HOWTO: DIY bullet lube and pan lubing cast bullets

Another self reference, so I know where to find it, since I am running low.

If you cast bullets, you need to lubricate them. Why? Here’s a good explanation

Notes from the video link (above): [a] ignore the double boiler - microwave is better and faster; [b] ignore pliers - it will damage your bullets, push them out with your fingers; [c] video talks about black powder, but it’s same-same for nitrate propellent too, i.e. type of powder is a moot point.

Point is, you shouldn’t be shooting pure cast projectiles without some sort of lubrication, if you like your bore shootable in the future. This is applied to each bullet you are going to shoot.

There are a few options and I will cover the most used one, to get started.

  1. Lee Liquid Alox Lube - messy, sticky, ugly and disgusting. Also not very economical in a long run with questionable results. Did I mention messy, sticky, ugly and disgusting?
  2. Powder coating – requires somewhat of a larger setup and not a good starting point, however a very good option nevertheless.
  3. Pan lubing - this is what’s covered here.

What I use on my cast bullets:

This is crazy flammable, I use a microwave, NOT stove.

By parts:
2 part: paraffin wax (best to get it from eBay, because you don’t know what else has been added to candles and such, if you chose to melt them).
2 part: pure lard (_pretty much any grocery store).
1 part: beeswax (again, eBay is your friend).

For fun and to be hip and cool and really piss your kids off, you can colour this mixture, by adding desired colour crayons to it. Essentially, it’s just wax and colouring. Red, blue, green, pink, whatever.


  1. Setup storage container: a box or whatever you are going to use to keep this in, however, line it with backing paper. It will be a lot easier to remove it in the future. Otherwise, you’ll be chiselling this lube out of the box away like a stone age monkey.
  2. Put lined storage container aside.
  3. Put everything into a microwave safe dish.
  4. Microwave it until it melts and blends together (4 minutes to start with, but maybe longer. It gets extremely hot, so gloves are a must).
  5. Remove from microwave.
  6. Mix well to make sure paraffin and wax have dissolved and everything has been mixed together.
  7. Pour into storage container
  8. Let cool and solidify
  9. You are done.

At this stage, your lube is ready and you can re-melt it in the microwave for use.

Here’s a sequence of me using it:

using backing paper in the pan, to make it a lot easier to remove after everything is solid.

you can re-melt the lube in a Microwave and re-use

let everything cool and solidify

Remove entire block from pan after it has cooled and solidify; and push bullets out with your fingers.

have fun

…and a video to get you started.


Do you know if this lube is suitable for muzzle loader wads? I tried the recommended olive oil and got a lot of fouling and had to clean every 6 or so rounds.

I am not sure olive oil would do anything to be honest, other than let the patch slide in smoother, you’d need something else mixed with it, like bees wax (or maybe some other material, but I don’t know, I only use bee wax for this). Also, don’t know anything about muzzle loaders/patches/etc. I suspect the theory is identical though.

Basic premise of bullet lube (using modern propellants or BP) is not to ‘lubricate’ or prevent fouling, which is somewhat misleading. It’s not really lubricating anything. It’s there to deposit itself in the bore and make goo-ey mess. This makes sure that there is less material that can solidify/harden, because it’s goo and soft. A lot of it would get blasted out with the next shot (because it’s goo and soft); and this is where ‘prevent leading’ comes from. It’s not that bullet sheds less lead, it’s that this lead can easily be removed, because it’s mixed with wax and not stuck to anything.

As for ‘a lot of fouling’ - from my limited experience with black powder rifles (1 rifle), my goodness it’s filthy. I wouldn’t be able to tell what is fouling and what is black powder. I poured a pot f boiling water down the bore and the bucket that caught it all was black! Likewise, wet tumbling cases after shooting my beast required me to change water 3 times (next time, I’ll soak and pre-clean). So I am not sure what you’d consider fouling in this case, because it’s already filthy AF.

When I shoot modern rifles with cast bullets, I certainly use lube, however, once I am done, I shoot a couple of coper jacketed bullets for this exact reason, blast everything out of the bore, for easier clean.

Hope that helps.

G’day Oldbloke,
Parrafin wax is not very good for Black, petroleum products are known to actually harden BP fouling very quickly making it difficult to reload. 50/50 Olive ( or any other vegetable oil or vegetable fat such as Crisco) oil and beeswax has been the most commonly used lube for decades, the other usable lube is animal fat but it doesn’t keep and is inferior in it’s effects. If you really don’t want to make your own you can buy pre-lubed patches such as Ox Yoke Wonder Patches and other brands from ebay or most shops who sell BP guns and products, Cheers.


OK thanks. I’ll try that recipe. I need to buy some bees wax anyway. I was recommended straight olive oil and looking on the web seems popular. Unfortunately it fouled so much I couldn’t reload after about 6 shots and had to clean the bore.

On another forum water soluble machining oil with some soap added was recommended but the oil only seems to available by the gallon. Would last 10 life times. Lol

I bought pre-lubed patches from a guy on eBay called viceroybooks. Been happy with them. Sells a few different thicknesses.

Ive seen some use spit on their patches, others a mix of ballistol and water. They call the mix moose’s milk. Can either use it as a wet patch or soak them in advance and leave them out to dry and use as a wet patch.

This is the page I was telling you about with the wad lub OB.

Lubrication of the cushion wad will allow unlimited shooting with little or no need for cleaning between shots. Either fiber or paper felt cushion wads can be lubricated prior to the shoot by submerging them for a moment in melted solid Crisco shortening, with good results. Anything to soften the fouling at the breech will allow it to be scraped off by the over-powder card wad as it is rammed down, essentially cleaning the barrel each time. Many shooters of trap or skeet use simply water and a little detergent, or some form of Moose Milk, which is water plus water-soluble oil.

Of course this is related to BP shotgun (this is me talking) but it goes on to say he does the same thing under a round ball in the smoothie.

Since my BP turned out to not be a .50 and is most likely a .64 instead I now have 500 half inch fibre wads that you can have mate.

I have bought the machine oil by the L it comes in quite a few sizes 1,2,5 20 ect Try another industrial shop.

That’s a truck load of wads. Last me yonks. See you at the next shoot up.

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Clearly I need to look around a bit more. Noisydad on EG recons it’s all the go for BP. Just busy as buggery at the moment.

@CAVOK check this out…I do similar, but i simply push lubed bullets out of the solid biscuit then plug holes with new bullets, then melt, in oven, cool, solidify, repeat…
I do 100 in each biscuit of 2 different lubes. It’s easier to crimp GC on prior to lubing, if needed.

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Legend, thanks mate. Appreciate it.:+1:t2::beer:

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No worries, thankyou, you reminded me I need to sell my bulletbender…(rcbs lam2)

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I’d be interested in your “bullet bender”

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It’s a good thing, I just dont have a use for it anymore. I made a piston to pressurize the lube resivior, and made a 12V heater for it. I will send you some pics when I get a chance. I would like $200 plus post for it all.