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Author: Subject: Need to make some kind of liquid lubricant for brass/steel contact
RogueRose
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[*] posted on 12-4-2021 at 10:53
Need to make some kind of liquid lubricant for brass/steel contact


If anyone here reloads ammo, you'll know about case lube and I'm helping someone who doesn't have any and I figured something could be made. I've looked up some recipes and there is IPA and Lanolin


I have castor oil and a LOT of different soap making oils, butters, etc. I don't know if I have any emulsifiers though, which will be a PITA.

I was thinking of just using some soaps (some liquid home made soaps - very mild - but very slick)

I wouldn't think the lanolin and IPA would mix but could something else be used instead like a fat/oil or even vasoline?
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Fulmen
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[*] posted on 12-4-2021 at 11:38


Lanolin has been used for ages, that's not by chance. Can be used neat or mixed with petroleum jelly, or with IPA/alcohol as a (shake and) spray-on lube.

Soaps are also usable, RCBS water-soluble lube feels a lot like liquid dishwasher detergent and I have heard of people using that with good results. I've also heard of people getting stuck cases, so your mileage may vary.

The last class you could look into are EP (extreme pressure) additives. One of the oldest synthetic ones is sulfurized vegetable oil, these are excellent cutting oils. Basically rape seed oil (canola) with 5-10% sulfur added. Then heat slowly until it dissolves and hold for a while. If the sulfur precipitates out again on cooling increase temperature a bit.




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zed
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[*] posted on 12-4-2021 at 11:55


I know nothing about reloading ammo, but....

Brass and Steel, aren't terribly incompatible in plumbing.... Still, over time, in contact with moisture the electrolytic effect will cause corrosion.

But, Brass IS attacked by fatty acids in the presence of air, and likewise bases in soaps.

I oiled up a very expensive, collectable, vintage leather jacket, with Coconut Oil. Good idea, right?

Well in a fairly short period of time, the zipper-teeth were covered with Verdigris. This is not the kind of chemical cascading reaction you want starting in your guns and ammo. A well maintained firearm can last for generations, but not methinks with soap in the gun-barrel. So, I would stick with petroleum oils.

Consider synthetic motor oil. Some of the guys use it to lube their guns.

[Edited on 12-4-2021 by zed]
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Fulmen
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[*] posted on 12-4-2021 at 12:41


Zed: The case lube must be removed before firing either way. And the gun should be cleaned after use, so in reality it's not an issue.



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RogueRose
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[*] posted on 12-4-2021 at 18:50


Quote: Originally posted by Fulmen  
Lanolin has been used for ages, that's not by chance. Can be used neat or mixed with petroleum jelly, or with IPA/alcohol as a (shake and) spray-on lube.

Soaps are also usable, RCBS water-soluble lube feels a lot like liquid dishwasher detergent and I have heard of people using that with good results. I've also heard of people getting stuck cases, so your mileage may vary.

The last class you could look into are EP (extreme pressure) additives. One of the oldest synthetic ones is sulfurized vegetable oil, these are excellent cutting oils. Basically rape seed oil (canola) with 5-10% sulfur added. Then heat slowly until it dissolves and hold for a while. If the sulfur precipitates out again on cooling increase temperature a bit.


Thanks for the suggestions. I tried some of the soap I made basically olive oil + KOH watered down with a healthy amount of water. It seemed to work well but I was hesitant b/c the "ram rod" has grease on it and I didn't think soap would be good to mix in with that.

So I used a couple vegetable oils + 99% IPA (1:4 by volume - so 80% IPA). I had a half gallon bottle of casings and I was amazed I only needed about 10-15ml to THOROUGLY cover both indside & outside of the case. What's odd is I did about 120 rnds and needed about 4x that much before this round. The difference? I added the cases to a gallon juice jug, added hot (170F) vinegar (maybe 2-3%) and squirt of dish soap. I shook them around for awhile - 10-15 mins (I'm working on a tumbler, vibrator or ball mill like cleaner for next project) and it was just too slow, so I added about 10,000 BB's (all I had), shook/tumbled for 10 mins and the solution was black and the brass looked as good as 80-85% of new brass I've bought.

Separating the BB's was a little work, I found a colander with holes 4-5x size of BB but too small for brass. I finished this off with some hard drive magnets (~20) taped to the outside of a gallon bucket and just tumbled them and it removed all the remaining BB's in a couple mins. I'm new to all this so I'm just figuring things out as I go along. The brass ended up looking GREAT and I think cleaning it first like this made depriming MUCH, MUCH smoother & faster. I also think th lube spread out much easier which is why I needed so little!

I was looking at getting some SS tumbler pins that are like 1.2mm x 6mm but these are pretty expensive (some places charge $60 for 3lbs!). I'm thinking I'm going to look for some multi-strand steel rope (maybe stainless) and then use good wire cutters and just cut 1/4" lengths. The other option is copper wire - I have mountains of "magnet wire" from .1mm up to 3+mm, and can get stranded wire that should work well (welding cable wire looks perfect). I'm thinking the SS might be better only b/c it's magnetic which I found out how helpful that can be.

So I guess I'm going to be looking into some other reloading and gun care products and seeing what I can make b/c even that stuff is out of stock in a lot of places!

[Edited on 4-13-2021 by RogueRose]
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draculic acid69
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[*] posted on 12-4-2021 at 20:45


Don't know if this applies to ammo but I've seen shows where chicken/bacon grease are used on guns in Alaska. I don't know how far bears can smell but when I'm creeping around the forest last thing I'd want is a gun that bears are attracted to
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zed
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[*] posted on 13-4-2021 at 00:12


Animal fat is probably traditional in the area. Fire-arms predate the popularity of petroleum products. And I've heard tales of Russians using highly refined lard to lubricate firearms.

Stiil, it is my opinion that petroleum based lubricants are better for lubing guns. Opinions vary.

Ammo at the moment, is in exceedingly short supply. Expensive, and hard to find.

Even here in the U.S.A... If you have the makings, this would be the time for re-loading.

Got experts out there on the WEB, that have written a lot about the subject.

[Edited on 13-4-2021 by zed]
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