For those of you that pan lube, do you preheat your bullets before pouring the lube? And if so, how do you preheat?
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I don't do very many at a time, and I use a coffee cup heater from Goodwill. Put a metal jar lid on the coffee cup holder and it holds about 20 .410" bullets. When it is hot, I pour in the lube and set it aside and put another lid down and repeat. I takes a lot longer to cool, but I don't do many at a time.
When I start a new pan, I pour lube in it- with no bullets present. I use my home-made cutter to cut the required number of holes after the lube has solidified. Then I stuff the holes with bullets, and put the hole thing in my toaster oven. After cutting out the lubed bullets, I leave the holes for my next batch. I have a tray for each caliber.
Absolutely no chance of making a mess, and once you have established a tray it is little work. The grooves get filled perfectly; the lube and the bullets follow the same temperature curve.
I use two 9" round cake pans. I put about 50 bullets around the outside in two rows. I then put the pan on the kitchen range (electric) and turn it on low. I add lube in solid form, letting it melt until I get the desired height on the bullets. I then carefully move the pans to the tile countertop to cool. When the lube is solid, I put the pan in the freezer for 2 - 3 minutes, then turn the pan over and remove the bullets and lube as a solid disk. I then put a piece of 1/4" dowel in the chuck of my drill press and push the bullets out of the lube thru the center hole in the table, catching them in a box underneath. I then size them in home made Lee type push thru sizers. If I have more bullets to lube of the same size or smaller, I put the disk of lube back in the pan and put the next batch of bullets in the existing holes and re-heat. I have been using this system for both rifle and pistol bullets for about 25 years. Now for the last year, I have been powder coating pistol bullets and pan lubing rifle bullets.
Couple of good replies, thanks. Think I'll try my hot plate. I've been using a double boiler but not a tapered pan, I'll try that too.
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