Tumble lube cast boolits, No need to size?


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Josh45
July 19, 2011, 03:12 PM
Hello everyone,

I have searched THR and other forums and did not come up with an answer to my question.

I'm trying to cast my own boolits. I have been looking at the tumble lube designed boolits with the micro band design in it. While I was reading the information for these boolits, I noticed it says that no sizing is required for them....

If that's right, Then why do I need to lube them at all? I mean I would only need to lube cast boolits if I was going to size them right? I have watched a youtube video or two about this and it shows the guy is using the Tumble Lube bullets and then resizes them after wards.

Maybe Im a bit confused and Im sorry for this question but I want to make sure I don't end up screwing something up...

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1KPerDay
July 19, 2011, 03:34 PM
why do I need to lube them at all?Lube is to help prevent leading, not to assist in sizing.

Josh45
July 19, 2011, 03:42 PM
Hmm....I usually thought that the lube was to help size when going thru the re-sizeing die that is used....

So, Just to make sure I have this right...

I would still need to run them thru the die?

1KPerDay
July 19, 2011, 03:52 PM
I don't know. I don't cast (yet) and haven't set up my sizer. I imagine having some lube on the bullets pre/sizing would help them through the sizer/lubricator. However I do know that the purpose of lubing cast bullets is to help prevent leading/fouling.

Unless I'm mistaken. :)

Josh45
July 19, 2011, 04:12 PM
Well, To what I understand is that I would run them thru the die if I need to re size them in case they aren't to spec. I did read some info I found and some people just do it just to get that out of the equation.

So, It sounds more like a JIC thing...

Im still gonna wait and see what others have to say

243winxb
July 19, 2011, 05:06 PM
If the bullet drops from the mould at the correct diameter, you may tumble lube them and load. But most will not be the correct size. Best if bullets measure .001" larger than groove diameter for pistol, .002" for rifle. Or go with the standard diameters used for commercial lead bullets. Tumble lube before and after sizing. You will find many answers here > http://leeprecision.com/xcart/Frequently-Asked-Questions.html

243winxb
July 19, 2011, 05:12 PM
Quote:
The bullet diameters and weights presented in this list
are based on the use of Taracorp’s Lawrence Magnum
bullet alloy (2% tin, 6% antimony, 1/4% arsenic,
91.75% lead).
Bullet diameters and weights will vary considerably
depending on the lead casting alloy used. This variation
can be as much as 1/2% on the diameter, and 8% on
the weight among the most commonly used casting
alloys. For example, a .358-158 grain bullet might
show a diameter variation of .002", and a 13 grain difference
in weight.
Of the most commonly used alloys, wheel weights (.5%
tin, 4% antimony, 95% lead) will produce bullets having
the smallest diameter and heaviest weight, with
such bullets running approximately .3% smaller in
diameter and 3% heavier than bullets cast with
Taracorp's metal. Linotype will produce bullets with the
largest diameter and lightest weights. This alloy will
produce bullets approximately 1/10% larger and 3%
lighter than Taracorp. Other alloys of tin and antimony,
with antimony content above 5%, will produce bullets
with diameters and weights falling between those cast
from wheel weights and linotype.
Alloys containing little or no antimony will cast considerably
smaller than wheel weights and in some cases
will produce bullets too small for adequate sizing.
Within the limitations given above, the weight and
diameter of a cast bullet can be adjusted by varying the
alloy’s antimony content.
The size and weight of bullets of a given alloy will also
vary according to casting temperature. Higher temperatures
will result in greater shrinkage as the bullet
cools, thereby producing a slightly smaller and lighter
bullet than one cast of the same alloy at a lower temperature Cast Bullets

flashhole
July 19, 2011, 05:34 PM
I load for 40 S&W and I cast my own bullets using the Lee 6-Cavity microgroove mold. You should run the bullets through the Lee 401 sizer (get the 401 sizing kit). In spite of what you hear or read, the bullets need to be sized for uniformity or you may run into seating and feed problems.

I load with Lee Deluxe Die Set on a Lee Classic Turret press. The Factory Crimp Die is a taper crimp. If you pull the guts out of the crimp die you can use the plunger that comes with the 401 Bullet Sizing Kit and use the crimp die (guts removed) as a push-through brass sizer die (Bulge Buster). This is important to me because I use lots of range pick-up brass, most of which has a bulge that needs to be corrected before use. You still have to run the brass through the normal FL sizing die for reloading.

I should also note I use the Lee Pro 4-20 bottom pour pot with the Lee mold. I cast a pile of bullets in very little time once everything is up to temperature.

I too use Lee Liquid Alox but I don't "tumble lube". My OCD kicks in and I lube each bullet by hand before and after running them through the 401 sizer die. I use a recipe of Alox, Johnson's Paste Wax and Mineral Spirits that I got from one of the guys on the net. All you need is a small amount of lube.

Another tip, if you are loading for a straight wall cartridge auto pistol, be aware the Lee boolits are designed such that the top most sizing ring seats to a depth even with the mouth of the cartridge. Mine actually stick up about .002" and I have zero feed problems in my gun.

Galil5.56
July 19, 2011, 05:38 PM
Hello everyone,

I have searched THR and other forums and did not come up with an answer to my question.

I'm trying to cast my own boolits. I have been looking at the tumble lube designed boolits with the micro band design in it. While I was reading the information for these boolits, I noticed it says that no sizing is required for them....

If that's right, Then why do I need to lube them at all? I mean I would only need to lube cast boolits if I was going to size them right? I have watched a youtube video or two about this and it shows the guy is using the Tumble Lube bullets and then resizes them after wards.

Maybe Im a bit confused and Im sorry for this question but I want to make sure I don't end up screwing something up...

Shot plenty of Lee bullets as cast and lubed. If when loaded they chamber freely, even at whatever definition of "oversized" they are, no problem... let the barrel/throat swage them down to the perfect fit. One problem however in my experience with Lee molds lately; greatly out of round bullets. The last two Lee molds I bought within a year have been right at, and just over .003" OOR/difference from min-to-max diameter. Not exactly top quality bullets/QC, despite the bullets looking advertising grade perfect, with sharp grooves, great bases, and as close to perfect tight part lines as I have ever seen.

Damn shame, as the mold was one of those super forgiving ones to cast with that makes casting a joy. To make matter worse, they could not be used because the "fat" side of this Mak mold was .3695", and no amount of playing around with OALs could fix the issue. Even if you wanted to use these bullets by sizing them down (still might be lopsided), Lee does not make a push through sizer anywhere near .365", if I wanted to keep with a low cost sizing option.

My first Lee mold I bought 30 years ago continues to drop bullets within 1/2 a thousandths, and within the last year or so, Lee has dropped their once highly prominent/touted guaranteed within .001" round statement... Seems they have changed the way they make their molds, and with that, dropped the guarantee. Google "Lee molds, guaranteed within .001" round? oops", and read what a greybeard member posted about this situation if interested.

Bula
July 19, 2011, 08:19 PM
As stated above, the lube is an actual lubricant to help the bullet through the barrel without smearing a sheet of lead in your barrel prior to exit. I don't do the tumble lube thing, but I will tell you, get the correct Lee sizing Push Thru Die, then lube before and after sizing. I prefer standard lube groove stuff and was very happy learning on a lyman dip pot and ladle, then sizing and lubing on a Lyman 4500. I've since gone to a Lee botom pour 4-20 and really can get a pile of bullets done with the 6cav Lee's. I know Lee advertises perfect bullets from their molds. In my opinion there are too many variables for me not to run everything thru a lube/sizer. In your case, spend the extra few bucks on the lee sizer, a few bottles of the Lee Alox, and get to casting. It's a great hobby.

armoredman
July 19, 2011, 08:54 PM
castboolits.gunloads.com , but it sounds like you went there already. :) I use Lee moulds, and I size all boolits dropped. I use Hornady One Shot to lube boolits before sizing them, and then tumble lube with Lee Liquid Alox afterwards. Dry overnight on wax paper, good to go. The Lee push through sizer kit is a great starter, and comes with a tube of LLA.

Josh45
July 20, 2011, 01:47 AM
I did go to CastBoolits. It is a great site loaded with much data.

Thanks guys, I think I got my answer when it comes down to this. Looks like I will be melting some wheel weights with some wax for flux this time....Thanks everyone.

And I guess I should have mentioned this,

I will be doing this for .45 ACP and probably .38 SPL as well as .357 Magnum.

I might end up doing it for 9mm, I doubt it. Since it's my brothers gun and not mine. He don't care much for lead boolits. Father want's to use it for .40 cal.....So yeah.....I need decent moulds.

243winxb
July 20, 2011, 07:06 AM
A sizer like a Lyman or RCBS is much faster than waiting for tumble lube to dry. :uhoh:Then you could use standard type bullet moulds also. All depends on how much $$$$ is available.

Josh45
July 21, 2011, 12:08 PM
243,

That's another thing I was kinda taking into account. I was thinking that the TL type bullets, I woudnt have to bother with sizing but like others stated, Its best to size them then to have boolits drop that are under size or oversize.

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