Sunday, September 28, 2008

Lee and me

Three cheers for Lee's Liquid Alox! If you are a reloader, you've likely at least heard about this concoction, if not used it yourself. LLA is a bullet lubricant that helps keep lead smearing out of a firearm's barrel when using lead bullets driven at sane velocities. Since I've only used it for lead bullets pushed to moderate speeds (approx. 750-850 fps) in the .38 Spl. cartridge, that's all I can authoritatively comment on. Prior to using LLA, I would routinely have to scrub lead--lots of lead--out of the barrels of my revolvers after firing them. The lead bullets I used were commercially manufactured and had hard lube in their lube rings, but that lube might as well have not been there for all the good it did.

Somewhere along the line, I got the idea to use LLA on my bullets to supplement the lousy lube that already came on the bullets. Since that time, I've had absolutely zero leading problems. As an added bonus, LLA couldn't be simpler to use: just take an old plastic container, place a couple of handfuls of lead bullets inside, shoot a squirt or two of LLA on the bullets, and swirl the container until they're all coated, which doesn't take long. Then, put the bullets on a piece of wax paper and let them dry overnight. After that, they're ready to load. Simple, eh?

I have heard that LLA has its limitations, mainly when bullets get much beyond about 1200 fps. Past that speed, leading can/will occur. But, since I don't plan to shoot lead bullets at that speed (that's what jacketed bullets are for), LLA suits my purposes just fine.

One other use I've read about for Lee Liquid Alox is as a rust preventative. Although I haven't used it for that purpose, I can see how it would work well in that role, and not just for guns. Anything metal that you might want to put into long-term storage could well benefit from a coating of LLA. Of course, you'll have to clean it off once the item is taken from storage, and that will take a little work since LLA dries somewhat hard, but the item should be in fine, rust-free shape afterwards.

If you haven't tried LLA, do yourself a favor and get a bottle. It's relatively cheap, about five bucks for a 4-oz. bottle, and it lasts a long time. I've coated about 1500 bullets so far and less than half of the bottle is gone.

Take care.

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