Lube Star

Here's the place to share your questions, knowledge, and experience about the shooting techniques that could make us all better shooters. Safety must always be a consideration when using black powder in our rifles.
oldbluelight
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Lube Star

Post by oldbluelight » Fri Nov 21, 2008 6:47 pm

I shoot a couple of different bullets in my Browning BPCR. One is the Lyman Snover design and the other is the
Hoch 409-405. The Hoch bullet carries a larger quantity of lube. It's tough to pick the best because they both give
good performance in the context that I'm using them and neither offers any clear advantage in casting. If I use the
moulds properly they function well and produce quality bullets.
Many Black Powder shooters look for a 'lube star', the accumulated residue of fouling and lube in a pattern
corresponding to the groves, at the muzzle believing that it will indicate that the bullet is properly lubricated and
therefore minimize leading and fouling problems.
Most everyone agrees that the condition of the muzzle crown is critical to accuracy and an uneven or irregular crown
is dertrimental to accuracy. My question is this: How does a lube star relate to the exit of a bullet at the crown? All
opinions, guesses, SWAG's, and comments will be appreciated and considered reverently.
You can't always win. You won't always lose. But you can always be a gentleman (or a lady).

BillDan
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Post by BillDan » Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:52 am

I guess another Tennessean will step up to the plate and take a couple swings.
There's alot to be considered in the question, and all I can offer is a few limited observations. The mere presence of a lube star indicates that you have more than sufficient lube. This is excess spun off by centrifugal force as the bullet exits. I have noticed in cast bullet shooting in my Springfield 1903A3 that as I push the bullets too fast for the lube, leading occurs and no lube is evident on the crown. Loverin design bullets have many grease grooves and many folks only lube the bottom couple grooves because they've found that filling all grooves left an excessive amount of lube on the crown. It's kind of like using bleach to purify water. The bleach residual proves there's enough to do the job. But an excess of residual brings it's own problems.
An even, concentric star would seem to show the bullet exited concentric to the bore with no skidding, the lube was still distributed evenly around the bullet, and the crown is concentric to the bore.
Bill

Woodgoat
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Post by Woodgoat » Mon Feb 23, 2009 7:29 pm

speaking of lube and not enough lube, answer me this question, I have a Shiloh 30" barrel that will produce the greasiest lube stars you ever want to see with a variety of loads, but will still lead like crazy in the last two or three inches of barrel. What is the problem with that one?
As long as there's lead in the air, there's hope.

twoguns
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Post by twoguns » Mon Feb 23, 2009 8:56 pm

Kinda reminds me of an article I read where someone captured the lube spun off of the bullet after it left the muzzle with a tube arangement. So much lube was retrieved that the Q becomes, does the lube really do anything "in the barrel." Another poster found grease cookies "intact" down range. I don't know about you guys but I sure would like some scientific data from expirementation that indicates I need to use either or both to get good groups.
Thomas Jefferson: "The Constitution of most of our states (and of the United States) assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed."

Arnie
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Post by Arnie » Mon Feb 23, 2009 9:53 pm

I dont think lube stars mean much .the biggest question is ,how does it shoot ,lead in the barrel or not ?? Arnie

martinibelgian
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Post by martinibelgian » Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:33 am

I believe most bullets have more than enough lube for even the longest of barrels - but the only lube that matters is the one in contact with the bore, so I prefer my lube grooves wide but shallow. IMO, at least 50% of the lube on a bullet is slung off after it exits the muzzle (just try shooting over a chronograph and looking at the skyscreens...).
Mind you, I do believe the lube does help in preventing gas cutting, acting as a bore sealer.

And that lube star? It might give you an indication that the crown is concentric, but that's about it.
FWIW, I also tried unlubed, PP bullets, no grease cookie, blowtubing only. Works pretty well in the humid Belgian climate - and no lube anywhere!

BillDan
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Post by BillDan » Tue Feb 24, 2009 7:15 am

Woodgoat, what alloy are you using for your bullets? Generaly, I think leading at the muzzle indicates too high a velocity for the alloy. If you're using 30:1, switch to 20:1. I'm sure there's alot of other factors to consider. Maybe some of the others could take a shot at your problem.

martinibelgian, I agree with your idea on bullet design. I've been playing around on the Mountain Mold sight, designing a bullet for my 38-55, trying to balance bearing surface with lube groove widths. Has anyone else used the sight and bought a mold from them?
Regards,
Bill

TexasMac
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Post by TexasMac » Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:23 am

A short comment from somewhat of a novice BPCR shooter.

For what it’s worth, the presence of a lube star may not mean a whole lot, but it’s comforting to see. Now then, the ABSENCE of a lube star can be a significant indicator and would be a concern to me.

Also, something to keep in mind, I’ve heard (not confirmed by me) when a bullet diameter is larger than the groove diameter by more than .001” or .002”, due to bore resizing when fired, it can seal off the lube to some extent. In this case the result will be some bore leading with or without a lube star. Just something to think about.

Wayne
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Click on http://www.texas-mac.com/index.html to my home page containing information on my Browning/Winchester BPCR book & associated articles.

TexasMac
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Post by TexasMac » Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:33 am

A quick followup comment.

I said, "I’ve heard (not confirmed by me) when a bullet diameter is larger than the groove diameter by more than .001” or .002”, due to bore resizing when fired, it can seal off the lube to some extent."

If the above comment actually has some merit, the softness of the alloy also be important due to the obturation effect. So BillDan's comment about using a harder alloy may be the solution. Interesting thread so far.

Go for it Woodgoat! I'd sure like to hear what happens if you try a slightly harder alloy.

Wayne
NRA Life (President's Council) Member, TSRA Life Member, NSSF Member
Click on http://www.texas-mac.com/index.html to my home page containing information on my Browning/Winchester BPCR book & associated articles.

oldbluelight
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Post by oldbluelight » Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:57 pm

What I was really wondering about was this. Could a heavy lube star have some of the same effect on accuracy as an irregular muzzle crown? Is the material so plastic that it can't affect the dispersion of gas at the moment the bullet exits? Does anyone that wipes between shots make any effort to deal with it before final cleanup?
You can't always win. You won't always lose. But you can always be a gentleman (or a lady).

HpGuy420
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Post by HpGuy420 » Wed Feb 25, 2009 1:03 am

Have a good life.
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Woodgoat
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Post by Woodgoat » Wed Feb 25, 2009 6:41 am

Thanks DanT, I think my problem is behind door #2. I've had this rifle for nearly 3 years now and have shot about 150 lbs of bullets through it and have not yet solved this problem. I lapped the bore some last summer, but intentionally "went light" on the muzzle end. I thought I had cured it, but recently leaded the pi$$ out of it again. I'm going to give it some more lapping with some 500 grit and see if I can either fix it or screw it up completely. It aint no fun like it is. :wink: Through all of this, one thing that surprizes me greatly is the fact that this rifle will frequently shoot long strings of shots into 2moa and less out to 600 yards with lead in the bore. You'd think it wouldnt do that. Makes me wonder how many guys are shooting leaded guns and just dont know it. Without a bore scope its hard to know whats in a barrel.
As long as there's lead in the air, there's hope.

straightneck
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Post by straightneck » Wed Feb 25, 2009 12:26 pm

Learn to PAPER PATCH and never lead your bore again 8) :wink: Greesers :P
GOD-Girls-Guns made America Great : Sharps: Knock the stripes off a skunk at 500 yards

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