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New to reloading lead, few questions

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by jibbs, Sep 17, 2009.

  1. jibbs

    jibbs Well-Known Member

    Ive gotten into shooting IDPA, and have started to go though a lot of bullets each week and my wallet cannot sustain it for too much longer. I have been looking at reloading lead as I can probably shoot twice as much for the same money spent. Keep in mind I have not loaded with lead yet, but am seriously looking into it.

    My questions are,

    1. Does lead have to be lubed and if with what (as they have grooves for lube)?

    2. What hardness is desirable for shooting competition? 230gr. 45acp 750-800 fps

    3. Any tips on powders that work with better with lead then maybe the tmj I have been using (.45acp and .357 mag). I have a lot of powders, not scared in trying new ones. W231, Bullseye, Univ Clays, Titegroup, AA#7, & 2400.

    4. A)Where do you crimp? on the groove, just above?

    4. B) I want to get some hardcast SWC for my S&W 640, so I can get used to shooting full strength loads and know I need to how much to crimp as I have not made any loads for my .357 yet. This is probably covered in the crimping link but haven't had to read it yet.

    I tried to search for this topic but didn't see anything that popped out at me, forgive me if this is a duplicate post. Any advice is welcome. Thanks for looking.
  2. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Most any commercial cast bullet will work in .45 Auto at those velocities. It does not need a real hard bullet as it operates at relatively low pressure. Clays or W-231 for target loads will do just fine, but so will others. It's an easy caliber to load for.

    Lead must be lubed, whether it's commercially cast and lubed, lubed at home with a lubrsizer, or tumble lubed with Rooster Jacket or Lee Liquid Alox.

    Load it to a O.A.L. that feeds and just give it a very light taper crimp.

    Some crimp pics, jacketed, plated, and lead.

    .357 bullets will have a crimp groove. Crimp into that groove and fill the groove with the crimp.

    It will take harder bullets than the .45 and sizing will be more critical.
  3. snuffy

    snuffy Well-Known Member

    Are you going to cast them yourself, or buy them as cast bullets to be loaded?

    If you mean the second, buying lead bullets, they already come lubed, and yes the DO need to be lubed. As for hardness, most cast bullet suppliers give you what they think you need, or what they deem necessary. Seldom can you specify a hardness when ordering. Some WILL say what the BHN,(stands for brinnel hardness number, a measure of hardness/toughness), is.

    As for crimping, you can taper crimp anywhere on the side of a lead bullet. Of course, you need to establish overall length,(OAL), first. For roll crimps, you should use the crimp groove.
  4. jibbs

    jibbs Well-Known Member

    Thanks Walkalong, I guess I forgot to mention I was concerned about barrel leading, but admittedly don't know too much about it€ having never shot lead through my gun. Is there a hardness that will prevent it, or more of a problem if your pushing it past a certain velocity? Thx for the link.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2009
  5. jibbs

    jibbs Well-Known Member

    Snuffy, I was looking at giving Missouri Bullets a try and see if lead pans out for me. no pun intended. I would rather give my money to someone who posts here and has a good reputation. I like supporting smaller companies.

    Any bullets shapes that work better than any others (more accurate?), feeding them out of a glock 30, so I don't think it really matters about shape.
  6. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    For autos you need the bullets to be .001 over bore diameter. (ie .452 for .45 auto) As long as they are lubed sufficiently, and are of reasonable hardness (not way too soft or way to hard) they will be OK.

    For revolvers they need to be .001 or a tad more over throat diameter, and hopefully you don't have undersized throats. Hardess is a little more critical, and despite what many folks say, softer causes less problems than too hard bullets.

    Hardness needs to be matched to pressure and velocity. Lube also, to a lesser degree.

    castboolits has a ton of info. I wish that kind of info was availbable at the fingertips when I learned how to load lead and cast boolits.
  7. Ky Larry

    Ky Larry Well-Known Member

    I've had good luck with Trail Boss and 200gr LSWC bullets in my .45 Kimber. It burns clean and shoots soft. Same for W-231. I use Lee Alox to lube my bullets. I run the loaded rounds thru my tumbler for 5-10 minutes to clean the Alox off the exposed lead . I've shot several 1000 rounds and never had a problem. Good luck.
  8. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Well now, that opens up a whole new can of worms!

    Glock factory barrels have polygon rifling, and a lot of water under the bridge about shooting cast bullets in them causing Kabooms!

    I personally don't subscribe to the whole thing, and have shot very hard cast Linotype bullets in my Glock .40 without problems for almost 15 years.

    You do need to use harder then normal bullets in a Glock barrel!
    And you do need to clean the chamber & rifling quite often.

    Heres more:

  9. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Good catch, missed the "Glock" part.
  10. moooose102

    moooose102 Well-Known Member

    i do not know about the glock part of it. but when i was buying cast bullets, i found it helpful to coat them with lee liquid alox even though the "grease groove" was filled with lube. it DRASTICLY reduced the amount of lead in my barrels. now, i cast my own, and still use lee liquid alox. i have not found that shape makes much of a difference, however the O.A.L. may need to be adjusted slightly to get any given bullet to work properly in a given gun. also, in 45acp, i had much better results with titegroup, than AA-7. that may just be my gun, or it may be the powder, i dont know. just the little fyi i can pass along.
  11. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Well-Known Member

    Jibbs -
    Welcome to reloading and practical pistol shooting.

    First thing, 230gr 45 bullets are always going to be more expensive than say 124gr 9mm bullets just due to the weight of lead you're slinging. So the first thing I'd consider is whether to buy a used Glock 9mm to shoot competition and then save the 45 for carry.

    If you must have the 45, then consider a lighter bullet, say a 200gr FP. That will save you some money. Almost everyone offers a 200gr FP for target shooting.

    There's going to be more smoke shooting lead. Some of this is the lube burning, some of it is the base of the bullet being vaporized. You can minimize the smoke issue with the right lead bullet and powder combination. Some bullets that claim to be "smokeless" are Bayou Bullets and Precision Bullets. Try to stick with moderate powders like Win231, really fast powders like TG may be an issue.

    Hope this helps!
  12. Marlin 45 carbine

    Marlin 45 carbine Well-Known Member

    I have loaded but have'nt shot yet .45acp 185gr SWC over Red Dot which I have shot some cast slugs loaded over RD in .380acp, 9mm Mak, 9mm Para and .357 with good results the RD being cleaner and grouping a bit better than the BullsEye I had previously used.
    probably not enough diff to consider but the RD has more 'bulk' also.
    one of my b-in-laws loads 20 & 12 ga shotty and gave me 1/4lb I was pleasantly surprised.

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