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Handloads & Lead in the barrel???

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by cowtownup, Feb 7, 2013.

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  1. cowtownup

    cowtownup Member

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    I am rolling my own 40 S&W loads using 180 gr lead bullets.. I've shot about 100 rounds so far and I stop after 50 rounds and break down the gun to inspect the barrel for leading.. I'm shooting a SW40VE and I'm noticing some deposit in the barrel. Nothing major, but I just like to keep my stuff in the best shape possible... Today I was unable to remove those deposits with brush and patches... I actually had to let the barrel sit for a while in Hoppes before I was able to get the barrel to what I would consider CLEAN... Is this just a part of shooting lead bullets or do I need to keep trying to work up a load that does not lead the barrel as bad? Does velocity of lead bullet affect how much lead it leaves in the barrel?

    Load Data
    5.0 gr Power Pistol
    Remington 5 1/2 magnum primers
    180 gr lead RN
    1.125 OAL
     
  2. 7075-T7

    7075-T7 Member

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    I don't load for .40S&W, but with my .44 magnum, there's always some leading in the barrel near the forcing cone when I shoot a bunch. I always run a cyl or two of jacketed rounds through it before I'm done and it cleans it up.

    Could try that instead of scrubbing for an hour.
     
  3. BHarada

    BHarada Member

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    Two options to try. The first, and cheap one is to buy a Chore Boy copper scouring pad, pull off a few strands of the copper and wrap it around your bore brush. Then scrub the barrel with bore cleaner as you normally would.

    [​IMG]

    The second option is to buy a Lewis Lead Remover kit from Brownells. I don't know when it was invented, but I've been using it since '82. Works great for scrubbing lead out of the barrel and also comes with a fitting to clean lead out of the forcing cone.
     
  4. jr_watkins

    jr_watkins Member

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    Several things can cause leading, but the two biggest are size and hardness. I know, why does it always come down to that!:what:

    If the bullet is too small (diameter) it doesn't fill the barrel and the hot gas burns by it causing leading.

    If the bullet is too hard for the pressure, the base of the bullet doesn't 'deform' enough to seal the barrel and hot gas burns by it causing leading.

    Too soft of bullet also causes leading, but not as often as you might think.

    At 40S&W velocities, probably ~900ft/sec, you can get away with a pretty soft bullet. Consider how soft 22LR bullets are and they almost never cause leading.
     
  5. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Many factors go into leading in your barrel. Amount of lube, type of lube, bullet hardness, pressure, bullet size and other things too. I wouldn't worry about the small amount of leading you are getting. I have found if you swab the inside of the barrel with a good Copper cleaner and let it sit for a half hour or more the lead comes right out.

    BTW, I have found Power Pistol to be a hot powder that will cause leading easier than some other powders available for the 40 S&W when using lead bullets.
     
  6. Eb1

    Eb1 Member

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    Shooting my .44 Mag SBH with MO. Cast 240 Keith clones and IMR 4227 there is zero leading after 200 rounds being shot.
    Just the right combo I guess.

    Also my XD9 with 125 gr. Conical bullet and 5 gr. Unique doesn't lead at all. I think you just have to find the right combo.
     
  7. Hammerdown77

    Hammerdown77 Member

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    They also have a nice, waxy lube coating on them. There's a lesson to be learned there, methinks...
     
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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  9. cowtownup

    cowtownup Member

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    Thanks for the information... I've also got some loads worked up using Longshot Powder and I hope to try those out this week also...
     
  10. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    Ok, I've read this a hundred times, BUT...

    ...what about a bullet too big?

    I've never heard someone attribute leading to an oversized bullet. So I have been shooting my cast pistol bullets unsized. They feed and chamber fine. Accuracy is fine. I'm using the softest alloy I have (WW's), and no matter how much LLA I put on 'em, I'm still getting leading.

    I can try a softer alloy, but if I buy bullet sizers, will that have any chance of reducing leading? Again, leading would be the only reason for me to try sizing. Accuracy and reliability are fine.
     
  11. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    What caliber and pressure level?
     
  12. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    My 9mm cast is the worst. Stock Glock and a LW barrel. Both lead about equally badly.

    The leading starts shortly past the chamber and goes all the way to muzzle.

    125 gr bullet over 5.1 UN or 4.4 HP38.

    Tried light coats of Alox, first. Then went on to heavy coats, TL grooves completely filled and colored brown. Didn't make much difference.

    Weird thing, with MBC bullets I got some pretty impressive leading in my stock Glock barrel, but it would shoot clean out if I put a couple plated bullets in each mag. No cleaning required thru nearly a thousand rounds fired that way. That doesn't work with my bullets. Lead needs to be scraped away, afterward.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
  13. jr_watkins

    jr_watkins Member

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    9mm

    9mm has been a real problem for me as well. 38's and 44's I have been able to come up with a good combo of size/hardness/pressure that works for both accuracy and almost no leading.

    I'm still looking for an answer in 9mm. Thus far, switching to plated bullets (Berry's & Rainier) is my work around.
     
  14. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    I have been shooting mostly jacketed and plated bullets in 9mm, too. Commercial cast in my other handguns, but I just didn't like the leading I got in 9mm. Even with commercial bullets.

    So, do you size your pistol bullets in any of your calibers?

    I size and check my rifle bullets, and I've yet to see any fouling, at all. I'm curious if I'm missing out by not sizing my pistol lead. I've heard many do not, and yet I see lots of pistol caliber bullet sizers for sale. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
  15. Muddydogs

    Muddydogs Member

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    Well in all these posts I see a lot of numbers but I don't see the most important numbers which are barrel diameter and bullet diameter. You don't know if you are shooting a bullet that is to big or to small if you don't know what size the barrel and bullet are. First step with shooting lead and reducing leading is to slug your barrel and measure the diameter. Most barrels are close to what they are supposed to be, my XD .40 is 400, 357's are .357 but I have a .380 that runs .356 instead of .355 and a Kahr .40 that is .398. The basic rule with cast is shoot .001 size bigger bullet then the barrel diameter so a .40 with .400 barrel needs a .401 bullet, 357 should shoot .358. Once the bullet diameter is figured out and if leading is still present then start chasing the bullet hardness, type of powder and lube used.
     
  16. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    Muddy, that's why I'm asking.

    I've heard that bullets too small will cause leading. But I've never heard that bullets too big for the bore (but still small enough to fit the cylinder throat and/or freebore) will cause leading.

    I know a lot of 9mm bores actually measure as much as 358, but I have read that Glock 9mm's barrels usually slug out to 3555-3560. My bullets are dropping at maybe 356-358. And they lead both my 9mm barrels.

    Before slugging it out... why would I bother if an oversize bullet won't cause leading? My bullets won't work, either way, then, right? I can't make my bullets any bigger...
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
  17. hueyville

    hueyville Member

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    Been casting and shooting lead for over 30 years and found that specific combination that works in all my pistols. Linotype/wheel weight alloy. Lyman lubrisizer with heater using Lyman Orange lube exclusively. Use moderate burn rate powder, keep velocity between 850 and 950 fps. If push above 1,000 fps then add gas check. Rifle bullets more bearing surface so that line for adding gas checks is about 1,250 fps. Whatever your barrel length, try match powder so burn rate maximizes according tube. If you are launching 44's out of 4" barrel, keep loads a lil slower using faster powder. But if shooting 8" barrel, use slower powder that keeps acceleration curve where powder burns in 60 to 70% barrel length. You don't want your short gun puking unburnt 2400 or your 10" barrel having full acceleration in first 2" using Bullseye. You will get a feel for what works and doesn't. Just cleaning.the gun is part of your evidence. If you get one completely fouled, a Lewis Lead Remover is best tool made. Use by instructions only. Can foul up your crown if do it backwards. I have not used mine in decades. I can shoot 1,500 rounds and two swipes with a phoshor/bronze brush then a patch cleans all my barrels. Find your combination which you will and.stick with it.
     
  18. kerreckt

    kerreckt Member

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    I clean the leading out of my pistols by firing several jacketed bullets at the end of my shooting session. When I get home I spray some Kroil and let it sit about 20 minutes then clean as usual. Sometimes I have to do the Kroil thing, again. They always come out shiney clean with no evidence of deposits. It's kind of a PIA but I really enjoy casting bullets and shooting them. So I figure it's the price I pay for such great entertainment.
     
  19. Muddydogs

    Muddydogs Member

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    It could be that your bullets are way to big, I have a .358 mold that drops .362 bullets with WW lead. Measure your bullets and see what size they are. Slugging your barrel is rather easy. Take a fired case with spent primer, fill it with pure lead, pull slug with kinetic bullet puller, start slug in barrel with soft mallet then drive it through with a dowel or cleaning rod. I assume you want to stop the leading? This is the best place to start. The above post about using strands of a copper scrubber is correct in that its a great way to remove lead. Some guys swear by shooting a couple jacketed bullets or gas check bullets after lead will clean out leading also.
     
  20. hueyville

    hueyville Member

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    Following up a session of cast bullet shooting with a mag load of jacketed bullets will help with lead deposits. But it is a band aid if you have a problem that needs to be fixed. Get you cast bullets working right. Blaze away then just to keep you used to your full house carry rounds, after a long cast bullet shooting session empty your primary carry mag. Keeps your carry ammo rotated, keeps you used to the difference between the two and makes clean up easier if you have minor to moderate leading issues. Your mileage may vary.
     
  21. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    An easy way to slug the bore is to use a round ball slightly larger than the bore. For 38, I typically use .380 commonly available where black powder supplies are sold.

    The idea of using Chore Boy is a good one but be aware, there are two grades of that product, one is pure copper, the other is copper plated steel. Take a magnet and check to make sure you get the pure copper. One strand wrapped around an old bore brush works wonders on a heavily leaded barrel.

    If you opt to shoot the lead out with a jacketed bullet, good luck. All that does is iron the lead into the barrel and makes it more difficult to remove.

    The easiest way to remove lead from the barrel is to prevent it from sticking in the first place. Cheack out some of the cast bullet sites and read the stickies. Lots of good info there.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013
  22. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    Check it just to be sure, but I'm 97.2% positive that if its actual Chore Boy brand, they only make pure-copper ones that are that color (they make a stainless steel scrubber but its not copper colored). For off brands though almost all of those are copper-plated steel.

    Wal-mart and such doesn't carry the actual Chore-Boy pads around here, but the local hardware store does so I bought several boxes from them.

    I will say though that just for me, the headache of lead bullets has proved too great. I've put about 1000 through a .38 Special and about 2700 through a 9mm. Have 300 rounds left for that 9mm and when those are gone my days of shooting lead are over :). I'll still likely use Bayou Bullets and other such coated lead where applicable though.
     
  23. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Since it starts just after the chamber you are getting gas cutting from the bullet not sealing the grooves at the start of the journey. You either need a larger bullet, a softer bullet, more pressure, a combo of two or more of these, or you are squeezing the bullet undersized during loading.
     
  24. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    Hate to bring this up, but are you using a Factory Crimp Die?
     
  25. brickeyee

    brickeyee Member

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    Very soft bullets are pretty much limited to under 900 ft/s.

    That is about as fast as you can drive a swaged lead bullet also.

    The lead has to be very soft for swaging.

    You also need to start with a scrupulously clean barrel.

    ANY copper from jacketed bullets is going to grab lead.

    Occasionally there are enough machine marks in a barrel to catch lead.
     
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