1870's Bullet Lube, made with whale oil

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Dan4570
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1870's Bullet Lube, made with whale oil

Post by Dan4570 » Fri Jan 23, 2015 1:39 am

Hey all,it has been a while since I started a new thread on here. I was doing a little reading tonight and came across an 1870's bullet lube recipe. It was made with bees wax and Sperm Whale Oil.

Any body out there ever get a chance to experiment with sperm whale oil as a bullet lube additive? or know any one who has?
If so would yoube so kind as to share the results?

This has spiked my interest. My dad have a small bottle that was probably 60 or 70 years old but it was not enough to do anything with. The recipe called for a 1:2 mix of BW : SWO !!! I am thinking that sounds really soft and kinda pricy in the current whale oil market here in Montana.[i] (cant even get a fishing license for them up here for making yer own whale oil)[/i]

By what I have read and researched I think my lube may be performing very much like the whale oil mix mentioned above :wink: [i]( and No, I am not giving out my recipe, I am currently working on patents for it and marketing it . Sorry.)[/i]
I can't be 100% sure however since I can't afford the whale oil to try it out.[i] (given that I could even find it) [/i]I did find some stuff that is supposed to be almost identical but it is several $100's per gallon (3-400 apparently) :shock: so its off the menu for my rifles. they will just have to eat what I make, besides they have not complained yet! I can buy a lot of lead, powder, and cleaning patches for that kind of money.

Thanks guys !
Dan

[i]I am a firm believer that smokeless powder is nothing more than a novelty item; just a passing fad which will never catch on.[/i]

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boge
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Re: 1870's Bullet Lube, made with whale oil

Post by boge » Fri Jan 23, 2015 1:42 am

If you live in a country where you can be arrested for fishing without a license, but not for entering that country illegally....then it's safe to say that country is run by IDIOTS!

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Dan4570
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Re: 1870's Bullet Lube, made with whale oil

Post by Dan4570 » Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:09 am

Thanks Boge,

I hopped over and posted my question there. Mostly it looks like they are trying to decide if you can have bottle of SWO, and a mounted bald eagle for the den....I do not know if they will be much help.

I just found it interesting, and who knows, there maybe some old guy out there with some making his own lube off his granddads recipe; of course if he is, I doubt he is surfing the net tonight on one of these new-fangled contraptions. :roll:

squire
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Re: 1870's Bullet Lube, made with whale oil

Post by squire » Fri Jan 23, 2015 7:28 am

Dan while it may be legal to posses your heirloom container of sperm whale oil it would certainly be illegal to use it in a product that you offered for sale.

I wouldn't purchase any either no matter what the provenance.

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desert deuce
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Re: 1870's Bullet Lube, made with whale oil

Post by desert deuce » Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:30 am

Hmmm, did Harry Pope show any preference for or even use of sperm whale oil in the bullet lubes he settled on using?

I did see where Sharps Rifle Company used one part beeswax to two parts sperm oil by weight, when or for how long not mentioned.

If I recall correctly Dixie Gun Works still markets a product called artificial sperm oil which looks, feels and smells similar to jojoba oil. Both work satisfactorily and seem to help the mix stay together and on the bullet.

Anything that seems to leave a nice juicy lube ring at the muzzle probably will be difficult in getting the lubed bullet out of the vehicle and into the chamber of the rifle without getting messy in hot weather if it is a slip fit bullet or any of the lube on the bullet is exposed outside of the case.
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squire
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Re: 1870's Bullet Lube, made with whale oil

Post by squire » Fri Jan 23, 2015 11:12 am

Yes, Pope experimented with sperm whale oil but settled on steam cylinder oil instead.

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Re: 1870's Bullet Lube, made with whale oil

Post by Straightneck » Fri Jan 23, 2015 12:49 pm

Whale oil (Not), Spermaceti (Yes),, whale oil may work almost as good but spermaceti would be correct
I think a large part of shooting dirty with PPB's is proper lube wad (the way a Sharps Rifle was meant to be shot), 8) 8) ,
So, I always wished I had enough spermaceti to make a small batch for checking the viscosity and texture of the mix Sharps said to use,

I think most if not all of the BP lubes for sale today were designed by and made for the NEW FAD of shooters,(GG), I also think the viscosity and texture for a proper lube wad is different for PPB's than the grease needed in a groove

I know jojoba and some synthetics are claimed as being almost the same, and, although I have just enough chemistry and physics to usually get in trouble experimenting. I do know that even with the smallest difference in composition and amounts a completely different substance is made, and so the search for the Holy Grail of lube wad continues

Since in Obese America so many whales walk the earth, we may just need someone with a connection to a liposuction clinic then we could at least render whale blubber into oil for testing (also those from a colder climate may work better in hot weather) :lol: :lol: :lol: may just be what my Big-50 with PPB's needs

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bruce m
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Re: 1870's Bullet Lube, made with whale oil

Post by bruce m » Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:47 pm

mason,
not the long range rifle.
keep safe,
bruce.
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Re: 1870's Bullet Lube, made with whale oil

Post by DanTDesigns » Fri Jan 23, 2015 3:09 pm

Gents,

You can purchase cetyl palmitate from several suppliers. It is synthetic spermaceti. I tested it as a lube ingredient back about 12 years ago. It works well. But, as I've posted before, I also tested real sperm oil as a lube ingredient. It worked very well. The only other ingredient that worked as well is meadowfoam oil. I gave my half liter of sperm oil to Jimbo Terry for his slug guns. Oh, jojoba oil sucked as a lube ingredient when blow-tubing in hot, dry conditions.
All the best...DanT..."The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave.” - George Washington’s 1796 Farewell Address

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Re: 1870's Bullet Lube, made with whale oil

Post by Yellowhouse » Fri Jan 23, 2015 4:10 pm

I assume Steam Pump Oil is petroleum based....yes?
Sam

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Re: 1870's Bullet Lube, made with whale oil

Post by DanTDesigns » Fri Jan 23, 2015 4:27 pm

Gents,

I thought I'd add to my previous comment, "Oh, jojoba oil sucked as a lube ingredient when blow-tubing in hot, dry conditions." Jojoba oil has a very high lubricity, it's slicker than whale snot:-))) I bet it would work well for lubing PP's just before chambering a round. Hummm...I tried that with sperm oil. It worked well. I'll have to dig out those results from years ago. I just faintly remember that the ES and SD of the lubed patches was lower than the non-lubed patches.
All the best...DanT..."The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave.” - George Washington’s 1796 Farewell Address

bruce m
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Re: 1870's Bullet Lube, made with whale oil

Post by bruce m » Fri Jan 23, 2015 4:32 pm

steam cylinder oil is noted for containing tallow.
tallow and long chain oils are noted for their lubricisity by Charlie dell.
the problem with basic lubes like this is not having them melt in the heat.
2 parts sperm whale oil to one part beeswax has this problem. spermaceti although technically an oil is like a wax, and might be better in this regard, but who knows.
recently 6 sperm whales beached themselves near here, but the fine for taking parts of them was extreme.
keep safe,
bruce.
ventum est amicus meus

DanTDesigns
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Re: 1870's Bullet Lube, made with whale oil

Post by DanTDesigns » Fri Jan 23, 2015 4:48 pm

bruce m wrote:...the problem with basic lubes like this is not having them melt in the heat. 2 parts sperm whale oil to one part beeswax has this problem. spermaceti although technically an oil is like a wax, and might be better in this regard, but who knows....keep safe, bruce.
Bruce,

To the best of my recollection, spermaceti melts at about 122 F. So, it would not work well with respect to keeping lube in the grooves during a hot shooting session. It would probably work great for cold weather shooting. When developing my lube, I wanted a lube that would work well in all conditions we'd likely shoot in. It was tested from -15 F all the way to 116 F with no problems when blow-tubing.
All the best...DanT..."The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave.” - George Washington’s 1796 Farewell Address

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Don McDowell
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Re: 1870's Bullet Lube, made with whale oil

Post by Don McDowell » Fri Jan 23, 2015 6:02 pm

jojoba oil does work quite well for lubing patched bullets.
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Re: 1870's Bullet Lube, made with whale oil

Post by Kurt » Fri Jan 23, 2015 6:30 pm

Don McDowell wrote:jojoba oil does work quite well for lubing patched bullets.
So does Vaseline. It also protects the patch from the blow tube moisture in the bore.
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