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Reno Miller
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Posted: October 18 2016 at 10:01am | IP Logged Quote Reno Miller

I never felt comfortable sending dry jacketed bullets down my expensive tubes. After a little experimenting, I found a nice formula for lubing jacketed bullets.

Add a pinch of Hexagonal Boron Nitride to a teaspoon of Johnson Paste Wax (The old brown formula) and mix it up good. You'll wind up with a pale pink goop. Get a little on your fingers, and spin the bullets between your fingers to coat the bullet from crimp cannelure to shoulder. Only a very thin coat is necessary. A teaspoon goes a long way.

Let it dry overnight. Adheres very well.

Velocity is significantly increased (went from subsonic to a good crack in one of my 44M loads), and the barrel is left so shiny it looks wet.

I'm sure graphite would work as well as the BN.

I've used the same formula to get a little more lube onto commercial swaged lead bullets to drive them a little harder.
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Ham Gunner
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Posted: October 18 2016 at 12:43pm | IP Logged Quote Ham Gunner

Reno Miller wrote:

Velocity is significantly increased (went from subsonic to a good crack in one of my 44M loads), and the barrel is left so shiny it looks wet.


Reno, Can you fill us in on why your coating increases velocity? To me it sounds like it must cause more chamber pressure rather than a decrease as one would normally get by using a lubricant. It is my understanding that chamber pressure should be what regulates velocity and friction is an important factor in developing chamber pressure, so it sounds like your coating is causing more friction.

Perhaps with your chemistry and metallurgy background you can compare your coating with what I use and my experience with my lubricant.

I sometimes use molybdenum disulfide (Mos2) when I plan on shooting jacketed for an extended period of shots without cleaning the bore. My velocity decreases when using these coated bullets and I have to compensate by slightly increasing the powder charge to maintain the chamber pressure and to bring the load back up to it's desired velocity.

"Moly" is nasty stuff and many do not like to use it because it takes a lot of cleaning to get it out of a bore. But I have not found it to be that much of a problem for me in the rifles that I have chosen to use it in.

Edited by Ham Gunner on October 18 2016 at 1:21pm


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Reno Miller
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Posted: October 18 2016 at 3:49pm | IP Logged Quote Reno Miller

I only shoot jacketed when I'm loading to irresponsible levels. The gun in question is an FA (M83 in 44 with a 3" barrel) and my loads are up around 50ksi. Probably makes those XTP-MAGS into little barrels. Maybe it's a special case?

Getting a real screaming load out of that gun is tough with the short barrel.

I don't see any noticeable difference in velocity when I use BN in my 45WM Grizzly (relatively shallow rifling?). The barrel does stay shiny clean, however. Probably around 30ksi.

Besides it's lubricating property, MoS2 has a gap-filling property that can result in "plaques" forming in the barrel that are very difficult to remove. BN doesn't form plaques (different molecular structure), and it's also white, so it doesn't make you look like you've been doing an engine rebuild.

I did try some of those moly-coated "black" bullets once in 45acp... The ones with the full coat of moly mixed with epoxy. I got reduced velocity and poor accuracy.
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Reno Miller
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Posted: October 18 2016 at 4:21pm | IP Logged Quote Reno Miller

Hmm... Some guys with chrony's in the Marlin forum have reported increased velocity with lubed jacketed bullets.

Internal ballistics is a complicated and mysterious thing.
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Ham Gunner
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Posted: October 18 2016 at 6:15pm | IP Logged Quote Ham Gunner

I use the Moly in two of my Mosin-Nagants, one is a M-28 with a .309 in. Sig barrel that is in really good shape inside, but I like the moly because I can shoot hundreds of rounds through it before I notice a decrease in accuracy. The other one is a carbine that has a very rough .313 in. barrel. The moly works well in both, but I do not scrub it all out, especially in the rough bore. The build up in the microscopic crevices helps reduce copper fouling and accuracy was restored to the old rough oversized bore.

One other rifle that I use moly in is my Ruger 77-22 chambered in .22 K-Hornet. I can shoot several hundred round boxes of ammo through it before is shows signs of needing some cleaning. For it, I moly coat Hornady 45gr. HP Bee bullets. With Lil'Gun powder, it shoots that bullet just over 3,000 fps with excellent accuracy.

I hardly have any rifles that I would claim to have expensive barrels, but I may have to try some of the Hexagonal Boron Nitride in that K-Hornet. Clean up would certainly be a lot faster. If that works out okay, I might give a few more rifles a go with it.

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Reno Miller
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Posted: October 19 2016 at 9:15am | IP Logged Quote Reno Miller

How do you apply your Moly? Is it in oil? What kind of oil?

Moly clearly works very well for a lot of people. Can't argue with 3000 fps.

The 45acp bullets that I tried were sized up to .451 by coating them with Moly doped epoxy. The epoxy was brittle. They looked very pretty. They were horrible.

The only barrel I've ever had that was really rough was a 1915 artillery Luger. The barrel had awesome deep rifling, and was pitted everywhere. There was no cleaning it, because as many patches as you ran, they came out dirty. Before shooting it I would coat the bore with Johnson Paste Wax. With 115gr jacketed factory ammo it shot as accurately as my S&W 41!

I wonder if the JPW doesn't really do all the heavy lifting with the BN? It's easy to assume that it's the BN (or Moly, or whatever), but what if it's just the carrier (wax or oil)?!
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Ham Gunner
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Posted: October 19 2016 at 11:08am | IP Logged Quote Ham Gunner

I do not use a carrier for applying Moly to the bullets themselves. I do use alcohol to apply Moly to the extremely clean bore of my rifles.

First, when wanting to use Moly, one should make their bore as clean and copper free as possible so that the Moly can embed itself into the crevices of the bore to get the most benefits from having a smooth and slick bore. Expecially with a well used bore, I clean them about every other day for well over a week before I start using Moly. I then actually coat the bore itself with Moly before firing the Moly coated bullets. The benefit is mostly the ability to fire hundreds of rounds down range without having to stop to clean copper and carbon fouling from the bore.

Is all this necessary and all that beneficial? Well it depends upon your individual bore I would think. My bores are not match grade, but they shoot really well after I go through the motions of preparation and then applying Moly.

For coating my jacketed bullets with Moly I do not use anything for a carrier. Nothing is needed so I am only getting the benefit of just the Moly itself. I just place the fresh untouched bullets right out of the box (to prevent oil from my fingers from getting on the jacketed material) into small baby food size Tupperware containers and add about 1/2 tsp of Moly powder to each container. I then toss the containers into my vibratory brass cleaner containing walnut media and run it for about an hour or so.

The media lets the containers simply vibrate and slowly spin around as they also spin around the circumference of the vibrator reservoir and the Moly embeds itself into the jacketed material of the bullets by impact of the bullets against themselves. I then simply dump the bullets into a screened strainer to salvage any left over Moly to be returned to the Tupperware container for the next batch of bullets. It takes very little powder to coat the bullets and probably 75% of it is salvaged and very little Moly is needed to be added for each new batch of bullets there after.

The seller of the Moly powder suggests that one can then apply some carnuba wax powder to the bullets if desired to make them less messy to handle and they sold the powder with the Moly. I tried that method at first and they are less messy to handle afterwards and it also makes them shine up really nice. But I found that the wax was not needed to get the benefits of the Moly so I do not apply anything at all to the Moly Coat.

I just wash the Moly off my fingers and hands once I get the bullets seated into the cases upon loading and try not to touch them while shooting to avoid getting myself coated with the stuff. Some of the Moly will rub off somewhat if handled. Since it is such a tiny powder and is embedded into the microscopic pores of the jacket material itself, it would take a lot of cleaning with some type of solvent to ever get it back off of the bullets.

Moly is nasty. It is nasty to handle and nasty to deal with when wanting to clean a bore back to what one thinks is a spotlessly clean condition, if one should think that a spotless bore is necessary. I do not think any bore would ever be spotless no matter if Moly had been used or not so I do not get excited by what looks like carbon coming out on my bore mops.     

Edited by Ham Gunner on October 19 2016 at 11:22am


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Reno Miller
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Posted: October 19 2016 at 1:39pm | IP Logged Quote Reno Miller

Interesting. Without a carrier it must really get everywhere! I suspect that the first few shots distribute the loose Moly particles throughout the bore (with the benefit of the heat opening up the metal), and that the Moly from the bullets sort of keeps it "topped up".

I once machined a huge graphite rod in a metal shop. After turning off about 4 pounds from it, I looked up and the entire shop was coated with a thick layer of graphite. So was I. Inside and out.
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Reno Miller
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Posted: October 20 2016 at 7:16am | IP Logged Quote Reno Miller

Last night I was looking at the LBT catalog, and found an interesting statement. Veral Smith said that better lubrication resulted in lower pressure and higher velocity in handguns. He said that this was not observed in rifles. I have never read his book, but I am going to order a copy now, because I am interested in seeing his interpretation of how that works.

I assume that it is peak pressure that is reduced, but that the total energy over time is increased by reduced loss to friction and blowby. Anyway, I'm ordering his book today.
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