Lubing and Sizing TL Bullets

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Lubing and Sizing TL Bullets

Postby Green Frog » 19 Dec 2021 18:02

OK, I'm on my Christmas Vacation from being retired, so I have lots of time for idles speculation, so here goes! I want to know how many folks here have sized and lubed TL bullets with a lubricating press such as a Star, a Lyman 4500, or a RCBS LAM. I'm curious to know whether you were able to readily fill all of those tiny little lube grooves the TL provides. I'm thinking this would give results somewhat similar to the swaged bullets with knurled sides and lubrication of wax and mica(?)

I know the TL bullets were designed to... tumble lube but I'm in the mode thinking "outside the box" here (or is it outside the groove?) and would like to explore some different kinds of bullet making.

Meanwhile, Merry Christmas to all!
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Re: Lubing and Sizing TL Bullets

Postby GasGuzzler » 20 Dec 2021 07:00

I have only because they needed sized. It mostly makes a mess but that's the truth with traditional lube grooves too ... which is why I changed to powder coating.
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Re: Lubing and Sizing TL Bullets

Postby Macd » 20 Dec 2021 12:19

I experimented awhile back with pan-lubing and then sizing in a Lee sizer TL 9mm bullets. It works but slow and messy. I used a purple crayon to colour the lube so I could easily pick out voids. I fired a few and didn't see any sign of leading in a M&P 9. I was going to try a .452 TL bullet but the mess turned me off.

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Re: Lubing and Sizing TL Bullets

Postby Green Frog » 22 Dec 2021 08:41

OK, just to think out loud some more… I’m looking at the possibility of using a Star or Lyman size and lube press so I can perform both steps at the same time. No shake, no bake, no dip and size then re-dip. I’d like to go from mould to ready to load like I’ve done for nearly a half century with bullets having conventional lube grooves. I’ve done pan lubing and tumble lubing, and in some cases this works well for me. I’m just looking for something different. :?

What I need to know is the possibility and practicality of sizing and lubing tumble lube bullets in the “old school” method. Are the tiny grooves big enough to accept sufficient lube and not collapse as the bullets are sized down a thousandth or two? I guess I really should have lead with this, but I’m old and tried typing what I was thinking at the time, not my overall plans. Sorry for the confusion. :o

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Re: Lubing and Sizing TL Bullets

Postby Macd » 22 Dec 2021 12:39

The bullet pictured drops at .356. My M&P 9 has a super tight chamber and if I don't size down to .355 I get return to battery failures. The lube is fairly firm and as you can see seems to stick to those small grooves pretty well even when squeezed down a thousand. My normal lube is a bit harder but the addition of the pencil wax softened it a little. I had an old Lube-sizer that was given to me but I didn't like it and found going for tumble lube bullets whenever I could make life a lot easier and a whole lot cleaner. I still pan lube some rifle bullets but not in large quantities. Powder coating is so much easier. I have tried TL on some conventional bullets with a gas check. I didn't see any signs of leading shooting these so I may dispense with pan lubing too.
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Re: Lubing and Sizing TL Bullets

Postby RBHarter » 22 Dec 2021 13:41

I've thumb lubed most of my casting career .

The TL designs are intended to "size to the throat" on the top band . I would suggest sizing say a 38/357/9mm at .359 with a lube sizer even if you only need .358 . Yes it's doable and works fine , best results are with the fullest as cast dia left intact .
I had great success with the 358-124 TLTC in 9mm but got some silly idea about consolidation of moulds to only 1-2 per caliber . Lots of guys have trouble with it because they go too hard and don't leave it as cast and mess up the front band . I don't know what the front band has to do with lead fouling but I suspect it has to do with keeping the base dia big enough .

The functional dia is large but very narrow/thin . The lube bands are large dia but hold lube in between them and slug up and/or engage the rifling on half or so of each . The base band is key to seal the design . In general if you size them much you will upset the nose alignment , lube groove/retention , and then it both scrubs and gets blow by .......or at least that's what the mechanic in me says .

Straight up ? These are stupid simple , probably too simple , straight forward pour , dump , get some slickum' on them , stuff em' in a case , and go poke holes in stuff , don't think about what makes them shoot well bullets . They are just too simple and everyone over thinks them .
Treat them as you would a rifle bullet that drops the perfect dia but needs a check seated scuff just the parting line and the check will stay put and the grooves will get lubed with nil sizing . Same thing you want with the TL designs .
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