SL68 ...continued

JonB

Central Minnesota
The current recipe I'm testing is SL68B (B = Beeswax).

This is a slightly modified recipe of Ian's SL68. With Ian's guidance, I choose to use the three different microwaxes I had and Beeswax in place of the 2 oz of 180ºMW he used. The reason for 0.7 oz of BW is, that is the amount I measured out for pre-melting and guesstimated that 0.2 oz would cling to that pot when I poured the BW into the mix, per the recipe.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons 90-wt GL-1 gear oil
2 tablespoons generic white petrolatum
1 tablespoon heavy mineral oil (laxative grade from pharmacy)
1/2 tablespoon castor bean oil (also from pharmacy)
2 ounces fresh Ivory soap (soft, damp).

Waxes:
0.5 ounces 175º MW
0.5 ounces 185º MW
0.5 ounces 190º MW
0.7 ounces BW

Instructions:
>Melt everything except the soap and BW.
>Then add the soap (which should have been previously sliced into slivers with a paring knife) and allow to foam off all the water.
>Gently heat, stirring occasionally, until the mix becomes a light clear amber liquid with no gel or clumps of soap remaining.
>It should be around 460F, I choose not to use a thermometer, it just complicates things.
>Then add the BW (Beeswax), it should be pre-melted, The mix will Gel-up, because the Beeswax will cool the mix back into the Gel state.
>Continue to heat 'carefully', but as quick as possible, til it's fully clear amber liquid again whiling stirring.
>Then Immediately pour into chilled molds/baking sheet covered with wax paper or such and allow to "set" until cool.
======================

I am continuing my testing of this Lube with my Winchester Mod. 70 (30-06).
I was given some 30 cal TL bullet samples from 3 different molds by another caster, All had the tapered nose. I loaded a few dummy rounds and from what I could tell, they snuggled into the lands pretty good. So I ordered a mold. My newly purchased Lee TLC312-160-2R dropped bullets at 164gr. with COWW+1%SN and very near .311 or a touch larger. The Nose is .307 right next to the leading TL groove and .302 at the Ojive and .305 midway between those two measurements. Hornaday GC's snap on easliy and crimp on tight with a Lyman 45 with .311 die. That is how I applied the SL68B.

Lee TLC312-160-2R sized 311 and lubed with SL68B.jpg

I assembled some dummy rounds of various lengths and cycled them in my rifle and was happy with the witness marks on this bullet, and I settled on a OAL = 3.180"
Lee CTL312-160-2R in 30-06 with rifling witness marks from Mod 70.jpg
I loaded a batch of 23 rounds. That was the quantity of brass I had that was fired in this rifle.
I neck sized them with a Lee Collet die.
I Double checked Length, they were trimmed to the correct length prior to the previous loading.
I loaded then with Alcan 9450 (Jeff at GIbrass says this is equivalent to 4759). So using Lyman data for the 170gr 311291, I measured 25.7 gr of powder, book says that should be about 2000fps.

I get out to the range (St. Patricks Day), and I forget my sand bags...grrr :mad:
So I used my re-purposed 1990's Apple Mac computer carry bag AKA: Range bag as a rifle rest. That bag is springy and I am stating right here and now, I blame it 'partially' for my poor accuracy.

range bag.jpg
I did remember to bring my Chrono. Yeah, the one I have a love hate relationship with. After my last outing with getting NO readings. I did some research and I guess this Pact One likes to have plenty of light, Pact even offers a light kit for the sky screens. Well, I never paid any attention to light conditions at my range before. As you can see, at near 1pm, the long narrow (east-west) clearing we use for a rifle range, is bordered with tall trees and the sun angle (near the 45th parallel) gives us plenty of shade. Today I positioned my Chrono in a sunny area and was able to get the first 7 shots measured, til that area got shaded, then all I'd get is error or no reading, and I didn't even to try to move it...I got enough info for that day, as I had other problems.
range shade.jpg
So the Chrono recorded this info from the first 7 shots.
A=2153
HI=2173
LO=2130
ES=39
SD=13
AD-9.6
Bench setup.jpg
Shooting at 100 yds (as usual).

OK, First problem I had was the first two shots were about 20" high. See 'em my the ink Pen.
A short history of this rifle. When I started testing this lube, I pulled this rifle out of the safe. I had never shot it, I bought this Pre-64 from a friend about 5 years ago, it's had very little use. I cleaned the bore with a copper remover and mounted a older Leupold Vari-X II. I bore sighted it. The first time out with some cast loads (with SL68), it shot well, but 24" high. I ran out of adjustment with the scope, before I could get to POI at 100 yards.

When I got home I removed the stock, Besides the noticeable pressure of the wood on the barrel, I noticed the wood around the Screw in front of the Mag well wasn't contacting the receiver (there are photos at CB). Anyway, I put a thick washer in there, enough to lift the barrel so it was barely contacting the stock when the mounting screws were tightened. I lost about 18" of elevation. More than enough to make me buy another stock. Which I did. When I mounted this stock, I noticed a very similar condition. So for this first test, I put a thick dense rubber pad in the afore mentioned screw/mount. I re-bore sighted the scope.

OK, that was the back story...Looks like I need a Stocksmith.

Anyway, back to this day. I had enough adjustment to correct it this time.

The Next five shots were at the far right target, as I dialed in the scope, 2 shots then adjust, 2 more shots then adjust, last shot in the bull, I liked that, These five shots gave me hope.

The Next ten shots were at the far left target, shown closeup, with the dollar bill, in the bottom photo.
About 8". I didn't keep track of "order of shots placed", but I would have surely noticed it they were continually climbing or sinking...they were not. I place much of the blame on that springy range bag.
targets all.jpg
OK, now the last six shots. It is the most spread out group on the right target paper. This was kind of an experiment. All 23 rounds were assembled these on my Lee Classic Turret press. I used a Bonanza (Forster) benchrest seater die. The spring loaded sleeve of that die protrudes below the turret. So, if I wasn't careful and to remove the seated round before the turret moved (yeah I should have disabled the auto-index), The round would wedge and possibly get bent, leaving a mark on the bullet no less. My simple rolling test didn't show any runout...But those six all had that issue, and it surely looks like they had a problem.
target.jpg
SO, I pack up and go home.

When I get home, I look down the bore. It seems OK, but my eye's aren't the greatest. So I run a jag with a tight dry patch through. The Patch looks dirty and has some shiny tiny particles (FYI, not flakes or strings). That bummed me out. I had originally planned on not cleaning this gun, just keep shooting it in future tests, to continually season the bore to this lube, OR whatever? BUT, I break out the Ed's Red and start cleaning. The second patch (wet with Ed's Red) has more of the shiny particles. The third patch, dry, which had much less shiny particles. I continue to clean alternating wet and dry, til clean. There wasn't any more shiny particles after the first three patches.
 
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Brad

Administrator
Staff member
Wow, that is a whole lotta info in one post. It's gonna take me some time to digest a meal like that.

To start I would use a thin coat of BLL on the nose of those bullets. That alone may eliminate the little flecks you found.
 

JonB

Central Minnesota
OK, another little tidbit I forgot to mention...Mostly for myself I guess.
I measured the Necks of the loaded rounds. I was curious to see how much the brass would expand...kind of a redneck way of measuring that part of the chamber.

Necks before firing .337 to .338
Necks after firing .341

I am using R+P brass. Maybe I'll go to Win or FC after I get this stock thing figured out, since R+P is known to be thinner than those.
 

JonB

Central Minnesota
Wow, that is a whole lotta info in one post. It's gonna take me some time to digest a meal like that.

To start I would use a thin coat of BLL on the nose of those bullets. That alone may eliminate the little flecks you found.
Yeah, I had lots of problems, I try to be as detailed as possible, to get the best answers as possible.

BUT HEY, I think I got the picture size thing worked out to my liking :)
 

Brad

Administrator
Staff member
I don't see problems, I see opportunities!
You did something and learned from it, that is what it is all about.
Getting the stock situation under control can only help matters. After that it comes to playing with alloy and loads. And alloys and loads. And alloys and loads.

And Yep, the photos are a perfect size.
 

Ian

Well-Known Member
Jon, great write-up and pictures, thanks for posting! I also appreciate the nose measurements, that helps me a lot.

I've been thinking about this since your post earlier today on the other thread, and I'm starting to think that the bullet just doesn't carry enough lube for 2100+ fps. Might try BLL on top of the soap lube like you mentioned before, and maybe we can get Outpost75 to weigh in with his thoughts as he has a good bit of experience with this bullet. The alloy may have a bit much antimony in it as well as I mentioned earlier, even straight WW tend to slough off a little metal when you push things, and I'm not surprised accuracy went south on you after 20 with alloy flakes accumulating in the bore.

About the lube, any basic mix involving about 1/3 mixed micro-crystalline waxes, 1/3 by weight FRESH Ivory soap, and the balance Vaseline with a castor oil booster at the rate of 1-2 teaspoons per pound of lube does well. The reason for the GL-1 mineral gear oil in the original SL-68 recipe was to temper the dry, hard micro-crystalline 180F wax that I was using by itself for the entire wax portion. The white mineral oil is there to soften the whole mix, may or may not be necessary depending on the waxes used. In essence, it's only four ingredients: A wax/soap carrier plasticized by non-slick petrolatum, and a very controlled amount of high-performance lubricant. Castor oil does special things between moving hot metal surfaces that not a lot of other oils do, but too much of a good thing makes the lube super-slippery and accuracy suffers, that's why Vaseline and mineral-based, paraffinic oils (NOT napthenic or branched-chain oils like engine oil or GL-5 gear lubes) are used to plasticize the wax and oils...they soften without adding too much of a slippery element that would cause purge flyers or cold/hot barrel discrepancies.
 

JonB

Central Minnesota
My local ACE Hardware store finally got the SC Johnson Liquid wax in (I asked them to order a case, two weeks ago). I mixed up my first batch of BLL. I applied some to the next group of TLC312-160-2R bullets...over the SL68B. ALSO, preped the brass, I'm gonna stick with the R+P for now. I haven't decided if I am gonna stay with the same 2150fps-ish load of mil surp 4759 ...OR guesstimate a download to be in the 1900-2000ish area, which I was shooting for with the first load. Comments?

and yeah, I gotta pull that stock off the rifle before I hit the range again, as well...
 

Ian

Well-Known Member
I picked up a block of Yaley taper-candle paraffin yesterday, the label states a 139F melt point, better than Gulf wax. I'll be mixing this with some 180 microwax, some bowl ring wax, and some Vaseline in various proportions to see what sort of base I can come up with.
 

Brad

Administrator
Staff member
Those are fresh bowl rings, right?

I think a mix of waxes may well work. The base has been our focus all along. Well, at least figuring how to modify the base.
 

Ian

Well-Known Member
What I'm going for is the glossy, translucent appearance and not-so-tacky feel of the navy wax and yet get that wonderful stretchy, flexy, characteristic at the same time. Paraffin provides one, micro wax provides the other, and I have to figure out how to soften the blend. What would be really nice would be to get some modern Vaseline analyzed to see what the chain lengths are. I wish just paraffin and Vaseline would do it, but based on working with those before, the microwaxes in today's USP petrolatums must be fairly light/short-chain as they don't add the plasticicity (there's another made up word) to medium melt point paraffin that the higher microwaxes do.
 

Ian

Well-Known Member
Update, the Yaley taper paraffin is NO GOOD. It's a crumbly mess, won't even stick to itself. Even lousy Gulf Wax is better. The search continues....
 

Pistolero

Well-Known Member
Glass bed the original stock with a piece of shirt cardboard under the middle of
the barrel and only snug the action screws, not enough to spring the barrel.
Once cured you should be in good shape, no need to get a stocksmith.
Acraglass from Brownells and follow their directions, although it sounds like you
will not have to remove wood before glassing, at least at the front.

Now - to understand your results. . . . . . .
 

Paladin

New Member
Just a kwestion, rather than a suggestion: has anyone a critique on blending soy wax as part of some of these interesting experimental formulas? Would soy wax be a useful substitute for microwaxes?

Paladin
 

Brad

Administrator
Staff member
I have not. I think a couple of the other guys did try some.
Microwax does have some very helpful properties. It holds oils well and it also has a natural stickiness that helps hold lube on bullets. They also have a pretty high melt point.

I bet Ian will chime in, he would know about soy wax tests.
 

Ian

Well-Known Member
Soy wax is good stuff, but I haven't figured out the magic to using it yet, that is to say it isn't any better or any worse than a whole bunch of other things we could use in the 10-25% additive ratio.
 

Grump

Member
So, please help me catch up here. Is that mix of microwaxes all single-chain hydrocarbon alkanes? I'm curious about how this factor fits into the possibility of replicating the legendary Navy Wax...which again prompts me to want to completely dump the beeswax.

Has this SL-68B also been called SL-68.1? I seem to remember that the original SL-68 is turning out to be better after all.
 

Pistolero

Well-Known Member
Not meaning to be TOO contrary, but what sort of problems would be
caused by just adding the solid beeswax to the mix rather than premelted?
Being a bit lazy, it seems like it wouldn't really make any difference and would
be easier and less wasted BW.
I won't be very surprised if you say - "we tried it and it won't work because. . . . .",
but always looking for a shortcut. ;-)
 

Brad

Administrator
Staff member
I always add mine as a solid. It helps cool things down and it helps prevent overheating the beeswax.
I haven't done any lube testing as of late just because I am struggling to find time to get to the range.
 

Ian

Well-Known Member
Bill, it's tricky to get beeswax to fully incorporate into a sodium thickener matrix without burning. Actually, it's impossible. All we can do is try to minimize the burn, and Jon has figured out a way to do it by throwing in fully-melted beeswax at just the right moment and then crash-cooling the mix before the beeswax scorches too badly. The only way to get the beeswax all the way into the grease matrix is to add it when the sodium stearate is fully molten....at about 450-460F minimum. If you don't, the beeswax never really gets mechanically formed into the grease and instead kind of forms small globs like whole grapes in jell-o rather than fruit juice in jell-o. There is a huge difference between a mixture of grease and wax and a homogenous sodium grease made where the waxes and oils are all acting as one unit gelled by the sodium soap. The difference in cooking between most grease/beeswax lubes and SL-68whatever is like the difference between scrambling eggs and baking a souffle'.

Actually, there IS another way to make a sodium grease involving beeswax without scorching the wax, but it's above my pay grade. The technique would be to melt all the oils/waxes together, figure the net saponification number, and then react the correct amount of sodium hydroxide and stearic acid right there in the melting pot at just above the boiling point of water. After the reaction is complete, the water byproduct of the reaction would be simmered off and the mix allowed to set into a finished gel. The problem is making it stoichiometric and not having any residual lye or stearine to muck up the pH and corrode things it touches.
 

Grump

Member
Thus, Ian, we let the Ivory Soap Company handle stoichiometric-omoty for us. Buying stuff: the price paid to save time and get more reliable product than what we can probably do ourselves, in the chemical processes realm (and a few others I'm sure...).

At least, that's what *I* think.