Leave lube on cases or take it off?

Leave lube on cases or take it off?

This is a discussion on Leave lube on cases or take it off? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Here's the thing. I've been using my Hornady Lock N Load as a single stage - sort of. Starting with clean cases, the SOP is ...

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  1. #1
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    Leave lube on cases or take it off?

    Here's the thing. I've been using my Hornady Lock N Load as a single stage - sort of. Starting with clean cases, the SOP is to lube, size and decap, and reprime. Then wipe the lube off and continue. For low round counts that's fine, but now that I have a couple of loads developed it's time to go progressive - but there's a problem - when and how to "de-lube".

    A progressive is designed to start with a case and end up with a finished round with every cycle of the handle. So the OP would be, lube, decap and prime, re-prime, load with powder, insert bullet, and seat. You see what's missing - the bullet is now assembled and still has lube on it.

    And up to this point it's fine, but before shooting, some say the lube needs to be removed. Here's the dilemma, if one were to remove the case from the progressive cycle to de-lube it - it simply defeats the purpose of the progressive loader. But if one doesn't de-lube the cases, he will have to the assembled bullet.

    Still, it wouldn't be a problem for low counts, but I'm about to crank out hundreds. I don't want to hand clean every round.

    So I called Hornady. They tell me that several guys at Hornady use Hornady OneShot lube (no petroleum products) and shoot the reloads lube and all are are not seeing any problems.

    The only other alternative I know of is to put a batch of the assembled bullets in a tumbler with corncob media to de-lube it. Some say never do that. So to take advantage of the progressive efficiency, how do you get the lube off - or do you?

    Many thanks guys!
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    VIP Member Array dangerranger's Avatar
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    I lube very lightly, and use a lube that would not interfere with the powder. So I don't remove the lube. The only lubes I would worry about are petroleum based. DR
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    Quote Originally Posted by dangerranger View Post
    I lube very lightly, and use a lube that would not interfere with the powder. So I don't remove the lube. The only lubes I would worry about are petroleum based. DR
    That's true.

    However I'm not concerned about powder contamination, I'm concerned about the claim that the lube doesn't let the case grip the inside of the chamber and purportedly increases the stress on the bolt and case base???
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    I've done a few hundred .30-06 and .30-30 cases on my Hornady progressive. I bit the bullet so to speak and sized the lubed cases in batch mode, trimmed the ones that needed it, then cleaned the brass a second time. For the post-sizing cleaning, I used the lingerie bag in the dishwasher routine to avoid getting tumbling media in the flash hole. Then I just pulled the sizing die out of the press and proceeded to prime, charge, and seat the bullet. Still a time saving over batch-mode for those operations.
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    Distinguished Member Array CavemanBob's Avatar
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    I have a large capacity vibratory tumbler that I use for cleaning the lube off. The amount of time it takes for me to turn out the next 100 rounds is the time I leave the last batch in the tumbler. So far as I can tell, not much difference between using corncob and walnut except that the walnut seems to give a brighter shine. Leaving the lube on attracts dirt and grit.

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    VIP Member Array dangerranger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tangle View Post
    That's true.

    However I'm not concerned about powder contamination, I'm concerned about the claim that the lube doesn't let the case grip the inside of the chamber and purportedly increases the stress on the bolt and case base???
    I would think if that were true I would see the brass stretching, and some scratching on on the sides. I have not. DR
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    Member Array montejames's Avatar
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    Yes, remove it.
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    VIP Member Array Chuck R.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CavemanBob View Post
    I have a large capacity vibratory tumbler that I use for cleaning the lube off. The amount of time it takes for me to turn out the next 100 rounds is the time I leave the last batch in the tumbler. So far as I can tell, not much difference between using corncob and walnut except that the walnut seems to give a brighter shine. Leaving the lube on attracts dirt and grit.
    THis is the approach I take with the .223/7.62 I load on progressives. I just stick the completed rounds in my big Dillon with corncob and get it off. Not just for the dirt, but shooting lubed ammo isn't such a great idea due to possibility of premature ejection in semi's and extra bolt thrust in others:

    https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/20...hamber-is-bad/

    Lubed ammunition lowers the friction between the case and the chamber. Most guns are designed to have some of the pressure being forced back on the bolt by the expanding gases be relieved by the friction between the case and the chamber. Because the case no longer gripped the chamber as much, all of that force was placed on the back of the cartridge and the face of the bolt.
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    To clean the lube off the cases I get a bath towel, dump 150-200 rds on the towel, spray liberally with odorless mineral spirits, grab the ends of the towel and “towel tumble.” Can clean about 1000 rds in 10 mins. Never had a problem.
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    VIP Member Array Havok's Avatar
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    Throw them in the tumbler for a few minutes when you’re done.
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    Ex Member Array CG11's Avatar
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    I would certainly clean the lube off - I don't want anything going in the chamber that will make dirt stick.
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    Distinguished Member Array FLSlim's Avatar
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    When I use Imperial on 5.56/223 brass I tumble it lightly to remove the lube. However, when I use a lanolin/alcohol mixture, I don't as it seems to evaporate without much residue. I've never had any issues with either approach.
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    You know me . . . Old school. I resize and wipe the lube off. I have read enough reports of problems shooting lubed cases that I don't need to deal with that issue. So I "de-lube."

    I can see where, as @Chuck R. mentioned, progressive loaders may wait until the loading is completed, but I still feel case lube should be removed, particularly if running hot loads. And then some lubes will get tacky and/or collect dust and grit, neither of which help anything.
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    Senior Member Array BlackJack's Avatar
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    I have used the Hornady One Shot case lube and not cleaned it off without any issues. It is designed to evaporate.

    However, i decided that I did not want an aerosol, so decided to try the DCL (Dillon Case Lube) in a pump spray. I haven't actually used this one yet because I haven'l reloaded any rifle rounds since getting it, but I understand that the most common approach is to run the completed ammo back through the tumbler after loading. Haven't actually tried it yet so can't give any feedback. However, the Hornady One Shot did work well for me, I just would prefer not to use an aerosol if I can find a good alternative in a pump spray. Not at all interested in any of the lubes that have to rolled on or spread on with your fingers. Honestly, I would have stayed with the One Shot if it was available in a pump spray.
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  16. #15
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    I tumble in corncob after the round is fully assembled.
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