Tumble Lube Question

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BigMan54 posted this 16 March 2018

I tumble lubed some bullets for the 1st time today. I used the proper Cool Whip container. Used 45-45-10 from White Label Lube. Put 25 of the N.O.E. TL432-243-RF's in the container, squirted about 1/2 teaspoon on to the bullets and began "swirling". It didn't seem to cover the bullets very well. So I squirted another 1/2 teaspoon. This time it seemed to cover the bullets better, but left A LOT of lube in the container.  Took a lot of "swirling" to fill all the grooves, and there was still a lot of brown lube left in the container. I tried 20 bullets next, and then 15. had to add a bit more lube each time.  I took the bullets and stood them up on a wax papered pie pan to dry. I'll shove 'em up into a Lee sizer die on Sat.

I thought it took a lot less lube than I used for these 60 bullets ? What did I do wrong? And do you wash the lube out of the cool whip container every time you finish with it ? or just leave to old lube and put on the lid ?

Next question:

I just viewed Jeff Brown's video on tumble lubing again. The 45-45-10 from White Label Lube is much thinner than the LLA Jeff used. Is the 45-45-10 supposed to be thin as ????? half&half creamer ?

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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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 16 March 2018

You don't need to get the lube in the grooves. Also when I tried a container like the cool whip tub, the bullets tended to just slide around, but not turn. So I started to put the lid on and tumble them a little. It worked much better, but in the end I bought an extra container for by vibratory cleaner and use it to lube the bullets. It takes just a few minutes and they get covered pretty good. I leave the container alone and jut keep adding a little lube each time. 

Can't answer your other questions.

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.
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BigMan54 posted this 16 March 2018

Thanks

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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onondaga posted this 16 March 2018

You used enough lube for 200 bullets the first time with 1/2 teaspoon. Your container is poor if it wont correctly tumble. A square cornered containe really helps. tilt it 45 degrees and rotate, the bullets should evenly roll as a group. If they are sliding, you need a better cornered container for true tumbling.

when I tumble with warm 45:45:10 and warm bullets for 1 full minute, there is only a slightly dampened with lube container left when I dump the bullets as tumbling has dispersed 1/2 teaspoon of lube evenly on 200 bullets.

The correct viscosity of 45:45:10 for tumble lube is about the same as Hershey's Syrup. It will get thicker from storage but at any time should be harmlessly thinned back to the correct consistency with Mineral Spirits. Too thick is difficult to tumble effectively and spread thin a light surface coating.

Also, when you pour your bullets onto Wax Paper to dry, they are already dry at 2 minutes with warmed lube and bullets. If you got any lube puddling on the wax paper you used about 10 times too much lube, and that is why it drooled and took long to dry..

 

Gary

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BigMan54 posted this 16 March 2018

Guess I gotta get another container. My lube is much thinner at room temp., than syrup, more like milk. I lubed at about 1700hrs  Wed.

Just checked, 1230hrs Fri, they are dry. And a few of the bullets have pools around their bases.

Thanks to all for the help.

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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onondaga posted this 16 March 2018

Guess I gotta get another container. My lube is much thinner at room temp., than syrup, more like milk. I lubed at about 1700hrs  Wed.

Just checked, 1230hrs Fri, they are dry. And a few of the bullets have pools around their bases.

Thanks to all for the help.

 

Thinner is OK, thicker is not. Less is better also, all you need is a thin coating  as this is a SURFACE lube not a pressure lube. Warming helps a lot, I warm a batch of bullets in a brownie pan on warm in my ovrn for a total of 5 minutes from a cold oven and I warm the lube in an open squirt bottle 30 seconds at a time till it is warm to the touch. My bullets are definitely dry and tack free in under 5 minutes and ready to load. My tumbling container is a 2 gallon bulk plastic Ice Cream container and has square corners, I can tumble lube 500 bullets easily in 1 minute.

 

Gary

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Ross Smith posted this 17 March 2018

Big Man: I usually tumble about 100 bullets at a time. I use an old tupperware bowl with a lid. NO don't clean it, it will develope a really nice layer of stuff but mine then never seems to get any worse. If mine aren't rolling around well I stir with my fingers, it won't hurt you.

Just a note here: After tumbling I had to resize some bullets. I usually size and GC first then tumble. My dies got gummy from excess lube and I tried several "solvents" to clean them. Acetone was poor, hoppes was hopeless, and good old m. spirits worked like a charm. 

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BigMan54 posted this 17 March 2018

Thanks Guys. 

Get a square container, warm my bullets & lube. After I push these 60 bullets through a Lee sizer, I think I'll try the "Pam spray" thing on another small batch before sizing & see how that works. Will it interfere with the tumble-lubing?  

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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onondaga posted this 17 March 2018

Thanks Guys. 

Get a square container, warm my bullets & lube. After I push these 60 bullets through a Lee sizer, I think I'll try the "Pam spray" thing on another small batch before sizing & see how that works. Will it interfere with the tumble-lubing?  

I suspect Pam spray reduces the adhesion of tumble lube and don't recommend it. Adhesion of a surface bullet lube is critical for product function, don't reduce it.. I have developed  my tumbling so I can use a tiny amount for tumbling before size/check. It hardly takes any just for a pre-lube ahead of size/check. After size/check I warm again and tumble for final cote with low velocity marginally sonic stuff but any higher gets two coats. That can mean tumble lubing 3 times for most all sized rifle bullets for me. I don't over lube at all and usually get a visible lube star on my muzzle at around 10 shots. When I dump after tumbling warm for 1 minute, I have no excess in the container and it has begun to turn dull on the container. If you tumble wetter than that, you are using too much and tumbling poorly.

There is a cure for using a little too much. If your container is over whetted with lube when you are tumbling, dump the bullets out on clean wax paper. Quickly spray WD40 into the container and wipe it out clean and dry with paper towels. Put the bullets back in the clean dry container and tumble again with no more lube. The excess will drift to the container surfaces from tumbling 1 minute. Dump the bullets again to dry and they will not be drooling because you got the excess off.

 

Gary

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Goatwhiskers posted this 17 March 2018

I use the cut off bottom of a gal. milk jug. The corners and the ridges in the bottom keep the boolits "tumbling" and does a good job.  GW

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John Alexander posted this 17 March 2018

I have taken Gary's advice and now warm both the bullets and the White Label variety of lube I use and find his technique works well. Gary is also right that less is better. To avoid too much lube, I drip it off a 1/4" drill bit to gage how much.

However, I only lube once.  The lube isn't necessary for the sizing and I haven't found two coats after sizing to be better than one as far as my shooting results are concerned. 

Skepticism and laziness sometimes saves a lot of work.

John 

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John Alexander posted this 17 March 2018

Thanks for the tip Goatwhiskers.

Even before using I can see that the corners and ridges in the bottom will probably do a better job of tumbling the bullets than the round bottom of an anti-freeze jug I am using - and I have a milk jug with one more glass milk so can try it today.

John

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OU812 posted this 17 March 2018

I have used a small throw away bowl with lid and tumble end over end slowly for one minute. The small bowl size prevents bullets falling too far inside and distorting them. I then dump bullets out onto warmed screen wire laid over paper towel to drain and dry. Warming the bullets and window screen allows coating to flow off more evenly.

Gary had some good instructions posted awhile back on how to warm bullets, but I forgot what temp to set oven and how long. Was it 250 degrees in pre heated oven for 5 minutes?

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Wineman posted this 17 March 2018

I have a small pill bottle, I put a "glop" of WLL 45:45:10 maybe half a teaspoon in it and let it sit in a small jelly jar of boiling water (not on the stove, pulled the jar out of the microwave after 99 sec). While it melts, I use a 1,800 watt hair dryer (wife's spare) and heat a couple hundred 30 caliber LEE 160-312 TL in a plastic square sided container. It had peanut butter snacks about 2# (two quarts?). I heat until warm, to almost too hot to hold and slosh them around. Some of the older lube starts to melt. I add the now very liquid LLA and tumble for a couple of minutes. The coating is almost imperceptible. I pour them out on white waxed paper (previously used) and use a nitrile glove to roll them around after 30-45 minutes. They are dry to the touch after 24 hours. I just went with one coat on the last batch and they shot like a house on fire at 100 yards in a CMP match.

Dave

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BigMan54 posted this 22 March 2018

Well, I tried the warm bullets in oven. Heat lube in microwave. Tumble in milk jug. 

I screwed the Lee sizer into RC and started sizing. Did 100+ bullets. Took more force to size then it took on the 'ol Lube-Sizer. Ready to Tumble-Lube again. 

This bullet has a LOT OF BEARING SURFACE. Came out of the Lee sizer at .431dia, a bit larger then the Lube-Sizer. I seated & roll crimped a few. No SEPARATE TAPER CRIMP DIE. Dropped into 3 different  .44MAG Revolvers without a problem.  Have to wait until the rain stops & the grass drys out until I can try it in a rifle. I learned the hard way not to close the action of a rifle on a loaded round in a closed garage.

So I check fit & function of rifle ammo sitting on my back porch, muzzle pointed into the dirt. Just like I did as a kid. Only time I'VE EVER BROKEN THAT RULE, was with a buddy's  1886 in .40-82WCF. Sure enough the round went off right into a MTM ammo can sitting against the side of a gunsafe. Filled with range scrounged 5.56 brass. Still use that ammo can, it's an EXCELLENT SAFETY REMINDER.

 N.O.E. TL432-243-RF

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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BigMan54 posted this 23 March 2018

This seems like a lot of work compared to just using a Lube-Sizer.  I Tumble-Lubed those sized bullets again today. They did dry inside of 2 hours. I'll save the vegatable spray for Lubing the rest of these bullets when I powder coat them. Can't swing the toaster oven yet. But I got enough reg LYMAN #429667 to get by until then..

 

 

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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Pigslayer posted this 23 March 2018

I too use Gary's method of warming the bullets and the lube. I just put the oven on low for the bullets & microwave the lube til runny. I use a square Tupperware container. Just a couple of little squirts of Alox goes a long way! For my smaller (120 gr. +/-) pistol bullets I do 100 at a time.

If someone else had of done to me what I did to myself . . . I'd have killed him. Humility is an asset. Heh - heh.

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OU812 posted this 24 March 2018

Heated and tumbled bullets are dumped onto heated window screen so excess can drain off on paper towel.

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BigMan54 posted this 24 March 2018

OU812,

Where do you get metal window screen ? the only stuff I've seen in years is nylon. Nice setup, but what difference does it make to use the window screen over paper towels as opposed to just wax paper ?

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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OU812 posted this 24 March 2018

I can mail you some. I made a little wood frame, but it is not needed. Just lay the screen (bend up edges) on top of paper towel. Dump lube coated bullets, then shuffle bullets left to right every so often.

With this method you do not have to worry about using too much. Too much is actually better to coat bullets best, excess will drain off thru screen.

Tumble lube works pretty good as is, and you can add a little extra NRA 50/50 hard lube using the Lube a matic and oversize die ...if needed.

BTW you can find aluminum window screen, but you must buy a whole roll.

 

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Pigslayer posted this 24 March 2018

Those bullets look good. Nice even coat of lube!

If someone else had of done to me what I did to myself . . . I'd have killed him. Humility is an asset. Heh - heh.

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