- March 20, 2017 at 1:10 pm #34173
Ok. Old school guy here. Lyman 450 or dipped and sized in 310 tool sizing chambers. Tired LLA years ago but found it a stinky sticky nasty mess. Pushed it aside and returned to my press. However, yeah there’s always a however. … so I got a mould in a trade a while back. A Lyman 358665 that drops right at, and just barely mind you, at .358″ with my current alloy. It skips and does poorly in a .358″ sizing die and lubes fair, but too much oozes out onto the base and such. So I tried LLA and shot them unsized. Over 5.2gr of AA#5 with a single TL slightly thinned with mineral spirits they shot well, and best of all was zero leading. But I have that dipping mentality as when I dumped em out onto the waxed paper I set each and every round up on it’s base to dry. Too much over thinking?
So what’s the best and most efficient method for using LLA in the real world? And please, I’m not going on a home improvement shopping thing looking for some long discontinued liquid floor wax to make some concoction. Just the best method for the original stuff ok? Thinned? Set em all upright? Leave em scattered? Air dried? Hair dryer to speed things up? What?
- March 20, 2017 at 2:38 pm #34174
You’re over thinking it.
Tumble em. Dump em. Load em. Shoot em.
If you can see the lube on dryed bullets you used too much. You’d be surprised how little you can get away with.
I would try Glenn’s 45-45-10 if you haven’t.
- March 20, 2017 at 5:27 pm #34180Larry GibsonParticipant
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I use LLA straight out of the bottle as per the directions on the bottle, that is in Lee’s book and with the sizer kit. I soak LLA in a bowl of hot water for 10 +/- minutes prior to use (that’s in the directions) and LLA is nice and runny and easy to use. Those who find it a gooey sticky mess, just like I did the 1st couple times, use way too much. Just a few drops in a plastic peanut butter jar, put the bullets it, put lid on and tumble a bit. All that is needed is a very light coat. I dump them out on a sheet of wax paper and sometimes stand on end. Let them dry completely over night or use a hair dryer but make sure they are dry. Size them. Then put another light coat on them.
With some bullets I hold the nose, dab my trigger finger of other hand in the LLA and put a layer of LLA around the drive band/lube groove part of the bullet and then stand the bullet on the wax paper to dry. When dry I size them and then apply another coat of LLA to the sized part, set on the wax paper and again let them dry completely before loading. That keeps the noses free of lube.
With commercial cast bullet having a hard wax lube on them that lead badly because the lube used sucks I will TL them with a light coat of LLA and dump them onto the wax paper, spread them out and let them dry completely before loading. I seldom get any leading with those and if any it brushes right out.
I also have been given a few bottles of LLA that the lube has coagulated in. I soak those in a bowl of hot water and then add about 30% mineral sprits and mix it real well. It then is just about like a new bottle of LLA.
I’ve read more problems many have with leading from those on CBF who are using 45-45-10. Mostly it is those who mix their own. While actual 45-45-10 may seem simple enough to make and use when you throw the inexperienced person in the mix it gets fouled up. I always recommend to use straight LLA as per the instructions. I always get poo-poohed by the “experts”. However, I’ve received numerous PMs from those having the problem who did what I suggested and found it worked perfectly! Amazing what can happen if one only reads the directions and uses a product as intended. But then the “experts” on CBF always think they can make anything better……..I’m also amazed at the PMs that say they don’t want to post on the forums because the “experts” would poo-pooh them…….amazing what bullies always seem to get away with…….
Bottom line is…..at the end of the day……LLA works quite well when used as directed (a thin application, let completely dry). With TL bullets (I use 6 different Lee TL bullets and a coup GB moulds with TL lube grooves) I also always size them and use a 2nd coat of LLA. Lee says to do that “if necessary” but I’ve found the sized TL bullets always are more accurate.
My experience with those who mess up with LLA is they use too much and don’t let it dry completely. Use way to much and it won’t dry complete for a long time and is a gooey sticky mess. Those who have problems with 45-45-10 most often mess up the formula or apply too little and don’t wait for it to dry before loading.
- March 20, 2017 at 5:52 pm #34182
Larry you’re 100% correct, but for those that mess up the recipe, Glenn sells it pre mixed.
That said, the reason I switched to 45-45-10 was not because the original recipe was bad, or I had problems with it, or because I didn’t follow the destructions, but because I found that when loading 600+ at a time on a Dillon 550, the lube would build up in the seating die after a few sessions, and mess with my seating depth/crimp. The 45-45-10 was just that much thinner, and I never had any problems with it. Also, I tested it in Moly’s “if you think so, try this” thread, to 1800FPS and it still held up and did a good job. If Glenn didn’t sell the stuff, I’d probably go back to straight LLA, thin it out with MS and dip the butts of my bullets. I’m easy either way. The stuff works great when not used with excessive amounts. I see fellas intentionally building up the lube with LLA till it fills the grooves and I just shake my head. They must not realize that a lube sizer is easier and quicker than that.
As it is, I don’t use the stuff unless it’s on plain base pistol bullets. Gas checked bullets get good old fashioned grease in the groove and it’s really hard to beat.
- March 20, 2017 at 11:13 pm #34184
Thanks guys. I figured I was over thinking this a bit. And I normally never use the stuff as I’ve a perfectly fine old Lyman 450 but, those 358665 cast just a teensy bit small. My many other moulds cast much larger and exit the sized at .3585″ and work great. Just this one mould casts just barely .358″ or just a hair under. So I thought LLA would do the trick. Just never used it seriously in the past and the bottle I have dates back to 1990 or earlier. Sure needed thinning out that’s for sure! And I was rolling them around according to the instructions and kept it very thin. I just went with what I knew about standing them up like when I’d dip in hot waxes like when I use my 310 sizing chamber.
So I suppose I was doing it right, but being a little to anal about the setting them up and such. Sure gets your hands covered with mule snot that way!
Again, thanks for the response. And Larry, I’m glad we don’t have those little smartypants sphincter boys here. They can stay where they are and we’ll be just fine here. I’ll refrain from voicing my full opinion of them as I believe we here at this forum are really above the mentality they possess.
- June 11, 2017 at 10:06 am #45035
Some time has passed since I began to use the TL style lube method with LLA. Enjoying great success with the 38Spl and Lyman 358665’s. So I tried my hand at the .44mag loaded light with the 200gr RNFP Lee bullet. The bullet is exactly .429″ when cast. The bore is .429″ as well on the EAA Bounty Hunter SAA 44mag. Rifling is cut with great precision and the pistol is remarkably accurate. Thus I had high expectations for this attempt with LLA. However, it was a failure in that the first two inches of the barrel was badly leaded with just 10 rounds. The load was 6gr of Red Dot and that’s far from a hot load.
Normally I used to shun Lee moulds and refused to use them, but the new ones are not bad and I actually like them. The 200gr RNFP Lee mould in .429″ casts a great looking bullet but sadly it has never done well in actual use. I had high hopes for the LLA treatment of it but that has not been a good experience. So I’m scrapping the LLA treatment with the 44 and returned to plated copper bullets in it.
I just got a beautiful 45Colt that shoots well with ACME Bullet Co’s 200gr RNFP and I just got a Lee 200gr RNFP mould in .452″ for it. Still waiting on the cure time but they dropped at .454″ and weigh in at 212gr. These will be conventionally sized and lubed in the 450 rig and loaded with a moderate dose of Unique. I see no reason to beat the gun up with heavy loads and shorten case life. Thus I don’t load heavy with any of my weapons. Depending on how well the 200gr RNFP performs will determine if I get the 250gr RNFP mould Lee offers. The 200gr print low of course and the 250gr will no doubt print more to point of aim. But first we’ll see how it goes with the 200gr.
Guess my initial success with LLA in the .38Spl and the 358665’s made me overconfident. Lessons learned. I’m now much more cautious in my approach.
- August 23, 2017 at 7:26 pm #46751chutesnreloadsParticipant
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For those who like to warm the bullets and/or LLA….here’s a trick I use.Place the tub with bullets and bottle of LLA (I like to add mineral spirits too)on the dash of the truck out in the sun for a little while.Doesn’t take long and seems to really thin out the lube…..just a few drops will do.This works even in winter on most sunny days here in Tx.
- August 24, 2017 at 6:51 am #46753GhostHawkParticipant
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Butch fit is king. Those are just not big enough.
Alox is great, but it does not do miracles.
You might try “bumping” them up a little.
Got an old drill press around? I did mine with a table top model.
Drilled the right size hole in a block of HDPE 2 plastic. Then reversed the drill, drop a bullet into the block, then lower the butt of the drill bit onto it, give it a squeeze.
I use a piece of steel below the block to keep the bullet in place for the squeeze, then pivot it out of the way to push the bullet out.
I took .310 150 grain pointed bullets and turned them into .320 flat points for my Mod 94. Sized back to .312 lubed and loaded.
Just one possible way of many to get a bigger bullet.
- August 24, 2017 at 9:14 am #46756
Ghost Hawk is correct. It’s the #1 piece of advice that I’ve given to hundreds of cast bullet shooters, and the first thing I address when a new mold comes in the shop: Is the bullet .002 larger than groove diameter or is it not?
It’s a simple question that determines whether I use that mold or not. I have a Lee 6 cavity mold that I bought in hopes of making 180 grain bullets for my 10mm, but the first run with that mold produced bullets that measure .401 exactly, and the 1076 has a groove diameter of .403. Since the bullets are .004 too small to prevent leading, the mold was shelved, and the bullet melted back down without a single one being fired.
Just aint worth my time. I’ve seen the result too often to even get bummed out about it, and I’m not going to sit here and hope I wont get leading. It’s not a possibility, it’s a physical certainty. Now I am going to powder coat a few and see if that boosts the diameter enough to be used, but I’m not holding my breath. I just don’t have any use for undersized molds.
- August 24, 2017 at 9:17 am #46757
That sounds like a good bit of extra work to get a bullet in the right size. I was thinking about less work to achieve the desired results.
The 200gr RNFP in the 45Colt casts and sized well. No issues with it at all. That spurred the purchase of the longer 255gr. Both bullets are very accurate and cast well over size for conventional sizing and lube in a Lyman 450. The 200gr is fine. The 255gr however, has two very small lube grooves. It fails miserably by leading up the bore. Lee’s bullets are a hit and miss proposition with their design. Many have small lube grooves and personally, that is a flaw they should correct, but I know they won’t.
The use of LLA has been an interesting experience. I will continue to use it with loading round ball in cases for light play rounds, but if I cast anymore in the future I’ll use conventional means in a sizing tool.
- September 10, 2017 at 8:45 pm #47017kensParticipant
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I am one of the guys that you refer to as using too much, it was a sticky gooey mess. I gave up on it.
Now I’m thinking, what about a case lube pad, and just use LLA to roll your bullets on the pad, an throw them in a bucket??
- September 11, 2017 at 6:19 am #47020GhostHawkParticipant
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Just count drops Ken. Unless you have a container holding a thousand rounds, never more than 1/4 as many drops as bullets.
But, caliber, weight, length of bullet does matter.
Takes a lot less to lube 100 .224 55 gr Bator bullets than it does 100 3-400 grain bullets for the .45lc.
Key is to add a few drops, swirl to distribute evenly. As soon as you see a color change you are done. And I mean its slight. Does not take much.
- September 11, 2017 at 8:05 am #47023
Well, I’ve had enough of the LLA wonderment to last. Between the long dry time, sticky cases from the lube migrating all over them, and further, I’ll stick with conventional lubrication.
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