Lee Liquid Alox (LLA) is wonderful stuff, a real time saver. For correct size as-cast bullets, it is lube and load. If you need sizing, Lees push through sizer is fast and inexpensive. As it comes from Lee, LLA is too concentrated, it is hard to get a thin, even coat. Charles Harris recommends diluting LLA 50/50 with mineral spirits. I find this works great, but the coating is still sticky, messing up seating dies, cartridge boxes and pistol magazines. It also picks up dirt on the exposed part of the bullet. This problem was cured by the addition of Johnsons Paste Wax (JPW). The result, 45-45-10, is 45% LLA 45% JPW concentrate, 10% mineral spirits. 45-45-10 is very popular, it is so popular it is available commercially.
Johnsons Paste Wax contains carnauba wax plus other ingredients. Polishing wax formulas use carnauba wax, usually with other waxes and sometimes with polishing agents like fine pumice. The balance is petroleum solvent, which evaporates leaving the wax mixture. The polishing agents are the white powder which is rubbed off, polishing the wax film.
Carnauba is one of the hardest of the natural waxes, with unique characteristics no other natural or petroleum wax can match. Because of its uniqueness, carnauba has many uses, in addition to polish it is used in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, candle making and many others. It is commonly available in craft stores, woodworking shops and on the internet. It is also inexpensive, 8 ounces of pure flake carnauba is currently about 10 dollars.
To make 45-45-10, JPW is heated to boil off the solvents and concentrate the wax. The concentrate is mixed with LLA and mineral spirits. This is cautious work, overheating can ruin the wax, and there is significant risk of fire. It is also uncertain, it is difficult to define the correct concentration. It is the carnauba wax in JPW which hardens the LLA, giving the desired non-sticky film. Why not add pure carnauba wax to LLA? It turns out this is easier, less expensive and it works the same.
LLA plus carnauba wax
In a 1 quart glass Mason jar, add 4 ounces of deodorized mineral spirits, and 220 grains carnauba wax flakes. If you do not have a scale this is about 2 level tablespoons of flake carnauba. Put the cap on the Mason jar, and heat it in boiling water. DO NOT use direct heat, DO NOT use a microwave! Swirl and heat until all the carnauba dissolves. Open the jar, add a 4 ounce bottle of LLA and swirl to mix. Allow the mixture to cool.
You can double this recipe, a quart Mason jar will hold a double recipe.
The result is a soft paste at room temperature, when warm to touch (~100 F) it is a thick liquid. Put the bullets in a plastic container, add the LLA plus carnauba. One level teaspoon will coat 100 38 caliber bullets, it does not take much. You want a thin film, using more will not work better. Tumble to coat the bullets and pour them onto wax paper to dry. Drying time may be overnight or take several days, depending on the temperature. The resulting film is tough, adheres well, and is not sticky.
Target and standard velocity pistol loads delivered accuracy equal to LLA, 45-45-10 and the best standard lubricants.
More carnauba will give a harder film, however if the coating is too hard, it will not flow when seating. This can increase the case diameter excessively. Sizing these cartridges after seating (LEE factory crimp die) allowed chambering, but the resulting ammunition was not accurate. Lubricant with too much carnauba is brittle and will flake off.
Increasing the mineral spirits will give a thinner product which may work at better at lower temperature. If the lube is too thin it tends to run off the bullets, giving an uneven coating concentrated on the bottom. I use the soft paste without warming and find it gives an even coating.
Many formulas for polish add a softer wax to counter the brittleness of pure carnauba. Beeswax, added at 5% to 10% of the weight of the carnauba, softens the film. JPW has something like this, as the concentrated, dried JPW is not as hard as pure carnauba. I tried adding 10% beeswax to the lube, this did not change the properties and offered no advantage. LLA is a soft waxy mixture, therefore adding more soft wax did not help.
This is all you need.