Is Lube Really Necessary? - Handguns and Ammunition Forums
Forum Home    ::    Active Topics    ::    Hi-Powers and Handguns    ::    Stephen Camp's Blog    ::    Contact Us
Go Back   Handguns and Ammunition Forums > Ammunition & Gunsmithing > Reloading
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 06-27-2010, 01:37 AM   #1
Josh Smith's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Wabash IN
Posts: 2,947
Is Lube Really Necessary?


I've run across a few places on the internet (I know... I know...) that say lubing isn't strictly necessary for lead bullets.

The reasoning is that, if the bullet is undersized, there will be leading regardless, and if the bullet is sized correctly, leading will not occur.

Cited on one page is "Norm Johnson," who "is shooting un-lubricated revolver bullets, with good accuracy and no leading."

Given that lead is used as a lubricant in some non-shooting applications, this does sort of make sense.

What do you all make of this?

Thank you,


Josh Smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2010, 08:56 AM   #2
gib's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: So.Cal.
Posts: 922
Is Lube Really Necessary?

Hello Josh. I think the hardness of the lead would be a factor in how much fouling you would have. I use lube with lead bullets. I've helped a friend clean his Ruger .44 that was using lead bullets with no lube and the rifling was so heavy with lead it took forever to clean it. (He wasn't the best at cleaning after each range session. He would just wipe it down. ::))

gib is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2010, 09:03 PM   #3
bmcgilvray's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: North Texas
Posts: 361
Is Lube Really Necessary?

"He wasn't the best at cleaning after each range session. He would just wipe it down."

Sounds like a wretchedly miserable cleaning experience in the making.

I've long wondered what would happen shooting unlubed bullets. Not enough to submit to testing them.

Hey Josh, why don't you try it and get back to us.
bmcgilvray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2010, 09:40 AM   #4
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,642
Is Lube Really Necessary?

I read articles on casting for years before doing it and the best how-to article I've seen yet came from the Gun Digest Book of 9mm from about 1986. That's an unlikely source, but since it was written by one of my favorites, the late Dean Grennell, isn't that surprising.

In that article, he writes about asking himself the same question about 50 years ago. He tried it for something like six or twelve rounds...then spent the next week cleaning the gun.

Just reading that was enough to scare me away from even thinking about it.

With tumble lubing being so easy and fairly cheap, I see no reason not to lube.

There were the old Harvey Prot-X bullets that used no conventional lube. They used a zinc washer. Lyman made the moulds, and I assume sold the washers. The washer was dropped into the mould in a certain place where a groove held it, the mould was closed, then lead alloy poured. When opened, the bullet that came out had the zinc washer held to it's base with a "rivet" of lead that passed through it's center hole. The bullet sides were straight and smooth with no place for lube, and were shaped a lot like the old Speer jacketed SWC bullets they made for a long time.

I've never seen one of the Harvey bullets except in pictures. Supposedly they worked, but were a pain to use from fiddling around placing a washer just right in a hot mould every cast. Being single cavity only (I think) that would be some slow casting.

The moulds show up on eBay now and then, but sell pretty high. Even if one had the mould, where would they get zinc washers? They weren't common zinc-plated steel washers from the hardware store, but actually constructed from zinc and were sized to the appropriate caliber.
BarryinIN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2010, 12:43 PM   #5
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 287
Is Lube Really Necessary?

Mr. Smith, Unless you like cleaning lead out of your barrel all day, then don't go over about 1,000 fps with lead bullets that are lubed.At least run a few fmj bullets after you finish with the lead ones.Gas checks work perfectly and are easy to use. Remember that the base of the bullet melts from the fire so the gas checks prevent leading almost totally. Hot barrels and soft bullets contribute. I size my 45's bullets .451 and use 185 gr. trunucated cone style. Good luck, Bill p.s. I get free phone so feel free to p.m. me your number if I can help
bill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2010, 06:48 PM   #6
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Issaquah,Wa
Posts: 67
Is Lube Really Necessary?

Handloading 101(60+ years ago).Somebody here has way,way too much free time on their hands.Will
will is offline   Reply With Quote

Search tags for this page
bullet lubricant fmj
can you lube fmj bullets
do fmj bullets need lube

is bullet lube necessary

is bullet lube necessary for automatic pistols
is it necessary to lube a lead bullet

is lube necessary


is lubing cast bullets necessary

lube bullets required for pistol
lubricating unlubed ammo

shooting unlubed bullets


shooting unlubed lead bullets

what will happen shooting un-lubed cast lead bullets in pistol

why lube lead swc bullets

zinc washers for reloading
Click on a term to search for related topics.

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What lube do you run on your auto,s jeep General Semiautos 22 11-17-2011 08:05 PM
New Boolit Lube Josh Smith Reloading 4 07-16-2010 02:18 PM
Mobil1 as lube pip General Firearm Questions & Discussions 17 02-23-2010 03:05 PM
Clockmakers' Lube JayPee Shotguns 1 06-14-2008 08:23 PM
What lube? The Hi Power Forum 21 05-09-2007 04:35 PM

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:24 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.