March 7th, 2018

Try Ballistol Lube for Case Sizing, STP for Neck Turning

If you’re using a body die or a full-length sizing die, try using Ballistol (in the aerosol can) as a lube. It works GREAT without the tacky or gooey residue left by most case lubes. It will also clean off carbon residues on the neck as you lube the case. Just spray a little on a cotton patch (or your fingertips) and wipe each case before you run it up into the die. If you are using a steel neck bushing, be sure to wipe the neck as well. You can usually do a half-dozen BR-sized cases before you need to re-apply Ballistol on the patch. Ballistol is non-toxic, bio-degradeable, and will not harm your skin. It is very slippery, but can easily be removed with a rag or paper towel. Try it–you may retire your One-Shot. Ballistol can also be used to protect wood stocks.

Note, for heavy case-forming or necking up case necks, we still recommend a thicker lubricant, such as Imperial Die Wax. But for normal case sizing, after your neck has been expanded, Ballistol will do the job, and you won’t need to tumble the brass afterwards. All you need is a very thin layer of Ballistol, and this easily wipes off with a paper towel.

For Neck-Turning, Try STP Blend or Assembly Lube
For lubing the neck-turning tool mandrel while turning case necks, many folks use a blend of STPĀ® Oil Treatment and Mobil 1 lube. Chuckw2 reports: “Try STP and Mobile 1 Synthetic oil in a 50/50 mixture. Very slick, you will need to tumble your cases after turning.” STP is a very thick lubricant, that flows and clings almost like honey. Jason reports the STP blend comes off easily in an ultra-sound bath, using a bit of detergent. STP is also now available in a convenient 7-ounce tube, so you don’t have to buy a large bottle.

Assembly LubeAnother even cheaper option is assembly lubricant. For turning his case necks, RStreich uses assembly lube from an auto parts store. He notes: “The brand I have is reddish in color and kind of sticky like honey. It’s far better than the Imperial die wax I was using before.” There are a variety of types, both with and without moly additive, and you can select the viscosity you prefer if you sample a few brands. Be sure to clean out any lube residue from the inside of your necks when you have completed your neck-turning.

Permalink Reloading, Tech Tip 6 Comments »
June 15th, 2011

Another Lubrication Option for Neck-Turning

Prolix Xtra-T lubeIf you want to get started with turning case necks, check out our article on Neck Turning Basics, authored by German Salazar. As German explains, one of the keys to achieving a smooth, consistent cut on your case-necks is to use quality lube and lubricate both the inside of the case necks and the neck-turning mandrel. German uses Imperial Die Wax, the old standby. This works very well, as German demonstrates, but we know that many reloaders prefer to use a liquid lube, as they find that it is easier to apply and remove.

Dozens of different liquid neck-turning lubes have been used successfully, including blends of Mobil 1 motor oil and STP, as well as various “secret recipes”. This Editor’s preferred lube for “skim” neck-turning, where only a single light pass is required, is Prolix Xtra-T lube. This is a thick, blue-colored lubricant that contains a bit of paraffin. It is VERY slippery, yet because of the paraffin it stays in place on the mandrel (arbor). It comes in a 1.25 oz. plastic bottle with a handy extended “needle-nose” applicator tip. The long-nosed tip makes it easy to apply lube inside a case neck, or to very precisely add a small drop right ahead of the cutter tip on the neck-turning tool. Xtra-T lube is also a good general purpose lubricant that nicely fills the gap between a grease and a typical oil, and it works well on pistols too. In consistency, Xtra-T lube is similar to molasses. It flows like a thick oil, but it has good adhesion because of the paraffin component in the blend.

I’m not suggesting Xtra-T is the ultimate “miracle” neck-turning lube. There are many other good options. But Xtra-T applies easily, stands up to heat, stays where you put it, and works great as a general-purpose lube as well. You’ll find Prolix Xtra-T lube in many shooting supply stores or you can order directly from www.ProlixLubricant.com. The small bottle with applicator tip costs $6.99.

Permalink Reloading, Tech Tip No Comments »
February 3rd, 2009

Recommended Lubes for Case Sizing and Neck-Turning

If you’re using a body die or a full-length sizing die, try using Ballistol (in the aerosol can) as a lube. It works GREAT without the tacky or gooey residue left by most case lubes. It will also clean off carbon residues on the neck as you lube the case. Just spray a little on a cotton patch (or your fingertips) and wipe each case before you run it up into the die. If you are using a steel neck bushing, be sure to wipe the neck as well. You can usually do a 6-10 BR-sized cases before you need to re-apply Ballistol on the patch. Ballistol is non-toxic, non-petroleum based, and will not harm your skin. It is very slippery, but can easily be removed with a rag or paper towel. Try it–you may retire your One-Shot. Derived from Pine Oil, Ballistol can also be used to protect wood stocks.

Use Heavier Lube for Case-Forming
Note, for heavy case-forming or necking up case necks, we still recommend a thicker lubricant, such as Imperial die wax. But for normal case sizing, after your neck has been expanded, Ballistol will do the job, and you won’t need to tumble the brass afterwards. All you need is a very thin layer of Ballistol, and this easily wipes off with a paper towel.

Neck-Turning Lubes
For lubing the neck-turning tool mandrel while turning case necks, many folks use a blend of STPĀ® Oil Treatment and Mobil 1 lube. Chuckw2 reports: “Try STP and Mobile 1 Synthetic oil in a 50/50 mixture. Very slick, but it sticks so you will need to tumble your cases after turning.” STP is a very thick lubricant, that flows and clings almost like honey. Jason reports the STP blend comes off easily in an ultra-sound bath, using a bit of detergent. STP is also now available in a convenient 7-ounce tube, so you don’t have to buy a large bottle. Another even cheaper option is assembly lubricant. For turning his case necks, RStreich uses assembly lube from an auto parts store. He notes: “The brand I have is reddish in color and kind of sticky like honey. It’s far better than the Imperial die wax I was using before.”

Permalink Reloading, Tech Tip 3 Comments »