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Lubing Rifle Shells

I've reloaded a lot of pistol shells, but since I use carbide dies I haven't needed to lube the shells.

I've only reloaded about 50 rifle shells (300 win mag) and they came out pretty good. The lubing method I used is as follows:

1. Put a small amount of RCBS case lube on a pad, smear it out to a very thin layer.

2. Hand roll 4 shells on the pad to get an even coating on the shell, but not the shoulder or the neck.

3. Press the rim of the shell on the pad to get a small amount of lube on the inside and outside of the rim (where the bullet gets seated).

4. Run through resizing/decapping die.

5. Wipe lube off the shell with a rag. This of course won't get any of the lube that may be inside the shell. It's also a wipe and not a wash, so some lube residue may remain.

6. Proceed with priming/charging/seating.

My main concern and point of confusion is step 5. The more I read, the more I realize that I may not be doing this correctly since some lube residue may remain on the inside and outside of the shell. I've also thought about using the imperial powder stuff for the rim rather than the lube. I realize that for my bolt action I only need to neck size, but I'd like a consistent method to apply that I can use for my semi-auto rifles also.

What is your preferred method for lubing the cases? What's your step-by-step process for lubing and cleaning the shells?

Comments

  • Tailgunner1954Tailgunner1954 Member Posts: 7,815
    edited November -1
    Rim, the part that hits the bolt face.
    Where the bullet goes is the mouth.

    I use either Imperial Sizing Die Wax, or Hornady "Unique" case lube.
    Rub about a 1/2 pea size piece into the palms of your hands, than roll 4-5 cases at a time between your palms (the 1/2 pea piece is big enough to lube 100-150 cases).
    On about 1 in 5 cases, scrape a little lube off your palm into the case mouth. That one case is enough to lube the expander ball for 5-6 cases (outside of the case neck doesn't need any lube).

    If you wan't to stay with the pad lube system you have now, get some powdered graphite (the old "key lock lube" is powdered graphite), dip the case mouth in it, and go.
  • AzAfshinAzAfshin Member Posts: 3,117
    edited November -1
    Thanks for the advice Tailgunner. As a follow-up, how do you clean your cases after resizing?
  • charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 7,348 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I rub a patch on the sizing die wax and then rotate cases against that patch. It doesn't take much on the case. Just ahead of the web in the case, and about every 5th case in the loading block I'll lightly treat most of the case. I keep the patch in the can and seldom need to change it out. After sizing I wipe the case clean with a clean rag. I use the Lee lube in the white and red tube to lube the inside of necks by applying it with a Q-tip.
  • MG1890MG1890 Member Posts: 4,649
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by AzAfshin
    I've reloaded a lot of pistol shells, but since I use carbide dies I haven't needed to lube the shells.

    I've only reloaded about 50 rifle shells (300 win mag) and they came out pretty good. The lubing method I used is as follows:

    1. Put a small amount of RCBS case lube on a pad, smear it out to a very thin layer.

    2. Hand roll 4 shells on the pad to get an even coating on the shell, but not the shoulder or the neck.

    3. Press the rim of the shell on the pad to get a small amount of lube on the inside and outside of the rim (where the bullet gets seated).

    4. Run through resizing/decapping die.

    5. Wipe lube off the shell with a rag. This of course won't get any of the lube that may be inside the shell. It's also a wipe and not a wash, so some lube residue may remain.

    6. Proceed with priming/charging/seating.

    My main concern and point of confusion is step 5. The more I read, the more I realize that I may not be doing this correctly since some lube residue may remain on the inside and outside of the shell. I've also thought about using the imperial powder stuff for the rim rather than the lube. I realize that for my bolt action I only need to neck size, but I'd like a consistent method to apply that I can use for my semi-auto rifles also.

    What is your preferred method for lubing the cases? What's your step-by-step process for lubing and cleaning the shells?



    Lay a rag on your bench. Place your sized cases in a neat row on the rag. When you get 10, give them a tiny squirt of WD40 on the case body. Pick them up one by one and wipe them off with another rag. This has been my method for 35 years, and my Dad's for over 50.

    Everything else you are doing is fine. You should only need to put lube on your pad every 100+ cases or so.
  • Tailgunner1954Tailgunner1954 Member Posts: 7,815
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by AzAfshin
    Thanks for the advice Tailgunner. As a follow-up, how do you clean your cases after resizing?

    With the products I mentioned, you don't need to clean after sizing, but I'll often give them a short ride through the tumbler after sizing (they always get a long ride before sizing).
    Once I've finished loading them, I do give them a final wipe down before boxing.
  • AzAfshinAzAfshin Member Posts: 3,117
    edited November -1
    Thanks everyone. Using your advice I managed to find a couple of YouTube videos and the combination has me all squared away now.
  • buddybbuddyb Member Posts: 3,865 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    About a quarter of a tube of Lee case lube in a 12 spray bottle of rubbing alcohol.Shake well.I lay the cases flat and spray them well on both sides around the case mouth.Let them dry and they are ready to size.I always tumble after sizing.Lee case lube will not degrade powder.
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