Poll: What Rifle Case Lube Do You Use?

One of the frequently debated topics related to rifle cartridge loading is what case lube to use. Now you have a chance to let us know what you use! Please drop a comment to describe why, or if your lube type is not on the list.

What kinds of rifle lube do you use?

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41 thoughts on “Poll: What Rifle Case Lube Do You Use?”

  1. I use wax for rifle reloading, because that’s what the guy who taught me to reload uses. He’s a benchrest shooter and spends probably 90% of his reloading time on case prep. Actual powder and bullet seating seems almost anti-climactic after all the case prep.

    Now when I reload pistol stuff in the Dillon 650, it’s Dillon spray lube. Just don’t make the mistake I did and spray it on the cases while they are in the case collater. What a mess. I use the top of a cardboard filing box. Much better.

  2. I use Dillon & Hornady both. They both do a fine job. I put between 90 and a 120 cases in a plastic shoe box and give them a spray. Roll them back and forth a couple of times and I am good to go..

  3. For rifle I use Hornady Unique because it’s plenty slick and I can get it locally. I’d probably give Dillon spray a try, but I never think to order any.

    I’ve used One Shot in the past, but after trying Unique, there’s no going back.

    1. I’m an old Lee Case Lube & pad user from way back but several years ago I switched over to Imperial Wax and never looked back. I’ve also found that KIWI Mink Oil Paste in the tin for leather goods works just as well and you get more bang for the buck.

  4. For pistol cases I use Hornady one-shot. I have bad luck with one-shot on rifle cases so I go back to the RCBC lube case and pad.

    I’m interested to know if anyone is successful with one-shot on rifle cases. I end up with a stuck case every time.

    1. Lee lube is a very nice product, it can be diluted in a small pan, (lid cover) up to 8:1—10:1 ratio, be cautious…..(has lanolin) but I wash/rinse with HOT water and dry in the oven (175 degrees)-or outside under the sun.

  5. Richard Cooper, yes I use it on everything. .223, 5.7×28, .45-70, 7.5x55swiss, etc and I have never had a stuck case. At first I was sceptical that it would work with the 7.5 swiss, but I decided to try it and compare it to the Lee lube that came with my hand press and sizing is easier with the One Shot. Might be because I am kind of liberal with the stuff though. I make sure to get it on all 4 sides of the case and spray at an angle so some gets in the neck.

  6. I can’t vote for any of the options. I had a guy tell me to take a 10:1 mix of isopropyl alcohol and any water based case lube, mix, and use a spray bottle. I’m using RCBS’s Case Lube 2 and I found a small cheap spray bottle at a dollar store. A few good squeezes and the slip and slide in and out of the .223 size/deprime die. I’m very pleased with how easy it is. I got a stuck case in the .223 the fifth one after using One Shot Case Lube. Never again.

  7. I use Lee Case sizing lube thinned with water (or spit 🙁 ). I let them dry before reloading. No mess, no clean up. too easy!

  8. I have been using Mobil 1 synthetic motor oil with great success. Cases size easily in my Redding turret press, and case life is excellent, even the .375H&H full length sizes with little effort. Down side is that the cases have to be degreased after sizing.

  9. Lee Case Sizing lube…body and inside neck. Easy cleanup with damp wash rag. I use Lee sizing lube to reload Wolf 223 box primed steel cases….I swear it is so easy. I always case trim my rifle cases but with neck sizing 308/30-06..it’s just a checking process…but with the steel cases…of course these do not trim easily like brass…get around four loading out of a Wolf 223 steel case…but Lee sizing lube simply works. Did I mention no VOC’s using Lee Lube?

  10. Looks like I might have to do some thinking on this, I use Lymann lube on a pad for rifle but don’t lube handgun loads except for my 44 magnum when I load some up close to the max pressure.

    Thanks for the food for thought guys!

  11. I’ve used Dillon and Midwest spray, and a RCBS pad. All three are great and I only had a stuck rifle case when I got cheap on the amount. I never lube pistol cases, preferring to clean them in walnut shell to remove the carbon and carbide dies. I clean them off after finishing loading with a rag a mineral spirit paint thinner. Cleaning is the only hassle with lube for me. 🙁

    I do lube 40 S&W cases when I’m smoothing a bulge. I used to use a pistol that didn’t support the case head so I have some that have a little bulge. Found I could use a Lee carbide crimp die without the crimp insert and a top die to size them completely by pressing them clear through the die.

  12. I have a system that I have used for years and I have never experienced a stuck case. I use a pad and applied lube, I de-prime, clean the pockets and size then everything goes into a tumbler and come out all shiny and clean. The brass is then inspected, flash holes are cleared, if new-never fired brass the flash hole is checked with a “Uniform size” tool and off to be reloaded.

    I’m 76 years old and no longer in a great hurry. Quality over Quantity.

  13. I have used hornady one shot and the Dillon lube. I like the hornady better. I actually just bought a lube/decap die to uses prior to Dillon 1200 trimmer and size die. I soon plan on getting a Progressive press and that will speed up case prep.

  14. I have been experimenting with Mobile 1 in 0 W-20 on an uninked stamp pad. It works well enough. I wipe off and tumble after re-size with corn based media. Noticed case neck lubed with a brush, every 5 cases, helps lower lever effort. Use RCBS dies in .222., with old RCBS Jr. press. Have modified operating handle 2″ longer with 1 7/8″ dia. plastic ball on end. Better than old vertical bike handle grip on original. I originally bought the Mobile 1 for testing on rifle action parts, which worked well. For those of you in cold climates the low viscosity should be helpful for winter shooting.

  15. Have inherated RCBS reloading pad that is dirty with the residue from brass and lubing with the RCBS case lube (non water soluble). How does one clean off the old lube to get a clean pad and fresh start on lubing cases??

    1. I used mineral spirits on my inherited pad and it looks like new now. The oil came out white and slimy which made me wonder if I was melting the pad, but the pad was unharmed and it did come clean and looks like new now.

    2. Yes, well, RCBS case lube is sufficient and good, and slows me down a bit. I find mineral spirits does better and cheaper removal than alcohol – or- acetone; less volatile VOP’s and fire safety ( i don’t smoke) and less harmful to drying out the hands/skin. Afterwards, I suave on some skin – hand cream to invigorate my cracking finger-skin condition- especially in this winter climate.

  16. Lee case lube, tried everything else, and even use a little one-shot for pistol brass going through carbide dies, but keep coming back to the Lee case lube. It works and works well, easy clean up, and won’t contaminate powder or primer like most other lubes.

  17. I’ve tried just about everything out there and finally settled on RCBS2 for two reasons.

    First, it’s lubricity is as good or better than everything else I’ve tried and it doesn’t take much. I even use it for turning necks on a drill press, the acid test because things really heat up in a hurry and RCBS2 hangs in there and my results are the same as my doing it by hand. Of course, technique and much practice has a lot to do with it.

    Second, RCBS2 is aqueus based. That means cleanup is a snap, especially when you are prepping large volumes of cases ala AR-15, etc. Rinse the cases under running water, then just spread them out on a towel and let them air dry. 24 hours under air is more than enough.

  18. For many years my favorite case lube was the Lee case sizing lube dabbed on a lube pad,I still use it now an then when resizing over expanded mil-spec brass or doing so case reforming I’ve used Imperial Sizing Wax for a few years now and like it for general purpose use.

    An alternative I’ve found that will work in a pinch and seem to work just as well as any lube I’ve used is KIWI Mink Oil paste that is used on leather goods. You can get a large tub for around $5 just about anywhere,I apply it just like Imperial.

    I’ve never used any of the spray lubes and I’m sure they work very well but I just never hand any interest in using them.

  19. I make my own. A bottle of 99% isopropyl alcohol (usually behind the counter at pharmacies…you won’t find it on the shelf) and liquid lanolin (your organic stores will usually have this). Mix it up in a spray bottle. 4oz lanolin to 16 oz isopropyl.

    This is exactly what Dillon Case lube is, so if you like that…you’ll like this.

    1. What country do you live in? If I recall the UK does not make ISP readily available I seem to recall but other alcohols are available if I remember right. Isopropyl alcohol is on the shelf at Walmart and every pharmacy in America on the shelf. Usually lanolin is also available. Every home improvement store and hardware store sells it by the gallon as Denatured Alcohol.

      Also STP, Lucas Oil Stabilizer Old stuff and Motor Honey and the like are mostly bright stock with VII’s added and trace amounts of ZDDP or some other EP additive to account for dilution of the oil from adding the product in some have robust packages some do not. You might see antimony or boron or any number of additives. Lastly some seal swell chemicals. It is not a very good lubricant but then again you do not need much to form a brass case. That is why traditionally you have waxes, soaps, plant or animal based fats/oils and fairly primitive petroleum lubricants mostly the low value left over’s from refinery process. Their are plenty of water based coolant/lubes in the tool and die world and manufacturing world but a lot of them come with some nasty health risks and a huge increase in black mold. For better than 20 years I blended my own oils using Ornite additive packages and Vanderbuilt brand additives. I was in Aviation and Automotive Manufacturing and tribology is hobby.Well first it was part of my job then it became a hobby. If you are not getting stuck cases and your die’s are holding up well I would not over complicate this. I find that I prefer those options that limit mess and do not involve over spray. I am also not a fan of things that are insanely hard to get off my skin. I suspect just like me we often fail to clean our dies and check them out internally very often. dust and dirt are the enemy of all machines. Water and steel do not play well and I prefer to keep water away from my steel tooling .

  20. I put One Shot as my answer in the poll as that was the last commercial product that I used (I still use it for die upkeep). I started with RCBS case lube and the pad, moved to Imperial, and then to One Shot as I could do more cases quicker.

    I now use a mix of liquid lanolin (eBay purchase) mixed with isopropyl alcohol (Heet in the red container). I mix it in a spray bottle I bought at Napa (would have been a cheaper purchase elsewhere, but I live near a Napa and was impatient).

    I mix 1 oz of the lanolin to one bottle of Heet (mix can be adjusted to personal preference).

    It lasts a long time, works great, is safe to get on bare skin, and is extremely inexpensive.

  21. fwiw & imho,
    Hornady One Shot is largely hard to beat if you are sizing good brass, with a proper die(fitted, full custom, etc), and essentially limiting yourself to mild shoulder bump, body sizing, etc. anything else is unnecessary. IF I were case forming, and OH how I try to avoid that, Imperial Sizing Die Wax is nearly impossible to beat. Great stuff. That said for basic light sizing on annealed brass with properly fitted dies I just don’t see the need for the extra application and removal steps. That said I have been informed by those who should know that there is more than one road to Rome….(smile)

    Regards, Matt.

  22. I use the RCBS lube pad and RCBS lube. I then dip the necks into powdered graphite to lube the neck. Been doing it this way for years with no problems. Just wipe the case off with a rag after sizing.

  23. I use Hornady diecwax which is a excellent product. Never had any Imperial die wax but this Hornady may be similar for all I know.

  24. Hornady Unique Case Lube – I starting using it in 1990 before Hornady bought out the mom and pop operation making it in California. According to the MSDS it is tallow based with smaller amounts of mink oil, glycerol and paraffin. I still have the original tub but bought the Hornady to compare to the original formula. Works great! I’ve been applying it to an RCBS pad for 15 years. Though the pad needs replacing, the tub should last another 15 years.

  25. Y’all must be a younger crew…. or maybe everyone has forgotten about STP Oil Treatment? One bottle of that will probably last a lifetime of reloading.

  26. 72 years old and have been reloading since I was about 22 years old. This is what I use.
    Either Hornady or Imperial wax work great. I have found the trick is to use very little and keep it off the shoulder and neck of the case. Use a brush to clean the inside of the neck and you are good to go. Either one goes a LONG way. Wipes off easy.

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