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Melting lead in all the wrong places

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by SaaM, Jun 24, 2007.

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  1. SaaM

    SaaM Member

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    So, I worked up some loads with my .357 Magnum using (max) 8.1gr. of Longshot behind 158gr. SWC lead bullets. I'll be damned if I can remember the brand of bullets as I bought them a while ago but they were a smaller mfgr. and not one of the big boys.

    Anyway, at 8.1gr, my accuracy was amazing. The right amount of kick, and just super smooth shooting. 6 on the top, 6 on the lower left, and 2 on the lower right (50 rounds don't divide by 6 real good)

    [​IMG]

    The problem was when I got home and started to clean, the rifling was practically gone. The entire inside of the barrel was leaded and leaded bad. I just spent two hours scrubbing the ever lovin' hell out of the barrel. I used a 50/50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and white vinegar to remove most of it, and I'd say I've been able to get 92% of the lead out of the barrel. Still needs a bit of work to get the last specks out, but I'm confident I will get it.

    Anyway, the question is this. I liked the load the best out of all my .357 loads, but I liquefied the lead and that's just not gonna cut it. The bullets themselves have no provisions for a gas check, and not working with lead that much I'm not sure how that works anyways.

    Anyone got any insight on what the best approach would be? Maybe the bullets are too cheap / soft? Should I use a different powder? Stick with jacketed bullets (which would be odd as I've practically always shot with lead)?

    Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
     
  2. Stinger

    Stinger Member

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    Brownells sells a product called the Lewis Lead Remover. Buy one. Buy extra brass patches. Use it. Lead gone.

    I like to twise it as it goes through the barrel, and it usually takes two/three passes.

    Remington sells a bore cleaner solvent that works well also. It takes more elbow grease, but is quite effective on lead.
     
  3. capbuster

    capbuster Member

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    I would venture a quess that the bullets your were using are swaged lead and not cast. You might consider lowing these down to low velocity target loads for practice and experiment with some hard cast bullets for your high velocity loads.
     
  4. fineredmist

    fineredmist Member

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    Off the top of my bald head I would say that the velocity is too high. Look up the published loads for lead bullets (not FMJ) and begin at the start loadings and work your way up. The hotter tha load the more it will melt the base of the bullet and lead the barrel. Gas checks cap the base of the bullet and reduce the softening of the base. Also the faster the bullet the more lead it looses to friction as it goes down the barrel.

    You might also try some bullets from Oregon Trail (Lazer Cast) which are very hard. I use them in 38/55 and 45/70 and never have a lead problem.
     
  5. SaaM

    SaaM Member

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    I'll have to talk with the place I got the bullets from (need primers and more powder anyway) and see who the MFGR is and check how they make their bullets. Here's what it looks like (which isn't much help)

    [​IMG]

    I can lower the velocity with no problem, but I really liked the performance of them the way they were.

    The max load for this round was 8.4gr. The starting load was 7.4 so maybe I'll try just shooting those. Otherwise, I'll stick with jacketed or maybe some Berry's.
     
  6. snuffy

    snuffy Member

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    Well, somebody HAS to say it! You can shoot pure lead bullets to the velocities you were probably getting, with the right lube, and NOT get leading. Also if the bullet diameter matches the cylinder throats and isn't too small for the bore.

    Now, that bullet you pictured has very skinny, slim, lube grooves. It probably ran out of lube rather quickly. With one much wider lube groove, or two wider-than-those on that bullet, with the right lube and diameter, you could get that velocity without leading.

    I hope you didn't START at max powder charge? Bad idea if you did. Working up a load means starting 10% below max, increasing a couple of tenths up to max. Hodgdon says this is the spread for longshot using the jacketed XTP.

    158 GR. HDY XTP 158 Longshot .357" 1.580" 7.3 1258 31,700 CUP 8.4 1394 43,200 CUP

    Being a lead bullet obturates quicker, your stated max is probably right.
     
  7. SaaM

    SaaM Member

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    Nope, started at 7.2, then 7.4, 7.6, 7.8, 8.1.

    I'm thinking the lube is the issue. Not sure I can do much about them 'cept maybe give 'em away and find a better lubed set. I reload, but I don't have the gear to cast & lube my own.
     
  8. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Here's a simple solution for leading -- you get some vaccuum line caps (they look like tiny comdoms.) Plug the breech with one. Point the gun straight up and fill the barrel with a 50-50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and vinegar. Be careful not to get any on the finish.

    The mixture will work and a scum will form on the top. Pour it down the drain -- that's the lead.

    Scrub and dry the barrel immediately, and lube as normal.
     
  9. SaaM

    SaaM Member

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    Vern, did that some today and along with some serious scrubbing, I got out most of it out. Very little left, but I think I need a new bore brush as mine has worn down a bit.

    I just put on a surgical glove and capped the end with my finger. Worked great.

    Thanks though, that's a very helpful hint. I might even try it with my Mosin Nagant M44.
     
  10. dmftoy1

    dmftoy1 Member

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    FWIW - There's a webpage by the Los Angelos Silhouette Club (google search should find it pretty easily). They show you by pressure level at what level you'll get good bore obturation vs the hardness of the lead. I don't know the hardness of the swaged lead boolits but I'd guess that they're about the same as pure lead. (BH 5-6) You can use your reloading manual to find what "pressure" level gives you good obturation and then you should be good to go.

    Chore Boy scouring pads work good for me when I get into your situation! :)

    Have a good one,
    Dave
     
  11. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    It always works -- just remember not to get it on places where you don't want it, get rid of the scum, and thoroughly dry and lube afterwards.
     
  12. Bula

    Bula Member

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    Chore Boy brand pot scrubbers (get the copper ones NOT the stainless Steel ones). I bought mine at the grocery store. Cut about a 2" square and wrap that loosely around that worn out bore brush. Run that down the bore, dry, a few times, you can feel where the lead catches the patch and when it's gone.
     
  13. SaaM

    SaaM Member

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    I've got some 0000 steel wool that I was thinking might help too. Anyone see any problems using that to get the last little bit out?
     
  14. Fburgtx

    Fburgtx Member

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    I've just always made it a point to fire two or three jacket-ed rounds through the gun after shooting a bunch of cast lead (not hot loads, just run-of-the-mill jacketed loads). Not saying it gets rid of ALL the lead, but it sure gets rid of the majority of it.
     
  15. Hunter0924

    Hunter0924 Member

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    The choices of lube in store bought bullets is somewhat limited. They use a hard lube so it will not fall out of the lube grooves during shipment.
    A softer lube will help a great deal with the leading as maybe slowing down the bullet a shade.
     
  16. SaaM

    SaaM Member

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    Hunter, how do I apply my own lube?
     
  17. kellyj00

    kellyj00 Member

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    does a product like barricade make it easier to remove leading?
     
  18. Sport45

    Sport45 Member

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    Bula-

    Stick a magnet on that copper chore boy and let me know what it does. All of them I can find around here seem to be copper plated steel. (I'm guessing it's pretty mild steel because I haven't noticed it scratching anything.)

    Still a good idea and works very well for lead removal. For getting lead splatter of of cylinders and other more visibly sensitive areas I use bronze wool mail ordered through Ace Hardware.
     
  19. dmftoy1

    dmftoy1 Member

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    You're only going to apply your own lube if you start casting your own boolits. :)
     
  20. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    I am looking at casting some pure lead 358 boolits here in a few days - I'll try the light loads to avoid leading.
    Neat new side hobby to go with reloading!
     
  21. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    You can lube previously lubed bullets with Lee liquid Alox or Rooster Jacket and it will help. Those lube grooves are tiny and Snuffy is right. Your bullets are running out of lube.You need hard cast bullets for magnum velocities as well.


    From a previous thread I posted in.

    __________________
     
  22. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    Get some Lee Liquid Alox like Walkalong suggested. I use it over all my commercial hard cast bullets when I load them any more. It eliminates most if not all the leading at .357 mag high velocities and what little leading there sometimes is found can be cleaned with a single pass of the bore brush and some ordinary bore solvent. I use Ed's Red home mix. Only a light coating of liquid alox is needed and letting it dry for a couple days eliminates any tackiness.
     
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