Bullet Lube

I've read magazine tests which have set out to prove that there is a difference in accuracy from one lube to the other, although I'm not sure how much stock I place in the theory. According to many old timers, there is nothing on the market that can beat liquid ALOX for its properties as a bullet lube. I've seen & felt some ALOX lubed bullets and, frankly, I don't care how well ALOX lubricates. I don't want to work with it! The lube stiffens somewhat after application but turns "plastic" at just better than room temperature and, in time, flows to the bottom of the container of bullets leaving a real mess to sort thru, and OH, THE SMELL!

I use a bullet lube which is neither the most nor the least expensive, but to me, it's the best!. It flows consistently thru my lube/sizer machines and is free from debris or contaminants which could clog the system. As a reloader I appreciate the fact that it stays in the lube band of the bullet, and doesn't overly "stickify" my fingers during handling.

Lead, as a manufacturing material, has value in that it possesses a property called lubricity. That is, it has a low coefficient of friction, hence its use in bearing alloys (babbit) and certain brass alloys for ease of machining. With only moderate additional lubrication, the abrasion between the bullet/bore can be reduced to unmeasurable quantities and bore wear reduced to absolutely zero. I've read that barrels thru which only lead bullets pass have an infinite barrel life.

How much bullet lube is required for this?

It's been said that there's 10 times the amount of lube necessary on every bullet and I would have to agree with this. Next time you're at an outdoor range, root around in the dirt at the base of the backstop and find a bullet that was shot long ago. Scratch the dried mud away from the lube band and you'll most likely find that nearly all of the lube is still there unless it was knocked out by another bullet. I conclude that only a small fraction of the applied lube actually melts as the bullet travels down the bore and the rest is simply along for the ride. The scant residue of melted lube, left clinging to the bore is, I believe, what serves to lubricate the bore for the following bullet .

Here in my shop, I try to make sure that every bullet has its lube band completely filled, even tho from a lubrication standpoint, I don't believe it's absolutely necessary. At the very least, having more lube on one side of the bullet than the other could cause some eccentricity to the bullet in flight (remember, it doesn't totally melt away). My production line was custom designed, by me, to allow an excellent, brightly lit view of the rolling finished bullets as they emerge. My eye has become well trained to spot "the oddball" unlubed bullet and I make every effort in this area just because I know it's very important to some reloaders. Sure, a bullet or two will escape without lube every now & then, but my percentage is very commendable if you ask my customers.

When I go to gun shows and have the opportunity to inspect other brands of bullets, I do what I call a "random sampling". I close my eyes and pick a bullet out of the box with deliberate randomness. I then inspect that bullet on several different criteria and judge this to be a fair representation of the whole lot. I've never failed to impress myself when comparing my bullets to others!

Why is the bullet lube sometimes milky white in appearance?

This is caused by a small amount of air being trapped in the chamber of the lube/sizer that injects the lube into the lube band of the bullet. The lube is heated to a point where it is very plastic, nearly liquid and any presence of air causes the lube to become "atomized" when it passes thru the injection port. In other words, it makes a feeble attempt to "spray" rather than to "flow".

I have always questioned whether this could possibly cause much of an accuracy decrease and so gave a goodly lot of them to my most qualified competition-active customer to experiment with. After testing them, he reported that there was virtually NO noticeable difference in the bullet performance when having lube in this condition. This phenomenon happens rarely in my shop, but as a customer, you have a right to question the issue. If you happen to get a small bunch of these in your shipment, I would appreciate further feedback.

Do you really count out 1000 bullets and then box them?

Heavens NO! It is much more cost effective for me to use a counting scale to weight out 1000 bullets based on proportion. I put bullets, so many each, into the proportioning trays on the scale and fill the main tray with bullets till the balance indicator says to stop. When it balances, I have 1000 bullets! To account for possible error, I throw in a palmful of extra bullets. This is cheaper in the long run than taking time to count 1000 bullets individually. If I'm having a good day and the operation is running very smoothly, I stop at a palmful of extras. If I'm experiencing bugs in production, I throw in a small handful of extras to the point where I feel you are sure to get what you, the customer, have paid for - 1000 good bullets per box. If, by some chance you still feel slighted, a phone call or E-Mail will get you satisfied. I DO believe in the Dillon Precision "No B.S. Guarantee"! If a customer is fair with me, I will make it a point to be more than fair with him. That's only good business.

How do you do it so CHEAP?

"Cheap" is a word I'd rather not use as it does not shed good light on an otherwise great product. "Cheap" implies "shoddy" and my bullets are anything but "shoddy". I am well aware of the expenses involved in production casting of lead bullets and believe me, I'm not giving bullets away! Profit is NOT a dirty word. If I make no profit, there's no business.

I believe there are those out there who would support the statement "You get what you pay for..." , and with many things, this is MY philosophy too. Counter to this is a marketing principle called "snob appeal" which says that if you spend a lot of money on something, you'll feel like your getting something of better quality. This is why Cadillacs and Jordache jeans cost a disproportionate arm and a leg. If it would make you feel better and you want to pay me more for bullets than what I charge, please feel free to do so! All I can tell you is that once you try some of my bullets, you will be pleasantly surprised to find that they are constructed well, will perform on par with anything else on the market, have a righteous price tag, and are indeed inexpensive, not cheap!

If you, as a manufacturer, "cut corners" to save on production costs, how will you do so?

As in any production situation, cutting costs to pass the savings on to the customer is, I believe, also good business practice. There are a zillion ways to cut costs by cutting corners. I prefer to cut my costs (and corners) in ways that don't affect the quality of my product. I have my operation arranged so that as bullets pass from phase to phase, they are extremely inspectable with minimal effort. I use alloy as it comes from the supplier without the extra expense of re-melting it to create a new (unknown, unquantifiable) alloy. I use inexpensive, not-very-fancy, almost generic-looking cartons to box my bullets rather than printed cartons which the customer ultimately pays for and ends up throwing away anyway. These are examples of, I believe, wise cost cutting techniques which my customers seem to appreciate as they receive more for their hard earned dollar.

Conclusion

Looking back, I see I've rambled quite a bit, but I'm happy to have this medium to share opinions with other reloaders and shooting enthusiasts. I hope you appreciate my frankness and my no BS approach to commercial bulletcasting. In the reloading game there IS a lot of BS out there. I'm sure my opinions and philosophies will aggravate some people from other schools of thought and possibly be taken as just some more BS by as many others. If you have good luck shooting my bullets, and I'm so certain you will that I put my name on them, then it doesn't matter.

Thank you for visiting my website, and I hope you will consider R&C Bullets for your next bullet purchase!

.......Ron