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Battle Of The Lubes


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#1 cayugad

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 01:29 PM

I was working in the gun room today and got to noticing all the different lubes I have on the shelf for the purpose of shooting roundball. So I gathered up three of them, some HOME CAST roundball .490 in size, picked out Schuetzen 2f black powder as the fuel, and along with a large chunk of pillow tick, and some swabbing patches.. decided to test the lubes in a head to head.

So looking at the rack of rifles I decided to use a factory rifle. And selected a nice .50 caliber T/C Hawken flintlock rifle as the host rifle. The factory barrel has a 1-48 twist. Making up a target and grabbing the camera and all the gear I headed outside. All shooting was done off the bench, and at 50 yards according to the range finder.

Knowing that this rifle likes 90 grains of Schuetzen black powder I decided to use that for all testing of the lubes and decided to be fair, spit swab between each different lube, but no swabbing between shots.

I only suffered one hang fire.. my fault. As I was concerned the flint was getting dirty and mistakenly wiped it off with olive oil instead of water. Needless to say, that put a damper on the shooting. That would have been the first shot of the olive oil test. While it was still in the group.. could it have been closer? Who knows.

The weather was sunny, blue sky, no wind, and about 70 degrees. Just a real nice day outside.

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BABY BOTTOM LUBE (a variation of JR Lube)

4 ounces of Castor Oil * you can buy this in 4 ounce bottles at Wall Mart..

1 ounce of bees wax melted

100 grains of liquid or solid Alox * I like to cut the solid and weigh out what I need Then melt it down.

I use the cheap micro wave dishes ... Glad makes them.. and I melt the beeswax and Alox together after it has been weighed. Once it is liquid and hot.. add the liquid Castor oil and stir that together. It makes an excellent patch and conical lube.

The lube itself looks like something a baby would leave in the bottom of a diaper. I am sure this is due to the bees wax color, but more so to the dark Alox I use. I has a nice "bee" smell and is not effected by the hot sun too bad. A real nice lube for patches and conicals. And it seemed to work real good here today.

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After I discovered the fresh charger batteries did not take a charge, and digging up some Duracell batteries, I then covered the shots with red duct tape and shot that group. The olive oil is a combination of olive oil and water. Semisane told me about this. I found if the oil was used straight, it did not like coming out of the pump sprayer. So I added water and that fixed that. As you can see, it did very well today.

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Taking the picture to document the olive oil I discovered I'd forgotten the tape. So back to the table. Then I decided.. lets try spit. Easy to make.. put patch in mouth, saturate with spit, load and shoot. Now remember, I was swabbing with spit every three shots. So this time I used it as a lube. And I X'd out the olive oil hits for you. Not too bad at all for just plain old spit.

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Remembering the camera and tape this time, I prepared the rifle for the final lube test. Now this is my favorite lube.


Moose Milk

A general purpose black powder solvent and liquid patch lube. Shake well before using

Castor Oil 4 oz.
Murphy's Oil Soap 1 oz.
Witch Hazel 4 oz.
Isopropyl Alcohol (91%) 8 oz.
Water (non-chlorinated) 16 oz.

I was spritzing all lubes at the loading table. None of the patches were dry lube.

Needless to say the first three shots had me thrilled. But again, I had a double bag rest system and was really taking my time and using the set trigger. Then I had to try #4. Oh well. Still a good group.

So what group is best? Well IMO the moose milk is still the best for me. With olive oil a close second. If you get a chance, try some of the different lubes you have and see how they compare. But it was a great day to shoot!! And the rifle behaved beautiful...

"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, a total wreck with a big smile on your face."

#2 Leo

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 12:44 PM

I'd be tempted to try Olive Oil cooking spray on the patches. Especially after the encouraging results you got from Olive oil and water. Olive oil and water don't mix well so I'm actually surprised it was one of your best. Several different kinds of olive oil spray at the grocery store.
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#3 cayugad

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 09:20 PM

That is a great idea.  I will have to try some PAM cooking spray next time out.


"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, a total wreck with a big smile on your face."

#4 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 06:32 AM

Interesting. Sorry I have not been contributing much to this area. With all the shortages we have in powder and other supplies I have not been shooting.
If God had a refrigerator would your picture be on it.
Remember the Ark was built by amateurs, the titanic by professionals.

#5 cayugad

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 09:20 PM

My shooting has kind of slowed down a little also.  I have a floater on my right eye.  The eye surgeon said its nothing to worry about at this point, but some days it is there and some days it is not.  Its like looking through a blurred glasses lens.  With a scope I can still compensate, but I find with open sights..  I just can't do it and say I am doing a fair job to the rifle.  The eye doctor said further down the road I might have to have it removed but right now it is not a necessary surgery.  I told him it does interfear with my shooting...


"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, a total wreck with a big smile on your face."

#6 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 05:52 AM

Dave I have floaters in both eyes.  When I saw my eye Dr I asked about the removal of them.  She said that there is an operation that can remove them but it is a very expensive and unpredictable operation.  She explained how the operation worked.  They actually deflate the eye by removing the fluid, clean it and replace it.  There is a possibility of losing your vision completely.  There may be a different operation that is safer but I decided to just deal with them.  When my dr looked at them she said mine were the best example of a floater she has seen, even in the textbooks.


If God had a refrigerator would your picture be on it.
Remember the Ark was built by amateurs, the titanic by professionals.

#7 cayugad

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Posted 21 July 2013 - 10:02 AM

That is the same thing my doctor explained to me.  Also the risks.  Although he did say he has had excellent results so far and never lost an eye yet, he said there is a real possibility of it happeing though.  He decided to let it ride and see what happens as that same eye has a cataraic in the back side of it.  And he said that will have to be removed down the road.  Its no fun to get old.  One never thought of bad knees, hips, eyes, shoulders, and all the other parts when I was so busy abusing them when I was younger...  :roflmao:


"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, a total wreck with a big smile on your face."

#8 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 08:18 PM

Tell me about it.  I have already had both eyes operated on for cataracts.  Before the operation I had to wear pretty thick glasses to correct nearsightedness.  My shooting was not too affected by the nearsightedness but the surgeon put corrective lenses in my eyes when he removed the cataracts.  I am now far sighted but do not need to wear glasses except for close viewing.  It has taken me quite a while to go from clear sights and a little fuzzy target to just the opposite. 


If God had a refrigerator would your picture be on it.
Remember the Ark was built by amateurs, the titanic by professionals.




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