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Leading in pistol barrel - how much is "too" much?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by editingfx, May 20, 2009.

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  1. editingfx

    editingfx Member

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    So shot 100 rounds of some 125gr LRN in my 9mm today. Used 5.7g of AA #5. Got home, ran some CLP down the bore, waited a couple minutes, then cleaned with Chore Boy maybe 8 strokes. Swabbed it clean, then looked down the barrel - saw faint streaks on lands & grooves, maybe 20% of surface. Didn't look like any "buildup", just "streaky", not shiny smooth. Gave it another few minutes of CLP, another good CB scrubbing, checked, and though almost gone, there were still sections of streaking, but pretty faint. In neither case did it look like there was any measurable depth of leading.

    Would you call this normal, light, or "don't be so anal" amounts of leading? Interested in some frame of reference... mostly so I know how my load + lead boolits are doing in comparison to others.

    Pretty obvious now where some shooter's smoke comes from......

    Oh yeah, what;s your favorite lead cleaning chemical?
     
  2. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    Any remaining lead fouling will accumulate leading the next time you shoot. If you can get the bore completely clean the bore should come out clean with a patch pushed through with solvent followed by a dry patch done maybe 2x to remove powder fouling.

    I'd say most lead fouling is from bullets that are too hard for the pressures they're loaded at and/or bullets that are sized too small. Inneficient bullet lube on commercial cast is another reason.
     
  3. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    How was accuracy after the first 10 shots (shots 11 to 20) to condition the barrel. Compared to the last group fired, (shots 91 to 100) ? If accuracy was the same you don't have a leading problem, just normal fouling. Hoppies #9 cleans my gun.
     
  4. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I agree with Steve C.

    You might try a touch more powder. That might bump the bullet up enough to get a better gas seal, if the bullet being too hard is the problem. If it is too soft (Not likely), it will get worse. Either way, it will tell you something.

    If it is undersized, it will be much tougher to stop leading, if not impossible.

    If it is the lube, you could try using Lee Liquid Alox or Rooster Jacket on the bullets. That may stop the leading entirely.
     
  5. Quoheleth

    Quoheleth Member

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    You're right in the middle between start and max loads, per Accurate's website. Don't cross that 6.0gr threshold!!!

    Personally, I'm having good luck with Titegroup in my cast lead bullets in 9mm and .38 Special loads. Come to think of it, I'm also using it in lead .357 Magnum loads, too, and really am liking it.

    I tried AA#5 in .38 Special - didn't like it because of the leading problem you describe. Switched to Universal or TG and haven't looked back. I do, however, like AA#5 for my lead .45ACP loads and for a medium-level .357 Mag jacketed load.

    To answer the question, how's accuracy? If it's still pretty decent, then it's up to you ~~ how much do you enjoy scrubbing the lead out of your barrel?

    Q
     
  6. editingfx

    editingfx Member

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    lol.. i MUCH prefer sending the lead downrange! I can throw one higher load with my disc before crossing max.... I haven't tried that load since the initial workup, which had 4 different loads. Maybe I'll run 20 of those & see if the leading is any different.

    BTW, these are 18 Brinell.

    Hmm... hadn't considered extra lube...

    Accuracy on the load in general is very subjective for me, as I practice all over on distances, strong/weak hand, draws, bill drills, etc. So MY accuracy is probably always worse than the gun's.
     
  7. Quoheleth

    Quoheleth Member

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    The fact you know your BHN says "Missouri Bullet" to me.

    Great bullets.

    Switch powder.

    Problem solved.

    Q
     
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I doubt AA #5 is the problem, but trying something different never hurts. I would try a bit less and a bit more of AA #5 before I gave up on it. After all, you already have it.

    Unique or Universal would be another couple of good ones to try. N330 is excellent as well.
     
  9. moosehunt

    moosehunt Member

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    Another thing with lead bullets that you likely know, but it hasn't been mentioned, so just in case-- It is very important that when you start to shoot lead bullets that your barrel is super clean to begin with. Anything less is an invitation to leading.
     
  10. editingfx

    editingfx Member

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    lol.. and how... 8 lbs of it. I was running out of powder, and AA#5 was the only "all purpose pistol" I could find. Had to order w/ Hazmat, so went large. Got 4 lbs of HP38 on order, but that will be here.... (?)

    In any event, I'm certainly not giving up on it; 10-20 pushes of a copper-wrapped bore brush isn't torture.

    But could y'all give me some feedback as to HOW MUCH leading you'd say I'd described? I still don't have a feel for that.

    Yup, MBC's.
     
  11. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Too much. Not horrible, but too much. It can be improved upon greatly.

    If you were close, and wanted to get rid of the AA #5, I would buy it. Good stuff IMHO. :)

    The HP-38 will be well worth a try for your 125 Gr lead pills in 9MM.
     
  12. tactikel

    tactikel Member

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    Try some different solvents besides CLP (which is a fantastic product). Hoppes #9, Remarkable Bore solvent, etc. swab in liberally let sit several hours (or overnitght) and then run you brass brush thru, repeat as needed.
    I even use an oversize brush (28 ga brush for .45) if it is really bad.
     
  13. Larry Burchfield

    Larry Burchfield Member

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    Lead bullets

    First I'm no expert but I've been shooting lead bullets for over 35 years and I have found that as long as you keep your loads under 1000fps with cast bullets your barrel won't lead up but if it does you need to use one of the lead remover kits from Hoppes or one of the pull through bore snakes.
    To shoot lead bullets over 1000fps one should use a gas check type bullet. One other thing you can do is shoot about 100 to 200 jacketed bullets before shooting lead bullets down the bore.
    Some people will tell you that you can clean out lead by firing a jacket bullet down the bore but that is not entirely true because that bullet will force the lead further down in the grooves.
    MHO
    Larry Burchfield
    SEABEES/RVN/67/68/69
    DAV
     
  14. editingfx

    editingfx Member

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    Thanks everyone! I really appreciate all your experience.

    I'll try the hotter load after a more thorough soaking/scrubbing (so as to better evaluate the results). If no change, I'll go back to where I am.

    I've got some Precision Delta on order, but the price of MBC is SO appealing!
     
  15. flipajig

    flipajig Member

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    This is what is working in my gun (Ruger p95)4.4 grn of w231 wich is the same as HP38 125 grn lead rnd nose with a col of 1.165 and running just over 1000 fps with no problem. A verry good friend of mine is shooting a 41mag at around 1400fps in a thompson contender with cast WC with no problems. im also shooting a 44mag at just over 800fps with no problems (im working on a full bore mag load with a HCWC 240grn I dont know how fast im running but with JWC it was running around 1250 with no problems.
     
  16. MissouriBullet

    MissouriBullet Member

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    Larry, I do disagree with your comment on keeping the velocity at under 1,000 fps with lead bullets that don't have a gas check. At Missouri Bullet Company we currently produce 5 rifle bullets (4 in .30 caliber, one in .45, for the .45-70 folks) and they are routinely sent out at up to 1600 fps or so without undue leading.

    I do believe that matching the hardness of the bullet to the pressure of the load, coupled with knowing your bore diameter, along with having a well-polished bore (paint rubbing compound on a shotgun swab works great) will result in high-velocity bullet performance with great accuracy and minimal leading. Or maybe I'm just saying that to sell more bullets :)

    Just my thoughts.

    Brad
     
  17. editingfx

    editingfx Member

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    Shot 10 @ near max load today... immediately looked at bore & saw what I'd call "minimal" leading, mostly in the center of the bore. Wish I could post a picture somehow to see what others would think.

    Also found for some odd reason I really preferred the snappier recoil of that load over a much softer load in some 115g plated RN w/ 3.8 of Clays that I shot next. They seemed so darn soft it wasn't real. Though I know for a fact they make power floor, as I'd chrono'd them.
     
  18. highlander 5

    highlander 5 Member

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    If your barrel is not blued try a solution of white vinegar/hydrogen peroxide 50/50 mix that will get all the lead out but it will remove the bluing from any firearm so be careful.
     
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