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Reloading Berger Bullets


Synthetic 5W-20 as a Case Lube?

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Unread 03-18-2010, 09:22 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Central Maine
Posts: 117
Synthetic 5W-20 as a Case Lube?

Anyone use it? I would assume it's almost impossible to clean from the cases?

Found this online:
The very best case lube for bottle neck rifle brass is 100% synthetic motor oil. Castrol Syntec 5W20 works very well, but other viscosities would probably work well too, as would the full synthetic (not synthetic blends) from other manufacturers such as Mobile-1 or Amsoil.

  1. Pour 1/8" of full synthetic motor oil into the cap.
  2. Dip the case neck, so the oil coats the open end of the case neck approximately 1/8" on the inside and outside of the neck. It's important to lubricate the inside of the case neck so the expander rod won't stick or drag so much that the brass is stretched and work hardened which would soon result in case neck splits.
  3. Use your finger to wipe the oil off the outside of the case neck, which will leave a very thin film on the outer case neck. Wipe that oil down the outside of the brass. Avoid case lube on the shoulder (the angled portion of the brass below the case neck and above the body) because oil on the shoulder can result in hydraulic dents on the shoulder. Hydraulic dents are caused when the resizing die pushes the incompressible oil into the brass. Hydraulic dents will be pushed back out when the round is fired but will result in work hardening the brass and shortening its life.
  4. Resize the brass.
  5. Tumble the brass after resizing to remove the resizing lube and clean inside the primer pocket, prior to reloading.
The advantages of 100% synthetic motor oil:
  • Very inexpensive. $5 per quart for a lifetime supply.
  • Readily available at auto parts stores and automotive sections of department stores.
  • Fast - smaller calibers need lubrication only every 10th case!
  • Easy to use.
  • Not as messy as sprays and sticky waxy lubes.
  • A small amount is needed, so it lasts longer and doesn't gunk up the tumble cleaning media.
  • Extremely effective. Demonstrated repeatedly lubricating only every 20th .223 case! The only lubricant that allowed resizing oversized .50 BMG brass that had been fired in a loose chambered machine gun.
~ If the All-Mighty had intended not to hunt down & shoot wild animals, he wouldn't have made them quite so tasty ~
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Unread 03-18-2010, 09:52 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Blackfoot, Idaho
Posts: 8,871
Re: Synthetic 5W-20 as a Case Lube?

Adding PowerUp NNL-690 would improve whatever is to be used as a lube.

I don't care for dipping the neck, puts lub in same compartment as the powder. Even if it is only every 20th cartridge.

I would also think that if 5-20 is good........0-20 would be better.

With steep shoulder'd wildcats it may difficult to not get it on too heavy.......

Several decades ago I used motor oil w/STP. was slippery but thick.
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Unread 03-19-2010, 07:47 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 301
Re: Synthetic 5W-20 as a Case Lube?

WHY....WHY...WHY would I screw around with motor oil?? I do a few oil changes on my cars, mowers, etc. You don't just "wipe oil off"....you have to wash it with detergent and water or the film stays behind.
I still like the old fashioned rcbs grease pad for nomal reloading...wipes off fine with a wet cloth.
For tough jobs I use imperial sizing wax......wipes off with a wet cloth.
I wouldn't mind a little of either one in my tumbling media.....I don't want motor oil in my tumbling media.
A tin of imperial lasts forever....rcbs lube is cheap......why in the hell would I want to use motor oil? I'm too dumb to get the point.
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Unread 03-19-2010, 08:19 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Reno Nevada
Posts: 1,747
Re: Synthetic 5W-20 as a Case Lube?

Car oil !!!!! I call that Hillbilly hand loading ! I prefer 21st century hand loading practices .
How does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?
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Unread 03-19-2010, 09:34 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,845
Re: Synthetic 5W-20 as a Case Lube?

The Truth Is Not Always Good For Business!!
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Unread 03-19-2010, 09:51 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Mountians of SW NC, near Asheville
Posts: 1,595
Re: Synthetic 5W-20 as a Case Lube?

"Found this online: The very best case lube for bottle neck rifle brass is 100% synthetic motor oil."

I strongly question the value of that source. I've tried most commercal lubes and a lot of subsitutes but haven't tried "synthetic motor oil", doubt I will and certainly never in my case mouths.

Standard motor oils sure don't work very well, no reason to think there's any magic in synthetic and NO such potentially contaminating lube is going to get around my ammo. One of the qualities of good auto lubes is wicking ability and that offers a potential damage to powder and primer. Any such oil tends to cling to fingers pretty well, contaminated fingers and handling primers is a bad idea. Oils are difficult to remove without a solvent, a dry wipe sure won't do it.

The only "sticky" case lubes I've tried were those like STP and lanoline, not the waxes. Waxes - Redding's Imperial and Hornady's Unique - are clean, easy/fast to apply with just finger tips without using a quickly dirted lube pad. It leaves the cases and hands as clean as they need be with just a paper towel, dry wiped. The waxes are harmless to both powder and primers, it works VERY well and it's cheap enough.
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Unread 03-19-2010, 10:09 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: LaPine Or.
Posts: 2,541
Re: Synthetic 5W-20 as a Case Lube?

Maybe if the end of the world was at hand, and Sportsmans wasnt open before the battle.............hehehehe
Ill stay with my Redding wax, Thanks.
"Its not Rocket Surgery.....'

"I have No idea why that cop made me ride in the back seat, when I Clearly called Shotgun!"
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