Breaking in a barrel for lead vs jacketed

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by AJC1, Jun 5, 2021.

  1. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    Rumor is that when you shoot one type of bullet vs another a deep cleaning is required. Educate me. I'm willing to test theories.
     
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  2. Dale Alan

    Dale Alan Member

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    Following with interest . I am new to cast and wondering the same thing . You seem to be a couple steps ahead of me , asking the questions I planned to. Thanks
     
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  3. brewer12345

    brewer12345 Member

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    Not in my experience. For example, spent all winter shooting muskrat and beaver with my 350 Legend using factory fmj in a bolt gun. Decided it was extreme overkill for skrats and unnecessary for beaver, so I acquired a custom mold (180 grain plain base), cast some bullets and set up some test loads. I ran a bore snake with solvent and oil through the bore before I shot the cast loads. At the end of the test session I shot a group of factory FMJ to compare with my test loads. No worry, no problems. The only thing I would be careful of is shooting jacketed through a barrel that you have leaded up with some improperly designed/sized/lubed cast loads. Jacketed through a heavily leaded barrel can raise pressures. Mine looked like I had just cleaned it, so I did not have any worries about shooting the FMJ.
     
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  4. blue32

    blue32 Member

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    I had to decopper my rifle bore before shooting cast accurately. I tried just switching from jacketed to cast and it didn't work for me.

    I'll edit to add this really depends on the amount of copper fouling you have and your maintenance of the bore during that time.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2021
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  5. forrest r

    forrest r Member

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    Never had an issue shooting small amounts of jacketed bullet & then cast or vise-versa. Heck I've switched back and forth in the same range session in pistols & revolvers. Rifles not so much.

    Small amounts of copper fouling isn't bad. If there's a lot you will "tin" the bbl in less than 20 rounds in a high power rifle.

    99.9% of my shooting is with cast bullets except for the 223rem's. What I've found is that if I shoot a lot of jacketed bullet in 1 session or over a period of time in a firearm I deep clean the copper out of them to shoot cast/lead bullets. If I've shot a bunch of cast/lead/lubed/coated bullets in a firearm or over a long period of time I can shoot jacketed bullets in them with out deep cleaning & it will not affect the bbl.
     
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  6. memtb

    memtb Member

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    Historically it has been accepted that if you want to follow jacketed with cast .....a very thorough cleaning is needed. The thought is, jacketed bullets will leave fouling in the bore which negatively affects the accuracy of the cast bullets. I believe this to be true.however, if you have a very “slick” barrel with minimal tooling marks (roughness) .....I don’t believe it’s as critical. For example, I have a “match grade” barrel on my .375 AI, and it shoots cast very well behind copper bullets! Also.....there are no obvious lead deposits in the bore when following jacketed bullets.

    This was also an issue with the early Barnes X bullet, which was pure or nearly pure copper. They were “VERY” sensitive to a rough bore. They “did not” like to follow typical “gilding alloy” jacketed bullet, and consequently left a lot of fouling and had poor accuracy. I have hand lapped rifle bores, and substantially improved the accuracy and reduced the fouling characteristics of the original Barnes. The newer, “grooved” (TSX,TTSX,LRX) Barnes’ are much improved regarding fouling and accuracy.

    As I’m now going to powder coated cast bullets, they may be more forgiving than typical “lubed” cast bullets, when following jacketed bullets. I haven’t done enough shooting the powder coated bullets to give a “reasonable” guess! :)

    As I shoot cast in numerous cartridges, and only use Barnes in our hunting rifles, I now lap/polish the bores of every firearm we have.....with the exception of handguns which will be used “only” for close-up work! I think that the additional effort spent on rifle and longer range handgun barrels is time well spent! memtb
     
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  7. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    This is similar to my experience.
    I don't have issues following jacketed with cast in the rifles I've lapped.
    Ones that have pitting are a one bullet only gun.
     
  8. BWS

    BWS Member

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    There was a recent discussion about this on the CBA website. I "think" the final synopsis was that a little copper fouling(define little?) showed a slight increase in accuracy with cast.

    Most folks still subscribe to not mixing. Which to be fair,is the "safe" way. But there's such a broad spectrum of shooting cast,much moreso than JB's. "Most" jacketed shooting is looking for some serious,within that chambering,velocity.

    I shoot cast exclusively out of rifles... period. And it's a rare rig here that isn't slinging them at starting JB speeds. Just don't mess around with light loads. Also don't powder coat. For me,I want to KNOW what the rig is able to produce coming off a "deep clean". That is,JB paste... scrub down to the bare metal. There's reasons for this from a varmint hunting,cold bore... no foulers allowed,standpoint. Not to be confused with competition where fouled barrels and practice shots are the order.

    So,long way around to say I prefer a spotlessly clean barrel. I shoot typically slow for cartridge powders which leave just enough carbon to act as lube. Because there sure as heck ain't any to speak of on most of the cast bullets I shoot. They get the tiniest bit just above the GC... and that ain't much! Cleaning between 20-40 shots. But that's as much to do with keeping carbon rings in check at these speeds. There is no leading in the conventional sense. Occasionally a little antimony "wash" on some of the stupid fast stuff... but these are knocking on the door of 3k fps. And is as much a function of certain neck clearance/jam specs as it is alloy or pressure. As well as case shape.

    Deep rabbit hole. I personally use a Case backhoe... and am very prideful to say we can durn near drive a semi in the tunnel I've dug on the subject. And ain't done yet.
     
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  9. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    Bullet lube is one of the things that may be a factor in these observations. From molly to homemade bullet lubed, I believe there is an impact of these lubricants but I dont know their level of performance impact.
     
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  10. brewer12345

    brewer12345 Member

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    I either powder coat (mostly the handgun bullets) or tumble lube (mostly rifle bullets). I tumble lube with a couple of coats of the revised formula of Ben's Liquid Lube, which is 1/3 each Alox, Johnson's paste wax, and mineral sprirts. I have seen do discernable difference in accuracy, bu I think the rifle bores are cleaner with with tumble lube.
     
  11. BWS

    BWS Member

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    Well,remember what I wrote about cast represents a much larger spectrum or base;

    Next guy comes along and does "his thing" completely different. It's a high skill endeavor,as such... changing one tiny,seemingly insignificant process or component,can have dramatically different results.

    In my experience,starting back in the mid 1970's,lube is "one" of the least important aspects. And as the speeds(and pressure,although not mutually exclusive)go up,your getting more bang for the buck on the amounts. You don't see it nearly as much in sedate(relative) handgun speeds.

    In handguns,because of the slower,longer barrel time.... lube problems and nuisances actually show up.

    In jacked up,let's say 22-250's,cast rigs.... the pressures here turn whatever lube there is into a vapor,and BLOWS it out the end of the barrel,IMO..well ahead of the bullet. In effect,you're grossly overlubing. I first saw it with a 30-06. Shooting a starting book load of 4350,and a conventionally lubed Lyman 175. After the second shot,I was noticing lube running out of the muzzle,haha.

    Again,handguns=lower speed=lube quality.

    Rifles at 2500+ = less is more.

    And yes,I've tried "no lube". The problem with that is it's fine for say 5 shots but,after that it doesn't work so good,hard to explain. There's a football field amount of latitude here,something that newbs sorta don't want to hear. They want solid numbers/advice and it just isn't that easy with cast. You have to put in the time,find a game plan that YOU can live with. I use 3-1 BW-vaselatum(base vaseline sold to distributors to rebadge).

    And have even found that on certain rigs; a complete emulsion isn't as effective as making it LESS,incorporated. I make a 50/50 then,"fold in" more BW. Think "crunchy" peanut butter vs smooth. It's a timed release. This is also one of the reasons I started knurling bullets. Heck,they've been knurling 22's for over a 100 years.... wonder why? Part of that is lube retention.
     
  12. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    Intresting your observation is about exactly opposite of the process used in BP shooting. I guess the real reason I love reloading so much is the puzzles it provides. I never expect more information than allows me to create a test to verify my own conclusions. Honestly reloading is just a giant experiment we try and refine continuously. I am currently shooting traditional lubed bullets because that's what my dad had. The ones I cast are all powdercoated.
     
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  13. brewer12345

    brewer12345 Member

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    I started powder coating because my favorite revolver leaded badly with all tumble and conventionally lubed bullets and I could not fix the problem. Use powder coated and the problem is fixed. Although powder coating can be a bit tedious, I continue to do it for all handgun loads because it is less messy. I can't tell if there is any difference in accuracy.
     
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  14. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    .

    I don't need to redo others research. I'm satisfied they are close enough
     
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  15. memtb

    memtb Member

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    I’m not going to suggest that powder coating guarantees better accuracy. However, at present, the only two cartridges that I’ m powder coating for have exceeded my expectations!

    My 45-70 Marlin GG with a 1-4 scope, which I just started loading for in September, is giving 5 shot groups at just over 1” (@ 100) using the bullet in the photos with minimal testing .....actually it was the first load tested! ;)

    My S&W 460, 8 3/8”, wearing a Burris Fastfire III (3 moa dot) with my homegrown, powder coated, 400 grain cast.....is getting 2 5/16” to 3 1/2” ( last 3 groups) @ 100 yards with 4 shots measured of the 5 fired. I have one chamber/charge hole in the cylinder, that consistently throws a shot out of the group.

    While admittedly I’m working a bit harder on accuracy than in years past, it seems to be coming easier with the powder coating. I guess these situations are where the expression “ never look a gift horse in the mouth” comes from! :) memtb
     
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  16. bluejay75

    bluejay75 Member

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    IMHO...and from years of testing and at some times flat out failing. There's truth to the tale you speak of.

    Main points:
    1. Cast...even if powdercoated will get grabbed by copper or powder fouling left in your barrel.
    2. When a little bit of lead is burnished into that area...every cast bullet that passes by is going to leave a little bit.
    3. Keep shooting and more lead will be burnished into that area to the point of clogging the rifling.
    4. When this happens, solvent cant get under it and brushes go right over it.
    5. A new barrel with very few jacketed shots on it will deposit lead in a few shots and clog in less than 20 (I have proven this fact)
    6. Lead deposits in small bore diameter barrels is easier to clean out than in larger ones. I think the brushes fit better and bristles stand taller on small bore brushes.
    7. I have tried every solvent out there Sweets 7.62, Patch out, Hoppes 9 and the other advanced solvent...NOTHING worked better than Ballistol! Put it in and let it dry for a few days into the barrel. It still requires work but after a few cycles of that your barrel will be cleaned and conditioned to shoot cast better. I now leave a layer of Ballistol in my cast shooters and just shoot it out when I get to the range.
    8. After lead is burnished into the barrel it CANNOT be shot out. It more smears down the barrel at that point.
    9. Best brush for lead is the Tornado style brush.
    10. As with number 5. If you have a ported pistol shoot a few hundred jacketed buttlets in it to smooth off the ports before you start using cast. Those rough areas will grab lead.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2021
  17. bluejay75

    bluejay75 Member

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    C68E11D8-9008-4E8E-893A-AA35B1749518.jpeg
     
  18. Thomasss

    Thomasss Member

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    The only problem I ever had was with Winchester's Molybdenum Disulfide rifle bullets. Bullets shot good, but getting that stuff out of the barrel was a pain. Ended up using J B Paste. After a cleaning each day for a week, i finally cleaned all that stuff out.
    I've shot cast and jacketed in an .06 and in pistols and revolvers and never seemed to matter, but then I generally clean my guns every 50 to 100 rounds fired.
     
  19. bluejay75

    bluejay75 Member

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    Now if you want to try it I will go from top to bottom on the levels of cleaning.

    Peroxide/vinegar/warm water- Mix, plug the barrel and let the solution sit for no more than 20 minutes. Works great for light to heavy leading.
    Frontier metal cleaner- cut, wrap around bore brush, scrub the dry barrel. lube will slow the scrubbing action. Tight fit is key here.
    Iosso makes a paste that cleans out lead but not heavy leading. That big jug is their penetrating oil. Works ok.
    Patch out is not as good as Hoppes and the No scrub lead remover cannot stay in your barrel long enough to dislodge heavy leading. I have a suspiscion that its just venegar and peroxide mixed and marked up 300%
    Hoppes needs no introduction. Works second best.
    Thats the Ballistol in the clear plastic bottles. They have a fine tip makes using the 32 ounce can a little easier. Worked the best of everything here. I can all but throw it all away because the Ballistol and getting the correct hardness of lead for the pressures Im shooting eliminated my leading issues.
    AND last but not least. You need short cleaning rods. Most lead deposits near the chamber. Short rod makes short strokes easier.
     
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