Cast bullets in a glock


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Armory
April 26, 2014, 10:01 AM
New to reloading. I've heard that cast bullets should not be used in a glock. could someone explain why not? we shoot A LOT and are trying to cut cost. Would like to know for sure, so we don't do something stupid.

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Vodoun da Vinci
April 26, 2014, 10:06 AM
Use plated - Glock does not recommend lead and many others as well because the Glock polygonal rifling tends to lead badly. That said, there are plenty of folks shooting lead in Glocks - it just takes a lot of care and details.

Others will have more information in a bit. I shoot plated lead in my G26 and soon (today) in our G42 and that works fine for me. If one is casting their own, it can/is being done but needs some special care.

Good luck!

VooDoo

Armory
April 26, 2014, 10:09 AM
Thank you, information is everything these days.

Vodoun da Vinci
April 26, 2014, 10:18 AM
Roger that...if yer new to hand loading, the THR Hand loading Forum is probably a very good place for you. I know it is for me. A tremendous resource of information form folks who know a lot and have tremendous experience that they share freely.

All you have to do is ask here. There is always someone to help it seems.

VooDoo

plmitch
April 26, 2014, 10:49 AM
Its a myth. Nothing wrong with shooting cast in glock.

W.E.G.
April 26, 2014, 11:00 AM
Good luck with that.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vceh44UK-8I

judgedelta
April 26, 2014, 12:56 PM
I have read (on this very forum) that the older Glocks would lead up and the cartridge would sometimes fail to fully chamber. The pistol would fire out-of-battery (Ka-Boom!!). I understand that this has been rectified in the newer models, but I don't shoot lead in my Glocks anyway. Plated is not much more expensive (to buy) and a lot cleaner. Just my $.02

myFRAGisFUBAR
April 26, 2014, 01:04 PM
I can tell you that it works just fine. I cast with a Lee 124-356 round nose mold. I shoot from a sig 2022 and my best friend uses a glock 19. 1000 rounds later, neither of us have had any issues at all. :D

GLOOB
April 26, 2014, 01:37 PM
It can be done, safely. It can be unsafe. If you can obsessively check your bore while working up a load, you might be able to get there, safely.

silicosys4
April 26, 2014, 01:47 PM
Good luck with that.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vceh44UK-8I

I dunno what that is supposed to prove. I see a guy shooting a black handgun of some sort, that seems to have a malfunction.
Nowhere in that video do I see any sign of or reference to cast lead bullets, and I can't even tell if that gun is a glock or not. It is literally a 10 second vid of some sort of gun having some sort of a malfunction.


:confused:

Cast lead is all I shoot out of my G19, so I guess I should be expecting something similar any time now.

Schwing
April 26, 2014, 01:58 PM
To me, the fix for this supposed issue is to not own a Glock.... having said that, I know a lot of shooters who use lead in their Glocks. I have never noticed any different leading patterns than on non-polygonal barrels.

If you notice, probably every gun you have ever purchased has a manual that says very clearly NOT to use anything but factory ammunition and that doing otherwise could cause damage to the gun and voids the warranty. How many of use here follow that advice?

moonman16
April 26, 2014, 02:16 PM
Many a competition shooter with a Glock, shoots cast lead coated with HI-TEK
polymer coatings from Australia.

Shooters with polygonal barrels report the HI-TEK coated projectiles shoot better than conventional rifled barrels.

Drail
April 26, 2014, 02:22 PM
Firing cast bullets in a polygonal rifled barrel like Glock uses is not a problem - allowing leading to build up and not removing it is the problem. If you keep the bore absolutely clean cast bullets work just fine. If you never clean the barrel every time you shoot the gun you could get into pretty serious trouble.

bds
April 26, 2014, 03:43 PM
New to reloading ... I've heard that cast bullets should not be used in a glock. could someone explain why not?

Since this is THR, let's not spread false information that may not help the OP.

Disclaimer: Like many other pistol manufacturers, Glock does not recommend shooting reloads (including lead reloads), so use reloads in your Glocks at your own risk.

Now that we got the disclaimer out of the way, can you shoot reloads in your Glocks, including lead reloads? I can't speak for other Glock shooters, but I have for about 20 years now (including lead reloads) with some consideration. BTW, what do countless Glock match shooters (including factory Glock team) use for match shooting week after week all around the world? You got it, reloads. ;)

As to shooting jacketed/plated reloads, just like shooting reloads in other brand pistols, consideration should be made on basic safe reloading practices to maintain accurate and consistent powder charges, inspect range brass to cull damaged/questionable cases, maintain dimensions of finished rounds within spec and maintain sufficient neck tension to prevent bullet setback. You can obtain these information from a good reloading manual like Lyman #49, which I would recommend for someone new to reloading.

As to shooting lead reloads in Glock barrels, there are several more considerations. These are considerations for shooting lead bullets in any barrel:
- Commercial lead bullets come in different hardness ranging from softer 10 BHN to harder 24 BHN.
- Lead bullets come sized .001" larger than jacketed bullets and can be obtained sized .002"+ larger.
- Proper hardness/bullet to barrel fit/sufficient powder charge need to be used to properly deform the bullet base to seal the high pressure gas as gas leakage/gas cutting leads to increased leading.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=163255&stc=1&d=1335152658

There are issues specific to Glock barrels (see picture above):
- Glock barrels have longer leade (space the bullet jumps from the case neck/chamber to the start of rifling) which increases high pressure gas leakage.
- Glock barrels have very smooth start of rifling with rounded rifling which allow the lead bullet to slide deeper into the barrel before sufficient chamber pressure starts to develop which further increase high pressure gas leakage.

These Glock barrel features allow more high pressure gas leakage around the bullet which results in more of the following:
- High pressure gas leakage around the bullet blows liquefied lube from the bullet and down the barrel which may increase fouling/leading build up, especially near the chamber end of the barrel.
- If high enough powder charge is not used, powder burn may be inefficient and insufficient/inconsistent chamber pressures may not deform the bullet base to allow the bullet to "skid" down the barrel and increase fouling/leading build up.

Unless you use the proper hardness/sizing of lead bullet for the powder/charge used that produce sufficient chamber pressures to minimize fouling/leading build up, it is a good idea to inspect the Glock barrel more frequently for fouling/leading build up. So more careful load development/powder workup may be required. rcmodel usually recommends inspecting the Glock barrel around 200-300 lead rounds and I found this to be a good interval as loads that produce fouling will start to decrease accuracy above 300 round count. If your lead loads produce fouling/leading at lower round count, inspect the barrel more often and clean as necessary. If you develop lead loads that work well with Glock barrels to minimize/prevent fouling/leading, that's great.

TooManyToys
April 26, 2014, 04:13 PM
bds, Great post!
Your information is direct to the point, answering the OP's question without a lot of side chatter that could confuse or otherwise sidetrack this thread.
Very informative post & pictures. Nice job.

Armory
April 26, 2014, 09:35 PM
Firs of all, thank you folks for the great info. knew I could get good feedback here @ THR.

Reefinmike
April 26, 2014, 09:56 PM
Ill admit, I didnt read any but the first post. that being said, here's my story:

I bought a glock 41 a couple weeks back for a couple reasons. reason #1 being that I somehow became a crap shot with my 1911, the trigger was rough, I didnt like the grip nor recoil, sights were aweful, couldnt reach controls etc etc and #2 being I purchased a mech tech upper and a couple kriss 30rd mags for a fun little carbine to pair up with the pistol for cheap fun at the range. Im a cheap arse and I only shoot cast lead bullets from free range scrap so you bet I was sweating it a bit at the idea of only being able to shoot plated from the glock. I have a few thousand lead loads and only about 20fmj lol.

anyways the day after I bought it, i brought a hundred rounds of lead and my bore brush. To my amazement after the hundred rounds, the bore was still slick and shiny with zero traces of lead fouling... not something I could say about my 1911, it would catch a little lead no matter what. I was so stoked that my $2/box ammo was working that I went back the next day with a little over two hundred rounds. again, not a bit of lead in the bore!

It worked for me. just work up a few loads and be sure to check the bore after 5, 15, 25, 50 and 100 rounds. If you are seeing any leading within half of your normal range shooting, stop and revise your load. I always carry a few plated and a few fmj of each caliber with me to the range. At the end of the loading session, any minor leading can just be shot out first with the plated, fmj for any really really tiny stuff. saves a load of time with the bore brush whenever minor leading occurs.

sexybeast
April 26, 2014, 11:47 PM
Everything here has been covered but I want to emphasize the loads you use. Since lead is softer and gas goes around the bullet, all barrels can lead up. My 1911's lead up more than my glocks do but I load for lead.
Since you are new to this perhaps you should post your powder and bullets and ask for some load suggestions.
I have shot well over 50k of lead bullets in the higher pressure rounds of 9mm and 40 which are usually blamed for leading up glock barrels. Use starting loads and lots of testing and you will figure it out.

ArchAngelCD
April 27, 2014, 12:03 AM
If you are worried about shooting lead bullets through a stock Glock barrel you can always replace the barrel with a Lone Wolf barrel with conventional rifling.
http://www.lonewolfdist.com/Default.aspx

TooManyToys
April 27, 2014, 12:59 AM
Sexybeast,
Do you have a favorite Glock 9mm load for say, 125 RNL using Bullseye or unique?

bds
April 27, 2014, 04:07 AM
For anyone new to reloading lead bullets (regardless of barrel rifling type used), Chapter 7 of Glen Fryxell's free ebook is a great reference for the definition/location/cause/removal of leading - http://www.lasc.us/Fryxell_Book_Contents.htm

tcoz
April 27, 2014, 10:50 AM
If you are worried about shooting lead bullets through a stock Glock barrel you can always replace the barrel with a Lone Wolf barrel with conventional rifling.
http://www.lonewolfdist.com/Default.aspx

That's what I did before I started shooting my plated reloads in a G19, just to be sure since there are so many differing opinions. $86 was a small price to pay plus it was more accurate than the stock barrel.

LT.Diver
April 27, 2014, 10:57 AM
From Glock's website FAQ:
Q) Can I use lead bullets?
A) No, we recommend the use of jacketed ammunition only.
-------------------------------------------------------------------
From Wikipedia:

One suggestion of what the "additional factor involved in Glock's warning" might be is that Glock barrels have a fairly sharp transition between the chamber and the rifling, and this area is prone to lead buildup if lead bullets are used. This buildup may result in failures to fully return to battery, allowing the gun to fire with the case not fully supported by the chamber, leading to a potentially dangerous case failure. However, since this sharp transition is found on most autopistols this speculation is of limited value. The sharp transition or "lip" at the front of the chamber is required to "headspace" the cartridge in most autopistols.

sexybeast
April 27, 2014, 12:07 PM
Sexybeast,
Do you have a favorite Glock 9mm load for say, 125 RNL using Bullseye or unique
3.5gr of Bullseye, haven't loaded Unique in 9mm in quite a while but I would think 3.8-4.0gr

Peter M. Eick
April 27, 2014, 01:53 PM
I have shot lead in my 10mm glock but I watched it very carefully and only shot super hard (lasercast) bullets. Same in my 10mm witness hunter. I am still working up loads for lead in Glocks, so I am not an authority on it.

Super hard lead, Watch for leading. Work carefully, go slow is how I am approaching the problem.

sexybeast
April 27, 2014, 03:05 PM
I also shoot 10mm through my glock 20 just for target practice and just to shoot the gun with cheap loads. I don't push them hard. 10mm has a max pressure of about 37k psi. Mine are soft 40 loads.
You will always have some gas going around the bullet. Increasing the pressure will increase the "cutting"/leading. This is true for all barrels and not just glocks.

z7
April 27, 2014, 09:36 PM
I have been watching this thread and now I am little confused

Lead can/will foul in any gun without a proper load, I got that.

In a 40s&w load do you want hardcast or softer? I can see where soft is easier to deform from the powder burning, but many are referring to hardcast.

I guess my basic question is what is preferable in a 40s&w for example, hard, medium, or softer lead?

TooManyToys
April 28, 2014, 02:50 AM
Thank You for the load info Sexybeast.

TooManyToys
April 28, 2014, 02:51 AM
Duplicate post, sorry

shooter1
April 28, 2014, 07:36 PM
Guess I should have read the manual! Just passed 53k of 155gn LSWC Bn 18 bullets from Missouri Bullet in my Glock 35.
str1

GLOOB
April 28, 2014, 10:34 PM
Do you have a favorite Glock 9mm load for say, 125 RNL using Bullseye or unique
I load 4.5gr Unique behind a 125 gr TC cast bullet.

I have loaded as high as 5 grains unique, and through several hundred shots I had only one failure to extract. The empty stayed in the chamber, so I figure this load was too hot. After backing down to 4.5gr, I have had no problems at all through, well, lots of rounds.

I guess my basic question is what is preferable in a 40s&w for example, hard, medium, or softer lead?

My current alloy for 9mm is pretty soft. I bought the lead with the understanding it was straight WW, and it is easily scratched with a fingernail. BUT, this bullet/alloy didn't shoot, at first. When I pulled a few bullets, I found out why. They were going in the case at 0.357" diameter at the base. They were coming out measuring as small as 0.353". A new expander completely fixed the poor accuracy and full-bore leading after one shot. Since I got this load down, I have not needed to clean a Glock bore for anything. I shoot practically 100% lead out of my 9mm and 45ACP Glocks. (My 45ACP load needed no tweaking).

For 40S&W, you should be able to shoot anything from fairly soft to fairly hard, just watch out for the traps. Too soft, watch for case-swaging. Too hard, and you might not get good results if your bore isn't in good shape. Regarding pistol bulllets, I find that higher BHN for pistol bullets is generally favored by bullet sellers, seeing as it usually produces acceptable results for most customers. People who make bullets for themselves quite often favor softer bullets for the best results. When something is wrong on a softer bullet, leading will generally be worse. When you have your loading process dialed in, a softer bullet will work as good or sometimes better than a harder bullet, because of its ability to bump up and better seal the bore if/when necessary.

Some folks don't seem to believe case-swaging is even possible. Let's just say it doesn't happen to everyone. But everyone's dies, cases, and bullet alloy aren't the same, neither.

sexybeast
April 29, 2014, 12:19 AM
In a 40s&w load do you want hardcast or softer? I can see where soft is easier to deform from the powder burning, but many are referring to hardcast.

I guess my basic question is what is preferable in a 40s&w for example, hard, medium, or softer lead

Hardcast in a high pressure round. Look at whats offered from bullet makers. In 9mm and 40 its all hardcast for a reason.
If you look at 38 special and .45 you will see it from 8 to 18 to suite the pressures of the loader.
You can find some softer bullets for 38-40 rounds. They will work in 40 fine but most of those are hard too.

GLOOB
April 29, 2014, 03:14 AM
Over on Cast Boolits, they have threads on stuff like this. According to some guy named Keith Elmer, 11 BHN is good for up anything up to 1200fps. I gather he did a lot of load development for the 357 and 44 magnum and is famous for it.

You can't use dead soft lead, like what is used in some cowboy loads or wadcutters, no. But if you read and experiment for yourself, you may find that you get the same or better results with a significantly lower BHN than the typical commercial bullet for that cartridge. They choose their specific hardness for important reasons that may not apply to your guns or loads.

fatcpa
April 29, 2014, 10:28 AM
"over on cast boolits, they have threads on stuff like this. According to some guy named keith elmer, 11 bhn is good for up anything up to 1200fps. I gather he did a lot of load development for the 357 and 44 magnum and is famous for it."

Ya' don't say!

RealGun
April 29, 2014, 10:42 AM
There is lead and then there is "lead". The harder alloys, generally purchased bullets, act more like jacketed and are probably less likely to cause a leading problem. Lasercast by Oregon Trail would be one example.

I expect that those who make their own in soft alloys or pure wheel weights have gone to aftermarket barrels.

Arkansas Paul
April 29, 2014, 11:06 AM
It's already been mentioned, but the issue isn't lead in the barrel. It's the lead buildup causing a round not to chamber fully that causes the kabooms.

Since lead is softer and gas goes around the bullet, all barrels can lead up.

If you are shooting properly sized bullets no gas goes around it. Size matters folks. ;)
I have a Ruger Blackhawk in .45 Colt that has had nearly all lead shot through it. I'm talking thousands of rounds. Never had to clean lead out of the bore. Not once. The bullets are sized perfectly for it.

Now if I shot a bullet that was a couple thousandths too small, then gasses would go around it and cause the leading you speak of.

But a properly sized bullet will not allow gasses to escape. At least not if your load is hot enough. Loads that are too light will give you leading sometimes for the reason you mention.

FYI, I use the same alloy for everything. I use a 50/50 mix of pure lead and clip on wheel weights. BHN is probably around 9-10.
The only time I've experienced leading to any degree was in a 9mm and it was my fault. I wasn't flaring the case enough and the darn little tapered case was swaging down the bullet to .355 causing the escaping gasses mentioned above. Leaded like crazy. After 15 shots it was like I had a smoothbore. Gotta flare those 9mm cases enough or lead is a nightmare.

sexybeast
April 29, 2014, 11:10 AM
Over on Cast Boolits, they have threads on stuff like this. According to some guy named Keith Elmer, 11 BHN is good for up anything up to 1200fps. I gather he did a lot of load development for the 357 and 44 magnum and is famous for it.

You can't use dead soft lead, like what is used in some cowboy loads or wadcutters, no. But if you read and experiment for yourself, you may find that you get the same or better results with a significantly lower BHN than the typical commercial bullet for that cartridge. They choose their specific hardness for important reasons that may not apply to your guns or loads

I would agree with this also! Two of the key words in those two paragraphs is "load development" and " experiment" [experimentation].
I know a bullseye shooter that likes a pure lead bullet sized to .452 with 4.0gr of bullseye. He shoots hundreds of rounds without any leading. But he also knows every variable!
Bullet fit to bore is the most important consideration. Elmer Keith knew that I bet! I'm sure he pushed the envelope by lots of testing.
I've done a lot of testing with 9 and 40 with lead. increments of .2gr variation and bench resting. Had a friend shoot the same loads to confirm my results. Its a never ending experiment. Or you can buy factory rounds and have a life.

RealGun
April 29, 2014, 11:20 AM
This is not about leading so much as it is about polygonal rifling. Top of the line Kahrs have polygonal barrels too, and they have always included instructions not to shoot lead bullets.

I just went through this with the Smith 625 (.45 ACP), the JM having polygonal rifling and persistent forcing cone messes, and the 625 Performance Center version with more conventional "match grade" rifling and more groove definition. The leading issue is mitigated by the rifling difference in the PC version, forcing me to find an excuse to buy another gun rather than stop using lead bullets and start using up my stash of FMJ.:D

GLOOB
April 29, 2014, 03:11 PM
I expect that those who make their own in soft alloys or pure wheel weights have gone to aftermarket barrels.
Might be the case in general, but I'm shooting pure WW in a stock Glock barrel, and I have no reason to clean my bore or chamber, at all. Indefinitely. Thousands of rounds. Actually, I avoid shooting as much with my LW barrel, because the button cut rifling still picks up a tiny bit of leading in the rifling near the chamber. Stock Glock barrel fouls none, at all. And I load well hotter than most, from what I have gleaned.

The harder alloys, generally purchased bullets, act more like jacketed and are probably less likely to cause a leading problem.
I agree that the harder the bullet, the less likely it is to cause a SEVERE leading and accuracy problem. But IMO, they are equally likely to cause a problem, however mitigated it might be. Before I started to expand my 9mm with a 38SW plug (I had the same issue with 9mm as Arkansas Paul in post #36), I was getting much BETTER accuracy and much LESS fouling with harder MBC bullets. But in this case, I was still getting a huge falloff in accuracy past 25 yards and enough leading where I needed to either clean within a hundred or so rounds, or to mess with mixing jacketed bullets in each mag to keep the bore clean.

Once you have determined your gun can shoot cast bullets with no fouling, and you can load them without swaging, and you have figured out at what size, then the extra hardness pretty much does nothing for you. That's if you can reach this point.

This is significant for the reason of cost. While pure lead generally costs much more than "dirty" lead, when buying dirty or alloyed lead, the cost goes up as you increase the hardness, because the alloying elements that increase hardness cost more than the lead. Also in some rare cases, a softer bullet performs better due to its ability to overcome minor constrictions/irregularities of a non-ideal cylinder throat or bore or a minor undersizing. Or, perhaps, the oversized chamber/throat of a stock Glock 9mm/40 bore. (The 45ACP Glock chamber/throat is much less oversized, in my examples!)

Just because MBC makes x bullets with y hardness doesn't mean that's what works best. It's just the best hardness for their particular application which includes selling bullets to thousands of customers and being exposed to some amount of liability and headaches in case said bullets were to cause problems to some of those users.

If the bullet is not big enough to seal the bore, my soft bullets will lead a Glock bore, end-to-end, with one shot, and you would be lucky to hit a barn door at 100 yards. Shoot a mag, and you will be scraping solid lead out with a sharp stick, and you still probably wouldn't have hit that barn door, yet, and you better hope your backstop is 50 feet high. I've been there and done that. So, no. I wouldn't sell or give these to other people and tell them to go ahead and enjoy with no caveats. And I imagine professional sellers of bullets don't have enough time in the day to answer the unhappy phone calls, either. But when loaded correctly they work perfectly in my guns, including and especially stock Glocks. Glocks with stock barrels are my favorite shooters, and one of the reasons is they shoot cast bullets so cleanly and accurately. If you have the time and inclination and methodology (or just luck) to safely get to that point, you will see for yourself. You just might find yourself with zero fouling and soda can plinking accuracy at 100 yards.

RealGun
April 29, 2014, 05:00 PM
What purpose is served by aftermarket barrels in a Glock?

GLOOB
April 29, 2014, 06:47 PM
Caliber conversions.

Potentially tighter lockup, particularly if you get a hand-fitted barrel.

Different lengths.

Threaded muzzles.

Potentially tighter cut chambers.

Better casehead support in some cases.

According to every manufacturer of aftermarket barrels, you WILL get increased accuracy. :)

(Lower muzzle velocity, in general.)

And, the same way that harder bullets are more forgiving of bad bullet fit, a conventional button-cut barrel will lead LESS when your fit is wrong. In most cases ALOT less. This makes it safer, in general, in the hands of the masses who are trying out lead bullets and who are not expecting or are not prepared to deal with horrendous and potentially dangerous full-bore leading. But there's no benefit over a polygonal bore if the bullet is well-fit, in my opinion. And I don't sell Glocks nor aftermarket barrels.

Glock barrel + lead. When it rains, it pours. You should not take this lightly. When working up a new cast load, you should initially inspect the barrel after the very first shot. Preferably, through the breech end. :) If that goes well, then inspect it in increasing intervals after that. And you should be prepared to retire that gun until you can thoroughly clean it, even if that means you only got to shoot one round thru it. But if you use the biggest bullets you can get your hands on and make sure they don't get swaged by the case, you will give yourself the best chance of getting it right the first time.

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