Leading; I just deal with it

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Lee Q. Loader, Sep 7, 2022.

  1. P Flados

    P Flados Member

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    I have fought leading a bunch, but I have kept working at it until I eliminated the problem. Usually leading problems have been from poor fit.

    Getting the right fit can require bigger bullets and/or different expander plugs.

    With the exception of 223, everything I load uses cast. This is mostly handguns with rifles being AR-15s and a 357 Mag lever gun. For the rifles I only use powder coat and none were any problem at all with respect to barrel leading.

    I can generally use tumble lube for mild to lighter mid range loads. For warmer mid range and full power magnum type stuff, I powder coat.

    This has worked for a lot of guns and loads. The stouter stuff includes, 327 Fed, 357 Mag, 357 Max, 357 AR Max, 44 Mag, 7 TCU, 30 Herrett, 30-30, 300 BO.

    Note that I have had leading issues even with powder coat. I struggled with my first attempt at 9mm until I fixed both bullet diameter and made a custom larger expander plug.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2022
  2. Russ57

    Russ57 Member

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    My leading problems were in the cylinder throats. When wet with solvent it wasn't visible. A stainless brush spun in a cordless drill made it quick and easy to address.

    Is the Lewis lead remover worth buying? Or put another way, what is your method for dealing with leading/fouling in the forcing cone area?
     
  3. doubleh

    doubleh Member

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    I went to powder coating my bullet sometime ago and seem to have eliminated leading when using them but still have a bunch of the lubed variety to shoot up. I have had little leading with my cast bullets that I lubed and sized properly but I also have a good supply of bought bullets and for that reason I keep bronze bore brushes wrapped with Chore Boy strands for those calibers. I check for lead after each shooting session with purchased bullets and pretty well know what I will find. Chore Boy makes quick work of getting rid of leading. As to 22 rimfire I have been shooting it in quite a selection of guns over a very long time span and have never encountered any leading. I Do NOT wipe the lube off, even when shooting up the supply of those nasty S&K Magazine things I bought during the Obama years. I did carry a small hand towel to wipe my hands on when shooting it. It wasn't as nasty as packing wheel bearings by hand but close or so it seemed.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2022
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  4. Frulk

    Frulk Member

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    The LLR is a cheap ‘just in case’ investment for someone who shoots a lot of lead. I have the attachments for various calibers and find them easy and effective to use. Brownells bought them out and sells them now.
     
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  5. CoalCrackerAl

    CoalCrackerAl Member

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    I have leading in my Canik's with .356 coated cast. Im going load some 125 grain .358 cast and see how they work.
     
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  6. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    Time. Time is your best friend when it comes to lead, copper, wax, vinyl and any other kind of fouling removal. I use a cotton swab wet, not soaked, with Shooters Choice lead remover and coat the chambers, bore and forcing cone, then walk away. 20 minutes. Make a cup of coffee, play chase with the dogs, take a walk around the woods - something for 20 minutes. Come back and clean normally with Hoppes. No lead - No problem.
     
  7. Tallinar

    Tallinar Member

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    If the gun and load are shooting accurately and happen to be leading, I don’t care. Just clean it.

    If the gun shoots poorly with my cast bullets and it is leading, then I investigate for out of spec throats, etc.

    Either way, I don’t care about it like I used to. Life’s too short to investigate every single minute issue.
     
  8. Pottimus

    Pottimus Member

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    Thanks for the pictures, 41 Mag. I hear about it, worry about it, look for it. but obviously have not seen it...that I know of.
     
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  9. 41 Mag

    41 Mag Member

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    I got some heavy cast for my 41 years ago. Thought that they would be THE thing for some feral hogs. Was at the range working up a load and noted that after the first cylinder things were much more dramatic than should have been.

    After round 8 recoiled fat more than it should have a quick check left me amazed at the tinsel dangling from the muzzle. I dumped the cylinder and peered down the muzzle to find I effectively had a smooth bore. It took nearly two full weekends working on it to get the grooves all cleaned out and the corners of the lands all nice and square again.

    I sorta got away from the idea of cast for quite a while after that, but came back around in '06. Since then I've learned a ton, but am still just in the minor leagues compared to a bunch of folks out there.
     
  10. .45Coltguy

    .45Coltguy Member

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    I tackled any leading issues I may have had in two different ways. First was to clean the .45 Colt bores the same as getting wad residue out of my shotgun barrels. A 50-50 mix of Hoppes #9 and Kroil. Wet swab it, let set for 20 minutes or so and presto! Clean. The other way in my handguns[.45 Colt and .357], coated bullets from Missouri or T & B bullets and load 'em mid range. No leading to speak of and easy to clean. Seems to work in my Henry's as well.
     
  11. Shivahasagun

    Shivahasagun Member

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    I've heard M92 bores are typically oversize.
     
  12. wcwhitey

    wcwhitey Member

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    Yes it is if you have a severe lead problem. If it’s just usual or mild leading I use these. The stainless circular brush is great for cleaning after shooting lead. Brass for easy cleaning, the stainless for leading. They expand quite a bit and do a nice job on the forcing cone.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/323710554334
     
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  13. sevt_chevelle

    sevt_chevelle Member

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    Never slugged it. But I can tell you, the bore brush goes through that barrel like a sweaty fat lady down a water slide.

    Took me almost 2 hours to clean that out using a brush and chore boy.
    Nope never again.
     
  14. hunt127588

    hunt127588 Member

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    I'm new to shooting cast. However, I started shooting the Hornady cowboy SWCs which were really soft. I then switched to HI-Tek coated SWCs which seems to have addressed the issues with leading. Having said that, I took others advice on using a Chore Boy and it absolutely works and works well. I verified this with a bore scope and it cleaned everything out of the bore and the cylinders. Very happy with the Chore Boy.
     
  15. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    I learned my lesson in an SP101 that leaded pretty badly that it’s important for bullet to be large enough to gas seal the barrel, and you need to have a load that burns completely and doesn’t leave residual powder kernels in the barrel. That revolver required me to hone the cylinder throats a little bit and source a bigger bullet. Since then I always use the largest bullet that will physically fit in the chamber and I’ve never had an issue again.

    Copper pot scrubber wrapped around a brush is the business for removing lead fouling. I also like powder coated bullets. Not because of lead fouling, but because I don’t like the smoke from burning wax lube and the residue it leaves all over a revolver.
     
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  16. jhansman

    jhansman Member

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    Ditto here. I no longer shoot uncoated lead.
     
  17. bullseye308

    bullseye308 Member

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    I shoot lead exclusively in my GP-100 and once I figured out the sizing it no longer leads. I’m shooting the Lee 158 swc tumble lubed ww bullet over 5.0 grains of bullseye and the barrel has a light grey wash down it and it’s self cleaning. I haven’t cleaned the barrel in over 6k rounds and it always looks the same.

    I shot cast in a gen3 glock 17 & 17L for a couple years before I started coating them and had no leading to speak of. Finding the right size, hardness, and launch pressure is the key to happiness.
     
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  18. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    Hornaday or any mainstream bullet is swaged not cast, resulting in a very soft bullet. If you deal with Missouri or other small gamer you get actual cast. You will definitely see the difference in the load data.
     
  19. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    If you have a kit and don't own a .40 cal that brush with leading will be your new best friend.
     
  20. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    Hate to disagree but I'm not using a stainless brush ever. In a situation like that the chore boy does the work and will not damage the barrel or cylinders.
     
  21. wcwhitey

    wcwhitey Member

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    Much softer alloy than one would think, different grades of Stainless Steel. In this case much harder than brass but has to be a bit harder so they can be wound. Commercially sold just for this purpose. “Armorer” or “Gun Smith” brush is what they are called. I can understand why at first one might be concerned.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/385093419705
     
  22. bullseye308

    bullseye308 Member

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    A 40 cal brush (brass/bronze) with a couple strips of copper chore boy on it does wonders for 9, & 38/357 barrels and whatever liquid lead remover you prefer allowed to work for a few minutes makes it easy to clean.
     
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  23. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    I definitely agree that there are a broad range of stainless steels. Without direct knowledge of which one definitely causes me pause. For the same reason I believe cleaning with a nylon brush is stupid, my ability to make an educated decision based on knowing exactly what material is being used makes me unwilling to take risks. Barrel steel is hard and designed to be very tough in some aspects. Boiled down is the juice worth the squeeze. I will trash a dozen brass brushes before willing to risk a stainless one. Other products like jb paste that is used on carbon ring would be preferred. One has to acknowledge that one can damage a bore with those products if used wrong enough....
     
  24. wcwhitey

    wcwhitey Member

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    I honestly doubt they would do damage, they are designed as a spring and unlike a “brush” have no sharp ends or brissels. It expands to the bore and rides along the surface drawing lead off not scrubbing it. Your comfort level may be different and I get that. Hundreds and thousands of passes with brass, bronze and copper (at velocity) would certainly be more taxing then a few with soft stainless in a hardened steel environment. Bore paste is a compound with aggregate, that to me is much more harsh. But again, your mileage may vary! Ultimately, any lead removal is harsher on the bore than finding the proper fit and combination that avoids leading in the first place. It’s been a long time since I have had to use my Lewis Lead Remover, I have learned since those days. But every once in a while a pass or two with the stainless brush makes quick work of some residual.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2022
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  25. Palladan44

    Palladan44 Member

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    After each session of shooting cast lead,
    I typically send 6 rounds of full tilt jacketed ammo down the pipe. WW-296 with Hornady XTPs typically...you know, hunting loads should be practiced with the whole year anyways... Be this just "junk science" I still do it anyway. Whether this works or not, I don't have much leading in my bores.
     
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