Glocks and cast lead reloads?


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Hastings
June 1, 2011, 11:49 AM
I just got a Glock 23, and love it. I also love hardcast flat-nose bullets, and I reload. I've heard and read a lot of hype about not shooting lead bullets in Glocks due to the polygonal rifling. Can anyone offer their experience with hardcast lead bullets in a Glock? I prefer heavier bullets going slower, like less than 1000 or 975 fps. What, if any, problems will I encounter, and how does the accuracy rate? Are the 23's or the 21's finicky about bullet weight, velocity and shape? Is soft lead better than hardcast?

Thanks
Hastings

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dwhite
June 1, 2011, 06:33 PM
brianenos.com. reloading forums

All the Best,
D. White

bds
June 1, 2011, 07:47 PM
I shoot lead bullets in G22/G27 with factory barrels and also out of Lone Wolf aftermarket barrels.

Glock barrels have longer "leade" (where the bullet jumps from the case neck to the start of the rifling) than most factory barrels and prone to gas cutting which results in more fouling/lead smearing deposit in the barrel near the chamber end. When shooting lead loads out of Glock barrels, I take a mini cleaning kit and inspect the barrel every 200-300 rounds or so and clean as necessary. If I get any leading/smearing, I will use an old copper bore brush wrapped with copper scrubber material like Choreboy and run it back and forth to remove (Don't worry about hurting barrel surface as Glock barrels are Tenifer surface hardened).

I have shot a lot of 180 gr TCFP (Missouri Bullet IDP #5) with 3.8-4.3 gr of W231/HP-38 at 1.125" OAL. Very accurate and mild-moderate recoil load.

JROC
June 1, 2011, 10:51 PM
I've shot Swampfox full power Hard Cast 10mm loads through my G20SF a few times, and never had a problem. People say if you keep the barrel clean you should be fine. Also you can buy aftermarket barrels that will work just fine with lead bullets if you don't want to risk it with the OEM barrel.

Hastings
June 2, 2011, 02:40 PM
Thanks, guys. Exactly the info I needed. BDS, your load sounds like exactly what I'll want to shoot thru mine. I appreciate the help and I'll post range results as soon as I get the components and do the reloading.

Hastings

the count
June 2, 2011, 05:43 PM
I put an aftermarket Lone Wolf SS barrel in my Glock 30SF, so I could shoot lead. Turns out that barrel does not reliably feed 230 grain RN lead bullets.... :-(

bds
June 2, 2011, 07:14 PM
Turns out that barrel does not reliably feed 230 grain RN lead bullets.... :-(
Lone Wolf barrels have just about the tightest chambers I know and requires work (especially lead reloads with larger diameter bullet) to ensure the rounds will drop in freely into the chamber with a "clink".

If factory 230 gr RN feeds reliably in the Lone Wolf barrel, then try these:

- First, measure your bullet diameter and make sure they are sized to .452"
- Once you verified the .452" bullet diameter, make sure the taper crimp is right at .472" and drop test into the chamber with the barrel out of the pistol - it should drop in freely
- If they drop in freely, use 1.25" OAL and function check feed/chambering from magazine by manually releasing the slide

- If the .472" taper crimped rounds "rub" the chamber, try decreasing the taper crimp down to .470"

- If you don't want to use tighter taper crimp, you can lightly polish the chamber surface (not the ramp) with fine wet/dry sandpaper wrap around a dowel/marker and gently twist until your loaded rounds drop in freely with a clink (it won't take much polishing).

the count
June 2, 2011, 08:19 PM
Lone Wolf barrels have just about the tightest chambers I know and requires work (especially lead reloads with larger diameter bullet) to ensure the rounds will drop in freely into the chamber with a "clink".

If factory 230 gr RN feeds reliably in the Lone Wolf barrel, then try these:

- First, measure your bullet diameter and make sure they are sized to .452"
- Once you verified the .452" bullet diameter, make sure the taper crimp is right at .472" and drop test into the chamber with the barrel out of the pistol - it should drop in freely
- If they drop in freely, use 1.25" OAL and function check feed/chambering from magazine by manually releasing the slide

- If the .472" taper crimped rounds "rub" the chamber, try decreasing the taper crimp down to .470"

- If you don't want to use tighter taper crimp, you can lightly polish the chamber surface (not the ramp) with fine wet/dry sandpaper wrap around a dowel/marker and gently twist until your loaded rounds drop in freely with a clink (it won't take much polishing).
Thanks a heap!

Mr.Revolverguy
June 2, 2011, 09:20 PM
I have a lone wolf barrel for a glock 22 and never had one ounce of trouble with it. I have shot lead, plated and copper through it. Now in my glock 30 I was having the same issue FTF but only with my reloads with factory ammo it fed great. I measured the factory ammo I was using and it was crimped to .471 I setup my dies to crimp at .471 and low and behold it cleared up all my problems with the glock 30. I have been reloading for 17 years and not afraid to admit my reloads were at fault. I believe Wolf makes a great product and you may find it is more related to your reloads than the barrel.

And no I am not affiliated with Wolf in any way :)

Hunt480
June 2, 2011, 10:03 PM
I just got a Lone Wolf barrel for my Glock 20.I like the accuracy of the Wolf barrel but I have had FTF with factory ammo and reloads. This chamber is obviously even by sight smaller than the factory barrel. As mentioned above I have been slowly polishing the chamber with very fine wet/dry sand paper the gun seems to perform consistantly now. The chamber is still very tight and I may have to polish a little more but it definately is curing the FTF problem while not affecting the good accuracy.

Sapper771
June 3, 2011, 05:29 AM
I dont have any experience with other aftermarket barrels, but I agree with bds, the Lone Wolf chambers are very tight. I have a Lone Wolf barrel for my G17 and it was troublesome at first. I have a lot of 9mm brass, but it has been fired in a Glock factory barrel and thus cant be used in the Lone Wolf barrel. So I had to go buy a bunch of new brass to use in the Lone Wolf barrel. The barrel did require a break in.

I wouldnt mind having an aftermarket barrel for my Glock that had a chamber similar to the factory chamber tolerances. Less headache, and probably more reliable.

As far as lead in the Glock barrel, it is not recommended. I have a friend that does it. He is still alive, and states that he doesnt have any problems as long as he keeps the barrel clean. I am sure it can be done as long as your safe and use the proper bullet size , hardness, and bullet lube.

the count
June 3, 2011, 09:09 AM
Lone Wolf barrels have just about the tightest chambers I know and requires work (especially lead reloads with larger diameter bullet) to ensure the rounds will drop in freely into the chamber with a "clink".

If factory 230 gr RN feeds reliably in the Lone Wolf barrel, then try these:

- First, measure your bullet diameter and make sure they are sized to .452"
- Once you verified the .452" bullet diameter, make sure the taper crimp is right at .472" and drop test into the chamber with the barrel out of the pistol - it should drop in freely
- If they drop in freely, use 1.25" OAL and function check feed/chambering from magazine by manually releasing the slide

- If the .472" taper crimped rounds "rub" the chamber, try decreasing the taper crimp down to .470"

- If you don't want to use tighter taper crimp, you can lightly polish the chamber surface (not the ramp) with fine wet/dry sandpaper wrap around a dowel/marker and gently twist until your loaded rounds drop in freely with a clink (it won't take much polishing).
Checked my lead 45 reloads, the crimpt is at .471, so that actually should be fine. I took the barrel out and dropped in a couple reloads with zero brand jacketed 230 gr RN bullets (those shoot fine at the range). Drop right in with a bright click sound. Then the 230 gr lead bullet. Also fell right in but sounded duller so something is going on there. Put some sandpaper around a bore brush and sanded the chamber a bit. Now the dropping sound is better, but not like the copper bullet. Will go to the range for some testing before I might sand a bit more. The As the saying goes, you can sand metal off but you can't put it back once its gone. Could it be the issue is that particular brand of bullet (think its Missouribullet)?

UPDATE:
Fired around 20 lead rounds that used to cause problems, this time not one issue. So thanks bds...!

Hastings
June 3, 2011, 08:38 PM
Are factory Glock barrels less accurate than the aftermarket ones purely because of the looser chamber tolerances, or are there other factors involved?

Just wondering.

bds
June 3, 2011, 10:02 PM
Are factory Glock barrels less accurate than the aftermarket ones purely because of the looser chamber tolerances
The looseness of Glock chambers are at the ramp end. At the case neck end, all the barrels have essentially the same dimensions so the case neck can seal with the chamber. For this reason, bulged cases have the bulge 2/3 way down the case near the base and not at the case neck.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=141061&stc=1&d=1303671977


are there other factors involved?
Side-by-side comparison tests I have done with jacketed/plated loads showed factory Glock barrels to be more accurate, but not by much.

With lead loads, things are very different as Glock barrels have longer leade (the space the bullet needs to jump from the case neck to the start of the rifling) and very smooth rounded hill/valley rifling. When primer ignites the powder, more hot high-pressure gas will leak around the bullet and blow off the liquefied lube forward of the bullet (which normally provides "sealant/gasket" around the bullet to seal the gas leak), resulting in more gas cutting of now "naked" lead bullet. When I shoot lead bullets out of factory Glock barrels, I inspect the barrel after about 200-300 rounds for fouling/lead smear buildup at the chamber end and clean as necessary. If this buildup is allowed to continue, accuracy will suffer. Furthermore, this buildup may increase the chamber pressure and may cause rupture of case base that is less supported if powder charge/OAL is at max load data or greater pressures.

Unlike many oversized factory barrels, Lone Wolf barrels are sized to typical jacketed bullet diameter (.355", .400", 451", etc.) with lower lands for a very tight fit with lead bullets sized .001" over (.356", .401", .452", etc.). This results in faster deformation of the bullet base to seal the bullet to the barrel and decrease the gas leak around the bullet and reduce gas cutting/leading.

Hastings
June 3, 2011, 10:09 PM
bds,

Thanks, that is very helpful info. I think I'll order a Lone Wolf barrel and a few boxes of Double Tap's 200gr WFNL ammo. I'm pretty excited about seeing how they work together. Once I give them a try, I'll start the reload process.

Thanks again.

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