Author Topic: Dirty Bullets?  (Read 8333 times)

Offline CountryRootsCityJob

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Dirty Bullets?
« on: October 15, 2009, 02:20:13 PM »
So I just inherited a lot of reloading equipment... everything I need to load some round for my fav. handgun (minus powder, but I bought some)... the only problem is that the bullets I got were dirty   :(  Here they are: http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=610196  They had been sitting around in a barn for probably 25yrs and had acquired a nice layer of dirt and some very small magnesium flakes from a band saw on them (there was some machine shop stuff going on in the barn)...  SO- Do I need to remove all of the lube and try to get them re-lubed... do I even need lube on these things?  How much can I wipe away and still be alright?  Should I forget about them, melt them down and in a few years hope to be able to afford casting equip?  I have primers, I'm just unsure about the bullets...

-Note, I'm not going to give them away  :)  I can see it now... "Yea you don't want to shoot those... what you want to do is send them all to me."  

I'd be willing to trade!

Getting laid off stinks... otherwise, I'd buy more from midway...

Offline vgun

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Re: Dirty Bullets?
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2009, 06:10:56 PM »
Are you using carbide dies? If so you shouldn't need to lube.
I would just wipe them off and load a few and see how they do. I can't see any problem using them but I only use copper plated or FMJ for my loads but for free--I'd try em

Offline cohutt

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Re: Dirty Bullets?
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2009, 07:00:50 PM »
(I believe the lube he's referring to is the bullet lube, not the case lube.)    Yes you definitely must have lube in the groove in those cast bullets.

I'd just wipe down the individual bullets lightly; having a little mineral spirits on the rag will help loosen the flakes and dust stuck to the bullet surfaces.   It will take a minute or two but free is better than paying, right?

You want to leave the lube in the groove alone as much as you can- if you remove too much it might cause leading in you barrel that otherwise wouldn't be there with a fully lubed bullet.   I've loaded some of my own cast bullets that collected a little dust - it is really only cosmetic and has no effect.  The thing that I'm not sure about and therefore would suggest removing are the magnesium flakes.

Offline lzhome

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Re: Dirty Bullets?
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2009, 07:11:25 PM »
I agree with the above--load em up. I haven't seen any bullets this old so I'm wondering if the bullet lube has dried to the point it is falling out of the lube groves? You need to keep this lube in place or you may have to relube them before loading.

Offline cohutt

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Re: Dirty Bullets?
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2009, 07:18:13 PM »
Usually the commercial casters like Oregon Trail use hard lubes, which keep for firkin ever.

Offline Orionblade

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Re: Dirty Bullets?
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2009, 10:13:51 PM »
Maybe if you leave the magnesium flakes that are stuck to the tail of the bullet in place you could wind up with some handgun tracer rounds?

:-p


Offline CountryRootsCityJob

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Re: Dirty Bullets?
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2009, 08:07:00 AM »
Maybe if you leave the magnesium flakes that are stuck to the tail of the bullet in place you could wind up with some handgun tracer rounds?

:-p

Hey, if I get well acquainted with reloading I might have to experiment with that! 

Well I've wiped them down- tried to get most of the magnesium off of them and loaded up about 100rds.  The lube was somewhat hard on some of them and peeled right off, so now I've got about 50 bullets that need lube.  The rest of them seem pretty good to go... but I appreciate the encouragement to load them up anyway  ;D

Now about finding more primers...  (You can see my latest reloading struggle here: http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=10062.0)

Offline Orionblade

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Re: Dirty Bullets?
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2009, 11:21:19 AM »
Try and get some lab grade ethanol. I'm willing to bet it'll help loosen the junk without dissolving the wax. Acetone would lift the wax completely off.

Might be able to, for instance, toss a few dozen boolitz into a tray with some ETOH in it, and swish 'em around.

Use lab grade stuff, it's 99.soemthing % with no water in it, so you don't have to worry about moisture and primers/powder if you "miss a spot". It actually feels ice cold all the time because it evaporates so well.

I have two gallons here, might could send you a pint or so depending on location.

Offline cohutt

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Re: Dirty Bullets?
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2009, 05:13:09 PM »
If you don't want to mess with pan lubing the stripped bullets, roll them in lee liquid alox lube, let them dry then load and fire.  Easy and effective since they are already sized, just sticky.

Offline CountryRootsCityJob

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Re: Dirty Bullets?
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2009, 07:05:55 AM »
If you don't want to mess with pan lubing the stripped bullets, roll them in lee liquid alox lube, let them dry then load and fire.  Easy and effective since they are already sized, just sticky.

So how would that work, load them up and then wipe them off?  My buddies would look at me pretty funny if I started loading up bullets with some sort of crazy goop on them into my magazines!  Also, how would that effect my dies?

As for the ethanol, I think I'll be alright for now... I've loaded up about 100rds now having just wiped the bullets off so we'll see how that goes... Thanks for the offer though!

Offline RipTombstone

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Re: Dirty Bullets?
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2009, 10:23:38 AM »
I use the Alox lube on my 45 acp bullets that I cast. It works pretty well, but yes, it is ugly. Dont worry about the looks tho, they will work fine if you get the magnesium off of them.
I bet if you just wipe them down, then load them without distrubing the existing wax lube, they will be just fine. Wax still melts into lube, even if its old.
What caliber are they btw?
RipT

Offline Orionblade

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Re: Dirty Bullets?
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2009, 10:58:12 AM »
Walking out, but I just thought of this - what about tumbling them in moly?

Offline RipTombstone

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Re: Dirty Bullets?
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2009, 11:47:03 AM »
I dont know if that might damage the bullets themselves. I know guys that will tumble roundballs just to get the sprue rounded off. I cant imagine it would be good on a regular bullet. Possiblity tho, if you just want to load and shoot. It might at least allow the bullets to be used.
RipT

Offline cohutt

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Re: Dirty Bullets?
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2009, 04:21:13 PM »
rolling in a small bit of alox would be a lot less hassle than moly.  Besides, moly has sort of lost it's charm after its heyday a few years back due to the persistent postings of rusting bores....yrmv but I'd go alox. 


a box of freshly coated 200g 45 swcs drying off (i cut with mineral spirits to thin it and add a little johnson past wax if I'm really industrious; less sticky but a little more trouble).



even though i have a couple of bullet sizers/lubers including a Star, i still do these 45s in alox, very accurate in my gun.

Offline Orionblade

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Re: Dirty Bullets?
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2009, 02:59:32 AM »
I'm looking at reloading for plinking, while I'll likely carry a mag of hollow points with me if I carry a 1911, but I was wondering exactly how precise I have to be with all this bullet sizing (apparently you don't swage cast bullets with lube grooves?)  and gas check stuff if all I really want is a fist-sized group at 7-15 yards?

I'm just trying to decide what route to go, either cast bullets, or if I might need to do the whole swaged/jacketed bullet deal if I want to fire 45 ACP from a standard RIA 1911 for plinkage.

I'm totally looking towards the cost end of the equation winning over accuracy.

Thanks for the input ;-)

Offline cohutt

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Re: Dirty Bullets?
« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2009, 04:59:10 AM »
Not sure exactly what you are asking but will say:

The bullets above are cast using a lee 6x mold.  They are "microgroove" or "tumble lube" tl design vs a traditional lube groove design like the Oregon trail bullets mention by the OP.
To reliably feed in my Kimber, which still has a tight throat/chamber even though I have had it reamed out a little, the bullets need to be sized to .451".  For reference, most cast 45s are sized to .452.
Lee makes a cheap sizing die for these bullets that fits in a standard single stage reloading press, costs under $20 shipped.  I use this to size the "TL" bullets for my Kimber.
Accuracy: The Kimber shooting these cast bullets is without a doubt the most accurate gun & load combo I have ever matched up when loaded over 6g of Unique to a 1.21 OAL.
I also have a Lee TL mold for my 44s; these make file plinkers when loaded to 44 special specs.  I don't size these; they are loaded as cast and do just fine since they are for a wheelgun.

The lee TL bullet molds used with Alox lube and the sizing dies (if needed) are the cheapest way to get into casting to see if it is for you.

I still use the TL molds for both 44 and 45 for certain applications even though I have other traditional lube groove molds for both as a couple of not cheap lube/sizers, a RCBS and a Star.

One other item- "Swaging".  I think you were referring to "sizing" a cast bullet to a certain diameter as I have described when you said "swaging".  Swaging is a whole different operation where soft lead wire or rod is forced through a swaging die and cut off to make either soft lead bullets (like Hornady's lead bullets).  When this process is combined with a thin copper outer layer standard full metal jacket bullets are produced.   Swaging uses much more force that most handloaders can muster although there are home swaging presses available.

(I realize this is off the original thread topic but it seemed related enough to post)

Offline RipTombstone

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Re: Dirty Bullets?
« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2009, 07:22:50 AM »
I use the Lee 6 bullet mold as well, but for 200gr flat nose round point bullets. They feed in all my 45s, including my 1943 era 1911.
They are of the traditional lube groove design.
When I first started using them, I would run them thru my Lubrisizer, and give them a traditional lube and size. Now, I tumble lube them, and size them on the little Lee sizing die. Doesnt take very long to size up a couple hundred of them, and they will shoot to POA in my 1911 using a mild load of Clays powder with great results.
So your biggest cost is going to be the mold, which really isnt too badly priced compared to other molds. Then the cheap little sizing die for under 20.00 and a bottle of lube comes with it usually.
RipT

Offline CountryRootsCityJob

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Re: Dirty Bullets?
« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2009, 05:05:41 PM »
Wow... I'm beginning to learn a lot more than I originally expected. 

Quote
What caliber are they btw?
RipT

They are .452 as measured with my calipers... so as somebody posted previously, I should be good on that note.  So, am I allowed to continue the thread hijacking? 

Hmm, well...  I hope I'm not asking too much, but it sounds like to make bullets (which I've helped do for muzzle loaders) the only specialty equipment you'd need for each caliber is:
the mold
and the sizing die... that mounts on the press?
and lube... how does the lube get on the bullets?  Again, I assume you wipe the excess off after everything is assembled so it doesn't crud up the gun?

This is awesome ;D

~CRCJ

Offline RipTombstone

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Re: Dirty Bullets?
« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2009, 06:11:18 PM »
The above pic of the fedex box full of bullets is all there really is to using the Lee Alox lube. Just squirt some in, shake it around, and let it dry. Then run them thru your sizer, and you are done. I suppose you could wipe the bullets off after you load them, but I dont. They shoot just fine with a little brown lube on the nose. Fine enough for my cowboy action shooting and Wild Bunch matches.
Long range applications may want to have a cleaner bullet.
RipT

Offline cohutt

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Re: Dirty Bullets?
« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2009, 08:41:54 PM »
occasionally I stand them up on end to maybe keep some of the lube from drying on the tips.   they don't shoot any different than the goopier ones though




For some other applications traditional lube bullets are better suited; they make for better pictures before you load them too.  ;)






Offline RipTombstone

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Re: Dirty Bullets?
« Reply #20 on: October 21, 2009, 08:46:38 PM »
I definately agree with you that some apps need traditional style lubing. I shoot a LOT of blackpowder cartridge rounds, and the lube grooves must be full of bp compatible lube, or you have all kinds of issues. Tumble lube will not work for that.
I only tumble my 45 auto and 45 Colt/Schofield smokeless rounds.
Nice pics btw!
RipT

Offline CountryRootsCityJob

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Re: Dirty Bullets?
« Reply #21 on: October 22, 2009, 06:36:25 AM »
I only tumble my 45 auto and 45 Colt/Schofield smokeless rounds.
Nice pics btw!
RipT

Okay, so if I'm looking at 45acp, what do you mean by "tumble"?  Are you talking about putting the bullets and lube into a polishing tumbler and turning it on?   ???

Btw Cohutt, I remember seeing those on another post... I think I asked you about gas checks... you said I wouldn't need them :D  Still nice pics though!

Offline RipTombstone

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Re: Dirty Bullets?
« Reply #22 on: October 22, 2009, 08:00:40 AM »
Nope, just dump the bullets in a coffee can, squirt a little Lee Alox lube in, and tumble them around until they are coated. Then pour them into a box to dry. You can set them upright as suggested earlier, or just leave them as I do. I go back and shake them around a little every couple hours to keep them from sticking together as bad. Let them dry for a day or so, and you are good.

This is if you clean your bullets, and remove the existing lube, by the way.
RipT

Offline CountryRootsCityJob

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Re: Dirty Bullets?
« Reply #23 on: December 07, 2009, 08:35:51 AM »
I updated elsewhere, but thought I'd follow up here as well... I wiped the bullets down with a paper towel to get most of the gunk off them and loaded up 100rds.  Yesterday I finally shot them and was very pleased!  No leading and of 100rds, one didn't feed perfectly and there was one stovepipe- I dont know if it was the round or my wife's grip (limp wrist?)- but I'll play it safe and say it was the round  ;D  (I'm learning that its good to assume that your wife isn't the problem!)

However, there were a few rds that got all the lube wiped off, so I might have to try the Alox deal on them... does it matter if there is a ring to hold lube?  I'm assuming it doesn't unless I hear otherwise... sweet!

~CRCJ

Offline RipTombstone

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Re: Dirty Bullets?
« Reply #24 on: December 07, 2009, 08:39:09 AM »
The lube groove doesnt matter. The ones I use Alox on are of the "standard" lube type bullet, I just coat em with alox instead.
Glad its all working out for you!
RipT

Offline cohutt

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Re: Dirty Bullets?
« Reply #25 on: December 07, 2009, 04:38:39 PM »
good to hear they worked.

ditto to what riptombstone said about alox and bullet style too