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What does barrel leading look like?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by rdhood, Apr 28, 2009.

  1. rdhood

    rdhood Active Member

    Jun 5, 2007
    I have been reloading (FMJ and plated) for a while, but I have just starting loading cast bullets. I am loading 9mm, .40S&W, and .45ACP.

    My question: What does barrel leading look like? Will I know it when I see it? How do I detect it?
  2. Steve C

    Steve C Senior Member

    Jan 5, 2006
    In conventionally rifled barrels its obvious when you look down the bore and is still there after you run a wet patch of solvent.

    Polygonal rifling like Glocks and HK's have its very difficult to see but you can see the lead in the barrel when looking at it from an oblique angle rather than straight down the bore.

    Where the leading is tells you something about your load and the bullets. Leading at the chamber or forcing cone end tells you your bullet isn't sealing properly and is probably undersized for your barrel or your bullet is too hard for your load and you need higher pressure or softer bullet. Leading at the muzzle indicates the bullet is running out of lube before its out the barrel or you are running it too fast.
  3. loadedround

    loadedround Senior Member

    Feb 18, 2006
    Valley Forge, Pa
    In two words...looks like smeared solder. :)

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