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Old 03-10-2017, 01:25 PM
PjEagle PjEagle is offline
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Default Range Repot – PC vs. Blue Lube Test

Firearm – Smith & Wesson 586 with a 6” barrel. The barrel was fire lapped a couple of years ago to remove a couple of restrictions.

The test was conducted using a Ransom Rest at a distance of 100 feet. About 120 powder coated rounds were fired after securing the Ransom Rest to the bench and the firearm to the Ransom Rest. This was my first time using a Ransom Rest and I wanted to work out any bugs before testing. There was no leading in the barrel after the initial rounds were fired.

Six rounds of powder coated .357’s were fired and then six rounds of blue lubed .357’s were fired and this was repeated seven times. The highest and lowest velocities and group sizes were tossed out and the five remaining groups were averaged.

Bullets – All the bullets were cast using a Lee 358-158 SWC 2 cavity mold with the gas check shank area honed out to cast plain base bullets. The alloy was miscellaneous lead from various sources with 2% tin added. The bullet BHN was tested one week after powder coating or lubing with a Lee Hardness Tester. LBT Blue was used to pan lube the blue lube bullets. The BHN of these bullets tested 11.8. I used the shake and bake method with Harbor Freight Red to powder coat the PC bullets. The BHN of these bullets tested 11.0.

Loading – I used once fired Starline .357 brass that was all trimmed to identical length. The primers were Winchester Small Pistol Magnum. The powder charge was 6.7 grains of Ramshot Zip. Each charge metered from a Redding 10X powder measure and every fifth charge was checked on an RCBS 10-10 scale.

Results – I averaged the velocity and group size of five, six shot groups for each bullet treatment. The blue lubed bullets produced an average velocity of 1112 fps with an average group size of 2.3 inches. The powder coated bullets produced an average velocity of 1079 fps with an average group size of 2.0 inches. So, it looks like the blue lube gave about 3% better velocity and the powder coating gave about 13% better accuracy.

The only difference in the testing was the BHN of the bullets.

This year I have replaced the mold with a NOE brass 4 cavity with temperature probe and the powder coating with Smoke’s Carolina Blue. I am expecting better and more consistent results, but won’t know for another year.
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Old 03-10-2017, 02:14 PM
mtgianni mtgianni is offline
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I believe that PC will be more resilient in purging blue lube than the other way around. I would test one medium, clean even if only a few patches to see if leading is present then shoot the other. For target shooting I have seen that it can take as many as 15-25 shots to purge a lube and season a barrel to the newer lube. I feel, though have no proof, that traditional lube would be helped by this more than powder coating.
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Old 03-10-2017, 02:41 PM
rockquarry rockquarry is online now
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From a truly technical aspect, results are skewed if you exclude high and low velocities and flyers. If you have a truly accurate load, shot-to-shot deviation (unless it's really wild) means little unless you're shooting at very long range. I wouldn't be concerned with "normal" deviation, particularly with handgun ammunition.

"Flyers" are different and more important. If you can shoot enough groups and eliminate the Ransom Rest stability or a problem with the grip inserts, then something is causing flyers. However, it depends on how much trouble you want to go to in addressing the problem. Lube purging? Might be, but isolating that as a cause would require additional group shooting.
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Old 03-10-2017, 05:01 PM
Mikeinkaty Mikeinkaty is offline
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What were the diameter of the bullets?
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Old 03-10-2017, 09:00 PM
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rwsmith rwsmith is offline
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Default Coated bullets aren't......

Coated bullets aren't smoky. And cleaner to handle. That's one in favor. I prefer the Hy Tek coating.

Some coatings smell a little like burning plastic, not that good ole gunpowder smell. Some lubes smell a little rank, too so it's which one you would rather have.

I've never had a fouling problem with either, they clean up good unless you get leading, which I don't.
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Old 03-10-2017, 10:28 PM
PjEagle PjEagle is offline
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All the bullets were sized to .358. The barrel slug measures .3516. The cylinder throats are a little larger than the barrel because the slug just passes through without forcing.
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Old 03-11-2017, 08:34 PM
cowboy4evr cowboy4evr is offline
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that measurement , " .3516 " sounds like the " bore " measurement , not the " groove" measurement . It's the groove diameter that is important .

Last edited by cowboy4evr; 03-11-2017 at 08:35 PM.
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