Lubricant ring on cast bullets

This is a discussion on Lubricant ring on cast bullets within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; I've been getting into reloading 45ACP lately, using Red River Bullets 230gr. round nose lead (.452") that I pick up at one of the local ...

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Thread: Lubricant ring on cast bullets

  1. #1
    Member Array tommyj27's Avatar
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    Lubricant ring on cast bullets

    I've been getting into reloading 45ACP lately, using Red River Bullets 230gr. round nose lead (.452") that I pick up at one of the local reloading shops. It's what my father has been using, which has been the beginning and end of my decision-making process. I went to pick up another box of bullets last week and they were sold out, annoying. I happened to be a gun/reloading shop in Rochester over the weekend, and noticed that they have 2k count boxes of 230gr lead (manufacturer name is Black Bullets Intl.) for slightly cheaper. Looking at these bullets, I noticed that they don't have the red lubricant/wax ring as the Red River Lead I'm used to. They appear to be just a chunk of cast lead, straight out of the mold, into the box.

    My question is this, is the lubricant necessary, or will the bare bullets seat and fire just fine? If I picked these up, would I spend an infuriating amount of time lubricating each bullet before loading?

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    Member Array greencobra's Avatar
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    I'm wondering...Do they have a "lube ring" at all around the bullet? I'm no expert but I've cast my fare share of lead pistol bullets and never seen any that wasn't lubed as it sized, even my 230 gr. Rd nose. Does it have a powder looking substance over the bullet? I've seen some cheap .38 wadcutter bullets lubed in this mannner, almost like they were tumbled in it. I think honestly your best bet is to ask at the store.

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    Member Array tommyj27's Avatar
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    The bullets had a channel in the body, presumably for lube, but it was not filled that I could tell (I didn't crack a bag to examine more closely). They looked literally like black chunks of lead. The clerk working Sundays was smart enough to admit that he knew nothing about the reloading stock.

    Perhaps the the right move here is to be patient and wait for my usual bullets to come back in stock, and then buy a spare box.

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    Hmmm... "black chunks of lead"...?

    If they are blackish and not the regular gray color of bare lead, chances are the bullets are moly coated, in which case bullet lube is not necessary or even desirable. I've been reloading moly-coated bullets (.45) exclusively since I started rolling my own a year ago. If nothing else, they shoot with less smoke than regular lubed lead bullets.
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    Member Array tommyj27's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. I was wondering what the difference was, since they are definitely black, unlike any lead I've seen before. A bit more googling yielded another forum thread, here. Looks like these might be more trouble than they're worth. Less smokey would be nice, but I'd rather not wager $225 on this particular experiment, when signs hint at "frustration ahead". I'll ask the reloading store guy (the guy I trust), if he has anything moly-coated.

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    Senior Member Array FLSlim's Avatar
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    BBI is in transition, being sold as I understand. That might explain the lower cost. FWIW, they have been used by competitive shooters quite a bit and I guess a lot of people liked them. You might search Brian Enos forum for more. I use a lot of poly/moly coated lead bullets from Bayou Bullets and have been extremely happy with that product.
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    Yes, lubricant is absolutely necessary, and it's why it is used on cast bullets.
    Shooting them without the lube will lead up your barrel to the point that it takes a long time to get it out.
    More than likely, the bullets you bought were unsized, unlubed, thus the cheaper price.

    To make them work as they should,they need to be run through a lubrisizer. The bullets will vary in size by a couple of thousandths and may not be round. The lubrisizer irons out all the of inconsistency's, makes them the same size and lubricates them at the same time.
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    Senior Member Array jem102's Avatar
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    Is it a shallow "belt" for a taper crimp or an actual lube "groove" which will be much deeper? If they are black they well may be soft swaged with a clear tumble lube on them.
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    Per the link: "Out of the 100 bullets mailed, 80 of them are scrap."

    Oh my word! Did y'all see the photo? Impossible that they can remain in business pushing junk lead, suitable only to be melted and cast into new bullets.
    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

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    Member Array tommyj27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    Oh my word! Did y'all see the photo? Impossible that they can remain in business pushing junk lead, suitable only to be melted and cast into new bullets.
    Perhaps that's why the company is changing ownership.

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    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    The BBI are moly coated lead. No lube needed.
    07/02 FFL/SOT since 2006

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