swaged bullet leading


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RealGun
August 14, 2013, 12:11 PM
I have been shooting 4.6 gr Bullseye and 200 gr Zero LSWC, understanding that Zero bullets are swaged. I have had to find out what swaged means, as opposed to cast.

I am getting leading in what is supposedly an 800 fps load. I have a serious lead removal project every time I shoot. It doesn't make sense to me. Any ideas?

I measured the .45 bullets at .452.

The guns are S&W 625JM, Springfield 1911A1, and Ruger GP100 5".

I also have Zero bullets in .358 LRNFP but haven't seen any problems in the two Rugers that shot them.

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Sam1911
August 14, 2013, 12:32 PM
Swaged bullets are soft. Probably too soft. There have been a number of threads here where we've discussed how to calculate the appropriate hardness you want for the load you'd like to shoot. A quick search should bring those up.

243winxb
August 14, 2013, 12:42 PM
Drop down to 3.8gr Bullseye for soft swaged bullets.

RealGun
August 14, 2013, 01:06 PM
Swaged bullets are soft. Probably too soft. There have been a number of threads here where we've discussed how to calculate the appropriate hardness you want for the load you'd like to shoot. A quick search should bring those up.

In my research I could not find out any hardness information about Zero's bullets. I am rather trying to make the load suit the bullet, considering how challenging it can be to buy bullets these days. As one just starting to use lead, I'm not sure what to buy, in spite of doing some homework.

Sam1911
August 14, 2013, 01:16 PM
Well, if you want to use swaged you'll probably have to experiment a bit and drop the charge until the leading goes away. You already got a recommendation for that.

As for bullets being hard to get? Try Missouri Bullet Co. http://www.missouribullet.com/results.php?category=5&secondary=13
I've ordered recently and got them in just a few weeks. A lot shorter than the 5-6 weeks that they estimated. Things are getting A LOT better.

Whatever kind you want, and under the Technical info heading there's a page explaining how to choose the right bullet for the load you want to use.

RPRNY
August 14, 2013, 01:26 PM
800 fps is completely insufficient speed to suspect soft lead as the culprit. Were we talking 1500 fps, soft lead might be an issue for consideration.

Bore slugs at? The first candidate is undersized bullet vs grooves. That it is an issue in several different pistols does however lean against this being the main culprit.

The next is lube. What lube, how applied? Given the issue relates to several pistols, lube, or rather an insufficiency thereof would be a good place to start.



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Jesse Heywood
August 14, 2013, 02:51 PM
So you know swaging involves pushing material through a die. Just like the play-do machine did. Same process as making extrusion such as angle iron. To swage hard lead takes far more force than soft lead.

For cast bullets the lead is melted and poured in a die. It is now very uniform at that point, so most will size the bullet, a process similar to swaging, but much less force is applied. Either way you end up with a swaged bullet. The difference is usually the hardness of the lead you start with.

RealGun
August 14, 2013, 03:46 PM
Whatever kind you want, and under the Technical info heading there's a page explaining how to choose the right bullet for the load you want to use.
Well again, I can't very well pick a bullet if I don't know its specs (hardness). Zero doesn't tell me that. Midway's description doesn't tell me that. Why is it so important to dismiss the question? We're just starting to get some useful deductions here.

I did some cursory searching here and didn't finding anything very on target for what I am experiencing.

If the swaging thing is an entity unto itself, there should be separate loads for it. Perhaps many of the loads are in fact for the softer lead, because the accompanying documentation unfailingly cautions against going above 1100fps. I do see separate loads for "MEI" that run to higher velocities, but that is only in Hodgdon and even there it still says "cast".

ReloaderFred
August 14, 2013, 05:23 PM
You can pretty much bet the swaged bullets are somewhere around Bhn 6 to 8, with Bhn 5/6 being pretty close to pure lead. Wheelweights average about Bhn 12, which is what I aim for with my alloys for casting bullets.

Swaged bullets are soft, since it takes so much pressure to form harder alloys. When I'm swaging bullets, I use Bhn 6 for the cores. Even with my dedicated swaging press I can tell when the core is harder than that, just from the extra effort it takes to swage it.

If you'll go to www.castboolits.com and do a search for "pencil test", you'll find a way to test your alloy hardness using a #2 pencil. I haven't done it, since I've got a lead hardness tester (Saeco) that works quite well and consistently, but I'm told it works.

Hope this helps.

Fred

243winxb
August 14, 2013, 05:47 PM
Read the part marked LEAD HARDNESS: http://www.corbins.com/lead.htm Lead hardness-Corbin provides 99.95% percent pure lead wire for swaging. Bhn 8-10 is fairly typical of wheel weight hardness, which can still vary over a wide span from pure soft (Bhn 5) to very hard (Bhn 15+). Bhn of 8-10 is usually considered maximum for the medium diameter (-S) dies without bleed holes, 6-8 with bleed holes. Hard lead, for swaging purposes, is anything above Bhn 10. Medium hard is from 8-10, and soft is from 5-7.
Patent hardening of swaged bullets heat treatment http://www.google.com/patents/US5464487 EXAMPLE
38 caliber swaged wrought bullets manufactured by Bull-X, Inc. were heat treated in an open air furnace at about 450 forth below and were then promptly quenched in water at ambient temperature. Following quenching, the Brinell hardnesses of at least 25 of the bullet samples were tested with a Rockwell machine in accordance with ASTM Standard E10-84 using a 100 kg load and an M scale ball of 6.35 mm diameter. The duration of the heating and the Brinell hardness readings were as follows:



______________________________________Heating Time Brinell Hardness(min.) (range)______________________________________ 5min 19.6-21.3 10min. 25.5-28 20min. 24.3-25.5 30min. 28-29______________________________________

After 8 days, 1 1/2 months and 2 months, hardness tests were again performed on these samples and these tests revealed that the hardness was essentially unchanged.

At least 25 of the samples which were heated for 5 and/or 10 minutes and then quenched as described above also were sectioned, ground, polished and hardness tested both at the surface and the core. These tests revealed that the hardness was essentially uniform throughout.

The samples which had been hardened as described were also analyzed for metal content and had the following metal content: _ Copper 0.038 Arsenic 0.16 Antimony 3.0 Tin 0.25 Zinc 0.0001 Cadmium 0.0001 Nickel <.0001 Bismuth 0.018 Silver 0.0038 Tellurium 0.0015 Sulfur 0.0005 Iron <.0001 Lead Balance______________________________________
Swaged is almost always, very soft alloy. Close to pure lead. http://i338.photobucket.com/albums/n420/joe1944usa/Firearms%20%20and%20%20Reloading/th_AlloyBlending1.jpg (http://s338.photobucket.com/user/joe1944usa/media/Firearms%20%20and%20%20Reloading/AlloyBlending1.jpg.html) Click for larger photo.

Sam1911
August 14, 2013, 07:15 PM
Well again, I can't very well pick a bullet if I don't know its specs (hardness)That's why I sent you to a site where you can pick whatever bullets you want in several different stated hardness levels. I though you were unhappy because the bullets you have are causing leading and the manufacturer wasn't supplying adequate info.

Zero doesn't tell me that. Midway's description doesn't tell me that.Right. As I said, I was trying to give you a source for a better option with all the info you need to get good results.

Why is it so important to dismiss the question?Dismiss the question? We were ANSWERING the question. I haven't seen anyone dismiss it. You have leading problems. That's fixable with better bullets, better loads, and more information -- or a combinations of those.

We're just starting to get some useful deductions here.Just starting to? Naah. Lead bullets and leading have been well understood for a long time. It's just unfortunately easy to pick up components that don't work well together and/or with your gun.

If the swaging thing is an entity unto itself, there should be separate loads for it. It's all a spectrum. You can buy swaged soft lead, mild 12 BN hardness, or upper-end 18 BN hardness, whatever you need for your kind of loads. The load books offer recipes that will work with any of those if you know how to build the right combination.

Perhaps many of the loads are in fact for the softer lead, because the accompanying documentation unfailingly cautions against going above 1100fps. I do see separate loads for "MEI" that run to higher velocities, but that is only in Hodgdon and even there it still says "cast".It isn't really a matter of velocity, per se, but of pressure. You need to match the pressure of the load you want to use with a bullet which will obdurate properly at that pressure.

Again, if you read the short write-up Brad posted at his Missouri Bullet Co. site it will explain it very clearly.

Now, he doesn't sell dead soft swaged bullets, as very few people really want them, but at least he explains why leading can occur in terms applicable to your situation.

Jesse Heywood
August 14, 2013, 09:16 PM
Again, if you read the short write-up Brad posted at his Missouri Bullet Co. site it will explain it very clearly.

Now, he doesn't sell dead soft swaged bullets, as very few people really want them, but at least he explains why leading can occur in terms applicable to your situation.

Brad does offer some bullets in BHN 12. Before the shortage he would make special runs for customers wanting a combination that wasn't in his catalog, but he was able to make from components in use. Say 38 wadcutters in BHN 18. Hopefully those times will return.

DM~
August 14, 2013, 09:41 PM
So you know swaging involves pushing material through a die. Just like the play-do machine did. Same process as making extrusion such as angle iron.


I've been swageing since the 70's and none of my swage dies involve pushing material THROUGH a die.

You do push material INTO a die, but then it's ejected back out the same hole it went into.

DM

Schwing
August 14, 2013, 10:28 PM
I am very new to using lead but, thanks to some good resources here and lot of fiddling, I have been able to minimize the leading that I was initially seeing.

As others have stated, my experience has been that most leading issues can be almost, if not completely, removed by properly sizing the bullets to your bore. I have recently started casting my own since it is far easier and much less expensive than trying to buy bullets that are not undersized. It seems like most of the bullets available are only offered in a standard size (like 9mm in .356 etc). I was able to find a couple of bullet makers (pennbullets.com) for example who sell the same caliber of bullets in several different diameters but it was taking weeks if not months to get them and I even had some orders just disappear and not get filled. I think most bullet makers are so swamped that they can't keep up with production.

I can tell you that it will make little to zero difference whether the bullets are cast or swaged. The hardness is going to be the second biggest factor next to size. If you are driving them too hard, they are going to leave lead in the barrel. I would recommend backing your loads down by a couple of tenths of a grain, load about 20, then back down again and load about 20 until you get to the minimum load for bullsye which is around 3.5 grains. Shoot em, and see which shoot the best.

I have found that the softer bullets tend to be the most accurate towards the low end anyway.

Curator
August 14, 2013, 11:01 PM
First check to see if your sized and expanded cases are sizing down your .452 diameter bullets when you seat them. Load one or two in an unprimed case with your standard crimp and use an inertia bullet puller to pull the bullet. Measure it. If it is sufficiently undersize get a larger case-mouth expander and limit the amount of tapir crimp so bullets stay at .452. Alternately you may find a harder bullet at .453" shoots better with no leading. All of my .45ACP handguns shoot better with bullets cast from Air-cooled wheel weight alloy (BHN12) and sized to .453.

jim8115
August 14, 2013, 11:33 PM
I run the zero swaged LHP's ( .357 ) at 1000 FPS from a 6" GP100 , 900 FPS from a 2 1/2" 686, with no leading.

JIM

RPRNY
August 15, 2013, 08:07 AM
I run the zero swaged LHP's ( .357 ) at 1000 FPS from a 6" GP100 , 900 FPS from a 2 1/2" 686, with no leading.

JIM

As per all reasonable expectations. This is useful confirmation. The OP says he is running these bullets at 800 fps. No way that is too fast for pure lead even with a fast twist. I run paper patched pure lead in a 1:16 barrel at 1500 fps very successfully. Naked, I'd want to stay below 1200. My guess, these would perform better sized .454

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RealGun
August 15, 2013, 08:23 AM
Curator - First check to see if your sized and expanded cases are sizing down your .452 diameter bullets when you seat them. Load one or two in an unprimed case with your standard crimp and use an inertia bullet puller to pull the bullet. Measure it. If it is sufficiently undersize get a larger case-mouth expander and limit the amount of tapir crimp so bullets stay at .452. Alternately you may find a harder bullet at .453" shoots better with no leading. All of my .45ACP handguns shoot better with bullets cast from Air-cooled wheel weight alloy (BHN12) and sized to .453.

You may well have hit on it, because the pulled bullets are under .451. I have never changed the crimp setting from when I was loading .451 FMJ, nor did I change the bullet seating. The OAL was close enough. I did have to change the expander to what will now work on both size bullets.

So, I will start over with the setup. I do understand the problem, but I just never thought about it, when I tried these bullets (soft .452). I know what to do. I will make some more rounds and let you know the outcome. Many thanks.

blarby
August 15, 2013, 08:29 AM
Either way you end up with a swaged bullet.

No.

joustin
August 15, 2013, 08:32 AM
I shoot Zero 200gr round flat nose in my 45 over 4gr of Bullseye without leading

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Sam1911
August 15, 2013, 09:12 AM
I've never heard of a brass case swaging down a lead bullet when seating. I've seen many thousands of lead bullets expand a brass case noticeably when seating.

I suppose it is possible, but I'd want to test that theory, myself, VERY carefully before I believed it.

Your bullet stays in the case purely because it expands the brass as it enters the case. I don't honestly believe any normal pistol casing has enough rigidity to swage down a lead bullet. Even a very soft one.

Of course, I don't actually load dead soft swaged bullets, so maybe there's something I'm missing...but I doubt it.

Schwing
August 15, 2013, 09:44 AM
I've never heard of a brass case swaging down a lead bullet when seating. I've seen many thousands of lead bullets expand a brass case noticeably when seating.

I suppose it is possible, but I'd want to test that theory, myself, VERY carefully before I believed it.

Your bullet stays in the case purely because it expands the brass as it enters the case. I don't honestly believe any normal pistol casing has enough rigidity to swage down a lead bullet. Even a very soft one.

Of course, I don't actually load dead soft swaged bullets, so maybe there's something I'm missing...but I doubt it.
Back when I was having this issue, someone suggested this and I tried to swage down a bullet and was unable to do so... at least my calipers could not see the difference. I made about 5 or 6 of them and was using so much crimp that the necks on the cases were separating on a couple of them.

RealGun
August 15, 2013, 11:31 AM
I should add that I am using a Lee FCD, which supposedly is capable of post sizing bullets. However, I was feeling very little resistance when cranking that station by itself, say for the last bullet to clear the machine (LnL AP).

I have ordered Hornady dies to dedicate to lead bullets at .452. I needed another bullet seater and a taper crimp, eliminating the legacy Lee dies I was using successfully for .451 FMJ. I also ordered their .452 expander plug for the case activated powder measure.

The .357 will be covered by existing hardware for now, because I had an extra die set intended for .38 Special, as well as the fact that the Lee die set has a .358 PTX.

While it makes sense that bullets are not being swaged during insertion, I still was getting just barely enough expansion to get the lead bullet to sit on the case mouth. I needed the .452 in any case, at least in a Hornady powder measure and PTX context.

RPRNY
August 15, 2013, 12:05 PM
Lee FCD is very capable of resizing a seated bullet, especially pure lead. Try pulling a seated bullet and see if that is indeed what is happening. But again, slug your bores. .452 is fine for jacketed bullets but with lead, you really want the bullet to obturate and fill into the grooves. .453/.454 is more likely suitable.

918v
August 16, 2013, 10:50 AM
Zero lube sucks. That's why ur getting leading. It's not that they are too soft cuz 22LR is just as soft and don't lead.

RealGun
August 16, 2013, 03:43 PM
I have done some resetting of dies, tests with FMJ and many samples of 200 gr Zero, swaged, .452 LSWC, and there is no question that the bullet is being swaged by the case during bullet insertion.

It's not the die, because the small portion of the bullet at or slightly above the case mouth, bell still there, is still .452, while the rest of the pulled bullet is .450-.451.

Continuing with the crimp step changes nothing except removing the bell. Pulling bullets after that step shows the same measurements as after bullet insertion, i.e. the FCD is not involved in the problem, at least now while at .451.

It looks like the extra Hornady dies I ordered for a separate setup, no FCD, will make no difference except for options in OAL, but the .452 expander plug replacing the .451 definitely should affect the swaging during insertion. I should have that part to try on Monday.

RealGun
August 16, 2013, 03:47 PM
If necessary, could I use my .45 Colt bullet insertion die at .452? Maybe even the crimp die, set for light enough to avoid any roll?

918v
August 16, 2013, 03:59 PM
It dos not matter how much the case swaged down the bullet cuz the front band will seal.

RealGun
August 17, 2013, 06:42 PM
I realized that I already owned a .452 PTX for the Hornady powder drop, so I installed it. I had bought it for .45 Colt, so I had to make some setup adjustments to the powder drop due to the difference in case lengths.

Well, it seems to have worked, because bullets pulled before and after crimping still measure .452. So now I just have to get out and shoot some and see if there is still a leading issue.

To review, the swaged Zero bullets were being resized to .450-.451 during bullet insertion (swaged by the case sized for .451). The theory is that it caused the leading problem at a velocity and bullet hardness that should not have been a problem.

RealGun
August 23, 2013, 04:32 PM
I had a chance to shoot some today and did not get significant leading except at the forcing cone. Pretty standard cleaning procedure took care of it. I think the problem has been solved, i.e. a soft lead bullet (Zero swaged) can be swaged down by a case that is too tight, causing leading.

I will confess that I departed from scientific procedure and changed a variable. I used HP-38 this time in place of Bullseye, still 4.6 gr, and guesstimated at about 800 fps. They are both published loads from the respective powder companies. Test gun was S&W 625JM.

Also, the solution lies in getting a special expander plug that sizes to .452 instead of .451 for .45 ACP. Hornady's special part # is 451A, for which you have to call and ask, since it is not listed.

While I did try the #452 from my .45 Colt setup, it wasn't the right length. Those cartridges fired okay, but I won't make any more and don't need to, given the Hornady #451A, which they label as ".451/.452" instead of their ".451" and ".452" (the latter intended for .45 Colt case lengths).

243winxb
August 23, 2013, 05:08 PM
I used HP-38 this time in place of Bullseye, still 4.6 gr, Went from a high pressure load to just above starting load. Using a FCD :uhoh:

RealGun
August 23, 2013, 05:59 PM
243winxb - Went from a high pressure load to just above starting load. Using a FCD.:uhoh:

Not using an FCD. The press has been changed over to use two new Hornady dies, one bullet insertion and one taper crimp.

I see your point about the contrasting loads, and I will follow up on proving them both out, repeating the Bullseye test and raising the HP-38 to something comparable, tentatively 5.4 gr. However, the data in various sources is all over the place, some not listing pressures. According to the Alliant and Hodgdon data, I did match velocities, wanting about 800 fps as good for accuracy (according to Hornady).

When you mock what I'm doing, it would be more helpful if you were a little more specific.

RealGun
August 24, 2013, 05:13 PM
Redid the sample, back to 4.6 gr Bullseye associated with the original leading.

I defined "leading" as significantly more cleaning needed than usual, aside from the visible deposits in the barrel, if any.

I also loaded some 5.4 gr HP-38 as a parity load, shot in a different gun.

Both guns (loads) had some leading near the forcing cone but nothing in the barrel. I didn't look until I had done what would normally have been enough cleaning.

Bullet was Zero 200 LSWC (swaged).

I understand about loading for less velocity (currently about 800), but I am not interested in that and would sooner go back to FMJ or just a harder lead. I prefer to believe the opinions that much leading is not normal for these loads. I am looking more for the mechanical solution.

ICBW in my conclusions, but I think the trace leading - only just ahead of the forcing cone - tells me that obturation is occurring.

918v
August 24, 2013, 05:52 PM
I don't consider what Zero puts on their swaged bullets as lube. It's more like a pain in the rear, sticky crap.

You know what good cast bullet lube is? It's the NRA 50/50 alox/beeswax mix. I've been using that with zero leading. It's like I'm shooting a .45 caliber rimfire. My 625 has .453" throats. My bullets are .4525". My load is 4grs of Bullseye under a H&G #78 225gr SWC @ 1.165" OAL. My BHN is 12.

You can play with different powders but you'll find the lube on your bullets is the problem.

Hondo 60
August 25, 2013, 02:11 PM
RPRNY's Post #6 has my vote for excellent info.

What size is your bore? Me thinks it's larger than the diameter of the bullets.
That allows the bullet to skip down the barrel, rather than grabbing the lands & grooves of the rifling.

RealGun
August 25, 2013, 02:39 PM
The problem was neither the barrel nor the bullet, but yes, they were mismatched. However, the reason was the bullet was smaller in diameter after loading than before....down from.452 to just under .450. That has now been solved, but we need a couple more trips to the range with thorough cleaning in between to say the bullets and load perform as should be expected.

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