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lead bullets(no jacket) good or not for plinking?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by cajun47, Mar 4, 2007.

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  1. cajun47

    cajun47 member

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    they really clog up the rifling? should i avoid this for my 9mms? i also want a .44 mag. revolver someday.

    can shooting a few copper plated rounds help clean out the lead in the rifling?
     
  2. AndyC

    AndyC Member

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    Lead is fine for shooting - unless you have a pistol like a Glock where you'd kill the factory warranty by doing so, or a pistol which has a gas-port in the barrel eg. Desert Eagle type of system. Lead is also softer than copper, so some feel that your barrel will last longer (in terms of wear) by doing so; I've never had the luxury of performing a comparison.

    Assuming you do shoot it, you'll get some lead in the barrel - not a big deal to scrub it out with a copper brush - I've shot lead handloads most of my life.

    No, you won't shoot it all out with copper - it just flattens the lead so it's not as visible, although some lead may be removed.
     
  3. bakert

    bakert Member

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    Almost all of my reloads for target or plinking in 9MM and .45 ACP are light to medium power cast bullet loads. Very little leading with the right combinations but if there is, an old bore brush with a few strands of copper scrub pad(no soap) wrapped around it and run through the bore 5 or 6 times usually takes it right out. Some gun do have a tendency to lead worse than others. Also best to avoid lead in Glock pistols.
    I use them in all my revolvers too. In the bigger bores, they can be loaded to some very impressive velocities.
     
  4. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

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    Not just Glocks, but any pistol which has a polygonal rifled barrel. I'm not sure what all brands this includes, but Glock and HK are amongst them.
     
  5. LHB1

    LHB1 Member

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    cajun,
    Lead bullets come in two types: cast (harder) and swaged (softer). Personally I have NO use for swaged bullets as they have a reputation for leading badly. I have loaded cast lead bullets for 40+ years in .45 ACP, .357 Mag, and .44 Mag at velocities up to 1425 fps thru chronographs without leading problems. My uses include not only plinking but serious target shooting and hunting including deer and wild feral hogs.
    BE ADVISED that loading cast lead bullets is NOT like loading jacketed bullets. Cast lead bullets are more persnickety about little things like alloy used, barrel smoothness, barrel cleanness, diameter of bullet vs barrel, lube used on bullet, size and number of lube grooves, shape of bullet, and velocity. One bad NO-NO is changing from cast lead to jacketed bullets or vice versa without cleaning the barrel thoroughly with brass brush and good cleaning agent (ex. Shooters Choice bore cleaner). Trying to shoot the lead out with jacketed bullets thus ranks at the top of my no-no list. YMMV

    Good shooting and be safe.
    LB
     
  6. cajun47

    cajun47 member

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    great info. i may get back into reloading. and i want to make my own lead bullets from tire weights. could i use the lead in car batteries for this?
     
  7. jeepmor

    jeepmor Member

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    Hardcast lead is fine, I have no issues at 10mm velocities with 180gr pills going downrange in my Fullsize Witness, which is normal riflling by the way.

    In the interest of minimal leading, I take all my guns when new, and run some mild rubbing compound on a cleaning patch behind a brass jag and scrub it thoroughly. I go thru several iterations of patch and compound until it quits making dark crud. Any borepaste do the same thing. You're just knocking off the highspots. It has made all my pistols and rifles much, much easier to clean after a shooting session.
     
  8. LHB1

    LHB1 Member

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    cajun,
    Older type tire weights are fine for cast bullets. The newer type tire weights (light and silvery) are a different alloy and may need some other metals for best use. Since I don't know what alloy is used in the newer tire weights, I don't know what you will need to mix with them.

    I would be RELUCTANT to use car battery lead because of battery acid residue and emissions or splattering when heating the lead. Check with someone who has specific experience with such lead source before using. If you do use it, you may need to add some tin as the original alloy may be too soft (pure lead?).

    Good shooting and be safe.
    LB
     
  9. BADUNAME13

    BADUNAME13 Member

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    Good. Unless you have one of the 'no lead' guns.
     
  10. okeybug

    okeybug Member

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    I've always poured my own bullets with a mixture of 1/2 lynotype and 1/2 wheel weight metal. It produces a bullet that never leads up barrels in my 9MM or .44 mag. Some of my most accurate loads in a .44 magnum was from the keith type poured bullet. I pour my own simply because I have a lot of lynotype on hand but you can buy lead bullets from Dillon faily inexpensively. Just remember to wash you hands after pouring, handling, eating or smoking.
     
  11. mainmech48

    mainmech48 Member

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    I don't have much experience with cast bullets in 9x19, as generic ball was so cheap up until the last 18 mos or so that I couldn't reload it, even with cast bullets, for what I could buy that for. What little I did shoot was a bit of 'remanufactured' commercial stuff with a 124 gr. cast bullet I got as part of a trade at a show. It functioned just fine in my EAA Witness, left very little in the way of lead in the bore and was about as accurate as most run-of-the-mill surplus ball.

    If your pistol has conventional rifling rather than polygonal, and the bullet alloy is 'hard' enough to withstand the velocities it's being pushed to, lead deposits shouldn't be much of an issue. What little there might be should come out easily with your normal cleaning solvent and a bronze or hard nylon brush. Shooter's Choice Lead Remover does a spectacular job on even heavy leading, BTW.

    While putting a few jacketed slugs down the bore after shooting cast loads is often recommended, I don't do it myself. It's been my experience that it actually makes it tougher to remove any remaining lead. The point about it making light deposits almost invisible without actually removing much is also well-taken, IMO. I can also see where trying it with moderate-to-heavy deposits in the bore could jack the pressures up into potentially dangerous territory.
     
  12. Shoney

    Shoney Member

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    AAAAAARRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!! The urban myth wont die.

    Lead no! Hardcast is great.

    And for those brilliant soles who repeat the urban myth of "can't shoot[hardcast] lead in (X brand) pistols", please educate yourself. but please continue to tell everyone you know that:

    the moon is made of green cheese

    the chupacobra only feeds at night

    vampires cannot be seen in a mirror

    you need silver bullets to kill.............
     
  13. North Bender

    North Bender Member

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    Can anyone tell me a good source for lead .45 acp cartridges? I'll start loading my own after I accumulate enough brass, but I want to shoot lead through my new revolver.
     
  14. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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  15. shc1

    shc1 Member

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    Don't do that!
    Silver bullets to kill what! :evil:
     
  16. jondar

    jondar Member

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    I buy .45 ACP lead sized lubed in lots of 500 locally for about $35 with sales tax. Ordering them may be more, shipping runs high.
     
  17. wooderson

    wooderson member

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    You'll probably have to look for reloads (Miwall, Zero Ammo, etc.) to get .45acp loaded with lead. All the big manufacturers use FMJ (or JHP, etc.) in their new ammo.

    www.outdoormarksman.com
    www.rozedist.com
     
  18. North Bender

    North Bender Member

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    Thanks for the references. I see master Cartridge makes a Lead Round Nose - but they're out of stock. I'll try ordering directly from them; I've liked their loadings in other calibers.

    And MagTech makes an expensive semi-wadcutter ... I'll keep looking.
     
  19. Quoheleth

    Quoheleth Member

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    NO!!! to used battery lead

    DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES USE A CAR BATTERY FOR LEAD!!!

    1. Sulfuric acid will burn your skin
    2. Sulfuric acid vapor will burn your nose, throat & sinus cavities.
    3. Sulfuric acid is volatile and can/will explode when exposed to sparks. Check out the warning tags on your battery. Could you imagine that stuff EXPLODING on your face, arms and hands? :what:
    4. You can not just "wash" the acid off of the lead to clean it up to use.
    5. Besides, whatcha gonna do with a quart of nasty acid? Can't pour it out...don't want to save it...

    I'm not much of a recycler, but in this instance ALWAYS take any auto/truck/deep cycle battery to a battery recycling place. Most places charge you a "core charge" - if you don't bring a dead battery in, they add $5 - $10 to your ticket. Some places will take old dead batts off your hands for nothing; others charge a few bucks.

    Get that old battery out of your yard. It's not doing you any good.

    Take it from an old car garage guy - if you've ever seen what battery acid can do (or had just a slight whiff of the stuff "sting" the nose and eyes), you will understand why I am saying what I am saying.

    Preacher Man
     
  20. TonyT

    TonyT Member

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    I did shoot the 147 gr. Lead bullets in my 9mm CZ-75 at less than 900 fps with minimal barrel leading. In 40 S&W I have used 155 and 180 gr. lead bullets in my PO16-40 and S&W 646 with mild loads, 800 fps or lower.
     
  21. AndyC

    AndyC Member

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    Good point, but I was referring to handloads (haven't seen any lead bullets in factory-loaded semi-auto); my understanding is that doing so will void the warranty on a Glock specifically. I'm aware some Glock people do shoot the stuff - just pointing out the potential consequences.
     
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