Lead bullet accuracy in factory Glock barrels


October 22, 2011, 11:51 PM
I spent the summer mostly focusing on .308/.223 loads and decided to get back to pistol loads. As usual, my test platform will be G22/G27 with factory and Lone Wolf barrels but many inquired about shooting of lead bullets and accuracy in factory Glock barrels. So I will be adding G17 to the test.

I know, I know ... this thread is not about whether one should use lead bullets in Glock barrels - I will exercise my usual precautions of inspecting the factory barrel every 200-300 rounds looking for any fouling/lead build up and clean as necessary. ;)

I have shot a lot of Missouri Bullet 125 gr RN (SmallBall) out of Lone Wolf 40-9 conversion barrels with very acceptable accuracy and wanted to compare the performance of 125 gr SWC bullet in factory Glock barrel. Being the same 125 gr weight and SWC nose design, some of the lead from the nose was moved to the base to form a very substantial bearing surface. My initial thoughts were greater bullet-to-barrel fit and increased stabilization of bullet in flight.


Both 125 gr RN and SWC bullets were loaded with 3.9 and 4.2 gr of W231/HP-38. 1.090" OAL was used for RN. 1.045" OAL was used for SWC bullet as longer than 1.050" OAL did not pass the barrel drop test in the Lone Wolf barrel (besides, this SWC OAL "looked" typical of my 45ACP SWC load).


The initial range test was done more to test function rather than accuracy of SWC in factory Glock and LW barrels in G17/G22/G27 and "casually" shot off hand at 7-10-15 yards. Shot groups at 7-10 yards averaged 1.5" and shot groups at 15 yards averaged just over 2".


Below are close ups of factory G17 barrel after 100 rounds from the chamber and muzzle (it usually looks the same after 200-300 rounds). Although there seems to be a lot of debri, it is mostly fouling build up and no leading. With a light scrubbing with copper bore brush and WD40, the fouling cleaned right up to show shiny barrel.


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October 23, 2011, 12:17 AM
I can shoot 200 of the missouri bullet softballs and not have anything resembling what you are showing there, BDS. I think its not a problem doing it, as long as one does it with care. I am confident that you COULD blow up a glock by fouling it, but i dont think it has to do with elevated chamber pressures. The earlier glocks would fire considerably out of battery. Enough so that with sever leading it would be possible to experience an OOB firing.

That being said, as far as accuracy, my g21 shoots the Softballs for MoBullet as well as any other load. It also loves the 200gr SWC from Missouri Bullet, even though many say they wont feed a SWC.

October 23, 2011, 12:51 AM
I posted the inside barrel pictures for those who are not familiar with fouling build up vs leading build up. The light flaky fouling build up you see in the barrel chips and blows right out, and as you can see from the sample target, won't affect accuracy. On the other hand, leading build up combined with fouling build up, especially at the chamber end (sorry, don't have a picture of this build up), may obstruct the barrel and increase chamber pressure.

If I am only seeing the flaky fouling build up, I don't worry (few strokes of copper bore brush will clean the barrel right up). If I see leading, I will break out my copper strand wrapped old bore brush to remove the leading. Glen Fryxell has an excellent chapter in his e-book on what leading looks like (and everything related to leading) - http://www.lasc.us/Fryxell_Book_Chapter_7_Leading.htm

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