Lucky that I'm stubborn.

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by BillR, May 7, 2010.

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  1. BillR

    BillR Well-Known Member

    Feb 28, 2002
    I was off yesterday after a 8 day stretch and had my mind back in order after my last little episode with trying to resize LC .308 brass that was fired in a machine gun. I have damaged a goodly portion of my reloading equipment during this time in trying to resize the brass. Stuck more cases than I want to admit and used more different types of sizing lube trying to get this stopped. Most people would of stopped long before this and just thrown the brass away.
    At this point I need to stop and thank one of you for mentioning something when I said I could not find an immediate source for Imperial sizing die wax. They said try Mink Oil which stuck in my mind and I kept thinking of it as I had exhausted the types of sizing lube at the store and had either borrowed or bought every type they had and really wanted to try the Imperial sizing wax but they had none.
    Well yesterday I was off and thought "I'm going to try it one more time as I hate to through anything away. So back to the bench and give it another go. Who knows, Maybe if I can save 350 or so of the roughly 700 cases I will still come out with something. So I very carefully lube up a case and drop the lever until I can just start to feel the case stick and then pull back up and re lube the case and start again. I had found that If I took it slow and careful I could resize a case in 6 strokes. Kind of a mindless task. Stroke and Lube, Stroke and Lube. Well while I'm doing this I start thinking of the last post and of someone mentioning Mink Oil. Well I have done about 10 cases and getting tired of this process and after so long I loose it and drop the lever too hard and stick another case. So I thought what the heck, I haven't tried it yet and remember I had seen a tub of Mink Oil someplace I went to look for it. Well I finally found it and headed for the bench. Opened up the tub and thought OH Crap. This was a tub of patch lube I had made up for lubing the patches for my ML. It contained Mink Oil, Bee's Wax and a few other things that I had added to raise the flash point so it did not burn my patch's with heavy loads.
    Well it was the only thing close to Mink Oil I had and it was at least 1/3 Mink oil. :) so what the heck I might as well give it a try.
    I lubed up the first case by getting some on my fingers and then rubbing it on the case. Put the case in the press and slowly pressed down on the lever and What the Heck?? the case went smoothly into the die and resized the complete case with one stroke non stop. I thought that can't be! I looked at the case to make sure I hadn't grabbed one of the commercial cases by mistake and Nope, its a LC case. I then thought well maybe its one of the cases I had already done and I grabbed it by mistake. So I take another case and lube it up. Again the lever goes down smoothly and no sticking. I take another case and inspect it closely to make sure it had not been resized and nope it hadn't. I lube it up and again it goes in smoothly and completely re sizes the case with very little effort as compared to what it had been taking by a bunch. It even was less than what I get when I do commercial cases. I then start inspecting case that I had resized with this stuff and found no oil dents or anything else I have found with some of the other concoctions I have tried like Vaseline, STP, and some commercial lubes. There was none.
    Up to this time I had been resizing with the decaping stem out as I had tried it once and destroyed the capping stem when it stuck in the case and the case stuck in the die. I had to buy another set of dies and bought a cheap Lee die. I put the decaping pin in and adjusted it correctly and also put some lube on it just to make sure. I lubed up another case and gritted my teeth and lowered the lever. Danged if it didn't just resize and DE-cap the case slick as a whistle and easier than a commercial case usually does. In the next hour and a half I resized and de-caped 350 cases without a single problem other than having to dump out the primers from the primer catcher which really sucks on my RCBS press.
    Out of the original 680 LC cases I now have 550 cases that are all resized and IF I had used this from the beginning I would of had 680 and spent a lot less money. I called up my buddy to tell him about it and he said good. I have more and won't throw it away and will split it with you. Seems he had a lot more cases and he had given up on it and thought maybe I could figure it out. Well I did and now he is getting me more brass and is going to try to mix up some of this patch lube and try it and see how it works for him.
    I'm not sure exactly what makes this lube work and I have to find my original recipe for it to do some research but its my guess its the bee's wax mixed with mink oil that's doing it. And if any of you are resizing LC Machine gun brass find some bee's wax and mix it about half and half with mink oil and give it a go. This stuff is slick.
  2. winmag

    winmag Well-Known Member

    Dec 23, 2009
    CONGRATS!!! Lots better than last time. Not near as funny but Im glad you figured out a way to keep your sanity. It feels good to win doesnt it?!?!!!
  3. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2004

    I have loaded thousands of rounds of Lake City brass (I use 67 through 73)
    and had the same problem in the beginning because all of the military rifles
    have loose chambers so that they will work under all conditions. Hence they
    have to be sized normally in a small base die.

    Anyway what I found that worked the best was the RCBS case lube (The old stuff
    not the new water soluble). This stuff was messy but it worked and had to be cleaned
    off with lacquer thinner before loading.

    None of the other lubes work without problems for me.

    I also like it for forming wildcat cases where you have to move the brass or the shoulder
    around very much.

    I will keep your recipe in the event I can't find the RCBS stuff.

    Thanks for the tip . It's always good to have a backup plan.

  4. Johnboy

    Johnboy Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2009
    hey I am really glade to hear that the mink oil worked for you.just the plan old mink oil shoe polish works great for me.thats why I said to try you keep that mix at hand.then you shouldn't have any more trouble.
  5. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

    Feb 15, 2009
    Sounds like your getting it whopped especially since it sounds like your friend's got more of them. Good luck.
  6. BillR

    BillR Well-Known Member

    Feb 28, 2002
    Thanks for the comments guys. You would not believe how good it felt to finally find something that would work. Like taking a 100 lb hate ball off my shoulders but I had this problem. one of those "I will be damned if I am going to let this whip me things" I knew there had to be some way of doing it. Also none of those water soluble lubes worked. It does work fine with commercial once fired brass. Something I tried along the way was to take a once fired FC .308 case and size it to see if it was the die or the case or the lube and the FC cases sized with just a bit more pressure than what this Mink oil mix did using the LC brass but it did work in what I call the normal range. Take a LC case and try it and if you weren't very careful it stuck.

    I really wasn't trying to be funny with the first post I made under the post of "When is being stubborn too stubborn" but while I was posting I got to laughing at myself about how stubborn I actually was and with the cost of commercial brass I could of probably purchased a bunch of Lapua brass for about the same amount but like my wife says. I seldom take the easy route. When she married me 27 years ago my comment to her was beat me kick me hit me just don't bore me and we will get along fine. She remembers that to this day. But she also says I do take some things to a bit of an extreme at times to keep from being bored or beaten.

    What I really need to do now though is figure out why this mix works so well. What in the mix is actually making it work and combination is doing it. Part of the reason for my doing it is this, as well as this stuff worked it would be absolutely awesome for making wildcat brass with very little effort and none of the oil dents etc. to the brass. It also didn't seem to make any difference how much I put on. I could cake it on and just use the lube on my hands and rub it on the case and it still worked with not much more effort that the caking it on did. If I got too much on it seemed that the die just wiped off the excess. Also where most lube's collect at on the shoulder and cause excessive dents this stuff didn't. Had that happen when I tried Vaseline on the cases. STP didn't do any better. LOL
    The one draw back to it all is the removal of the mix. I haven't tried that yet and I think I can do that by using hot water and dawn dish detergent and then letting it dry and then throw it in the tumbler. It may be a long process but hey what do I have to loose.
    Last edited: May 8, 2010

    GNERGY Guest

    This is what I have been using since 94 when I started working for Loctite
    SPR LUBE 400GR CAN [LOC 82329] - KSCDirect: MRO SuperStore

    I put some on my fingers and swirl the case a little and then resize it. I ran across some 308's one time that were really hard to resize but they never got stuck, now I know why. You have to clean it off with some kind of solvent or alcohol.
  8. sambo3006

    sambo3006 Well-Known Member

    Jul 30, 2004
    Thanks for sharing with us, Bill, glad you came out on top!
    It is always nice to find a new, better alternative to commercially available stuff. Nothing like good old American ingenuity!
  9. Fitch

    Fitch Well-Known Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Well done! You give a whole new meaning to the concept of "persistance".

    When you find the recipie, please post it.

  10. BillR

    BillR Well-Known Member

    Feb 28, 2002
    From what I can tell its a 50/50 mix of bee's wax and mink oil. Has some Ivory bar soap shaved off the bar and mixed in and that is about it. I will say this though. That stuff is slick.
    Yesterday I swedged the primer pockets and I even put some of it on the swedging pin and it made doing that easy. I'm using a RCBS primer pocket swedger. Took about 2 hours to do the 500 and some cases once I got the rod adjusted right.
    I thought that it was going to be a pain to get the stuff off the cases but that was a pretty simple job to do. Wife wasn't home so I put them in the sink and ran it full of hot water and used dawn dish detergent and let them soak a few minutes and agitated the cases by hand a bit and then dumped them in my wife's calender and rinsed them with clean hot water and then shook them around a bit to get the water out and then dumped them on a bath towel and rolled it up around them and shook the heck out of them and the water pretty all came out. I then put them in a metal ammo can and put that over one of the furnace duct's and this morning them seem to be dry so it was a pretty simple job to clean them up. Something I noticed was that the mix seems to clean off most if not all of the carbon left on the case even though I tumbled them prior to resizing them to clean off the dirt there was still some carbon left there.
    So from what I can tell if you have a tough job of resizing some cases this stuff works like a champ.
  11. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

    Feb 16, 2009
    "Wife wasn't home so I put them in the sink and ran it full of hot water and used dawn dish detergent and let them soak a few minutes and agitated the cases by hand a bit and then dumped them in my wife's calender and rinsed them with clean hot water and then shook them around a bit to get the water out and then dumped them on a bath towel and rolled it up around them and shook the heck out of them and the water pretty all came out."


    I hate to tell you this, but that's a dangerous reloading practice right there. Your wife catches you doing this and she'll make a compressed charge of W-W 231 look like a safe load! :D

    Kevin Thomas
    Lapua USA
  12. Natty Bumpo

    Natty Bumpo Well-Known Member

    Jan 4, 2008
    Hmmm . . . sounds like you're having more fun reloading than I do.
  13. BillR

    BillR Well-Known Member

    Feb 28, 2002
    Kevin, no problem. She is a very patient person with me. She pitched in and helped me dry the cases and was even going to let me put the cases into the oven till we figured out that we could shake them back and forth in the towel and get just about all the water off. Didn't plan on reloading them that night anyway and we just put them in an ammo can and set it on the furnace duct to kind of help warm them up and finish drying them. She has a lot of patience with me and my projects.
    LOL Natty where do you have your mind. Get it out of the gutter. :)
  14. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

    Oct 8, 2007
    "bee's wax and mix it about half and half with mink oil and give it a go. This stuff is slick. "

    Mink Oil, Sno-Pruf, Snow Seal, shoe waxes (Kiwi), etc, are all soft waxes. They are basically the same as Imperial and Unique. All adding beeswax to Mink "Oil" does is make it thicker/stiffer, nor slicker.

    Any time a case gets stuck in a sizer it's due to improper lube or improper application, nothing else.