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Lead cast bullets

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by mljdeckard, Nov 22, 2008.

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  1. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    After many years of nagging, I finally got my dad to get a 'modern' Springfield G.I 1911. It was his compromise of moving into a serious defensive gun and being able to tell my mom he spent the minimum he could. (The last new gun he bought was over 20 years ago, when he spent the whole summer tying fishing flies to trade with the local sporting goods store.)

    So he gets the gun, and now I'm in his ear about better magazines, sights, grips, etc, and an old-timer friend of his is telling him, "Don't buy ammo. We'll cast lead bullets and save you a pile of money." Now, in my owners manual for my Kimber, there is a warning to shoot only factory-loaded, jacketed 230 grain bullets. I am well aware that this is a legal butt-cover for Kimber, and reality isn't really that restrictive.

    My question is, if he's going to do it, and if I'm eventually going to sample some of them too, what precautions should be in place when shooting non-jacketed ammo in a 1911, as far as lubing the bullets, cleaning, etc?
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Use hard-cast .452" bullets of the correct shape and it will work just like jacketed ammo.

    Hopefully your dads friend knows enough about bullet casting & reloading to Get-R-Done correctly.

    A little dirty or smokey perhaps, because of the bullet lube, but other then that it's all good.

    They clean up with any good bore solvent just like any other loads.

    rcmodel
     
  3. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    It is possible that you may encounter functioning problems (typically failures to feed) with the semi-wadcutter shape typical of lead bullets. I can think of nothing that would damage your pistol. I think the warning you cited is merely to ensure best functioning.
     
  4. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    The guy is knowledgeable enough, he specializes in wildcatting custom rifles on Mauser actions, and has a good reputation. He and his boys all have and shoot a LOT of 1911s. I'm just a little worried about my dad's never-ending quest to cut costs. Believe me, he'll get creative.
     
  5. bglz42

    bglz42 Member

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    I cast and shoot lead exclusively in my handguns, (some of my rifles, too.) Never a problem, been at it for 25+ years. Just shoot 'em...
     
  6. wnycollector

    wnycollector Member

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    I cant speak about your kimber...but my SIG P220 has eaten ~ 3000 hard cast .45's over the last few years w/o a single hiccup!
     
  7. schmeky

    schmeky Member

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    My CZ-97 absolutely loves the hard cast 200 gn SWC bullets. I've put about 2,000 through this particular pistol. When the slide closes on a full mag of these loads, I hear that quick, "sch-link" sound when the top round is stripped from the mag. I love it

    Did I mention the accuracy?????

    .[​IMG]
     
  8. Dienekes

    Dienekes Member

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    Have shot .452 wheelweight cast bullets in .45 for 45 years. My hardball equivalent load is a 230 gr RNL and 6.5 grains Unique, taper crimped. Behaves exactly the same as hardball in all respects, and accurate.

    For serious social purposes I use a 185 grain JHP, Remington or Federal.

    These days I mostly shoot a SA Mil-Spec, but this has worked fine in everything else as well.
     
  9. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

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    A lot of autos don't like the rim that blunt-nose bullets tend to have where the bullet meets the cartridge. It depends on the gun, though. I've generally found that roundnose tends to feed better. If there's any way to cast roundnose, it's probably a better choice.
     
  10. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Very nice shooting schmeky.

    Yep, your 1911 will eat lead reloads and love them. Don't worry about the warranty. They don't ask, and you don't tell. As long as you don't blow it up with reloads you'll be fine. Sounds like your guy knows what he is doing, so go for it.
     
  11. Cloudpeak

    Cloudpeak Member

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    I've shot around 20,000 rounds of home cast lead reloads through various semi-autos (9mm, 40 S&W and 45 ACP). The group pictured is out of my Springfield 5" Loaded from a bench at 48'. I did have very occasional ftf problems using the Lee bullet. All of my 45 problems went away when I switched to the Lyman 200 gr SWC bullet. I'm shooting a lot of Lee 105 gr. SWC's through my 5" STI Trojan and they've been 100% (and my lead supply will last forever!)

    Cloudpeak

    [​IMG]
     
  12. ultramag44

    ultramag44 Member

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    [QUOTE]It is possible that you may encounter functioning problems (typically failures to feed) with the semi-wadcutter shape typical of lead bullets. I can think of nothing that would damage your pistol. I think the warning you cited is merely to ensure best functioning[/QUOTE]

    Yes, both my Taurus PT-1911's (one stainless, one blue) love the LEE copy of the H&G 200 grain SWC. However, they will not function through my Witness Elite .45 ACP. That gun requires a LEE 225 grain RN.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2008
  13. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    I don't cast, but shoot lead bullets almost exclusively in my guns for practice and competition. I shoot almost nothing but 200gr. LSWC handloads in my M1911s, almost always over 3.7-3.8gr. of Bullseye. I have three .45acp M1911s and they all feed the 200gr. LSWCs. I use mostly Penn and Magnus bullets.
     
  14. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    As a long-time bullet caster and shooter of many hundreds of thousands of cast bullets...I can attest to the fact that a good cast bullet, and a load that the gun likes will usually outperform factory hardball by a considerable margin. The problems come when commercially cast bullets are too hard and too small...and the result is lead fouling. If the alloy is correct for the pressure levels, and the bullets are sized to bore diameter or about 5/10ths larger...there won't be any leading in the barrel that can't be removed within a half-dozen passes with a dry bore brush. I like to use .50 caliber brushes in .45 caliber barrels.

    Couple that with the fact that cast bullets don't place nearly the levels of wear on the bore, and it's pretty much no contest. Tell your dad and his pard to shoot'em if they've got'em. Best hurry though. Lead/antimony based automotive wheelweights are soon gonna be history. Pile'em up and pile'em deep.
     
  15. Grizzly Adams

    Grizzly Adams Member

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    Tuner has it right. If you happen to have feed problems and little judicious smoothing of the feed should solve the problem.
     
  16. trickyasafox

    trickyasafox Member

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    just to add to the dog pile-

    My 1911 has seen less than 100 jacketed bullets- and I don't recall any factory reloads. I forget how many lead through it, but I thought at least a couple grand.
     
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