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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  CAS TOPICS  |  The Darksider's Den (Moderator: Cuts Crooked)  |  Topic: Deer tallow uses? Lube? 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Dalton Masterson
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« on: January 06, 2009, 11:24:40 pm »


Howdy all. Been butchering a VERY fat doe, and was thinking I saw a post somewhere that someone was using deer tallow for lube. Was it anyone here? Thought about using it to make some lubed wads, but..... What the heck do I need to do to the stuff? Do I cook it down? Just melt it, what? Thanks! DM (who just eats the deer, never thought about using the fat)
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« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2009, 09:12:21 am »

The fat needs to be rendered. Usually that means boiling in water until the fat becomes liquid and rises to the top of the water. The fat can be skimmed and stored for a period of time, usually refrigerated. Can be used in place of mutton tallow in the 2 part tallow, 2 part paraffin 1 part beeswax formula from the 1700s. There are probably better materials than deer tallow for lube but it will work.
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« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2009, 10:54:45 am »

I'm not sure paraffin was known until the oil industries got going. I could be wrong but I believe it is a byproduct of petroleum. I'm sure that deer tallow has been used for a long time as an ingredient in BP lubes just like mutton tallow. I have a couple pounds I renderd this fall and am curious as to what formulas come up on this discussion.
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« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2009, 11:52:00 am »

I'm thinking either Delmonico or Steel Horse Bailey use deer tallow in there lube. Howdy Doody uses
sheep tallow in his lube. Regards, TJ
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Howdy Doody
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« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2009, 12:02:29 pm »

Well, I have to admit the only tallow I have used so far is mutton tallow. I would think deer tallow would be really similar Dalton. I think the first lube I made was a mix of parafin, crisco and bore butter. The stuff was fine for sub powder. I got into true BP and found that cleaning the bores was way too much work and because the bores fouling turned hard I tried some other recipes. I eventually got the mix I use for any kind of powder. That is mutton tallow, beesway and crisco basically. I haven't tried it on smokeless at all, but I have shot a variety of true powders and subs with it and clean up is a breeze. Accuracy is good over many shots too, because I use the same lube for long range 45-70 and 38-55. I would think that the deer tallow would be every bit as good as mutton tallow. I use a pretty much standard of 50/50 tallow to beeswax and then add crisco to suit depending on if it is summer or winter I will be using the bullets. I also add a dash of thompson 1000 to the mix. It gives it a little yellow color and smells good to me. Probably not necessary.

I tried a mix of bacon grease, crisco and to soften a tad some olive oil. Well, that isn't the way to go. I shot the stuff off in bullets that had a couple small lube grooves and that isn't much lube compared to the big lubes I shoot these days. It was a good thing I hadn't lubed many bullets, because I went to a match with that mix and I had tears in everyones eyes, including mine. That lube turned rancid on me and the smoke smelled awful and it really did effect those close to it. Live and learn as they say.  Smiley

I have been getting the mutton tallow from Dixie Gun Works. I have heard tales that it is primary in SPG and so I started to use it and I have stuck to the same formula for at least five years now. Just stay away from pork tallow ol' pard.  Grin
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« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2009, 01:26:15 pm »

As I recall, deer tallow was used a lot by frontiersmen who opened the way west, in thier frontstuffers. It had two things going for it, it was available, and it doesn't go rancid. It's much like mutton tallow in that respect. Beef tallow and pork tallow will go "over" after a while, plus pork has "salts" in it that wouldn't be good in gunz!

I've been using deer tallow/bees wax mixture for my CAS loads for a couple of years now and I have no complaints! It works great and hasn't gone rancid on me. I have had crisco/bees wax go ranicd in the past..nasty smellin' on the way down range! Tongue I also use it for patch lube for my front loaders, as a nearly pure tallow mix. It stays soft without getting nasty smellin'!

I've read about rendering tallow in a double boiler with water and skimming it off the top of the water. I personally am one of the laziest people to ever shoot a gun so I just put the fat in a pan over very low heat and pour off the melt into a tin, leave it to cool then take it out of the tin and put it in a plastic baggie and keep it in my basement shop. It means keeping a close eye on it when you are melting it, but I got nothing else to do during the long winter months!
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« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2009, 04:41:43 pm »

I would not recommend bacon grease for fear of the residual salts in the mix. I rendered the deer tallow by two different methods. One was to fry it up in a big pan and pour off the fat and chop it up and boil it up to separate it. The boiled method came out with a whiter tallow. You let it  cool and scrape off the gunk on the underneath side. Remelt and pour into foil lined muffin tins.
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"Frontiersman: the only category where you can shoot your wad and play with your balls while tweeking the nipples on a pair of 44s." Canada Bill

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« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2009, 05:50:02 pm »

I use deer tallow and have for two years now.  Works great and does not go rancid.  I suspect it is so close to mutton tallow that it would be hard to tell the difference.  I have also had good luck with buffalo tallow.  It is OK to go natural man, you will pleased with the results.

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Delmonico
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« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2009, 06:19:13 pm »

Been using a 50-50 mix of it and bees wax since 1996, a logical choice I thought since it has a higher melting point than most tallow.  An informal test of it came when a friend left a box of bullets I gave him in the locked cab of his pick-up for 3 days in July in Newbrassky.  Yep, still in the grooves when he discovered his test  mistake. Grin

Been using the stuff since the 80's as a hand lotion, back when I painted for a living,  makes a good boot grease and lip balm also.

A couple of things on rendering it, never let it get hot enough to smoke, breaks the stuff down.  You can use water when you render and skim it off, but put it back in a pot and put a candy themometer in it and bring it to 250 and hold it there for about 15 minutes and all the water will boil out, water in it will make it go rancid. Wink  I then strain it through a muslin bag to get the tissue out of it. 

Had a heal crack a week or so ago, got under the loading bench and got out one of my coffee cans of it, stuff rendered in 2000.  Nope, not rancid at all, smells like fresh deer tallow.  Put some in the crack which is all better now.  Would have put it on my lips except they wern't chapped. Wink
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