naked bullets ??

if my rifle shoots 3 inch groups with perfect ammo, how bad does it have to shoot with not so perfect bullets before i know there is  a difference ... do joeb's predictions hold the same for match barrels and barrels with 24 inches of varying defects ?  loose bedding ?   loose scope mounts?    wobbly bench rests ?? 

can i shoot and learn using my pretty remmy 721 30-06 deer gun, or should i finally put together something that probably will shoot a lot of 1 moa groups ??   

yeah, i can hear "" both '" ... heh ...  hey, if i had a real good rifle, maybe it would show that * I * am not a predictable shot  ...   scary ...

do accurate rifles take fewer shots to show differences ??

opinions welcomed ... funny  observations get extra bonus points ...

thanks, ken

 

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John Carlson posted this 05 November 2018

I'm also running +/- 1500fps, bullets seated into the lands just enough so you can feel it.  Alloy is mixture of WW and scrap "fine tuned"  with Rotometals superhard and tin to produce approx BHN 16 bullets.  I have played around with some as soft as 14 and as hard as 20, haven't really found an advantage for one over another.

I suspect it may be somewhat quicker/easier to identify trends with a more accurate rifle as less accurate rifles may have larger group size variations naturally (as will less capable shooters).  You can probably  still produce results with less accuracy, just may require more data.

Holding public office should be viewed as an obligation to serve, not an opportunity to rule.

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RicinYakima posted this 05 November 2018

if my rifle shoots 3 inch groups with perfect ammo, how bad does it have to shoot with not so perfect bullets before i know there is  a difference ... do joeb's predictions hold the same for match barrels and barrels with 24 inches of varying defects ?  loose bedding ?   loose scope mounts?    wobbly bench rests ?? 

Since Joe's data was gathered from benchrest national matches, I would say that the bugs have been worked out of the rifles for the 1.91 number.

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John Alexander posted this 06 November 2018

Ken sez:

"but maybe here is a scenario for more buildup down the barrel caused by more lube ....  

"""  some lube is vaporized immediately upon ignition ... it is blown down the barrel ahead of the flame front and one result is the " conditioning " of the barrel  ................  at very high pressures ( 3 inches down the barrel ) the lube is still vaporized ... another ?inch? and the pressure is much lower, the temperatures drop and the sticky carbonized vapor collects there on the colder barrel .... results::  2 inches of carbonized lube gunk .......  """""" 

another couple inches and the carbon crud is too cool to weld to the steel, and is just blown out like dust in oklahoma ...

only the vaporized lube does this ... the 95 %  rest of the lube never vaporized, and is just doing whatever lubes do ...  "

==============

I love it Ken. How else can a patch of hard fouling appear ahead of the throat? If someone has a better theory I would like to hear it.

John

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John Alexander posted this 06 November 2018

I think the answer to "can you do good research with an inaccurate rifle" the answer is yes but some of the results may be only valid for similar rifles.  e.g. I can't make a strong argument that you don't need to weigh sort bullets for rifles that are capable of .5 moa because my tests are only on rifles that shoot about 1 moa. However, those results should hold for rifles that shoot average groups bigger than 1 moa.

The answer to the question "is the ratio of worst to best group in a string of five 5-shot groups 1.91 only for accurate combinations" is no. The old AR reports (before something strange happened and they started defying statistics) from belly guns to free rifles all had average ratios around 1.91.  

My experience is similar for "fliers".  When I compared the average percentage the worst shot enlarged a five shot group for dozens of groups.  Match Kings and Berger's had  slightly bigger average "fliers" than my CB groups which were substantially bigger.  I have no doubt that if I had fired enough groups of each they would have converged.

I hope Joe will comment and correct me if need be.

John

 

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John Alexander posted this 10 November 2018

I managed to shoot another couple of five shot groups with unlubed bullets yesterday before it got too dark after managing our range for the afternoon.

Same load as before but different lot of bullets. One group at 1.02" including a flier the other at 0.48" -- about the same average as earlier groups. 

Except for the lube the load is the same as the one I shot in this year's nationals and is shooting at least as well without lube with no leading or other problems -- so far.

Hope to shoot more groups this weekend before our range shuts down for construction for a couple of weeks.

John

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OU812 posted this 10 November 2018

Do you still feel the so called hard baked on lube fouling just ahead of throat when cleaning.

I wonder how well a pure lead bullet (no tin) would perform. you must cast HOT for better fill out. Pure lead bullets are also very pretty and shiny silver.

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OU812 posted this 10 November 2018

When soldering sheet metal or filling holes in sheet metal you must use a solder with high tin content. Lead will not adhere to metal without the tin. So does the tin weld itself to bore under high temps. Would antimony work better to help fill out or to harden.

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OU812 posted this 10 November 2018

Chilled birdshot sounds logical, but I think pure antimony (roto metals) would work best because it contains no arsenic.

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John Alexander posted this 10 November 2018

So far no sign of much hard fouling nor any indication of accuracy degradation indicating that the bore needs cleaning but it is still early.

John

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OU812 posted this 10 November 2018

Using a ladle and casting HOT will easily produce good pure lead bullets to test.

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John Alexander posted this 11 November 2018

I decided I was going to get another string of unlubed loads fired come hell or high water so headed to the range an hour before it closed yesterday. I didn't see either on the way but hell would have about as common as high water in this area where the normal ground cover is dirt. I did see the normal 20 mph afternoon wind which kept some of the dirt in the air and 40 degree F on the car's thermometer.

I shot five 5-shot groups with same load as before and the extreme spreads averaged 1.31 inches, almost twice of the average of all groups  before yesterday. No wind flags but I don't think I can blame it all on the conditions, although one group was 1.86" wide and .58" high. 

While shooting I assumed that I was finally getting the kind of leading with the bare bullets that affects accuracy. But when the dust settled (only by going inside.) the first  two groups were 23% bigger than the last two indicating whatever was happening it didn't seem to be getting worse as leading does. Back in my shop, expecting a nasty job of removing leading, the first patch went through slick as could be with no flecks of lead I could see.

So much for leading.  I either have to admit that I have become such a wimp that frozen fingers in a dust storm doubles my group sizes or come up with another theory. I will have time to think about it while the range is closed for a couple of weeks and by then it may be time to go into hibernation.

Anybody have a theory about caused the bigger groups?

Johh

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shootcast posted this 12 November 2018

When I first started casting it was for a 22-250. Had one mold a LYMAN 62 grain. Using air cooled w/ wts. And LLA. Without gas checks it leaded badly. Like all the way to the muzzle and streaked out over the crown. I found out you couldn’t push them near as fast without checks. Don’t remember much except that experience. Live and learn. Years later I was told that the least amount of lube on a bullet the better. So I tried again. This was for a 30 caliber bullet with two grooves. Lubing only one groove improved accuracy with that particular lube. I would get a couple sparkles on a patch if I shot more than about twenty rounds without cleaning. With yet a different lube my best was with both grooves filled. A very prominent lube ring at the muzzle. After shooting one hundred rounds my last group is as good as the others. When I clean to go home no sparkles. So different lubes and alloys will produce different results. No lube even at low pressure is likely to lead if you shoot enough. Bet if the barrel can get hot you’re going to get lead that you can easily see.

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John Alexander posted this 12 November 2018

I too have had loads (all that used minimum lube) that never needed cleaning. I am sure that you have noticed that some very good shooters are shooting loads that they believe need bore cleaning every 10 or fifteen shots and do so.

You are right different alloys and different lubes will produce different results.

You stated that no lube bullets are likely to lead.  Have you tried it and found out?  True, my longest string without cleaning so far has been less than 30 shots with no leading. I have just started this experiment and will shoot longer strings.  We will see. We will also see what happens when the barrel get hot but it looks like that will have to wait for spring.

John

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RicinYakima posted this 12 November 2018

If it is not written down and published on paper, it is lost forever!

Write articles for The Fouling Shot. Tom Grey has done several, but folks don't seem to remember to go back and look at them. They want instant electronic access to everything and no research.

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John Carlson posted this 5 weeks ago

Relatively nice day (by our standards) so, back to the range.

Today was the Smith Corona 03-A3, Lyman 314299 over 16.5 gn Alliant 2400.  I have included the chronograph data, just cause I have it.  Weather was balmy (43 degrees F) winds pretty steady, 10mph from 12 O'clock, sunny.

 

First 3 10 shot groups were with just the gap ahead of the gas check lubed.

1:                     2.87"         1407fps            57ES            17SD

2:                    1.88 "        1413fps            68ES            22SD

3:                     2.43"         1424fps            53ES            16SD

Average:           2.39         1415FPS          59es               18sd             

 

Followed after cleaning by 3 10 shot groups with no lube.

1:                     2.92"         1419fps            51ES            14SD

2:                     1.73"         1447fps             44ES            15SD

3:                     2.22"         1452fps            43ES            16SD

Average            2.29"        1439fps            46ES            15SD

All the groups showed a reasonably uniform dispersion, none were nice tight 8 or 9 shots groups with one or two "fliers".

 

Unlike last time out, the un-lubed bullets were slightly faster.  Interesting that in each set the first group was the largest and the second group was the smallest.  Otherwise I don't think I've identified any great advantage in lubed or un-lubed.  Obviously more research is required.  Hopefully we'll have a few more shooting days before spring.  Also need to try out my wife's new Tikka 223.  (She said she didn't want it but I'm pretty sure she didn't really mean it).

 

 

 

Holding public office should be viewed as an obligation to serve, not an opportunity to rule.

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John Alexander posted this 5 weeks ago

Good work, nicely done.

I agree more work is needed but so far it looks likely that both small and large bullets, at least bore riders, will shoot without lube.

Have you noticed any difference in bore fouling, lead flecks on first patch, etc. Do you shoot all three ten shot groups without cleaning bore.

John

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John Carlson posted this 5 weeks ago

Cleaned before starting, shot three groups, cleaned, shot three more.  There did seem to be a bit more leading than usual but not excessive, nothing I haven't seen before.

Holding public office should be viewed as an obligation to serve, not an opportunity to rule.

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John Carlson posted this 2 weeks ago

38 degrees, light breeze, qualifies as a nice day for almost December around here.

 

Took the Smith Corona 03-A3 out this time loaded with NOE 314202 (fat bullets) over 18.2gn Alliant 2400.

 

First three 10 shot groups with no lube:

1.     2.28"                  2.         3.00"            3.       2.28"

Chronograph for all 3 groups:  1560fps      42ES      11SD

Second three 10 shot groups with only the gap ahead of the gas check lubed:

1.      1.45"               2.    1.67"                  3,   1,83"

Chronograph for all 3 groups:   1563fps      40ES      10SD

From my initial foray into this experiment it does not appear that using no lube is likely to produce improved results.  It does appear that a significant reduction in lube could lead to improvement and at least won't do any harm.  I'll be interested in seeing results from other folks, especially with equipment other than just the 03-A3.

Holding public office should be viewed as an obligation to serve, not an opportunity to rule.

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OU812 posted this 2 weeks ago

John, I tried your 80 grain bullet (shortened gas check shank) cast using pure lead. There was more lead fouling using Titegroup..... and less lead fouling using 4759. Accuracy 2" and less. The faster I pushed the bullet the better accuracy was using 1/12" twist. I tried 5,6,7,8 grains of Titegroup and just 9 grains of 4759. Cleaned every ten shots and shiny dry lead and powder fouling showed on first patch...using the Titegroup.

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Brodie posted this 2 weeks ago

Off hand I do not remember just where Tightgroup and 4756 are in relation to each other in the burning rate schemes, but here is something for y'all to think about and muddy your waters a little more:  How does burning rate effect leading with non-lubed bullets?  Will a slower burning powder that starts the bullet moving in a more "progressive" or gentler fashion cause less leading than a faster powder that kicks the bullet in the ass and gets it up to speed quicker?

I know from shooting paper patched bullets that loads with slower powders, even powders that are considered too slow , give much better accuracy.  ie. 4350 in a 3030 for example. 

B.E.Brickey

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John Alexander posted this 2 weeks ago

Brodie,

Good logical question.  We should explore that and I intend to.  So many variables. So little time.

John

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OU812 posted this 2 weeks ago

Today I got my best groups using older lot of 5744 powder. After seating the unlubed pure lead bullet in case. I smeared thin coat of alox on bullet using saturated cleaning patch. After 10 shots No dry fouling on first cleaning patch during cleaning.

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 2 weeks ago

browsing that amazing facebook ( g ) i found a guy using an interesting bullet ...  NOE CE4 225 gr. naked 30 cal.  i copied a pic of the mold and posted him an invitation to come here and relate his adventures.

ken

 

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