First attempt at making BP Lube and Pan Lubing


Mac Attack
June 24, 2009, 04:15 PM
I finally worked up the nerve to try to make some BP lube and pan lube my 45-70 bullets. Over the past few days I purchased all the ingredients and supplies I would need to make Smokin_Gun's "Dang I'm Broke Lube".

After exchanging several PM's with Smokin_Gun I felt prepared enough to give her a go. At the suggestion of Smokin_Gun, I decided to remove all the hard lube which came on my Lasercast brand bullets. At first I used my thumbnail to remove the lube but after approximately 24 rounds and 20 minutes I said "Screw this" and looked for an alternative. I decided to give boiling water a try and I am glad that I did because in less than 20 minutes I was able to remove the lube cleanly from all of my bullets. Just wait till my wife sees her pot; boy, she is going to be furious! :uhoh::eek:

Anyways, using SG's recipe which called for 1/4 of Bolwax, 1 stick of Paraffin and 8-10 tablespoons of olive oil (I threw in a couple of red crayons for color) I was able to lube my first 100 bullets. They turned out good but I did spill some lube on the tops of several bullets.

I plan to push them out of the lube tonight and then load up 100 rounds which will be shot 4th of July weekend. Special thanks to Smokin_Gun for taking the time to provide this newbie with guidance to get the job done.

Sorry about the poor photos but I was using my cell phone and the lighting was not good.

So how do they look and what do you think? :D

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4v50 Gary
June 24, 2009, 04:24 PM
Looks like dessert. Please update this thread after your range trip.

June 24, 2009, 05:52 PM
my grease cookie recipe is 80% beeswax,20% crisco,with a dash of Bore Butter or Wonder Lube to prevent fouling.

Fingers McGee
June 24, 2009, 07:53 PM
Looks pretty good to me. Let us know how they work when you get em loaded & fired down range.

June 24, 2009, 09:18 PM
...(I threw in a couple of red crayons for color) ...
...I plan to push them out of the lube tonight and then load up 100 rounds which will be shot 4th of July weekend....

What happened? Did you forget about the blue crayons or run out of them???
Red, white & blue lube would have been really period correct! :neener:

June 24, 2009, 10:17 PM
I use 50% beeswax, 25% olive oil, and 25% crisco with very good results.

I've never had good luck pan lubing though. The lube seems to not stick in the grooves when I try to push the bullets out. Maybe I need to do it while the lube is softer?

June 24, 2009, 10:25 PM
Make a tool to CUT them out.Mine is a peice of brass tubeing from a wooden toilet seat hinge,from when I worked in the plumbing dept at the local home center.You push the brass tube down over your bullet until you touch pan,then pull up and out,the suction or friction of the lubed bullet will hold it in the tube,then you ''eject'' it from your tubeing with a wooden dowel.Works great.

Mac Attack
June 24, 2009, 10:57 PM
Okay. I just came upstairs and am pretty frustrated. :fire: :(

After leaving my bullets in the lube overnight to set I started to push them out and that's when disaster hit. At first I started pushing them out from the base out but that was proving difficult even with a stick. So then I started to push them out from the tips. When I was trying to push them out the entire lube cake, bullets and all, started to break apart at the bullets. Lube was everywhere and smashed into my loading bench because, stupid me, I was using the bench for leverage to push the rounds out.

So some of them had lube in the grooves, some had lube in parts of the grooves and some had no lube at all. The lube actually felt kind of tacky but firm to the touch but after the head of my hands started to warm it up the lube started to get soft. I used 1/2 of bolwax, an equal amount of paraffin and 9 tablespoons of olive oil. What a wasted attempt.

To top it off, I just received my order from Buffalo Arms with my wads and drop tube among other things. I also stopped by my local reloading store and purchased a digital scale because my RCBS balance beam scale was not hacking it. I was really excited when I got home from the store and saw the box from Buffalo arms. My plan was to start loading my rounds tonight but I am so frustrated now that I can't even look at my bench right now let alone clean it off.

Question - what is lube supposed to feel like? If I remelt the chunks of lube should I add anything to it to firm it up? Should I melt all the wax off the bullets (I hope not because that is a PITA). The entire process of melting and pan lubing went so smoothly I should have figured that something my luck would run out.

I will take some pictures later of the lube and bullets for your viewing pleasure. Laugh all you want at me because I need a good laugh right now.


June 24, 2009, 11:36 PM
Mac Attack,

Perhaps an inquiry to Voodoochile for his particular variation of this bullet lube mix is in order. I have bought his cast bullets, and each and every bullet is lubed perfectly using a similar mix. One thing for sure, his lube is much softer than what you ended up with, but it sure works good.

June 25, 2009, 02:41 AM
I thought I gave ya this recipe for C&B Lube Pills...

It's really simple, take a large pan with water place a smaller pan in it with the mix. Boil or high heat the water and poach the mix.
approx 8 tblsp olive/soy oil(StatorBros), one bar of a block Parafin Wax(4 to a box,Stator Bros) 1/4-1/3 that amount of bees wax or a bolwax ring(hardware store, floor to base toilet seal ring w/o plastic)
Melt to a liquid do not boil!
get a good 9" or ? pie or round bakin' pan(a good one that stays flat, won't pop up in the middle)
pour the mix into that pan on level ground or counter top. Depth s/b about 1/8" or your preferance. Let it stiffen up in pan and refigerate when able to move it.
Note this part is your option.

Remelt the wax and try to dip the conicals while it's loose...

June 25, 2009, 07:21 AM
Mac, see post #7, that's the way to get the bullets out of the lube.

Mac Attack
June 25, 2009, 05:48 PM
I am going to try a second attempt at pan lubing. I am considering scraping the whole lube and starting fresh. I didn't follow the directions exactly due to poor memory on my part.

This time around I will follow the recipe to a T. One things for sure, I plan to stop by Home Depot and see if I can find a tube which will fit around a bullet to minimize the lube from pulling off when I remove it from the lube cake.

Reviews to follow...

June 25, 2009, 06:44 PM
Can't keep a good man down ...go for it first lube pills were too soft for summer use here in the Desert. I remelted and made 400 .44 pills and 200 .36's. Second batch did the trick. Your stuff is probly just fine save it for another batch and remelt it.
Or make some awesome candles :O)
(jus' a funnin')

Mac Attack
June 30, 2009, 06:35 PM

My second went 100% better than the first. The lube was much more firm, easier to work with and held in the lube grooves when I pushed the bullets out of the lube cake. Overall it was a much better experience with less mess and fuss.

I believe the problem with my first attempt was due in part to my using candle wax rather than paraffin. For round 2 I used paraffin.

Anyway, I successfully loaded 60 rounds over the past two day carefully weighing charges, measuring compression and OAL round length. The lubed bullets went in without fuss and very little lube came off during bullet seating. It has been a time consuming effort but had been enjoyable none the less.

I loaded 60 rounds of varying weight bullets under a charge of 70 gr, 20 rnds at 67.5 gr and 20 rnds at 65 gr. I plan to do 20 more rnds at 62.5 gr and 20 rnds at 60 gr. Then off to the range on Saturday to test them out.

June 30, 2009, 09:03 PM
I finally started doing this about 6 months ago too. Had to learn as you go same as most folks. I did have very good luck with my beeswax/crisco 50/50 mix, and pretty good results with my deer talow/beeswax mix (also about 50/50) One thing I started doing that worked well was placing an old throw rug under the bottom of the cake before pressing out the bullets - it gave a cushion to press into without damaging the cake, so I could just drop the next batch of bullets in and reheat in place.
Lube stuck much better in the groovews when I pressed them out before it hardened rock solid, but still cool to the touch. I was doing this in the garage at about 25 degrees F, during winter, so that might be why.

Tony Sopranno
July 3, 2009, 10:49 PM
I've made bullet wax lube with beeswax and paraffin about 60-70% beeswax to 30-40% paraffin by weight. Once melted, the wax and paraffin, I added oil until it looks about right - like 35% to the paraffin/beeswax combo by weight not volume.

The oil can be anything handy, olive oil is great, but neatsfoot oil works, so does Crisco, canola oil, or any combination. Also pork or beef fat from the skillet can work too.

When it's cooled, it should be a little soft to the touch and a bit tacky. I also throw in a smidgen of Murphy's Oil Soap as an emulsifier - and that gives it a nice smell and keeps it from going rancid. After it's done and how you want it, re-melt in a double boiler and place the bullets in the inside pan. :D

Mine always looks like saddle soap when it's ready and smells like Murphy's Oil Soap.

July 5, 2009, 07:39 AM
Hey, Tony, you didn't mention that fat from the skillet must be boiled to get rid of the salt. I have used fat recovered from the skillet such as bacon drippings but I boiled it several times to get rid of the brown particles and the salt. You sure don't want to use salty fat in your bullet recipes.

July 5, 2009, 09:25 AM
I think bullet lube should be softer than lube pill lube. Bullet lube should be more of a 50-50 wax to lube type. You know make 4 oz. wax to mix in 4 oz. lube(like olive oil,crisco,unsalted lard, mutton tallow).
It depends I guess on whether you want the lube to stay on the bullet or fly off after the bullet is in the air.All stay on would be a harder adhisive type and all come off would be a softer oily type I guess. Don't want some to stay on and some to come off and unbalance the bullet and de-stabilize it.
The smaller grooves bullets probably would want the lube to stay with the bullet and the Big Lube type Bullets with big lube grooves would want the lube to fly off.
Pearl Lube is said to work well. I think Dick Dastardly at CASS sells it or gives the recipie for free.
I'd want a lube that works to reduce fouling and,I'd guess, the best is SPG Lube. It's a softer type. It has the secrete ingredient in it that made the lube good enough to take the blackpowder cartridge world by storm. When Steve Garbe(discovered the main de-fouling ingredient and makes and sells SPG Lube) won the matches without cleaning between shots for the entire match his lube became a valuble asset to accuracy. Wonder LUbe and the other YELLOW lubes sold commercially now for muzzleloading have the secrete ingredient in them. Throwing some wonder lube 1000 into a wax and mixing it can make a really good lube for bullets. Kinda like making your own SPG Lube.
I've noticed the more experienced shooters using Big Lube Bullets have gone to a 50-50 mix of wax to lube. I'd say 50-50 or 2/3rds wax to 1/3rd lube is in the right ball park. Stay within those parameters and you'd probably be doing alright.
Pan Lubing? Heck with that. Get a lube sizer and do it better. Do it neatly and make real nice looking lubed bullets that are sized right to what you want. I've never regretted getting a Redding Saeco lubisizer mounted on the loading bench. Put a bullet in ,pull the handle down and up and BINGO a perfectly lubed bullet.
If a Lubesizer is too costly then....Lee sells a lube/size die that is used on a loading press with the bullet pushed up thru the die to make it sized and neat.That's just running the pan lubed bullets thru a sizer though to size the bullet and make neat the lube. Makes the bullets look like they were run thru a lube sizer. Makes loading the bullets neater without excess lube getting on the dies and all.Kinda cool and cheap too.
Lube is so important to blackpowder cartridge shooting I don't recommend messing around with homemade lubes that may not work well and give poor accuracy. I'd just go right for SPG Lube or...put a good amount of Wonder Lube 1000 in the mix for the lube part. Who the hell wants to go thru the trouble to load and all and get poor results from a poor lube. I'd go right for the best known lube and learn from the mistakes all the other guys already made. Like taking a shortcut to good accurate blackpowder cartridge shooting. The closest I've come to making SPG type lube is 50-50 wax to lube or with the "equal amounts of bees wax,paraffine wax,mutton tallow. It can be equal amounts "soy wax(cheaper than beeswax)",paraffin,lubey stuff(mutton tallow,olive oil,lard,crisco,canola oil," ect.ect.
I think soy wax has inherent lubing qualities within itself that bees wax doesn't have. On it's own beeswax isn't a good lube. Soy wax seems to be a better lubey stuff and is cheaper to boot. It's sold at candle making places.
Anyway....SPG Lube is the best I'd say. It is kinda soft too.:eek:
SPG costs but...its proven to help win matches. Proven to work really well.
One a barrel of all oil or grease before shooting with an organic non petroleum based lube is important. Wipe it out....wipe it out again....saturate patches with alcohol and wipe it out again. Then use alcohol and wipe it out again and again. Get the oil out of the micro pores in the steel. After that and after shooting it's good to store the gun with Wonder LUbe 1000 in the bore as a rust preventative. That way the bore gets seasoned to the natural lube and gets less fouling stuck as time and shooting goes on. You know...use Natural Lube 1000 in the lube recipie or use SPG Lube and then never use oil or grease in the bore again. Use the yellow Wonder Lube 1000 to prevent rust. Wonder Lube..Natural Lube whatever they call it it's the's the yellow stuff.(they dye and scent it to hide the secret stuff) It has the secret ingredient in it that makes SPG Lube the best there is and it's proven by all the matches it's helped win. Before SPG Lube the shooters had to clean after every shot to try to keep fouling controled. After SPG Lube....the shooters had to swab the bore a lot less and still maintained accuracy. I just add that the Wonder Lube or Natural Lube has the secret stuff in it in case a person wants to mix it in "their recipie" instead of buying SPG Lube. They call the stuff Natural Lube 1000 because when Thompson Center bought the recipie of the secret ingredient they tested a rifle and fired it 1000 times and never had to clean to be able to get the muzzleloding ball or bullet in the barrel and the rifle stayed accurate.A 1000 shots without cleaning? Unheard of before the secret ingredient SPG brought out was found or re-found.
Anyway..maybe a person would want to make a recipie like equal amounts of bees wax,paraffin wax,Natural Lube 1000. Try it out and see. Might be a match winner. All I know's good to keep petroleum based oil/grease out of the barrels once you start to use a natural organic lube mix. At least remove every trace of oil in the barrel before shooting with a natural lube.
Hope this helps. Just my opinion is all.
I might add...supposedly there's an old recipie in an old Rifleman magazine from the 40's that has the ratio of 10 lbs. paraffin wax,10 lbs. mutton tallow, 5 lbs. beeswax for grease grooved lubricated bullets. That would be like one part paraffin wax to one part mutton tallow(the lubey stuff) to one half part bees wax.

July 5, 2009, 04:09 PM
tried and true. that is what i go with. i buy bees wax in the 1lbs block. then melt it down in a pan (only about a 1/3 at a time. Then pour in about the same amount of Olive oil. Then stir up then pour it into a tupperware container. Mean while i take about 100 bullets or so and put them in the fridge for about 10 minutes. once i pour the lube into the tupperware the fun starts I simply take the bullets grab one with a pair of pliers from the top and dip it in the lube then place it on a plate, then keep repeating until i am done. then cover up the lube. as for the bullets. Yes they will have extra lube all over them. SO WHAT. next step i take them to my loading table then start loading them into the cases. The extra lube is usually small amounts that i just keep putting in a cup. When i am done loading the bullets i usually have to use a rag to wipe off the extra lube from the cases but thats it. they are all lubed up and loaded. Its not rocket science

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