Bullet lube recommendation for black powder guns

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dirtbag
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Bullet lube recommendation for black powder guns

#1 Post by dirtbag »

Hi all,
I currently make my own black powder lube, but thinking it may be the cause of some inaccuracy in my guns.
I currently double boil 50:50 beeswax and tallow. When cooled its quite hard and brittle (looks like a milky bar type texture best way to describe it). I pan lube the bullets, and I also use it for greased cookies.

Results are mixed :
In my 44-40 1873 does well from 100 yards with a big-lube style bullet and pyrodex P. No wild shots, and can be "reasonably" consistent for up to 30 rounds. So happy the lube is doing its job.. I think.

However , In my Tabatiere 17.8mm.... the minie bullet I use has a large lube groove, which I add the same lube. When I fire it with that, I could be more accurate throwing a rugby ball at the target, but shoot the gun without lube in grooves, but instead dip in uderly smooth before chambering and it shoots fine. Tried the lube in my Martini henry with a non PP bullet and that shoots worse, where as before I used undersized bullet and Paper patched, no lube and much better accuracy.

Is my lube causing instability ?

Comments and help appreciated as always !
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Re: Bullet lube recommendation for black powder guns

#2 Post by dromia »

You are overthinking it.

What do you think the lubes "job" is?

Bullet lube isn't needed to lube the bullet. its primary function is to help keep the fouling soft. Its hydraulic properties when under pressure also helps maintain bullet shape through peak pressure and before it is fully supported by the bore.

BP lube should be soft, hard lube is a total waste of time, both in black and smokeless loads.

All you need is a 50/50 mix of bees wax and tallow just melted together, if it is hard and brittle then adjust the mixture, more tallow less beeswax. Tallow (i.e fat) is all you need but it is usually a bit runny so the bees wax is used as a stiffener.

In the 44-40 you bullet is supported better at the beginning of the bullets travel no doubt being over groove size. So doesn't need the same help to keep centred and stopping deformation like the Minie which is usually well undersize.

So you are comparing apples and oranges.

Soft alloy, soft lube and correct bullet fit is the key to lead bullet happiness both with black and smokeless.
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Re: Bullet lube recommendation for black powder guns

#3 Post by dromia »

Udderly Smooth now that is an expensive lube, however its consistency in comparison to your home made lube should be illuminating for you.

Cheap moisturising cream from the £ shop works just as well.
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Re: Bullet lube recommendation for black powder guns

#4 Post by 1066 »

dromia wrote: Sun Nov 14, 2021 6:11 pm Udderly Smooth now that is an expensive lube, however its consistency in comparison to your home made lube should be illuminating for you.

Cheap moisturising cream from the £ shop works just as well.
I've been using something called Almond body butter, fair sized jar from the local discount shop - smells very nice.
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Re: Bullet lube recommendation for black powder guns

#5 Post by dirtbag »

Thanks for the responses which help a lot. I was aware of lube's job of keeping the fouling soft, but was eluding to perhaps the (too hard) lube staying partly in the grooves of the bullet when it leaves the barrel thus making it unbalanced. So it was more at my recipe. I will up the tallow in the mix. How soft are we talking , like wonderlube ?
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Re: Bullet lube recommendation for black powder guns

#6 Post by andrew375 »

For many years my black powder lube for .577 and cartridge has been a mix of beeswax and vaseline, roughly 50/50 by volume. It doesn't go brittle like beeswax and tallow and even after 30 rounds bullets go down the barrel of my 3 band as smoothly as the first. It also makes a good paper patch lube.
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Re: Bullet lube recommendation for black powder guns

#7 Post by Dark Skies »

Until it was all gone I've been using ye olde motorcycle chain lube - the stuff you melted in a tin and dunked the chain in. Dunno if you can still get it. Worked well.
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