Does bullet lube effect powder ?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by TexMex247, Jul 10, 2009.

  1. TexMex247

    TexMex247 Well-Known TGT Supporter

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    I was just reloading some berrys 230gr RN bullets for the 45acp when I noticed the obnoxious amount of lube all over them. The first time I reloaded them I didn't think much of it. However, my last time out shootin', they sat in the sun a while and proceeded to melt off all of the excess near the crimp. Does melted lube on the underside effect the powder ? I cleaned off the bases this time just to be certain that none would melt off onto my powder. Anyone have any experience with messy bullets tainting your powder ? Or does it just burn off all the same ? I would like to know if someone has chronied them to check for a difference . :texas:
     


  2. Bullseye Shooter

    Bullseye Shooter Active Member

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    I guess my first question would be how much is "obnoxious"? But to answer your question, lube inside shouldn't be a problem since there couldn't be that much of it.

    When I first started shooting Bullseye back in the 1970s and started loading lead bullets for the .45 ACP, I was told to store them in boxes with the bullets pointed down just in case they did get hot. Back then, lubes weren't quite as good as they are now and they did have a tendency to get soft if left in the sun, etc.

    That advice seems a little over cautious, now that I have been doing this longer. The crimp along the case wall between the inside and the bullet should keep any lube that got soft from leaking down in to the powder.

    Of course, it's not a good idea to leave any ammo out in the hot sun, just because. It's certainly not going to get any hotter than when you pull the trigger on it, but it just seems reasonable to keep it in the shade if possible.

    Having said all that, I did leave some .22 ammo in my gun box in the sun when I was shooting a match in Phoenix. The lube on the .22s got really soft and I experienced some flyers when we were shooting the rapid fire stage of the match. In each string, it seemed like four of the rounds would go where they were supposed to and the fifth would end up in the nine or eight ring. Of course, it may have been me, since it was HOT. And that was with .22 ammo which has a different kind of waxy lube on it compared to what Berry's uses.

    Sorry to be so long on an answer. Hope it helps.
     
  3. MadMo44Mag

    MadMo44Mag TGT Addict

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    On a tapper crimp it is much less likely to be a problem because the narrowest part of the tapper is at the base of the bullet which provides a tight seal.
    Unfortunately on a roll crimp this does not hold as true.
    I have had powder contaminated and have an incomplete burn caused by lube on roll crimped bullets that got to hot.
    On a roll crimp die when the roll is formed there is a very slight distortion that occurs from the rolling process. This can cause less tension on the side of the bullet allowing lube to slide by.
    This happen more often with straight wall pistol cases that are not all of the same length.
    You get one just a little too long than what the crimp die is set at and it will cause this distortion because it over crimps.
    Straight wall brass is pretty forgiving but this is one of the exceptions.
    That's why I trim my straight wall brass every 10 - 15 times shot or at least I check it with a case length gauge and toss the longer cases out for trimming at a later date.
    Over time I have replaced all my dies with taper crimp style, even my 44mag; but if I am shooting anything over 240gr I revert back to my roll crimp dies because over 240gr a tapper crimp die does not hold the bullet tight enough and the recoil can cause set-back.
    Not good when a max load with a heavy bullet suddenly becomes a compressed load!!! Has a tendency to hurt the hands are break parts.
    :2cents:
     
  4. TexMex247

    TexMex247 Well-Known TGT Supporter

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    When I bought these bullets in a bulk pack, they came in a black plastic box. All of the rounds were well lubed within the groove but also had spotty patches of lube all over them(bases, sides, nose, etc.) probably from shipping and handling. I'll post a picture later just to show ya. I like to taper crimp using the Lee Factory die but after listening to Madmo I will probably clean the bases every time from now on even when I crimp em'.
     
  5. MadMo44Mag

    MadMo44Mag TGT Addict

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    Mind you in most cases lube is not a real issue but in the Texas heat it can become an issue if the base is coated in lube.

    Just be sure the base is not covered in lube and use a tapper crimp and all is well.

    It sounds like you got a box of bullets that saw some rough handling or sat in an uncontrolled environment that got hot enough for the lube to get soft and "buttery".

    If you are loading with a fast powder like Bullseye the charge weight / volume is relatively low in the case.
    When the round in chambered the powder is laying out across the brass length. If the base of the bullet is coated in lube as the powder ignites it flashes across the top; the temp rises, the lube melts and runs down at the front of the case and contaminates the powder.

    This is one of the reasons a slowed powder is more forgiving. The case is fuller, the powder does not flash across the top because the flash hole is covered by powder, so the powder burns from the flash hole forward. By then peak PSI inside the brass is being reached and the bullet has started to leave the case.

    This is just one of the reasons most reloading manuals tell you to use a powder with a burn rate and density / volume that best fills the case. Bullet weight also plays a roll.....

    When the flash hole is open and the primer ignites, the powder burns from top to bottom, back to front. This is very uncontrolled and heat builds faster than pressures inside the case.

    With a 230 gr bullet I would be looking at powder burn rate between Win 231 and Alliant Power Pistol.
     
  6. TexMex247

    TexMex247 Well-Known TGT Supporter

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    high volume powder

    I have used unique, AA #5, and HS-6 to load these bullets but can't tell which one performs best. I need to put some rounds through a chrony to check avg. speeds. The unique fills up the case best. I also have bluedot and universal clays but have never put them under this same cast load. I may have to get some 231 and I have been eyeballing powerpistol for a while now. A guy at Mcbride's once told me that I shouldn't try to use every type of powder and bullet combination because I would wear out my gun trying to dial a load in. Stubborn as I am, I will continue to try out numerous loads until I am happy.:fighting0010:
     
  7. MadMo44Mag

    MadMo44Mag TGT Addict

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    I try on average 3 - 5 powders per gun / cartridge.
    Every gun is different and I may have developed a load for say gun "A" that is dead on nuts at all distances. But that same round loaded in gun "B" is all over the paper.
    That's what makes hand loading so great; you can dial a gun and ammo into each other.When you range ammo is as good as your match ammo you have found that magic combination of powder, bullet. charge, ect.....
     
  8. aerod1

    aerod1 New Member

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    TexMex,
    I sometimes lube with the "Lee Liquid Alox". They advertise that it does not harm the powder. Of course I use a very light film.
     

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