Sunday, July 22, 2007

Liquid Alox

Back when I started casting bullets, Lee Precision sent me a little bottle of liquid in an order for a bullet mold. Lee Liquid Alox.

Alox, of course, is one of the ingredients in the NRA standard bullet lube, which is 50% beeswax and 50% Alox. It makes a great stick bullet lube that has been used by thousands of cast bullet shooters to shoot millions of bullets.

Alox is a proprietary name of the Lubrizol Company. They make it in a variety of properties for a variety of purposes. Mr. Lee buys Alox in barrels and packages it in the familiar little bottles that he ships all over the world. Over the years, we who wonder about such things have decided that Lee is probably buying Alox 2138F and repackaging it in those little 4 oz bottles.

I've used Liquid Alox since I cast my first bullet. It works. Purely and simply, it works really well. The downside is that it's messy, in that to use it you dip or dunk the bullets in it, then set them out on a piece of wax paper to dry. It dries overnight into a waxy coating that sticks to the bullet. When I am casting pistol bullets, I normally shoot them "as cast" with no sizing. After the bullets have cooled, I put them in a zipper bag and squirt a little Liquid Alox on them, then knead the bag till they're all coated. Then I pour them out on a piece of waxed paper and let them dry on my bench. I've got a bunch out there right now, drying.

Rifle bullets get pushed a little harder than pistol bullets, so they get two coats. After casting, I apply Liquid Alox like I do for pistol bullets. After they're dry, I seat a gas check then apply another coating of Liquid Alox to cover the sized bands. After they dry, they're ready to load. I'm able to drive cast bullets over 1800 fps through my rifles without leading.

Many shooters have tried to make a better bullet lube, hoping to extend their range, or get that extra velocity, or induce some property that is important to them. Bullet casters are experimenters and I wouldn't give a hoot for a bullet caster that hasn't at least once tried to improve on his lube. There are many published recipes on the web and there are many secret recipes for bullet lube. Some are wonderful, some are not. It's the quest that's important and the furthering of knowledge that's important. The do-all, magic formula that lets the bullets fly at light-speed, with extreme accuracy is the quest.

For day in, day out use, I've been unable to improve on simple liquid Alox.


Anonymous said...

I lube my cast bullets in a butter tub, the way Lee recommends. Never had a mess. I'll try the sammige bag tek-neek-eew though, I like to try new things. If it works, I'll never need another butter tub.

Gerry N.

Anonymous said...

1800fps and no leading you say? Great! Just the thing for shooting cast boolits in my CZ-52 7.62x25. It spits 85gr jacketed bullets @ 1650fps and that's not close to max load.

Jonboy said...

Ever try BN as a bullet lube? I've seen claims by David Tubbs that it:
- prevents fouling
- conducts heat
- improves velocity, accuracy, repeatability
- reduces cleaning frequency

Anonymous said...

I don't think Mr. Tubb shoots cast bullets. Let us Know how it works!