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View Full Version : Attn: Bulletsmiths: Lead core and jacket lubrication



Lynn Gibson
07-12-2015, 10:22 AM
Hello Gents,

I'm going to start making my own BR bullets and am collecting equipment. The last item I need is a tumbler, or at least think I do. From what I have read in great threads here and in other forums, tumbling cores and jackets is the preferred method to apply the lube. Thumler Tumblers (Model B) can be had with a 1550 RPM motor or a 3000 RPM motor.

Has anyone used a 3000 RPM unit and had a problem with consistent lubrication or damage to jacket mouths?

My assumption is the only difference is that the 3000 RPM unit polishes brass in less time, but I would not assume the same would hold true for lubricating cores and jackets, which according to the experts doesn't take long in the first place, so thats not an issue. It would be good to have one unit that does both, if there are no drawbacks.

Bulletmakers, what say ye?

Thanks

Gibson

mark roper
07-12-2015, 11:11 AM
In my experience, all you need is the slow speed. As you said, it only takes 15-20 minutes to lube 1000 cores or jackets. And the speed is slow enough not to cause any damage to jackets.
Also, if you plan to use the tumbler for brass also, I suggest buying a second complete barrel. Even though I put jackets inside a sealed container, inside the barrel, I would not use the barrel that tumbling media has been in. Your dies are too expensive to take a chance of contamination.

Lynn Gibson
07-12-2015, 11:22 AM
Mark,
I had planned on using sealed jars placed inside the barrel for the jacket and core lubing. But you make a pretty good point that I didn't really think about. Thanks

gibson

Dusty Stevens
07-12-2015, 12:18 PM
Use a pickle jar

Lynn Gibson
07-12-2015, 02:56 PM
I have laid in a supply of Jalapeno jars.. Texas thing.

While on the subject of lubing up the cores and jackets I have concluded that experimenting with the lube quantity is necessary, regardless of the concoction being used. Pretty much everything I have read advises very small, measured amounts of the lube. More with steel dies and less with carbide. Keeping notes on type of lube, grains applied, and core and or jacket count in each tumble is important for later reference until one gets the hang of it.

Seems so simple but after weeks of reading everything I can get my hands on, its clear there is a lot of things to learn and nuances to be watchful for, if one expects to make great bullets. Now to find a mentor.

thx
gibson

Fla mac
07-12-2015, 06:27 PM
951turbo,
I lube my lead before cutting my cores, when I swage my cores they already have lube on them. As far as the jackets I put them in a pickle jar with my lube and tumble them. The amount of lube will depend on the type of dies you are using (steel more lube than carbide).

john
Mims, Fl.

Al Nyhus
07-13-2015, 07:58 AM
Pickle jars work great for cores and jackets. Clean thoroughly with acetone after each use.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v467/tenxal/2-2.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/tenxal/media/2-2.jpg.html)

This Thumbler's Tumbler works great as it has a hexagon shaped rubber barrel to keep the jar moving.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v467/tenxal/3-3.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/tenxal/media/3-3.jpg.html)

Lynn Gibson
07-13-2015, 09:51 AM
Thanks everyone.

John what is your method for applying lube and what kind of lube , prior to cutting?

Al, thanks for the suggestion and pictures. Btw, I read your bullet making thread and it was great and very helpful. Thanks for taking the time to document your procedure in such great detail. Will a 1 gallon jar fit inside the drum of your A-R12? Or do you use 1/2 gal or quart size jars?

Thx
gibson

Wilbur
07-13-2015, 12:55 PM
Hardly as nice as what's shown but a used cheapo ice cream freezer does the very same thing. Buy them where you find them and be sure to put jackets in a glass jar....inside the freezer can. Otherwise you'll have a bunch of bullet jackets coated nicely grey. Set the freezer at an angle and jam a paper towel in there to keep the jar rotating.

CharlieH
07-13-2015, 04:33 PM
Hardly as nice as what's shown but a used cheapo ice cream freezer does the very same thing. Buy them where you find them and be sure to put jackets in a glass jar....inside the freezer can. Otherwise you'll have a bunch of bullet jackets coated nicely grey. Set the freezer at an angle and jam a paper towel in there to keep the jar rotating.

Wibur, A couple of web sites I visit have a way give "likes" to a members post, for instance you'd get a "like" from me on that post. I think it makes people think more carefully as to what they post, because they keep a running tally as to the number of posts and the number of likes. FWIW
Charlie

Fla mac
07-13-2015, 05:26 PM
951turbo
I cut pieces of lead about 12 to 16 in length, (length can very with weight of bullets being made). I roll the lead between two pieces of wood with very little pressure as to not deform the lead. After the lead is straight I put on a latex glove and lube by hand using a 50% anhydrous lanolin and 50% castor oil by weight lube. Put on enough to size your cores but not enough to deform them.

john
Mims, Fl.