Miniť ball lubing


Fred West
August 8, 2008, 02:07 PM
When lubing miniť balls is there any advantage in packing the base with lube, indeed is it advisable? I've heard conflicting views on this so thought I'd ask here and see if I can get a definitive answer.

I've just bought a Euroarms 2-band Enfield and will be shooting it on Sunday for the first time. I've cast some bullets and lubed them with a 50/50 beeswax and lard mix. I haven't filled the base yet though.


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August 8, 2008, 02:14 PM
I've tried both ways and couldn't see any appreciable difference in accuracy. Stuffing the base full of lube was messier and seemed to keep the fowling a little softer. I seldom shoot a minie much any more but when I do I don't fill the base cavity.

August 8, 2008, 03:58 PM
Go to the N-SSA board and ask there too.
I use a inside out side luber from Notheast trade Co. Put it on a coffee cup warmer to melt the mix. the Mix I use is 50/50 Beeswax/ olive oil. I adjust the mix depending on time of year.:banghead:

August 8, 2008, 05:23 PM
i just lube them with bore butter. havent had any problems with them

August 8, 2008, 05:59 PM
My last range session with my 1861 Springfield, I fired some of the best groups I've ever shot with it and I was lubing the grooves as well as filling the base level with the same lube Sharps59 mentioned. I'm not prepared to credit the improved shooting to the lube filled base, though. I'm sure going to try it some more and perhaps with a little more comparison I'll have a better idea about it. I can say that it certainly didn't have any obvious drawbacks on the range. I doubt if I'd want to leave a load of that type a great long time in the barrel while hunting. I'd be afraid of powder contamination even though that beeswax/olive oil combo seems to be fairly benign to powder.

August 8, 2008, 08:24 PM
I fill the grease grooves and the base of my Minie balls with lube and the rifle shoots very well. I have shot some five shot groups within 2 inches at 100 yards.

I do not know what is the down side.

I really don't know if you can have too much lube in the thing.

August 9, 2008, 11:30 AM
for my first 10 years shooting in the N-SSA all I used was crisco in the base only. never had a problem always good accuracy in cold or hot weather. no fold musket no cook offs. For the last 10 yrs I have been useing the inside outside
luber that was given to me. :banghead:

Fred West
August 9, 2008, 12:35 PM
Thanks for all the advice fellas, very helpful.

I do not know what is the down side.
I really don't know if you can have too much lube in the thing.

I'll go along with that, it can only help.


4v50 Gary
August 17, 2008, 12:21 PM
I use SPG and lube only the sides of my minies. To me, lubing the base is a waste of lube. Remember, the skirt has to flare out for the minie to take hold of the lands. What function would the lube serve on a base?

Experiment and see for yourself. I doubt if you, like member Oft, can find any difference other than you use your lube up faster.

August 17, 2008, 12:47 PM
Know guys that still just lube the base w/ crisco and get the same groups and performance that I do. Its all what works for you. the purpose of lube is not to lube the round you are loading but to keep the fouling soft for the next round you load. So when lubing the base only the lube is melting and mixing w/ the powder resadue fouling as comes up the barrel. w/ a wrong lube or a hot dry day the fouling half way down the barrel can be soft and moist.while the fouling at the end of the barrel can be hard and dry. :banghead:
w/ what i use I can get 15-20 rounds off w/o lossing accuracy or having a loading problem. before the next group of rounds all I do is brush out the barrel. and maybe use a breach scraper.

August 17, 2008, 12:51 PM
Have a 1863 Remington Zouave .58, I only lube the lube grooves and that's plenty. I have made some tracer rounds by putting a Wax based lube in the skirt of the minnie and pressing BP granuales into the wax lube, being it's somewhat stiff it holds the BP there. When loaded on a charge and can watch the smoke trail all the way to impact 200-300yds.
We used um on a rainy day one winter standing in the Pistol house waitin' for it to let up. We're a Muzzleloadin' Siloutte shootin' group. It killed some time, and me and my Zouave had some fun.


August 17, 2008, 12:54 PM
SG that sounds so cool going to have to try that

August 17, 2008, 01:00 PM
Scrat it'll make ya smile:what:


August 31, 2008, 12:49 AM
do you think the lube in the base would create a more consistent and even flare of the skirt into the rifling, making for a better seal, also improving shot to shot velocity consistency and overall... the accuracy? maybe kind of a fluid movement pushing the skirt into the rifling, while with no lube it might slam the led into the rifling, smushing it and creating uneven thicknesses of the skirt and irregular flight due to unbalanced bullet? just throwing out ideas bout how it might work

4v50 Gary
August 31, 2008, 08:11 AM
Want flaming minie balls? Do with the Confederates did. They stuffed turepentine soaked cotton into the base of their minies. When fired, the burning gases ignited the cotton and those minies would set the cotton bales they were fired into aflame. See the bedtime stories thread because I'll a first hand account there later today.

August 31, 2008, 12:00 PM
wow so cool. Hey Gary Where you getting spg lube i heard thats actually really good for bp

4v50 Gary
August 31, 2008, 12:23 PM
Dillon Precision Link ( or Midway ( or Cabelas ( of if you, you can try rolling your own with the recipe given here ( Note, I haven't tried the last.

August 31, 2008, 12:27 PM
hey that recipe looks do able

4v50 Gary
August 31, 2008, 12:51 PM
The learn more about the flamable minies read TheFiringLine thread Rambling Anecdotes right Here (

Scrat, if you try that lube recipe, please share the results.

4v50 Gary
August 31, 2008, 01:00 PM
Cut and pasted from the link above: Lube Recipes

When the old timers shot their black powder cartridge rifles in competition, they generally used the following lube recipe. Although whale oil is no longer available, you can substitute cod oil, or a synthetic whale oil that is sold by Dixie Gunworks. All proportions are by volume.

50% beeswax
50% whale oil
Of course, whale oil was expensive, even back in those days, and another old standard, which was favored by buffalo hunters, substituted lard and vegetable oil for whale oil. Mutton tallow was preferred over lard, but when shooting buffalo on the plains, one had to make due with what was available. Unfortunately, lubes made with these natural ingredients have a rather short shelf life and go rancid quickly. Using deer tallow, in place of lard, increases shelf life by several years. Using Crisco, the modern favorite, eliminates concerns over lubes going rancid. For a softer lube, like commercial products such as SPG lube, reverse the proportions of beeswax and Crisco.

50% beeswax
40% Crisco, lard or tallow
10% canola or olive oil
Make sure to heat these ingredients in a double boiler, and not in a microwave, to avoid setting everything on fire! Some shooters add a touch of soap. But others feel that this is not necessary, as fats in lard and natural oils combine with alkaline salts in the black powder fouling to literally produce soap in the barrel. Supposedly, this is the secret of a good black powder lube.

Once upon a time, wax toilet rings were a cheap source of beeswax. Unfortunately, toilet rings today are made from a synthetic product that just dosen't have the same properties as beeswax. The best source these days is to find a local beekeeper and buy direct.

Here is another recipe for a lube, which is said to look and feel a lot like SPG lube, a commercial product favored by many match shooters. Some believe that Steve Garbe, the inventer of SPG, uses a little soap in his actual formula, which of course is a carefully guarded secret.

40% beeswax
30% canola oil
30% lanolin
Lastly, one of the all-time favorites is given below. It is also a great bug and wife repellent, and said to be effective as well against sexually transmitted diseases. It does not smell as pleasant as the canola oil and lanolin recipes, but if it works, who cares. Those of Cajun ancestry may use alligator grease in preference to rattlesnake fat.

50% beeswax
25% rattlesnake fat
25% skunk oil

August 31, 2008, 01:07 PM
will do

September 3, 2008, 12:42 PM
Personally I've never put lube in the base of my Minies. I pan lube mine using SPG & generally fill all lube grooves, & I've never had problems with fouling.
I shoot MLAIC (International) Muzzleloading, & I recently returned from the MLAIC World Championships & I can honestly say that I didn't see any Minies there that had lube in their bases. In fact some of the shooters use a decreasing amount of lube on their bullets, that is the first few shots fired may have all grooves filled, but the subsequent minies may only have two, or even one, groove lubed. The guys I spoke to about this said that they find that the bores get too slick if all the minies are fully lubed. I use Cream of Wheat between powder & Minie, so that might help alleviate the lube build-up they are concerned about. Bare in mind that in MLAIC competition military-style arms (muskets, rifle-muskets) cannot have their bores wiped between shots, & we shoot thirteen shots on paper (best ten to score), plus one or two fouling shots fired into backstop.

November 9, 2008, 02:51 PM
no rattle snake here in the UK.

similar double boiler method

1 part bees wax

2 parts lard(rendered animal fat)

2 parts candle wax

and a shot of bio diesel (Veg coocking oil the same)

good lube/barrel cleaner

ps makes boots waterproof

December 23, 2009, 11:17 PM
Over the summer i experimented with some lube. I came up with a combo of 60% beeswax, 35% olive oil 5% lanolin hand lotion. i would slowly melt the bees wax in a pot very low flame. As soon as it was melted i poured in the olive oil. Then mixed thoroughly. last thing i put in was the lanolin. Now up to this point the smell was ok and everything. You get a little reaction with the lanolin. then i let it all cool down once i mixed it up well. This i found a lot better in dealing with the heat. less resistant to melting in the heat. Now you will have to warm it up to lube bullets with but seems to work very good and prevents a lot of fouling and leading.

Smilin Jack
December 31, 2009, 01:23 PM
I've been shooting the Lyman 577611 minnie for years. Got the mold from Lyman years ago.
By trial and error, figured out that lubing the base and grooves works best to keep the fouling down.
On warm days, the crisco/beeswax tends to melt and produces hang fires. Started using a felt over powder wad, then the greased minnie, with a cereal box cardboard wad over the minnie to keep it in place. Without the cardboard wad, the minnie tends to slide down the barrell when using the trail carry out hunting. This isn't good.
For hunting, the bore butter lube seems better than crisco/beeswax, as it seems to build up a coating, similar to my dutch oven and cast iron skillet when it's seasoned.
Don't think it really matters what lube is used, but do think the minnie skirt expands better when filled with lube. Must be the hydraulic action of the filled base pushing the skirt out to fill the bore.


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