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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  CAS TOPICS  |  The Darksider's Den (Moderators: Marshal Halloway, Major 2, Capt Quirk)  |  Topic: Beef tallow based bullet lubricant 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Beef tallow based bullet lubricant  (Read 1619 times)
Bunk Stagnerg
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« on: August 26, 2017, 10:29:12 am »


Beef Tallow based bullet lubricant

Some time ago I posted a question about using beef tallow as a bullet lube. The non-answers I got were to use lamb tallow which is like asking “what time is it” and getting the answer “two blocks down, best deli in town”.

So, having used up the entire non-knowledge available on this forum, it became apparent it was experiment time. I had read that the old time “gut line” cowboys broke in a new rawhide rope with beef kidney fat because it was hard and did not get rancid.

My business is beef cattle so for our personal use we feed out a couple of steers very year. The last time we had steers processed, I had the packing plant save me the kidney fat from a couple of them. Not the body fat trimmings because it is soft like the marbling that makes meat tender. By the way, cholesterol is best when breaded and deep fried in lard…but I digress.

My method of rendering out about ten pounds of the kidney fat was to chop it in small pieces then by boiling, not frying, in a pot of water outside. This is something you DO NOT want to do inside because it is a fragrant process  Perhaps from the residue of what kidneys do. This did give me some concern that I would wind up with bullet lube that smelled like the men’s room at the bus station but not so.

I boiled the fat about two hours until it was reduced to pieces of soft tissue then filtered the liquid through an old tee shirt and allowed the mix to cool. The result was a thick cake of very hard white tallow that faintly smelled like a cooked steak.

When mixed 60/40 with beeswax and softened with shortening to a workable texture it makes a good inexpensive bullet lubricant. I have some that has been stored in a can for almost two years and has not molded, or gotten rancid so it seems the old time brush poppers were correct. I use a small amount of oil of wintergreen when making the mix because that steak smell makes me hungry.

I hope this is an answer to the question about beef tallow. Check with a butcher shop or a processing plant for a source of kidney fat.

Yr’ Obt’ Svt’
Bunk
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treebeard
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« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2017, 10:55:33 am »

I have only used a variety of store bought black powder lubes so can not ad much in way of knowledge on beef tallow lines. That said I enjoyed reading of your experiments with beef tallow. Non of the many lubes I have tried over the years claimed to use beef tallow in their formulas so I think you have broken new (old) ground.
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Coffinmaker
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« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2017, 11:36:10 am »

HA!!

Think about it.  Using Beef tallow and Beez Waxz for your bullet lube and Cream-0-Wheat for yer filler, yer gonna get ammo that smells like Steak and Eggs with Honey toast.  Yer Posse gonna attach ya with knives and forks.  Yepper .... ammo that smells like BREAKFAST!!

Now we need an alternative that smells like Biscuits-n-Gravy.  Mix those up a Henry Magazine first thing at a CAS match.  Makin it smell like Steak-n-Eggs-n-Toast with Biscuits-n-Gravy just might get ya lynched  Shocked

HE HE HE HE
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hellgate
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« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2017, 11:51:28 am »

Having read multiple discussions on bullet & BP lubes over the years I've come to the conclusion that most of the formulas work reasonably well until you get to real precision shooting like the BP silhouette (had to look up the spelling on that one) shooters. One ingredient that was mentioned for use in the US Army BP ammo was tallow but it was never mentioned as to which tallow it was: beef, lamb, deer, etc. I'm gonna assume it was beef. It must have worked reasonably well or the army would not have chosen it and probably did several trials to find the best formula.
The kidney fat vs body fat difference is interesting. I had not heard of its rancid resistance. It does have a different texture when peeled out cold. I've been using deer tallow only because that is what I have had available. Next time I will harvest the kidney fat separately and see if it is even better. I keep my tallow & lube in the freezer so I haven't had a rancidity problem. A nice big fat deer provides me with 3 or 4 years of lube so I may have a bit of a wait.
Interesting info, Bunk.
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Bunk Stagnerg
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« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2017, 02:55:30 pm »

NO NO NO Coffinmaker!!
You use butter flavored grits for filler and it smells like breakfast time in Georgia
For you northern folk grits is  hominy ground to about malt-o-meal particle size. Cooked and served with butter or good cream gravy.
Or left over {seldom} sliced and fried with syrup (aka lick) or molasses.
I am getting hungry wonder what fried thing we well have for supper?
Bunk
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john boy
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« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2017, 04:53:33 pm »

My lube for years has been pure white mutton tallow -paraffin and beeswax.  Use it for original gunpowder and smokeless.  No lube starvation or leading for any caliber that I reload
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« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2017, 08:15:45 pm »

Bunk when you render the next batch replace the crisco with jojoba oil.
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Bunk Stagnerg
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« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2017, 09:22:30 pm »

Thanks I have tried olive oil and mineral oil as has been suggested. Both tended to sweat out, why I don't know. Something about the kidney tallow does not play well with an oil that has not been turned into a solid. Paraffin wax worked sort of but made a very hard lube. It took almost a 1:1 mix with shortening to soften it up. It would have made swell wax wads, but my system is using the Bottom Dealing Mike felt wad system, but thanks for the suggestion.
Bunk
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greyhawk
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« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2017, 01:42:44 am »

Thanks I have tried olive oil and mineral oil as has been suggested. Both tended to sweat out, why I don't know. Something about the kidney tallow does not play well with an oil that has not been turned into a solid. Paraffin wax worked sort of but made a very hard lube. It took almost a 1:1 mix with shortening to soften it up. It would have made swell wax wads, but my system is using the Bottom Dealing Mike felt wad system, but thanks for the suggestion.
Bunk

Thanks for the info Bunk, we been using Beeswax and neatsfoot oil aboot 50/50 but the last batch didnt want to mix real well (had thought maybe "they" done somethin to the neatsfoot) and as well they neither of em cheap anymore - 1/3 beeswax + 2/3 tallow,  then cut it for softness would reduce the spend some . You maybe interested - have been experimenting with wads for pistol, tried some eggcarton impregnated with lube in a walker, seemed like a good result - triggered by the problem I had sourcing decent felt for wads - still working on that - but egg carton if it works is real cheap (or should that be cheep!) - just used two thicknesses of it under the ball - get it by dunking the flat strips in hot lube (gotta be hot!) till the bubbles stop coming out. Am gonna try your tallow deal for sure - would not have thought of the difference from kidney fat to body fat (allus overlok the obvious things)
cheers     
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Bunk Stagnerg
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« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2017, 07:56:18 am »

Greyhawk
look for PURE neatsfoot oil because some of that stuff is a substitute for the real thing sort of like Gun Powder and 777. Not the same thing.
Bunk
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Ranch 13
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« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2017, 08:08:04 am »

 Jojoba oil is the closest thing we can get now days to the spermicitti that is mentioned in high regard from yesteryear. Spermicitti should not be confused with Sperm Whale oil as while they both come from the same source they are intact different products, much like your beef kidney fat tallow is different than skimming the tallow off the top of a cold pot roast pot..
 
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Eat more beef the west wasn't won on a salad.
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« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2017, 12:41:05 pm »

I use a 1:1:1 ratio of neatsfoot oil (the pure stuff):beeswax: extra virgin olive oil for leather and black powder lube.   I was a food chemist for a while, all oils/fats will eventually go rancid, just some way slower than others.   Keeping what you are not immediately using frozen will extend the life of the lube for, well just about as long as your freezer keeps functioning.  I have not tried beef tallow as it and leaf lard are more expensive than the olive oil. Luckily I had a source for the beeswax, as it is rather expensive now too.
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« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2017, 01:51:32 pm »

I have not tried beef tallow as it and leaf lard are more expensive than the olive oil. Luckily I had a source for the beeswax, as it is rather expensive now too.

I myself lucked into a cheap source of grungy looking beeswax at the local Asian market. around $4 a pound I think.

I can only imagine the extreme cost of the very rare leaf lard .... what tree would that be from?

yhs
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« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2017, 05:10:57 pm »

It's not so much the exact formulation of the lube, but the quantity that gets the job done.  This is the whole reason for Big Lube bullets.  They haul so much lube that the fouling stays soft and blows out with the following shot.  Thus, your last shot of the day and your second shot of the day encounter the same amount of fouling.  Guns run, accuracy stays and satisfaction is continuous.

DD-MDA
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Bunk Stagnerg
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« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2017, 10:18:14 pm »

Did a little research and found leaf lard is the swine equivalent of beef tallow. Apparently it is softer and had a higher melting point if Wikipedia is correct.

Dick Dastardly and his big lube, really big lube, bullets is what drove me to making my own lube. I think buying his bullet lube was putting the family of that guy in Montana to a four year expenses paid education at Montana U.
Since I grow beef cattle, and we feed out a couple of steers every year. the kidney fat is the result of processing.
Real Gun Powder rules!!
Bunk
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« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2017, 11:53:29 pm »

Thanks Bunk -
I shall check with our local butcher ( still have a couple in town) and see if they have the kidney fat!

I have 2 of Dicks molds for the .45 Colt and I too have to fill the huge lube grooves...
yhs
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Bunk Stagnerg
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« Reply #16 on: September 01, 2017, 07:56:55 am »


Hello Prof.Marvel
If you render the fat by boiling do it out side. I do mine in a big pot on a turkey frying burner. Low boil and watch it not to boil over. Boil until the fat is reduced to clear tissue then strain into another pot and allow to cool. I use a 60:40 mix with beeswax. My experience with using mineral oil or olive oil did not work, the oil sweated out, but YMMV.
Good luck
Bunk
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Dick Dastardly
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« Reply #17 on: September 01, 2017, 10:07:56 am »

If you haunt the estate sales after the Christmas holidays you can get some once lit Christmas candles for nickles each.  The color and fragrance don't add anything to their use as bullet lube but the aroma is a good paring with the black powder smoke. . .

DD-MDA
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Mogorilla
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« Reply #18 on: September 01, 2017, 12:50:08 pm »

Ha, yes, leaf lard is the kidney fat from pigs.  It is difficult for us every day gents to get, as it goes to professional bakers and restaurants.   It is the bees knees for pastry crust.
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NCOWS #3297
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« Reply #19 on: September 02, 2017, 06:35:51 am »

I have no information at all about using beef tallow for bullet lub. Never tried it, don't think I've ever used it, have no interest in doing so, and have no viable information to add to previous posts. Happy as a momma coon in a ripe sweet corn field using lub I can buy. I do make my own lube for revolver wads though, but that'd be highjackin' the post.  Just thought I'd do like our friend Coffinmaker and post a post I have nothing to add. Haven't posted much lately so just practicin'! I'll take any whippin's for doing so! Grin Grin Roll Eyes Shocked
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« Reply #20 on: September 02, 2017, 10:29:02 am »

Well Gollie!!  Nice to see I've managed to have a good effect on some folks.  Save those Box Tops and keep those cards and letters coming!
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greyhawk
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« Reply #21 on: September 03, 2017, 11:11:54 pm »

If you haunt the estate sales after the Christmas holidays you can get some once lit Christmas candles for nickles each.  The color and fragrance don't add anything to their use as bullet lube but the aroma is a good paring with the black powder smoke. . .

DD-MDA

Question for ya Dick -- what candle wax is it that wont mix with beeswax ?
Reason asking is I recently melted down some wax a friend gave me he thought was beeswax - yeah some of it was - I sorted all the parrafin? out - thought I did - melted the rest and set it in a big puddin bowl - when it was all set there was this white wax that had set separately - like veins of it separated out - never seen that before - I know they use a lot of different stuff in candles but thought they would all combine when we melted em - any clues?
greyhawk.
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Bunk Stagnerg
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« Reply #22 on: October 22, 2017, 08:58:25 pm »

update on beef tallow
A 60:40 mix of tallow rendered from beef kidney fat and canning wax makes a very good summer lube. This is what I used to treat felt for making revolver wads like Bottom Dealing Mike suggests. It also makes a good hard and not sticky lube for coating the bullets used in my percussion Sharps.
With a little oil of wintergreen added to the mix it smells good, certainly better than Ballistol.
Yr' Obt' Svt'
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greyhawk
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« Reply #23 on: October 23, 2017, 04:29:42 am »

update on beef tallow
A 60:40 mix of tallow rendered from beef kidney fat and canning wax makes a very good summer lube. This is what I used to treat felt for making revolver wads like Bottom Dealing Mike suggests. It also makes a good hard and not sticky lube for coating the bullets used in my percussion Sharps.
With a little oil of wintergreen added to the mix it smells good, certainly better than Ballistol.
Yr' Obt' Svt'
Bunk

Thanks Bunk - I will give it a try - have plenty of that parrafin (is what the gals use here for canning wax) was wondering what to do with it.
Greyhawk
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Dick Dastardly
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« Reply #24 on: October 24, 2017, 01:11:46 pm »

Beef fat, hog fat, deer tallow, it all serves the same purpose.  Keep the fouling soft so it blows out.  PL-II uses a microcrystalline wax, Soy wax and shortning.  It works, stays put till fired and coats the barrel and rids the barrel of fouling.  That's about all a bullet lube can do.  The rest is up to the bullet to haul enough lube to do the job.

We just finished shooting the Wi. State Champion SASS shoot (Fandango) and our whole camp was shooting BL bullets.  No cleaning between days, no fouling problems and I even shot the last stage clean.

DD-MDA
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