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Thread: Lubed up bullets shelf life

  1. #1
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    Lubed up bullets shelf life

    Howdy Skirmishers,

    I've heard some differing opinions as to how long you can keep bullets lubed up before shooting them. I'm currently using Len's lube with great success so far. The teammates that helped me get started have never had a problem letting them sit, lubed up with Len's and ready to drop powder and go, for an entire offseason. But I've also heard that you shouldn't let them sit at all, but that's usually with some sort of Beeswax/Crisco based homebrew. Any science behind it, or just a matter of preference?
    John Westenberger
    Co. B. 1st PA Cav.

  2. #2
    Lou Lou Lou is offline
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    I have always used Len?s Lube. It has a long life. I have used loaded bullets that we?re several years old with no ill effect. One season, no problem
    Lou Lou Lou Ruggiero
    Tammany Regt-42nd NYVI

  3. #3
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    I have mostly shot 50/50 beeswax/crisco, but have also made lube using the period tallow/beeswax recipes.

    I notice that after a month or so the lube definitely starts to dry out. I don't know if it makes a difference in performance or not.

    In period it was noted that the tallow caused corrosion of lead and so the British ultimately phased it out, going to 100% beeswax, sometimes cut with a little mineral oil.

    Steve
    Steve Sheldon
    Commander
    4th Louisiana Delta Rifles
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    NRA Certified Muzzleloading Instructor

  4. #4
    rgsheppard is offline
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    We had used the beeswax-Crisco-EVOO mixture. Because of COVID, lubed musket bullets sat for a year. We used them this year and found the lube had become gummy and difficult to load. Didn't have a problem with the carbine where the lubed end of the bullet is loaded into the case and protected from air.

    Have learned to make musket cartridges in quantity for storage, but not lube them until a week before the attending skirmish.
    R. GARY SHEPPARD
    Team Commandeer

    Co C, 2nd US Sharpshooters


  5. #5
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    Correct me if I'm wrong but for whatever reason I don't believe Len's Lube does this.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rgsheppard View Post
    We had used the beeswax-Crisco-EVOO mixture. Because of COVID, lubed musket bullets sat for a year. We used them this year and found the lube had become gummy and difficult to load. Didn't have a problem with the carbine where the lubed end of the bullet is loaded into the case and protected from air.

    Have learned to make musket cartridges in quantity for storage, but not lube them until a week before the attending skirmish.

    Garry/all,

    Early this year I made the conversion to SPG lube (you can find it via a google search) thanks entirely to the advice of a friend/skirmisher.

    Doing so has been one of the BEST changes I have ever made to my skirmish loads!!! Yes, it is more costly than Crisco-Bees-wax type lube - BUT you get what you pay for. I use a RCBS lubri-sizer, SPG lube sticks and S&S sizing die for my musket & carbine. For me, fouling is absolutely non-existent (you still need properly sized minies!) in my beloved Fayetteville! I literally can shoot her ALL day long and enjoy effortless, smooth loading - the last round is seated home as easily/smoothly as first, all without punching/brushing the bore!!!

    Also - the best part, once rounds are lubed/sized the SPG stays FRESH for extraordinarily long periods, even on the skirts of minies - despite being exposed to air when seated nose down, in tubes. I know of skirmishers shooting minies which were lubed over a year ago without issue. This winter, I plan to load up all of my musket tubes & Maynard/Ballard brass during the winter months for the upcoming year.

    In short, lube does go bad (rancid) over time, with the exception of SPG. Believe it or not, old / bad / stale lube WILL have a direct and adverse impact on your pieces accuracy!

    Hope this helps.
    Semper Fi,
    RDF

    The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor. - Vince Lombardi

  7. #7
    Bob Lintner is offline
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    Smile Lube Shelf Life

    Rob & others,
    I didn't have good luck leaving SPG on sized .58 RCBS Hodgdon sized and lubed loaded pills in plastic cap tubes. It dried out and I had to re-lube them prior to a shoot. I also lubed/sized pills for my .44-40 and they were OK, but they were sealed in cartridges. I left them for a bit over a year and stored them in plastic butter tubs. Freshly lubed and sized pills worked great, easy clean up. I hope you have better luck than I did. I was going to try Lens Lube and some home made lube. Good luck.
    Bob

  8. #8
    PapaRob is offline
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    I have always found that it is better to have your rounds made up and then lube them usually around a week or two or less before a shoot to use. The only exception to this that I generally make is for my Smith rounds but once they are in the tubes the lube is sealed inside so the drying out isn't a factor. I use MCM lube which seems to hold up well for a month or two after being applied.

    Papa Rob

  9. #9
    Jim_Burgess_2078V is offline
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    SPG on Henry & Revolver Bullets

    I use SPG in a lubri-sizer for my .44-40 Henry bullets and the conical bullets used in my percussion revolver. No problem with the lube on my Henry bullets as it is sealed inside the cartridge case and not subject to oxidation. However, I only shoot revolver at the National Matches and, if I have any left over lubed bullets, the lube dries out and the lead is more oxidized/corroded by the time of the next National.

    Jim Burgess, 15th CVI

  10. #10
    Bob Lintner is offline
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    Exclamation Lube

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim_Burgess_2078V View Post
    I use SPG in a lubri-sizer for my .44-40 Henry bullets and the conical bullets used in my percussion revolver. No problem with the lube on my Henry bullets as it is sealed inside the cartridge case and not subject to oxidation. However, I only shoot revolver at the National Matches and, if I have any left over lubed bullets, the lube dries out and the lead is more oxidized/corroded by the time of the next National.

    Jim Burgess, 15th CVI

    Thats the reason I want to try home made lube and Len's Lube.

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