Pan lubing, lube formulas

  • Last Post 18 July 2022
21gun posted this 24 February 2013

Ok, so I'm still new in the bullet casting hobby. I have watched many videos in you tube on sizing and lubing bullets specifically pan lubing. So I the most popular lube formula seems to be 1lb of Vaseline to 1lb gulf wax and 2 tbsp of STP oil treatment. I have made a batch of this lube and lubed some of my bullets with but my lube seems to pull away from the bullet easy and be very soft. When I push my bullets out of the lube either from front to back or back to front the lube seems to roll out of the grease grove. So I ask you are there better formula for lube pan lubing; something that is stiffer and holds better?

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Dale53 posted this 01 February 2015

I wrote an article a number of years ago for the Single Shot Exchange. It covers the details of a very good lube for general use, both black powder and smokeless:

FWIW Dale53

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jabo52521 posted this 17 January 2015

I started pan lubeing again last week. My formula is 50/50 beeswax and vasaline. Add a teaspoon of automatic transmission fluid. Works fine. Clings pretty good.

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Wineman posted this 18 January 2015

I pan lubed with Speed Green, which is Beeswax and Bullshop mold hinge lube. Put the pan in a 175 degree oven and put the bullets in when it melted. Turned the oven off and let it cool. When it was nice and solid, I was able to give each bullet a whack and they came out. Reloaded with fresh bullets into the holes, and back into the oven. Lather, rinse, repeat...


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Bud Hyett posted this 19 January 2015

The formula you re using, “the most popular lube formula seems to be 1lb of Vaseline to 1lb gulf wax and 2 tbsp. of STP oil treatment", sounds more like a Schuetzen lube formula which are designed to be soft. These formulae are chosen to be soft due to heritage and need. Often, they are pushed through lube pumps rather than a lubrisizer because the Schuetzen shooter does not want to touch (deform) the bullet while sizing.

Beeswax is the common stiffener used for bullet lubes because it works, relatively cheap and is easy to find. The standard NRA Alox\beeswax formula set in an oven as detailed by Wineman in his note above will work very well, be very careful of the control of oven temperature since the beeswax will smoke and fill up the kitchen. Better to do this outside in a toaster oven on the porch with a little wind blowing away from the house.

Assuming you are sizing .30 caliber, the second step is to take an old.30-30 case and sharpen the neck with a deburring tool and drilling out the base with a 5/16, .3125, drill. Push this down on each bullet and separate the bullet with the grease in the grooves. Whatever caliber, use a discarded fired and unsized case as the instrument; .32 WCF for .321 bullets, .45-70 for .458 bullets, etc..

Farm boy from Illinois, living in the magical Pacific Northwest

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mckg posted this 20 January 2015

Try warming your bullets and the pan before pouring the lube (radiator/heater, hot southern sun etc...). It will help fill the grooves and retain the lube.

If your lube is really soft, you could try hand lubing: paste it in the grooves with a plastic or metal blade.

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gpidaho posted this 20 January 2015

When I pan lube, I wait for the lube to set, then pan, lube and bullets go into the freezer for three minutes. When lube is cold bullets push right out. GP

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mckg posted this 01 February 2015

Dale, my computer cannot read the new Castpics site. It's a pity but I'm not buying a new one just for them...

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OU812 posted this 01 February 2015

SPG has a good article on pan lubing. Do not force cool...once the warm SPG lube solidifies it is very easy to push bullets out. Just tried it with softer 22 cal bullets...very easy.

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Dale53 posted this 02 February 2015

mckg; It isn't the computer that is the problem. The website (Castpics) and Google Chrome have an issue.

Just switch your browser to Internet Explorer (yeah, not my preference, either) or Mozilla's FireFox and it reads perfectly. When I want to use it (Cast Pics), I switch from Chrome to Internet Explorer.

FWIW Dale53

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mckg posted this 02 February 2015

Thanks Dale, but I am on a Linux system. It is the first time I see such problem with it; both Opera and SeaMonkey (part of the Mozilla family) tell me a plugin is missing.

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2frogs posted this 16 July 2022

I tried it with no luck. There was no lube in the lub groove. Why is that??

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gnoahhh posted this 18 July 2022

I pan lube my PB .32-40 bullets, for breech seating in the Pope High Wall and other single shots. I exclusively use Javelina Schutzen, 75/25 Beeswax/Alox, but have also used NRA 50/50 lube which behaves identically in the lubing process.

I stand the bullets in shallow metal trays and pour the molten lube in past the top lube groove. (Lube is melted on a small laboratory hot plate on its lowest setting which barely gets hot enough to melt the stuff - if an Alox based lube smokes when heated, you've wrecked it.) Then, once the lube has solidified enough so that the bullets don't fall over they get transferred to the freezer for 1/2 hour - 45 minutes. That makes the lube solid enough so that the whole cake can be popped out, and the bullets simply pushed out base first. Grooves are perfectly filled. I then place the empty Swiss cheesed cake back in the pan, set another batch of bullets into the empty holes, and re-melt on the hotplate. If using several small trays at once a surprising number of bullets can be lubed of an evening. Read a book or watch TV while waiting in between batches.

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