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Lead bullets for a glock

Discussion in 'Competition Shooting' started by jhf, Dec 22, 2005.

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  1. jhf

    jhf Member

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    I recently picked up a glock 22 and plan on doing some local comp shooting with it. Well, I heard that you are not suppose to use lead bullets in these guns, is that true? I would prefer to start loading up some swc 40 in 180gr in just lead in stead of copper jacketed stuff. does anyone have any info on this? and do you know how the gun works with just lead

    thanks
    jhf
     
  2. Rockrivr1

    Rockrivr1 Member

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    You've heard correctly. Lead and Glocks do not mix well. I believe this is also indicated in the manual for your G22. Not sure if it came with your pistol or not. From what I've read on this forum and on Glocktalk, using lead in a Glock is a sure fire way to have major trouble with your handgun. Because of that I only shoot jacketed ammo through my Glocks
     
  3. shermacman

    shermacman Member

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    Rockrivr1 speaks truth.
    The rifling technique in the Glock allows lead to build up, after a few rounds there is enough to grab the next shot, making for a big boom in the pipe. The 1911 crowd has lots of Glock kaboom pictures. Yes, I own a Glock 23 and a Colt 1911.
     
  4. Mad Chemist

    Mad Chemist Member

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    You'll need an aftermarket barrel if you want to shoot lead through a Glock. The standard .40tcfmj is similar in shape to a swc. Are you working on accuracy, or do you just enjoy casting lead?

    JH
     
  5. crackerjack

    crackerjack Member

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    For consideration , aftermarket barrels are very reasonable for glocks and work for lead some have more supported case area also a + for case life .
     
  6. Joe D

    Joe D Member

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    First of all the Glock manual does not say anything about lead bullets and Glocks. This is just another urban legend/wives tale that keeps getting parroted over and over on the internet.
    99% of the folks out there just parrot something they have heard. They either do not have enough sense to figure out something themselves or are just the typical follow the crowd types.
    I have been shooting lead bullets through Glocks for years. My G34 and G35 have tens of thousands of rounds of lead bullets through them. I just put over 300 rounds of 200 gr SWC Valiant bullets through my new G21 this week. The barrel is absolutely lead free.
    If you understood anything at all about rifling design and where leading starts you would understand why the Glock style rifling is more lead friendly than conventional rifling.
    Where shooters get into trouble with lead bullets is they try to drive soft bullets too fast. Any barrel will lead if you do this. I have used the Valiant brand of lead bullets for years. They cast their bullets in the 18-20 hardness range.
    Come on guys think for yourselves, question things. Don't accept things just because you heard someone say it.
    I questioned the Glock/lead bullet statement years ago. I took my G34 and a 125 grain lead bullet at 1050 fps and started firing rounds. I checked the barrel at 100 rds, no lead. Checked again at 250 rounds, no lead. 500 rounds no lead. 750 rounds no lead. 1,000 rounds just a very small trace of lead. Two passes with a Bore Snake and all lead was gone.
     
  7. Phantom Warrior

    Phantom Warrior Member

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    I'm not a rocket scientist, but I did shoot a case of Cabella's lead reloads through my Glock 23 w/o any problems before I heard you weren't supposed to. Haven't shot lead since, so I can't say anything more.
     
  8. Rockrivr1

    Rockrivr1 Member

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    Good way to keep on the High Road there Joe D. Actually my information about it being in the manual may or may not have been incorrect but Glock does strongly suggest that you do not shoot lead through their firearms. This is straight first hand information from me discussing this with two folks who should know. Both guys I shoot USPSA with. One is a Glock Armorer and the other was a Glock distributor.

    Just because you have had no problems does not mean that the information about Glock's recommendation is incorrect.

    jhf if I was you call Glock's customer service and get the real scoop. I'd hate for you to get the wrong information and have something happen. If your not comfortable with that go over to Glocktalk and ask the same question or do a search for this topic. There are administrators over there that work for Glock. Then again, I guess I'm just parroting! :rolleyes:

    Good luck and welcome to the forum.
     
  9. shermacman

    shermacman Member

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  10. Joe D

    Joe D Member

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    Sorry that the skins are so thin here. I guess I do get a bit upset when I see postings that cause myths to continue.
    Lets look at the Glockmeister statement. First the throat does not have a sharp edge. Second the reason Glock rifling tends to lead less is the more gentle rifling. Leading starts at the corner where the groove and lands meet. Glock rifling does not have this sharp corner.
    Angelfire statement: I have asked MarkCo on more than one occasion to provide data on his findings. I am yet to receive any info as to his test methods and equipment. What brand and model transducer did he use to get his pressure readings?
    Glock Faq : Not much there except conflicting statements.
    BTW the Glock manual says nothing about lead bullets. Yes, I do question statements made by others. Does everybody take statements made by the above mentioned links as gospel? Ask questions. Get them to back up their statements with proof.
    Glocks do blow up. So do Sigs, 1911s, HKs and a host of others. 99.9% of kabooms are caused by reloader error. Double charges and bullet set back are what cause kabooms.
    If I have stepped on your toes then I am sorry. I will try and tone down my posts.
     
  11. jhf

    jhf Member

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    I do appreciate the feedback. I will call glock after the new year either way before I start to reload.

    my goal is to shoot accurate comp loads 180gr bullet. I will just be getting back into comp pistol and have always loaded lead in the 1911's for the super and 45 as they worked best and were cost effective.

    I see copper has come down in price (or is it lead has gone up)so I dont know if cost is that big of deal.

    so if you can shoot both copper and lead, what success have you had in accurate loads with each.

    thanks
    jhf
     
  12. Joe D

    Joe D Member

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    It all depends on what competition you choose. The G22, along with the G35, is one of the most versitile guns available. It can be shot in USPSA Production, Limited and Limited 10. IDPA in SSP and ESP.
    I do not shoot lead bullets in matches, too much smoke. If you choose to shoot a Major PF then here is a load that I have shot for years. 4.3 gr. of Titegroup with just about any 180gr bullet. For a Minor PF load same bullet with 3.2 gr of TG. OAL for both is 1.130". www.cabelas.com has about the best deal out there on bullets. They offer several brands, but the Berry bullet is the lowest cost. Freight is what runs the cost up on bullets. You are usually better to pick them up at a gun show. Same can be said about powder and primers. All of the plated bullets have shot well in my G35s. I currently use a 180 Zero jacketed bullet. I buy on price.
    Save your dime with the call to Glock. Just look at what the guys that are winning the matches are shooting. BTW most of the gun manufacturers do not like reloads shot in their guns.
    jhf I was not attacking you with my earlier post. I get just a little upset when I see guys post replies that indicate to me they have little knowledge of how a Glock works. I see things repeated time after time without any evidence of proof, even by some so called "experts".
    Feel free to question everything I have posted. Explore things for yourself. That's why I did the G34 lead bullet test.
     
  13. Chris Rhines

    Chris Rhines Member

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    Joe -

    What velocity are you getting with 4.3gr of Titegroup? Seems a bit light for Limited major - I load 4.5gr of Titegroup, but haven't chrono'd that load in a while.

    - Chris
     
  14. Joe D

    Joe D Member

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    I got a very consistent 928-934 fps with this load. I use WSP primers. I have not chrono'd this load with the Zero jacketed bullet I now use. I suspect that I may have to bump the charge up with the jacketed bullet. I shot plated bullets for years, but their price kept going up.
    The 3.2 charge runs in the 760 fps range. I have tried a lighter charge without much success. 3.0 gr. makes the PF but on occasion will not expand the case enough to seal the chamber. I guess one could use a match barrel with a tighter chamber. I happen to like the stock barrels.
    My wife and I don't shoot much USPSA any more. We tend to focus on IDPA now.
     
  15. Hoser

    Hoser Moderator

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    I am with Joe D. I shot tens of thousands of lead bullets through glocks (17 & 21) for years with no problems.

    There isnt a firearm manufacturer out there that will recommend using reloads.

    I dont shoot lead anymore. Montana Gold bullets arent much more expensive than lead these days and I dont have to tear down my 1911s and clean them after every shooting session. That and they smoke way too much.
     
  16. Joe D

    Joe D Member

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    Chris, a slight correction on the 4.3 gr load. OAL was 1.125". Average fps was 952. I should know better than to go from memory. I shortened the OAL as some of the bullets would hang up in the mags with the extended base pads.
    The 934 fps load was a 1.135" OAL.
     
  17. Chris Rhines

    Chris Rhines Member

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    Joe,

    Thanks. I also use the 180grn. Zero, with Federal primers. I really should chrono those one of those days...

    - Chris
     
  18. Archie

    Archie Member

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    My owner's manual does not mention lead

    It does say not to shoot any reloads at all under any conditions. So, if people don't shoot lead in their Glocks because of unwritten but trusted oral communications from those who know, then they aren't shooting any reloads, right?

    Frankly, I have little regard for any firearm, especially a handgun, that will not handle lead bullets. Such a restriction tells me the design, execution or both is depressingly poor.

    Joe D. Keep up the good work and keep recording your results. Sounds like you know what you are about.
     
  19. Grump

    Grump Member

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    I've fired lead in a Glock, including a nice accurate load with 180-gr cast bullets (only BHN--8? it was 13 on the SAECO or whoever's lead hardness gizmo) wtih WW231 that made smiley-face marks on the brass. Quit that FAST before the kB!s were commonly known.

    Anyway, I think the lube is more important that hardness. I've tried both Laser-Cast and Rim Rock hard-cast bullets, BHN above 20, and they actually leaded a bit more than those 180s I cast myself. Accuracy has always been disappointing.

    But WORST is that it takes forever to get the leading out!!!:banghead: They all lead very very little, about 1/4 what I get with revolvers, but even a stainless steel brush makes slow work of it. It's just as hard to de-lead as a revolver. Less leading but equal work?:confused:

    I inspect the bore regularly and never fire more than about 100 rounds of lead before a cleaning anyway. Back in '95 or so, I asked a friend who worked then at the Gunsite Smithy if he had ever seen a Glock let go. Only one, it was only a case failure (not a "true" kB! according to the term's originator, formerly-famous gunwriter Dean Speir), and it came after about 800 rounds of lead loads, without cleaning.

    I've read all those pages on Glocks and lead years ago, and have concluded that it's largely alarmist over-reaction with a solid basis in truth. Load light, pay attention, don't double-charge and keep the round count DOWN and I believe you will be okay.

    And don't try to get more than 925 fps out of a 180-gr LRN using WW-231 in a 4-inch barrel. You need slower powder for higher speeds with that bullet weight.
     
  20. faustulus

    faustulus Member

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    An excellent idea. You yourself have offered nothing but anecdotal evidence base on a small sampling of guns. (Just because you've not had any trouble doesn't mean it is safe I've driven my M3 inexess of 120 mph many times. But that isn't to say that it is safe to do so.)
    The angelfire statement may not give data but it does present a test which can be set up and fired to deterime if lead rounds do indeed increase the pressure in a glock barrel.
    What tests can you present to allow tests which will produce hard data?
     
  21. Joe D

    Joe D Member

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    Faustulus, read some of the above posts. Seems like I am not the only one that shoots lead through Glocks without problems. The tests that I did proved to me, and that is all that really mattered, that shooting lead bullets through Glocks works. I own more Glocks than a sane person should. I have shot lead bullets through all of them.
    Sounds like you were one of the guys that continued the Glock/lead bullet myth. Sorry if I rained on your parade. I have driven my ZO6 at speeds far greater than that. You need a faster car. Can't wait for the '06 ZO6.
    The anglefire statement is just that, a statement. It is not backed up with any proof. As I recall I said not to believe anything I said, test for yourself. Don't be afraid to test on your own. Independent thinking is a good thing.
     
  22. Joe D

    Joe D Member

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    Grump, a quick way to remove lead from stainless steel barrels is a 50:50 mix of vinegar and peroxide. It will remove all traces of lead in just a few minutes.
    CAUTION, DO NOT USE IN CARBON STEEL BARRELS. It WILL etch the barrel. Wear rubber gloves when handling as the lead becomes suspended in the solution. It is a bit extreme. I use it to remove the lead build up in my Kimbers.
    Hmmmmm, my Kimbers get lead build up but my Glocks don't. There is something wrong with this picture.
    I am going to start another internet myth. YOU CAN'T SHOOT LEAD IN KIMBERS. THEY WILL KABOOM!!!!
     
  23. Joe D

    Joe D Member

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    Chris, I will try to chrono the 180 jacketed load this weekend. This will be out of a Glock 35.
     
  24. 5.56

    5.56 Member

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    I have talked to Glock techs on the phone myself regarding using lead bullts. It will void any warrenty on your glock using lead rds. Yes there have been several guns sent back to glock for ruptures. I know of one here local as well. The reason is a real concern. They have to say no lead bullets at all. The reason is simple. If they do not, someone will decide to home brew thier own lead bullets and use pure plumbers lead or wheel weights. Those are far to soft and will lead the barrel to the point of raising pressures till the weapons barrel and chamber fail.

    Now what I have done in real life is to create my own alloy mix using antimony, tin and lead mix rasing the hardness to linotype and some harder than linotype. After a day of shooting 3 or 4 hundred alloy bullets I still drop the barrel into mineral spirits/paint thinner overnight and let it soak to loosen any build up. I have no problems with leading in 9mm or .40 cal. using alloy bullets. If your going to shoot lead I would suggest getting a saeco hardness testor from midway to check your bullet batch prior to shooting them. Again, soft lead bullets will cause you severe problems. This is not a myth about lead. However lead alloy I do shoot without any trouble. But you do so at your own risk. The one thing I did noticed though, I use liquid allox for bullet lube. If you get skimpy with the bullet lube you will get a leading build to start rather quickly. When you get generous with the liquid allox and put a good coating on them the leading stopped. I load max loads for 9mm and .40 cal using my own alloy bullets. I would not consider using pure lead bullets in any of my centerfire firearms. I annually cast and or reload 25,000 - 35,000 lead alloy rds. a year. A prudent man will error on the side of caution. Take all of the information you have found here in the posts on this topic and ask yourself what you wish to do. Be cautious, the faster you push a lead or alloy bullet the more prone it is to leading.

    5.56
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2006
  25. countertop

    countertop Member

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    I used to have a G23 - sold it cause it didn't fit my hand/didn't care for the recoil - I fired thousands of rounds of lead through it without any problems and with hardly any lead build up (of course, I am pretty meticulous about cleaning guns). I sent cabela's lead reloads down as well as lead remanufacturered target ammo I purchased at local gun shows and some older ammo (10 years or so) I recieved froma family friend who no longer needed it (about 1500 rounds). Never had a problem, never had a kaboom, never had any evidence of lead buildup.

    As far as the manual, my recollection was that it stated not to use reloaded ammo and they they neither warranty it against damage from reloads or assume responsibility for injuries caused by using reloads. If it says something different, I am sorry, but thats what I remember (its been a couple about a year since I looked). Anyway, its pretty much the same position most gun manufacturers hold - factory ammo isn't as "hot" as some reloaded ammo and is more or less loaded for the lowest common denominator under controlled conditions.

    If you smart about your reloading and don't do anything dumb, I wouldn't worry too much . . . but the advice about calling Glock is probably good advice.
     
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