Lead bullets for a glock


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jhf
December 22, 2005, 11:12 PM
I recently picked up a glock 22 and plan on doing some local comp shooting with it. Well, I heard that you are not suppose to use lead bullets in these guns, is that true? I would prefer to start loading up some swc 40 in 180gr in just lead in stead of copper jacketed stuff. does anyone have any info on this? and do you know how the gun works with just lead

thanks
jhf

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Rockrivr1
December 22, 2005, 11:21 PM
You've heard correctly. Lead and Glocks do not mix well. I believe this is also indicated in the manual for your G22. Not sure if it came with your pistol or not. From what I've read on this forum and on Glocktalk, using lead in a Glock is a sure fire way to have major trouble with your handgun. Because of that I only shoot jacketed ammo through my Glocks

shermacman
December 22, 2005, 11:25 PM
Rockrivr1 speaks truth.
The rifling technique in the Glock allows lead to build up, after a few rounds there is enough to grab the next shot, making for a big boom in the pipe. The 1911 crowd has lots of Glock kaboom pictures. Yes, I own a Glock 23 and a Colt 1911.

Mad Chemist
December 22, 2005, 11:32 PM
You'll need an aftermarket barrel if you want to shoot lead through a Glock. The standard .40tcfmj is similar in shape to a swc. Are you working on accuracy, or do you just enjoy casting lead?

JH

crackerjack
December 23, 2005, 04:22 AM
For consideration , aftermarket barrels are very reasonable for glocks and work for lead some have more supported case area also a + for case life .

Joe D
December 23, 2005, 07:47 AM
First of all the Glock manual does not say anything about lead bullets and Glocks. This is just another urban legend/wives tale that keeps getting parroted over and over on the internet.
99% of the folks out there just parrot something they have heard. They either do not have enough sense to figure out something themselves or are just the typical follow the crowd types.
I have been shooting lead bullets through Glocks for years. My G34 and G35 have tens of thousands of rounds of lead bullets through them. I just put over 300 rounds of 200 gr SWC Valiant bullets through my new G21 this week. The barrel is absolutely lead free.
If you understood anything at all about rifling design and where leading starts you would understand why the Glock style rifling is more lead friendly than conventional rifling.
Where shooters get into trouble with lead bullets is they try to drive soft bullets too fast. Any barrel will lead if you do this. I have used the Valiant brand of lead bullets for years. They cast their bullets in the 18-20 hardness range.
Come on guys think for yourselves, question things. Don't accept things just because you heard someone say it.
I questioned the Glock/lead bullet statement years ago. I took my G34 and a 125 grain lead bullet at 1050 fps and started firing rounds. I checked the barrel at 100 rds, no lead. Checked again at 250 rounds, no lead. 500 rounds no lead. 750 rounds no lead. 1,000 rounds just a very small trace of lead. Two passes with a Bore Snake and all lead was gone.

Phantom Warrior
December 23, 2005, 08:37 AM
I'm not a rocket scientist, but I did shoot a case of Cabella's lead reloads through my Glock 23 w/o any problems before I heard you weren't supposed to. Haven't shot lead since, so I can't say anything more.

Rockrivr1
December 23, 2005, 10:04 AM
Good way to keep on the High Road there Joe D. Actually my information about it being in the manual may or may not have been incorrect but Glock does strongly suggest that you do not shoot lead through their firearms. This is straight first hand information from me discussing this with two folks who should know. Both guys I shoot USPSA with. One is a Glock Armorer and the other was a Glock distributor.

Just because you have had no problems does not mean that the information about Glock's recommendation is incorrect.

jhf if I was you call Glock's customer service and get the real scoop. I'd hate for you to get the wrong information and have something happen. If your not comfortable with that go over to Glocktalk and ask the same question or do a search for this topic. There are administrators over there that work for Glock. Then again, I guess I'm just parroting! :rolleyes:

Good luck and welcome to the forum.

shermacman
December 23, 2005, 10:27 AM
JoeD
Normally, in the spirit of the high road, I would ignore such an aggressive, obnoxious and insulting post. But, it is Christmas time, so here goes:
http://glockmeister.com/faq.shtml
http://www.angelfire.com/co3/markcolo/kabooms.html
http://www.glockfaq.com/reloading.htm
Now, I am thrilled that you have not had a kaboom. But just because you have an opinion that you are willing to share doesn't mean that you have to be rude about it; nor does it mean that you are right.

Joe D
December 23, 2005, 11:07 PM
Sorry that the skins are so thin here. I guess I do get a bit upset when I see postings that cause myths to continue.
Lets look at the Glockmeister statement. First the throat does not have a sharp edge. Second the reason Glock rifling tends to lead less is the more gentle rifling. Leading starts at the corner where the groove and lands meet. Glock rifling does not have this sharp corner.
Angelfire statement: I have asked MarkCo on more than one occasion to provide data on his findings. I am yet to receive any info as to his test methods and equipment. What brand and model transducer did he use to get his pressure readings?
Glock Faq : Not much there except conflicting statements.
BTW the Glock manual says nothing about lead bullets. Yes, I do question statements made by others. Does everybody take statements made by the above mentioned links as gospel? Ask questions. Get them to back up their statements with proof.
Glocks do blow up. So do Sigs, 1911s, HKs and a host of others. 99.9% of kabooms are caused by reloader error. Double charges and bullet set back are what cause kabooms.
If I have stepped on your toes then I am sorry. I will try and tone down my posts.

jhf
December 23, 2005, 11:56 PM
I do appreciate the feedback. I will call glock after the new year either way before I start to reload.

my goal is to shoot accurate comp loads 180gr bullet. I will just be getting back into comp pistol and have always loaded lead in the 1911's for the super and 45 as they worked best and were cost effective.

I see copper has come down in price (or is it lead has gone up)so I dont know if cost is that big of deal.

so if you can shoot both copper and lead, what success have you had in accurate loads with each.

thanks
jhf

Joe D
December 24, 2005, 07:43 AM
It all depends on what competition you choose. The G22, along with the G35, is one of the most versitile guns available. It can be shot in USPSA Production, Limited and Limited 10. IDPA in SSP and ESP.
I do not shoot lead bullets in matches, too much smoke. If you choose to shoot a Major PF then here is a load that I have shot for years. 4.3 gr. of Titegroup with just about any 180gr bullet. For a Minor PF load same bullet with 3.2 gr of TG. OAL for both is 1.130". www.cabelas.com has about the best deal out there on bullets. They offer several brands, but the Berry bullet is the lowest cost. Freight is what runs the cost up on bullets. You are usually better to pick them up at a gun show. Same can be said about powder and primers. All of the plated bullets have shot well in my G35s. I currently use a 180 Zero jacketed bullet. I buy on price.
Save your dime with the call to Glock. Just look at what the guys that are winning the matches are shooting. BTW most of the gun manufacturers do not like reloads shot in their guns.
jhf I was not attacking you with my earlier post. I get just a little upset when I see guys post replies that indicate to me they have little knowledge of how a Glock works. I see things repeated time after time without any evidence of proof, even by some so called "experts".
Feel free to question everything I have posted. Explore things for yourself. That's why I did the G34 lead bullet test.

Chris Rhines
December 24, 2005, 08:15 AM
Joe -

What velocity are you getting with 4.3gr of Titegroup? Seems a bit light for Limited major - I load 4.5gr of Titegroup, but haven't chrono'd that load in a while.

- Chris

Joe D
December 24, 2005, 09:21 AM
I got a very consistent 928-934 fps with this load. I use WSP primers. I have not chrono'd this load with the Zero jacketed bullet I now use. I suspect that I may have to bump the charge up with the jacketed bullet. I shot plated bullets for years, but their price kept going up.
The 3.2 charge runs in the 760 fps range. I have tried a lighter charge without much success. 3.0 gr. makes the PF but on occasion will not expand the case enough to seal the chamber. I guess one could use a match barrel with a tighter chamber. I happen to like the stock barrels.
My wife and I don't shoot much USPSA any more. We tend to focus on IDPA now.

Hoser
December 24, 2005, 12:16 PM
I am with Joe D. I shot tens of thousands of lead bullets through glocks (17 & 21) for years with no problems.

There isnt a firearm manufacturer out there that will recommend using reloads.

I dont shoot lead anymore. Montana Gold bullets arent much more expensive than lead these days and I dont have to tear down my 1911s and clean them after every shooting session. That and they smoke way too much.

Joe D
December 24, 2005, 02:40 PM
Chris, a slight correction on the 4.3 gr load. OAL was 1.125". Average fps was 952. I should know better than to go from memory. I shortened the OAL as some of the bullets would hang up in the mags with the extended base pads.
The 934 fps load was a 1.135" OAL.

Chris Rhines
December 24, 2005, 04:46 PM
Joe,

Thanks. I also use the 180grn. Zero, with Federal primers. I really should chrono those one of those days...

- Chris

Archie
December 24, 2005, 05:52 PM
It does say not to shoot any reloads at all under any conditions. So, if people don't shoot lead in their Glocks because of unwritten but trusted oral communications from those who know, then they aren't shooting any reloads, right?

Frankly, I have little regard for any firearm, especially a handgun, that will not handle lead bullets. Such a restriction tells me the design, execution or both is depressingly poor.

Joe D. Keep up the good work and keep recording your results. Sounds like you know what you are about.

Grump
January 6, 2006, 03:34 AM
I've fired lead in a Glock, including a nice accurate load with 180-gr cast bullets (only BHN--8? it was 13 on the SAECO or whoever's lead hardness gizmo) wtih WW231 that made smiley-face marks on the brass. Quit that FAST before the kB!s were commonly known.

Anyway, I think the lube is more important that hardness. I've tried both Laser-Cast and Rim Rock hard-cast bullets, BHN above 20, and they actually leaded a bit more than those 180s I cast myself. Accuracy has always been disappointing.

But WORST is that it takes forever to get the leading out!!!:banghead: They all lead very very little, about 1/4 what I get with revolvers, but even a stainless steel brush makes slow work of it. It's just as hard to de-lead as a revolver. Less leading but equal work?:confused:

I inspect the bore regularly and never fire more than about 100 rounds of lead before a cleaning anyway. Back in '95 or so, I asked a friend who worked then at the Gunsite Smithy if he had ever seen a Glock let go. Only one, it was only a case failure (not a "true" kB! according to the term's originator, formerly-famous gunwriter Dean Speir), and it came after about 800 rounds of lead loads, without cleaning.

I've read all those pages on Glocks and lead years ago, and have concluded that it's largely alarmist over-reaction with a solid basis in truth. Load light, pay attention, don't double-charge and keep the round count DOWN and I believe you will be okay.

And don't try to get more than 925 fps out of a 180-gr LRN using WW-231 in a 4-inch barrel. You need slower powder for higher speeds with that bullet weight.

faustulus
January 6, 2006, 08:55 AM
BTW the Glock manual says nothing about lead bullets. Yes, I do question statements made by others. Does everybody take statements made by the above mentioned links as gospel? Ask questions. Get them to back up their statements with proof.

An excellent idea. You yourself have offered nothing but anecdotal evidence base on a small sampling of guns. (Just because you've not had any trouble doesn't mean it is safe I've driven my M3 inexess of 120 mph many times. But that isn't to say that it is safe to do so.)
The angelfire statement may not give data but it does present a test which can be set up and fired to deterime if lead rounds do indeed increase the pressure in a glock barrel.
What tests can you present to allow tests which will produce hard data?

Joe D
January 6, 2006, 09:39 AM
Faustulus, read some of the above posts. Seems like I am not the only one that shoots lead through Glocks without problems. The tests that I did proved to me, and that is all that really mattered, that shooting lead bullets through Glocks works. I own more Glocks than a sane person should. I have shot lead bullets through all of them.
Sounds like you were one of the guys that continued the Glock/lead bullet myth. Sorry if I rained on your parade. I have driven my ZO6 at speeds far greater than that. You need a faster car. Can't wait for the '06 ZO6.
The anglefire statement is just that, a statement. It is not backed up with any proof. As I recall I said not to believe anything I said, test for yourself. Don't be afraid to test on your own. Independent thinking is a good thing.

Joe D
January 6, 2006, 09:49 AM
Grump, a quick way to remove lead from stainless steel barrels is a 50:50 mix of vinegar and peroxide. It will remove all traces of lead in just a few minutes.
CAUTION, DO NOT USE IN CARBON STEEL BARRELS. It WILL etch the barrel. Wear rubber gloves when handling as the lead becomes suspended in the solution. It is a bit extreme. I use it to remove the lead build up in my Kimbers.
Hmmmmm, my Kimbers get lead build up but my Glocks don't. There is something wrong with this picture.
I am going to start another internet myth. YOU CAN'T SHOOT LEAD IN KIMBERS. THEY WILL KABOOM!!!!

Joe D
January 6, 2006, 09:53 AM
Chris, I will try to chrono the 180 jacketed load this weekend. This will be out of a Glock 35.

5.56
January 6, 2006, 11:13 AM
I have talked to Glock techs on the phone myself regarding using lead bullts. It will void any warrenty on your glock using lead rds. Yes there have been several guns sent back to glock for ruptures. I know of one here local as well. The reason is a real concern. They have to say no lead bullets at all. The reason is simple. If they do not, someone will decide to home brew thier own lead bullets and use pure plumbers lead or wheel weights. Those are far to soft and will lead the barrel to the point of raising pressures till the weapons barrel and chamber fail.

Now what I have done in real life is to create my own alloy mix using antimony, tin and lead mix rasing the hardness to linotype and some harder than linotype. After a day of shooting 3 or 4 hundred alloy bullets I still drop the barrel into mineral spirits/paint thinner overnight and let it soak to loosen any build up. I have no problems with leading in 9mm or .40 cal. using alloy bullets. If your going to shoot lead I would suggest getting a saeco hardness testor from midway to check your bullet batch prior to shooting them. Again, soft lead bullets will cause you severe problems. This is not a myth about lead. However lead alloy I do shoot without any trouble. But you do so at your own risk. The one thing I did noticed though, I use liquid allox for bullet lube. If you get skimpy with the bullet lube you will get a leading build to start rather quickly. When you get generous with the liquid allox and put a good coating on them the leading stopped. I load max loads for 9mm and .40 cal using my own alloy bullets. I would not consider using pure lead bullets in any of my centerfire firearms. I annually cast and or reload 25,000 - 35,000 lead alloy rds. a year. A prudent man will error on the side of caution. Take all of the information you have found here in the posts on this topic and ask yourself what you wish to do. Be cautious, the faster you push a lead or alloy bullet the more prone it is to leading.

5.56

countertop
January 6, 2006, 01:03 PM
I used to have a G23 - sold it cause it didn't fit my hand/didn't care for the recoil - I fired thousands of rounds of lead through it without any problems and with hardly any lead build up (of course, I am pretty meticulous about cleaning guns). I sent cabela's lead reloads down as well as lead remanufacturered target ammo I purchased at local gun shows and some older ammo (10 years or so) I recieved froma family friend who no longer needed it (about 1500 rounds). Never had a problem, never had a kaboom, never had any evidence of lead buildup.

As far as the manual, my recollection was that it stated not to use reloaded ammo and they they neither warranty it against damage from reloads or assume responsibility for injuries caused by using reloads. If it says something different, I am sorry, but thats what I remember (its been a couple about a year since I looked). Anyway, its pretty much the same position most gun manufacturers hold - factory ammo isn't as "hot" as some reloaded ammo and is more or less loaded for the lowest common denominator under controlled conditions.

If you smart about your reloading and don't do anything dumb, I wouldn't worry too much . . . but the advice about calling Glock is probably good advice.

5.56
January 6, 2006, 08:18 PM
Countertop,

Where those pure lead bullets or were they alloy bullets? Most of the folks selling bullets are trying to add some alloys to them to bring up the hardness. Pure lead is soft enough to peal some off with your fingernail.

5.56

faustulus
January 6, 2006, 11:55 PM
Joe,
Don't own a glock, so there's no rain here.
You suggested people think for themselves, I simply suggested that the scientific method was the best approach and that data was needed to reach an informed conclusion.

I have driven my ZO6 at speeds far greater than that. You need a faster car.
I prefer my cars not to come with a recall notice. :evil: So are you arguing that doing so is safe?

The anglefire statement is just that, a statement. It is not backed up with any proof.
No but it provides a test which could produce data, unlike your sampling.

I really don't have a dog in this hunt, I just find it interesting your basic arguement is we should base our decision on something more than wives' tales. I am simply suggesting basing it on hard data.

JohnKSa
January 7, 2006, 01:05 AM
I love it when a person contradicts the manufacturer's recommendations, contradicts scientific test results, and then justifies his claims with anecdotal evidence.

By this standard, if we can find a person or two who has often golfed during thunderstorms without incident, we can ALL assume that golfing during a thunderstorm is perfectly safe regardless of what scientists tell us about lightning. Similarly, finding a couple of smokers who haven't gotten cancer would prove to us that smoking can't cause cancer in spite of medical evidence to the contrary. That's flawed thinking.

Not having blown up a gun after ignoring the manufacturer's recommendations is not evidence of credibility--it's only evidence of good fortune.

The manufacturer states that shooting lead (unjacketed) bullets through a Glock barrel greatly increases the chance of an unpleasant incident. A forensic engineer made pressure measurements that support this statement. There have been a number of documented catastrophic failures of Glock pistols attributed to shooting lead bullets in the factory barrel.

Your good luck doesn't prove it's a myth. Proving that it is a myth would require evidence provided by scientific testing (pressure measurements for one thing). You haven't provided any such evidence, nor have you even hinted that you have access to any such evidence. The only existing publicly available evidence (pressure measurements) contradicts your claims.

BTW, Gale McMillan disagrees (http://yarchive.net/gun/ammo/glock_lead_bullet.html) with your "analysis" of leading in polygonal barrels. But then what does he know about barrels? :rolleyes:It's the nature of a polygonal barrel that soft lead wants to skid across the rifling and lock up. With a bullet it will actually shear the lead causing high pressure.
Gale McMillan

Anyone who has any doubt about Glock's stance on shooting lead bullets can call this number and ask them directly (770)-432-1202. That's the number of the Glock factory at Smyrna, GA.

Joe D
January 7, 2006, 08:03 AM
Let's see John, I think I said, "The tests proved to me". I just encouraged those that read these posts to think on their own. Seems like I said "Feel free to question everything I have said".
Yep, I do question what "experts" say. My question to Gale McMillan would be "If that is the case then why am I not seeing that in any of my Glocks?" If what he says is true then all of the Glocks that have had lead shot through them should have long since blown up.
I am sorry if I am stepping on some of the "Forum Kings" toes by questioning what they have to say.
On a car related note, I recall several years ago that an engineer/expert stated that acording to his calculations it is impossible for a dragster to go quicker than 7 seconds down the quarter mile. Hmmmm let's see, they are doing it in the 4 second range now. Glad those old hot rodders questioned what that engineer had to say. Seems like the same was said about the sound barrier. Most "experts" agreed that the human body could not withstand going through the sound barrier. What were you thinking Chuck Yeager? You should have listened to the experts.

On a totally unrelated note faustulus I miss my friend John Forsyth. I am assuming you, being from middle Tn, knew him.

MNgoldenbear
January 7, 2006, 06:30 PM
Point about the factory recommendations is well noted. The literature that accompanies nearly ALL firearms states that use of reloaded ammunition voids any warranty of the manufacturer. That doesn't mean reloads can't be used, it simply means that the manufacturer doesn't want to be liable if you obtain or assemble some out-of-spec round and get sprinkled with bits of their product.

True, anecdotal accounts are not entirely reliable, but they can constitute something of a body of evidence. Here's my $0.02. Shot lots of lead through G19 and G30. Cleaning is about the same as any other pistol I have (use 1911 & revolvers also) Worst leading was in my S&W 686 using too hot of a powder to make major with too soft of a bullet -- STRIPS of lead peeled out with a bronze brush after ONE stage of IPSC! :cuss: Been using Bear Creek Supply coated bullets -- looks like a waxy molycoat of some kind. They seem to do pretty well in all my pistols -- relatively little leading after extended shooting sessions. They also don't really smoke, like lead loads with typical lubes. Other associates shooting IPSC with G21s had same experience.

First blow up of a Glock with lead I'd heard of was years ago (early 90s?) involved a 40S&W, soft lead, lots of shooting, no cleaning -- article theorized that lead built up at front of chamber. Gun apparently was discharged with slide slightly out of battery -- not a true blow up, but burst the casing. Seen LOTS of brass in 40S&W with bulges on one side just above the head due to overloading and firing in a partially supported chamber. (Bad idea, obviously.)

JohnKSa
January 7, 2006, 11:19 PM
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If you do not wish to waive this right, please stop reading at this point and use the ignore feature on this forum to avoid future posts by this author. Thank you.

I am sorry if I am stepping on some of the "Forum Kings" toes by questioning what they have to say.If you're talking about me, I'm not a king of anything. If you're talking about Gale McMillan, I wouldn't call him a forum king, I would call him a person who has a LOT of experience designing, making and selling barrels. But it's not about you contradicting or questioning someone on this forum, it's about contradicting what the manufacturer says and what the experts recommend.

Here's what it boils down to, IMO. I can't claim that I always follow manufacturer's instructions. BUT, I try to draw the line at encouraging others to ignore what the manufacturer recommends, and certainly would never criticize someone for obeying their manual.

You and I don't have access to the same testing equipment and expertise that a typical gun manufacturer has and therefore it's questionable at best for us to represent our opinions as having the same weight as the test results of the true experts (those who design, manufacture and test guns for a living). A typical factory has tested hundreds, if not thousands of firearms, fired more rounds in a day than you and I do in a really busy year or two, owns and uses test equipment that you and I couldn't afford with a lifetime of earnings, and has many engineers and designers on their staff, most with far more training and experience than you or I will ever have.

I realize that it's common for manufacturers to play the CYA game by being overly conservative in their recommendations, but if you think about it, they're trying to CYA by preventing incidents that could cause them problems. A little thought will make it clear that the "incidents" that they want to prevent are almost certainly incidents that you and I want to prevent as well...

The things posted on this forum stay here for a long time and become, to some extent, a permanent record. If you do an internet search on various gun related topics, it's extremely likely that within a page or two, you'll find a THR post referenced. It's not so much a matter of someone's toes getting stepped on, it's a matter of how many people will read this in the years that it stays on the web. I feel that this topic is important enough that both views needed to be represented on the thread so that folks who pull it up for information don't get just one side of the story.I think I said, "The tests proved to me".IMO, even this comment is an overstatement. You may be personally satisfied, but that doesn't mean that anything has been proved to anyone. A few thousand rounds of lead bullets through a Glock barrel only proves that either you have been very careful, very lucky, or both.

Think of it this way. There was a huge furor over the frame rail separation issue with the Glocks awhile back. BUT, only one gun out of every few hundred was likely to have the problem. Yet people were outraged, and Glock ended up replacing ALL the guns that MIGHT be affected, whether damaged or not. Here is a similar issue. Maybe only one person out of some relatively large number of people using lead bullets will cause a Glock blow up, but why should we be any less worried about this issue? Why should a small chance of a gun failure due to a non-recommended reloading practice be any less of an issue than a small chance of a gun failure due to a manufacturing problem?

faustulus
January 8, 2006, 02:28 AM
On a totally unrelated note faustulus I miss my friend John Forsyth. I am assuming you, being from middle Tn, knew him.

Man do I. I used to shoot with him in Manchester. I remember the last time I saw him, I was totatly shocked when I heard about his death. A good man.

Joe D
January 8, 2006, 05:51 AM
I guess it is about time to stop beating this horse. I, along with many others, will continue to shoot lead bullets in Glocks. I do not feel I am lucky. I do not believe in luck. What I have proven is the blanket statement "You can't shoot lead bullets in Glocks" is incorrect. There may be instances of gun failure due to, too soft lead, double charge, bullet setback and others. These failures are not unique to Glocks. I have seen all of them blown up over the years. I have seen a 1911 blown up due to lead build up in the barrel. As stated before I get much more leading in my Kimbers than I do in my Glock 21. I just passed the 1,000 round mark yesterday at an IDPA match shooting 200 gr SWC Valiant lead bullets in my G21. I pushed a patch through the barrel last night. No evidence of leading what so ever.
When I see something that does not make sense to me I ask why. I question authority. As I said before my question to Gail McMillan, noted barrel maker, would still be "If that is the case why am I NOT seeing that in any of my Glocks?".

Joe D
January 8, 2006, 05:58 AM
John and I, along with my wife, were the SO's for one of the bays at the Alabama State Match a couple of years ago. He was going to stay at our house for the '05 match.

daniel (australia)
January 8, 2006, 08:20 AM
Here's what it boils down to, IMO. I can't claim that I always follow manufacturer's instructions. BUT, I try to draw the line at encouraging others to ignore what the manufacturer recommends, and certainly would never criticize someone for obeying their manual.


FWIW the manual which came with my Glock 17A says:

"No liability whatsoever can be accepted if ammunition in bad condition or other than ammunition manufactured according to CIP and SAAMI standards as well as reloaded ammunition is used."

This is not so much a warning as a disclaimer, but it is essentially the same as that of any other manufacturer. None will accept liability for the use of reloaded ammunition. Many people, including myself, may make an informed decision to use reloaded ammunition nonetheless.

There is no reference to using or not using lead bullets in the manual which came with my pistol. FWIW I use coated lead projectiles from here (http://www.topscoreprojectiles.com.au/) exclusively in my Glock, and I've used some thousands. They shoot well and cost about 25% or less of the price of jacketed bullets, and I have no problems with leading. At my IPSC club pretty much everyone seems to favour these projectiles, including the fair number with Glocks, and some guns (such as the club's Glock training pistols) would have fired many, many thousands.

Uncoated and/or soft lead bullets might be another thing entirely of course, but these hard, coated numbers seem to work fine.

Versifier
January 8, 2006, 06:06 PM
I shot my reloads of both cast and jacketed varieties in my G23. I always kept the pressures low and used water-dropped lino for the cast ones. Never had a problem in several thousand rounds. I never thought much about it until someone on another forum suggested I Googol "Kaboom". I read about how the factory barrels do not adequately support the brass and it is bulged and weakened by firing. Hmmm. I then took some samples of new factory fodder and some fired brass and began to do some measuring. To my horror I found all the fired rounds were noticably bulged above the web. I checked different makes of brass. Same problem. On many I could actually see the distortion, once I knew to look for it. Don't take my word for it. Measure it for yourself. Glocks are designed with oversized chambers to keep feeding and functioning in battle conditions. The big chambers allow the brass to expand enough that it is stressed even without the unsupported section of case. This is not an issue for a military weapon that is never fed reloaded ammo, but it is cause for concern for the rest of us. Try chambering a Glock-fired .40 S&W case in a different make pistol barrel with a normal chamber. I did it with a Ruger. It was an eye opener. It went in not even half way. To me it's not rocket science. I will be getting an aftermarket barrel for mine. You can do what you like, this is America, but don't be offended if I move to the other end of the firing line.

georgeduz
January 8, 2006, 06:46 PM
lead build up has always been a problem,not just glocks,a hard cast is always good for me and its always wize to get the lead out.i havnt had any problems with any of them,but i see how it could be a problem if you dont know what to look for.

JohnKSa
January 8, 2006, 06:59 PM
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What I have proven is the blanket statement "You can't shoot lead bullets in Glocks" is incorrect.Nobody ever said that shooting a single lead bullet or even 1000 lead bullets would automatically result in catastrophic failure. In MarkCo's case, it took well over 20K rounds before his gun exploded.

daniel,

It is my understanding that the newer Glock manuals do include a comment about not using lead bullets, but I have been unable to verify this.

However, regardless of what is in the manual, Glock's official position can be determined quite easily by contacting the factory--I posted the phone number earlier on this thread. There have also been publications quoting Glock representatives making the position known. Their official position has always been consistent--do not use lead bullets in the factory barrels.

Mr. McMillan and various other experts on the topic have given their expert opinions on the topic (WHY it's a bad idea), and pressure testing results done by a forensic engineer are summarized on the web and indicate alarming pressure increases "after only a few rounds fired" even when using 24BHN lead bullets. The engineer began the testing when one of his Glocks failed catastrophically after having about 23,000 rounds (mostly lead reloads) through it.

There have been various solutions or workarounds proposed for not using jacketed bullets. The forensic engineer included one or two in his treatise that summarized the pressure testing results.

Plated bullets have been a commonly proposed alternative. However, I would caution people using plated bullets to be very cautious about their use, especially when first trying a new brand. The absolute worst case of leading I have EVER encountered was a result of shooting plated bullets in a Beretta pistol. Evidentally the plating was not very thick and the underlying lead was dead soft. Took me hours to get the lead out.

Mr. McMillan indicates in the link I provided earlier that the harder the bullets, the less the leading. Quantifying these relative terms in a meaningful way is difficult, and I suspect that there are other variables which are significant. The forensic engineer lists a few variables that he believes are contributors.

As the forensic engineer found, it may take a significant amount of shooting lead before your luck runs out--over 20,000 rounds in his case. Along the same lines, I'll leave you with the sentence that Mr. McMillan used as a closing statement in his brief comments on using lead bullets in polygonal rifling. It's not encouraging by any means.If you haven't had trouble just be patient.

Joe D
January 8, 2006, 11:07 PM
The newer Glock manuals say nothing about lead bullets. I have a G21 that I bought a month ago. The "forensic engineer" you keep referring to has posted no pressure info, nor has he supplied the type and model of his testing equipment. I should know, I have asked for that information on more than one occasion.
I have put far more than 20,000 lead bullets through Glocks over the years.
I feel really ashamed that I can't seem to get my Glock barrels to lead. Should I send them back to Glock?
BTW John, you seem to be in the minority on this lead bullet issue. Is it possible you could be wrong? Could you admit if you were? Read the posts. People shoot lead bullets through Glocks. That is a fact.
I am not going to change your mind, nor will you change mine. Guess it is time to find something else you and I can disagree on.

JohnKSa
January 8, 2006, 11:43 PM
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BTW John, you seem to be in the minority on this lead bullet issue. Is it possible you could be wrong?I'm only in the minority on this thread--the majority of people believe the factory, as they should. How many people believe a thing is pretty much irrelevant anyway. A thing is not right or wrong based on what percentage of the population believes it. Could you admit if you were? Read the posts. People shoot lead bullets through Glocks.Since I'm only quoting others, and primarily basing what I say on what the factory recommends, you'll have to get Glock to change their story or post credible pressure testing results to prove that I'm wrong--to get me to admit I'm wrong.

As far as shooting lead bullets through Glocks, I have no doubt that people do it. And I have no doubt that they get away with it in most cases. After all, if MarkCo got away with it for over 20,000 rounds, one could logically assume that the probability of a lead bullet blowing up a Glock is fairly small. Likewise, the odds of getting struck by lightning are pretty small--but that doesn't mean I'm going to start advising people to play golf in thunderstorms.I am not going to change your mind, nor will you change mine.I never had any intentions of changing your mind. I stated my intention quite clearly earlier. It was to ensure that the other side of the story was told to give the people who read the thread a better chance at making an informed decision.

As far as changing my mind, that will be easy. Either post pressure measurements proving your allegations, or get Glock to change their recommendations. ;)

Jim Watson
January 9, 2006, 01:05 AM
Turnout at the IDPA shoot today was light, we were in conflict with another area club's schedule. There were only four Glocks in action. Two of them did NOT blow up. Joe's shot all day with lead bullets, and one shot with factory loads did just fine.

The other two kaBoomed on jacketed bullet handloads.

One guy was using too fast a powder for a G22/.40 in search of economy and cleanliness and it blew the casehead completely to smithereens. His extractor departed for parts unknown but the gun appears otherwise undamaged.

The other chap was shooting a G21/.45 with very vanilla loads, blew out the sidewall over the feed ramp, gutted the magazine, blew out the magazine catch, and cut the trigger in half. Maybe more, he will have to gauge the butt of the gun to see if the receiver was hurt. Too much powder? Likely, it sure sounded louder than usual.

Did they do things wrong loading for Glocks (or likely anything else)?
Yes.
Did it involve lead bullets?
No.

Lead bullets can be a convenient scapegoat for operator error, looks to me like.

JohnKSa
January 9, 2006, 01:13 AM
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Obviously not in this case... :D

But from what you're saying, it sounds like pushing the limits in search of economy, or not taking the proper care when reloading can be harmful to a firearm...right? ;)

Joe D
January 9, 2006, 08:59 AM
The owner of the .40 has been known to have reloading issues in the past. Interesting thing was the .40 case looked to be the more violent kaboom. The .45 just had a hole blown in the case at the unsupported area. The G21 had much more gun damage than the G22 did. I was within 10 feet of both shooters with the guns blew. It was pretty clear to me both had either a double charge or a gross over charge.
What are the odds of having two guns blow at a match on the same stage?

JohnKSa
January 9, 2006, 06:38 PM
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About the same as getting struck by lightning... :D

countertop
January 18, 2006, 07:59 PM
Where those pure lead bullets or were they alloy bullets? Most of the folks selling bullets are trying to add some alloys to them to bring up the hardness. Pure lead is soft enough to peal some off with your fingernail.


As I recall, they were pure lead. They had been sitting around for awhile when I got them. I think my dad might have some left and I can check next time I am up if you want.

RickSavage
February 27, 2007, 01:51 AM
I have to agree with Joe here,
I have a Glock 21 and a colt 1911 and cast my own bullets 230 grn rn . I have had no lead build up in my glock or a kaboom I actually have more leading in the colt. It's all about the lube I think. Use a top Quality lube it's worth it. I would more believe that the kabooms are from the load and or loader than the lead. I think that we as reloaders get so wound up in how fast or how many bullets that can be loaded in a hour that accidents happen.It's easy to forget how dangerous this sport can really be. I've been loading for over 25 years and do it because i enjoy it not to see how fast i can load 100 rnds. Rick

Hoser
February 27, 2007, 10:00 AM
The "forensic engineer" you keep referring to has posted no pressure info, nor has he supplied the type and model of his testing equipment.

Nor will you ever get any real hard info from him.

I still say (this thread is really old by the way) load lead in Glocks till you can load no more.

Skpotamus
March 1, 2007, 12:48 AM
Ok, I've actually contacted Glock Inc about the lead thru glocks issue. I did this face to face with the glock regional rep for my area at a sheriff's dept meeting. My dept has been shooting LEAD RELOADS almost exclusively thru their guns since they bought them about 12 years ago. Glock not only knows about this, but has zero problems with it. They actually recommended the company the dept gets their lead bullets from.

I also have the recommendation of several bullet manufacturers with many 10's of thousands of rounds shot thru glocks.

The problem with leading is that some people are stupid in their reloading practices. At the first IPSC match I went to, a guy leaded up his kimber barrel enough to get a squib. Does this mean that 1911 barrels are unsafe to shoot lead thru?

The failure analyst that blew a glock with lead bullets was using different loads, powders and charges. It sounds like he was trying to develop a load when he blew it apart. He blamed leading in the bore creating unsafe pressure levels. The guy was shooting thru a chronograph, had over 120 loads thru it, apparantly he didn't bother to check the bore for leading, which, btw, is one of the things you're supposed to do when developing a load with lead bullets.

Any engineer that can't develop a load without blowing a gun apart is a twit. A twit with an engineering degree is still a twit. (I should know, I have an engineering degree and completely satisfy the other requirement).

PS, roughly 5k rounds of lead thru my glock 21 with no problems or leading. In fact, I get more leading in my 1911's than I do my glocks.

5.56
March 3, 2007, 12:42 PM
Interesting reading.

I have also contacted Glock Direct. Not a rep. but glock direct. They were pretty direct about not shooting lead.

The best I could get them to own up to was the concern if they said it was ok to shoot lead that some in-experienced reloader would get some
PURE plumbers lead, cast some bullets and end up kabooooming his glock.

From my personel experience of casting ALLOYS, mixing pure Antimony and tin with wheel weight lead to create a bullet harder than linotype lead, then making sure you have a good coating of liquid Alox on them will not cause a leading issue.

If you do not have a good coating of bullet lube on them, even alloy mixed it will tend to want to lead up. Personally I have no issues loading my own alloy bullets coated with liquid alox, 24% antimony, 6% tin, 70% wheel weight lead which has a small amount of antimony in it. My bullets test about 13-14 on the saeco harness testor.

Would I shoot pure soft plumbers lead? Uhhhhhhhhh NO. So are you folks talking shooting lead bullets or shooting alloy bullets? There is one MAJOR difference between them. It is called hardness.

I own 5 glocks myself. Do what you wish with this information. Use it or ignore it. It is just an observation on my part.

5.56

Skpotamus
March 3, 2007, 09:30 PM
If we're going to get specific, every "lead" bullet I've ever shot was some form of lead alloy, usually mixed with antimony and the ones I've done myself were water quenched to get them harder. Every commercial cast bullet is some form of alloy. I've had good luck (read "no leading") with Meister, Master Cast, and Kead. We're pretty much using "lead" and "cast alloy" interchangably.

I'm not sure if the company the dept uses cast's their own bullets or not, but we've had no leading, even during RO qualification courses (1000+ rounds, typically with no time to clean the guns).

5 glocks? Damn, I only have 4.... time for some more shopping I guess :)

Jimmy Lee
April 26, 2009, 10:51 PM
I have a glock 23 that i've had for a awhile now and i also have a xd in 40 also. I've been recently thinkin about reloading lead bullets to shoot out of them with the rising cost of ammo. So i started doing some research on it and ended up on this site and read all the postings about this. So i'm new here but what i'm not new at is guns and reloading. Most manufactures are going to recommend not to shoot reloads, especially nowadays with all the lawsuits, because alot of people that try to do it basically don't know what there doing. That stands to reason. If you know what you are doing and you use the proper powder and charge, the right lead bullet and seat it at the right depth and keep a eye on the barrel from the get go for lead and clean it regular, your not gonna have any problems. Common since. But that goes with any firearm, not just a glock. So yes people that know there stuff i can see where they shoot thousands of rounds of lead through there glocks. People who don't, do what the factory tells yuh. It sounds like to me the best bet would be to buy a aftermarket barrel that fully supports the case for extra strength. What barrels do ya reccomend? Thanks for the help and look forward to the forum.

VegasOPM
April 28, 2009, 11:01 PM
I reload for my Glock using Berry's Bullets- they are plated, so leading is not an issue. The Berry's cost about the same as a quality hard cast lead bullet. The $130 that you would spend on even a cheap aftermarket barrel would be more than the difference between several thousand of lead versus Berry's.

Oro
April 29, 2009, 05:46 AM
Holy necrophilia batman!

A four year old thread revival? And one without a post in over two years? That's impressive grave-robbing!

If you have a new data point or thought to add that wasn't covered by any of the posts back then, it's just better to open a new thread. It's really clearer and helps conversations flow naturally instead of requiring folks to re-acquaint with subjects long dead...

bumpkinbiff
June 25, 2010, 12:48 AM
Just bought a Glock 30-sf, and the instruction manual clearly states on item 26, page 15, 'GLOCK DOES NOT RECOMMEND THE USE OF UNJACKETED LEAD AMMUNITION'. That settles the issue. No lead ammo in my Glock.

fatelk
June 25, 2010, 02:04 AM
OK. Thanks for letting us know. I won't try to give you any of mine.

What does the instruction manual say about the use of reloaded ammunition in general?

Added: sorry, didn't mean to be snide. I see this is your first post. If you don't feel comfortable with lead in your Glock, by all means don't use it. Many Glock owners feel the same way, and I don't blame them at all.

This is an ancient thread, btw, and contains a ton of info on the subject (and lots of good old-fashioned arguing). I think I remember reading it when I was researching the issue to decide whether I wanted to continue the use of lead in my Glock.

Personally I came to the conclusion that it can be done safely if done right. I use a mild to moderate load that doesn't bulge the brass, and bullets of the right diameter, hardness, and lube. A friend of mine, however, absolutely will not use lead bullets for his gun either. We still get along.:)

BHP FAN
June 25, 2010, 02:43 AM
Folks that shoot lead should note that lead loads should be kept on the mild side, it's when you try to push lead at jacketed speeds that leading starts.Also, lubeing with Lee Liquid Alox is always a good idea with lead bullets.

Sam1911
June 25, 2010, 07:53 AM
Two points:

1) Recommendations printed in a factor manual rarely truly "settle" an issue for gun folks; and,

2) Very old threads should be left to rest in peace.

If you enjoyed reading about "Lead bullets for a glock" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!