Testing Bullet Lubes at 3000 fps

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mtngun posted this 24 October 2016

I'm down to my last few globs of the discontinued Rooster HVR lube so I have no choice but to find a new favorite lube.    Previous tests have given me a pretty good idea what will work and what won't, but nonetheless I'm going to conduct even more tests and let the results guide my final choice.

The plan is to shoot ten 10-shot groups with each lube at 3000 fps, without cleaning in between the 100 shots.  Why?   Because "cast bullets at 3000 fps” has a nice ring to it, don't you agree?  

Even 100 shots each may not be enough to prove a statistically significant difference between some lubes, nonetheless "100 shots each" has a nice ring to it. :cool:

The tentative list of lubes to include in the test:

-- HVR as the previous “gold standard" -- LBT Blue (the so-called hard version) -- White Label Carnuba Red -- White Label Commercial 190 degrees -- White Label 2500 (preferred by Larry Gibson for hi-vel use, last I heard)

I may add one or two more lubes to the list, but it's not feasible to test every lube out there unless I win the lottery and retire. :D    Once a new “gold standard” lube is chosen, I can always use it to do a one-on-one comparison with other lubes.

I thought about giving homebrew lubes another whirl.   I've learned a few things since my last attempt at homebrew lube, and I suspect now I could equal HVR without too much difficulty.   However, that could take some time and I never seem to have enough time.   Also, I don't mind paying a few bucks for storebought lube because it's a minor cost compared to what I spend on powder, primers, barrels, etc..   I can always revisit homebrew lube later if the spirit moves me.

It takes the better part of a day to load and shoot 100 shots, allowing the barrel to cool for a minute between each shot and for 10 minutes or so between groups.   At any rate after 100 full throttle shots at the bench I've had enough, so this comparison test may take several weeks or even months, depending on how often Mr. Murphy visits my range.

For today I shot HVR.   This will be the control load, the “gold standard” against which the other lubes will be compared.  I'm hoping one of the other lubes will prove to be at least as good as HVR.  

The test rig and its control load:

-- Remington M700 switchbarrel bench rifle -- Pacnor 6-groove 14” twist 7BR  which I have discussed in another thread -- 34.0 gr. WC845.   It's not my favorite powder but it was sitting on the shelf, and that counts for something. :D -- CCI #450 primers -- 100 gr. GC spitzer -- J.R. brand reclaimed shot oven treated @470F -- nose sized to match the taper of the throat -- final sized 0.284” (the barrel's groove is 0.283") -- seated for 0.015” jam

Today's target.   Group #0 was a warm-up group using wheelweight alloy, while groups #1 - 10 are the “official” groups using reclaimed shot.   This will be the standard that other lubes are expected to at least equal.

I repeat for emphasis -- the barrel was not cleaned between groups!   At the end of the day I pushed one patch through with Ed's Red, and the only reason I did that was to deter corrosion, not because the barrel was dirty.   There was nothing on the patch other than some black carbon.    If the barrel had been fouling we would expect groups to open up as more shots were fired, but that didn't happen.   If anything groups became smaller and more consistent as more shots were fired, indicating a stable barrel condition.   Pacnor makes a good barrel, and HVR is a good lube.

My chrono has no printer so this is as close as I can come to providing tangible proof of the velocities.

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delmarskid1 posted this 24 October 2016

That's just spooky.

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onondaga posted this 24 October 2016

http://www.castbulletassoc.org/view_user.php?id=608>mtngun

My brain caught an unusual dispersion pattern in your targets. It may or may not be relevant to your curiosity. Your hits show an unusually low number of 6 O"Clock hits.

What are your thoughts on that?

Gary

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 24 October 2016

thanks for including mean radius ...i think that is more magnificent than something called * group * size.....mainly because all shots are considered, not just the two worst shots.

after all it is a team effort ...

ken

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RicinYakima posted this 24 October 2016

Thanks, this is going to be fun and informative!

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mtngun posted this 24 October 2016

onondaga wrote: http://www.castbulletassoc.org/view_user.php?id=608>mtngun

My brain caught an unusual dispersion pattern in your targets. It may or may not be relevant to your curiosity. Your hits show an unusually low number of 6 O"Clock hits.

What are your thoughts on that?

Gary Well Gary, I was more worried about the 12 o'clock fliers in groups #0, 1, 3, and 5. 

To complicate matters, for the first several groups I was making scope adjustments between groups -- for example, I made an adjustment prior to group #3, and it's first shot was the nasty 12 o'clock flier.    I was tempted to disregard that flier as related to the scope adjustment, but felt that would be cheating.    As you know, sometimes it take one or two shots for the POI to stabilize after making a scope adjustment.

Barrel harmonics is always a possibility, but that's beyond the scope of this test.

Trigger pull, wind, and mirage could explain the horizontal tendency of group #8.   There was a 10 - 20 mph wind quartering across the range, and some modest mirage that I am not very good at doping.   You wouldn't think a 2 oz trigger pull could shift the POI on a 16 pound rifle, but it can.    

The first time you use a 2 oz trigger it seems too light to control.   Then after you get used to it, it feels like 4 pounds, and you wish you could make it lighter. :D

Sometimes I observe a horizontal or diagonal pattern but it's the vertical fliers that seem to do the most damage.   

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R. Dupraz posted this 24 October 2016

I didn't see any unusual 6:00 pattern, but did notice the vertical and horizontal spread.

"Sometimes I observe a horizontal or diagonal pattern but it's the vertical fliers that seem to do the most damage."

Great information and groups. Keep it coming.

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oscarflytyer posted this 25 October 2016

following!

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beltfed posted this 25 October 2016

style="background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"MTN gun, style="background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"I like the technical work you are doing. style="background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"One thing, I could not help bu notice the style="background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"circumferential scratches/almost could call style="background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"them grooves in that 7BR ctg brass. style="background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"I realize this is a scaled up PIC, but the style="background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"apparent brass condition “looks almost scary” to me style="background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"??? style="background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"beltfed/arnie

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onondaga posted this 25 October 2016

http://www.castbulletassoc.org/view_user.php?id=1981>beltfed

You speak in code, is it intentional?

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onondaga posted this 25 October 2016

http://www.castbulletassoc.org/view_user.php?id=608>mtngun, you said,

"Well Gary, I was more worried about the 12 o'clock fliers in groups #0, 1, 3, and 5."

12 o'clock fliers are a lot more predictable than a lack of 6 o'clock hits.  I have seen this pattern in my own shooting when practicing already developed loads. I believe it is shooter related and the cause is not completely settling into bench form because of a mental wandering caused by wind doping intensity.

I have been there and recognize the pattern as one that gets me to take a break from the bench. Groups with that pattern aren't fliers, they reflect the condition of the shooter. I discard the set when that happens to me because they are not a reliable and repeated condition for a developed load. Some would call it having a bad day. It is not representative of the many targets you have previously posted.

Respectfully, A theory of mine might be helpful. I place a relative importance to trigger pull hand and see my own errors in an order: Lateral dispersion is invariably caused by my trigger hand grip and is noticed most when a difference in vertical dispersion begins and vertical dispersion is a variable that is more commonly up than down for me. So the result is that I get left/right dispersion and diagonal dispersion with a lack of 6 o'clock hits and walk away from the bench because it is me seeing what I'm doing and showing me I need a break.

Gary

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mtngun posted this 25 October 2016

Beltfeed:    you have a sharp eye.    Yes, the cases have scars.   If you read my 7BR thread elsewhere on this forum, I believe it mentions that the original chamber had gouges.   That is what caused the scarred cases.    I set back the barrel enough to clean up the original chamber and the problem is gone ..... but the scars on the cases remain.   

Gary:  agree that human error is always a factor, but how do we eliminate it short of using a rail gun?    I view disregarding fliers as a slippery slope that I would rather not go down.   My philosophy is that we can't just cherry pick the good groups and ignore the bad groups, we have to count them all.  

Regarding grip causing horizontal spread .... no doubt that can happen, but it's not happening in this test because there is no human contact with the rifle other than through the 2 oz. trigger.  

Thank you for following my trials and tribulations.   The weather forecast is not looking too bright so I'm not sure if I'll be able to resume the lube shootout this weekend.

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45 2.1 posted this 25 October 2016

onondaga wrote: Groups with that pattern aren't fliers, they reflect the condition of the shooter. Actually, if one would go back several years and read what Tom Gray wrote about his lube trials, I think it would be apparent that using the amount of high viscosity lube he is using is the cause. Certain low viscosity lubes do not cause that condition at low or high velocities. Too much of a good thing doesn't always produce consistent results.

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mtngun posted this 25 October 2016

45 2.1 wrote: onondaga wrote: Groups with that pattern aren't fliers, they reflect the condition of the shooter. Actually, if one would go back several years and read what Tom Gray wrote about his lube trials, I think it would be apparent that using the amount of high viscosity lube he is using is the cause. Certain low viscosity lubes do not cause that condition at low or high velocities. Too much of a good thing doesn't always produce consistent results.   Bill, I have indeed read at least some of Tom's musings on lube and on high velocity -- I believe Tom liked to call it “lube purging", where excess lube was supposedly building up in the barrel until it eventually was blown out, resulting in an unstable bore condition and fliers.

I did not find Tom's claims about “lube purging” at all convincing, and not consistent with my own experiences, which are just as valid as anyone else's experiences.

That said, if anyone wants to send me a sample of Tom's lube -- enough to lube 100 bullets, about 1/3 of a stick  -- I'm willing to include it in this shootout.    Or if someone wants to post Tom's recipe, I'd be willing to brew up a batch.    

(Note that I do agree with Tom Grey about the importance of barrel twist at high velocity.    I agree with just about everything Tom wrote other than his “lube purging” theory.   :cool:   )

In general, everyone and their brother seems to believe that their pet lube (and their pet bullet design and their pet alloy and their pet cartridge) shoots better than everyone else's pet lube. :D   I say show me an apples-to-apples comparison with enough data to demonstrate a statistically significant difference, as this lube shootout will attempt to do.  

Or, if there turns out there is no significant difference between lubes, as Joe Brennan sometimes claims, that will be good to know, too.   I say let the data do the talking.  

In the meantime, this shootout will include two popular “pet” lubes, LBT Blue and White Label 2500.    I might be willing to include one or two more pet lubes, but there are practical limits to how many lubes I can test in one lifetime, with one barrel.  :D    

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tturner53 posted this 25 October 2016

Wow! That's gonna be a hard act to follow. Amazing results considering the velocity. I love it. Can't wait to see how the 2500 does. Thanks for sharing your project.

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45 2.1 posted this 25 October 2016

mtngun wrote: 45 2.1 wrote: onondaga wrote: Groups with that pattern aren't fliers, they reflect the condition of the shooter. Actually, if one would go back several years and read what Tom Gray wrote about his lube trials, I think it would be apparent that using the amount of high viscosity lube he is using is the cause. Certain low viscosity lubes do not cause that condition at low or high velocities. Too much of a good thing doesn't always produce consistent results.   Bill Bob, I have indeed read at least some of Tom's musings on lube and on high velocity -- I believe Tom liked to call it “lube purging", where excess lube was supposedly building up in the barrel until it eventually was blown out, resulting in an unstable bore condition and fliers.

I did not find Tom's claims about “lube purging” at all convincing, and not consistent with my own experiences, which are just as valid as anyone else's experiences. While your results and his are your own conclusions, I said nothing about lube purging.... what I did say was HIGH VISCOSITY lube. That in itself causes problems when too much is used on a bullet. I have noted that using a lot of the commercial hard lubes. I've used my mix and others (low viscosity mixes) to some very high velocities with quite excellent results with no position flyers like some of what you've shown. I noted that so you might see that as a possible problem.

That said, if anyone wants to send me a sample of Tom's lube -- enough to lube 100 bullets, about 1/3 of a stick  -- I'm willing to include it in this shootout.    Or if someone wants to post Tom's recipe, I'd be willing to brew up a batch. I never saw his mix, other than he called it Gray 24.   

(Note that I do agree with Tom Grey about the importance of barrel twist at high velocity.    I agree with just about everything Tom wrote other than his “lube purging” theory.   :cool:   ) Yep, he was a good experimenter.

  :D  

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mtngun posted this 25 October 2016

45 2.1 wrote: 45 2.1 wrote: what I did say was HIGH VISCOSITY lube. That in itself causes problems when too much is used on a bullet. I have noted that using a lot of the commercial hard lubes. In my testing, hard lubes generally outperformed low viscosity lubes, though obviously lube performance is not solely dependent on viscosity. "Commercial” hard lubes are generally formulated to be not be messy or sticky, so that the bullets stay clean in shipping and the maker doesn't get complaints about the lube jamming up dies and feed tubes.   Rooster Zambini was formulated for commercial casters, while Rooster HVR was a very tacky yet hard lube, formulated for high velocity rifles.   

I did have excellent results with some of the “commercial” hard lubes in a revolver -- Ballisticast lube, and Thompson Blue Angel, for example -- but those lubes generally did not do so well in my high velocity rifle experiments.    I settled on HVR in part because it worked well in both rifles and revolvers, though it didn't necessarily come out on top in every individual test. I've used my mix and others (low viscosity mixes) to some very high velocities with quite excellent results with no position flyers like some of what you've shown.

A number of people have told me that they use __(fill in the blank with their pet lube) at high velocities with quite excellent results.   What am I supposed to make of that?  

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mtngun posted this 25 October 2016

Update:  RicinYakima has offered to supply some Grey's 24, so it will be included in this lube shootout, assuming I can make it that far without something going wrong.    

Most of the people reading this thread have probably tried Grey's 24 and/or LBT Blue so they'll provide a useful reference point to the other lubes in the test.

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RicinYakima posted this 25 October 2016

Our old webmaster, Jeff, used to make and sell another all petroleum/synthetic lube call “VooDoo” I believe. Your Grey's #24 lube is in the mail!

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45 2.1 posted this 26 October 2016

mtngun wrote: A number of people have told me that they use __(fill in the blank with their pet lube) at high velocities with quite excellent results.   What am I supposed to make of that?   You are not the first person to entertain the ideas you've mentioned in this thread. It has been done by many people, some in print and a lot not so. Some of your assumptions about a proper bullet to use doing this have features that are holding you back in the accuracy department, but those are your choice. I'm a student of dynamic bullet fit instead of static bullet fit.... it makes a big difference. I've done this with one BR rifle and quite a few commercial and customs. If you're interested, you could PM me.

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 26 October 2016

i have some grey 24... i would not call it high viscosity .....

since i am currently plinking, i am saving my remaining dollop just to look at ...

fwiw, for plinking accuracy ( ok, even i need 2.,5 moa ) ...i think joeb ...and onondoga gary ... is right... i make my own lube from stuff in a 5 gallon bucket ...currently synthetic ball bearing grease and 10 per cent volumn moly ... if the bullet fits throat well, i get my 2.5 moa ... eventually...usually ( g ) ...

i haven't had leading that didn't push out with a single patch ..... with any combination for 40 years ... including 1950 lyman black ....

really looking to read mtn's results. data dots....

ken

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