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How much lube is too much lube? And how do I clean it off the cases?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by zippygaloo, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. zippygaloo

    zippygaloo Oregon Member

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    It seems that the first 5 or so cases I lube end up with a lot of lube on them plus the stuff gets all over the place. How much lube is too much lube? Should I purchase a lube pad? And how do I effectively clean it off the cases? Also, do you put lubed cases in your loading trays?
     
  2. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    In general, the amount of lube on the cases should be just a thin film, if you are using a solid/paste type lube (like imperial sizing wax) the easiest way to apply it is by putting a thin layer on your fingers and then massaging it into the brass. Excessive lube will cause case dents and other defects that while they make the ammo kinda ugly, don't really prevent it from working.

    If you are using a spray type lube, I usually do it in a tray with the cases no deeper than 2-3 cases deep, spray it a few times, roll the tray/bucket around and then spray it once or twice more. I then use a fan, hairdryer, or compressed air to dry the alcohol off quicker. If there is still residual alcohol on the brass it feels like you don't have enough lube, and also causes dents. A case with the alcohol dried off should feel slightly slick, but shouldn't feel oily.

    As for cleaning them off, if you are tumbling, add about a tablespoon of mineral spirits to your tumbling media before putting the cases in. You can also do like I do and wash them with hot soapy water.

    When I'm processing brass I don't worry about the loading blocks, I just have two buckets, one with sized brass, and one with unsized brass. I also make sure I can't knock anything over and spill unsized brass in with the sized brass and vice versa.
     
  3. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    I hate lube pads. They're like "flypaper". They attract everything in the shop from dust, powder granules, to corncob pieces.

    Like AMProducts said just a little dab, rub around fingers, and then just massage the case. If you can just barely feel a little "slick" on the case that's all you need.

    As for "lube dents", I don't have that problem anymore. I don't F/L size with any die that doesn't have a "relief hole" in the shoulder area. Any die without this hole will be subject to trapped lube on the shoulder or a pressure seal that can cause larger dents below the shoulder. I have Lee dies and a .308 Forster Bench Rest die with this hole and with these dies I can smear enough lube on the case that it looks like a piece of buttered bread yet get no dents. Messy, yes, dents, no.

    When I'm loading on my progressive and have to lube a large quantity of cases I use a gallon zip lock bag. Fill about half way with cases, spray a couple of squirts of Dillon Spray Lube (A solution of 1 part liquid lanolin and 4 to 5 parts parts 99 percent isopropyl alcohol for those that want to make it themselves). Tumble the cases in the bag until the lube is distributed and then pour out into a tray to dry for a few minutes. The "mess" is contained in the bag and it can be re-used for several thousand cases if you're careful.
     
  4. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I use a RCBS pad and either RCBS lube or Redding lube. I make 4-5 lines of the lube on the pad pretty thin and then use my figure to smooth it out a little I put about enough cases on the pad to cover 1/2 to 3/4 the surface of the pad and I lay my hand flat on top of the cases rolling them back and forth a half dozen times. Then I put the lubed cases in a plastic tub and repeat. After sizing I put the cases in a 1/2 gallon size tupperware container squirt in some dish soap and a couple sprays of cirtrus kitchen cleaner add about twice the amount of HOT water that would cover the cases and agitate the heck out of it for 30 sec. and then drain and rinse (I use a old kitchen colender) once they are rinsed I place them on a small sheet of aluminum standing on their bases and either put them on the top of the pellet stove for a couple hours or in the household oven for an hour at 150 degrees to dry.
     
  5. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    When you make a basket out of 1/4" wire mesh which perfectly fits the bottom rack of your dishwasher, fill it with brass and run it on the hot cycle:

    Don't tell your wife.

    Just sayin'.

    Joking.... :)
     
  6. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    I think he means after you load them.That's why I looked here,to see what y'all do to clean the loaded brass off.
    Cause now I have ammo that acts like the lube pad and attracts junk that needs to be cleaned off before chambering.
     
  7. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    Doesn't everyone put freshly loaded ammo in the dishwasher? :)
     
    mjbskwim and (deleted member) like this.
  8. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    Re-read the third paragraph of my original post. That tells you how to do it.
     
  9. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    This is kinda what I do for shotgun shells... I run them through the clothes washer with a little bit of powdered laundry detergent and stuffed into some "nylons" bags.
     
  10. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    You are washing them in water...........after they are loaded.....:nuts::noway:
     
  11. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    You shouldn't load ammo with lube on it, it's too easy for lube contamination to deactivate primers.
     
  12. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    You need a new smart-a** detector, LOL. :)

    I recommend the RCBS or the Lee. :)