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Leading With Hard Cast Bullets

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by hinton03, Dec 28, 2011.

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  1. hinton03

    hinton03 Member

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    I have been reloading for 25 years but just starting loading handgun in the last year.

    I have been shooting a lot of cast bullets through my 1911's and 38/357 pistols and wanted to know if I should be concerned about leading in the barrel; the loads are not maximum velocity, but are not target velocities?

    Is there a particular product that can help prevent leading or should I switch to copper jacketed bullets?

    Thanks
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Slight leading is pretty much expected.

    It should not progress to the point of filling the rifling grooves, or be hard to remove with normal cleaning procedures.

    Lead won't shoot well without it getting there first.

    If you are buying bullets, there is not much you can do about the hard bullet lube they use.

    If you cast & lube your own, Alox bullet lube will usually stop leading in it's tracks.

    rc
     
  3. res7s

    res7s Member

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  4. Striker Fired

    Striker Fired Member

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    I had some bad leading in a couple barrel and found a source of bullets that were sized another .002" bigger so they were .001 over my actual slugged bore dia.After that the leading mostly went away.I am also starting to tumble lube my bought bullets so it helps out. The hard lube that is already on the bullets can't do a real good job at pistol velocities.
     
  5. AABEN

    AABEN Member

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    You could also Moly cote them if you do it only takes very very little to do the job. I power my 38 357 44 45 and MOLY cote them. If you do it do not do it in door for the moly will go every where. HARD on the lungs Even with the lid on.
     
  6. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    I have had "hard cast" bullets lead more than softer bullets.

    I think very hard lead alloys do not obturate well and gas cutting occurs.

    Most of the commercial cast bullets I use are about 13 BHM.
     
  7. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    A little lead is no big deal. A piece of copper Chore Boy wrapped around a bore brush and stoked thru the barrel a few times after each range session takes care of it.
     
  8. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Member

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    Exactly.

    35W
     
  9. glockky

    glockky Member

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    Check out this guy. http://www.mastercastbullets.com/productpricelist.html

    He sells the 14BHN bullets which has almost done away with me leading and they are cheap. He is also great about sending your samples. He just sent me 100 free 45's to try and 100 38's you cant beat that. Just give him a call him name is Mike.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011
  10. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    For revolvers size the bullets to the throat (chamber end) diameter, irregardless of bore size. Vastly oversize throats won't let the bullet slug up to fill the throat, allows gas cutting and often horrendous leading.
     
  11. BigN

    BigN Member

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    I shoot lead out of both the 357 and 44 mag. Some leading does occur but you just have to scrub the barrel out good. I found that I need not clean any better or worse than regular jacketed bullets. If you like to clean the guns, it won't be an issue. It will build up though if not regularly cleaned and then it will be an issue for accuracy or taking 2 hours to clean it.
     
  12. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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  13. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    He uses 20,000 CUP for .45, but many loads, especially the soft target loads, produce much less pressure than that. 12 BHN is more like it for soft target loads in .45. Same for .38 Spl which operates at even lower pressure than the .45.

    .45 is easy. I have never had leading in .45's using various commercial cast bullets and then my own cast bullets.

    For .38 revolvers, the fit is most important. The bullet needs to be a tight slip fit to the throats, and the throats need to be .001 or maybe .0015 over groove diameter. (Often called bore diameter) If you have this, any reasonable BHN bullet will not lead the bore.

    Folks, and some bullet casters, have fallen in love over the years with "harder is better", but it often causes more leading.

    Match the size, match the BHN.
     
  14. bds

    bds Member

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    +1. I used to shoot 20-24 BHN various commercial hard cast bullets in 9mm/40S&W/45ACP and got leading and figured it was just a part of shooting lead bullets.

    I was getting good accuracy and no leading with 18 BHN Missouri 200 gr SWC (IDP #1) and 5.0 gr of W231/HP-38 in various 1911s/M&P45 and thought 18 BHN was "soft" enough.

    When I got a PT145 with an oversized factory barrel, 18 BHN bullet caused leading and erratic shot groups. When I tried 12 BHN 200 gr SWC (Bullseye #1) with the same 5.0 gr W231/HP-38 load, leading was eliminated and accuracy returned. Even with lighter 4.0 gr Promo/Red Dot load, I get no leading and good accuracy.



    Yes. Many factory barrels are oversized and especially if you shoot lighter target loads, softer 12 BHN is the way to go to eliminate leading and maintain accuracy. For .38 Spl, Missouri Bullet offers them in 12/10 BHN.

    Here's a very good reference resource for cause/prevention and elimination of leading - http://www.lasc.us/Fryxell_Book_Chapter_7_Leading.htm
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011
  15. Striker Fired

    Striker Fired Member

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    I shoot many 38 bullet out of my two Beretta barrels because they are .357 measured su I need .358-.359 sized bullets.18 Bhn is working fine for them.
     
  16. x_wrench

    x_wrench Member

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    the big thing about shooting lead bullets thru firearms is fit. fit is king. if the bullet does not fit TIGHT, nothing else really matters. you are going to have trouble with them. the bullet diameter HAS to be actual bore size, or a thousandths or two larger. cast bullets can be a great cost savings, but there is a learning curve. there is a great cast bullet web site, that can help with this if you are so inclined. they have helped me tons! i probably would not be casting my own for almost everything i own if not for them. http://castboolits.gunloads.com/
     
  17. capreppy

    capreppy Member

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    +1 to fit. MBC's 9mm's are sized to .356 and I get some leading. Purchased some when Mastercast bullets was out of their 9mm. Mastercast is sized to .3565 and my leading is reduced.
     
  18. bds

    bds Member

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    I absolutely agree and endorse slugging the barrel and using lead bullet diameter .001"+ larger than the groove diameter of the barrel.

    For my situation, M&P45 and Sig 1911 have .451" and PT145 has .455" groove diameter factory barrel. It's one thing to get 45ACP bullets sized at .456" :D and I wanted to keep all the 45ACP reloads the same size and powder charge (5.0 gr of W231/HP-38) so they will work in all the pistols.

    The 12 BHN 200 gr SWC bullet (Bullseye #1) was the solution for me as the same range/plinking loads (5.0 gr W231/HP-38 and 4.0 gr Promo/Red Dot) now work well in all the pistols without leading while producing very accurate shot groups.

    I have doubts whether 4.0 gr Promo/Red Dot with 200 gr SWC bullet (2004 Alliant target load) producing 805 fps and only 9,400 PSI would deform/obturate the bullet base of harder/higher BHN bullets to prevent leading and produce accuracy. It is by far my wife's favorite 45ACP load (and you know ... "When the wife/mom is happy, everybody is happy." :D).
     
  19. grubbylabs

    grubbylabs Member

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    I really want a hardness tester. I have yet to have a problem with leading, but it would be nice to know. In my 44mag, 45-70 I shoot water dropped WW in my 45auto I shoot air cooled WW. I am really thinking about softening up my 45 auto loads. I do not get any expansion on them.
     
  20. bds

    bds Member

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  21. 41 Mag

    41 Mag Member

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    I did a lot of looking and reading about the different testers, pro's and con's. About the only con I found about the one below was it took too long for someone to come out with it.

    Hardness Tester

    It's built like a tank, and is easy enough to use, even I managed to get it right the first time. The thing I really like about it is the different ways you can measure things, as well as the different things you can actually use it to measure, if that makes any sense.

    Yep it's a bit higher but it is simply about foolproof to use and the numbers are easily checked against the chart which comes with it.
     
  22. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Member

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    +1

    [​IMG]

    I have one of these and it's a great, well built tool. Highly recommend it.

    35W
     
  23. grubbylabs

    grubbylabs Member

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    Well how much is it?

    Never mind found it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011
  24. AABEN

    AABEN Member

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    I would like to thank thes people for ther posts GLOCKY 3=SAM1911= X WRENCH=35 WHELEN. I am think about NOT powering any more lead. This will hwlp me.
     
  25. evan price

    evan price Member

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    You can get a good estimate of hardness using graphite artists' pencils. There's a chart on Castboolits forum we've developed. Basically a #2 pencil (HB) is roughly BHN15 which is the same as 92/6/2 "Hardball" alloy. The other various hardness pencils will determine BHNs harder or softer.
     
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