New to Lead...anything I should know


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Historian
June 12, 2013, 02:49 PM
By mistake, I picked up a batch of cast lead 115g 9mm bullets (round nose). They measure .350 at the base. Anything that I need to know before seating/shooting them? Thanks.

Historian

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Scimmia
June 12, 2013, 03:12 PM
Yeah, that .350 is way too small for 9mm.

bds
June 12, 2013, 03:17 PM
Yes, that your measurement of the bullet diameter may not be accurate.

Typical 9mm lead bullets are sized .356" and not .350".

I would also slug/measure the groove diameter of the barrel as larger than typical .355" barrel will probably experience leading problems with .356" sized bullets.

Also, you will probably need to push the lighter 115 gr bullet pretty hard to develop consistent enough chamber pressures to reliably cycle the slides of semi-auto pistols, especially stiffer recoil springs of compacts/subcompact.

What pistol and powder are you using?

Historian
June 12, 2013, 03:26 PM
I just did a quick survey of the bullets. They are .356. I am shooting Springfield Arms XDm. I have been loading Berrys 115g with 4.5g of 231 and the slide cycles just fine with that load. Do you recommend going higher for this lead?

j1
June 12, 2013, 03:49 PM
It causes sterility. Wash your hands well after handling it.

Magnum Shooter
June 12, 2013, 03:59 PM
I have been loading Berrys 115g with 4.5g of 231 and the slide cycles just fine with that load. Do you recommend going higher for this lead?

No, I recommend you find load data for your 115g cast, start there and work up your load just like anytime you change a component.

Arkansas Paul
June 12, 2013, 05:39 PM
I just did a quick survey of the bullets. They are .356.

I don't know how many you accidentally bought, but I wouldn't load many of them. At .356 the chances of them leading your barrel up are good. Most shoot a little larger than that. My mold drops at .3575 and I just lube and load. Many people shoot them at .358 and even larger. Shoot about 20 of them and see what your barrel looks like after that.

89blazin
June 12, 2013, 05:48 PM
Hodgdon's site


115 GR LRN Winchester 231 .356" 1.100" 4.3gr 1079 28,400 CUP (MIN LOAD)
4.8gr 1135 32,000 CUP (MAX LOAD)

Scimmia
June 12, 2013, 05:54 PM
I don't know how many you accidentally bought, but I wouldn't load many of them. At .356 the chances of them leading your barrel up are good. Most shoot a little larger than that. My mold drops at .3575 and I just lube and load. Many people shoot them at .358 and even larger. Shoot about 20 of them and see what your barrel looks like after that.

You sure you're not thinking about 38s? MOST people use .356 lead bullet without any problem at all, I'm not sure how you think most people use larger.. Yes, there are some guns out there that need larger ones, but they are the minority.

Arkansas Paul
June 12, 2013, 06:20 PM
You sure you're not thinking about 38s? MOST people use .356 lead bullet without any problem at all, I'm not sure how you think most people use larger.. Yes, there are some guns out there that need larger ones, but they are the minority.

Load up a bunch of rounds for 9mm that are the exact size of your bore and let me know how that works out for you.

Arkansas Paul
June 12, 2013, 06:29 PM
I would suggest reading this thread from the Castboolits site. Lots of valuable information about loading for 9mm cast.

http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?121737-Setting-up-for-boolits-in-a-new-9mm

BYJO4
June 12, 2013, 06:55 PM
For lead bullets, I use loading data in the Lyman manual. Lead bullets require a little more expansion of the case mouth.

USSR
June 12, 2013, 09:01 PM
Many people shoot them at .358 and even larger.

Yep, I size them to .358".

Don

Yarddog
June 12, 2013, 09:30 PM
Deleted

RustyFN
June 12, 2013, 09:35 PM
Load up a bunch of rounds for 9mm that are the exact size of your bore and let me know how that works out for you.

I load .356 lead RN 125 grain and shoot them in my CZ and don't get leading.

Arkansas Paul
June 12, 2013, 11:42 PM
I load .356 lead RN 125 grain and shoot them in my CZ and don't get leading.

I would bet dollars to doughnuts that your bore is .355. Am I right?
And I said that MOST shot them a little larger. Not all. I'm aware that some bores are in the .355 range.
Go to the castboolits site and search for 9mm casting. You'll see that the smaller bores are the exception.

Scimmia
June 13, 2013, 12:00 AM
You can say most casters run larger, but the vast majority of reloaders buy their bullets, not cast them, and almost all of them run .356" bullets for 9mm. As I said, there are guns out there that really need larger bullets, but they are the exception. Beretta 92s seem to be one of the biggest offenders.

To say that most shoot larger bullets is flat out wrong.

35 Whelen
June 13, 2013, 12:31 AM
I don't know how many you accidentally bought, but I wouldn't load many of them. At .356 the chances of them leading your barrel up are good. Most shoot a little larger than that. My mold drops at .3575 and I just lube and load. Many people shoot them at .358 and even larger. Shoot about 20 of them and see what your barrel looks like after that.

Paul, run over to the Cast Boolit site, read up on obturation.

As my dear mother used to tell me "Don't borrow trouble." In other words, just load the darn things and shoot them. IF they lead your barrel, which I seriously doubt they will, THEN we'll help you eliminate that problem.

35W

shaff1101
June 13, 2013, 09:33 AM
I went to scheels yesterday and they had 358 cast bullets. I told him I was going to use them for 9mm and he would not sell them to me, telling me that it was dangerous and I needed 356 size bullets.

Arkansas Paul
June 13, 2013, 09:47 AM
As my dear mother used to tell me "Don't borrow trouble." In other words, just load the darn things and shoot them. IF they lead your barrel, which I seriously doubt they will, THEN we'll help you eliminate that problem.

After 20 rounds of .356 bullets, the leading was so bad, I was basically shooting a smoothbore. And that was a medium power load.

To say that most shoot larger bullets is flat out wrong.

O.K. I'll rephrase. Most CASTERS shoot larger. And thats a fact.
You are correct that most handloaders buy bullets rather than cast them.

However, it is a fact that the 9mm is one of the pickier rounds to load cast bullets for and leading is a VERY common problem. And it is a problem often fixed by going to a bullet that's a couple thousandths over bore size.

shaff1101
June 13, 2013, 10:56 AM
So would suggest buying the 38/357 bullets at 358 for the 9mm.

I think the ones sheels had were these:

http://shop.snscasting.com/38-357-125-Gr-RNFP-38-125RNFP-500.htm


Would these work in 9mm?

USSR
June 13, 2013, 11:05 AM
I went to scheels yesterday and they had 358 cast bullets. I told him I was going to use them for 9mm and he would not sell them to me, telling me that it was dangerous and I needed 356 size bullets.

Those .358" 125gr bullets are just fine for your 9mm. Dangerous?:rolleyes:

Don

Arkansas Paul
June 13, 2013, 11:46 AM
I've shot some 125 grain .358 bullets designed for .38/.357 in mine. No problems whatsoever. Whether or not you need them that large depends on your bore size. If you have some soft lead, it's not hard to slug the barrel.

dickttx
June 13, 2013, 11:58 AM
The very easiest way is to load some and shoot them to determine how they work.
I use .356 lead in my 38 Super. Never used anything else.

Potatohead
June 13, 2013, 08:14 PM
Do you have to do one of those bore mold things to come up with the size of your bore? Or are you able to just measure it? Dumb question probably

rsrocket1
June 13, 2013, 08:28 PM
You need to slug your barrel to see if .356" is appropriate. My M&P 9mm barrel slugs at 0.3454" and I size my Lee 356-120-TC's to 0.356". They shoot great with no leading, but I wouldn't shoot them in a barrel that slugs at .357" or .358". Many european guns slug that wide and .358" bullets are better suited.

Even if the barrel slugs equal to or slightly bigger than the bullet, there is a chance the bullet could get bumped up by the pressure, but don't count on it with a light charge or commercially cast hard bullets. The only way to be sure is to try it out yourself. Lead is soft and so long as they chamber, slightly bigger is better than slightly smaller.

Potatohead
June 13, 2013, 08:33 PM
sorry to veer off the thread but i dont want to start another thread to ask a question everyone already knows the answer to: how do you slug your bore?

35 Whelen
June 13, 2013, 08:45 PM
After 20 rounds of .356 bullets, the leading was so bad, I was basically shooting a smoothbore. And that was a medium power load.

And that was likely your problem. Pressure is a lead bullets best friend. My Blackhawk .44 Special with 10-11 BHN bullets leaded just ahead of the forcing cone, but as pressure, and velocity increased, leading decreased.

Try a heavier load. Unless you have a grossly oversize bore, I bet it will solve your leading issues.

35W

rsrocket1
June 13, 2013, 10:30 PM
Watch this:
http://youtu.be/KuNoo4m6jso

the first 1:18 is sort of slow, but he has some good ideas for doing it easily. I use his techniques for slugging my handguns and it worked well.

Arkansas Paul
June 14, 2013, 09:47 AM
Try a heavier load. Unless you have a grossly oversize bore, I bet it will solve your leading issues.

I will bump it up and give it a try.
Thanks.

GLOOB
June 15, 2013, 01:01 AM
Ridiculous the number of people that think you need to slug a bore. The only things you need to do in life are pay taxes and die.

I shoot cast bullets in all my firearms, and I have never slugged a bore. If your bullets are too small, your targets will tell you that. If your bullets are too big, they won't chamber. And guess what? When you are using bullets made/sold for your caliber, 95% of the time, the bullets are neither too big nor too small. If you are planning to buy 10k bullets without trying them first, then yeah, slug your bore. But slugging a bore after you already bought the bullets is plain dumb. Load 'em. Shoot 'em. See what happens.

dickttx
June 15, 2013, 09:52 AM
GLOOB said it much more eloquently than I ever could.:)

USSR
June 15, 2013, 04:40 PM
I shoot cast bullets in all my firearms, and I have never slugged a bore. If your bullets are too small, your targets will tell you that. If your bullets are too big, they won't chamber.

+1. I will just add, your bore may tell you if they are too small as well, but a larger than bore size cast bullet that chambers if not a problem.

Don

zxcvbob
June 15, 2013, 04:55 PM
GLOOB said it much more eloquently than I ever could.


+1. He's a poet.

Schwing
June 15, 2013, 05:03 PM
A comment and a couple of questions here. First, I had another thread on a similar issue. I purchased several thousand Israeli surplus 9mms that were .354. They shoot horribly and lead the crap out of my barrel. I was really new to reloading when I bought them so I really didn't know what I was doing.

I don't understand the leading phobia. My barrel on my 92fs was horribly leaded and it took about 20 minutes to clean it up nice and shiny. I found the chore boy method and it cleaned it right up. Bottom line for me was that the fear of leading was much more traumatic than the actual problem

I have some questions for some of you guys who have been doing this for awhile. I slugged the barrel on my 92fs and it is .357. Since I don't cast my own (at least not yet) I can't find anything off of the shelf. I have been using some hard cast that are .356 and I bought some FMJ from xtremebullets that are .356 but shoot pretty well but I am sure that the .001 size difference does make them less accurate than they could be. Can you actually use .38/357 bullets that are .358? What would happen if you shot these same rounds through a barrel that was say .355 or .356? Also, I have a lot of .358/357 hard cast bullets that are 158g which seem pretty heavy for 9mm. Is that a dangerous combination to try for a 9mm? I have done some searching on this and am finding information that ranges all of the way from "I do this all of the time with no problem" to "You will blow yourself up".

Magnum Shooter
June 15, 2013, 08:52 PM
The only reason to use oversize bullets is to prevent leading. So I would not use any over sized jacketed bullet, since you will not get leading with a jacket. IMHO a 158g bullet is to heavy for 9mm. I do size at 357 for 124g cast TC in 9mm.

USSR
June 15, 2013, 10:01 PM
I slugged the barrel on my 92fs and it is .357. Since I don't cast my own (at least not yet) I can't find anything off of the shelf. I have been using some hard cast that are .356 and I bought some FMJ from xtremebullets that are .356 but shoot pretty well but I am sure that the .001 size difference does make them less accurate than they could be. Can you actually use .38/357 bullets that are .358? What would happen if you shot these same rounds through a barrel that was say .355 or .356? Also, I have a lot of .358/357 hard cast bullets that are 158g which seem pretty heavy for 9mm. Is that a dangerous combination to try for a 9mm? I have done some searching on this and am finding information that ranges all of the way from "I do this all of the time with no problem" to "You will blow yourself up"

Schwing,

Yes, you can actually use .358" cast bullets regardless if your barrel measures .355", 356", or .357". Lead does not cause pressure problems in the same way that copper jacketed bullets do, and they will swage down to fit your bore. The only problem you will have with using heavy (158gr) bullets is, you will not have enough case capacity for powder, so as to launch them at a suitable speed. I load the Lyman 358480 133gr SWC sized to .358" with zero problems. If it fits your chamber, it will go down your barrel. As for the last item I will only say that, if you frequent this website long enough, you will soon figure out who has years of experience and who is good at "Googling" for answers. It's not the number of a particular response you should be looking for, but rather the response of a select few. Hope that helps.

Don

Schwing
June 15, 2013, 10:52 PM
Thanks for the reply. I actually seated one of the 158 grain .357s into an empty 9mm case just to see what it looked like and kind of came to the same conclusion on the available powder space.

Your last statement is exactly why I joined the forum after observing for a long time. I have all kinds of reading knowledge of reloading but, as you say, Im finding that it doesn't exactly translate into real world success. thanks.

Leadman1
June 15, 2013, 11:30 PM
The are many commercial casters that will size the bullet to your needs. In your case I would use a .358" diameter bullet.
I slug barrels for free in the area I live so they get a correctly sized bullet and the most likely for positive results.
It is pretty easy to shoot a soft bullet sucessfully if it fits the gun. I use 8 BHN in most of my guns, including the 30-06 up to 1,950 fps with no leading.
Many times a combination of too small a bullet and too hard of an alloy is the cause for leading.
Here is a little formula to figure out how much pressure it takes to make a bullet obturate in the bore. 1440 X ?BHN= pressure. The loading manuals can give you an idea of the pressure of the load.
if you can't find a bullet to fit your gun PM me.

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