Mountain Molds
Range Report 6/24/04

More lube experiments in the 357 snubby.

35_FP_160_snub, heat treated mystery alloy unless otherwise noted, 18.5 gr. H110, seated 0.325" into case, 37513 psi /1237 fps estimated by Quickload, average of 3 5-shot strings at 50 yards.

no lube   1239 fps, 55 fps ES, 6.1".   a little leading towards muzzle, but it never got any worse.

Greenstar   1227 fps, 99 fps ES, 5.8", perfectly clean.   My version of Starmetal's lube, 1 part Slick 50, 1 part gear oil, 4 parts beeswax.   A single bum chronograph reading of 1092 fps is responsible for the high ES.   If you throw out that string, Greenstar is left with a 66 fps ES, perfectly normal for this gun and load.

Rooster HVR & air-cooled bullets   1257 fps, 66 fps, 7", perfectly clean.   I wanted to see if the soft bullets would form a better gas seal and boost velocities.   Apparently not.

Straight Taurak   1248, 60 fps ES, 7.1", perfectly clean.

Straight Beeswax   1248 fps, 78 fps ES, 5.5", perfectly clean.   This was an experiment to see what role beeswax plays in bullet lube.

Conclusions There were no statistically significant differences amongst the loads tested today.  I would have predicted that the lubeless bullets would produce below normal velocities due to a poor gas seal, but that didn't happen.   Warm temperatures (75, which is warm by S.E. Idaho standards) boosted velocities with all lubes.   Accuracy was way off today, partly because I was dead tired and hadn't shot for a month and partly because I was shooting directly into the sun.   Towards the end of the session I finally got some relief from the sun and started shooting sub 5" groups.   Point being, today's accuracy results are not representative of what the loads are capable of doing.   So which lube should I put in my lubrisizer?   There's a few more lubes I'd like to test, but so far this gun seems to have a slight preference for Ballisticast lube.   If there is one thing that I have learned from these 357 lube tests, it's that a good gun and a good load will shoot cleanly with almost any lube.   Some of the tough lubes like Rooster and Ballisticast will help improve the gas seal and give slightly better velocities, and accuracy may be slightly better with one lube than another, but I haven't seen night and day differences in lube performance.   If your wheelgun is leading, it's probably not the lube's fault.


'06.   Today's experiment was to seat the bullet out so that only the gas check was inside the neck.   I have a sizing die that allows me to do that, effectively turning the bullet into a bore rider so it can be seated out further.   The idea was to get away from the problems with the oversize chamber neck, by simply getting the bullet out of the neck.   Average of three 5-shot strings at 100 yards.

165 gr. air-cooled WW, 22 gr. 5744, greenstar lube & mica dust  1674 fps, 20 ES, 4.1".   Not good -- if it won't shoot at low velocity there is no reason to believe it will shoot well at high velocity.

165 gr. air-cooled WW, 59 gr. 4350, greenstar lube & mica dust   2691 fps, 12.5".   I gave up after 5 shots because it obviously didn't want to shoot.   I didn't think the soft bullet would do well at high velocity but I'll try anything once.

165 gr. HTWW, 59 gr. 4350, greenstar lube & mica dust   2663 fps, 53 ES, 5.9".   There was only a little grey wash at the muzzle, yet velocity declined and group sizes increased as more shots were fired, suggesting a fouling problem.   Note the low velocity -- this load should be 2800+ fps.   Seating the bullet out further was not the solution.