Author Topic: Castor Oil  (Read 378 times)

Offline Navy Six

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Castor Oil
« on: September 26, 2019, 06:02:06 pm »
 Over the last couple of years I have been experimenting with some of the bullet lube recipes from Paul Matthew's book "Bullet Lubricants for the Black Powder Cartridge Rifle". Of special interest to me were the mixtures containing castor oil and neat's-foot oil as both are natural products that can be obtained locally. Matthews mentions that castor oil is considered an excellent high temperature lubricant and was used in WW1 aircraft engines and still used in jet aircraft hydraulic and brake fluids.
 My morning project was to get a new pair of Uberti 61 Navies "battle ready". Examining the castor oil on my bench, I noticed how "slippery" it was and recalled Matthews comments, so I simply coated the arbors with straight castor oil as the lubricant. The days temperature was headed for 88 degrees and the castor oil was chosen because of its "thickness".  Off to the range where I shot both guns for 8 simulated cowboy stages. One of the guns just started to feel a very slight amount of drag at the end when turning the cylinder by hand but cocking was still effortless. The other gun was virtually indistinguishable from the initial unfired condition in terms of cylinder movement. Upon returning home, both cylinders came right off without any additional coaxing and I noticed that the one gun that displayed a very slight amount of "drag" had only half the arbor coated with the castor oil, so I screwed that up.
 I have also been using the neat's-foot oil as a final oil applicant after cleaning and so far my results have been encouraging, especially in the cap & ball cylinders. So far no hint of rust. I only mention all this because I got tired of my bench being full of every oil ever created that I've used for black powder applications. If the castor oil and neat's-foot oil can do a terrific job as part of a bullet lube mixture-and they do-and they can also do double duty as described, then maybe I can dispense with everything else on my bench except maybe the Ballistol.  Anyone interested in a bunch of opened, hardly used cans of "oil"? ;)
« Last Edit: September 26, 2019, 06:04:25 pm by Navy Six »
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Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: Castor Oil
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2019, 07:38:10 pm »

 :P  Nope.   :)  Since I discovered Mobil 1 Motor Oil and Grease, atz all I use.  Since I shoot APP, I Don't have a use for bullet lube.  Perhaps some needy BP shooter will chime in with their "need" and provide you with shipping information.

Online 45 Dragoon

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Re: Castor Oil
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2019, 08:25:34 am »
Gotta agree with the Coffinmaker. I pack Mobil 1 grease in frames which only need annual inspections. No need to open the action. I do use Ballistol for lubing fire blued screws and cooling at the drill press.

Mike
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Offline Bunk Stagnerg

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Re: Castor Oil
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2019, 11:12:03 am »
Be well aware that there is Neat's foot oil and a synthetic product that looks like and smells like the real thing but is not a natural product rendered from cow and horse hooves.
So read the label carefully Caveat Emptor. About Castor oil I have no idea, but Coffinmaker points to a product available at the local auto supply with the Mobll1 products.
Personally I am a Ballistol user because I love the smell.
Bunk

Offline Dick Dastardly

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Re: Castor Oil
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2019, 11:23:08 am »
Is Castor oil derived from Castor Beans?  Is there a synthetic product that has the same properties?  I'm wondering how Castor Oil would perform as an ingredient in Bullet Lube?

DD-MDA
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Offline Mogorilla

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Re: Castor Oil
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2019, 12:59:47 pm »
Hi DD,
Yes, Castor oil is derived from the Castor bean.   It is still readily available, the beans are not, due to the potential for misuse.    I believe Castor oil was/is used as a laxative.  It was also used as a replacement to the oil obtained from beaver glands.    I do not know of a suitable synthetic substitute.   As far as use in a lube, it has a low freezing point, so you would need to add a wax to help solidify it at room temperature.   I would imagine it would be fairly good as a lube as it does not mix well with water at all.   

Oil chemist in a former life, amazing what you still retain.
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Offline Navy Six

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Re: Castor Oil
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2019, 08:47:35 am »
I have used the Mobil 1 products and agree they work. However, I had by-pass surgery about about 5 years ago and whatever the doctors did somehow changed my sense of smell and taste. Now I can't stand the smell of petroleum products and this coming from a guy who works on old cars. Whatever the case, Paul Matthews book was certainly of interest to anyone involved black powder shooting. Nice to know what products can be used  "in a pinch" or to suit varying temperature/humidity conditions.
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Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: Castor Oil
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2019, 09:03:43 am »

 :D  How about we mix Castor Oil with Bee's Wax   ::)   Then our bullet lube would be edible    :o   Then just think, at the same time we be lubing our bullets we be keeping real regular too   8)

Offline greyhawk

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Re: Castor Oil
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2019, 02:26:36 am »
Be well aware that there is Neat's foot oil and a synthetic product that looks like and smells like the real thing but is not a natural product rendered from cow and horse hooves.
So read the label carefully Caveat Emptor. About Castor oil I have no idea, but Coffinmaker points to a product available at the local auto supply with the Mobll1 products.
Personally I am a Ballistol user because I love the smell.
Bunk
Yeah Bunk - I fell in the trap with messed up neatsfoot - had some old good stuff I used for lube (beeswax and neatsfoot) eventually ran it out and bought a gallon from the feedstore - it dont mix right and it stinks when its shot - the lube seems to work ok but its a long way to the end of that gallon of synthetic/ fakey neatsfoot
might try the castor oil fur kicks - it sure is slippery stuff!

Offline Bunk Stagnerg

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Re: Castor Oil
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2019, 02:14:22 pm »
A little off topic, but Geojohn who is a knowledgeable Black Powder shooter, (and I do suggest his web site), recommends mineral oil for both cleaning and lubricating so I suspect would work as a part of a bullet lubricant mix rather than castor oil.
It does a bang-up job especially on hard crusted fouling. I follow with moose milk to remove and dissolve anything left in the pores of the metal. Obviously, it is edible but I do not suggest using it internally in volume.
Don't ask but I speak from experience (which is the thing I got right after I needed it).
Respectfully
Bunk

Offline Navy Six

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Re: Castor Oil
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2019, 02:34:11 pm »
Coffinmaker, mixing castor oil and beeswax was exactly what Paul Matthews did to make a superior bullet lube for long range BPCR shooting although he didn't report eating any ;).  One of the reasons Matthews used castor oil is because it is a humectant so it attracted moisture from the the air and enhanced his use of a blow tube in between shots. The neat's-foot oil has the opposite properties and has a water repellent characteristic which makes it  a good rust preventative. I consider myself a traditionalist, so I a try to utilize natural products which usually cause no issues with black powder. Since I am now retired and have plenty of time to experiment with these things, for me this is part of the fun.
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Offline greyhawk

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Re: Castor Oil
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2019, 06:47:13 am »
Coffinmaker, mixing castor oil and beeswax was exactly what Paul Matthews did to make a superior bullet lube for long range BPCR shooting although he didn't report eating any ;).  One of the reasons Matthews used castor oil is because it is a humectant so it attracted moisture from the the air and enhanced his use of a blow tube in between shots. The neat's-foot oil has the opposite properties and has a water repellent characteristic which makes it  a good rust preventative. I consider myself a traditionalist, so I a try to utilize natural products which usually cause no issues with black powder. Since I am now retired and have plenty of time to experiment with these things, for me this is part of the fun.

thank you !!!!

Offline LongWalker

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Re: Castor Oil
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2019, 10:31:23 am »
I've tried both castor oil and neatsfoot oil (not "Neatsfoot Oil Compound") in bullet lubes.  I didn't see much difference in mixes (60:40 or whatever) of beeswax and either oil.  Differences did show up in some of the saponified lubes I played with--neatsfoot oil did seem to perform better in those.  (And as it turned out, I got better results with either jojoba oil or olive oil in the saponified lubes.)  YMMV of course, and lube testing is a great reason to "need" to go shooting. 
In my book a pioneer is a man who turned all the grass upside down, strung bob-wire over the dust that was left, poisoned the water, cut down the trees, killed the Indian who owned the land and called it progress.  Charles M. Russell

Offline Capt Quirk

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Re: Castor Oil
« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2019, 11:12:04 am »
As a social experiment, try using bacon grease, then see if there is a massive surge at Waffle House after the match.

 ;D

Offline Bunk Stagnerg

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Re: Castor Oil
« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2019, 03:02:00 pm »
bacon grease lube and grits for a filler. Smells like breakfast time in Georgia!

Offline greenjoytj

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Re: Castor Oil
« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2019, 01:00:48 pm »
Since you like to try new oils give this one a try, LUBEGARD? PREMIUM UNIVERSAL LUBRICANT

https://www.lubegard.com/products/val/

https://www.lubegard.com/technology/

If you read through the info on the LXE additive it supposed to be a synthetic whale oil.

I have been using this lube for a year now on my Miroku built Win M73 and Ruger New Vaquero?s
Mostly I shot real black powder GOEX or recently Old Eynsford in my 45 Colt handloads.

Castor oil is supposed to be the slipperiest known to man, be on the look out for problems caused by the lube being too slippery.