Lead in a glock


January 7, 2008, 09:22 AM
I was thinking of getting a Glock 36 in 45 acp. But I have heard you shouldnt shoot lead in a Glock. Then I read in another chat room that all glock barrels have polygonal rifling and dont like cast bullets. All that is except for the 45 acp barrels. The 45 barrels are conventional rifling and are therefore safe with cast reloads.

Has anyone heard this or know anything about Glock 45's and cast bullets?

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January 7, 2008, 11:23 AM
eh its one of the great interweb battles. Not as prolific as 9mm v 45acp- but definately has a fair share of participants on either side.

some do it and say its safe, others want you to make them primary recipient of your life insurance policy before you try.

I personally do it and shoot lead through a few glocks- but that doesn't make it a great idea.

the general compromise seems to be getting a 100 dollar traditionally rifled barrel from LWD (lone wolf distrib) and shooting lead out of that.

Steve C
January 7, 2008, 11:31 AM
Can't say for sure if the current .45 acp barrels are conventional or no. The early modle 21 I shot years ago had polygonal rifling.

There are other issues in shooting reloads in your Glock .45acp. Glock barrels in the .45 acp and .40 S&W have a rather large unsupported area. The same condition can exist in 1911's with a barrel that's been throated (extensively). Case ruptures are not unknown, usually they happen when a weakened case is reloaded. The resulting KB usually damages the firearm beyond repair, and Glock will not fix a gun destroyed by a reload. The good thing is there usually isn't any major damage to the shooter.

If you are going to reload for the Glock .45 use cases in good condition with few reloads and loads that are in the moderate target level in pressure. Look for case bulges and other signs of the brass being stretched or over worked.

January 7, 2008, 12:08 PM
I have never seen a Factory Glock barrel that wasn't polygonaly rifled.

Someone please educate me.

January 7, 2008, 12:47 PM
The manual says no lead but it also says no reloads. The lead issue can be addressed by either cleaning often (every 200-300 rounds) or buying an aftermarket barrel such as Storm Lake, Lone Wolf, KKM, Bar-Sto, etc. That will also address the unsupported chamber issue as well. I figured for the $100 for a Storm Lake barrel from www.topglock.com it was worth it to get a barrel. I also got one for my G23 and G20 as those barrels are far worse in the case support than the G21 simply because of the higher pressure in a 40/10mm vs a 45 ACP. The added bonus of the fully supported chamber is that if you ever have a double charge in a reload or other unfortunate incident it has a better chance of containing it and not splitting the frame like I have seen before. Just my $.02

January 7, 2008, 12:49 PM
I made the mistake of shooting lead once in my Glock 20C (10mm). No safety concerns, but what a mess. Lead everywhere - plus having a ported version made it even worse. I had to scrape the melted lead from around the ports. Not going to do that again.

evan price
January 7, 2008, 04:32 PM
I shot lead in my GLocks regularly. Still do in my G21. Just clean it once in a while, and stick to hardcast instead of soft lead.

January 7, 2008, 05:24 PM
Hello, I'd listen to Glock on this one. If shooting lead bullets is important, then a Glock is not the right gun for you.

www.glocktalk.com is a great resource if you are looking for evidence to support Glock's warning.

January 7, 2008, 06:14 PM
highorder I have never seen a Factory Glock barrel that wasn't polygonaly rifled.

Someone please educate me.
This is directly from the Glock web site. It states in here that the barrel is hexagonal. I don't know if this is something new they are doing.

GLOCK 17 9x19

Safe Action
625 g / 22.04 oz.
905 g / 31.91 oz.

186 mm / 7.32 in.
138 mm / 5.43 in. MAG. CAPACITY
Standard: 17
19 / 33

30 mm / 1.18 in.
32 mm / 1.26 in. TRIGGER PULL
2.5 kg / 5.5 lbs.
12.5 mm / 0.5 in.

165 mm / 6.49 in.

114 mm / 4.49 in. BARREL RIFLING
right hand, hexagonal
250 mm / 9.84 in.

NATO stock number 1005/17/144/3969 - Subject to technical changes

January 7, 2008, 06:23 PM
I have been shooting cast lead bullets in a Glock 23 .40 S&W for about 12 years now.

The secret is very hard bullets cast from Linotype, and Alox bullet lube.

There is no leading, and there has been no KABoom so far.

I wouldn't shoot store-bought lead bullets because they are too soft.


January 7, 2008, 07:07 PM
I shoot cheap walmart ammo even put a few bags of range reloads through my G22 with factory 40 barrel with no problems. I do usually clean every 50 to 100 rounds and occasionally use some lead out foam stuff in the barrel. ( I think the G22 is the ugliest, most uncomfortable gun I own, it's also the one that usually ends up in my holster for duty )

Steve Koski
January 7, 2008, 07:44 PM
Um, aren't hexagons also polygons?

pol·y·gon /ˈpɒliˌgɒn/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[pol-ee-gon] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun a figure, esp. a closed plane figure, having three or more, usually straight, sides.

hex·a·gon /ˈhɛksəˌgɒn, -gən/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[hek-suh-gon, -guhn] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun a polygon having six angles and six sides.

January 8, 2008, 10:02 AM
Wow, thanks for the replies. I'm still not sure about the different rifling. I am going to ask a friend of mine who has glock in 40 and 45. Maybe he can look at them under a magnifying glass and see if there is any difference. I will let you know what we find out.
Thanks again for all the info. keep it coming. We must all be learning something.
Good shooting

January 8, 2008, 02:39 PM
Maybe he can look at them under a magnifying glass and see if there is any difference.It really doesn't matter how many sides it has.

Unless it has cut or button rifling, with real lands & grooves, it is not suitable for soft lead bullets.


January 10, 2008, 02:20 AM
don't forget I believe marlin's Microgroove rifling is also polygonal, and no one says boo about shooting lead in those

granted the pressure curves are EXTREMELY different between the cartridges.

either way- I shoot lead in a stock glock 23. I do get leading, but If i clean about every 200 rounds, I don't think there is any additional danger.

I think more important, is a tight crimp and a reliable profile that will feed and help lower any chance of bullet set back.

thats where things can get scary and guns can take a quick nose dive with the shooter tagging along.

January 10, 2008, 02:31 AM
Two of the hottest, best shooters in our IPSC club shot nothing BUT lead reloads though their Glock 17L's. This was back in 1988/89 when the weapon was still very new to the market.

Tens of thousands of rounds got fired through those guns at countless practice sessions, meets and large-scale competitions. The guns performed admirably and no adverse effects were noticed or suffered.

Almost half a dozen of us were certified Glock armorers at the time, and we broke the guns down into the basic 33 pieces and examined every part. No problems whatsoever.

I think the biggest problem with lead is that it normally comes in reloaded/range reloaded ammunition and therefore consistency can be a problem. Not enough charge and the Glock WILL have trouble cycling. I've seen that firsthand in my own 17.

But my own Glock has probably better than three thousand rounds of middle-of-the-road lead reloads run through it. I tear her down, clean her up, insepct everything and marvel at how tough, resiliant and reliable the gun is--even though it's my least favorite gun in the safe.


January 11, 2008, 11:33 AM
Thanks rustyfn

I found the website you mentioned. The 9mm and 40 have hexagonal rifling, while the 45 has octagonal rifling. I know, kind of picky, but now we know. Ha ha.

It seems like many shoot lead in the glocks and have no problem. Obviously cleaning regularly is the key. Would be interested to hear from some who have had problems with lead bullets first hand, and see just what the circumstances were with their problems.

Still very interested in the Glock 36 for CCW. Maybe the next gunshow.

Keep the replies coming.

good shooting

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