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Discussion Starter #1
I'm aware that mutton tallow is a traditional BP lube ingredient, but Dixie is about the only retail source of mutton tallow in the USA. I can buy beef tallow by the bucket full from soap makers' supply houses for a lot less money. They also sell full buckets, unlike the Dixie tub that is promised to have somewhere between 12 and 16 ounces of tallow (that seems like a wide variation, to me). Is mutton tallow really that superior, or can a guy get by using beef tallow in his bullet lube? I also have plenty of easy access to local butchers, so I could get the hard, white beef fat and make my own tallow (when the wife isn't home to smell it rendering in the pot for 3 or 4 hours).

Any folks mixing their own out there with some insights on this? Thanks in advance.

Yeah, I could just buy some SPG, or one of the other over-the-counter lubes, but where's the fun in that? :)
 

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All natural animal fats have salt in them. How do you get rid of the salt which ads to the corrosive factor? That is why lubes like SPG are better in many ways.
 

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Some of the people who have experimented with beef tallow report that the fat that is found around the kidneys is far superior (for bullet lube) to the fat found elsewhere on the animal. I suggest you try to get the butchers to save you the kidney fat only, and give that a try.

With regard to salt - that may be true, but since you have to clean your barrel with water after shooting black powder anyway........what difference does it make?

There is one well-known BP shooter who saves bacon grease and uses it (mixed with beeswax to harden it) for lube. There is a lot of salt in bacon, but evidently it's not a problem.

Leverfan do you have any specific recepies for BP lube with beef tallow? I have a file full of lube recipes that I've saved from internet discussions like these. Let me know and I can pass some of them on to you, after I get home and look them up.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
zrifleman-I'm not too worried about the potential for salt, since I clean my black powder guns the same day I shoot them. Usually, I use Dawn and hot water or Murphy's mix. Until I can clean them, they're stored in corrosion inhibiting bags. Combined with the same day cleaning, that should prevent any problems.

Besides, I don't know the formulas for the commercial lubes, but they may very well contain tallow. The SPG that I've smelled sure wasn't very "vegan" smelling. T/C Bore Butter uses strong cover scents and dyes, no doubt to make their formula harder to figure out. They don't have petroleum based greases, and I doubt that the SPG aroma, or Bore Butter's cover scents are there because of the inoffensive smell of vegetable based lube.

cooper-Thanks for the offer, but I've got a couple of recipes in mind. I just wondered about the ingredients.

That's interesting about the kidney fat. Folks making soap and tallow candles prefer it, too.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Update on salt content of tallow:

After checking multiple nutrition web sites, it looks like beef and mutton tallow are both sodium free. Not only is it safe for bullet lube, it's also safe for folks with high blood pressure! :-D

Mutton tallow has a melting point of 115-120 degrees F, depending on the age of the tallow. That's slightly higher than ox/beef tallow. Mutton tallow is also harder, as it contains less of the soft fat olein. I can begin to see why folks might lean towards mutton tallow, but I may try beef tallow, anyway.

Mixing it with beeswax should raise the melting point to something that will work fine around here. Beeswax melts at a tad over 140 degrees F, if memory serves. I may also add a little stearin to my lube, which will raise the melting point. There are also some crystals used in candle making that will raise the melting point, but they'll harden the finished product more than I want.
 

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lard---tallow

I've purchased fat free lard from the supermarket. The label says fat free so some processing did take place.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Re: lard---tallow

hiram said:
I've purchased fat free lard from the supermarket. The label says fat free so some processing did take place.
Do you mean salt free? I've heard that no-calorie fat replacement stuff causes "anal seepage", a condition folks strive to avoid! :shock:

:)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
donnie said:
:D mutton tallow is prefered because it contains lanolin, beef fat doesn't?? :wink:
I think the lanolin is actually secreted from the skin into the wool from glands at the base of each hair follicle. In its unrefined state, it's known as wool grease, and it's very similar to the oils secreted by our own skins.

Both mutton and beef tallow are made of about two thirds hard, waxy fats (mostly palmitin and stearin), and about one third soft fat (olein). Mutton tallow has slightly less olein in proportion to the hard fats, making mutton tallow harder.

I do intend to add lanolin to my lube recipe. You can buy it in any pharmacy, and as hiram said, a little goes a long way.
 

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Dont think tallow and lard are the same, they are not. they are rendered in a different way.
Here is a good lube I make.

Lead pots Lube.
6 cups unmelted soy wax.
½ cup Jojoba oil or Avocado oil.
½ cup mutton tallow,
or you can use beef tallow. I don’t like it as well.
1/3 cup unsalted lard.
1/3 cup liquid Bayberry wax.
You can omit the Bayberry and use more oil or lard. This is a good lube I made it for my knurled bullets.
You can thin this or thicken to suit just add tallow or soy to harden or add lard to soften.
If it gets to hot add Palm Vegetable wax or use block Bayberry wax instead of liquid Bayberry wax. Palm wax melts at about 160*
If you cant find Tallow it is easy enough to make. Go to a butcher shop and as for fat trimmings most will gladly give to you. Cut it in small chunks or better yet grind it. Put it in a large pot and ½ the amount of water and slow boil it at a low temp. Strain it out with a sieve or cheese cloth and cool it in the fridge. When solid take off the solid white top and scrape off the bottom till it is clean.
By the way this lube makes a darn good hand lotion for those bleeding fingers.
This is a link for material.
http://www.enchanted-lites.com/Contact.htm

Kurt
 
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