Excess Lead in 22/45 Barrel?


June 11, 2011, 09:21 AM
Well, I took my new Ruger 22/45 Hunter to the range the other night, and half way through the session, my accuracy was going to hell. It was shortly after where it failed to chamber a round and there was a bent .22 that I cleared...didn't chamber. So I resumed shooting. I put roughly 200 rounds through it using CCI Blazers 40 grain lead solids. Anyhow, I went clean it last night and I couldn't even get the brass counter weight on my bore snake to go through the barrel. I ended up breaking it down and had to shove hard with a brush to clear the barrel. As the tip came out, so did a bunch of lead flakes.

I've been shooting .22s for over 24 years and I never saw so much lead come out a barrel before. I'm letting the barrel soak in some Hoppes Copper Solvent for the next 24 hours or so to see if I can break up any more crud. I don't think I had a squib load. I didn't feel or see any bulges in my barrel.
So my question to you all is, have you had a lot of lead come out of a .22 barrel before from a cleaning session?

I'll try to add a pic of some of the shavings once I figure out how. Oh and this is my second time out with the gun. I did a complete breakdown and cleaning when I first got it and ran a bore snake through it several times after my first trip. Sorry for the lengthy post, but I wanted to provide as much detail as possible. THANKS!

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June 11, 2011, 09:32 AM
sounds like you need to lap your barrel.....or start shooting lubed ammo.

June 11, 2011, 10:10 AM
Here's a pic of what I managed to scrub out.


June 11, 2011, 01:23 PM
So my question to you all is, have you had a lot of lead come out of a .22 barrel before from a cleaning session?

Yes that is why I quit buying Remington Thunderbolt. They changed something a few years ago. The bullets went from a "waxy" lube that would get soft and sticky on our hottest days (but these always worked well for me) to some kind of dry polymer film. These "improved" bullets caused horrible leading like you describe in all my pistols.

No leading issues since with different ammo.

CCI Blazers have been fine for me but I haven't shot any in quite a while, using the Federal Bulk pack from Walmart exclusively these past few years.

But with a brand new gun something could be wrong with the bore. I'd try a different ammo and if the problem re-occurs I'd get on the phone to Ruger to send it back.

June 11, 2011, 03:00 PM
I never have a problem with leading unless I shoot Rem Thunderbolts and I DON'T. These have a good history for causing leading. But there are some guns mainly rifle that do not have a problem with them. And are very accurate. I mainly shoot Federal ammo in my guns, 510's, AutoMatch (which is 510's bulk), 550's bulk and American Eagle AE22 38gr HP for my hunting round. None of these have leaded any of my guns.

george d dennis
June 11, 2011, 03:06 PM
i recently brought a ruger 22/45 and shot about 250rds through it. each time i went
to the range i came home and cleaned it with hoppes and a brush and patches.
i never had a problem with leading. i mostly would shoot federal ammo from walmart.
recently i brought cci, but i havent tried it yet. best of luck.

June 11, 2011, 05:46 PM
Before the lube/bullet change, I shot lots of Thunderbolt, Academy was selling it for ~$10/500, the Federal Champion was ~$9/500 at the time. I considered it the best by far of the low cost .22lr ammo. But I got stuck with a couple of bricks of the "new" stuff when they silently changed and haven't ever considered buying more since!

Eventually I shot it all up by never shooting more than 50 rounds of it at a time in any pistol. I'd use one box of it and three or four of something else each outing.

June 11, 2011, 10:07 PM
I get some lead confetti when cleaning .22s frequently. Try chambering a few rounds (use a safe backstop) rapidly, letting the bolt go all the way back and then snap forward on spring pressure ... then eject/inspect them, to see if your gun is beating up the noses excessively during feeding.

I clean every .22 I can get to the chamber end of with a brass jag and a nice tight patch, most of the time the first patch through will push out some lead, more if I'm using crappy ammo and more with some guns than others. What ammo are you using, and does the leading occur with CCI minimags or other quality ammo?

June 11, 2011, 11:56 PM
Mr Mij:

There was a fellow who posted about leading issues with his Ruger MK III just a week or two prior.

I've got 10 or so .22's and none of them have ever ever ever leaded, and I've shot some pretty cheap ammo. I do have a Ruger Single six that gets some very light lead deposits in the leade of the barrel, but then, what lead shooting revolver doesn't?

Call Ruger about this, definately not normal. I had to send a couple of Rugers in for warrenty work, they came back right to my doorstep A-OK in just a couple of weeks.

June 12, 2011, 01:28 AM
I recently found that my used but new to me S&W 2206 suddenly got a bad case of wild aiming. I brought it home and had to give the cleaning brush and rod a few really good thumps to clear out the lead caked up in the barrel.

The odd thing is that I'd shot CCI Blazer for many hundreds of rounds without cleaning. But I gess that at some point the lead tends to gall on the barrel and once that happens things are bound to build up and go bad in a hurry.

I'd say keep on using the same ammo but watch for it being an issue after less than up to maybe 200 rounds. If so then I whole heartedly agree that it's time to switch ammo.

June 12, 2011, 09:54 AM
Yes that is why I quit buying Remington Thunderbolt.

Funny you mention Thunderbolt. Years ago I bought 10,000 rounds from a business going under. I shot about half of it and kind of forgot about the rest until about a year ago when I bought a Marvel 1911 conversion.

I fired all 5K through the conversion in about two months. Cleaned the bore about every 1K. Never had accuracy problems and didn't experience excessive leading. I could even group five shots into an inch at 25. This thing will consume the cheapest bulk ammo I can find...except Federal.

Over the years I've decided some guns either love or hate certain ammo.

June 12, 2011, 04:23 PM
Funny you mention Thunderbolt. Years ago I bought 10,000 rounds

Years ago it was great ammo and I'd have jumped at the opportunity to stock up, but they changed the bullet/lube and its awful now unless they have changed it back recently -- I'm not willing to buy more to find out!

June 12, 2011, 05:28 PM
Good point, Wally. When I shot up the last of the Thunderbolt, I couldn't find anymore so I went with what was available...Remington Golden bulk. I've heard lots of folks swear at it, but other than a misfire every thousand or so, I haven't had any issues.

Minnesota Wild
June 12, 2011, 06:52 PM
That's funny you mention this...I have a MkIII Hunter I bought about a year ago, and have put over 10,000 rounds through in the last year. Most of them are the Federal bulk, but I recently bought a bunch of stuff to do a comprehensive test (15 types of ammo, some in 500 round bricks). One of the bricks was Winchester Xpert HV.

I tested the different brands and the Winchester did poorly, but I only shot 30-40 rounds. Last week I went out with a friend and shot the rest of the ammo, about 450 rounds. I was getting really annoyed at the end of the shooting because I wasn't hitting any of the steel we were shooting at. I thought it was me until I tried some paper and couldn't reliably hit the target at 10 yards.

When I got the gun home and took it apart, the barrel was so heavily leaded from chamber to bore that you couldn't see any rifling at all. I tried to clean it with a brass brush and aluminum rod, and couldn't get it down the barrel. I had to use a rawhide mallet and a .22 caliber rod section to get it to go. When it came out, so did about three bullets worth of lead and powder residue. It took me an hour to get the barrel back into condition.

I've never had this problem with any other type of ammo (though I've never used Thunderbolts in that gun, I have heard bad things about the new rounds). I've shot thousands of rounds of Mini Mags and Federal bulk with no problems. All I can think is that there is something with the lube on these new rounds as I've shot hundreds of thousands of rounds of 22 ammo and never seen leading.

June 13, 2011, 07:30 PM
Thanks everyone for your input. I got the barrel scrubbed out and I'm going to try to take it back out on the range again, on Wednesday. This time, I'm going to try it out with some copper washed rounds first, then try the CCI Blazers again.

June 13, 2011, 07:58 PM
This is why we pay extra for Mini-Mags.

June 16, 2011, 09:37 PM
In case anyone is interested, I sent Ruger a message off their website about my problem. Below is the response I got -

We have seen some issues with some batches of CCI Blazers leaving heavier lead deposits in the barrels of the 22's. I would recommend trying the CCI MiniMag's. If you are still having issues please call our Service Department at 928/778-6555 between 8:00 - 4:00, Monday thru Friday, at a time convenient for you. A Ruger Representative will be happy to help you.

Not sure if they took the easy out or there's any truth to that statement about the Blazers. It could be a lot thing since the last batch I used before was sold in a brick. I ended up opening up a new "bulk" pack for the last shooting. I still need to try some of those copper washed rounds from federal and see how that works out. Meanwhile, you might want to steer clear of the CCI Blazer Bulk ammo if you've never tried it before. At least for now. Oh in case anyone is wondering, the lot number on the suspect box is A28S51. I might forward Ruger's response on to CCI for giggles. I'm not looking for any refund. Just wanted to give them a heads up.

June 17, 2011, 12:02 AM
So .... ....
the minimags helped?

June 17, 2011, 09:45 PM
Sorry - Haven't had a chance to try them yet. I'll post an update when I do. I also went ahead and left CCI a note from their page, on Ruger's response. Still haven't heard back from them.

August 2, 2011, 01:13 AM
I have the Ruger 22 Mark III hunter with the 7" barrel. I have been shooting the Winchester 525 bulk pack, 36gr plated hollow point bullets. After about 100 rds, I get the same leading you are getting. I started with Federal 22 bullets and it did this. They were not plated. I switched to these and it stopped leading for the first 100 rounds. I shot a 100 rounds of the winchester through it two weeks ago, and got the same thing out of mine as you show in your pictures. The first time this happened, I thought that I shot the rifling lands out of my barrel, because the lead had filled them up completely, and the barrel looked smooth inside. I was worried that I burned up my gun, in the first 100 rds.

Let us know how the mini mags go!

August 2, 2011, 09:57 AM
Buy Promo ammo, obtain predictable results,,,,

August 2, 2011, 11:11 AM
I had the same expereince leading up the barrel of a 22 using Remington Thunderbolt ammo without allowing the barrel to cool between every 20 to 30 shots. I gave up on using HV lead ammo without the copper/brass plating/wash. The most reliable ammo has been CCI MiniMag but the Federal bulk pack HV copper plated ammo also seems to work well. Remington Golden functions well but I do expereince a fair share of ignition failures which are disconcerting.

August 2, 2011, 11:18 AM
Buy Promo ammo, obtain predictable results,,,,
Nothing wrong with Blazers. My MK3 (or my other .22s, for that matter) rarely sees anything else. While not particularly clean, I've never had a leading issue with it. I'm thinking it's a bad lot.

August 2, 2011, 12:20 PM
I have a MKII 22/45 and a MKIII hunter. I have shot all brands of bulk ammo without any issues except occasional misfires using Remmington ammo. At the range I work at 95% of the rimfire issues are from the same brand ammo. I do prefer Federal bulk if at all possible.

August 2, 2011, 01:04 PM
Just an update. I tried using some Federal AutoMatch bulk pack (already had some on hand) and fired another 150 rounds or so and still had some lead come out. Not as bad as before. I think it's partly my fault cause I'm going through the rounds pretty quick (have 5 mags and a easyloader for the mags) and not giving the barrel enough time to cool down. It's just a theory. I did pick up a couple boxes of the Mini-Mags to try, but probably won't get to shoot it again until next week. I'm also going to try some of the suspect bulk ammo in my old Buckmark down the road too.

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