1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Tumbling "Tumble Lubed" Cast boolits....

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by mcdonl, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. mcdonl

    mcdonl Well-Known Member

    Hi all, I have exhausted my search of this topic and I need to fish for more info... Saw walkalongs test, and I have no issues with performance or safety...

    My question is will I lead my barrel if I use a vibratory polisher to clean my .45ACP rounds after loading them?

    I tumble all of my rifle rounds after I load them to get the case lube off, and to make them clean and shiney.

    I have always done this with all of my reload except the one I load the most... the 230LRN... And, it is the dirtiest load and my 1911 starts to choke after about 300 rounds.

    As I use Lee TL Molds, would it be safe to tumble polish the rounds after loading them? All of the lube grooves are recessed in the case and have a health ring of alox in each groove.
  2. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

    Do it the bare minimum with a bit of mineral spirits.
    I "tumble" them in a bath towel and mineral spirits if they are really gooped with lube.
  3. Searcher4851

    Searcher4851 Well-Known Member

    I don't have a definitive answer, but your logic seems correct to me. I wouldn't expect lube on the bullet nose to be of any benefit. The part that carries the "working" lube is protected by the case. I shoot a lot of cast, but not the tumble lube type, and all that lube is in the lube grooves. I could be wrong, but it sounds good to me.
  4. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Well-Known Member

    You probably won't lead the barrel, depending on how much of the boolet extends from the case. Assuming most of the lube is on the bearing surface inside the case there will probably still be enough left to do the job.

    What I would be concerned about is the amount of abrasive grit that gets stuck to the exposed bullet surface from the tumbling media. There are few substances that attract dust and grit more that liquid Alox tumble lube and I'm afraid what you might be doing is inadvertently fire lapping your bore with every tumbled bullet you send down it.
  5. rsrocket1

    rsrocket1 Well-Known Member

    I also tumble lube my Lee TL452-230-TC bullets. If I want shiny lead bullets (I just performed this on my previous 100 rounds). I just take a paper towel and swipe the bullet with it after it comes out of station #5 of my press. It only adds about 5 seconds per round. Since they are truncated cone bullets, the edges are flat and it is easy to wipe off the lube. I use 45/45/10 which dries like a frim wax and not straight Alox.

    My guess is that you are using too much lube. The coating should be a very light brown haze on the bullets and not brown clumps. If you resize and retumble, you can simply use a few drops of oderless minerals spirits to reliquify the Alox instead of another dose of Alox.

    Tumbling the loaded bullets is OK, but you will be beating up the lead even more so as they bump into each other. You can also do a quick wipe with a rag dampened with oderless mineral spirits or isopropyl alcohol.
  6. mcdonl

    mcdonl Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys... it looks like the best bet is the mineral spirits. I will try that tonight.
  7. mdi

    mdi Well-Known Member

    No, the important lube is left on the portion of the bullet inside the case. Even though this is a often argued topic (tumble/don't tumble live ammo) use your common sense and tumble away...
  8. mcdonl

    mcdonl Well-Known Member

    Man, when I look at this picture and realize I was NOT cleaning these at all before shooting I am surprised I made it through as many rounds as I have without problems.

  9. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

    How did you finally clean those? You put the LLA on way too thick. Thin it about 50/50 with mineral spirits. You should barely be able to see it when it's dried.
  10. mcdonl

    mcdonl Well-Known Member

    Mineral Spririts. Now that I have it in my reloading area, I will start to thin the alox.

    Do you think a batch at a time? Or just drip on some alox and then some mineral spirits?
  11. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

    I meant did you use your tumbler or "tumble" them in a towel with thinner?
    If your LLA container is about half empty, and it probably is, just put some thinner in with it and shake well. Even then, a little goes a long way.
    Those look like excellent reloads.
  12. mcdonl

    mcdonl Well-Known Member

    Thanks certaindeaf... I did the towel tumble... I have several molds, and several bottles of alox so I am sure one is half empty!!
  13. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

    Cool. It sure worked good.
  14. rsrocket1

    rsrocket1 Well-Known Member

    The bullet on the right is tumble lubed. It actually has a little more than needed because you can see where the lube pooled in the groove. You only need to get a uniform light tint on the bullet. Any more and you are just adding smoke (which may not be bad if you want to look like you are shooting a black powder civil war pistol) ;)

  15. mcdonl

    mcdonl Well-Known Member

    Thanks for that reference RS.... Yeah, it was smoking but the real problem was with the action and everything around it getting gummed up during matches. Everyone looked at my $500 philipino 1911 and sneered and I kept saying... "It's the lube man....." lol
  16. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

    I've actually taken to labeling my boxes of LLA lubed bullets as it's about impossible to tell if they're lubed or not.
  17. DurangoKid

    DurangoKid Well-Known Member

    It looks like you are using too much Alox. Leading is caused mostly from bullets that are undersized to the forceing cone and bore. Bullets that are too small allows gas cutting of the bullet leaving drops of hot lead to settle in the bore. The lube is used to keep powder and carbon residue soft. Anytime you are using cast bullets it is more important to know your bore to bullet demensions than how much lube you are using.
  18. mcdonl

    mcdonl Well-Known Member

    durango, that is good info. I do use a sizer and have never had any leading. I attributed it to the 5 gallons I use per 1000 bullets :) I guess I should think the sizer and mold manufacturer!
  19. Ledhore

    Ledhore Well-Known Member

    Corn cob and mineral spirits for about 4 minutes works really well for me. Finished rounds are as clean as factory. No barrel leading ever. Walnut doesn't seem to work as well for the aloxed rounds.
  20. mcdonl

    mcdonl Well-Known Member

    Do you mix the corncob with the mineral spirits?

Share This Page