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a FMJ will 'blow' lead fouling out of a barrel?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by davinci, Sep 12, 2007.

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  1. davinci

    davinci Member

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    Is it true that if you load up a FMJ every 20 rounds or so that it will remove the lead fouling from a barrel?

    I haven't tried it because I only have a few FMJ's that I use as defense rounds, and I'd hate to waste them just to prove a rumor.
     
  2. Doug b

    Doug b Member

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    A jacketed bullet shot through a leaded barrel will only "iron" out the lead making it harder to remove.Best to figure out what your leading problem is and correct it.
     
  3. LubeckTech

    LubeckTech Member

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    Many people say that jacketed bullets will clear lead fouling from a barrel but others believe shooting jacketed slugs thru a barrel with some fouling will help to embed the lead making it more difficult to remove. The best way to avoid fouling is use quality cast bullets and keeping the velocities in the proper range for cast bullets. Gas checks should help for warmer loads but this increases the cost. This plus cleaning after each session where you shoot cast is about the best you can do. I feel one of the best slugs for the cost are plated bullets like Rainier or Barry's which shoot well in Glocks and everything else. They are more expensive than cast but considerably cheaper than jacketed.
     
  4. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    A jacketed bullet will "blow out" lead fouling, but it is best to figure out why the load is leading your barrel and make adjustments to stop it. :)
     
  5. jwr_747

    jwr_747 Member

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    if you have a doctor friend who has one of them cute little cameras that ,hopefully,can go where no man has gone before,shoot your lead bullets,look down the bore,shoot some jacketed bullets and look again and see for yourself.I've checked a few of my rifles and for me it's about 50/50.some just smear the lead around and others show no detectable lead. jwr
     
  6. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    uhh, i thought it was generally considered unsafe to shoot jacketed ammo after shooting a bunch of lead.
     
  7. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

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    It can be for the very reason it works sometimes to clean it. The jacketed round has not just the normal resistance of the rifling, but the added resistance of the lead it must apply pressure on to remove from its path (whether pushing it out of the barrel or smashing it into the rifling.) So it can end up okay many times, and but always has a potential to cause a kaboom or other problems from unsafe pressures. The most dangerous combination would therefore be to shoot high power jacketed rounds with lead fouling in the barrel (or close to that particular calibers maximum pressures, not necessarily "high power".)

    For some a lazy solution instead of actualy having to clean the barrel makes it all worth it. :uhoh:
     
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I have a borescope and have done just that. While it is not the cure, shooting jacketed after lead will remove much of the lead. I don't do it myself anymore, I don't think it is a good idea, but it does work. Long ago I figured out how to make lead loads that would not lead my bores and that made it a moot point. I have not shot lead in a while so I really don't have that problem now.

    It might not work in rifles, but it sure does in pistols.

    With the price of bullets going the way they are I might have to go back to mining berms, begging wheelweights at garages and casting my own if it keeps up. ;)
     
  9. Biker

    Biker Member

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    It has always worked for me. Even in my 'ka-boom' prone Glock 23.

    Guess I must be plain ol' lucky.

    Bker
     
  10. barnetmill

    barnetmill Member

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    Fire a jacketed bullet through a leaded up barrel and afterwards examine the jacket to see if it removed any lead. That will tell you if jacketed bullets can remove lead.
     
  11. JerryM

    JerryM Member

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    When shooting lead, I load jacketed the last 2 rounds in the mag. It keeps the lead from building up. I have heard the "ironing" argument, and maybe if there was a build up of lead in the barrel it would do that. My method works for me, and I have not experienced either build up or ironing of the lead.

    Jerry
     
  12. Eyesac

    Eyesac Member

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    Good call. Or just clean your barrel after shooting a bunch of lead and forget about it.
     
  13. jlpskydive

    jlpskydive Member

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    Kind of the same theroy of when plinking with my GP100 the last 12 rounds are .357 to clear out all of the crap left by the .38. It seems to work for me
     
  14. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Member

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    There are two dangers from "shooting the lead out"

    1. The jacketed bullet does "iron" the lead into the bore making it not only more difficult to remove, it also makes it very difficult to see.
    Moisture can infiltrate under the patch of lead and corrode the barrel.
    The first sign of trouble is when some of the lead flakes off exposing a nice pit under it.

    2. The real danger is when there's just a little too much leading in the barrel.
    When you fire a jacketed bullet, it pushes the leading down the barrel in front of it like the bow wave on a boat and pressures soar.
    If the leading is just a little too heavy, the bullet can't push the leading out of the way fast enough, and something has to give.
    What gives is the barrel, and you blow a ring or bulge in the barrel.

    Over the years I've seen this a number of times, and often the owner stated that he'd been "shooting the lead out" for years with no problem.
    What happens is, the leading is just that tiny bit more than usual, and the barrel is ruined.

    You can get away with it for years, but don't be shocked one day when a ring or bulge suddenly appears in the barrel.
     
  15. RustyFN

    RustyFN Member

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    Acording to the Glock Armorer I was talking to at the GSSF match that is the worst thing you can do. He might have only been talking about Glock barrels, he didn't say.
    Rusty
     
  16. Bartkowski

    Bartkowski Member

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    Weren't there tests that showed firing a bullet bigger than the bore by a considerable amount done? I remember reading this somewhere and IIRC, there weren't overpressure issues, so why would there be pressure problems from pushing lead out of the way?
     
  17. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

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    First off the first sentence is missing something crucial to the statement, but I assume you are saying that a bullet larger than the diameter of the bore did no damage, and therefore lead in the way should be fine.

    Well there is a few main differences here. One is that the larger bore bullet will often have a lot of give to it and be made of something soft like pure lead so it can be resized going down the barrel. The charge for such a cartridge will be designed with this added resistance in mind. Last but not least the resistance is evenly applied all the way down the barrel, where as when it goes down relatively unobstructed maybe moving a little loose lead on the way and suddenly hits a bit of resistance when some of the lead does not give readily the pressure spikes. Since the jacket has very little give compared to soft lead this can damage the firearm if it does not give before the pressure spikes to a harmful level prior to it giving. Usualy it does, sometimes it does not. So it is a gamble.
     
  18. Cannonball888

    Cannonball888 Member

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    No, but a William's cleaner bullet will remove fouling...and more!

    [​IMG]
     
  19. rockstar.esq

    rockstar.esq Member

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    Frankly I wish that copper was as easy to remove as lead. A little brushing will knock the lead all out, such is sadly not the same when it comes to copper. I'd wager that it has more to do with the rifling profile than anything else. For example the deep Ballard rifling of an old school "lead era" rifle seems like it wouldn't smear the lead as much as a polygonal (built for copper) bore that has literally nowhere for the lead to accumulate other than to be smeared about. Either way I don't much care for lazy / potentially risky measures with my guns. I'm consistently amazed that there are recorded cases of guns being damaged by "cleaning lead with a jacketed bullet", using Brake cleaner instead of bore solvent, and dry firing, yet a huge herd of folks do all of the above regularly without incident or regard to the risk. I just hope nobody gets hurt.
     
  20. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    If a jacketed bullet will only "iron" the lead deeper into the bore...so will a lead bullet.

    Cheers
     
  21. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    A friend used to claim he removed lead by taking a jacketed bullet, grinding the base flat, leaving a sharp edge, then loading it backwards. I have no idea if it really worked or not, but scraping the lead sounds more logical than just "pushing it out like a bow wave."

    On the blow up, I think it would take a lot of lead buildup to stop a bullet; I would think the bore would have to be visibly obstructed.

    Jim
     
  22. harmonic

    harmonic member

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    A question for 1911Tuner: As a pistolsmith, do you see any harm in using a few jacketed rounds to clean out nominal leading in a firearm?

    BTW, thanx for all of your truly expert and sincere advice. It is greatly appreciated.
     
  23. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    None that I can see. They won't remove all the lead fouling, but they do get enough so that it doesn't take much work to get the rest of it. If the fouling is heavy and thick, there could be a marked pressure increase, though...but that'll happen regardless of the bullet material.

    As was noted...Better to use the correct alloys and sizing for cast bullets to prevent leading. Most commercial cast bullets are too hard...which is a major contributor to heavy lead fouling. Bullets of the correct alloy and properly sized leave the barrel cleaner then jacketed ammo.
     
  24. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    uhh, what's the correct alloy?
     
  25. Geno
    • Contributing Member

    Geno Member

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    That's funny. People used to tell my brother-in-law, when he would pull them over for speeding, "I wasn't speeding; I had to burn the carbon off the valves...the engine's was all fouled."

    :scrutiny:
     
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